All effects of human action will inevitably be played out within our planet's limits; any hope of infinity is an illusion. And yet, as Wolfgang Sachs warned almost twenty years ago, environmental concerns have been assimilated into the rhetoric, dynamics and power structures of development. This classic collection of trenchant and elegant explorations addresses the crisis of the Western world's relations with nature and social justice. Examining the notions of efficiency, speed, globalization and development, Sachs shows that sustainability, truly conceived, is incompatible with the worldwide rule of economism. Planet Dialectics reveals that the Western development model is fundamentally at odds with both the quest for justice among the world's people and the aspiration to reconcile humanity and nature.
Foreword to the critique influence change edition Susan George
Preface to the first edition
Part 1 The Archaeology of the Development Idea
1. The Archaeology of the Development Idea
Part 2 The Shaky Ground of Sustainability
2. Global Ecology and the Shadow of 'Development'
3. The Gospel of Global Efficiency
4. Environment and Development: The Story of a Dangerous Liaison
5. Sustainable Development: On the Political Anatomy of an Oxymoron
Part 3 In the Image of the Planet
6. One World - Many Worlds?
7. The Blue Planet: On the Ambiguity of a Modern Icon
8. Globalization and Sustainability
Part 4 Ecology and Equity in a Post-development Era
9. Ecology, Justice and the End of Development
10. The Two Meanings of Resource Productivity
11. Speed Limits
12. The Power of Limits: An Inquiry into New Models of Wealth
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Wolfgang Sachs is a researcher, writer and university teacher in the field of environment, development and globalization. His best-known works include the immensely influential Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power (2010), which has been translated intonumerous languages; Global Ecology: A New Arena of Political Conflict (1993); Greening the North: A Post-Industrial Blueprint for Ecology and Equity (co-authored with Reinhard Loske and Manfred Linz, 1998); and (co-edited with Tilman Santarius) Fair Future: Resource Conflicts, Security, and Global Justice (2007).