Developing Ecological Consciousness is a unique environmental studies textbook. Rather than working through a list of environmental problems, it aims to help students become aware of the awe and wonder of our planet, understand some of the challenges facing it, and explore possibilities for action and change. This text is invaluable for courses in a variety of disciplines, including environmental studies, biology, sociology, and political science.
Foreword by Laura Hake
Preface to Third Edition
Part I: Earth, Our Home
1. Humility: We Are a Part of Something Greater Than Ourselves
2. Curiosity and Connection: Seeing the World with New Eyes
3. Intimacy: Belonging to Earth
Part II: Assessing the Health of Earth
4. Listening: Gauging the Health of Earth
5. Courage: Facing Up to the Unraveling of the Biosphere
6. Living the Questions: Discovering the Causes of Earth Breakdown
Part III: Healing Ourselves, Healing Earth
7. The Old Story: Economism and Separation
8. Birthing a New Story: The Great Turning
About the Authors
Christopher Uhl is a professor emeritus of biology at Penn State University and coauthor of Teaching as if Life Matters: The Promise of a New Education Culture and Awaken 101: Finding Meaning and Purpose in College and Beyond.
Jennifer Anderson is a program director at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and an instructor in the biology department at Penn State University.
"Christopher Uhl, in this third edition of his work, shows us what it means to evolve and become fully human. By his own story, told across two decades now, he continues to share with the world his growing understanding of our urgent need to reunite with the cosmological order of the universe. As someone who has traversed this same landscape, I cherish his clarity and now the clarity of his colleague and co-writer, Jennifer Anderson. Required reading in every school of education in our country."
– Coleen O'Connell, Lesley University
"If you teach about the climate emergency, ecosystem collapse, or the extreme dysfunction of contemporary existence, you know that ordinary pedagogy does not work. The 'Just the facts, ma'am' approach terrifies or numbs students. This magical book turns the world upside down and connects students to their deep humanity, all the while teaching what they need to know about the world around them. A proven life changer, it should be required reading for faculty, students, and others who recognize the dangerous path we are currently on."
– Juliet B. Schor, Boston College
"Teachers and students can trust this remarkably wise, multifaceted, and stimulating book to guide them on a journey from head to heart. This is a book for those who not only want to understand the facts and the science of the ecological crisis but also crave the emotional, philosophical, and spiritual tools to make the personal and societal changes that our planet requires."
– Ian Mevorach, founder and director, Common Street Spiritual Center
"A field guide to our deep connection to earth, a story of why we need to care, and an invitation to walk the path towards healing the planet and ourselves."
– Doug Wentzel, senior naturalist, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
"As a student of the humanities and an advocate for human rights, I've never considered myself an "environmentalist" or "eco"-anything. So an ecological textbook that begins with a quote from Vaclav Havel, and even makes room for poetry and religion, has my undivided attention. Indeed, if I'd read this book in college, I might have understood far earlier what that ecologist and radical abolitionist Henry Thoreau taught me years later – that we are all of us "part and parcel of Nature.""
– Wen Stephenson, author, What We're Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice
"In this thoroughly revised edition of Developing Ecological Consciousness, Christopher Uhl helps us answer one of the most critical questions of our time, "What gives you hope?". While Uhl's own answers are both wise and heartfelt, the essential contribution of this book is the guidance it gives readers in developing their own answers. Viewed as a "guidebook for hope" this should be required reading for anyone, from university faculty with their students to parents with their children, trying to discern, or reimagine, what it could mean to be fully human in these precarious and purposeful times."
– Jeffrey Gerwing, Portland State University
"Developing Ecological Consciousness is a sober, empowering, learned and impassioned guide that summons us back to the fullness of our shared humanity. It is an agent of activation, helping us shake off the inertia we commonly feel when pitted against the monumental scale of our ecological crisis. It helps us understand what the crisis is specifically asking of us: to disentangle ourselves from the outmoded paradigms of thinking we are schooled in, from the half-life of stale relationships, from the narrow anxieties that bind us, and grow into a fully awakened relationship with the natural world. Full of surprises, this book brilliantly illuminates what I believe to be the only way we can move forward. Read it, and feel your life being enriched."
– Philip Shepherd, author of Radical Wholeness and New Self, New World