Climate anxiety is on the rise. In the face of global climate breakdown, it's tempting to feel hopeless and guilt-ridden about our impact on the environment or disillusioned about our relationship with the natural world.
In Full Ecology, social-cultural psychologist Mary M. Clare and longtime nature writer Gary Ferguson suggest a path forward. Instead of inflaming environmental dread, they teach us to take heart and develop the inner resolve to confront the climate crisis. Breaking with the modern impulse to see humans as separate from nature, Clare and Ferguson encourage us to learn from the "supremely methodical and highly improvisational" natural systems that touch our lives. True change, they argue, begins with understanding ourselves not as isolated individuals, but as being in harmony with our human and nonhuman worlds. From this process of mindfulness and reflection, they offer an alternative strategy for acting in ecologically healthy ways, and for inspiring others to do the same.
Rather than proposing a ten-step plan to save the earth, this book encourages a more elemental rethinking of our connections to nature. Practical and poetic, scientific and spiritual, Full Ecology presents a strong, nourishing foundation for climate action.
Mary M. Clare and Gary Ferguson have each dedicated more than thirty years to exploring the world's social and natural ecologies – Clare as a graduate professor of psychology and education, Ferguson as a nature and conservation-science writer. Their individual work has now come together in Full Ecology, a movement devoted to the idea that we can best serve both the natural and human world by reclaiming our human nature. Clare is a fellow in the American Psychological Association, and with her PhD in psychological and cultural studies, she has published more than one hundred scholarly articles and two books. Ferguson is an award-winning and internationally recognized author of twenty-six books, most recently The Carry Home and The Eight Master Lessons of Nature. When not on the road or in the wilderness, the couple lives in Bozeman, Montana.
"Full Ecology is full of hope and wisdom. It is a much-needed guide to caring for ourselves and our community by caring for nature."
– Alice Waters
"Full Ecology is one of the most important books ever written on the climate crisis. Honest, eloquent, touching, free of acronyms and jargon, it goes straight to the heart of cause and cure, the profound disconnect from each other and the natural world. Mary Clare and Gary Ferguson enfold our hopes, fears, and confusion into the splendor and beauty of the natural world from where we can see, feel, and understand how to meet this extraordinary moment in human history."
– Paul Hawken, editor of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming and author of Blessed Unrest
"Mary M. Clare and Gary Ferguson offer an eloquent testament to this truth: to be disconnected from the rest of nature is to be alienated from our true selves. The health of humans, of other-than-human life, and of the planet itself comprise one health, indivisible."
– Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods
"At a time when we're all so busy being 'productive,' separated from our very nature, these two lovers of the natural world have created a survivor's guide [...] Let it take you where you need to go, nurturing you along the rocky way."
– Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and River of Fire
"A quick read that reinforces the seriousness of the moment, Full Ecology provides much to think about."
"In this rapidly warming climate, Full Ecology reclaims for us an ancient, relationship-centered lifeway. This book is not so much a fire alarm as a tolling bell, inviting readers to pause and reflect and choose what is good for the earth, and thus what is profoundly good for ourselves."
– Rosanne Parry, author of A Wolf Called Wander and A Whale of the Wild
"Words flowing from the heart create what Fools Crow called 'a hollow bone' through which spirit can flow. Following this ancient path of the heart, these authors allow the earth's soul to flow through, informing us humans that we are not separate. In healing the world's soul, we heal humanity. Aho! Mi Takuye Oyacin; we are all related."
– Eduardo Duran, psychologist and author of Healing the Soul Wound
"Full Ecology is a deceptively simple exploration of some of the most complex and difficult actions we must take to save our planet. With astonishing wisdom the authors plumb the depths of challenges faced by those who are already inspired to work for sustainability and those who remain separate from the truths of nature. In fact, Full Ecology is an accessible invitation and roadmap to effective action and to personal enhancement. While saving the planet readers will also be saving themselves."
– Jane Close Conoley, President at California State University, Long Beach