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Positive Ecology: Sustainability and the 'Good Life'

Series: Ashgate Studies in Environmental Policy and Practice

By: Gerald Schmidt


Hardback | Dec 2005 | #166748 | ISBN: 0754646025
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £65.00 $86/€73 approx

About this book

Until recently, there has been a widespread view that we must give up amenities of modern life in order to achieve environmental sustainability. While newspapers and other popular media tend to focus on the negative aspects of environmental change, this volume examines the alternative notion of 'positive ecology'. Initially gleaned from the orientation of 'positive psychology', this argues that environmental science has been all too focused on analysing negative 'pathologies' and forgetting to provide more positive analysis and activism for sustainability.

Bringing together a wide range of 'positive ecology' orientated case studies for the first time, the book discusses the wider contexts of how humanity is dependent on a functioning, biodiverse ecosphere of which we are only one part. It provides an original and previously undervalued approach to sustainability, and suggests that work towards sustainability is not only a necessity for our children's future, but necessary, sensible and meaningful in the present.


Introduction. Contexts and Approaches: A plurality of perspectives; The biospheric perspective; Human perspectives; Biospheric dependence; The paradox of the human position; "Personal" perspectives. Towards a Synthetic Theory: Map and territory; Evolutionary-ecological exigencies; Anthropological contexts; "Integration". Fundamentals of Integration: Basic needs and ecology; Conditions and contexts; Water; Nutrition; clothing: (not just) temperature regulation; Architecture: temperature regulation and safety; Security and sustainability; Health. Eco-Cultural Integration: Ecology in culture and "the Good Life"; Rest and arousal; Social needs and the company of nature; Spirituality; Nature, knowledge, and creativity; Sustainability and self-efficacy; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Gerald Schmidt is an Independent Scientist and currently working on the Positive Ecology Project, Austria.

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