Outlines a strategy for dealing with the new challenges of sustaining natural resources and human institutions. The authors maintain that big (and increasingly complex) government may reduce sustainability and they see commerce as having a central and potentially very positive role in sustainability. They use the concepts of scale, hierarchy and the criteria of organism, landscape, population, and community to address the central issues of ecological sustainability with concrete implications for ecology and management.
This is undoubtedly the most thought-provoking book on sustainability that has appeared so far. Int'l Journal of Sustainable Development & World Economy Sustainability does not emerge just from activities such as recycling or conserving biodiversity; it requires problem solving. This, too, costs more and more for ever-smaller amounts of information, but Allen (botany, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) and Tainter and Hoekstra (both, USDA Forest Service) offer recommendations for reducing costs... the importance of how a society can become sustainable makes the effort vital. Choice Using a very wide range of examples from ecology and social history, the authors seek to show how supply-side sustainability works in both social and ecological situations. The mix of disciplines encountered here is intellectually fertile, the social and the ecological inputs illuminating one another effectively and together producing a unified approach to a complex problem. British Ecological Society [A] thoughtful book that reviews historical topics associated with sustainability, presents model cases of sustainable or nonsustainable future,s outlines important principles associated with ecological management of material systems, and the theoretical approaches to manage them. It will appeal to a broad audience seeking solutions to these daunting problems. -- Clive A. Edwards Quarterly Review of Biology
PrefaceComplexity, Problem Solving, and Social SustainabilityThe Nature of the ProblemA Hierarchical Approach to Ecological SustainabilityComplexity and Social Sustainability: FrameworkComplexity and Social Sustainability: ExperienceThe Criteria for Observation and ModelingBiomes and the BiosphereEcosystems, Energy Flows, Evolution, and EmergenceRetrospect and Prospects
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Timothy F. H. Allen is a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Joseph Tainter is a project leader at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in the USDA Forest Service in Albuquerque. Thomas W. Hoekstra is director of the Inventory and Monitoring Institute of the National Resources Research Center of the USDA Forest Service.