Underscores the relevance of archaeological research in understanding long-term cultural change
Taking a holistic approach, this compilation gathers ecological, historical, and archaeological research written on the distinctive region of the Southeast called the Gulf coast blackland prairie. Ranging from the last glacial period to the present day, the case studies provide a broad picture of how the area has changed through time and been modified by humans, first with nomadic bands of Indians trailing the grazing animals and then by Euro-American settlers who farmed the rich agricultural area. Contemporary impacts include industrialization, aquaculture, population growth, land reclamation, and wildlife management.
It is believed that the Black Belt and the Great Plains were contiguous in the past and shared the same prairie vegetation, insects, and large fauna, such as bison. Swaths and patches of limestone-based soils still weave a biological corridor through what is now Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. In analyzing this distinct grassland ecosystem, the essays compare both the mega and minute flora and fauna sustained by the land in the past and present; reveal what foods were harvested by early inhabitants, their gathering techniques, and diet changes over the 10,000-year period of native occupancy; survey the documents of early explorers for descriptions of the landform, its use, and the lives of inhabitants at the time of contact; and look at contemporary efforts to halt abuse and reverse damage to this unique and shrinking biome.
This book demonstrates that the blackland prairie has always been an important refuge for a teeming array of biological species, including humans. It will have wide scholarly appeal as well as general interest and will be welcomed by archaeologists, biologists, botanists, ecologists, historians, librarians, politicians, land managers, and national, state, and local administrators.
Evan Peacock is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Mississippi State University and a contributor to The Woodland Southeast.Timothy Schauwecker is a biologist with Mississippi State University.
The combined contributions of science and religion to resolving environmental problems are far greater than each could offer working in isolation. Scientific findings are central to understanding the impact of human populations on the environment, but a more ecologically sustainable future will require radical changes in values, lifestyle choices, and consumption patterns -- a revolution that falls squarely within the domain of the religious community.
Consumption, Population, and Sustainability is an outgrowth of a conference sponsored jointly by the Boston Theological Institute and the American Association for the Advancement of Science that brought together more than 250 scientists and people of religious faith to discuss the environmental impact of consumption patterns and population trends, and to consider alternative and more equitable value systems, economic arrangements, and technologies that will be necessary for achieving a more sustainable future. The book:
Both the scientific and religious communities can make important contributions to understanding and responding to the impact of population growth and consumption patterns on environmental sustainability. This volume represents a significant step in establishing an ongoing dialogue between the communities, and provides a thought-provoking overview of the issues for scientists, theologians, and anyone concerned with the future of global sustainability.
So writes Chris Maser in this compelling study of three interactive spheres of the ecosystem: atmosphere (air), litho-hydrosphere (rock that comprises the restless continents and the water that surrounds them), and biosphere (all life sandwiched in between).
Rich in detail and insightful analogies, Earth in Our Care addresses key issues including land-use policies, ecological restoration, forest management, local living, and sustainability thinking. Exploring our interconnectedness with the Earth, Maser examines today's problems and, more importantly, provides solutions for the future.
Energy and the Ecological Economics of Sustainability examines the roots of the present environmental crisis in the neoclassical economics upon which modern industrial society is based. The author explains that only when we view ourselves in the larger context of the global ecosystem and accept the physical limits to what is possible can sustainability be achieved.
In the early 2000s, energy prices have fluctuated wildly, from historic highs in the winter and spring of 2001 to the lowest wholesale prices in decades a few short months later. As the largest user of fossil-fuel energy, the United States is the key player in the world's energy markets, and our nation's energy policy (or lack thereof) has become a subject of increasing concern.
Energy: Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability is an essential primer on energy, society, and the environment. It offers an accessible introduction to the "energy problem" -- its definition, analysis, and policy implications. Current patterns of energy use are without question unsustainable over the long term, and our dependence on fossil fuels raises crucial questions of security and self-sufficiency. This volume addresses those questions by examining the three broad dimensions of the issue: physical, human, and political-economic. Chapters consider:
The Future of Ethics interprets the big questions of sustainability and social justice through the practical problems arising from humanity’s increasing power over basic systems of life. What does climate change mean for our obligations to future generations? How can the sciences work with pluralist cultures in ways that will help societies learn from ecological change?
Traditional religious ethics examines texts and traditions and highlights principles and virtuous behaviors that can apply to particular issues. Willis Jenkins develops lines of practical inquiry through "prophetic pragmatism," an approach to ethics that begins with concrete problems and adapts to changing circumstances. This brand of pragmatism takes its cues from liberationist theology, with its emphasis on how individuals and communities actually cope with overwhelming problems.
Can religious communities make a difference when dealing with these issues? By integrating environmental sciences and theological ethics into problem-based engagements with philosophy, economics, and other disciplines, Jenkins illustrates the wide understanding and moral creativity needed to live well in the new conditions of human power. He shows the significance of religious thought to the development of interdisciplinary responses to sustainability issues and how this calls for a new style of religious ethics.
The current account deficit of the United States is more than six percent of its gross domestic product—an all-time high. And the rest of the world, including other G7 countries such as Japan and Germany, must collectively run current account surpluses to finance this deficit. How long can such unevenness between imports and exports be sustained, and what form might their eventual reconciliation take? Putting forth scenarios ranging from a gradual correction to a crash landing for the dollar, G7 Current Account Imbalances brings together economists from around the globe to consider the origins, status, and future of those disparities.
An esteemed group of collaborators here examines the role of the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the history of previous episodes of current account adjustments, and the possibility of the Euro surpassing the dollar as the leading international reserve currency. Though there are areas of broad agreement—that the imbalances will ultimately decline and that currency revaluations will be part of the solution—many areas of contention remain regarding both the dangers of imbalances and the possible forms of adjustment.
This volume will be of tremendous value to economists, politicians, and business leaders alike as they look to the future of the G7 economies.
“Insightful tour de force… Farrell’s writing is as informative as it is intoxicating” -- Publishers Weekly
Shanna Farrell loves a good drink. As a bartender, she not only poured spirits, but learned their stories—who made them and how. Living in San Francisco, surrounded by farm-to-table restaurants and high-end bars, she wondered why the eco-consciousness devoted to food didn’t extend to drinks.
The short answer is that we don’t think of spirits as food. But whether it's rum, brandy, whiskey, or tequila, drinks are distilled from the same crops that end up on our tables. Most are grown with chemicals that cause pesticide resistance and pollute waterways, and distilling itself requires huge volumes of water. Even bars are notorious for generating mountains of trash. The good news is that while the good drink movement is far behind the good food movement, it is emerging.
In A Good Drink, Farrell goes in search of the bars, distillers, and farmers who are driving a transformation to sustainable spirits. She meets mezcaleros in Guadalajara who are working to preserve traditional ways of producing mezcal, for the health of the local land, the wallets of the local farmers, and the culture of the community. She visits distillers in South Carolina who are bringing a rare variety of corn back from near extinction to make one of the most sought-after bourbons in the world. She meets a London bar owner who has eliminated individual bottles and ice, acculturating drinkers to a new definition of luxury.
These individuals are part of a growing trend to recognize spirits for what they are—part of our food system. For readers who have ever wondered who grew the pears that went into their brandy or why their cocktail is an unnatural shade of red, A Good Drink will be an eye-opening tour of the spirits industry. For anyone who cares about the future of the planet, it offers a hopeful vision of change, one pour at a time.
Implementing City Sustainability examines the structures and processes that city governments employ to pursue environmental, social, and economic well-being within their communities. As American cities adopt sustainability objectives, they are faced with the need to overcome fuzzy-boundary, coordination, and collective action challenges to achieve successful implementation.
Sustainability goals often do not fit neatly into traditional city government structures, which tend to be organized around specific functional responsibilities, such as planning, public works, parks and recreation, and community development. The authors advance a theory of Functional Collective Action and apply it to local sustainability to explain how cities can—and in some cases do—organize to successfully administer changes to achieve complex objectives that transcend these organizational separations. Implementing City Sustainability uses a mixed-method research design and original data to provide a national overview of cities’ sustainability arrangements, as well as eight city case studies highlighting different means of organizing to achieve functional collective action.
By focusing not just on what cities are doing to further sustainability, but also on how they are doing it, the authors show how administrative structure enables—or inhibits—cities to overcome functional divides and achieve successful outcomes.
What does “development” mean for Indigenous peoples? Indigenous Economics lays out an alternative path showing that conscious attention to relationships among humans and the natural world creates flourishing social-ecological economies.
Economist Ronald L. Trosper draws on examples from North and South America, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia to argue that Indigenous worldviews centering care and good relationships provide critical and sustainable economic models in a world under increasing pressure from biodiversity loss and climate change. He explains the structure of relational Indigenous economic theory, providing principles based on his own and others’ work with tribal nations and Indigenous communities. Trosper explains how sustainability is created at every level when relational Indigenous economic theory is applied—micro, meso, and macro.
Good relationships support personal and community autonomy, replacing the individualism/collectivism dichotomy with relational leadership and entrepreneurship. Basing economies on relationships requires changing governance from the top-down approaches of nation-states and international corporations; instead, each community creates its own territorial relationships, creating plurinational relational states. This book offers an important alternative to classic economic theory. In Indigenous Economics, support for Indigenous communities’ development and Indigenous peoples’ well-being go hand-in-hand.
Publication of this book is made possible in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Program in Public Understanding of Science.
Investing in Natural Capital presents the results of a workshop held following the second biannual conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics. It focuses on the relation of human development to natural capital, and the relation of natural capital to environmental processes.
Because we are capable of understanding our impact on the environment and the importance of managing it sustainably, humans play a special role in our ecosystem. The book emphasizes the essential connections between natural ecosystems and human socioeconomic systems, and the importance of insuring that both remain resilient. Specific chapters deal with methodology, case material, and policy questions, and offer a thorough exploration of this provocative and important alternative to conventional economics.
The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates around fifty million years ago profoundly altered earth’s geography and regional climates. The rise of the Himalaya led to intensification of the monsoon, the birth of massive glaciers and turbulent rivers, and an efflorescence of ecosystems along the most extreme elevational gradient on Earth. When the Ice Age ended, humans became part of this mix, and today nearly one quarter of the world’s population inhabits its river basins, from Afghanistan to Myanmar. Life in the Himalaya examines the region’s geophysical and biological systems and explores the past and future of human sustainability in the mountain’s shadow.
Maharaj Pandit divides the Himalaya’s history into four phases. During the first, the mountain and its ecosystems formed. In the second, humans altered the landscape, beginning with nomadic pastoralism, continuing to commercial deforestation, and culminating in pockets of resistance to forest exploitation. The third phase saw a human population explosion, accompanied by road and dam building and other large-scale infrastructure that degraded ecosystems and caused species extinctions. Pandit outlines a future networking phase which holds the promise of sustainable living within the mountain’s carrying capacity.
Today, the Himalaya is threatened by recurrent natural disasters and is at risk of catastrophic loss of life. If humans are to have a sustainable future there, Pandit argues, they will need to better understand the region’s geological vulnerability, ecological fragility, and sociocultural sensitivity. Life in the Himalaya outlines the mountain’s past in order to map a way forward.
In The Mojave Desert, thirty-eight scientists who are all specialists in desert ecology address the threats to the Mojave, as well as the potential for natural recovery and active restoration. The contributing authors discuss the desert from several perspectives: regional threats such as expanding human populations, climate change, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and invasive plants; the impact of roads in a desert ecosystem; soils and plant communities; shrinking aquifers; and the monitoring and sustainability of this fragile ecosystem. Finally, they discuss the importance of long-term data and the ways scientists and resource managers can interact to enhance understanding of the processes of change in the Mojave Desert and to advance the preservation and restoration of its precious resources.The Mojave Desert offers the fruits of extensive research in a number of disciplines and a sound assessment of the current state and possible future of one of the world's major deserts. As human intrusion and climate change increasingly threaten the Mojave's ecosystem, studies like this are essential in helping scientists, land managers, and the general public understand what is at risk and what can be done to preserve this austere and hauntingly beautiful region.
Contributors. Joe Bowersox, David Brower, Susan Buck, Celia Campbell-Mohn, John Martin Gillroy, Joel Kassiola, Jan Laitos, William Lowry, Bryan Norton, Robert Paehlke, Barry G. Rabe, Mark Sagoff, Anna K. Schwab, Bob Pepperman Taylor, Jonathan Wiener
Oceans 2020 presents a comprehensive assessment of the most important science and societal issues that are likely to arise in marine science and ocean management in the next twenty years. Sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the book brings together the world's leading ocean scientists and researchers to analyze the state of marine science and technology, identify key scientific issues for sustainable development, and evaluate the capability of scientists, governments, and private-sector stakeholders to respond to those issues. Topics include:
Oceans 2020 suggests what can be done about major marine environmental issues through the better development and application of marine science and technology, focusing on the issues that are most closely related to human and sustainable development. It will help guide countries in developing their marine science and technology strategies and priorities and is an essential source of information for policymakers, government officials, resource managers, scientists, the media, and all those concerned with the current and future health of the oceans.
Does going green change the face of design or only its content? The first book to outline principles for the aesthetics of sustainable design, The Shape of Green argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made.
In addition to examining what makes something attractive or emotionally pleasing, Hosey connects these questions with practical design challenges. Can the shape of a car make it more aerodynamic and more attractive at the same time? Could buildings be constructed of porous materials that simultaneously clean the air and soothe the skin? Can cities become verdant, productive landscapes instead of wastelands of concrete?
Drawing from a wealth of scientific research, Hosey demonstrates that form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Fully embracing the principles of ecology could revolutionize every aspect of design, in substance and in style. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.
Utah Series in Middle East Studies
This interdisciplinary study discusses the development, economics, and politics of North Cyprus, a divided state since 1960 when sovereignty was surrendered by the British to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Mehmet works to demonstrate that, as a microstate with an area of just 3,442 square kilometers, North Cyprus possesses certain inherent comparative economic advantages in the service sectors that enable it to be sustainable in today's rapidly globalizing and competitive economic world.
Mehmet bases his arguments for the potential sustainability of North Cyprus on the concept of economic rationalism, in which participating parties work to optimize their own self-interest. In an ethnic conflict like that of North Cyprus, the logic of optimization demands a rational, free, and objective balancing of competing interests to reach an agreed solution. The economic rationalist approach sharply contrasts with the highly emotional political, historical, cultural, and legal approaches that have thus far dominated the study and discussion of the Cyprus problem, approaches that have largely resulted in a protracted conflict.
While recognizing the negative forces of ethnic tension and the very real possibility of a continued divided Cyprus state, Sustainability of Microstates nevertheless remains hopeful, designed to unleash the forces of convergence that may be deduced from economic rationalism, and unwavering in its conviction of the ultimate sustainability of North Cyprus.
To reclaim a sense of hope for the future, German activists in the late twentieth century engaged ordinary citizens in innovative projects that resisted alienation and disenfranchisement.
By most accounts, the twentieth century was not kind to utopian thought. The violence of two world wars, Cold War anxieties, and a widespread sense of crisis after the 1973 global oil shock appeared to doom dreams of a better world. The eventual victory of capitalism and, seemingly, liberal democracy relieved some fears but exchanged them for complacency and cynicism.
Not, however, in West Germany. Jennifer Allen showcases grassroots activism of the 1980s and 1990s that envisioned a radically different society based on community-centered politics—a society in which the democratization of culture and power ameliorated alienation and resisted the impotence of end-of-history narratives. Berlin’s History Workshop liberated research from university confines by providing opportunities for ordinary people to write and debate the story of the nation. The Green Party made the politics of direct democracy central to its program. Artists changed the way people viewed and acted in public spaces by installing objects in unexpected environments, including the Stolpersteine: paving stones, embedded in residential sidewalks, bearing the names of Nazi victims. These activists went beyond just trafficking in ideas. They forged new infrastructures, spaces, and behaviors that gave everyday people real agency in their communities. Undergirding this activism was the environmentalist concept of sustainability, which demanded that any alternative to existing society be both enduring and adaptable.
A rigorous but inspiring tale of hope in action, Sustainable Utopias makes the case that it is still worth believing in human creativity and the labor of citizenship.
Violent conflict, climate change, and poverty present distinct threats to women worldwide. Importantly, women are leading the way creating and sharing sustainable solutions.
Women’s security is a valuable analytical tool as well as a political agenda insofar as it addresses the specific problems affecting women’s ability to live dignified, free, and secure lives. First, this collection focuses on how conflict impacts women’s lives and well-being, including rape and gendered constructions of ethnicity, race, and religion. The book’s second section looks beyond the scope of large-scale violence to examine human security in terms of environmental policy, food, water, health, and economics.
Multidisciplinary in scope, these essays from new and established contributors draw from gender studies, international relations, criminology, political science, economics, sociology, biological and ecological sciences, and planning.
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