For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy's The Road: a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller Last Child in the Woods, urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that will touch every part of society.This New Nature Movement taps into the restorative powers of the natural world to boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live. Richard Louv's new book, Our Wild Calling, is available now.
"An ingenious and invigorating insight into the essential wildness within us all." Chris Packham
Nick Baker introduces rewilding as a concept that needs to be established at a personal level. Taking the reader back to their natural sensitivities, we rediscover the instinctive potential of our senses. From learning to observe the creatures and beasts within hands' reach and seeing and hearing the birds and trees of our forests, Baker's expert advice offers the practical tools to experience the wilderness on your own doorstep, as well as in the wider, wilder world.
ReWild mixes memoir with practical advice, to delight, inform and inspire us all to discover the art of returning to nature.
In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light.
Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education.
By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience.
For more information, visit the author's website: http: //republicofnature.com/
Ten thousand years ago, our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers. Although this decision propelled us into the modern world, renowned geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells demonstrates that such a dramatic change in lifestyle had a downside that we're only now beginning to recognize. Growing grain crops ultimately made humans more sedentary and unhealthy and made the planet more crowded. The expanding population and the need to apportion limited resources created hierarchies and inequalities. Freedom of movement was replaced by a pressure to work that is the forebear of the anxiety millions feel today. Spencer Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill-suited. Pandora's Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.
The influence of the evangelical Christian right on the Bush administration has had a mostly unnoticed impact on America's environmental policy. While some take God's granting of dominion over the earth to man as a call to good stewardship of our planet, many evangelicals distrust science and disdain environmental protections. They live in anticipation of one event: the Rapture, when Christ will return to cleanse the earth while the true believers are transported to heaven. For those who believe that the Rapture and the destruction of the world are imminent, there is no need to be concerned about saving the planet from environmental catastrophe.Welcome to Doomsday is an investigation into the coupling of ideology and theology, in particular the intrusion of religion into political life, in America today. Global climate change is a rapid, possibly irreversible occurrence, yet the stance taken by the White House in both international and domestic arenas is one of both ignorance and disbelief. Appeasing the influential agendas of corporations, as well as the uncompromising dominant beliefs of evangelical groups, the Bush administration has firmly established a disastrous record of ignoring the urgency of potentially devastating changing climate. Welcome to Doomsday is a passionate call to save the planet from the forces not only of greed and exploitation but from those who associate its destruction with a spiritual apocalypse. Written by the compelling and articulate Bill Moyers, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the current dismal state of environmental policy as well as in the growing power of the evangelical movement in the United States.
The world's leading expert on reversing soil desertification shows how ecology can flourish only when spiritual elements are present- Uses a parable from the African oral tradition to provide a living testimony of what has been lost with the rise of modern technology - Provides a vital account of the strong relationship between soil and soul and how this relationship can be restored As in the Heart, So in the Earth is a strong indictment of a civilization that, while seeking domination over the earth, mutilates, tortures, and desacralizes it. For Pierre Rabhi ecology is inseparable from spirituality. He shows how the growing desertification of North Africa is a reflection of the "desert" that is claiming the hearts and souls of the inhabitants of the Western world--how dead soil is mirrored in our deadened souls--and how reconciliation with Mother Earth must be accompanied by relearning our ancestors' reverence for the soil. Using a traditional African parable grounded in the very wisdom of the earth, Pierre Rabhi seeks to initiate the reader into a time when the people that dwelled on this planet did so harmoniously and could converse easily with the land. Village elder Tyemoro recounts the gradual destruction of his village's culture and all that has sustained it as the miracles promised by modern technology brought more harm than good. This same drama is recurring throughout the world, where indigenous value systems that have endured for millennia are torn apart by contact with modern civilization. Yet Rahbi offers hope--if those in the modern world will stop to hear the words of their ancestors who worked the land, for our destiny is linked irrevocably to that of the earth.
The American Revolution gave birth not just to a new nation, but to a new landscape. America was paradise to its native inhabitants, while to the colonists, it was an unlimited land of opportunity, a moral and physical wilderness from which they could create paradise. Powerful people like Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton struggled to shape it to their opposing visions. Over the ensuing two hundred years, many other visions shaped the American landscape. Today, their imprints form a complex layering of messages-past and present, physical and cultural, public and private, local and national-that tell a story of many interwoven meanings. John Warfield Simpson traces this fascinating story in Visions of Paradise, providing a fresh perspective from which to understand not only our landscape but also the way we steward our environment.
Simpson describes the transformation of America from wilderness into an agrarian and suburban landscape as the nation expanded westward after the Revolution. He highlights the role of influential people in this transformation and the critical policies and programs they used to acquire, survey, and dispose of the public domain. He shows how their actions reflected changes in our traditional values that considered land as property and a commodity primarily for functional use.
This transformation in values has yielded a landscape of contradictions: It is at once a landscape of freedom and opportunity, order and disorder, permanence and transience. Ours is an egalitarian and litigated landscape shaped by reason and mobility, he argues, one that reflects our historical sense of separation from and superiority over a limitless land of endless abundance and resilience. These perceptions, he shows, have blinded us to the environmental consequences of our actions and created a people who behave as though they are temporary occupants of the land rather than residents who enjoy a deep connection to the land. That connection, he concludes, holds the key to our contemporary environmental debate.
Throughout the ages man has struggled with his perceived place in the natural world. The idea of humans cultivating the Earth to suit specific needs is one of the greatest points of contention in this struggle. For how would have civilization progressed, if not by the clearance of the forests,
the cultivation of the soil, and the conservation of wild landscape into human settlement? Yet what of the healing powers of unexploited nature, its long-term importance in the perpetuation of human civilization, and the inherent beauty of wild scenery? At no time were these questions addressed as
pointedly and with such great consequence as in England between the sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries. Between 1500 and 1800 there occurred a whole cluster of changes in the way in which men and women, at all social levels, perceived and classified the natural world around them, explains
Keith Thomas. New sensibilities arose toward animals, plants, and landscape. The relationship of man to other species was redefined; and his right to exploit those species for his own advantage was sharply challenged.
Man and the Natural World aims not just to explain present interest in preserving the environment and protecting the rights of animals, but to reconstruct an earlier mental world. Thomas seeks to expose the assumptions beneath the perceptions, reasonings, and feelings of the inhabitants of early
modern England toward the animals, birds, vegetation, and physical landscape among which they spent their lives, often in conditions of proximity which are now difficult for us to appreciate. It was a time when a conviction of man's ascendancy over the natural world gave way to a new concern for the
environment and sense of kinship with other species. Here, for example, Thomas illustrates the changing attitudes toward the woodlands. John Morton observed in 1712, In a country full of civilized inhabitants timber could not be suffered to grow. It must give way to fields and pastures, which are
of more immediate use and concern to life. Shortly thereafter, in 1763, Edwin Lascelles pronounced the The beauty of a country consists chiefly in the wood. People's relationships with animals were also in the process of dramatic change as seen in their growing obsession with pet keeping. The use
of human names for animals, the fact that pets were rarely eaten, though not for gastronomic reasons, and pets being included in family portraits and often fed better than the servants all demonstrated a major shift in man's position on human uniqueness.
The issues raised in this fascinating work are even more alive today than they were just ten years ago. Preserving the environment, saving the rain forests, and preventing the extinction of species may seem like fairly recent concerns, however, Man and the Natural World explores how these ideas
took root long ago. These issues have much to offer not only environmental activists, but historians as well, for it is impossible to disentangle what the people of the past thought about plants and animals from what they thought about themselves.
People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world - North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain; in many cases they were a matter of firearms against spears. But as Alfred Crosby explains in his highly original and fascinating book, the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest.