Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture

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9780300158434: Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture

The developed world, increasingly aware of “inconvenient truths” about global warming and sustainability, is turning its attention to possible remedies―eco-efficiency, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility, among others. But such measures are mere Band-Aids, and they may actually do more harm than good, says John Ehrenfeld, a pioneer in the field of industrial ecology. In this deeply considered book, Ehrenfeld challenges conventional understandings of “solving” environmental problems and offers a radically new set of strategies to attain sustainability.

 

The book is founded upon this new definition: sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever. There are obstacles to this hopeful vision, however, and overcoming them will require us to transform our behavior, both individually and collectively. Ehrenfeld identifies problematic cultural attributes―such as the unending consumption that characterizes modern life―and outlines practical steps toward developing sustainability as a mindset. By focusing on the “being” mode of human existence rather than on the unsustainable “having” mode we cling to now, he asserts, a sustainable world is within our reach.

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About the Author:

John R. Ehrenfeld, who before his retirement was affiliated with the MIT Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development and the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, now serves as executive director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and is senior research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 1999 he became the first recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Resources Institute. He lives in Lexington, MA.

Review:

"The author''s argument is astute and insightful, eloquent and convincing."-David Orr, Oberlin College

"Ehrenfeld presents a unique perspective on the subject of sustainability that needs to be taken seriously by anyone who claims to talk about the subject."-H. Thomas Johnson, Portland State University -- H. Thomas Johnson

"Ehrenfeld argues that we must change the way we think if we are ever to move in the direction of sustainability. His is a challenging message; one that will stir much debate."-Andrew J. Hoffman, The University of Michigan -- Andrew J. Hoffman

"In Sustainability by Design, John Ehrenfeld eloquently challenges us to confront the scale of change required to achieve a sustainable world and efficient society."-Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute

"Drawing from the works of other giants, and adding his own deep insights, John Ehrenfeld has lit the path that can lead humankind away from the yawning abyss that lies so close before us, toward a wholly appealing goal: an ethical human relationship with Nature and technology."-Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc. -- Ray Anderson

"John Ehrenfeld has written a thought-provoking and fundamentally optimistic book about the interaction of culture, economics and technology in producing our current environmental degeneration. Unlike other writers who lay out only scenarios of doom he lays out a plan for incremental social and technological change which could put us back on a path to a sustainable future. The book is vast in scope, ranging across many disciplines, but the reader who arrives at the closing chapters will find the journey deeply rewarding."-Jill Ker Conway, President Emerita, Smith College

"Ehrenfeld takes a systems look at a systemic issue. He looks at mindset . . . and that''s what is so attractive. . . .. John''s been thinking about this for a long time, and it shows in how he approaches the challenge of sustainability. . . . Woven throughout the book is a subtext of respect, of simply caring about others and the world we live in enough to wrap our designs around that thought in a mindful and purposeful way."-On Sustainability, Part 3 -- Andrew J. Hoffman

"Ehrenfeld taeks a systems look at a systemic issue. He looks at mindset . . . and that''s what is so attractive." -- Matthew May "On Sustainability, Part 3" (09/30/2008)

"Sustainability by Design, authored by John Ehrenfeld, may be and certainly should be one of the most important books of the 21st century."-Janice Pryor, Host of WUMB's, The Commonwealth Journal

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The developed world, increasingly aware of inconvenient truths about global warming and sustainability, is turning its attention to possible remedies-eco-efficiency, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility, among others. But such measures are mere Band-Aids, and they may actually do more harm than good, says John Ehrenfeld, a pioneer in the field of industrial ecology. In this deeply considered book, Ehrenfeld challenges conventional understandings of solving environmental problems and offers a radically new set of strategies to attain sustainability. The book is founded upon this new definition: sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever. There are obstacles to this hopeful vision, however, and overcoming them will require us to transform our behavior, both individually and collectively. Ehrenfeld identifies problematic cultural attributes-such as the unending consumption that characterizes modern life-and outlines practical steps toward developing sustainability as a mindset. By focusing on the being mode of human existence rather than on the unsustainable having mode we cling to now, he asserts, a sustainable world is within our reach. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780300158434

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The developed world, increasingly aware of inconvenient truths about global warming and sustainability, is turning its attention to possible remedies-eco-efficiency, sustainable development, and corporate social responsibility, among others. But such measures are mere Band-Aids, and they may actually do more harm than good, says John Ehrenfeld, a pioneer in the field of industrial ecology. In this deeply considered book, Ehrenfeld challenges conventional understandings of solving environmental problems and offers a radically new set of strategies to attain sustainability. The book is founded upon this new definition: sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever. There are obstacles to this hopeful vision, however, and overcoming them will require us to transform our behavior, both individually and collectively. Ehrenfeld identifies problematic cultural attributes-such as the unending consumption that characterizes modern life-and outlines practical steps toward developing sustainability as a mindset. By focusing on the being mode of human existence rather than on the unsustainable having mode we cling to now, he asserts, a sustainable world is within our reach. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780300158434

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