Resource Accounting for Sustainability Assessment: The Nexus between Energy, Food, Water and Land Use (Routledge Explorations in Sustainability and Governance)

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9780415720595: Resource Accounting for Sustainability Assessment: The Nexus between Energy, Food, Water and Land Use (Routledge Explorations in Sustainability and Governance)

The demands placed on land, water, energy and other natural resources are exacerbated as the world population continues to increase together with the expectations of economic growth. This, combined with concerns over environmental change, presents a set of scientific, policy and management issues that are critical for sustainability.

Resource Accounting for Sustainability Assessment: The nexus between energy, food, water and land use offers an approach for multi-scale, integrated assessment of this nexus. It presents a comprehensive and original method of resource accounting for integrated sustainability assessments. The approach is illustrated with three detailed case studies: the islands of Mauritius, the Indian state of Punjab, and the energy economy of South Africa. The relationships between flows of goods, services and materials in these case studies offer valuable insights. The book provides a much needed quality control on the information used in deliberative processes about policy and planning activities.

This innovative book will be of interest to researchers, students and practitioners in the fields of sustainability science, international development, industrial ecology, sustainable resource management, geography and ecological economics.

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About the Author:

Mario Giampietro is ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Richard J. Aspinall is Honorary Research Fellow at the James Hutton Institute and Honorary Professor, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, UK.

Jesus Ramos-Martin is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics and Economic History, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Sandra G.F. Bukkens is a Research Assistant at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Review:

'This is a cohesive book taking on different facets of a unified issue. And what an issue it is; huge, daunting, and something we all knew must be done. But nobody else had the vision and courage to take it on. It is metabolism applied to ecology and society; it is post-normal science in action. Anyone wishing to address metabolism of biology, ecology and society simply must get on top of this work, or just be left behind in the muddle that was heretofore mistaken as acceptable. There are no excuses now.' –Timothy F. H. Allen, University of Madison, USA

'In order to widen horizons and make firm steps towards a new paradigm for resource analysis, a biophysically based approach to prospective studies is fundamental to expose myths constructed under the dominant chrematistic framework. This book is not only oriented to foster debate within academia but especially to guide decision making in public policy truthfully committed and concerned with the future of our civilization. For these reasons I fully recommend the reader to immerse in the contents of this book.' –Andrés Arauz, Vice Minister of Planning and Development for Well Living, Ecuador

'This book shows the need for a non-reductionist approach to biophysical sustainability, and how to accomplish this through a multi-scale characterization. It crosses numerous disciplines and accomplishes a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of sustainability. The result is a tour de force.' –Joseph A. Tainter, Utah State University, USA

'Understanding the relationships between water, land use, energy, and food is a core sustainability challenge. These relationships depend on geography, population, and on economic and social conditions. Extended case studies from South Africa, Mauritius, and Punjab show how decisions must vary among locations and demonstrate an approach for understanding sustainable futures. This book provides students, researchers, and policy makers with a framework and guide for considering sustainable development choices.' –Valerie Thomas, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

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