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The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future

Wessels, Tom

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ISBN 10: 1584654953 / ISBN 13: 9781584654957
Published by Univ of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, U.S.A., 2006
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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1584654953 Slight shelf wear to dust jacket. Nice, clean, tight, unmarked copy. SIGNED by author on title pg. "A provocative critique of Western progress from a scientific perspective.". Bookseller Inventory # 028281

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable ...

Publisher: Univ of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed By Author

About this title

Synopsis:

In this compelling and cogently argued book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs absolutely contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy. Wessels explains his theory with his three Laws of Sustainability: the law of limits to growth, the second law of thermodynamics, which exposes the dangers of increased energy consumption, and the law of self-organization, which results in the marvelous diversity of such highly evolved systems as the human body and complex ecosystems. These laws, scientifically proven to sustain life in its myriad forms, have been cast aside since the eighteenth century, first by western economists, political pragmatists, and governments attracted by the idea of unlimited growth, and more recently by a global economy dominated by large corporations, in which consolidation and oversimplification create large-scale inefficiencies in material and energy usage. Wessels makes scientific theory readily accessible by offering examples of how the Laws of Sustainability function in the complex systems we can observe in the natural world around us. He shows how systems such as forests can be templates for developing sustainable economic practices that will allow true progress. Demonstrating that all environmental problems have their source in the Myth of Progress's disregard for the Laws of Sustainability, he concludes with an impassioned argument for cultural change.

About the Author:

TOM WESSELS is a professor of ecology and the founding director of the Master's degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch New England Graduate School. His books include Untamed Vermont (Thistle Hill Publications, distributed by UPNE, 2003), The Granite Landscape: A Natural History of America's Mountain Domes from Acadia to Yosemite (2001), and Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England (1997).

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