File Size: 1141 KB
Print Length: 337 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (September 1, 2015)
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
A good follow up to Naomi Klein's Capitalism vs the Climate., a must read -- intelligent and really well written - puts things collectively in a really useful way., If you really want to understand Climate Change and what business lead up to it, you need to read and understand the history right behind the different movements that led to our current situation!, After Nature by Duke law professor Jedediah Purdy is an extremely scholarly, mental account of the impact and behavior of humans on the natural world. Professor Purdy states that we have become in the “Anthropocene” (age of humans) epoch because nature no longer exists apart from humanity. Humans form nature now more than ever thus they have to take responsibility for the environment. The book is an intellectual history of how Americans have shaped their landscape and ideas and practices around the world. Professor Purdy refers to this “a political historical past of American ideas involving environmental imagination. ” He states that there are four variations of this imagination:
just one. Providential vision—nature has a purpose—to serve humanity.
2. Romantic vision—aesthetic and spiritual.
3. Utilitarian vision—nature is a storehouse of resources.
4. Ecological vision—the world is formed of complex and interconnected systems.
All four of these visions co-exist now and much of the guide is dedicated to a concern of them. Professor Purdy also sees a three-fold crisis involving ecology, economics and politics. He states that markets produce increasing inequality and are blind to negative consequences, thus the only way to build a sustainable dwelling space is through politics. He goes on to describe the contributions of various people to this matter, including John Locke, Alex de Tocqueville, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and many more. Now, he states there exists a new appreciation of culture as organic and natural and free-range means of growing food challenge industrial farming.
Typically the final area of the book is devoted to the main topics climate change. The basic idea, he says, is that we have a typical of success that we try to meet, for example to keep greenhouse gasses below 350 parts per mil of carbon. But these standards are unrealistic and we must find a new approach. He proposes that democracy must be at the center of the Anthropocene epoch. Democracies need to practice self-restraint as we cannot depend upon technology alone to solve this crisis. In the conclusion people will change when they find two things: something to be afraid and something to love.
I would like to rate this book at 3. 5 stars but have to choose. There are some very good ideas and useful information here and it is well investigated and written as benefits a university professor, but the book is too academic and the idea that democracy is the best system for solving critical problems such as global heating is simply not right. Democracies often pander to the lowest common denominator and elect people who advocate simple solutions. A good authoritarian leader with a genuine commitment to solving these problems could be more effective. Finally lay viewers may get bored with the formal, largely academic writing style., A thoughtful, impactful read. Have recommended it to friends!
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