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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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VIII. Pedia Sapiens: A New Genesis Future

6. A Viable Gaiasphere: Planetary Patriots and Matriots

Chown, Steven and Kevin Gaston. Macrophysiology for a Changing World. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 275/1469, 2008. “Environmental physiologists” contend that such a perspective can vitally appreciate the systematic changes in the litany of climate, biodiversity, habitat loss, invasive species, overexploitation, pollution, et alia, so as to coordinate appropriate responses. With regard to efforts to counter “global warming,” an inadequate term, a familiar concept for folks would be to realize that the biosphere is actually trying to set (or reset) a homeostatic temperature, akin to 98.60 F, for its latest phase of phenomenal humankind.

Cleveland, Cutler, et al, eds. The Economics of Nature and the Nature of Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2001. Advances in the theory, concepts and practical application of ecological economics and sustainable development.

Cockell, Charles. Space on Earth: Saving Our World by Seeking Others. London: Macmillan, 2007. The Open University geomicrobiologist argues for a common viability of biosphere and spacesphere. A grand scientific and technological project can at once promote alternative energy sources and reveal life’s fecund ubiquity across celestial reaches. A typical chapter is Greening the Universe.

But the space-faring environmental ethic provides a completely new reason for ecosystem preservation and conservation – an understanding that ecosystems have universal value as unique interstellar examples of life and evolution. (123)

Cocks, Doug. Deep Futures. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003. An Australian ecologist explores avenues to a more sustainable and humane abide in the near and far future. A novel approach to do this is to appreciate societies as complex self-organizing systems set within an evolutionary emergence. As humankind might then be perceived to form a global brain, its activity of perpetual education ought to be fostered for the good of everyone.

The chapter (Learning Forever) is a search for guidelines for making world society into more of a learning society that it is now, a learning society being one in which high priority is given to the social learning task, that is to building up of a sufficient body of collective knowledge (useful information) to ensure quality survival. For example, more knowledge of how the world and universe work, with a degree of emphasis on human behavioral and mental processes, is particularly important. (xvi) Society is then a complex adaptive system in which many participants are interacting and modifying their own behavior in response to others, that is, co-evolving. (180)

Corcoran, Peter, editor-in-chief. Toward a Sustainable World: The Earth Charter in Action. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2005. After Prefaces by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, and a Foreword by Wangari Maathai, the comprehensive volume documents the laudable mission of the Earth Charter Initiative to accomplish a vital transition to local and global sustainability. Among its authors are Mary Evelyn Tucker (Living Cosmology), Leonardo Boff (Community of Life), Jane Goodall (Our World’s Youth), Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez and Mateo A. Castillo Ceja (Just, Participatory, Peaceful Societies), and so on. The book in its entirety can be accessed at this website: www.earthcharter.org.

Crist, Eileen and H. Bruce Rinker, eds. Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010. Reviewed more in A Living Planet, a section of some 8 chapters such as “Sustainability and an Earth Operating System” by Tim Foresman explore in depth a biological remediation of our rapacious growth culture.

Crossette, Barbara. Women Seek Louder Voice as World Peacemakers. New York Times. May 28, 2000. To note just one valiant effort. As a conflagration of male violence fueled by assault rifles takes over the continent of Africa, women are trying to apply their network and nurture skills to peacemaking. In Somalia for example, a “demobilization” campaign gives young men food, shelter and an education in exchange for guns, “which is really what they want.”

Dale, Ann. At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2001. A better future can be achieved by reconciling three intertwined aspects – ecological, social and economic. A good glossary is included.

Daly, Herman and Joshua Farley. Ecological Economics. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2011. Senior University of Maryland and University of Vermont social scholars here offer, in so many words, that humanity’s carrying capacity upon this finite orb has been reached and breached. Akin to an organism at adulthood, it is past time to shift to a mature sustainable life style. Part One lays out The Fundamental Vision, a paradigm shift to an economical commerce aware of and set within bioregional ecosystems. Part Two engages The Nature of Resources and the Resources of Nature, both Abiotic and Biotic, in an appropriate thermodynamic context. These thorough grounds lead to Microeconomic depths and Macroeconomic breadth from human scale habitations and trade to suitable international policies.

Deb, Debal. Beyond Developmentality: Constructing Inclusive Freedom and Sustainability. London: Earthscan, 2009. From the director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Barrackpore, India, a non-western evocation and course toward a social and ecological sanity. Of especial note is a Preface by Berkeley resource environmentalist Richard Norgaard who decries a need for just such “a new life story” from our rapacious consumption to a viable organic nurturance.

Dijkema, Gerard, et al. Complexity in Industrial Ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 19/2, 2015. An introduction to an issue on Advances in Complex Adaptive Systems CAS which notes that nonlinear science, with a natural affinity to sustainability studies, has now attained a mature theoretical and practical applicability. In regard, has resurfaced and matured to an apt utility, while agent based modeling ABM has eased in interest. After nonequilbrium thermodynamics and agent-based modeling, the prime trend has been the recognition and avail of network phenomena which best characterize social, urban, technological, and informational “symbiotic metabolisms.” If human beings with respectful intention are to take over the organic maintenance of a precious biosphere and personsphere, it is vital to understand and apply evolutionary nature’s own wisdom and ways.

For sample articles, see A General Systems Structure and Accounting Framework for Socioeconomic Metabolism by Stefan Pauliuk, et al, Industrial Ecology: The View from Complex Systems by Luis Bettencourt and Christa Breisford, Why Do Cities Grow: Insights from Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics at the Urban and Global Scales by David Bristow and Christopher Kennedy, and IE = Industrial Evolution? by Igor Nikolic. The last three papers are reviewed separately in this Viable Gaia section.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology is an international, multi-disciplinary bimonthly designed to foster both understanding and practice in the emerging field of industrial ecology. Industrial ecology is a rapidly-growing field that systematically examines local, regional and global materials and energy uses and flows in products, processes, industrial sectors and economies. It focuses on the potential role of industry in reducing environmental burdens throughout the product life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, to the production of goods, to the use of those goods and to the management of the resulting wastes. The journal is published by Wiley Blackwell for Yale University on behalf of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. It is the official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.

Doll, William, et al, eds. Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum, and Culture. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. A unique work aimed at a redefinition and enhancement of education inspired by complex systems science. The core institution for the authors is Louisiana State University. But as expressed in an Introduction by Jayne Fleener, this new approach affirms postmodern views of an inherently fluid, relative, and ultimately unpredictable nature. Even with insights into nonlinear self-organization and emergence, with an emphasis on fractal self-similarity, universal commonalities are excluded. Notable papers are Chinese Aesthetics, Fractals, and the Tao of Curriculum by Hongyu Wang, and Interrupting Frameworks by Brent Davis.

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