VIII. Pedia Sapiens: A New Genesis Future
6. A Viable Gaiasphere: Planetary Patriots and Matriots
Norton, Bryan. Sustainability: A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. The Georgia Institute of Technology environmental philosopher writes a large, careful work on achieving an informed, agreed, non-invasive governance and facilitation of healthy human-earth viabilities. Much said about values – ethical, community, future generations – but the discussions proceed without guidance from an encompassing natural creation.
Orr, David. The Nature of Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. A professor of Environmental Design at Oberlin College offers insights into a more humane, ecologically sane world aligned with a self-sustaining natural wisdom and how this approach can influence architecture and education. Orr often writes for the journal Conservation Biology.
Oxford, Rebecca and Jing Lin, eds.
Transformative Eco-Education for Human and Planetary Survival.
Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing,
University of Alabama and University of Maryland educators gather a copious, richly expansive array of wisdom and practice in this edited volume. Six main sections are: I. Natural Disasters and Emergencies and Sustainability Education; II. Practical, Classroom-Based, Curriculum Approaches; III. Integrating Sustainability into College Teaching and Teacher Education; IV. Creative Programs and Sustainability Education in Higher Education and Community; V. Indigenous Perspectives on Eco-Education; and VI. Toward a Spiritual, Healing, and Interconnected Future.
Transformative eco-education is environmental education that is literally needed to transform and save our planet, especially during the global ecological crises of our present century. Such education demands inner transformation of many deeply rooted ideas, such as the following: the Earth exists merely to provide for human comfort; the extinction or reduction of other species does not matter; we are free to consume or destroy natural resources at will but are safe from destruction ourselves; and the Earth will continue to sustain us, even if we do not sustain the Earth. (Publisher)
Pimentel, David, et al, eds. Ecological Integrity. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2000. An emphatic report of the Integrity Project, whose members include senior ecologists and philosophers such as William Rees and Laura Westra, on the critical state of Earth’s environment due an unmitigated human impact. They conclude that only a fundamental change in our individual and national patterns of destructive behavior will suffice.
Prescott, Susan and Alan Logan. Larger Than Life: Injecting Hope into the Planetary Health Paradigm. Challenges. 9/1, 2018. The coauthors are global activists whose vitas merit a record below. As the Abstract says, a relative physiosphere health and welfare is an initial imperative for any societal, environmental remediation and sustainability. While an apocalyptic despair seems to beset western and middle-east lands, spreading further afield, in the Australasia span, positive futurity of persons in community motivated toward a better world is alive and well. Indeed peoples deeply require some sense of an abiding purpose and worthy destiny if life and love is to proceed and prevail. The paper is part of a collection "The Emerging Concept of Planetary Health: Connecting People, Place, Purpose and Planet," search journal. See also the 2018 Oxford Handbook of Hope, edited by Matthew Galagher and Shane Lopez, and visit the InVIVO Global Initiative for Planetary Health website.
The term planetary health, popularized in the 1980s and 1990s and born out of necessity, was consistently used to underscore that human health is coupled to the health of natural systems within the Earth’s biosphere. The interrelated challenges of climate change, massive biodiversity losses, environmental degradation, grotesque socioeconomic inequalities, conflicts, and non-communicable diseases are, mildly stated, daunting. Despite ‘doomsday’ scenarios, there is plenty of room for hope and optimism in planetary health. All over planet Earth, humans are making efforts at the macro, meso and micro scales to promote the health of civilization. Viewing the Earth as a superorganism, with humans as the collective ‘nervous system’, may help with an understanding of the ways in which experience and emotions lead to behavioral responses that may, or may not be, in the best interest of planetary health. We argue that the success of planetary health solutions is predicated on a more sophisticated understanding of the psychology of prevention and intervention at all scales. (Abstract excerpts)
Pretty, Jules. Agricultural Sustainability: Concepts, Principles and Evidence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 363/1491 & 1492, 2008. An article from a double theme issue on a truly systemic, intentional, biodynamic, permaculture-based, green revolution.
Primavesi, Anne. Sacred Gaia: Holistic Theology and Earth System Science. London: Routledge, 2000. A theologian who focuses on ecological issues, Dr. Primavesi is a Fellow of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her innovative theme is to engage an autopoietic natural cosmos which innately makes itself. She applies this recursive initiative to both person and planet with the message we are responsible locally and globally for our own future fate.
Rammel, Christian, et al. Managing Complex Adaptive systems: A Co-Evolutionary Perspective on Natural Resource Management. Ecological Economics. 63/1, 2007. A collaboration from the Universities of Vienna, and Sussex, UK, proposes to extend the newly realized complex, dynamical ways (see also Graham Harris) by which ecosystems organize and scale themselves to the realm of participatory human nurturance.
Instead sustainable development is an open evolutionary process of improving the management of social-ecological systems, through better understanding and knowledge. Therefore, natural resource management systems need to be able to deal with different temporal, spatial and social scales, nested hierarchies, irreducible uncertainty, multidimensional interactions and emergent properties. (9) There is an increasing awareness in natural and social sciences that ecological, physical as well as socio-economic systems share the characteristics of CAS. Characterized by self-organization and co-evolutionary dynamics, they express large macroscopic patterns which emerge out of local, small-scale interactions. (10) Natural resource management systems as complex adaptive systems are characterized by their dynamic interdepencence across various scales and are driven by mutual interactions between institutional, ecological, technological and socio-economic domains. (12)
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013. In our calamitous age, amongst rancorous lamentations, the economic and social theorist, advisor, author (search) offers a rare visionary and practical way forward. Its five pillars are a shift to renewable energy (not back to coal), which can allow micro-power plants at each location similar to computers, appropriate energy storage, which is coordinated with Internet communications, and hybrid, electric, hydrogen car, truck, bus transports. As an engaging speaker and world traveler, these recommendations, since they make sense and there are few other workable plans, have been endorsed by the European Parliament, the Chinese government, among others. With my June 2017 Scientific American issue was included an insert about how tiny Luxembourg has fully adopted, as a matter of policy, third revolution principles as a continental hub of frontier sustainable and even space technology.
Rosnay, Joel, de. The Symbiotic Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. Noted elsewhere, in this regard the author suggests that a radical correction in terms of gender is needed if world civilization is to survive.
For millennia, human subsistence depended on the domestication of solar energy through agriculture. This stage in social evolution favored values of a symbiotic nature: complementarity, equilibrium, the frugal use of resources. The period of economic and industrial conquest of the last few centuries….favored ‘masculine’ values: competition, conquest, domination, and growth. The transition now embarked upon by humanity - the postindustrial or bioecological organization of an information and communications society - will require a return to ‘feminine’ values such as solidarity, complementarity, and balance, values similar to those that prevailed during the subsistence stage of humanity. (235)
Rowe, Stan. Earth Alive. Resurgence. March/April, 2003. The superorganic nature of our special planet ought to be the proper matrix of life. This British-based journal and its website has for twenty five years published some of the best practical and poetic essays on a humanely sustainable abide.
Awareness of Earth as the giver and maintainer of life, shifting the focus from organisms to the larger system that is their mutual source and support, might in time revivify and re-enchant a world that science for several hundred years has assumed to be dead.
Rozzi, Ricardo, et al, eds. Earth Stewardship: Linking Ecology and Ethics. Berlin: Springer, 2015. With several coeditors such as Baird Callicott and Mary Power, the edition cites the imperative need for a “worldwide moral revolution” if we are ever to environmentally sustain and survive. Along with conceptual theory and principles, local inputs such as Japanese indigenous biogeochemistry and Andean llamas are evoked. A real appreciation of such indigenous cultural and planetary aspects, far more vital than bottom lines, might anoint a holy planet instead of holy pollution and war.