Environmentalism for a New Millennium: The Challenge of Coevolution

Hardcover | March 1, 1999

byLeslie Paul Thiele

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The vast majority of people in the industrialized world consider themselves environmentalists. Yet environmental problems continue to worsen. While the environmental movement is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of citizens in the United States and across the globe, it may be losingthe war to preserve the health of the planet and its biological diversity. The reasons become clear in this book. Leslie Paul Thiele provides a much needed analysis of the driving forces within the environmental movement and the key challenges that it faces. He begins with a concise history of the movement in the United States, where he identifies four successive waves of environmental thought and action. Thefirst wave, conservation, emerged in the mid 1800s and focused on the responsible use of natural resources and the preservation of isolated tracts of wilderness. By the 1960s, the general public had become aware of the widespread impact of environmental problems on human health and welfare. Aconcern for the containment of industrial society's environmental degradation emerged. This second wave was followed by a period of co optation beginning in the 1980s, as a now popular social movement made a significant impact on public policy and witnessed the dilution of its goals. Thiele largely focuses on the fourth and current wave of coevolution. Coevolutionary thought and action is grounded in the interdependence of humans and nature in a global context. With the goal of sustainable development in mind, contemporary environmentalists argue that human livelihoods must beintegrated into complex and evolving ecological systems. This affirmation of coevolutionary interdependence has brought coherence to an inherently diverse social movement. Through extensive interviews and a critical study of environmental publications and scholarly research, the author provides an inside look at the environmental movement. His analysis illuminates the social, economic, political and cultural forces that shape the environmental movement today and setits trajectory for the 21st century. Anyone interested the future of environmentalism will find this book an invaluable guide.

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The vast majority of people in the industrialized world consider themselves environmentalists. Yet environmental problems continue to worsen. While the environmental movement is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of citizens in the United States and across the globe, it may be losingthe war to preserve the health of the planet...

Leslie Paul Thiele is Professor of Political Science at the University of Fliorida.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.3 inPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195124103

ISBN - 13:9780195124101

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Table of Contents

1. From Conservation to Coevolution2. The Challenge of Coevolution3. The Quest for Environmental Sustainability4. The Quest for Environmental Justice5. The Quest for Environmental Integrity6. Environmentalism for a New Millennium

Editorial Reviews

"Evolution by natural selection stands at the center of many key moral and political debates. Leslie Paul Thiele's singular contribution to contemporary political debate is an overview of environmental politics that places evolution at the center not merely of environmental politics but of aprogressive democratic agenda. Thiele's understanding of coevolution and the ethic it encourages could paradoxically open up a fruitful dialogue not only among environmentalists but with a range of political forces that often consider themselves the archenemies of the environmental movement. ... Itis to Thiele's great credit that his coevolutionary framework invites such forms of continuing conversation. I suspect that an environmental movement informed by his perspective would bring more of our citizens into a conversation about and the practice of sustainable economics."--PoliticalTheory