Supply-Side Sustainability

Kobo ebook | June 19, 2012

byTimothy F. H. Allen, Joseph A. Tainter, Thomas W. Hoekstra

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While environmentalists insist that lower rates of consumption of natural resources are essential for a sustainable future, many economists dismiss the notion that resource limits act to constrain modern, creative societies. The conflict between these views tinges political debate at all levels and hinders our ability to plan for the future.

Supply-Side Sustainability offers a fresh approach to this dilemma by integrating ecological and social science approaches in an interdisciplinary treatment of sustainability. Written by two ecologists and an anthropologist, this book discusses organisms, landscapes, populations, communities, biomes, the biosphere, ecosystems and energy flows, as well as patterns of sustainability and collapse in human societies, from hunter-gatherer groups to empires to today's industrial world. These diverse topics are integrated within a new framework that translates the authors' advances in hierarchy and complexity theory into a form useful to professionals in science, government, and business.

The result is a much-needed blueprint for a cost-effective management regime, one that makes problem-solving efforts themselves sustainable over time. The authors demonstrate that long-term, cost-effective resource management can be achieved by managing the contexts of productive systems, rather than by managing the commodities that natural systems produce.

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While environmentalists insist that lower rates of consumption of natural resources are essential for a sustainable future, many economists dismiss the notion that resource limits act to constrain modern, creative societies. The conflict between these views tinges political debate at all levels and hinders our ability to plan for the f...

Timothy F. H. Allen is a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Joseph Tainter is a project leader at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in the USDA Forest Service in Albuquerque. Thomas W. Hoekstra is director of the Inventory and Monitoring Institute of the National Resources Research Center of the USDA Forest...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 19, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231504071

ISBN - 13:9780231504072

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Table of Contents

Preface
Complexity, Problem Solving, and Social Sustainability
The Nature of the Problem
A Hierarchical Approach to Ecological Sustainability
Complexity and Social Sustainability: Framework
Complexity and Social Sustainability: Experience
The Criteria for Observation and Modeling
Biomes and the Biosphere
Ecosystems, Energy Flows, Evolution, and Emergence
Retrospect and Prospects

Editorial Reviews

[A] thoughtful book that reviews historical topics associated with sustainability, presents model cases of sustainable or nonsustainable future,s outlines important principles associated with ecological management of material systems, and the theoretical approaches to manage them. It will appeal to a broad audience seeking solutions to these daunting problems.