Who Rules the Earth?: How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our Lives by Paul F. SteinbergWho Rules the Earth?: How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our Lives by Paul F. Steinberg

Who Rules the Earth?: How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our Lives

byPaul F. Steinberg

Hardcover | February 26, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 178 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Worldwide, half a million people die from air pollution each year - more than perish in all wars combined. One in every five mammal species on the planet is threatened with extinction. Our climate is warming, our forests are in decline, and every day we hear news of the latest ecologicalcrisis. What will it really take to move society onto a more sustainable path? Many of us are already doing the "little things" to help the earth, like recycling or buying organic produce. These are important steps - but they're not enough. In Who Rules the Earth?, Paul Steinberg, a leading scholar of environmental politics, shows that the shift toward a sustainable world requires modifying the very rules that guide human behavior and shape the ways we interact with the earth. We know these rules by familiar names like city codes,product design standards, business contracts, public policies, cultural norms, and national constitutions. Though these rules are largely invisible, their impact across the planet has been dramatic. By changing the rules, Ontario, Canada has cut the levels of pesticides in its waterways in half. Thecity of Copenhagen has adopted new planning codes that will reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2025. In the United States, a handful of industry mavericks designed new rules to promote greener buildings, and transformed the world's largest industry into a more sustainable enterprise.Steinberg takes the reader on a series of journeys, from a familiar walk on the beach to a remote village deep in the jungles of Peru, helping the reader to "see" the social rules that pattern our physical reality and showing why these are the big levers that will ultimately determine the health ofour planet. By unveiling the influence of social rules at all levels of society - from private property to government policy, and from the rules governing our oceans to the dynamics of innovation and change within corporations and communities - Who Rules the Earth? is essential reading for anyonewho understands that sustainability is not just a personal choice, but a political struggle.
Paul F. Steinberg is the Malcolm Lewis Professor of Sustainability and Society and Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College. He is the author of Comparative Environmental Politics and Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries, which won the International Studies Association's Harold and Marg...
Title:Who Rules the Earth?: How Social Rules Shape Our Planet and Our LivesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 26, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199896615

ISBN - 13:9780199896615

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

I. Searching for Solutions1. Recycling Is Not Enough2. Strings Attached3. Feasible WorldsII. Who Owns the Earth?4. A Perilous Journey5. The Big Trade6. A Planet of NationsIII. Transformations7. Scaling Up8. Scaling Down9. Keep the ChangeIV. Leverage10. Super Rules11. Paper, Plastic, or Politics?

Editorial Reviews

"I was genuinely moved by this book. Steinberg goes where few scholars have dared, taking an incredibly rich research literature on global environmental governance and distilling practical insights that, instead of just making us feel good about ourselves, might actually help us solve ourtoughest environmental problems. I am going to make this required reading not only for my students, but also my children." --Ben Cashore, Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies