Understanding Sustainability

Sustainability References



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Reference Search Results You searched for Cllps

Abel, Nick, David Cumming, and John M. Anderies. 2006. "Collapse and Reorganization in Social-Ecological Systems: Questions, some Ideas, and Policy Implications." Ecology and Society 11(1):17.

Acemo─člu, Daron and James Robinson. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. Random House, New York. [review] [news article] [author video] [slide presentation (PDF)

Ahamed, Liaquat. 2009. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World. Penguin Press, New York.

Ahmed, Nafeez Mossadeq. 2010c. The Crisis of Civilization: A Documentary about Global Crises. [related companion book: A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It. Pluto Press, London.] (Dean Puckett Producer) 

Andersen, Ross. 2012. "We're Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction." The Atlantic 6 March. 

Ashcroft, Ross (Director/Writer). 2012. The Four Horsemen Documentary. (With Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, John Perkins, and Herman Daly). 

  • "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." – Frédéric Bastiat, 1845 (17:01-17:11)
  • "When the taxpayer is footing the bill for the misplaced speculation of bankers, then suddenly instead of the economy serving the human being, the human being is now in perpetual service to amoral financial organizations." (32:09-32:23)

Ashcroft, Ross and Mark Braund. 2012. Four Horsemen: A Survival Manuel. Understand how the World Really Works. Motherlode, London. (With Joseph Stiglitz, Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Wilkerson, Simon Johnson, John Perkins, Max Keiser, Herman Daly, Michael Hudson, Gillian Tett, Ha-Joon Chang, Richard Wilkinson and David Morgan.) [PDF] [related documentary movie]

  • “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frédéric Bastiat, 1845 (p. 67)

Barnosky, Anthony D., Elizabeth A. Hadly, Jordi Bascompte, Eric L. Berlow, James H. Brown, Mikael Fortelius, Wayne M. Getz, John Harte, Alan Hastings, Pablo A. Marquet, Neo D. Martinez, Arne Mooers, Peter Roopnarine, Geerat Vermeij, John W. Williams, Rosemary Gillespie, Justin Kitzes, Charles Marshall, Nicholas Matzke, David P. Mindell, Eloy Revilla, and Adam B. Smith. 2012. "Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere." Nature 486:52-58. [PDF]

Barrett, Brendan. 2009. "Energy descent from peak oil: Collapse or evolution?" OurWorld 2.0 13 November. 

Beach, Tim, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Duncan Cook, Nicholas Dunning, Douglas J. Kennett, Samantha Krause, Richard Terry, Debora Trein, and Fred Valdez. 2015. "Ancient Maya impacts on the Earth's surface: An Early Anthropocene analog?" Quaternary Science Reviews 124(15 September). [news story]

Beddoe, Rachael, Robert Costanza, Joshua Farley, Eric Garza, Jennifer Kent, Ida Kubiszewski, Luz Martinez, Tracy McCowen, Kathleen Murphy, Norman Myers, Zach Ogden, Kevin Stapleton, and John Woodward. 2009. "Overcoming Systemic Roadblocks to Sustainability: The Evolutionary Redesign of Worldviews, Institutions, and Technologies." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(8):2483-2489.

  • "Many governments worldwide have long-standing policies that promote growth in market goods at the expense of non-market public goods generated by healthy ecosystems. These include (i) over $2 trillion in annual subsidies for market activities and externalities that degrade the environment (i.e., perverse subsidies) (Myers and Kent 2001); (ii) reduced protection or privatization of the commons (Barnes 2006); and (iii) inadequate regulations and inadequate enforcement of existing regulations against environmental externalities (Brown 2007)." (p. 2486)
  • "Economies have weathered innumerable financial crises. However, the current financial crisis pales in comparison to the biophysical crisis. Yet these more critical crises are pushed off the front page by the financial crisis and the dominant worldview of continued economic growth and consumption. Not only do our current institutions and instruments fail to address the real crisis, they accomplish mutually reinforcing goals that move us in the wrong direction. No attention is given to the relationship between the biophysical crises and the market economy, although continuous economic growth in the wealthy countries is actually a major cause of the biophysical crises." (interpreted from Daly 2007, p. 2486)

Bomey, Nathan and John Gallagher 2013. "How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you - and don't blame Coleman Young." The Detroit Free Press 15 September.

Brander, James A. and M. Scott Taylor. 1998. "The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use." American Economic Review 88:119-138. [PDF]

Brown, Clifford T. and Walter R.T. Witschey. 2003. "The Fractal Geometry of Ancient Maya Settlement."  Journal of Archaeological Science 30(12):1619-1632. [PDF] [related news article] [related article by authors (PDF)]

Brown, Lester R. 2009b. Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. Norton, New York. [previously published as Plan B in 2003, Plan B 2.0 in 2006, and Plan B 3.0 in 2008] [author interview] [related video]

Brown, Lester R. 2011b. World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. Norton, New York. [PDF] [related video]

Brunk, Gregory G. 2002. "Why do Societies Collapse? A Theory Based on Self-organized Criticality." Journal of Theoretical Politics 14:195-230. [abstract]

Butzer, Karl W. and Georgina H. Endfield. 2012. "Critical Perspectives on Historical Collapse." (Special feature introduction.) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(10):3628-3631. [PDF] [Special feature table of contents]

Cairns, John, Jr. 1998b. "Malthus Revisited: Sustainability and the Denial of Limits." The Social Contract 8(3):157-167. [PDF]

Carpenter, Stephen R. and L.H. Gunderson. 2001. "Coping with Collapse: Ecological and Social Dynamics in Ecosystem Management." BioScience 51(6):451-457. [PDF]

Catton, William R., Jr. 1980. Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. University of Illinois Press, Champagne/Urbana. [excerpt: "Industrialization: Prelude to Collapse"] [review]

Cavoukian, Raffi. 2011. "The Right to a Future: Urgent Need for a New Lens and Lexicon for Conveying Climate Collapse." Truthout 28 January. [related TED talk]

Clement, Charles R. 2010. "Between a Pristine Myth and an Impoverished Future." Biotropica 42(5):534-536. 

Commoner, Barry. 1971. The Closing Circle: Man, Nature, and Technology. Knopf, New York.

Early references to "sustainability":

  • "As the links between one living thing and another, and between all of them and their surroundings, begin to break down, the dynamic interactions that sustain the whole have begun to falter and, in some places, stop."
  • "...the testimony to our power to tear the ecological fabric that has, for millions of years, sustained the planet's life."
  • "Suddenly we have discovered what we should have known long before: that the ecosphere sustains people and everything that they do; that anything that fails to fit into the ecosphere is a threat to its finely balanced cycles; that wastes are not only unpleasant, not only toxic, but, more meaningfully, evidence that the ecosphere is being driven towards collapse."
  • "If we are to survive, we must understand why this collapse now threatens. Here the issues become far more complex than even the ecosphere. Our assaults on the ecosystem are so powerful, so numerous, so finely interconnected, that although the damage they do is clear, it is very difficult to discover how it was done. By which weapon? In whose hand? Are we driving the ecosphere to destruction simply by our growing numbers? By our greedy accumulation of wealth? Or are the machines which we have built to gain this wealth—the magnificent technology that now feeds us out of neat packages, that clothes us in man-made fibers, that surround us with new chemical creations—at fault?"

Costanza, Robert, Lisa J. Graumlich, and Will Steffen (eds.). 2007. Sustainability or Collapse? An Integrated History and Future of People on Earth. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Cambridge.

Crépin, Anne-Sophie and Carl Folke. 2015. "The Economy, the Biosphere and Planetary Boundaries: Towards Biosphere Economics." International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics 8(1):57-100.

Day, John W., Matthew Moerschbaecher, David Pimentel, Charles Hall, and Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia. 2014. "Sustainability and place: How emerging mega-trends of the 21st century will affect humans and nature at the landscape level." Ecological Engineering 65: 33-48. [PDF

Demarest, Arthur A. 2004. Ancient Maya. The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 

Diamond, Jared M. 1999. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Norton, New York. [review 1, review 2, review 3]

Diamond, Jared M. 2005. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive. Viking Press, New York. [excerpts from EcoBooks] [review by Joseph Stiglitz (in doc format)] [review by William Rees in Nature] [review by Jonathon Porritt in The Guardian] [review by David Leary, Macquarie University (in PDF)] [review by Michael Kavanagh in Grist] [review by Scott Page (PDF)] [review by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker] [Diamond on TED Talks]

Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich. 2004. One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future. Island Press, Washington, D.C. [video lecture by P. Ehrlich] [review by Herman Daly in BioScience (PDF)]

  • "Nothing less is needed than a rapid ethical evolution toward readjusting our relationship with nature so that the preservation of biodiversity becomes akin to a religious duty." (p. 270)

Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne Ehrlich. 2013. "Can a Collapse of Global Civilization Be Avoided?" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 280:Online 9 January. [PDF] [related talk by P. Ehrlich]

Forrest, Brett. 2010. "The Battle of Rio: With the 2016 Olympics looming, the city’s embattled police invade the favelas." The Atlantic December.

Gill, Richardson B. 2000. The Great Maya Droughts: Water, Life, and Death. University of New Mexico Press, Las Cruces.

Giroux, Henry A. 2012. Education and the crisis of public values. Peter Lang, New York. [abstract] [related video]

Goodell, Jeff. 2007. "The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock." Rolling Stone 1 November.

Gotts, Nicholas M. 2007. "Resilience, Panarchy, and World-Systems Analysis." Ecology and Society 12(1):24. 

Greenspan, Alan. 2010. The Crisis. Report April 15, Greenspan Associates LLC, New York. [PDF]

Hammond, Sean T., James H. Brown, Joseph R. Burger, Michael R. Chang, Tatiana P. Flanagan, Trevor S. Fristoe, Astrid Kodric-Brown, and Jordan G. Okie. 2013. "Bankrupting nature for the (temporary) wealth of nations." Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28(10):576-577.

Hansen, James E. 2009Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. Bloomsbury, New York. [review]

Hedges, Chris. 2015. "The Great Unraveling." Truth Dig 30 August.

Hedges, Chris. 2015. Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. Nation Books, New York. [podcast on OnPoint] [related video lectures by author: one, part 1, one, part 2, two, three] [related paper by author]

Heinberg, Richard. 2006. The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia.

Heinberg, Richard. 2007. "Five Axioms of Sustainability." MuseLetter #178. [related video]

Hodell, D.A., J.H. Curtis, and M. Brenner. 1995. "Possible Role of Climate in the Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization." Nature 375:391-394.

Holling, Crawford S. 1986. "The Resilience of Terrestrial Ecosystems: Local Surprise and Global Change." Pages 292-317 in W.C. Clark and R.E. Munn (eds.), Sustainable Development of the Biosphere, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. [PDF]

Holtham, Gerald. 2009. "Global Dimensions of the Financial Crisis." Institute for Public Policy Research, London. [related video]

Homer-Dixon, Thomas F. 1991. "On the Threshold: Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict." International Security 16(2):76-116. [PDF] [related popular article by Robert Kaplan]

Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., Jeffrey H. Boutwell, and George W. Rathjens. 1993. "Environmental Change and Violent Conflict." Scientific American 268(2):38-45. [abstract]

Homer-Dixon, Thomas, Brian Walker, Reinette Biggs, Anne-Sophie Crépin, Carl Folke, Eric F. Lambin, Garry D. Peterson, Johan Rockström, Marten Scheffer, Will Steffen, and Max Troell. 2015. "Synchronous failure: the emerging causal architecture of global crisis." Ecology and Society 20(3):6.

"We argue that compared to past crises, future crises will increasingly arise from the conjunction of three underlying, long-term, and causally linked global trends. The first is the dramatic increase in the scale of human economic activity in relation to Earth’s natural resources and systems. Human-induced changes in natural systems now often rival or exceed changes arising from nonhuman processes (Steffen et al. 2007). The second trend is the rapidly rising density, capacity, and transmission speed of the connections carrying material, energy, and information among the components of human technological, economic, and social systems (Helbing 2013). This increased connectivity reduces the isolation of these systems’ components from each other and thereby increases the functional size of the overall systems of which they are a part. The third trend is the increasing homogeneity, or declining diversity, of human cultures, institutions, practices, and technologies (Boli and Thomas 1997, Meyer 2000, Young et al. 2006), including technologies that exploit ecosystem services, such as agriculture and aquaculture. Although market competition in the global economy can promote diversity, positive network externalities, winner-take-all dynamics, and efforts by firms to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale across enormous markets encourage process homogeneity and a concomitant pruning of redundancy and system slack (Levitt 1983, Arthur 1994, Frank and Cook 1996).

The second and third of these trends are reciprocally related, that is, they are both causes and consequences of each other, although not exclusively so. Greater connectivity facilitates homogenization, while homogenization encourages greater connectivity.

The three global trends contribute both separately and in combination to conditions favoring synchronous failure in three major ways. First, they generate multiple simultaneous stresses affecting human societies. These stresses build their force slowly yet are potentially very powerful over time. For instance, the first of the three above trends, the sharply rising scale of human economic activity in relation to natural resources and systems, is causing greater scarcity of some critical resources such as conventional oil (Sorrell et al. 2012, IEA 2013, Höök et al. 2014), where this scarcity is gauged by the amount of energy needed to extract and process an additional increment of final output (Davidson et al. 2014). It is also contributing to higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are boosting the incidence of extreme climate events such as heat waves (Hansen et al. 2012, IPCC 2012). Additionally, it is producing severe disruption of many natural systems that are vital to human well-being, including the majority of Earth’s fisheries and large tracts of its grasslands and forests. For some of these systems, such as coral reefs, disruption is approaching or even exceeding the systems’ homeostatic capacity to maintain their integrity and identity (Bellwood et al. 2004, Hughes et al. 2010)."

Homer-Dixon, Thomas. 1995b. "The Ingenuity Gap: Can Poor Countries Adapt to Resource Scarcity?" Population and Development Review 21(3):1-26. [PDF]

Homer-Dixon, Thomas. 2006. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization. Island Press, Washington, D.C. [review 1 by Jennifer Rohleder(PDF)] [review 2]

Jackson, Tim. "Societal transformations for a sustainable economy." Natural Resources Forum. Vol. 35. No. 3. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2011. [PDF] [related article (PDF)] [related video]

  • Abstract. "This paper explores some social aspects of the transition to a sustainable economy. Starting from basic premises of ecological limits and social justice, the author examines the complex relationship between income and human well-being and argues that the rich world has a responsibility to 'make room for growth' where it matters most in terms of improved well-being; that is, in the poorest nations. The paper argues that this cannot be achieved simply through efficiency improvements or material 'decoupling'. A simple scenario analysis is used to illustrate the heroic nature of the assumptions that decoupling can achieve global carbon targets. Even if such assumptions are technically justifiable, economic incentives and social logic conspire against technological improvements of this magnitude. Instead, there is a need for profound transformation of the economic system itself, for which the rich nations must take a primary responsibility. This transformation has implications for incentive structures, ownership patterns, investment portfolios, the organisation of financial markets, and the structure of economic activities and for expectations of economic growth. It also demands a new economics, informed by a broader — and more realistic — vision of human nature." (p. 155)

Jamail, Dahr. 2015. "The New Climate "Normal": Abrupt Sea Level Rise and Predictions of Civilization Collapse." Truthout 3 August. 

Janssen, Marco A, T.A. Kohler, and Marten Scheffer. 2003. "Sunk-cost Effects and Vulnerability to Collapse in Ancient Societies." Current Anthropology 44(5):722-728.

Janssen, Marco A. and Marten Scheffer. 2004. "Overexploitation of Renewable Resources by Ancient Societies and the Role of Sunk-cost Effects." Ecology and Society 9(1):6.

Jensen, Robert. 2010. "In the Face of this Truth. It’s time to talk honestly about collapse–no matter how others may respond." Yes Magazine 17 September.

Kaplan, Robert D. 1994. "The Coming Anarchy: How Scarcity, Crime, Overpopulation, Tribalism, and Disease Are Rapidly Destroying the Social Fabric of Our Planet." The Atlantic Monthly 273(2):44-76. [related academic article by Thomas Homer-Dixon (PDF)]

  • "Much of the Arab world, however, will undergo alteration, as Islam spreads across artificial frontiers, fueled by mass migrations into the cities and a soaring birth rate of more than 3.2 percent. Seventy percent of the Arab population has been born since 1970—youths with little historical memory of anticolonial independence struggles, postcolonial attempts at nation-building, or any of the Arab-Israeli wars. The most distant recollection of these youths will be the West’s humiliation of colonially invented Iraq in 1991. Today seventeen out of twenty-two Arab states have a declining gross national product; in the next twenty years, at current growth rates, the population of many Arab countries will double. These states, like most African ones, will be ungovernable through conventional secular ideologies. The Middle East analyst Christine M. Helms explains, 'Declaring Arab nationalism 'bankrupt,' the political 'disinherited' are not rationalizing the failure of Arabism . . . or reformulating it. Alternative solutions are not contemplated. They have simply opted for the political paradigm at the other end of the political spectrum with which they are familiar—Islam.'
  • Like the borders of West Africa, the colonial borders of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and other Arab states are often contrary to cultural and political reality. As state control mechanisms wither in the face of environmental and demographic stress, 'hard' Islamic city-states or shantytown-states are likely to emerge. The fiction that the impoverished city of Algiers, on the Mediterranean, controls Tamanrasset, deep in the Algerian Sahara, cannot obtain forever. Whatever the outcome of the peace process, Israel is destined to be a Jewish ethnic fortress amid a vast and volatile realm of Islam. In that realm, the violent youth culture of the Gaza shantytowns may be indicative of the coming era."

Kaplan, Robert D. 2009. "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate." Foreign Policy May/June:96,98-105. [PDF]

Kennett, Douglas J., Sebastian F.M. Breitenbach, Valorie V. Aquino, Yemane Asmerom, Jaime Awe, James U.L. Baldini, Patrick Bartlein, Brendan J. Culleton, Claire Ebert, Christopher Jazwa, Martha J. Macri, Norbert Marwan, Victor Polyak, Keith M. Prufer, Harriet E. Ridley, Harald Sodemann, Bruce Winterhalder, and Gerald H. Haug. 2012. "Development and Disintegration of Maya Political Systems in Response to Climate Change." Science 338(6108):788-791 [news story

Kinzer, Stephen. 2017. The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire. Henry Holt, New York. [Author interview with Chris Hedges

Kunstler, James Howard. 2005. The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century. Atlantic Monthly Press, New York. [author interview in Grist] [related interview "Our Years of Magical Thinking" in Resilience] [related video from The Nation] [PDF]

Lawler, Andrew. 2010. "Collapse? What Collapse? Societal Change Revisited." Science 330(6006)907-909. [abstract]

Lee, James R. 2009. "A Brief History of Climate Change and Conflict." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 14 August.

Lovelock, James. 2006. The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back - and How We Can Still Save Humanity. Allen Lane, Santa Barbara. [related news story in Grist] [author interview in Rolling Stone]

Lovelock, James. 2009. The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning. Basic Books, New York. [related news story in Grist] [author interview in Rolling Stone]

Ludwig, Donald, Ray Hilborn, and Carl Walters. 1993. "Uncertainty, Resource Exploitation, and Conservation: Lessons from History." Science 260(2 April):17,36. [Reprinted in Ecological Applications 3(4):548-549.]  [PDF]

Malthus, Thomas Robert. 1798. An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society, 1st Edition, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers. J. Johnson, London.

Malthus, Thomas Robert. 1826. An Essay on the Principle of Population: A View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into Our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which It Occasions, 6th Edition. John Murray, London.

Martenson, Chris. 2011. The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 

McAnany, P.A. and N. Yoffee. 2009. Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire. Cambridge University Press, New York. 

McKibben, Bill. 2010. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Times Books, New York. [podcast interview from Scientific American]

Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, and Jorgen Randers. 1993. Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future. Chelsea Green, White River Junction, Vermont. [summary (DOC)] [review by Doug Porter]

Mitchell, Timothy. 2011. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. Verso Books, London. [review 1] [review 2] [review 3 (PDF)] [related paper by author: T. Mitchell. 2009. "Carbon Democracy." Economy and Society 38(3):399-432. (PDF)]

Moser, Susanne C. 2010. "Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions." Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 1.1: 31-53. [PDF] [related short video]

Motesharrei, Safa, Jorge Rivas, and Eugenia Kalnay. 2014. "Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies." Ecological Economics 101:90-102. [PDF] [news story]

Myers, Norman. 1993. "Environmental Refugees in a Globally Warmed World." BioScience 43(11):752-761.

Myers, Norman. 1996. Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Stability. Norton, New York.

O'Riordan, Timothy J. 2012. "On Social Sustainability in a World of Limits Facing Prolonged Austerity." Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 8(1). [PDF

  • "It is likely that prolonged suffering from human-induced hazards and dangerously increased inequality will lead to social strife, to profound physical and mental-health crises, to deepening violence and criminality, and to a whole 'lost generation'." (p. 2)

Ophuls, William. 2012. Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail. CreateSpace, North Charleston. 

Oreskes, Naomi and Erik M. Conway. 2013. "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future." Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 142(1):41-58. [PDF]

Orlov, Dmitry. 2008. Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia.

Orr, David W. 2009. Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse. Oxford University Press, Oxford. [author interview from Metro-Cleveland.com] [author interview video by Jim Manzi] [reviews in Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy with a rejoinder by Orr] [review by Kate Shepphard in Orion] [related essay by author]

Pappas, Eric. 2013. "Radical Premises in Sustainability Reform." The Journal of Sustainability Education 5 February.

Pauketat, Timothy R. 2009. Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi. Viking, New York. [review]

Peck, Don. 2010. "How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America." The Atlantic March.

Ponting, Clive. 1992. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. St. Martin's Press, New York. [excerpt on Easter Island] [related article by author] [synopsis (PDF)]

Potts, Malcolm, Courtney Henderson, and Martha Campbell. 2013. "The Sahel: A Malthusian Challenge?" Environmental and Resource Economics 55:501-512.

Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Simon and Schuster, New York. [author interview 1; interview 2]

Quinn, Daniel. 1999. Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure. Three Rivers Press, New York. [excerpts] [wiki summary] [review (PDF)]

Redman, Charles L. 1999. Human Impact on Ancient Environments. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. [review (PDF)]

Rees, William E. 2010b. "What’s Blocking Sustainability? Human Nature, Cognition, and Denial." Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 6(2):13-25. 

Reuveny, Rafael. 2012. "Taking Stock of Malthus: Modeling the Collapse of Historical Civilizations." Annual Review of Resource Economics 4:303-329. 

Rockström, Johan, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart Chapin, III, Eric F. Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen, and Jonathan A. Foley. 2009. "A Safe Operating Space for Humanity." Nature 461(24 September):472-475. [PDF] [related article in Scientific American] [related article in Ecology and Society] [news article] [related website] [Rockström video on Ted Talks]

Rockström, Johan, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart Chapin, III, Eric F. Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen, And Jonathan A. Foley. 2009b. "Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity." Ecology and Society 14(2):Article 32. [supplementary information] [related article in Scientific American] [related article in Nature] [related website] [Rockström video from Ted Talks

Roos, Jerome. 2012. "Since the Mexican debt crisis, 30 years of neoliberalism." RoarMag.org 22 August. 

Sachs, Jeffrey D. 2008. "Are Malthus's Predicted 1798 Food Shortages Coming True?" Scientific American 25 August.

Schwartz, Glenn M. and John J. Nichols (eds.). 2006. After Collapse: The Regeneration of Complex Societies. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Speth, James Gustave. 2005. Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, 2nd Edition. Yale University Press, New Haven. [author presentation] [Chapter 1: "A World of Wounds"] [review by Dave Haven and Diane Bates]

  • "No president since Carter has given prority to global-scale environmental challenges. The failure has been truly bipartisan. These issues more than most require true political leadership." (p. 9)
  • "Regarding this growth, here is what happened in just the past twenty years: 1) Global population up 35 %; 2) World economic output up 75 %; 3) Global energy use up 40 %; Global meat consumption up 70 %; 4) World auto production up 45 %; 5) Global paper use up 90 %; 6) Advertising globally up 100 %. Today, the world economy is poised to quadruple in size again by midcentury, just as it did in the last half-century." (p. 20-21)

  • "Humans dominate the planet today as never before. We now live in a full world. An unprecedented responsibility for planetary management is now thrust upon us, whether we like it or not. This huge new burden, for which there is no precedent and little preparation, is the price of our economic success. We brought it upon ourselves, and we must turn to it with urgency and with even greater determination and political attention than has been brought to liberalizing trade and making the world safe for market capitalism. The risks of inaction extend beyond unprecedented environmental deterioration. Following closely in its wake would be widespread loss of livelihoods, social tensions and conflict, and huge economic costs." (pp. 21-22)

Steffen, W., K. Richardson, J. Rockström, S. Cornell, I. Fetzer, E.M. Bennett., R. Biggs, S.R. Carpenter, W. de Vries, C.A. de Wit, C. Folke, D. Gerten, J. Heinke, G.M. Mace, L.M. Persson, V. Ramanathan, B. Reyers, and S. Sörlin. 2015. "Planetary Boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet." Science 347(6223):10.1126/science.1259855.

Steinbeck, John. 1939. The Grapes of Wrath. Viking Press, New York. 

Stiglitz, Joseph E. 2009. "Capitalist Fools." Vanity Fair January.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. 2010. Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy. Norton, New York.  [excerpt]  [review by Paul mason in The New Statesman]  [review by Larry Elliott in the Guardian]   [review by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times]

Strange, Susan. 1998. Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 

Strathy, Glen and Stephen Leeb. 2006. The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive when Oil Costs $200 a Barrel. Warner Business Books, New York.

Tainter, Joseph A. 1988a. The Collapse of Complex Societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Tainter, Joseph A. 1988b. "Global Change, History, and Sustainability." Pages 331-356 in Roderick J. McIntosh, Joseph A. Tainter, and Susan K. McIntosh (eds.), The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History, and Human Action. Columbia University Press, New York.

Tainter, Joseph A. 2000. "Problem Solving: Complexity, History, Sustainability." Population and Environment 22:3-41. [abstract]  [PDF]

Tainter, Joseph A. 2003. "The Development of Social Complexity: Models of Collapse, Resiliency, and Sustainability." Presented at "The Stockholm Seminars: Frontiers in Sustainability Science and Policy," The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, 24 September 2003. [PDF]

Tainter, Joseph A. 2006. "Social Complexity and Sustainability." Ecological Complexity 3(2):91-103. [PDF] [abstract

Turner, B.L. and Jeremy A. Sabloff. 2012. "Classic Period Collapse of the Central Maya Lowlands: Insights about Human–environment Relationships for Sustainability." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(35):13908-13914. [related article (PDF)

Union of Concerned Scientists. 1992. World Scientists' Warning to Humanity. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • "Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about."

Walker, Brian and Jacqueline A. Meyers. 2004. "Thresholds in ecological and social-ecological systems: a developing database." Ecology and Society 9(2):3.

Ward, Peter D. 2007. Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and what they Can Tell Us about Our Future. Collins, New York. [related essay by author]

Webster, David. 2002. The Fall of the Ancient Maya. Thames and Hudson, London. 

Weiss, Harvey and Raymond S. Bradley. 2001. "What Drives Societal Collapse?" Science 291:609-610.

Worldwatch Institute (Erik Assadourian and Thomas Prugh, eds.). 2013. State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? Island Press, Washington, D.C. 

Yoffee, Norman and G.L. Cowgill (eds.). 1988. The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Zehner, Ozzie. 2012. Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln. [author interview in Truthout] [review by Tom Zeller] [introduction (PDF)] [author video presentation]

  • "Building a heavy box with wheels and then shoving it thousands of miles down a road requires a lot of energy. There's no physical way around that. Electric car companies haven't found a way around the physics. But they've created an illusion that they have." (from interview in Truthout)
  • "Finally, there's the influence of media, which I spend a whole chapter dissecting in Green Illusions. Green media has become a war of press releases—a contest of half-baked models and glorified science fair experiments. It doesn't have to be this way. We can change it all if we are willing to think and inquire differently as concerned citizens." (from Truthout interview)
  • "Subsidies for electric cars are ultimately a subsidy to car culture and the infrastructure that goes with it. Car culture is not sustainable within the limits we face to growth." (from Truthout interview)

Zelman, Joanna. 2011. "50 Million Environmental Refugees by 2020, Experts Predict." Huffington Post 22 February.

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