New work from Doug Spieles, Professor of Environmental Studies
Environmentalism: An Evolutionary Approach
What does it mean to be an environmentalist? How should an environmentalist prioritize human and nonhuman needs? How does an environmentalist weigh the spiritual and the material, the individual and the collective, the local and the global? This book takes a fresh look at the wide variety of environmental worldviews, their origins, commonalities, points of contention, and implications for the modern environmental movement.
The premise is that our environmental dilemmas are products of biological and sociocultural evolution, and that through an understanding of our own evolution we can reframe debates of thought and action. This perspective suggests an environmentalism in which material views of human life include spirituality, in which our anthropocentric behaviors incorporate ecological function, and in which environmental problems are addressed by the intentional relation of humans to the nonhuman world and to one another. The evolution of environmentalism is the story of humankind; it is the story of how we have come to threaten our own existence, why we seem to have such difficulty in acting together to ensure our common future, and how our differences might be reconciled.