by William Ross McCluney, Ph. D.
SunPine Press: Cape Canaveral, 420 pages, ISBN 0-9744461-0-6
Humanity’s Environmental Future comprehensively examines the wide variety of difficult environmental and socio-economic problems facing humanity as it struggles toward a sustainable future. Powerful forces are driving us to degrade Earth’s life-support system—the biosphere. These assaults are taking their toll, resulting in a daily barrage of news reports of environmental decline and ecosystem breakdown, all of which threaten Earth’s ability to support its growing human population.
The issues involved are imbedded in the industrial world’s economic and business theories, lifestyles, development policies, and educational and political structures. They extend to the developing countries, as these follow similar growth, development, and economic advancement patterns.
Humanity has already exceeded Earth’s carrying capacity, in the absence of adequate supplemental energy inputs from the fossil fuels and other sources. As world petroleum production reaches a peak and then declines, there will be increasing pressure on energy prices to soar, possibly causing serious adverse economic consequences, and certainly stimulating major shifts in worldwide energy production and use. Major lifestyle and other changes are likely to result.
Humanity’s Environmental Future addresses these issues head on, examines their causes, and provides a variety of suggestions for reform. A major conclusion is that misplaced values and beliefs both drive humanity toward environmental disaster and prevent us from taking sufficiently comprehensive actions to stop the unrelenting destruction.
Seven chapters are devoted to the insights and skills most needed for humanity to reverse its destructive course and make the needed changes before things have advanced so far that it may become too late to stop the worst of the consequences. The book concludes with several chapters dealing with specific reform proposals and positive suggestions for personal, group, and governmental action.
Read the first chapter.
Table of Contents
Getting to the Source: Readings on Environmental Values Edited by William Ross McCluney, Ph. D. SunPine Press: Cape Canaveral, 317 pages, ISBN 0-9744461-1-4
Getting to the Source is a collection of thirty essays by prominent environmental writers. The contributions have been selected for their relevance to the philosophical and ethical aspects of the subject, for their eloquence in expressing Earth values, and for their special insights and understandings of what we must do to create a sustainable future for humanity.
Samples of the writings of environmental luminaries such as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson, Wendell Berry, and Garrett Hardin are provided, along with contributions from many additional writers, offering a variety of perspectives. The issues discussed are critical in framing public policy and informing debate on future directions.
Setting the stage for the essays to follow, environmental writer Bill McKibben offers this provocative opening statement: “The fate of our planet will be determined in the next few decades, through our technological, lifestyle, and population choices.” McKibben’s article provides an eloquent assessment of humanity’s predicament and offers suggestions for how we might extricate ourselves from it.
News reporter Dianne Dumanoski describes the state of our global environment and assesses the effectiveness of human actions to protect it, offering strong words of criticism for the environmental movement. After over thirty years of effort, a few things are better but many more are worse, and getting worse at an accelerating pace. “What went wrong?”, she asks.
Additional essays—on growth by Al Bartlett, extinction by E. O. Wilson, the peaking of world oil production by Kenneth Deffeyes, and the overall decimation of the environment at the hands of humans by Gene Marine—illustrate the depth of the difficulties we face.
Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, begins his essay with this provocative statement: “During your lifetime, the people of our culture are going to figure out how to live sustainably on this planet--or they’re not.” He claims that the transition to sustainability, if it occurs will be a “new rennaissance,” a shift of thinking the likes of which we have not seen since 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.
Read the first chapter.
The Environmental Destruction of South Florida: A Handbook for Citizens Edited by William Ross McCluney, University of Miami Press, 1971, 134 pages, ISBN 0870242024
Order it from Amazon.com
©2006 SunPine Press ===================== Last update: 05/03/06