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Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order

by Thomas Princen The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 224 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: In Stock Now
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We are living beyond our means, running up debts both economic and ecological,consuming the planet's resources at rates not remotely sustainable. But it's hard to imagine adifferent way. How can we live without cheap goods and easy credit? How can we consume withoutconsuming the systems that support life? How can we live well and live within our means? InTreading Softly, Thomas Princen helps us imagine an alternative. We need, hesays, a new normal, an ecological order that is actually economical with resources, that embraceslimits, that sees sustainable living not as a 'lifestyle' but as a long-term connection tofresh, free-flowing water, fertile soil, and healthy food. The goal would be tolive well by living well within the capacities of our resources. Princen doesn't offer a quick fix-- there's no list of easy ways to save the planet to hang on the refrigerator. He gives us insteada positive, realistic sense of the possible, with an abundance of examples, concepts, and tools forimagining, then realizing, how to live within our biophysical means.
'This is an eloquent and impassioned book. It is clearly written, lacks confounding academic artifice, and conveys a message that is simultaneously simple and profound.'--Maurice J. Cohen, New Jersey Institute of Technology

'As the epoch of seemingly limitless expansion comes to an end, Treading Softly represents an important springboard for debate about what comes next. It finds an appropriate balance of 'realistic hope,' going beyond the easy answers so often put forward in environmental debates. Above all, it succeeds in encouraging readers to imagine a possible new world, and in emboldening us to get to work in creating it.' Anders Hayden Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy
Thomas Princen is the author of The Logic of Sufficiency and lead editor ofConfronting Consumption, both published by the MIT Press and both winners of theInternational Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book on internationalenvironmental affairs. He teaches social and ecological sustainability at the University ofMichigan.