Society and the Environment: Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Society and the Environment

Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues, 3rd Edition

By Michael S Carolan


350 pages

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pub: 2020-01-01
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Without focusing entirely on what is wrong with the world around us, the third edition of Society and the Environment centers its discussion on realistic solutions to the problems that persist and examines current controversies within a socio-organizational context. After introducing “pragmatic environmentalism,” Carolan discusses the complex pressures and variables that exist where ecology and society collide, such as population growth and its concurrent increase in demands for food and energy, and transportation and its outsized influence on urban and community patterns. With further attention given to the social phenomena and structural dynamics driving today’s environmental problems, the book concludes with an important reflection on truly sustainable solutions and what constitutes meaningful social change.

Each chapter in this interdisciplinary text follows a three-part structure beginning with an overview of what is wrong and why. This leads into a discussion on each issue’s wide-ranging implications, and finally, a balanced consideration of realistic solutions. Featuring updated and expanded examples, discussion points, and coverage of recent developments including the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, “booming” national economies and wealth distribution, growing global interest in environmental justice, and those generally affecting race and inequality, climate change and renewable energy, this new edition remains an essential companion for courses on environmental sociology and sustainability..

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition Acknowledgments 1. Introduction: Individuals, Societies, and Pragmatic Environmentalism Part I : Living in a Material World 2. Greenhouse Gases: Warmer Isn't Better 3. Waste: Our Sinks Are Almost Sunk 4. Biodiversity: Society Wouldn't Exist Without It 5. Water: There's No Substitute Part II: At the Intersection of Ecology and Society 6. Population: A Problem of Quantity or Quality? 7. Transportation: Beyond Air Pollution 8. Food: From Farm to Fork 9. Energy Production: Our Sun-ny Prospects Part III: Organizing a Sustainable Society 10. Political Economy: Making Markets Fair and Sustainable 11. Governance: Biases and Blind Spots 12. Inequality and Growth: Prosperity for All Part IV: Shifting the Focus to Results 13. From Our Beliefs to Our Behaviors: Pragmatic Environmentalism in Action Glossary References Index

About the Author

Michael Carolan is Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Affairs at Colorado State University, where he teaches courses in environmental sociology, social movements, and social theory. His books include A Sociological Look at Biofuels (Nova), The Real Cost of Cheap Food (Earthscan), and Decentering Biotechnology. He is also a contributing author to Michael Bell’s An Invitation to Environmental Sociology (Pine Forge). In addition to having published dozens of refereed research articles, he is beloved in the classroom, having won Iowa State’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General