The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder

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by Richard Louv
     
 

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For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller Last Child in the Woods, urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will

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Overview

For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller Last Child in the Woods, urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that will touch every part of society.

This New Nature Movement taps into the restorative powers of the natural world to boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sanguine, wide-ranging study of how humans can thrive through the "renaturing of everyday life," Louv takes nature deficit disorder, introduced in his seminal Last Child in the Woods, a step further, to argue that adults need nature, too. "A reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health," he writes, asking, "What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in electronics?" Louv's "Nature Principle" consists of seven precepts, including balancing technology excess with time in nature; a mind/body/nature connection, which Louv calls "vitamin N," that enhances physical and mental health; expanding our sense of community to include all living things; and purposefully developing a spiritual, psychological, physical attachment to a region and its natural history. The book presents examples of these precepts, from studies of how exposure to a common soil bacteria increases production of serotonin in the brain to designing shopping malls inspired by termite mounds. Although lightweight for longtime nature lovers, the book may be just what our high-tech, urban culture needs to bring us down to earth. (May)
Booklist
“Louv’s vital, inclusive, and inspiriting call to better our lives by celebrating and protecting the living world marks the way to profound personal and cultural transformation.”—Booklist, starred review
San Diego Union Tribune
“[Louv’s] onto something important here, something lasting, and by the time you turn the final page, you’ll not only understand why you should make or deepen your own connections to nature, you’ll know how… His book is a stirring argument for not waiting a moment longer.” —San Diego Union Tribune
Austin American-Statesman
“Louv's writing style is clear and raises many valid points…Louv's latest isn't much more than age-old wisdom, but it bears repeating in an asphalt-coated world.” – Austin American Statesman
Austin Chronicle
"Louv takes nature-deficit disorder, introduce in his seminal Last Child in the Woods, a step further, to argue that adults need nature, too . . . [This] book may be just what our high-tech, urban culture needs to bring us down to earth." —Publishers Weekly
Chicago Tribune
“[Louv’s] onto something important here, something lasting, and by the time you turn the final page, you’ll not only understand why you should make or deepen your own connections to nature, you’ll know how… His book is a stirring argument for not waiting a moment longer.” —San Diego Union Tribune
Westword
“Louv's writing style is clear and raises many valid points…Louv's latest isn't much more than age-old wisdom, but it bears repeating in an asphalt-coated world.” – Austin American Statesman
Charlotte Observer
“Louv describes the many ways in which reconnecting to the natural world is fundamental to human well-being…I believe [Louv’s] onto something important, and not just for children…So consider this a bit of health care advice: Get outside and dive in - nose first.” – Charlotte Observer
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“What would life be like if we were as immersed in nature as we are in electronics? In Richard Louv’s world, we’d be happier and healthier. We’d experience fewer cases of depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorder. And we’d build smarter, more sustainable communities.” – Chicago Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] forward-looking book for NDD sufferers of all ages. In The Nature Principle, Louv takes stock of exactly what we’ve lost in leaving the natural world behind and how we might get it back.” –Westword
Cascadia Weekly
“Louv takes his ideas about the healing power of the outside world and adds layers of how-to action to help make his vision a reality…One thing you’ll likely come away with after reading The Nature Principle is that, while time is of the essence where protecting and preserving nature is concerned, it’s not too late to make a difference.” – Cascadia Weekly
ForeWord reviews
“In The Nature Principle, Rich Louv has given us once again exactly the book we most need, for now and for all time. Our expanding species hasn't a chance to continue living well and happily in a finite world unless we adapt our hungry lives to the rest of nature better than we have. This elegant, original, good-humored, and stunningly thorough work shows us our way home in the world: it is no less than a new Law of Nature, and we had better pay attention.”—Robert Michael Pyle, author of The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland and Mariposa Road
Robert Michael Pyle
The Nature Principle is, in essence, a book for grown-ups who crave — and need — nature just as much as kids” – Minneapolis Star Tribune
Richard J. Jackson
“A sound argument for the importance of the natural world… Age-old wisdom, but it bears repeating in an asphalt-coated world.”—Kirkus Reviews
Chairman of The Sierra Club Carl Pope
“Louv takes his ideas about the healing power of the outside world and adds layers of how-to action to help make his vision a reality…One thing you’ll likely come away with after reading The Nature Principle is that, while time is of the essence where protecting and preserving nature is concerned, it’s not too late to make a difference.” – Cascadia Weekly
From the Publisher
"Deprive an individual of everything that nurtured them — and you're going to have a mess. Deprive a species of everything that nurtured us — you have 21st century Americans. We grew up in the wild, and when we moved from the African veldt to the European and North American forests, the wild went with us. Now we have set up an elaborate society designed to strip us of the environment that made us — and Richard Louv is speaking out, inspirationally, on why it doesn't have to be this way." — Carl Pope, Chairman, The Sierra Club

“We have created environments that make us sad, fat and unhealthy. Richard Louv has made an insightful diagnosis and offers powerful treatment with the medicine we all need, Vitamin N.” — Richard J. Jackson, MD, Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, UCLA School of PublicHealth

“Louv's proposal is for a "renaturing of everyday life," and his lively discussion of how to accomplish this is likely to inspire many readers. His is not a doomsday prognosis but rather an inspired prescription for health, happiness, and a world in which humans and nature are in alignment… His last book spurred a movement to get kids outside because to do otherwise "threatens our health, our spirit, our economy and our future stewardship of the environment." Based on the timeliness and breadth of Luov’s research, it seems likely that The Nature Principal will build on that momentum and change more than a few lives for the better.”—ForeWord Reviews

“There is a great urgency to this work . . . This book makes utter sense and Louv is gentle with his simple agenda: more green in schools, more access to nature in communities, the importance of giving people the tools and the health they need to create a better world.”
Los Angeles Times

The Nature Principle tackles the ambitious task of mapping our way to a more connected future . . . Page after page we learn that in working to heal the world through restoration, we end up healing ourselves.”
Orion magazine

The Nature Principle manages to both teach and delight. Think of it as a refreshing hike for the mind and soul.” —Oprah.com

“Louv’s vital, inclusive, and inspiriting call to better our lives by celebrating and protecting the living world marks the way to profound personal and cultural transformation.” —Booklist, starred review

“This book provides a way back to where we belong, a world full of reverence, joy, and discovery.”
—David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance

“Louv’s vision is not a rejection of technology or a back-to-the-land trend like the one that came out of the environmental movement 40 years ago. Instead, he wants to tap nature to boost our mental acuity, creativity and health. At its heart, the movement seeks to replace the apocalyptic vision that modern society has created….[ Louv] outlines this new nature movement, and its potential to improve the lives of all people no matter where they live, in his latest book, “The Nature Principle.’” — McClatchy Newspapers

Kirkus Reviews

A sound argument for the importance of the natural world.

Readers needn't be poets to understand that nature inspires more than five senses, but many would probably benefit from this exploration of nature's significance in our lives and what role it will play in the future. Award-winning science journalist Louv (Last Child In the Woods, 2008, etc.) returns with a discussion of the seven precepts of natural power, introducing such concepts as the "purposeful place," where natural history is as highly valued as human history. While the author comes across as a bit self-obsessed and the book is written to suburban and urban audiences, his writing style is clear and raises many valid points—most of which anyone with a small degree of common sense could figure out on their own. Don't we already know that technology is not bad when used as a tool, or that exposure to nature helps well-being and may even cause physical healing? Louv heartily exhorts readers to become more engaged in the world around them, as citizen naturalists out to discover their own bioregions. Taking time to find and create an everyday Eden is not only beneficial to the individual, but to the community as a whole.

Louv's latest isn't much more than age-old wisdom, but it bears repeating in an asphalt-coated world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565125810
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
654,320
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.24(d)

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