A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies

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A Prosperous Way Down (2001), the last book by Howard T. and Elisabeth C. Odum, has shaped politics and planning as nations, states, and localities begin the search for ways to adapt to a future with vastly increased competition for energy.

A Prosperous Way Down considers ways in which a future with less fossil fuel could be peaceful and prosperous. Although history records the collapse of countless civilizations, some societies and ecosystems have managed to descend in orderly stages, reducing demands and selecting and saving what is most important.

The authors make recommendations for a more equitable and cooperative world society, with specific suggestions based on their evaluations of trends in global population, wealth distribution, energy sources, conservation, urban development, capitalism and international trade, information technology, and education.

Available for the first time in paperback, this thoughtful, provocative book forces us to confront assumptions about our world 's future and provides both a steadying hand and a call to action with its pragmatic analysis of a global transition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The senescence period of humanity after the loss of our highest quality fuels can be a disaster or it can be planned in a way that will diminish its deleterious aspects. . . . H. T. Odum and his wife, Elisabeth, have provided a blueprint for the future with their excellent book A Prosperous Way Down."
- Ecological Modelling

"Of value to all who wish to learn more about a future in which sustainability and prosperity coexist. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and up."
- Choice

“It might well be said of Howard T. Odum that his ideas suffered inordinately for being far ahead of their time. Today's mainstream paradigm or methodology was often his outrageous suggestion of yesteryear."
- Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870819087
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard T. Odum was internationally renowned for his development of the science of systems ecology and as a pioneering voice in environmental science, ecology, and ecological engineering and economics. Elisabeth C. Odum is professor emeritus at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Pt. I The Approaching Summit 1
1 Introduction to the Way Down 3
2 The Present Condition 13
3 Intellectual Views of the Future 29
Pt. II System Principles 59
4 The Ways of Energy and Materials in All Systems 61
5 Pulsing and the Growth Cycle 77
6 Real Wealth and the Economy 91
7 Spatial Organization 107
8 Population and Wealth 123
Pt. III Policies for Transition and Descent 131
9 The Global Network 133
10 Energy Sources 151
11 Sustaining a Nation 171
12 Sustaining People 183
13 Starting Down 195
14 Reorganizing Cities 209
15 Restoring Waters 223
16 Refreshing the Landscape 235
17 Transmitting Knowledge 251
18 Preparing People 269
19 Summary for Action 279
Notes 287
References 295
Index 305
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    authors' new cover

    We hope this book will cause many controversial discussions, and action. Because the cover was so deadly, we created a picture to cut and paste on the front. It is at: 'http://inst.santafe.cc.fl.us/~bodum/pwdcover.jpg'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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