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From the Publisher"The volume must be read by anyone interested in the human-environmental connection. Spanning the local, social, and global, back into prehistory and onward to the future, it brings the weight of history and the wisdom of experience to bear on the problems that most threaten our future."
—Fakhry A. Assaad, Environmental Geology
"This is both an exciting and rewarding book. What unites the authors is their willingness to test the hypothesis that the biophysical earth systems and the historical social world systems ultimately form a single inseparable whole, whose mode of operation needs to be elucidated."
—Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
"The fruit of an unprecedented gathering of a veritable pageant of luminaries in the human and natural sciences, this book charts a new synthesis. It must be read by anyone interested in the human-environmental connection. Spanning the local, social, and global, back into prehistory and onward to the future, it is the approach we need at this time, when the challenges of global environmental problems cannot be met with the status quo. It brings the weight of history and the wisdom of experience to bear on the problems that most threaten our future."
—Richard Wilk, Indiana University
"The World System and the Earth System offers a critical perspective on large-scale environmental change in an era when we are awakening to the phenomenon of global warming. This work is notable for bringing together long-term environmental systems research with its social scientific equivalent, world-systems analysis, a novel and powerful synthesis."
—Josiah Heyman, University of Texas at El Paso
"This volume is a long overdue synthesis of our understanding of the human-environment relationship at the global scale. The study of socio-ecological systems at local scales is making progress in understanding the critical issues of resilience and sustainability. However, it is at the scale of the Earth as a whole where the collision between humans and environment is being played out in its most dramatic form, with the future of the planetary life support system in the balance. Learning from the rich record of socio-ecological change in the past is a strong feature of the volume, but its interest and value are not limited to this. In the present era where a rapidly globalising human enterprise has become a geophysical force impacting the functioning of the Earth System itself, it is impressive to see that this book takes on the ultimate question: 'Are World-Systems Sustainable?'"
—Will Steffen, Australian National University