A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future

A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future


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A practical, bipartisan call to action from the world’s leading thinkers on the environment and sustainability
Sustainability has emerged as a global priority over the past several years. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the adoption of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals through the United Nations have highlighted the need to address critical challenges such as the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, water shortages, and air pollution. But in the United States, partisan divides, regional disputes, and deep disagreements over core principles have made it nearly impossible to chart a course toward a sustainable future.
This timely new book, edited by celebrated scholar Daniel C. Esty, offers fresh thinking and forward-looking solutions from environmental thought leaders across the political spectrum. The book’s forty essays cover such subjects as ecology, environmental justice, Big Data, public health, and climate change, all with an emphasis on sustainability. The book focuses on moving toward sustainability through actionable, bipartisan approaches based on rigorous analytical research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300246247
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 773,300
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Daniel C. Esty is Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Law School. He served as head of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014 and in several leadership roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ingrid C. Burke xiii

Introduction Daniel C. Esty 1

Part 1 Nature, Land, and Water

1 Sustaining Humans and Nature as One: Ecological Science and Environmental Stewardship Oswald J. Schmitz 11

2 A Habitable Earth: Protecting Biodiversity through Natural Systems Thomas E. Lovejoy 20

3 A Restoration Agenda for Native Forests Mark S. Ashton Craig R. Brodersen 28

4 Private Lands: The Future of Conservation in America Larry Selzer 38

5 Stewards of the Land: Harnessing American Agriculture for a Sustainable Future Erin Fitzgerald Greg Gershuny 46

6 Toward an Evergreen Revolution: Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Farming Meha Jain Balwinder Singh 55

7 Found Water: Reuse and the Deconstruction of "Wastewater" G. Tracy Mehan, III 63

8 People and the Ocean 3.0: A New Narrative with Transformative Benefits Jane Lubchenco 72

Part 2 Innovation and Technology

9 Red Lights to Green lights: Toward an Innovation-Oriented Sustainability Strategy Daniel C. Esty 87

10 Environmental Protection through Systems Design, Decision-Making, and Thinking Paul T. Anastas Julie B. Zimmerman 97

11 Genomics as a Driving Force for Climate Change Response and Community Health Vasilis Vasiliou Alexia Akbay 105

12 There's an App for That: Can Technology Save the Planet? David Rejeski 112

13 Reimagining Solar Fuels to Power the Planet with Renewable Energy Gary W. Brudvig 122

14 Fostering Energy Innovation for a Sustainable Twenty-First Century Kenneth Gillingham 128

15 Building Climate Change Resilience by Design Amanda Brown-Stevens 137

16 Bracing for Impact: Transforming the National Weather Service for the Climate Change Challenges Ahead Monica Medina 145

Part 3 Law and Policy

17 Building Public and Political Will for Climate Change Action Anthony Leiserowitz 155

18 Broadening Action on Climate Change: The Paris Agreement Cannot Do It Alone Susan Biniaz 163

19 Helping Kids Stand Up for Their Rights: The Role of Climate Change Litigation Paul Rink 173

20 Environmental Justice for All Must Be a Human Right Enforceable in U.S. State Constitutions Barry E. Hill 183

21 Reinventing Political Borders for Environmental and Social Harmony Saleem H. Ali 192

22 Deploying Machine Learning for a Sustainable Future Cary Coglianese 200

23 Focusing the Environmental Protection Enterprise to Put Ideas and Policies into Action Derry Allen John Reeder 209

24 Science as a Foundation for Policy: The Case of Fracking James Saiers 219

Part 4 Resources, Economics, and Sustainable Business

25 Next-Generation Corporate Sustainability Leadership: New Lines of Accountability Carter S. Roberts 231

26 Making Companies Work for Society: Harnessing Global Financial Markets for Sustainability Todd Cort 241

27 Waste and Materials Management: From Harm Reduction to Value Creation Marian Chertow Matthew Gordon 250

28 Can We Define Planetary Boundaries on the Human Use of Materials? Thomas E. Graedel 258

29 Natural Capital, Equity, and the Sustainable Development Challenge Eli P. Fenichel 266

30 International Carbon Pricing: The Role of Carbon Clubs William Nordhaus 274

Part 5 Society, Equity, and Process

31 Hip-Hop Sustainability: Toward Diversity in Environmental Communication Thomas RaShad Easley 279

32 Driving Systems Change through Networks Bradford S. Gentry 287

33 Moral and Spiritual Contributions to a Flourishing Earth Community Mary Evelyn Tucker John Grim 297

34 The Public Health Science of Environmental Justice Michelle L. Bell 308

35 Science by and for Citizens: A Historical Perspective Deborah R. Coen 318

36 In the Calm before the Storm: Prioritizing Preparedness for Natural Disasters Courtney Durham 326

37 Planetary Sustainability in the Urban Century Karen C. Seto 335

38 Reimagrning the City and Park for a Sustainable Urban Future Alexander J. Felson 342

39 Built to Learn: From Static to Adaptive Environmental Policy Lori S. Bennear Jonathan B. Wiener 353

40 Why Big Ideas So Often Fail Samara Brock Austin Bryniarski Deepti Chatti 361

Epilogue: How to Make Big Ideas Work Ingrid C. Burke James Cameron 371

Acknowledgments 375

Keywords List 377

Contributors 379

Index 389

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