Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

by Saleem H. Ali
Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

by Saleem H. Ali


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The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought forth global anxiety about linkages between the environment and society at a fundamental structural level. Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life provides an accessible exposition of the latest foundational knowledge on how natural and social systems science can inform planetary crises. Humanity has either tried to conquer or capitulate to natural order, whereas we should be seeking to understand latent structures and patterns that permeate all systems and develop an "earthly order," that is socially functional and sustainable.

Current debates in politics often present what should constitute a "world order" while scientists have wrestled with what are fundamental conditions of "natural order." Author Saleem H. Ali provides a readable synthesis of these debates with practical guidance for the public with a host of current examples around environmental decision-making by consumers, the government and industry. Twitter: @saleem_ali

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780197640272
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/15/2022
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.38(w) x 6.44(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Saleem H. Ali was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts but grew up in Lahore, Pakistan until his college years, receiving his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Tufts University, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in environmental policy and planning at Yale and MIT, respectively. He currently holds the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware(USA) and is Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland (Australia). Dr. Ali's laurels include being a National Geographic Explorer (having travelled for research to over 150 countries); being chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and serving on the seven-member science panel of the Global Environment Facility (the world's largest multilateral trust fund for the environment held in trusteeship by the World Bank). His earlier books include Treasures of the Earth: Need Greed and a Sustainable Future which was hailed by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus as providing "welcome linkage between environmental behavior and poverty alleviation." Professor Ali was profiled in Forbes as "The Alchemist" and Bookseller called his earlier work "a pioneering exploration of human wants and needs and the natural resources we consume." He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art sand the Royal Geographical Society in the United Kingdom and also serves on the boards of Adventure Scientists and Mediators Beyond Borders International. Along with his wife Maria and sons Shahmir and Shahroze, the family are citizens of Australia, Pakistan and the United States.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Limited Logic of Order?
Two's Company
Chemical Chaos
Functional Order

Chapter 1 - Seduction of Structure in Nature
Molecular "Magic"
Quantum Order
Phases and Crystalline Order
Constancy and Hybrid Natural Order

Chapter 2 - The Elements of Earthly Order
The New Carbonic Order?
Nuclear Order
Magnetic Order

Chapter 3 - Circularity, Cyclicality and Sustainability
Hydrological Order
Orders of Gaia and Medea
Organismic Order
Bounded Natural Order


Chapter 4 - The Orders of Economic Harmony
Urbanism and Resilience in Socioeconomic Order
Scales and Speeds of Economic Order
Currencies of Sustainable Economic Order

Chapter 5 - Elusive Orders of Economic Equilibrium
Orders of Price and Quantity
Consumer Ecology and Varieties of Equilibria
Towards and Optimal Economic Order for the Planet

Chapter 6 - Mindful Errors and Social Order
Lonely Crowds and the Greening of the Shared Economy
Environmental Risk, Uncertainty, and Precautionary Disorder
Gaining from Disorder: Immunity, Intelligence and Religion
The Conspiratorial Conundrum of Cause

Chapter 7 - Sex, Population and Sustainability
From Tragedy to Comedy of the Commons
The Age Beyond Ageing
Gender, Culture and Reconciling Anomalies


Chapter 8 - Empires and Edens
The Dragon and the Wild Goose
Resource Nationalism
Great Powers Concerts and Radical Salvations

Chapter 9 - Borders and Functional Political Order
The Ambivalence of Ecological Borders
The Order of Environmental Peacebuilding
Identity, Borders and Order

Chapter 10 - From International to Global Order in the "Anthropocene"
Confederations of Peaceful Ecological Order
Networks and the Realignment of Global Order in the Anthropocene
Closing the Loop on Global Order

CONCLUSION: Reconciling Orders
Coda: Chromatic Order

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