The Planetary Emergency: Environmental Collapse and the Promise of Ecocivilization

The Planetary Emergency: Environmental Collapse and the Promise of Ecocivilization

by Kent D. Shifferd


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Earth and its inhabitants face an unprecedented crisis—the human-caused destruction of the planet's life support systems. Deteriorating climate bringing super storms, mass forest fires, melting glaciers, droughts, extreme heat and rising seas, a decline in food production, soil loss, water pollution and declining fisheries all threaten the future of life on earth with a looming extinction event not seen for 60 million years.
Beginning in the 17th century, we developed a civilization based on radical materialism, exploitation of natural resources and the myth of endless economic growth. For all its technological wonders, this "hypercivilization" has proven unsustainable. This book explores ways we can create an "ecocivilization" compatible with the laws and limits of nature—a new way of living already developing, with new technologies, new forms of social organization and a new story about ourselves and the Earth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476683461
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/19/2021
Pages: 332
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kent D. Shifferd has taught for 35 years at Northland College, the University of Wisconsin, Ripon College, and United Theological Seminary. He is a founder and former executive director of the 21-school consortium, the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Revolution of Hypercivilization 1

Part I Breakdown: A Brief Tour Through the Global Environmental Crisis 9

1 The Perfect Storm 11

2 Assault on the World's Forests, Soils, Water and Air 28

3 War's War on the Environment and Splitting the Atom 42

4 Environmentally Induced Diseases and the Genetic Revolution 57

5 Climate Change: The Crowning Blow 76

6 The Prospect of Collapse 96

Part II The Rise of Hypercivilization 107

7 "The Old Way" 109

8 Materialism, Capitalism and Conquest 120

9 Industrialization 141

10 Resisting Hypercivilization: Poets, Painters and Darwin 162

11 Resisting Hypercivilization: Conservationists, Environmentalists and Blockadia 179

Part III Breakthrough: Creating Ecocivilization 197

12 Our Changing Mind 199

13 Changing Education, Food and Industry 222

14 The Energy Revolution Is Underway 233

15 Creating Resilient, Place-based Communities 254

Conclusion: We Can Make It-On Toward Ecocivilization 278

Chapter Notes 283

Bibliography 307

Index 319

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