“Rare is the environmental book that asks us to take a look at the impact of nature on ourselves, rather than chastising our human impact on nature. Eric Lambin’s unique approach reminds us just how essential the natural world is to not just our well-being, but also our sense of happiness. And by appealing to our quintessential searches for pleasure—from the food we eat to the warm summer air we breathe in—An Ecology of Happiness inspires a strong urge for environmental stewardship.”
(Gretchen Daily, Stanford University)
"Eric Lambin draws on studies of how natural environments improve people’s psychological health to support his case. But his analysis goes much further, encompassing three major components: 'the subjective perception of a happy existence, health, and security.' Each of the book’s nine chapters offers a broad survey of research relevant to one of these factors, treating such subjects as microbes, war, urban planning and the relation between material wealth and happiness. He encourages readers to weigh not only their own happiness but also that of people living in areas with less economic privilege, who tend to bear the brunt of both environmental change and the unequal distribution of resources. "
“Anyone who has ever delighted in the earthy scent of a springtime stroll in the woods, a walk on the beach, or a starry gaze into the universe now has scholarly proof. Nature, not money or material possessions, makes us happy. Lambin's argument rings true to all who have suspected this basic truth.”
(Ruth DeFries, Columbia University)
“Human beings are endowed with the capacity of foresight, using our knowledge and experience to look ahead, recognize danger and opportunities, and deliberately choose a path into the future. Humanity's 'success' is our achievement of unprecedented numbers, technological prowess and consumption that are now transforming the physical, chemical and biological properties of the biosphere on a geological scale. Far beyond satisfying our basic needs, we demand fulfillment of our endless desires, an impossible goal that is also biocidal. But are we happier as a result of our current biocidal economic and social path? What really matters in our lives? These are the critical questions raised and answered inAn Ecology of Happiness, a vital book in addressing a global eco-crisis.”
(David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance)
"In a manner of speaking, the book is an indirect and scientific defense of the Romantic poets who crooned over our wonderful planet, using subjectivity as much as reasoning to encourage us to love Earth. . . . Highly recommended.”