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Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (New Catalyst Bioregional Series) (Paperback) Paperback – July 1, 1998
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Our Ecological Footprint presents an internationally-acclaimed tool for measuring and visualizing the resources required to sustain our households, communities, regions and nations, converting the seemingly complex concepts of carrying capacity, resource-use, waste-disposal and the like into a graphic form that everyone can grasp and use. An excellent handbook for community activists, planners, teachers, students and policy makers.
About the Author
Mathis Wackernagel is currently the Executive Director of Global Footprint Network, and William Rees is the Chair of the School of Urban Planning and Regional Development at the University of British Columbia.
Top Customer Reviews
The beginning chapters of the book define sustainability and the concept of ecological footprint. They also argue that our present practices are not sustainable. In the third chapter, we find the general idea of how an ecological footprint can be calculated, and the types of resources that need to be accounted for. The authors also run through a few examples of how footprints can be calculated on a nation by nation basis. They don't claim to have developed a conclusive method for calculating ecological footprints, especially on an individual basis, though they invite interested readers to do so on their own (there are numerous suggestions for how to do so on the Web).Read more ›
It was an unassuming book, neatly printed and illustrated with black and white caricatures. At first I thought it was a mistake to order such a book. But as I read on, the insights of the authors emerged, so profound, yet so simply explained. Really, after swallowing all the contents for five consecutive nights, one will ask, "How come I did not think of this??".
The concept is vivid : it tried to explain what the ecological footprint means : how much of land is required to support yourself. And it turned out that there is already not enough for the world. Further proliferation of current lifestyles is suicidal.
The authors devoted a whole long chapter on proposals of alternative lifestyles. These are nowhere hardcore technical, rest assured. They are blindingly simple, and yet hard to swallow. Just ask any Tom, Dick and Harry whether he or she wants such a life, you will get an awkward stare : are you in your right mind? The authors may be right, but when we have gone so far astray, we have forgotten the road from which we come.
This book cannot score 10 points, though. The examples on how an economy can develop without growth are not solid enough. While the writers are not economists, to force the reader to think twice about current lifestyles, they must fork out a marvellous thesis, which has yet to be clearly stated.
This is a good book at the introductory level. Although it sometimes touch on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the reader is not expected to have an a priori understanding. It's explanation is vivid and simple. While it may insult Professors and those high brow academics, it is a book easy to follow.
Worth a try
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an environmental practitioner and I am researching on ecological footprint in my local region in Kenya. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Tom Ogalo
Rees presents an important idea - that of ecological foot print - that should play an important role in grappling with idea such as global warming and sustainability. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by P. Mulloy
A very interesting book in that it provides metrics for the human ecological footprint. The footprint is the earth's carrying capacity turned upside down, so to speak. Read morePublished on October 7, 2013 by Howzat
This book is especially important for readers interested in ecology, environmental science, geography and demography. Read morePublished on June 16, 2013 by Siri N. Wickramaratne
The GNP is a downright stupid way to measure the economic activity of a society, since the GNP really measures the destruction of nature. Read morePublished on February 13, 2009 by Guy Denutte
This wonderful little book presents an excellent tool for evaluating human impact on our planet. The idea is simple but the ramifications are profound. Read morePublished on November 26, 2007 by Cecil Bothwell
Our Ecological Footprint cuts through the talk about sustainability and introduces a revolutionary new way to determine humanity's impact on the Earth. Read morePublished on August 11, 2007 by Tanis
Back when Rees and Wackernagel wrote Our Ecological Footprint, no one was looking at the problem in that way. Read morePublished on April 4, 2007 by G. Bisaillon
During the past half a century human beings have been
multiplying at such a rate that the number of humans on Earth has
more than TRIPPLED ! Read more