- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Island Press; F First Edition edition (August 22, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597260932
- ISBN-13: 978-1597260930
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World F First Edition Edition
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About the Author
Brian Walker is a Research Fellow in Australia’s CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Visiting Researcher in the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Chair of the Resilience Alliance.
David Salt is a science and environment writer at the Australian National University, and has more than two decades experience writing and producing popular science magazines and books.
Both authors live in Canberra, Australia.
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors have done a few things to make the book great. First, they have broken the topic down into a set of subtopics, with one chapter explaining each subtopic. At the end of each chapter is a summary of important points so it's clear what the authors are hoping you get out of the chapter. Each chapter is then followed by a case study that is used to illustrate the ideas just covered.
If you are looking for an introductory book on ecosystems and how humans affect their ability to maintain themselves, this is the book to read. The authors also provide several good resources at the end of the book if you would like to expand your knowledge further.
Highlights for me:
+ Optemization is a false premise, simplifies complex systems we do not understand, with the result that we end up causing long-term damage.
+ Resilience thinking is systems thinking. I cannot help but think back to all of the excellent work in the 1970's and 1980's--the authors were simply a quarter century ahead of their time.
+ In a nut-shell, resilient system can absorb severe disturbance.
+ System resilience is affected by context, connections across scales of time and space, and current system state in relations to threshholds.
+ Fresh water, fisheries, and topsoil depletion are major failures.
+ Drivers of environmental degradation are poverty, willful excessive consumption, and lack of knowledge (from another book, I recall that changes to the Earth that used to take 10,000 years now take three, one reason we need real-time science).
+ Key concepts are threshholds and adaptive cycles. Adaptive cycles have four phases: Rapid Growth; Conservation; Release; and Reorganization.
+ Redundancy is NOT a dirty word (just as intelligence--decision support--should not be a dirty word within the United Nations)
+ Ecological networks cannot be understood nor nurtured with a tight linking and understanding of the social networks that interact with the ecological networks.Read more ›
My major issues with this book are twofold. One is that it is not well written, though not altogether poorly written, you can simply tell when the science writer came in to jazz things up. Secondly, the authors spend a little too much time trying to convince the reader that resilience thinking is NEW, DIFFERENT, SUBVERSIVE, and the like. We get, on page 29, something that I just cannot stand: a little briefer than brief history of challenge to dogma. Galileo spoke out about the Copernican model (which was still perfect circles, Kepler had it right but Galileo ignored him) and the church shot him down. Darwin dared to say species change and the world exploded! Now, we, the humble new scientists bring you a new challenge to the dogma of ecology today. Give me a break! I would have thought a science writer on the team would have had the experience to leave out this trite nonsense. Just tell me about your idea and spare me the drama! Sorry, but poor history of science is a real pet peeve. :-)
But either way, this is still an important book that should be read by ecology students, politicians, resource managers, and anyone interested in new ideas. The case studies are really informative and clear, and the message is properly urgent
I expect to see applications of resilience thinking to many areas beyond ecology and resource management over the next decade: it is widely relevant to organizational theory and urban planning. It will be one input to a new syntheses that replaces our current and obsolete economic theory.
One small caveat, the book has some well done illustrations but the quality of the photos is dreadful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used this book in my graduate research and when I missed placed it, several years past grad school, I had to buy it again for a reference. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tammy Parker
The book is based on five excellent case studies with relevant introduction and assessment. Resilience and sustainability can be such vague concepts but not in this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Verd Tomkinson
This is a fantastic little book. The presentation of complex adaptive systems and the things that determine how resilient they are is crystal clear and concise. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Erik Lee
I come from a background in conservation and complex systems. Like the author, I have been struggling to describe the very important worldview of systems thinking and the need to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ballenamar
This book provides an excellent introduction to reslience theory and how it can help lay the ground for more science within the notion of sustainability. I recommend it strongly.Published on May 12, 2013 by Benoit Bourque