Search results for: evolutionary-perspectives-on-environmental-problems

Evolutionary Perspectives on Environmental Problems

Author : Dustin J. Penn
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The twenty-first century presents an increasing number of environmental problems, including toxic pollution, global warming, destruction of tropical forests, extinction of biological diversity, and depletion of natural resources. These environmental problems are generally due to human behavior, namely over-consumption of resources and overpopulation. Designing effective policies to address these problems requires a deep understanding of human behavior as well as ecology. This in turn requires considerations of human nature, and the evolutionary "design" of the human mind. Evolutionary research on human behavior has profound implications for the environmental sciences. The aim of this collection is to bring together a variety of chapters that show how and why. Part 1, "Human Nature and Resource Conservation," addresses environmental problems from different evolutionary perspectives. Part 2, "The Ecological Noble Savage Hypothesis," examines the notion that our environmental problems are due to Western culture, and that our ancestors and people in indigenous societies lived in harmony with nature until the corrupting influences of Western culture. Part 3, "The Tragedy of the Commons," explores the conservation of common-pool or open-access natural resources, such as fisheries, forests, grazing lands, freshwater, and clean air. Part 4, "The Evolution of Discounting and Conspicuous Consumption," looks at the problem of explaining why people are so ecologically short-sighted and why people in developed countries consume so many resources. Part 5, "Overpopulation and Fertility Declines," addresses the evolution of human reproductive decisions. Part 6, "Biophilia," aims to explain why people cherish nature as well as destroy it. The goal of this volume is to introduce environmental thinkers to evolutionary perspectives on human behavior, and the new interdisciplinary sciences of evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology. This reader aims to help bridge the artificial division between the biological and social sciences, and provide a synthesis between evolutionary sciences of human behavior and environmental sciences. Dustin J. Penn is director, Konrad Lorenz Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. Iver Mysterud is biologist and researcher at the Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway.

Evolutionary Perspectives on Environmental Problems

Author : Iver Mysterud
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The twenty-first century presents an increasing number of environmental problems, including toxic pollution, global warming, destruction of tropical forests, extinction of biological diversity, and depletion of natural resources. These environmental problems are generally due to human behavior, namely over-consumption of resources and overpopulation. Designing effective policies to address these problems requires a deep understanding of human behavior as well as ecology. This in turn requires considerations of human nature, and the evolutionary "design" of the human mind.Evolutionary research on human behavior has profound implications for the environmental sciences. The aim of this collection is to bring together a variety of chapters that show how and why. Part 1, "Human Nature and Resource Conservation," addresses environmental problems from different evolutionary perspectives. Part 2, "The Ecological Noble Savage Hypothesis," examines the notion that our environmental problems are due to Western culture, and that our ancestors and people in indigenous societies lived in harmony with nature until the corrupting influences of Western culture. Part 3, "The Tragedy of the Commons," explores the conservation of common-pool or open-access natural resources, such as fisheries, forests, grazing lands, freshwater, and clean air. Part 4, "The Evolution of Discounting and Conspicuous Consumption," looks at the problem of explaining why people are so ecologically short-sighted and why people in developed countries consume so many resources. Part 5, "Overpopulation and Fertility Declines," addresses the evolution of human reproductive decisions. Part 6, "Biophilia," aims to explain why people cherish nature as well as destroy it.The goal of this volume is to introduce environmental thinkers to evolutionary perspectives on human behavior, and the new interdisciplinary sciences of evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology. This reader aims to help bridge

Environmentalism

Author : Douglas Spieles
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The premise of this book is that our environmental dilemmas are products of biological and sociocultural evolution, and that through an understanding of evolution we can reframe debates of thought and action. The purpose is to explain the wide variety of environmental worldviews, their origins, commonalities, points of contention, and their implications for the modern environmental movement. In three parts covering the origins, evolution and future of environmentalism, it offers instructors and students a framework on which to map theory, case studies and classical literature. It is shown that environmentalism can be described in terms of six human values--utility, stability, equity, beauty, sanctity, and morality--and that these are deeply rooted in our biological and cultural origins. In building this case the book draws upon ecology, philosophy, psychology, history, biology, economics, spirituality, and aesthetics, but rather than consider these all independently it integrates them to craft a mosaic narrative of our species and its home. From our evolutionary origins a story emerges; it is the story of humankind, how we have come to threaten our own existence, and why we seem to have such difficulty in acting together to ensure our common future. Understanding our environmental problems in evolutionary terms gives us a way forward. It suggests an environmentalism in which material views of human life include spirituality, in which our anthropocentric behaviors incorporate ecological function, and in which environmental problems are addressed by the intentional relation of humans to the nonhuman world and to one another. Aimed at students taking courses in environmental studies, the book brings clarity to a complex and, at times, confusing array of ideas and concepts of environmentalism.

Ecological Security

Author : Klaus-Jurgen Manley Sembach
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Global environmental politics has emerged from its initial incarnation in the arena of 'low politics' and is rapidly becoming a 'high politics' concern. Concern over water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and related basic environmental issues is giving way to a broader ecological security agenda. In this pathbreaking book, Dennis Clark Pirages and Theresa Manley DeGeest argue for dramatically broadening the context in which security priorities are established in an age of increasing globalization. Addressing the very fundamental question of the sources of premature human deaths and associated insecurity, both historically and in the contemporary world, the authors observe that in the twentieth century starvation killed nearly as many people as did military conflict. But disease was responsible for killing nearly fourteen times as many people as was warfare. And in the contemporary world of the twenty-first century, environmental terrorism and biological warfare are blurring the traditional distinctions between natural disasters, accidental deaths, and military casualties. Ecological Security moves the analysis of global environmental and resource issues to the next level by developing an 'eco-evolutionary' perspective for analyzing emerging problems associated with rapid globalization. Preserving future ecological security will depend upon maintaining dynamic equilibriums among human populations, and between them and pathogenic microorganisms, other species, and the sustaining capabilities of nature. This eco-evolutionary framework is used to anticipate and analyze emerging demographic, ecological, and technological discontinuities and dilemmas associated with rapid globalization. The authors conclude by stressing the need for new kinds of global public goods to mitigate the harshest impacts of these rapid and interrelated changes.

Citizen Consumers and Evolution

Author : Mikael Klintman
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This book develops a groundbreaking, novel approach to examining ethical consumer behaviour from the perspective of evolutionary theory, illustrating the deeply rooted potentials and limits within society for reducing environmental harm.

Species Coexistence

Author : M. Tokeshi
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As a novel endeavour in ecological science, this book focuses on amajor issue in organismal life on Earth:species coexistence. Thebook crosses the usual disciplinary boundaries betweenpalaeobiology, ecology and evolutionary biology and provides atimely overview of the patterns and processes of species diversityand coexistence on a range of spatio-temporal scales. In thisunique synthesis, the author offers a critical and penetratingexamination of the concepts and models of coexistence and communitystructure, thus making a valuable contribution to the field ofcommunity ecology. There is an emphasis on clarity andaccessibility without sacrificing scientific rigour, making thisbook suitable for both advanced students and individual researchersin ecology, palaeobiology and environmental and evolutionarybiology. Comprehensive and contemporary synthesis. Pulls together the aggregate influence of evolution and ecologyon patterns in communities. Balanced mix of theory and empirical work. Clearly structured chapters with short introduction andsummary.

Evolutionary Economics as an Approach to Environmental Problems

Author : Georg Erdmann
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Creating Ecological Value

Author : Frank Boons
File Size : 80.38 MB
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Creating Ecological Value is a timely contribution that matches recent trends in innovation economics suggesting that an evolutionary notion of system innovations and a sector-specific industrial dynamics perspective are a suitable analytical framework for the way in which firms address sustainability challenges through innovation. Marcus Wagner, University of Würzburg, Germany We cannot expect to solve the environmental problems we face today by narrowing our focus on single firms. We need to think more systemically. In his book, Creating Ecological Value, Frank Boons takes on this challenge. While his research begins by exploring the diversity of environmental strategies adopted by companies, he moves his analysis next to the level of the production and consumption systems to understand how these strategies shape and alter them. His work considers how the diffusion of strategies and novel approaches can be facilitated but also finds that the systems into which these strategies are imposed are resilient and, at times, resistant to change. He offers plenty of ideas to ponder as we consider how the market system as a whole addresses environmental issues. Andrew J. Hoffman, The University of Michigan, US Humans as scientists and managers often draw on metaphors to help describe and understand the complex issues they observe or manage. As human activities begin to bump up against the constraints set by natural systems there is a tendency to search for metaphors from natural science biomimicy or industrial ecology have been around for some time now. In this book, Frank Boons explores the power of ideas from evolutionary science as metaphor to understand economic systems. This is complex work, but, he does it with skill; remembering that a metaphor is powerful not just in what it explains but even more in what it doesn t serve to explain. Nigel Roome, Free University of Brussels, Belgium and TiasNimbas Business School, Tilburg, The Netherlands Firms adopt a wide variety of ecological strategies, ranging from the development of innovative products with reduced environmental impact to lobbying against governmental attempts to set standards for the way in which firms deal with the natural environment. This book explores this variety and is the first to provide a coherent evolutionary approach to the ecological strategies of firms. Drawing on insights from organization and management sciences and innovation studies, the author outlines an evolutionary framework enabling a deeper understanding of how firms shape ecological strategies and interact to create inertia or change at the level of systems of production and consumption. This framework is applied to the coffee and automobile production and consumption systems, yielding insight into the complex dynamics through which such systems evolve in dealing with ecological impact. The book advances theoretical insight into business strategies and the natural environment and illuminates the dynamics of production and consumption systems. Scholars, students and practitioners from organization and management sciences, innovation studies and industrial ecology interested in the relationship between business and the natural environment will find this book invaluable.

Environmentalism An Evolutionary Approach

Author : Douglas Spieles
File Size : 42.91 MB
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The premise of this book is that our environmental dilemmas are products of biological and sociocultural evolution, and that through an understanding of evolution we can reframe debates of thought and action. The purpose is to explain the wide variety of environmental worldviews, their origins, commonalities, points of contention, and their implications for the modern environmental movement. In three parts covering the origins, evolution and future of environmentalism, it offers instructors and students a framework on which to map theory, case studies and classical literature. It is shown that environmentalism can be described in terms of six human values—utility, stability, equity, beauty, sanctity, and morality—and that these are deeply rooted in our biological and cultural origins. In building this case the book draws upon ecology, philosophy, psychology, history, biology, economics, spirituality, and aesthetics, but rather than consider these all independently it integrates them to craft a mosaic narrative of our species and its home. From our evolutionary origins a story emerges; it is the story of humankind, how we have come to threaten our own existence, and why we seem to have such difficulty in acting together to ensure our common future. Understanding our environmental problems in evolutionary terms gives us a way forward. It suggests an environmentalism in which material views of human life include spirituality, in which our anthropocentric behaviors incorporate ecological function, and in which environmental problems are addressed by the intentional relation of humans to the nonhuman world and to one another. Aimed at students taking courses in environmental studies, the book brings clarity to a complex and, at times, confusing array of ideas and concepts of environmentalism.

Human Territorial Functioning

Author : Ralph B. Taylor
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"Territorial functioning" refers to an interlocked system of sentiments, cognitions, and behaviors that are highly place-specific, and socially and culturally determined and maintaining. In this book, Ralph Taylor explores the consequences of human territorial functioning for individuals, small groups, and the ecological systems in which they operate. His exploration is illuminated by his evolutionary perspective, and grounded in empirical studies by social scientists and in theoretical work on the evolution of social and spatial behaviors. He systematically reviews the related research and theory, and indicates the importance of territorial functioning to current social and environmental problems. Contrary to popular wisdom, he argues that territorial functioning is relevant only to limited locations, such as street blocks, and not to neighborhoods or nation states, and that it reduces conflicts and helps maintain settings and groups. His theoretically focused examination of all that has been discovered about human territorial functioning will interest a wide variety of environmental psychologists and designers, urban sociologists, social psychologists, planners, and ethologists, and their students.