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Searching for Sustainability: Interdisciplinary Essays in the Philosophy of Conservation Biology

Searching for Sustainability:  Interdisciplinary Essays in the Philosophy of Con
Bryan G. Norton
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 554 p., $85

Sustainability is part of a philosophical collage of phrases, all seeking to describe the massive impact of humans on global ecosystems, and in turn the effects of those changes on current and future generations of humans. Sustainability has even been officially defined in some places. In Oregon, Governor John Kitzhaber signed an Executive Order in 2000 which simply stated that "sustainability requires simultaneously meeting environmental, economic and community needs."

Bryan Norton, of Georgia Tech, is in part responsible for this migration of philosophy into the realities of public policy. This book brings together his essays on sustainability over the past few decades, reflecting his call for greater involvement of eco-philosophers in decision-making. It is inspiring and thought-provoking as well as wide-ranging, commenting on the works of some of my personal heroes such as Aldo Leopold and Arne Naess. This book would be excellent for an undergraduate or graduate student discussion of public policy and philosophy, and as background reading on the complexities of sustainability.

— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden