Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change: v. 5: Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change Social and Economic Dimensions of Global Environmental Change

Volume Five of the Encyclopedia is devoted to the social, political, economic, and spiritual - and thereby human dimensions of global environmental change. It highlights the profound shifts in human thinking and awareness that are required to wrap our minds around the advent of globalization, and our increasing ability to affect natural systems, sometimes to our own benefit. Because of the complex weave of interaction between humanity and the environment, this volume contains many essays and articles that are more in the realm of probes than fixed descriptions of their topics. Powerful words and powerful ideas, metaphors, myths, beliefs, images and arte-facts - these are all vehicles for the creation and shaping of meaning among human beings. Topics covered include the great political and economic theories, the most influential views of nature from Plato to Rachel Carson, and the historic and literary seedbeds for the rise of environmental thought and practice in our time. Of particular importance are the introductory essays from leading figures in the field, and special efforts have been made throughout to give space to alternative voices and ideas. Dialogue and diversity are essential to human development, and a reader will be stimulated by this volume towards his or her own thoughtful response to the increasing responsibility for the future of the Earth that has come upon us in our time.