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Environment and Society A Critical Introduction

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-01-28
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Substantially updated for the second edition, this engaging and innovative introduction to the environment and society uses key theoretical approaches to explore familiar objects.

  • Features substantial revisions and updates for the second edition, including new chapters on E waste, mosquitoes and uranium, improved maps and graphics, new exercises, shorter theory chapters, and refocused sections on environmental solutions
  • Discusses topics such as population and scarcity, commodities, environmental ethics, risks and hazards, and political economy and applies them to objects like bottled water, tuna, and trees
  • Accessible for students, and accompanied by in-book and online resources including exercises and boxed discussions, an online test bank, notes, suggested reading, and website links for enhanced understanding
  • Offers additional online support for instructors, including suggested teaching models, PowerPoint slides for each chapter with full-color graphics, and supplementary images and teaching material

Author Biography

Paul Robbins is Professor and Director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison-. His research interests include understanding human-environment systems, the influence non-humans have on human behavior and organization, and the implications these interactions hold for ecosystem health, local communities, and social justice. He is the author of Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction, Second Edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are (2007). 

John Hintz is Associate Professor of Environmental, Geographic, and Geological Sciences at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. His current research focuses on land use conflicts, environmental policy, and the US environmental movement. He has published in a number of journals, including Capitalism Nature Socialism and Ethics, Place and Environment.

Sarah A. Moore is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her research focuses on urban development politics, urban environmental issues, and environmental justice in the United States and Latin America. Her publications include articles in numerous journals including Progress in Human Geography, the Professional Geographer and Society and Natural Resources.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

List of Tables xi

List of Boxes xii

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Introduction: The View from a Human-Made Wilderness 1

What Is This Book? 4

The Authors’ Points of View 7

Part 1 Approaches and Perspectives 11

2 Population and Scarcity 13

A Crowded Desert City 14

The Problem of “Geometric” Growth 15

Population, Development, and Environment Impact 17

The Other Side of the Coin: Population and Innovation 20

Limits to Population: An Effect Rather than a Cause? 22

Thinking with Population 27

3 Markets and Commodities 31

The Bet 32

Managing Environmental Bads: The Coase Theorem 34

Market Failure 37

Market-Based Solutions to Environmental Problems 38

Beyond Market Failure: Gaps between Nature and Economy 43

Thinking with Markets 46

4 Institutions and “The Commons” 49

Controlling Carbon? 50

The Prisoner’s Dilemma 50

The Tragedy of the Commons 52

The Evidence and Logic of Collective Action 54

Crafting Sustainable Environmental Institutions 56

Are All Commoners Equal? Does Scale Matter? 61

Thinking with Institutions 62

5 Environmental Ethics 65

The Price of Cheap Meat 66

Improving Nature: From Biblical Tradition to John Locke 68

Gifford Pinchot vs. John Muir in Yosemite, California 70

Aldo Leopold and “The Land Ethic” 72

Liberation for Animals! 75

Holism, Scientism, and Other Pitfalls 77

Thinking with Ethics 79

6 Risks and Hazards 82

Great Floods 83

Environments as Hazard 84

The Problem of Risk Perception 86

Risk as Culture 89

Beyond Risk: The Political Economy of Hazards 90

Thinking with Hazards and Risk 94

7 Political Economy 98

The Strange Logic of “Under-pollution” 99

Labor, Accumulation, and Crisis 100

Production of Nature 107

Global Capitalism and the Ecology of Uneven Development 109

Social Reproduction and Nature 111

Environments and Economism 115

Thinking with Political Economy 115

8 Social Construction of Nature 119

Welcome to the Jungle 120

So You Say It’s “Natural”? 122

Environmental Discourse 126

The Limits of Constructivism: Science, Relativism, and the Very Material World 131

Thinking with Construction 134

Part 2 Objects of Concern 139

9 Carbon Dioxide 141

Stuck in Pittsburgh Traffic 142

A Short History of CO2 143

Institutions: Climate Free-Riders and Carbon Cooperation 149

Markets: Trading More Gases, Buying Less Carbon 152

Political Economy: Who Killed the Atmosphere? 157

The Carbon Puzzle 160

10 Trees 163

Chained to a Tree in Berkeley, California 164

A Short History of Trees 164

Population and Markets: The Forest Transition Theory 172

Political Economy: Accumulation and Deforestation 175

Ethics, Justice, and Equity: Should Trees Have Standing? 177

The Tree Puzzle 179

11 Wolves 183

The Death of 832F 184

A Short History of Wolves 185

Ethics: Rewilding and Wolves 191

Institutions: Stakeholder Management 194

Social Construction: Of Wolves and Men Masculinity 197

The Wolf Puzzle 199

12 Uranium 203

Renaissance Derailed? 204

A Short History of Uranium 205

Risk and Hazards: Debating the Fate of High-Level Radioactive Waste 211

Political Economy: Environmental Justice and the Navajo Nation 214

The Social Construction of Nature: Discourses of Development and Wilderness in Australia 217

The Uranium Puzzle 220

13 Tuna 224

Blood Tuna 225

A Short History of Tuna 225

Markets and Commodities: Eco-Labels to the Rescue? 230

Political Economy: Re-regulating Fishery Economies 233

Ethics: Saving Animals, Conserving Species 236

The Tuna Puzzle 239

14 Lawns 243

How Much Do People Love Lawns? 244

A Short History of Lawns 244

Risk and Chemical Decision-Making 248

Social Construction: Good Lawns Mean Good People 251

Political Economy: The Chemical Tail Wags the Turfgrass Dog 253

The Lawn Puzzle 255

15 Bottled Water 259

A Tale of Two Bottles 260

A Short History of Bottled Water 261

Population: Bottling for Scarcity? 266

Risk: Health and Safety in a Bottle? 269

Political Economy: Manufacturing Demand on an Enclosed Commons 272

The Bottled Water Puzzle 275

16 French Fries 279

Getting Your French Fry Fix 280

A Short History of the Fry 280

Risk Analysis: Eating What We Choose and Choosing What We Eat 285

Political Economy: Eat Fries or Else! 288

Ethics: Protecting or Engineering Potato Heritage? 293

The French Fry Puzzle 296

17 E-Waste 299

Digital Divides 300

A Short History of E-Waste (2000) 301

Risk Management and the Hazard of E-Waste 304

E-Waste and Markets: From Externality to Commodity 306

E-Waste and Environmental Justice: The Political Economy of E-Waste 310

The E-Waste Puzzle 313

Glossary 316

Index 324

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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