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Developing Ecological Consciousness


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Part I: Earth Our Home Ch. 1: Discovery-Belonging to Something Greater Than Ourselves Ch. 2: Coming to Awareness-A Living Planet Ch. 3: Cultivating Community-Intimacy with Earth's Web of Life Part II: Assessing the Health of Earth Ch. 4: Listening-Gauging the Health of Earth Ch. 5: Courage-Facing Up to the Unraveling of the Biosphere Ch. 6: Living the Questions-Discovering Causes of Earth Breakdown Part III: Healing Ourselves, Healing Earth Ch. 7: The Old Story-Economism and Separation Ch. 8: The Great Turning-Birthing a New Story Epilogue End Notes Index About the Author

About the Author

Christopher Uhl is a professor of biology at The Pennsylvania State University. As a young man, he had an interest in both medicine and ecology. At Penn State he has been able to join these interests under the rubric of "ecological healing." During the 1980s, he studied the ways in which rainforest ecosystems heal following deforestation. Then, in the 1990s he focused on the role that universities might play in healing by modeling sustainable ecological practices. He is also the author (along with his partner Dr. Dana L. Stuchul) of Teaching as if Life Matters: The Promise of a New Education Culture-a book reflecting a lifelong passion for teaching and learning. See Uhl's website at www.chrisuhl.net.


Christopher Uhl at once offers a loving, joyful invitation, and a profound challenge to transform our relationships with Earth. With great clarity and insight, Uhl shows us that the ecological crisis is fundamentally about who we are, as individuals and as a people. I feature Developing Ecological Consciousness in my introductory environmental courses, and my students and I agree: this is a magnificent, one-of-a-kind book. -- Greg Lankenau, University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future, Florida Gulf Coast University
Reading Christopher's second edition of Developing Ecological Consciousness has been a homecoming, a reminder of who we are, a reminder of what's really important. It should be required reading for all, because it gives us pause to consider the road we will take. And for the sake of the Earth and for our peace of minds, that will make all the difference. Christopher turns the environmental movement on its head by saying that the question is not how much stuff we can consume and still keep the Earth sustainable, but rather how our lives can nurture the Earth. He uses a variety of devices to accomplish this reorientation. Like Christopher himself, the book is passionate yet gentle; using poignant quotations, revealing vignettes, and easy-to-understand descriptions of how our planet works. Because Developing Ecological Consciousness celebrates the potential of the human spirit, it is uplifting. It brings out the best in the reader. -- Steven Lachman, Ph.d, Political Columnist and Environmental Attorney, Pennsylvania State University
Christopher Uhl has been developing his own ecological consciousness since the first edition, as is clear from this significant rewrite of that earlier gem. It is shorter, crisper, and significantly deeper, if that's possible. There is sadness and hope woven in the pages that give us a portrait of the world we share and the relationships that will foretell our common future. He has dug deep to share his collected knowledge and wisdom and opened his heart to all that needs mended. A textbook for sure, but much, much more ... guide to living. -- Terry Link, President, Starting Now, LLC
Christopher Uhl provides a book that begins in wonder and concludes with applied hope. Developing Ecological Consciousness is a brilliant introduction to the complexities of ecology and mind, and a timely reminder that the world is still rich in possibilities. -- David W. Orr, Oberlin College, author of Hope is an Imperative
I enjoyed Developing Ecological Consciousness so much, I am going to add it to my fall reading list for my Politics, the Environment, and Social Change. course I think so highly of this book for my students in this course that is usually so negative and depressing that having an upbeat book is refreshing and will enhance the course immensely. -- Joel Kassiola, San Francisco State University
This book's title proclaims the author's purpose. An important chapter discusses economism and separation. According to Uhl, economism is central to the life stories of people today. Individuals see things in terms of money, without understanding the consequences of their actions on the Earth and on others. The author sees economism as a pseudo religion and believes the present time is an "age of separation." Uhl attempts, by description and by suggesting experiences to participate in, to point the way toward changing society so that people are no longer as separated and see the world through a non-economistic worldview. This edition (1st ed., 2004) is 100 pages shorter than the original, with new content added and outdated material removed. The first edition, says the author, concentrated on sustainability. However, he came to believe that even working hard toward sustainability will not get people out of the environmental mess they are plunging into. Radical changes are needed. He is probably right, and absorbing this book would help that. Although there is some scientific ecology in the book, it is an environmental stewardship work, not an ecology text. It is well edited, with a good index and documentation. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. * CHOICE *
Christopher Uhl's Developing Ecological Consciousness is an engaging book that, to its credit, does not sit squarely within any particular academic field or school of thought. Part science text, part philosophical treatise, its main lines of argumentation are remarkably similar to those of the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess and other figures in the deep ecology movement. Uhl himself is a scientific ecologist and not a philosopher, but he plays both roles well here as he encourages his readers to re-assess their proper place in nature. . . .[I]t surely would be a very useful course book, especially for more general courses covering topics in environmental studies and environmental education. . . .Developing Ecological Consciousness is a fine book. It is, moreover, one that is eminently readable and that carries an optimistic message. Thus it does precisely what it appears to be intended to do: speak to a wide audience, engage students, and bring hope to twenty-first century environmentalism. * Biological Conservation *

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