Supply Side Sustainability

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Supply-Side Sustainability
from the: Complexity in Ecological Systems Series

Authored By:

Columbia University Press, 2003 – 459 pages

{While environmentalists insist that lower rates of consumption of natural resources are essential for a sustainable future, many economists dismiss the notion that resource limits act to constrain modern, creative societies. The conflict between these views tinges political debate at all levels and hinders our ability to plan for the future.”Supply-Side Sustainability” offers a fresh approach to this dilemma by integrating ecological and social science approaches in an interdisciplinary treatment of sustainability. Written by two ecologists and an anthropologist, this book discusses organisms, landscapes, populations, communities, biomes, the biosphere, ecosystems and energy flows, as well as patterns of sustainability and collapse in human societies, from hunter-gatherer groups to empires to today’s industrial world. These diverse topics are integrated within a new framework that translates the authors’ advances in hierarchy and complexity theory into a form useful to professionals in science, government, and business.

The result is a much-needed blueprint for a cost-effective management regime, one that makes problem-solving efforts themselves sustainable over time. The authors demonstrate that long-term, cost-effective resource management can be achieved by managing the contexts of productive systems, rather than by managing the commodities that natural systems produce.}

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Space Monkey/ Author’s Comments: This book was pivotal in a major thinking shift for me. It laid out Systems Thinking and Came right out from the beginning as a completely unapologetic  and straightforward look at what Sustainability actually means, what it requires and what the standard “Go Green” rhetoric is failing to grasp. This book gives structure to the framing of the big picture.
Oddly enough, half way into this book I came to the realization that the “values” I held as far as environmentalism and sustainability were actually at odds with the political views culturally assigned to them. Systems Theory and understanding of the risks that come with Overly-Complex Hierarchies turned me so “liberal” I became “conservative”…. now that makes no sense huh?

Yup Libertarian it is then. Hard to deny it now. 🙂


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