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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, jolts one from the rat race..., 7 Sept. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
I stumbled upon this book in the journal D&G, at a time I was thinking hard about the direction of the civilization. So I ordered one.

It was an unassuming book, neatly printed and illustrated with black and white caricatures. At first I thought it was a mistake to order such a book. But as I read on, the insights of the authors emerged, so profound, yet so simply explained. Really, after swallowing all the contents for five consecutive nights, one will ask, "How come I did not think of this??".

The concept is vivid : it tried to explain what the ecological footprint means : how much of land is required to support yourself. And it turned out that there is already not enough for the world. Further proliferation of current lifestyles is suicidal.

The authors devoted a whole long chapter on proposals of alternative lifestyles. These are nowhere hardcore technical, rest assured. They are blindingly simple, and yet hard to swallow. Just ask any Tom, Dick and Harry whether he or she wants such a life, you will get an awkward stare : are you in your right mind? The authors may be right, but when we have gone so far astray, we have forgotten the road from which we come.

This book cannot score 10 points, though. The examples on how an economy can develop without growth are not solid enough. While the writers are not economists, to force the reader to think twice about current lifestyles, they must fork out a marvellous thesis, which has yet to be clearly stated.

This is a good book at the introductory level. Although it sometimes touch on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the reader is not expected to have an a priori understanding. It's explanation is vivid and simple. While it may insult Professors and those high brow academics, it is a book easy to follow.

Worth a try.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science News gave good review of "ecological footprint", 13 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
I came upon this book in Science News, a weekly that covers breaking science news across the world. SN reviwers, hard to impress after seeing so much science every week, gave the concept of "ecological footprint" a good discussion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, 13 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
As the title suggests, the ecological footprint analysis forms the core subject area of this book, and as so, the initial chapters focus on explaining exactly what this concept is, how it was formed, and why it is necessary. The ecological footprint itself is a quantitative tool which can be used to estimate the human races ecological impact on the planet in terms of land area required for each individual to be able to sustain themselves, and this is made quite clear very early on. There are also many examples used, which I won't go into too much specific detail about here, that justify the creation of the theory to the reader - clear incompatibility between continued material economic growth and ecological welfare.

The main audiences for a book such as this, I believe, are the designers and engineers of the future, trying to gain an introductory knowledge into the effects of human beings on the Earth. The reason I feel this way, stems largely from the style of writing within the book. It is filled with easy to understand examples, inoffensive cartoon illustrations, and simple wording. Though most likely too simplistic for a professor or scientist, it is perfect for a student or younger graduate, myself being one of them.

So, with the subject area explained and justified, focus shifts towards real-world applications for the theory. With the way that the various examples are written, and the way the information is relayed to the reader, it is hard not to begin to think of various other methods in which the ideas and topics described could be applied in a design context. With so much focus on the problems that our obsession with material consumption and economic growth has caused, the questions the book raises almost convince the reader to think how they could improve on their own ecological footprint, by asking the important questions at just the right moment. The various perspectives described to the reader help you to move away from the obvious, usually unsustainable answers towards a more ecologically friendly one, without ever forcing or pulling your hand.

Finally, the closing chapters focus on how these problems described throughout the rest of the book can begin to be resolved - The Search for Sustainability. The final chapters are a fitting way to end, talking of the questionable conventional strategies, the crucial balance between ecological stability and the quality of human life, and the cycle of how change can begin. This doesn't mean that every question has been answered though as many of the topics covered are only just now being acknowledged.

To conclude, the structure, wording, content, focus, and examples could not be more relevant, precise, or understandable. All areas are clear and logical without ever being condescending, and there is little left uncovered or incomplete. The mix between fact and information, and the currently quite inhumane or ignorant outlook many people have in this subject area, is balanced perfectly.

Review by a Postgraduate, Studying Design Innovation in Birmingham.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 April 2015
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This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
:-)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDICADORES TERRITORIALES DE SOSTENIBILIDAD, LA HUELLA ECOLO, 24 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
NO HA SIDO PUBLICADO, HACE PARTE DE LA PRIMERA FASE DEL TRABAJO DE TESIS DOCTORAL, CONSISTENTE EN LA APLICACION DE LOS INDICADORES PARA EL CASO DEL VALLE DE ABURRA, COLOMBIA. yA SE CUENTA CON AVANCES EN CUANTO A RESULTADOS Y LA INNOVACION CONSISTE EN DISCUTIR A PARTIR DE ALLI, LA SOSTENIBILIDAD AMBIENTAL LOCAL....GLOBAL.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDICADORES TERRITORIALES DE SOSTENIBILIDAD, LA HUELLA ECOLO, 24 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth ("The New Catalyst" Bioregional Series) (Paperback)
NO HA SIDO PUBLICADO, HACE PARTE DE LA PRIMERA FASE DEL TRABAJO DE TESIS DOCTORAL, CONSISTENTE EN LA APLICACION DE LOS INDICADORES PARA EL CASO DEL VALLE DE ABURRA, COLOMBIA. yA SE CUENTA CON AVANCES EN CUANTO A RESULTADOS Y LA INNOVACION CONSISTE EN DISCUTIR A PARTIR DE ALLI, LA SOSTENIBILIDAD AMBIENTAL LOCAL....GLOBAL.
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