Environmental Literacy in Science and Society: From Knowledge to Decisions

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 21, 2011 - Technology & Engineering
In an era where humans affect virtually all of the earth's processes, questions arise about whether we have sufficient knowledge of human-environment interactions. How can we sustain the Earth's ecosystems to prevent collapses and what roles should practitioners and scientists play in this process? These are the issues central to the concept of environmental literacy. This unique book provides a comprehensive review and analysis of environmental literacy within the context of environmental science and sustainable development. Approaching the topic from multiple perspectives, it explores the development of human understanding of the environment and human-environment interactions in the fields of biology, psychology, sociology, economics and industrial ecology. The discussion emphasises the importance of knowledge integration and transdisciplinary processes as key strategies for understanding complex human-environment systems (HES). In addition, the author defines the HES framework as a template for investigating sustainably coupled human-environment systems in the 21st century.
 

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Contents

I Invention of the environment origins transdisciplinarity and theory of science perspectives
1
II History of mind of biological knowledge
43
III Contributions of psychology
135
IV Contributions of sociology
213
V Contributions of economics
255
VI Contributions of industrial ecology
305
VII Beyond disciplines and sciences
339
VIII A framework for investigating humanenvironment systems HES
405
IX Perspectives for environmental literacy
523
Glossary
537
References
551
Index
626
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About the author (2011)

Roland W. Scholz chairs the Natural and Social Science Interface in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zürich. A mathematician, psychologist and decision theorist by training, he is particularly interested in environmental systems analysis, human-environment interactions, environmental decisions and risk assessment. He has led numerous large-scale transdisciplinary processes to foster sustainable transitions of urban and regional systems.

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