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Introduction to Sustainability

ISBN: 978-1-118-48725-9
332 pages
May 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
Introduction to Sustainability (1118487257) cover image

Description

Introduction to Sustainability is the first major textbook to review major themes in the cutting-edge field of sustainability. The book is suitable for introductory interdisciplinary courses on sustainability, as well as those in the fields of geography, geology, sociology, planning, political science, and anthropology. Brinkmann’s book allows students to see the world in new ways while also encouraging them to become part of the change needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the planet. The text includes material on the development of the field of sustainability; environmental sustainability issues like water, food, and energy; social sustainability themes like environmental justice and transportation; and economic sustainability topics like green businesses and economic development. The book concludes with a chapter on sustainability issues in college and universities. Brinkmann intersperses many fascinating case studies and text boxes that encourage students to deeply explore the material. This is a book that not only organizes the complex field of sustainability, but also encourages students to take action to make the world a better place.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, xv

About the author, xvii

About the companion website, xix

1 Roots of the modern sustainability movement, 1

Meaning of sustainability, 1

Nineteenth century environmentalism, 2

Pinchot, Roosevelt, and Muir, 4

Aldo Leopold and the land ethic, 6

Better living through chemistry, the Great Smog of 1952, and Rachel Carson, 6

Environmental activism of the 1960s and 1970s and the development of environmental policy, 8

The growth of environmental laws in the 1960s and 1970s, 10

The first Earth Day, 11

International concerns, 11

Ozone and the world comes together, 12

Globalization and the Brundtland Report, 12

Deep ecology, 14

Environmental justice, 15

Measuring sustainability, 15

The road ahead, 17

Organization, 19

2 Understanding natural systems, 21

The Earth, its layers, and the rock cycle, 21

The rock cycle, 23

Biogeochemical cycles, 24

Water and the water cycle, 24

The carbon cycle and global climate change, 27

The sulfur cycle, 29

The nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, 31

Organisms and ecosystems, 33

Urban ecosystems, 35

Understanding the Anthropocene, 38

3 Measuring sustainability, 40

The United Nations Millennium Goals, 40

Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, 41

Goal 2. Achieve universal primary education, 42

Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women, 42

Goal 4. Reduce child mortality rates, 42

Goal 5. Improve maternal health, 42

Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 43

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability, 43

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development, 43

National sustainability planning, 45

Canada, 45

Bhutan, 48

Regional sustainability planning, 49

Local sustainability measurement, 51

Green local governments in Florida, 53

Specific community plans, 56

PlaNYC, 56

London and sustainability, 57

Small towns and sustainability, 59

Business sustainability, 60

Personal sustainability, 61

4 Energy, 63

World energy production and consumption, 63

Traditional or “dirty” energy resources, 65

Oil, 65

Oil shale and tar sands, 66

Natural gas, 67

Coal, 69

Green energy, 71

Biomass, 71

Wind energy, 74

Solar energy, 75

Nuclear energy, 76

Other innovations, 78

Energy efficiency, 78

Living off the grid, 80

5 Global climate change and greenhouse gas management, 81

The end of nature?, 81

The science of global climate change, 81

The greenhouse effect, 81

Sinks of carbon, 86

Forests, 86

Reefs, 86

The IPCC and evidence for climate change, and the future of our planet, 86

Ocean acidification, 88

Phenological changes, 88

Conducting greenhouse gas inventories, 89

Step 1 Setting boundaries, 89

Step 2 Defining scope, 90

Step 3 Choosing a quantitative approach, 91

Step 4 Setting a baseline year, 91

Step 5 Engaging stakeholders, 91

Step 6 Procuring certification, 91

Greenhouse gas equivalents used in greenhouse gas accounting, 92

Greenhouse gas emission scopes, 92

De minimis emissions, 92

Computing greenhouse gas credits, 93

Climate action plans, 93

Religion and climate change, 98

Evangelical Environmental Network, 98

Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, 98

Catholic Climate Covenant, 98

Jewish Climate Change Campaign, 99

The International Muslim Conference on Climate Change, 99

Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, 100

Hindu Declaration on Climate Change, 100

Art, culture, and climate change, 100

Swoon, 100

Raúl Cárdenas Osuna and Toro Labs, 101

Isaac Cordal, 101

6 Water, 103

Sources of water, 103

Consumption trends, 106

Sources of water pollution, 108

Agricultural pollution, 108

Industrial pollution, 108

Storm water pollution, 109

Sewage, 109

Leaking underground tanks, 109

Landfills, 110

Water management and conservation, 112

National and regional water conservation and management, 112

Water supply management, 113

Water management and innovation, 115

Water quality, 115

Understanding drainage basins, 120

Drainage basins out of synch, 121

Drainage basin pollution, 121

Stream profile and base level, 121

Lakes, 121

Seas, 122

Oceans, 122

7 Food and agriculture, 124

Development of modern agriculture, 124

Meat production, 127

World agricultural statistics, 130

Food deserts and obesity, 130

Reactions to the high-tech agricultural movement, 133

Vegetarianism and veganism, 133

Organic farming, 133

Small farm movement, 134

Locavores, 135

Farm to table, 136

Community sponsored agriculture, 137

Community gardens, 138

Farmers markets, 139

Beekeeping, 140

The urban chicken movement, 141

Guerilla gardening, freegans, and other radical approaches to food, 141

8 Green building, 143

LEED rating systems, 143

Site selection, 145

Brownfield development, 145

Other aspects of sustainable building siting, 147

Water use, 147

Energy and atmospheric health, 148

Materials and resources, 150

Materials re-use, 150

Recycled content of construction material, 150

Locally derived materials, 151

Renewable materials and certified sustainable wood, 151

Waste management, 151

Summary, 151

Indoor environmental quality, 152

Ventilation and air delivery monitoring, 152

Construction indoor air quality management, 152

Use of low-emitting materials, 152

Indoor chemical and pollution source control, 153

Controllability and design of lighting and temperature systems, 153

Access to daylight, 153

Summary, 153

Innovation, 154

Regional priorities, 154

Expansion of green building technology, 154

Other green building rating systems, 154

BREEAM, 154

PassivHaus, 156

Green building policy, 157

Critiques of green building, 157

The greenest building and historic preservation, 158

Small house movement, 161

Further reading, 163

9 Transportation, 164

Transportation options, 164

Vehicles and roads, 164

Vehicles and fuels, 167

Rail, 169

Ship transport, 169

Air transport, 171

Space travel, 172

Roads, 174

Environmental issues with roads, 175

Mass transit, 178

Forms of mass transit, 178

Transit hubs and transit oriented development, 180

The future, 181

10 Pollution and waste, 184

Pollution, 184

Chemical pollution, 184

Heat pollution, 187

Light pollution, 187

Noise pollution, 188

Visual pollution, 188

Littering, 189

Understanding pollution distribution, 189

The US approach to pollution, 191

Clean Air Act, 191

Clean Water Act, 192

National Environmental Policy Act, 193

Superfund, 194

Sewage treatment, 195

Sewage and sustainability, 196

Garbage and recycling, 197

Garbage composition, 197

Managing garbage, 198

Reducing waste, 199

Composting, 200

Recycling, 200

11 Environmental justice, 204

Social justice, 204

Civil rights and the modern environmental movement in the United States, 206

Lead pollution and the growth of the urban environmental justice movement, 207

Environmental racism in the United States, 209

Brownfields, community re-development, and environmental justice, 210

US EPA and environmental justice, 212

Native Americans and environmental justice, 213

Exporting environmental problems, 214

Environmental justice around the world, 214

Environmental justice in Europe, 214

Environmental justice in Asia and the Pacific, 215

Environmental justice in Africa, 217

Environmental justice in Latin America and the Caribbean: oil pollution in Ecuador, 219

Environmental justice in a Globalized World, 219

12 Sustainability planning and governance, 223

Local governments and their structure, 223

The role of citizens and stakeholders in local government, 223

Community stakeholders, 224

Boundaries and types of local governments, 225

Leadership, 226

Efforts to aid local governments on sustainability issues, 227

Scale and local governments, 229

Green regional development, 229

Sustainable development, 232

Globalization, 233

Development of globalization, 233

Drivers of globalization, 234

War and sustainability, 241

Further reading, 244

13 Sustainability, economics, and the global commons, 245

The global commons, 245

Economic processes that put the Earth out of balance, 245

Social and economic theories, 246

Neoclassical economics, 247

Environmental economics, 249

Green economics, 250

Non-capitalistic economies, 250

Deep ecology, 250

Ecofeminism, 252

Destruction regardless of theory, 252

Environmental economics: externalities, 253

Measuring the economy, 253

Green jobs, 256

Cost–benefit analysis and its application in environmental economics, 262

Environmental impact assessment, 263

Environmental ethics, 263

14 Corporate and organizational sustainability management, 266

Cognitive dissonance, 266

Why are businesses concerned with sustainability?, 266

Profit, 266

Public relations, 266

Altruism, 267

Concern over the long-term sustainability of the industry, 267

Professional standards and norms, 268

Total quality management and sustainability, 268

People, planet, and profits, 268

Ray Anderson, the father of the green corporation and the growth of green corporate environmentalism, 270

Anderson’s legacy, 272

Greenwashing in the corporate world, 272

Green consumers, 272

Global Reporting Initiative, 273

Sustainability reporting in the S & P 500, 275

Dow Jones Sustainability Index, 275

Sustainability reporting, 277

International Organization for Standardization (ISO): ISO 14000 and ISO 26000, 277

ISO 14000, 277

ISO 26000, 277

Case studies of sustainability at the corporate level, 278

Wal-Mart, 279

Unilever, 281

Lessons from Wal-Mart and Unilever, 282

Can businesses with unsustainable products be sustainable?, 283

15 Sustainability at universities, colleges, and schools, 286

Curriculum at colleges and universities, 286

Sustainability curriculum at K-12 schools, 288

External benchmarking, 289

American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education, 289

American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, 290

Other external benchmarking organizations, 292

Internal initiatives, 293

Sustainability officers, 294

Sustainability committees, 294

Food service, 295

Student and faculty activism, 296

Index, 307

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Author Information

Robert (Bob) Brinkmann is the Director of Sustainability Studies in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University and is the author of many books and research articles. Bob has served as an officer in many organizations and is currently Chair of the Board of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute.

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