The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift

by Andrés R. Edwards, New Society Publishers, 2005


Aberly, Doug, ed. Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment. New Society Publishers, 1993. A bioregional perspective on using maps as tools to help communities better understand the significance of their surroundings.

Alexander, Christopher. A Vision of a Living World: The Nature of Order, Book 3. Center for Environmental Structure, 2004. Part of a four-volume set that explores the nature of design, geometric properties, human habitation and the theory of living process with examples from projects throughout the world.

Alexander, Christopher, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein. A Pattern Language. Oxford University Press, 1977. Part of a comprehensive three-volume set exploring alternative perspectives on architecture, building and planning.

Allen, Robert. How to Save the World. Rowman and Littlefield, 1980. Based on the Global Conservation Strategy, this is one of the earliest works describing the concept of sustainability.

Anderson, Ray C. Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model. Peregrinzilla Press, 1998. The story of a corporate leader’s experience in implementing sustainable business practices.

Andruss, Van, Christopher Plant, Judith Plant and Eleanor Wright, eds. Home! A Bioregional Reader. New Society Publishers, 1990. A wide-ranging collection of essays about bioregionalism.

AtKisson, Alan. Believing Cassandra: An Optimist Looks at a Pessimist’s World. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1999. A positive outlook on the ecological, economic and social issues confronting the world. 169

Ausubel, Kenny. Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure. Harper- SanFrancisco, 1994. The story of a seed company and a call for the protection of biodiversity.

Ausubel, Kenny. Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from the Bioneers. H. J. Kramer, 1997. Fascinating perspectives from leading thinkers on solving environmental problems.

Bartlett, Albert A. “Reflections on Sustainability, Population Growth, and the Environment — Revisited.” Focus. Vol. 9, no. 1, 1999, pp. 49-68. < htm>. A review of sustainability issues including population, carrying capacity and economic development.

Bateson, Gregory. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. University of Chicago Press, 2000. A fascinating exploration of the mind and our interactions with other species, our culture and the universe.

Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. 1979. Hampton Press, 2002. A philosophical journey into the patterns and connections of our thoughts and perceptions. Benyus,

Janine M. Biomimicry. William Morrow and Company, 1997. Explores the benefits of using nature as model, measure and mentor.

Bernard, Ted and Jora Young. The Ecology of Hope. New Society Publishers, 1997. An inspiring collection of successful ecological restoration efforts.

Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the Earth. Sierra Club Books, 1990. An examination of the human relationship to the natural world and the possibilities for a “biocracy” that restores the Earth.

Berry, Thomas. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future. Harmony/Bell Tower, 2000. A persuasive and eloquent exploration of the opportunities for creating a sustainable future.

Berry, Wendell. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. 3rd ed., University of California Press, 1996. Explores the ecological, social, economic and political impacts of the American culture’s alienation from the land.

Berry, Wendell. Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition. Counterpoint Press, 2001. A provocative analysis of E.O. Wilson’s Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, the limitations of scientific knowledge and the significance of religion and art in exploring the miracle of life.

Brand, Stewart. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. Penguin Books, 1995. An innovative perspective, with historical photos, on the evolution of buildings through time.

Brown, Lester R. Building a Sustainable Society. W.W. Norton and Company, 1981. A seminal work outlining the building blocks of a sustainable society.

Brown, Lester R. Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth. W.W. Norton and Company, 2001. A well-researched and wellwritten narrative describing the shifts in perception essential for a sustainable future.

Brown, Lester R. Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble. W.W. Norton and Company, 2003. Builds on Brown’s earlier Eco-Economy and lucidly outlines the global environmental issues and options for alternative paths.

Brown, Lester R. Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures. W.W. Norton and Company, 2005. An insightful review of the effects of economic and population growth and their impact on ecosystems and the world’s food supply.

Capra, Fritjof. The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture. Bantam Books, 1983. A systems perspective on the transformation influencing technological, scientific and social changes.

Capra, Fritjof. Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People. Bantam Books, 1989. Intriguing interviews with leading thinkers on social, ecological and ethical topics.

Capra, Fritjof. The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems. Anchor Books, 1996. A new perspective on the underlying patterns of living systems.

Capra, Fritjof. The Hidden Connections: Integrating the Biological, Cognitive and Social Dimensions of Life into a Science of Sustainability. Doubleday Books, 2002. Building on his past works, this book examines the relationship between scientific theories and human organizations.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. 1962. Houghton Mifflin, 1994. This landmark work describing the effects of insecticides and pesticides shifted society’s attention toward environmental consciousness.

Center for a New American Dream. Sustainable Planet. Beacon Press, 2003. An encouraging series of essays that present alternative ways of coping with the challenges of a fast-paced consumer society.

Chatwin, Bruce. The Songlines. Viking Penguin, 1987. An engaging account of encounters with the Aboriginal culture and its worldview. Costanza, Robert. “Four Visions of the Century Ahead: Will It Be Star Trek, Ecotopia, Big Government, or Mad Max?” The Futurist. February 1999. An ecological economist’s perspective on four future scenarios and the choices at hand.

Daily, Gretchen C., ed. Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Island Press, 1997. Reexamines the notion of natural resources by looking at the critical role of ecological systems in providing basic life-support functions on Earth.

Daily, Gretchen C. and Katherine Ellison. The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable. Shearwater Books, 2003. Presents conservation strategies based on alternative financial models.

Dale, Ann and S.B. Hill. At the Edge: Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. University of British Columbia Press, Sustainability and Environment Series, 2002. A call for implementing sustainable development strategies that embrace economic, environmental and social considerations, and for strong leadership from governments at all levels.

Daly, Herman E. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development. Beacon Press, 1996. A seminal work describing the key economic considerations affecting sustainable development.

Devall, Bill and George Sessions. Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered. Peregrine Smith Books, Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1985. A sound description of the key concepts of deep ecology.

Durning, Alan Thein. This Place on Earth: Home and the Practice of Permanence. Northwest Environment Watch, 1996. A personal account examining the challenges and opportunities of living sustainably in the Pacific Northwest.

Earth Pledge Foundation. Sustainable Architecture White Papers: Essays on Design and Building for a Sustainable Future. Earth Pledge Foundation, 2001. An excellent collection of essays covering a wide range of issues in sustainable architectural design.

Edey, Anna. Solviva: How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre & Peace on Earth. Trailblazer Press, 1998. A practical guide for implementing greenhouse and alternative food-growing strategies.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo; selected and introduced by Tony Tanner. Essays and Poems / Ralph Waldo Emerson. C. E. Tuttle, 1992. A collection depicting the breadth of Emerson’s talent.,

Fodor, Eben. Better Not Bigger: How To Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community. New Society Publishers, 1999. A helpful guide for communities to use to assess and tackle urban growth issues.

Frankel, Carl. Out of the Labyrinth: Who We Are, How We Go Wrong and What We Can Do About It. Monkfish Book Publishing Company, 2004. Presents a framework for understanding ourselves, our culture and ways of working toward a sustainable future.

Giarini, Orio and Walter R. Stahel. The Limits to Certainty: Facing Risks in the New Service Economy. 2nd rev. ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, International Studies in the Service Economy, vol. 4, 1993. An insightful examination of the links between the service economy and the concept of “cradle to cradle” sustainability.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Back Bay Books, 2002. An analysis of the genesis and evolution of social transformations.

Goldsmith, Edward. The Way: An Ecological World View. Rev. ed., University of Georgia Press, 1998. A compelling case for an alternative ecological and economic model for society.

Goldsmith, Edward, Martin Khor, Helena Norberg-Hodge and Vandana Shiva. The Future of Progress: Reflections on Environment and Development. International Society for Ecology and Culture, 1992. Observations and examples for implementing alternative development strategies.

Goldsmith, Edward and Jerry Mander, eds. The Case Against the Global Economy: And For a Turn Toward the Local. Kogan Page, 2001. An in-depth analysis of the impact of the global economy from a group of scholars, economists and activists.

Goodall, Jane. Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey. Warner Books, 1999. An autobiographical account of the noted animal behaviorist’s experiences and her optimistic view of the future.

Gottfried, David. Greed To Green. Worldbuild Technologies, 2004. The story of a personal journey that revolutionized the building industry through the creation of the US and World Green Building Councils.
Hawken, Paul. Growing a Business. Simon and Schuster, 1987. A successful guide for business entrepreneurs, this book spawned the popular television series.

Hawken, Paul. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability. HarperCollins, 1993. An important work that synthesizes a collection of ideas on sustainable corporate practices.

Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Little, Brown and Company, 1999. A portrait by three innovative visionaries of the changes occurring as we move into a new industrial revolution.

Heinberg, Richard W. A New Covenant With Nature: Notes on the End of Civilization and the Renewal of Culture. Quest Books, 1996. A refreshing perspective on the relationship of society and nature and on the roles of government and the individual.

Heinberg, Richard W. Cloning the Buddha: The Moral Impact of Biotechnology. Quest Books, 1999. A well-rounded review of the ethical questions surrounding biotechnology.

Heinberg, Richard W. The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. New Society Publishers, 2003. Traces the impact of oil on the rise of modern culture and the options we will face when oil inevitably runs out.

Heinberg, Richard W. Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post- Carbon World. New Society Publishers, 2004. Building on his previous work, The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, this book explores the options for dealing with the world’s rising population and dwindling oil reserves.

Hemenway, Toby and John Todd. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home- Scale Permaculture. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2001. A practical look at the conceptual framework and implementation strategies of permaculture design.

Henderson, Hazel. Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics. Knowledge Systems, 1991. Stretching the possibilities of economic thinking by incorporating an integrated approach to measuring progress.

Hertsgaard, Mark. Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future. Broadway Books, 1999. A well-documented and engaging account of the global environmental condition.

Hill, Julia Butterfly. One Makes the Difference: Inspiring Actions That Change Our World. HarperSanFrancisco, 2002. An encouraging collection of stories from environmental activists and ideas for individuals interested in creating a sustainable future.

Hock, Dee W. Birth of the Chaordic Age. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999. A powerful perspective on alternative organizational models from the architect of the VISA electronic payment system.

Holland, Gail Bernice. A Call for Connection: Solutions for Creating a Whole New Culture. New World Library, 1998. An inspiring account of positive change and cultural transformation.

Holmgren, David. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Holmgren Design Services, 2002. An excellent distillation of the permaculture design principles and their wide range of applications.

International Forum on Globalization. Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible. 2nd ed., Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2004. A comprehensive argument against globalization and for an alternative economic model.

Jackson, Wes. Becoming Native to This Place. Counterpoint Press, 1996. Explores the significance of place in our relationship to the natural world.

James, Sarah and Torbjörn Lahti. The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practices. New Society Publishers, 2004. Inspiring examples of success stories for developing sustainable communities.

Johnson, Huey D. Green Plans: Greenprint for Sustainability. University of Nebraska Press, 1995. A thorough examination of the significance of green plans with useful examples from around the world.

Johnston, David R. Building Green in a Black and White World: A Guide to Selling the Homes Your Customers Want. Home Builder Press, 2000. A practical look at green building with useful tips for the homebuyer and builder.

Johnston, David R. and Kim Master. Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time. New Society Publishers, 2004. A comprehensive and practical guide to remodeling your home in a healthful and environmentally friendly way.

Kennedy, Joseph F., ed. The Art of Natural Building. New Society Publishers, 2002. A useful collection of general and practical information about natural building geared for both the novice and the professional.

Kilkus, Peter. “Conspiracy Theory or Automatic Pilot: The Economic Roots of Environmental Destruction.” N.p., 1999. An in-depth examination of the impact of global financial markets on environmental and social problems.

Kimbrell, Andrew, ed. Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. Foundation for Deep Ecology, 2002. Describes the devastating impacts of the industrial agricultural system and presents the benefits of an organic and ecological approach to food production.

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. 1949. Ballantine Books, Oxford University Press, 1966. The classic work by the renowned American ecologist depicting his views on conservation and the need for an environmental ethic.

Lovins, Amory B., E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey and Nathan J. Glasgow. Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security. Rocky Mountain Institute, 2004. Presents a comprehensive plan for eliminating US dependence on oil through innovative technologies and smart business strategies.

Macy, Joanna and Molly Young Brown. Coming Back to Life. New Society Publishers, 1998. Provides a sound conceptual framework for our current social transformation and practical tools for dealing with the emotional and cultural impact of change.

McDonough, William. The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability. William McDonough Architects, 1992. Provides the background and conceptual framework for the Hannover Principles.

McDonough, William and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press, 2002. A visionary approach based on using natural systems for rethinking how we design and manufacture products.

McKibben, Bill. Hope, Human and Wild. Hungry Mind Press, 1995. An excellent account of positive sustainability trends with examples from upstate New York; Curitiba, Brazil; and Kerala, India.

Meadows, Donella, Jorgen Randers and Dennis L. Meadows. Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004. This updated edition of the classic work presents a sobering look at the limits of the Earth’s life-support systems.

Merchant, Carolyn, ed. Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory. Humanities Press International, 1994. An anthology of essays on ecological topics including critical theory, economics, social justice and postmodern science.

Minnesota Planning Environmental Quality Board. Investing in Minnesota’s Future: An Agenda for Sustaining Our Quality of Life. Minnesota Planning, 1998. An excellent example of a statewide sustainability framework, adopted by Minnesota. Minnesota Planning Environmental Quality Board.

Minnesota Milestones. Minnesota Planning, 1998. A description of the goals used to evaluate the progress of Minnesota’s green plan. For the 2002 update, see <>.

Mollison, Bill. Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future. Island Press, 1990. One of the essential resources on permaculture, with in-depth coverage of key topics.

Muir, John. John Muir: Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays. Library of America, 1997. A comprehensive collection of nature writings by one of America’s most renowned wilderness writers.

Naess, Arne, author; Harold Glasser, editor. The Selected Works of Arne Naess. Springer, 2005 (forthcoming). A ten-volume set compiling a substantial body of work from one of Norway’s most prominent philosophers, the founder of the deep ecology movement.

Nattrass, Brian and Mary Altomare. The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation. New Society Publishers, 1999. Explores the philosophy and implementation of The Natural Step in the business community.

Norberg-Hodge, Helena. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. Sierra Club Books, 1991. The remarkable chronicle of the impact of Western development on the traditional culture of Ladakh in northern India.

Orr, David W. Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World. State University of New York, 1992. An argument for integrating ecological concepts into education frameworks.

Orr, David W. Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect. Island Press, 1994. A groundbreaking work discussing the role of education from an ecological perspective.

Orr, David W. The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention. Oxford University Press, 2002. A stimulating appraisal of the possibilities of ecological design for reshaping society.

Orr, David W. The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror. Island Press, 2004. A candid assessment of the shortcomings of the political system and current environmental policies and the opportunities for citizens to actively engage in creating a sustainable future.

Ponting, Clive. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Penguin Books, 1991. A fascinating historical perspective on the rise and fall of civilizations viewed through an environmental lens.

Ray, Paul H. and Sherry Ruth Anderson. The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. Harmony Books, 2000. This work describes the characteristics of an emerging social transformation driven by Cultural Creatives.

Rifkin, Jeremy. The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth. Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2003. A historical account of the rise of the oil and fossil fuel economy and the transition to hydrogen.

Ryan, John C. and Alan Thein Durning. Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things. Northwest Environment Watch, 1997. The story of the life cycles in our industrial society of items such as newspapers, sneakers and a cup of coffee.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision. University of Georgia Press, 2000. A well-rounded exploration of the principles of bioregionalism.

Savory, Allen and Jody Butterfield. Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making. Island Press, 1998. An exploration of the Holistic Management Model, a powerful decision-making framework that incorporates economic, social and environmental factors and is used throughout the world.

Schumacher, E. F. Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. Harper & Row Publishers, 1973. A portrait of sustainable alternatives by one of the leading visionaries of our time.

Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization. Doubleday/Currency, 1990. An insightful account of applying systems-thinking concepts and other organizational development models in working environments.

Shiva, Vandana. Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology. Zed Books, 1993. Outlines the dangers of the loss of biodiversity.

Shiva, Vandana. Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply. South End Press, 1999. Points to the impact of industrial agriculture, genetic engineering and globalization on small farmers, local economies and the quality of food.

Speth, James Gustave. Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment. Yale University Press, 2004. A comprehensive review of past environmental efforts and an assessment of strategies for dealing with future environmental challenges.

Sustainable Seattle. Indicators of Sustainable Community, 1998: A Status Report on Long-Term Cultural, Economic, and Environmental Health for Seattle/King County. Sustainable Seattle, 1998. One of the pioneer groups that created a national model for developing indicators.

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. 1854. AMS Press, 1982. The classic account of our relationship with nature by one of America’s foremost transcendentalist writers.

Todd, John and Nancy Jack Todd. From Eco-Cities to Living Machines: Principles of Ecological Design. North Atlantic Books, 1994. A wide selection of sustainable living concepts including innovative agricultural and water purification strategies for urban settings.

Van der Ryn, Sim. Design for Life: The Architecture of Sim Van der Ryn. Gibbs Smith Publishers, 2005. Describes the author’s ecological design principles and strategies and his architectural work.

Van der Ryn, Sim and Peter Calthorpe. Sustainable Communities. Random House, 1991. Innovative approaches to designing and implementing sustainable communities.

Van der Ryn, Sim and Stuart Cowan. Ecological Design. Island Press, 1995. Explores a range of ecological principles and their implementation in architectural design.

Waage, Sissel. Ants, Galileo, and Gandhi: Designing the Future of Business through Nature, Genius, and Compassion. Renouf Publishing Company, 2003. A systems perspective on creating and implementing a sustainability framework for business and industry, this work is based on scientific principles and backed by compelling case studies.

Wackernagel, Mathis and William Rees. Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. New Society Publishers, 1996. The description of an innovative tool for assessing human impact.

Weisman, Alan. Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1995. The inspiring success story of an ecovillage established in the seemingly inhospitable Colombian countryside.

Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. Rev. ed., Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001. An innovative approach presenting a framework that bridges natural systems and organizational development.

Wheatley, Margaret J. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2002. Highlights the value of conversation as a catalyst in the process of discovering solutions and creating change.

Wilson, Edward O. The Diversity of Life. Belknap Press, Harvard University, 1992. An engaging view of the marvels of biodiversity and the effects of human activities.

Wilson, Edward O. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Vintage Books, 1998. An intriguing perspective on knowledge and how disciplines are linked by a set of natural laws.

Wise, John C. “A Journey Towards Sustainability.” N.p., 1999. A thorough review of the concepts of sustainability including values, obstacles and trends. See also < svsdev1.pdf>.

World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, 1987. A landmark publication on sustainability in the international arena.

Worldwatch Institute. Vital Signs 2003: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future. W.W. Norton and Company, 2003. An annual publication started in 1992 listing global ecological, economic and social indicators.

Worldwatch Institute. State of the World 2005. W.W. Norton and Company, 2005. An annual publication started in the 1980s describing sustainability issues and global trends.





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