Ecologies of the Heart: Emotion, Belief, and the Environment

E. N. Anderson, Author Oxford University Press, USA $45 (272p) ISBN 978-0-19-509010-9
A cultural ecologist specializing in resource management, Anderson has studied how people manage their environment in such diverse countries as China, Malaysia, British Columbia and Mexico. He points out that traditional societies that have managed their resources well have done so in part through reliance on religion or ritual. Ecological problems, he claims, result from human choice, which is usually based on strong emotions. Anderson makes a scholarly, penetrating analysis of the sociocultural side of environmental decision-making. He examines a Chinese folk belief system, the spiritual kinship with animals of American Northwest Indians, and Mayan agriculture with its attendant ceremonies. He discusses economics, information processing and institutions. The author believes that laws and enforcement agencies are poor strategies for protecting the environment; instead, he advocates that we view environmental management as involving an ethical and moral code. He calls for hands-on environmental education and for the conservation movement to set priorities and hold to them. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/25/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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