Ecological Psychology: Creating a More Earth-Friendly Human Nature

George S. Howard, Author
George S. Howard, Author University of Notre Dame Press $18.5 (163p) ISBN 978-0-268-00938-0
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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Psychology isn't the first profession one thinks of when looking for environmental activists. In fact, much of this is a primer in what Howard, a psychologist who specializes in self-determination, calls ""the five characteristics of sustainable lifestyle""--conservation, recycling, renewable resource use, restoration and population control. While he does make a good point that the excessive consumption is accompanied by a large degree of self-imposed blindness, much of the rest will be familiar to readers versed in environmental issues. He pleads for an arrest of the ""Me Generation"" run amok toward becoming a species blindly destroying ""its only home."" Howard points out that while population has increased, the North American bread basket per capita production has dropped 12% since 1981. Using a structure based on ""Think Globally"" and ""Act Locally,"" Howard delves into broad current crises and individual solutions, like the Notre Dame student who persists in a campus drive to replace inefficient incandescent bulbs with 8000 energy-saving fluorescent bulbs, thus eliminating millions of pounds of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide, and saving the university $190,000 over five years. Howard calls for his fellow psychologists to help people toward ""ecological sanity"" and to change ""our thoughts, actions, lifestyles, dreams, and ambitions."" This is a clearly written book, full of facts and passion, but a little more psychology and a little less basic ecology would have made it a more original contribution. (Aug.)
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