Today there is a bewildering diversity of views on ecology and the natural environment. With more than two hundred distinct and valuable perspectives on the natural world—and with scientists, economists, ethicists, activists, philosophers, and others often taking completely different stances on the issues—how can we come to agreement to solve our toughest environmental problems?
In response to this pressing need, Integral Ecology unites valuable insights from multiple perspectives into a comprehensive theoretical framework—one that can be put to use right now. The framework is based on Integral Theory, as well as Ken Wilber’s AQAL model, and is the result of over a decade of research exploring the myriad perspectives on ecology available to us today and their respective methodologies.
Dozens of real-life applications and examples of this framework currently in use are examined, including three in-depth case studies: work with marine fisheries in Hawai’i, strategies of eco-activists to protect Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, and a study of community development in El Salvador. In addition, eighteen personal practices of transformation are provided for you to increase your own integral ecological awareness. Integral Ecology provides the most sophisticated application and extension of Integral Theory available today, and as such it serves as a template for any truly integral effort.
About the Author
Michael E. Zimmerman, PhD, is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He spent more than thirty years at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he was chair of the Department of Philosophy and co-director of Environmental Studies. He is co-editor of the popular textbook Environmental Philosophy and the author of Contesting Earth’s Future. In addition, Michael has published nearly one hundred academic articles on philosophy and ecology. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.
“Integral Ecology is a forward-looking book that invites compassionate proactive activism when dealing with the messes we’ve made. Time isn’t on our side, but my optimism leads me to believe that if we embrace the authors’ messages and put them into action using humility, compassion, heart, and love, we still have a chance to pull ourselves out of the many deep holes we’re digging for ourselves, other animals, and ecosystems.”—Marc Bekoff, PhD, University of Colorado, author of Animals Matter and The Emotional Lives of Animals
“This is the finest book on ecology bar none. Highest recommendation!”—Ken Wilber, author of Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and The Integral Vision
“This book offers a promising approach for making sense of the diverse perspectives on the environment, including the many ways of understanding the complexities and challenges of global environmental change. The integral ecology framework provides a valuable roadmap for responding to contemporary problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and land use change. Given the widespread and often heated debates about environmental issues, the publication of Integral Ecology is timely and appreciated.”—Karen O’Brien, PhD, University of Oslo, coauthor of Environmental Change and Globalization and member of the Nobel Peace Prize–winning team of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
“In Integral Ecology Esbjörn-Hargens and Zimmerman have produced a complex framework (rooted in a hierarchy of integrative levels proposed by philosopher Ken Wilber) for the multidisciplinary interrogation of ecological problems. This framework provides an intelligent basis for discovering what questions need to be posed in our de facto postmodern era, and how to formulate them most effectively.”—Stanley N. Salthe, PhD, Brooklyn College, author of Evolving Hierarchical Systems and Development and Evolution
“Integral Ecology is a remarkable work, indeed a tour de force. Like all path-breaking books it will provoke lively discussion and inevitable debate. It may even shift the course of our understanding of ecology. This is a book that invites us to read, enjoy, reflect, and act. And the time is now.”—Mary Evelyn Tucker, PhD, Yale University, co-editor of the ten-volume World Religions and Ecology Encyclopedia and author of Worldly Wonder
“Deeper than deep ecology, integral ecology completes the century-long struggle to overcome the unfortunate legacy of Logical Positivism in the natural sciences and Behaviorism in the social sciences. Both blinkered and trammeled the human mind and spirit. At the the heart and soul of Integral Ecology is the frank recognition of interiority and subjectivity, as well as exteriority and objectivity, in the larger-than-human world. That's what Integral Ecology is all about. In addition to theoretical integral ecology, the authors, both gifted writers as well as thinkers, provide case studies applying integral ecology to real-world environmental conundrums.”—J. Baird Callicott, PhD, University of North Texas, co-editor of Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy and The Wilderness Debate Rages On