Travel Books:

Material Concerns

Pollution, Profit and Quality of Life


Paperback / softback

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Material Concerns by Tim Jackson
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We are living in a material world. This is not just a comment on affluence in the consumer society. It is also the starting point for a critical examination of human development on a finite planet. We depend on material resources to survive. But the way in which we consume those resources has potentially damaging impact on our environment. The increasing burden of environmental pollution presents us with a crucial challenge. Should we pursue economic development and risk environmental degradation? Or should we protect the environment and jeopardise our standard of living? Material Concerns sheds new light on this time-honoured conflict; and by doing so provides a vision of what lies beyond it. The approach discussed is that of preventative environmental management. This strategy places the highest emphasis on reducing to a minimum the quantity of materials used to supply useful services to humanity. The book describes the technological tasks involved and illustrates them with numerous examples. It also highlights the importance of commericial innovation and elaborates a new conception of the 'service economy': profitability is based on the provision of services rather than the throughput of material goods. Ultimately, the author argues, we must also re-examine the principles which underly our modern society. This book is essential reading for all those interested in the environmental problem. In a clear and accessible way it presents scientific principles which govern material transformations, and the economic principles which govern material transactions. Material Concerns presents a new and compelling thesis about our interaction with the environment. In doing so it reveals an exciting new arena for human development in which environmental management goes hand in hand with improving quality of life.

Author Biography

Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, UK, and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). For seven years he was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission, where his work culminated in the first edition of this book. He was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership in 2016. In addition to his scientific work, Tim is a prize-winning dramatist with numerous radio writing credits for the BBC.
Release date NZ
May 9th, 1996
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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