Oxford University Press's description of Sustainability: A History
"The sustainability movement didn't emerge as a distinct social, environmental, or economic ideal until as recently as the 1980s, but today its presence is felt in nearly every area of our lives.
In this lively and accessible book, Jeremy L. Caradonna approaches sustainability from a historical perspective, revealing the conditions that made possible the movement as it exists today. Sustainability has taken shape in recent decades, fueled by a growing awareness about climate change, peak oil, and the limits to economic growth. Yet Caradonna argues that very few people today have a clear understanding of the movement's historical underpinnings, or even a solid grasp on what exactly Sustainability: A Short History offers a very thorough definition of sustainability, in addition to an overview of its many applications in the 21st century--from permaculture to renewable energy to the local food movement.
But crucially, Caradonna also places these developments within a historical lineage. Covering the period from the 1660s to the present day (and even the future), with particular attention placed on developments within Europe and North America, Caradonna considers the origins of sustainability across many fields. He discusses sustainable yield forestry and changing attitudes toward economics in the late 17th and 18th century; the Industrial Revolution and early critics of modernity; the birth of ecological economics and the environmental movement in the 1960s and '70s; the UN conferences of the 1980s and '90s that gave shape to sustainability and sustainable development; and the emergence of a concrete movement in the last decades of the 20th century."
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"The Routledge Handbook of the History of Sustainability is a far-reaching survey of the deep and contemporary history of sustainability. This innovative resource will help to define the history of sustainability as an identifiable field. It provides a unique resource for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars, and delivers essential context for understanding the current state and future path of the sustainability movement."
I edited this book and wrote some of the chapters in it. There's phenomenal contributions from some of the world's leading scholars on sustainability. Buy it here.
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