Planet Dialectics

Explorations in Environment and Development

  • Publications 01.11.1999

"Planet Dialectics" explores the ambivalences and ironies, the controversies and conflicts that pervade the terrain of global environmental politics. Most inquiries turn around one nagging suspicion: that the Western development model is at odds with both the quest for justice among the world's people and the aspiration to reconcile humanity and nature. By any stretch of imagination, it will not be possible that all citizens of the world will share in the fossil fuel-based, money-driven development model - with all its attendant paraphernalia - that has come to hold sway in the world today. The biosphere, as we know it, may give in. Against this background, the book probes Western-style development, examines its hidden assumptions, its glamour, its obsessions and the hopes it holds out for a better life. Moreover, it examines under various aspects if sustainability (truly conceived) - comprising both ecology and social fairness - is incompatible with the worldwide rule of economism. And finally, it suggests ways to leave conventional modernity behind by creating sophisticated but moderate-impact technologies, redirecting relentless accumulation, and appreciating ways of living that are simpler in means, but richer in ends.



Wolfgang Sachs:

Planet Dialectics - Explorations in Environment and Development

Zed Books, London, 1999.

240 pp.

ISBN 1-85649-700-3 (hardcover)

ISBN 1-85649-701-1 (softcover)

Also published in Japanese and Italian

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