Our books are authored or edited by Center for Humans and Nature staff and fellows. Stay tuned, as more are on the way.
West Virginia University Press · June 2016
As our economic and natural systems continue on their collision course, Bruce Jennings asks whether we have the political capacity to combat imminent environmental disaster. Can liberal democracy, he wonders, respond in time to ecological challenges that require dramatic changes in the way we approach the natural world? Must a more effective governance be less democratic and more autocratic? Or can a new form of grassroots ecological democracy save us from ourselves and the false promises of material consumption run amok?
Ecological Governance is an ethicist’s reckoning with how our political culture, broadly construed, must change in response to climate change. Jennings argues that during the Anthropocene era, a social contract of consumption has been forged. Under it people have given political and economic control to elites in exchange for the promise of economic growth. In a new political economy of the future the terms of the consumptive contract cannot be met without severe ecological damage. We will need a new guiding vision and collective aim, a new social contract of ecological trusteeship and responsibility.
University of Chicago Press · 2015
Cover photo: John W. Picken
We usually think of cities as the domain of humans—but we are just one of thousands of species that call the urban landscape home. Chicago residents move knowingly among familiar creatures like squirrels, pigeons, and dogs, but they might be surprised to learn about all the leafhoppers and water bears, black-crowned night herons and bison, beavers and massasauga rattlesnakes that are living alongside them. City Creatures introduces readers to an astonishing diversity of urban wildlife with a unique and accessible mix of essays, poetry, paintings, and photographs.
Although the book is rooted in Chicago’s landscape, nature lovers from cities around the globe will find a wealth of urban animal encounters that will open their senses to a new world that has been there all along. Its powerful combination of insightful narratives, numinous poetry, and full-color art throughout will help readers see the city—and the creatures who share it with us—in an entirely new light.