[UCP Books]: An Ecology of Happiness


“Humanity’s ‘success’ is our achievement of unprecedented numbers, technological prowess and consumption that are now transforming the physical, chemical and biological properties of the biosphere on a geological scale. Far beyond satisfying our basic needs, we demand fulfillment of our endless desires, an impossible goal that is also biocidal.  But are we happier as a result of our current biocidal economic and social path?  What really matters in our lives?  These are the critical questions raised and answered in An Ecology of Happiness, a vital book in addressing a global eco-crisis.”

David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance

An Ecology of Happiness
by Eric Lambin
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan

Publication Date: October 1, 2012 978-0-226-46667-5
UK Publication Date: October 8, 2012 $26.00 / £17.00

What better reason to protect an ecosystem or save a species than for our own pleasure? It may seem like an obvious question, but surprisingly it is one that has not been asked until now. Lost in the dire and scolding accounts of humanity’s impact on the environment has been a discussion of the environment’s impact on us and our well-being. Could it be that the natural environment is an essential part of our happiness? Yes, says Eric Lambin emphatically in An Ecology of Happiness. Making a case for a novel strategy in addressing environmental concerns, he asks us to consider that there may be no better reason to value and protect the health of the planet than for our own pleasure and personal well-being. 

In this clever and wide-ranging work, Lambin draws on research in the fields of geography, political ecology, environmental psychology, urban studies, and disease ecology, among others, to answer such questions as: To what extent do we need nature for our well-being? How does environmental degradation affect our happiness? What can be done to protect the environment and increase our well-being at the same time? Drawing on case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, Lambin makes a persuasive case for the correlation between healthy ecosystems and happy humans. 

Eric Lambin is the George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professor and a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University and a professor in the Earth and Life Institute at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is the author of The Middle Path: Avoiding Environmental Catastrophe, also published by the University of Chicago Press. 
He is available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at 773-702-4216 or cadams@press.uchicago.edu for more information.


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