An Ecology of Happiness
In this clever and wide-ranging work, Lambin draws on new scientific evidence 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 strong link between healthy ecosystems and happy humans.
Unique in its scope and evenhanded synthesis of research from many fields, An Ecology of Happiness offers a compelling human-centered argument that is impossible to overlook when we marvel at murmurations of starlings or seek out the most brilliant fall foliage: nature makes our steps a little lighter and our eyes a little brighter. What better reason to protect an ecosystem or save a species than for our own pleasure?
“Human beings are endowed with the capacity of foresight, using our knowledge and experience to look ahead, recognize danger and opportunities, and deliberately choose a path into the future. 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.”