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The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise

Second Edition

Jim L. Bowyer

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  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.00" x 9.00"
  • ISBN: 9780997672619
  • Publication Date: 2017-08-01
  • Levins Publishing

Availability: In stock

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The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise

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In The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise, Dr. Jim L. Bowyer clearly documents an ethically bankrupt position that underlies much of our environmental policy. High consumption in wealthy countries usually goes hand-in-hand with resistance to domestic raw materials extraction and half-hearted interest in recycling.  Because of this, the world’s wealthiest countries increasingly rely on imported raw materials from poorer nations to fuel consumption.   This, in turn, allows citizens of wealthy countries to smugly enjoy high levels of consumption with minimal exposure to the environmental impacts of that consumption.  Bowyer concludes, “Contrary to common practice today, high consuming nations need to be asking, ‘Why not in my back yard?’”

“Every once-in-a-while there is an addition to our scientific literature that should be mandatory reading for those in the sustainability and biomaterials disciplines. The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise by Dr. Jim Bowyer is one of those books. This is a well written and easy to read book that I have recommended as a textbook in some of our classes." --Dr. Bob Smith, Professor, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia Tech University, Wood and Fiber Science, 50(1), 2018,

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Buy five or more copies and get a 50% discount.

“This thought-provoking book is both easily digestible and accessible. It is easy to recommend this as an essential read for those interested in resource extraction, environmental issues and sustainable development....A book like this wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t offer a way forward, and the last two chapters outline what might be done to bring about meaningful change...This book is deserving of a far greater readership.” —Dr. Leon Vlieger, NHBS Ltd., UK

“This positive-thinking book should be read by all students, general public, and decision-makers seeking enhanced understanding of current environmental and societal issues.” — John Helms, Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley

“I highly recommend the book to everyone who wants to understand the seldom-discussed foundational issues that will define our children’s and grandchildren’s world.” —Robert Malmsheimer, Professor, Natural Resources Environmental Policy and Law, State University of New York, Syracuse

“A nicely-written book that explores in depth the threat that rising population and economic growth pose to the environment and resource availability.” —John Tilton, Research Professor and University Professor Emeritus, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines, Boulder

“A useful and thought-provoking book” —David Morris, Co-Founder and Vice-President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Bowyer turns the lens around to our own often hypocritical or counter-productive behaviors towards sustainability.” —Jennifer O’Connor, President, Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Ottawa, Ontario.

“Excellent book! Well-written, thorough, yet easy to read. Should be required reading for every citizen of the planet. Re-defines ‘environmentalism’ in an economically & socially responsible context, instead of in the old ‘NIMBY’ lingo.” — Dr. Steve Kelley, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University

Jim L. Bowyer

Dr. Jim L. Bowyer is Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Responsible Materials Program in Dovetail Partners, Inc.  He has published widely on the topics of life cycle assessment, carbon tracking and reporting, bioenergy, green building standards, and environmental policy and is a frequent speaker nationally and internationally on these topics.

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