For most of human history, we have lived our daily lives in a close relationship with the land. Yet now, for the first time, more people are living in urban rather than rural areas, bringing about an estrangement. This book, by acclaimed author Jules Pretty, is fundamentally about our relationship with nature, animals and places. A series of interlinked essays leads readers on a voyage that weaves through the themes of connection and estrangement between humans and nature. The journey shows how our modern lifestyles and economies would need six or eight Earths if the entire worldi? s population adopted our profligate ways. Pretty shows that we are rendering our own world inhospitable and so risk losing what it means to be human: unless we make substantial changes, Gaia threatens to become Grendel. Ultimately, however, the book offers glimpses of an optimistic future for humanity, in the very face of climate change and pending global environmental catastrophe.
Jules Pretty OBE is Professor of Environment and Society in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex, UK, and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. His books include Sustainable Agriculture and Food (4 vols, ed, 2007), Environment (4 vols, ed, 2006), The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture (2005, ed), The Pesticide Detox (2005), Agri-Culture (2002), The Living Land (1998), Regenerating Agriculture (1995) and Unwelcome Harvest (1991, co-authored). He is a Fellow of the Institute of the Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, and Deputy-Chair of the governmenti? s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE). He received a 1997 international award from the Indian Ecological Society and was appointed A. D. White Professor-at-Large by Cornell University from 2001. In 2006 he received an OBE for services to sustainable agriculture in the UK and overseas.