Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Beyond Sustainababble

    1. Robert Engelman
      Pages 3-16
  3. The Sustainability Metric

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-18
    2. Jennie Moore, William E Rees
      Pages 39-50
    3. Sandra Postel
      Pages 51-62
    4. Antonia Sohns, Larry Crowder
      Pages 63-72
    5. Eric Zencey
      Pages 73-83
    6. Shakuntala Makhijani, Alexander Ochs
      Pages 84-98
    7. Gary Gardner
      Pages 99-109
  4. Getting to True Sustainability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 111-112
    2. Robert Costanza, Gar Alperovitz, Herman Daly, Joshua Farley, Carol Franco, Tim Jackson et al.
      Pages 126-142
    3. Jeff Hohensee
      Pages 154-160
    4. Thomas Princen, Jack P. Manno, Pamela Martin
      Pages 161-171
    5. Phillip Saieg
      Pages 184-189
    6. Danielle Nierenberg
      Pages 190-200
    7. Melissa K. Nelson
      Pages 201-209
    8. Rebecca Adamson, Danielle Nierenberg, Olivia Arnow
      Pages 210-217
    9. Dwight E. Collins, Russell M. Genet, David Christian
      Pages 218-224
    10. Kathleen Dean Moore, Michael P. Nelson
      Pages 225-233
  5. Open in Case of Emergency

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 253-254
    2. Michael Maniates
      Pages 255-268
    3. Brian Martin
      Pages 269-278
    4. David W. Orr
      Pages 279-291
    5. Erik Assadourian
      Pages 292-303
    6. Bron Taylor
      Pages 304-316
    7. Simon Nicholson
      Pages 317-331
    8. Pat Murphy, Faith Morgan
      Pages 332-342
    9. Michael Renner
      Pages 343-352
    10. Laurie Mazur
      Pages 353-362
    11. Paula Green
      Pages 363-373
    12. Kim Stanley Robinson
      Pages 374-380
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 381-441

About this book


Every day, we are presented with a range of “sustainable” products and activities—from “green” cleaning supplies to carbon offsets—but with so much labeled as “sustainable,” the term has become essentially sustainababble, at best indicating a practice or product slightly less damaging than the conventional alternative. Is it time to abandon the concept altogether, or can we find an accurate way to measure sustainability? If so, how can we achieve it? And if not, how can we best prepare for the coming ecological decline?

In the latest edition of Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World series, scientists, policy experts, and thought leaders tackle these questions, attempting to restore meaning to sustainability as more than just a marketing tool. In State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?, experts define clear sustainability metrics and examine various policies and perspectives, including geoengineering, corporate transformation, and changes in agricultural policy, that could put us on the path to prosperity without diminishing the well-being of future generations. If these approaches fall short, the final chapters explore ways to prepare for drastic environmental change and resource depletion, such as strengthening democracy and societal resilience, protecting cultural heritage, and dealing with increased conflict and migration flows.

State of the World 2013 cuts through the rhetoric surrounding sustainability, offering a broad and realistic look at how close we are to fulfilling it today and which practices and policies will steer us in the right direction. This book will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, and students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics.


Adaptation Climate change Mitigation Sustainability

Editors and affiliations

  • Worldwatch Institute
    • 1
  1. 1.Worldwatch InstituteWashingtonUSA

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