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In the Arizona desert, scientists conduct studies and experiments aimed to help us better understand our environment and what sort of things are happening to it due to climate change. The location is Biosphere 2, an immense structure that contains a replica ocean, savannah, and rainforest, among other Earth biomes. It’s a unique take on the Scientists in the Field mission statement — in this case, the lab is a replica that allows the scientists to conduct large-scale experiments that would otherwise be impossible.
Arizona is unique among American states, not only in its geography and geology but also in the diversity of its climate, in its indigenous animal and plant life, and in the history of its first inhabitants-communities of Indians whose ancestors arrived on the scene more than 20,000 years ago. Arizona is also the youngest of the contiguous mainland states of America...precisely because of these very same factors. Its climate, geography and Indian tribes were major barriers that prevented the territory from becoming widely populated by the Spanish, Mexicans and early European-Americans, and from being used as a cross-roads by American fur/pelt trappers, gold prospectors and settlers who began pushing west in the mid-1800s. Now, it is exactly these same factors that make Arizona a great place to live as well as a world-famous travel destination. The stories of how Arizona finally became what it is today are as amazing as the lay and the beauty of the land. Great background reading for residents and visitors alike, and an ideal gift.
All effects of human action will inevitably be played out within our planet’s limits; any hope of infinity is an illusion. And yet, as Wolfgang Sachs warned almost twenty years ago, environmental concerns have been assimilated into the rhetoric, dynamics and power structures of development. This classic collection of trenchant and elegant explorations addresses the crisis of the Western world’s relations with nature and social justice. Examining the notions of efficiency, speed, globalization and development, Sachs shows that sustainability, truly conceived, is incompatible with the worldwide rule of economism. Planet Dialectics reveals that the Western development model is fundamentally at odds with both the quest for justice among the world’s people and the aspiration to reconcile humanity and nature.
This text aims to place the question of the dynamics of environmental crisis in a socio-cultural dimension of the existing economic and political institutions. It argues for a need to find a balance between theoretical analysis of the debate and an appreciation of local circumstances and knowledge.

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