- Greer, John Michael, 2008, The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age, Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers.
Provocative historian John Michael Greer is the author of more than 30 books and a very popular blog called The Archdruid Report. In arguing that Peak Oil means that we have already begun the long descent towards deindustrialisation, Greer argues in this book that it is time to revisit prevailing myths and legends about ‘progress’ or ‘apocalypse’. A gifted storyteller himself, Greer urges his readers to think about the ‘stories we tell ourselves’ in thinking about what the future might hold for us.
- Washington, Haydn 2015, Demystifying Sustainability: Towards real solutions, Abingdon: Earthscan/Routledge
A well-researched and well-constructed argument for deep cultural and social changes in order to act on sustainability imperatives. It includes a chapter (11) on ‘Solutions for Sustainability’ which includes many tips on ‘What you can do’.
- Latour, Bruno, 2005, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Latour’s writing is rich but rather challenging for novices. He challenges many assumptions of sociologists about social structures, arguing that we need to pay much more attention to how networks of actors emerge in often unpredictable ways. This includes being attentive to the mix of sometimes contradictory ideas and influences that bring people together and inspire them to act. Latour also argues that we need to pay more attention to relationships between actors and their environments than their espoused aims.
- Mackenzie Mohr, Douglas and William Smith, 2006, Fostering Sustainable Behaviour: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers.
According to these authors, many efforts made to get communities to become more environmentally sustainable fail to motivate individuals to change their behaviour, and they fail to address barriers to behaviour change. This influential book introduces a ‘social marketing’ approach designed to mobilise community action by building positive incentives for behaviour change.
- Sarkissian, Wendy, Nancy Hoffer, Yollana Shore, Steph Vajda and Cathy Wilkinson, 2009, Kitchen Table Sustainability: Practical Recipes for Community Engagement with Sustainability, London: Earthscan.
With a background in arts and literature, town planning and environmental ethics, Wendy Sarkissian has spent decades working with planners and architects in Canada, Australia and the USA. More than anything else, she has argued, community engagement work requires patience and an interest in people and their stories. She has worked with a range of collaborators to produce this practical guide on how to really engage communities in designing and implementing more environmentally sustainable ways of living.
- Scerri, Andy and Paul James, 2010, ‘Accounting for sustainability: combining qualitative and quantitative research in developing ‘indicators’ of sustainability,’ International Journal of Social Research Methodology,13 (1): 41-53.
This paper reports on work undertaken in the Global Cities Research Institute at RMIT University on how to make the search for sustainability indicators more participatory.
- Thomas, Ian and Paul Murfitt, 2011, Environmental Management: Processes and Practices for Australia, Sydney: Federation Press.
With decades of experience in teaching environmental policy and environmental management at RMIT University, Ian Thomas worked with experienced environmental management practitioner Paul Murfitt to produce this cutting edge textbook. It examines Australian practice in the context of global trends and ideas.
- Wessels, Tom, 2006, The Myth of Progress: Towards a Sustainable Future, Burlington: University of Vermont Press.
Trained as a terrestrial ecologist and conservation biologist, Tom Wessels used this book to argue that human ideas about ‘progress’ based on unlimited economic growth violate all the key principles of ecosystem functioning. The book is an eloquent ‘cry from the heart’ from this very experienced American environmental educator.
Annotated Links to Further Web Resources
- Actor Network Resource, Lancaster University
This website includes an extensive annotated bibliography of work related to Bruno Latour’s conception of actor-network-theory. Reference lists are organised both alphabetically and thematically.
- Fostering Sustainable Behaviour
This website is associated with the book on ‘community-based social marketing’ by Mackenzie Mohr et al. (2006). It provides access to associated articles and case studies and has a section on ‘Strategy’.
- Scottish Community Development Centre
SCDC is a substantial Glasgow-based non-government organisation that provides support services for community development workers and people interested in community engagement work.
- Wendy Sarkissian
The lead author of Kitchen Table Sustainability has a website that lists her diverse publications and provides links to associated work of other people.
Annotated Links to Video Clips
- Interview with Bruno Latour
In this interview, Latour discusses science, social science, politics, climate change and the future for Europe. We need new frameworks for thinking about personal action in the context of ecological crisis, he argues.
- Five Steps to Environmentally Sustainable Behaviour Change
In this very short clip, Douglas Mackenzie Mohr provides a very concise account of the key ideas presented in the book that he co-authored titled Fostering Sustainable Behaviour.
- Coping with Cascading Crises of Our World, Interview with Professor Robert Jensen
Professor Robert Jensen from the University of Texas, Austin, talks about building communities and new forms of personal action in the face of overlapping crises of sustainability.
- Not the Future We Ordered, John Michael Greer
Recording of a rather lengthy lecture presented in Detroit in 2013 in which Greer outlines his ideas about personal action in a period of deindustrialisation.