Human Footprints on the Global Environment

Human Footprints on the Global Environment

Threats to Sustainability

Edited by Eugene A. Rosa, Andreas Diekmann, Thomas Dietz and Carlo C. Jaeger

State-of-the-art assessments of current research into the human dimensions of global environmental change and promising directions for future advancements.





State-of-the-art assessments of current research into the human dimensions of global environmental change and promising directions for future advancements.

The colossal human ecological footprint now threatens the sustainability of the entire planet. Scientists, policymakers, and other close observers know that any understanding of the causes of global environmental change is a function of understanding its human dimension—the range of human choices and actions that affect the environment. This book offers a state-of-the-art assessment of research on the human dimensions of global environmental change, describing how global threats to sustainability have come about, providing an interpretive framework for understanding environmental change, reviewing recent work in the social and ecological sciences, and discussing which paths for future advances in our knowledge may prove most promising. The chapters, by prominent North American and European authors, offer perspectives on population, consumption, land cover and use, institutional actions, and culture. They discuss such topics as risk, the new Structural Human Ecology approach to analyzing anthropogenic drivers of global environmental change, recent progress in understanding land use change, international environmental regimes, the concept of the commons, and the comparative vulnerability of societies around the world.

ContributorsUlrich Beck, Thomas Dietz, Carlo C. Jaeger, Svein Jentoft, Jeanne X. Kasperson, Roger E. Kasperson, Bonnie J. McCay, Emilio F. Moran, Eugene A. Rosa, B. L. Turner II, Richard York, Oran R. Young


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262013154 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 b&w illus


$27.00 X ISBN: 9780262512992 344 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 b&w illus


Eugene A. Rosa

Eugene A. Rosa is Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in the Thomas S. Foley Institute of Public Policy at Washington State University.

Andreas Diekmann

Andreas Diekmann is Chair of Sociology in the Department of Humanities and Social and Political Science at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Thomas Dietz

Thomas Dietz is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University.

Carlo C. Jaeger

Carlo C. Jaeger is Head of the Social Systems Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).


  • These reviews serve as excellent starting points for those interested in understanding research frontiers on topics relevant to anthropogenic environmental change... well organized and leaves the reader convinced of the connections among various strands of environmental–change research.

    Rebecca Gasper

    Journal of Environmental Studies and Science


  • This book is a major addition to the social science literature dealing with the phenomenon of global environmental change. Its sweep is large and the result is interesting and informative to specialists and students alike. The editors are to be commended for blazing this trail with elegant conceptualization and style and for an impassioned argument on a critical issue of our times.

    Edward Miles

    School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington; coauthor of Environmental Regime Effectiveness


  • Winner of the Gerald L. Young Book Award for 2010, awarded by the Society for Human Ecology.