Environmental Anthropology: From Pigs to Policies by Patricia K. Townsend
139 pages, $23.95 list
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Environmental Anthropology
From Pigs to Policies
Third Edition
Environmental anthropologists organize the realities of interdependent lands, plants, animals, and human beings; advocate for the neediest among them; and provide guidance for conservation efforts. But can anthropologists’ studies of small-scale systems contribute to policies that address profoundly interconnected global problems? Townsend explores this question in her concise introduction to environmental anthropology.

While maintaining the structure and clarity of previous editions, the third edition has been thoroughly revised to include new research. Newly added are a chapter on the environmental impact of war and recommended readings and films. Townsend begins with a historical overview of the field, illustrating how earlier ideas and approaches help to understand how today’s populations adapt to their physical and biological environments. She then transitions to a closer look at global environmental issues, including such topics as rapid expansion of the world economic system and inequality, loss of biodiversity and its implications for human health, and injustices of climate change, resource extraction, and toxic waste disposal. The final chapters caution that meaningful change requires social movements and policy changes in addition to individual actions.
“This is by far the best introductory survey of ecological and environmental anthropology ever published. And students love it too!” — Leslie E. Sponsel, University of Hawaii, Manoa

“My students have enjoyed the prior editions of this text. When I ask for feedback at the end of the year the Townsend text is the one they all suggest I stick with. I like the updates. This is a solid foundation with which to get my students’ heads in the proper cultural place. Given that the majority of them come from the biosciences that is saying something.” — Cynthia E. Noyes, Olivet College

“This concise yet compelling introduction to environmental anthropology should be a model for introduction to subfields. It is a remarkable catalyst for the discussion of environmental issues globally.” — Megan Hinrichsen, Monmouth College

“This, in my view, is the best text for instructors to use in an introductory course in human ecology or ecological anthropology. Students will appreciate the price. It is one of those rare books that will influence students for the rest of their lives.” — Thomas N. Headland, Summer Institute of Linguistics

“I was highly impressed. I have read 6–8 books preparing for and seeking a text for my cultural ecology class and found little that was at once engaging, informative, and accessible. This is that book—concise, compelling, and straightforward.” — Susan Barclay, Seattle Central Community College

“This splendid book should be most welcome as an effective and efficient introduction to one of the important areas of specialization in anthropology.” — Jim Weil, Hamline University and the Science Museum of Minnesota

“It is an excellent choice for introducing the anthropological approach in an environmental studies course or curriculum and can be strongly recommended for that purpose. The choice of case studies is noteworthy. Townsend draws on a wide selection of the best and most recent research projects to illustrate the points made in each chapter. The recent focus of ecological anthropology on political questions is well reflected. Highly recommended.” — Choice

“Brevity and clarity are among Patricia Townsend’s virtues in writing Environmental Anthropology. This field is rapidly expanding and has a rich history. Yet, with considerable skill, she is able to succinctly explicate the subject’s essence and promise.” — American Anthropologist
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
The Field of Anthropology / Organization of This Book

2. Julian Steward’s Cultural Ecology
A Short History of Environmental Anthropology / The Cultural Ecology of Julian Steward / Evolution in Cultural Anthropology / Cultural Ecology and the Last Northern Cod

3. Ethnoecology
The Study of Traditional Environmental Knowledge / Ethnoecology and Landscape / Nature and Culture: A Universal Dichotomy?

4. Pigs for the Ancestors
A New Guinea Ecosystem / Critiques of Rappaport's Work / The Ecosystem Concept in Anthropology

5. Amazonian Hunters
Amazonian Game Animals / Managing the Forest / The Evolution of Social Complexity within Amazonia

6. Complex Societies
The Ecology of States / Indonesian Agriculture / Villages in the Alps / Industrial Farming

7. The Underground Environment: Minerals
The Ok Tedi Mine, Papua New Guinea / Impact of the Mine on the Landowners / Downstream Impact of the Ok Tedi Mine / Indigenous People and Environmental Human Rights

8. Warfare Ecology
Small Wars: Large Damage / The Chemistry of War / Nuclear War / Environmental Causes of War

9. The Climate Is Changing
Rising Oceans, Disaster-Displaced People / Skepticism and Denial / Mountain Glaciers / Disaster, Hazard, and Risk / Coping with Drought / The Question of the Commons

10. Population and Environment
Collapse / Demographic Anthropology / Population Growth and Environmental Degradation in Honduras

11. Biodiversity and Health in the Anthropocene
Threats to Biodiversity / Medicinal Plants / Emerging Infectious Diseases / Assessing Risk

12. It Isn’t Easy Being Green: Influencing Environmental Policies
The Indonesian Forest Fires of 1997–1998 / Animal Rights in the North / Environmental Movements / Parks and People

13. Holy Ground
Sacred Groves / Cree Hunters / The Ganges River: Raw Sewage or Spiritual Power / Environmental Justice in the United States

14. Consumer Cultures
Ecological Footprint Analysis / European and American Consumers