The Closing Circle
Man, Technology & the Environment

Commoner, Barry
Publisher:  Knopf, New York, USA
Year Published:  1971
Pages:  344pp     Dewey:  301.31
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6214

Commoner argues that economic life must be structured to conform to the principles of ecology, as opposed to the goal of unlimited growth that underpins capitalist economies.


In The Closing Circle, Commoner outlines what he calls the four laws of ecology:

1. Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.

2. Everything Must Go Somewhere. There is no "waste" in nature and there is no "away" to which things can be thrown.

3. Nature Knows Best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is "likely to be detrimental to that system."

4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.

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