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category: Nature
published: Nov 2014
publisher: RMB | Rocky Mountain Books

Technology and Sustainability

by Peter Denton

tagged: environmental conservation & protection, social aspects, ecology

The developed world is increasingly obsessed with two things: electronic gadgets and our changing climate. We stand in open-mouthed awe at our technological achievements while dejectedly shrugging our shoulders at the state of the planet on which we live. Our choice is clear: we need to reimagine the way in which we engage with the technology we create.


Peter Denton's first RMB manifesto, Gift Ecology: Reimagining a Sustainable World, focused on interpersonal relationships as the foundation for a vibrant and ecologically sustainable society. In his second thought-provoking book in the series, the author challenges readers to use our cherished technologies in new ways. We need to think of our devices not merely as better rocks and sharper spears, but as profound extensions of our hearts and minds that we can use to change the world.


Technology is in our heads, not in our hands. If we don't like what our technologies are doing to the world and to ourselves, then we all have both the power and the responsibility to make better choices today than we did yesterday. Technology and Sustainability redefines our relationship with technology and offers ways in which we can use these tools to make the world a better place through enlightened and positive engagements. If systems of technology have multiplied individual choices into global problems, then it means those same systems can multiply better choices into the global solutions we need for a sustainable future.

About the Author

Peter Denton has spent the last 30 years exploring the interrelationships of science, technology, religion and society and is an instructor in ethics and sustainability at Red River College of Applied Arts, Science & Technology in Winnipeg, associate professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston and an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada. Peter lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Gift Ecology is his fourth book.

Editorial Reviews

These reflections on technology should stimulate your thinking about the crucial questions of our day.—Bill McKibben, founder of and author of Enough

Peter Denton has once again written a book that makes one think about not only what to do or how to do it, but more importantly, why to do it. Achieving sustainable society is more about our attitudes and our ethical orientations than even our actions. Peter makes the arguments for the ethics clear even for those of us from a technological background.—John R. Craynon, ARIES Project Director, Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, Virginia Tech.

This book is an empowering account of how our personal choices can help shape a better future for next generations.—Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology is the most powerful agent alive today, but cannot make the ethical choices necessary to flourish. Denton exhorts us to understand and take hold of technology, so we human beings can consciously act ethically and thereby create the world we envision.—John R. Ehrenfeld, Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology; former Director of the MIT Program on Technology, Business, and Environment; and author of Sustainability by Design

Concerned for the future of your children? In Technology and Sustainability, Peter Denton explains why you should be and what can be done to avert a possible ecological catastrophe. In this perceptive book, the author elucidates the stark choices ahead of us: either we re-evaluate the word “progress” by re-thinking the technological, ethical and philosophical principles upon which modern society is based, or we are eventually doomed to collective suicide.—Roberto De Vogli, Associate Professor in Global Health at the University of Michigan (UM) and a Senior Lecturer in Social Epidemiology at University College London (UCL)

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