Environmental realism: Challenging solutions

Kristan Cockerill, Melanie Armstrong, Jennifer Richter, Jordan Okie

Research output: Book/ReportBook

10 Scopus citations


This interdisciplinary book challenges current approaches to “environmental problems” that perpetuate flawed but deeply embedded cultural beliefs about the role of science and technology in society. The authors elucidate and interrogate a cultural history of solutionism that typifies expectations that science can, should, and will reduce risk to people and property by containing and controlling biophysical phenomena. Using historical analysis, eco-evolutionary principles, and case studies on floods, radioactive waste, and epidemics, the authors show that perceived solutions to “environmental problems” generate new problems, leading to problem-solution cycles of increasing scope and complexity. The authors encourage readers to challenge the ideology of solutionism by considering the potential of language, social action and new paradigms of sustainability to shape management systems. This book will appeal to scholars in multi- and interdisciplinary fields such as Environment Studies, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, and Science, Technology, and Society Studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages147
ISBN (Electronic)9783319528243
ISBN (Print)9783319528236
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Eco-human systems
  • Environmental politics
  • Microbial life
  • Natural landscapes
  • Nuclear energy
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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