Professor Michael Dove explores the relationship between human consciousness and the environment

April 13, 2022

Consciousness, the distinctive quality that allows humans to perceive the world, sometimes gets in the way of people trying to comprehend the ecosystems in which they live — a paradox that hinders our ability to live sustainably, argues Michael Dove, the Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology in the Yale School of the Environment (YSE).

Overcoming the “curse of consciousness” requires escaping conscious self-awareness and distancing ourselves from the narrow, goal-oriented thinking that drives many western approaches to the environment, Dove asserts in his most recent book, “Bitter Shade: The Ecological Challenge of Human Consciousness” (Yale University Press). In the book, which has been cited as a best-selling title in environmental science by Library Journal, Dove explores traditional societies in South and Southeast Asia for insights into how to develop sustainable environmental relations.

Read the full Yale News article on Professor Dove’s book here.

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