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Imagine a world where humanity was not destined to cause harm to the natural world, where win-win scenarios — people and nature thriving together — are possible. No doubt contemporary western society is steeped in the legacy of white supremacy and colonialism, and as a result, many people have come to believe that humanity is fundamentally flawed, that the story of our species is destined to be nasty, brutish, and short. But what if this narrative could be dismantled?
In Finding Our Niche, Philip A. Loring does just that. He explores the tragedies of Western society and offers examples and analyses that can guide us in reconciling our damaging settler-colonial histories and tremendous environmental missteps in favor of a more sustainable and just vision for the future.
Drawing from numerous cases around the world, from cattle ranchers on the Burren in Ireland, to clam gardeners in British Columbia and protectors of an accidental wetland in northwest Mexico, Loring brings the reader through a difficult journey of reconciliation, a journey that leads to a more optimistic understanding of human nature and the prospects for our future, where people and nature thrive together. Interwoven are Loring’s personal struggles to reconcile his identity as a white settler living and working on stolen Indigenous lands.
In a moment when our world is hanging in the balance, Finding Our Niche is a hopeful exploration of humanity’s place in the natural world, one that focuses on how we can heal and reconcile our unique human ecologies to achieve more sustainable and just societies.
“Finding Our Niche is an important read for anybody seeking to understand the root causes of escalating and converging global environmental and social crises. The unflinching analysis of our collective predicament is an integral part of a deeply personal and highly engaging narrative of Loring’s quest to reimagine our links with the places we inhabit, relationships with the original stewards of those places, and the inextricable links to all our relations.”
— Gleb Raygorodetsky, award-winning author of The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change