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Humanity's Environmental Future: Making Sense in a Troubled World

William Ross McCluney, Ph. D.

420 pages ISBN 09744461-0-6 $44.95

An original work, a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental and socio-economic problems humanity faces in its struggles toward a sustainable future. Powerful forces are destroying Earth's life-support system—the biosphere. News reports provide alarming details of environmental decline and ecosystem breakdown. Earth is losing it ability to support human life.

The problem is rooted in the industrial world's economic and business theories, lifestyles, development policies, education, and politics. Developing nations are pursuing similar growth and economic policies. Misplaced values and beliefs drive humankind toward environmental disaster and hinder comprehensive measures to stop the relentless destruction of our planet.

This new book by a nationally recognized scientist and educator presents the causes and assessments of our difficulties, offering insights on methods for reversing the present devastation before conditions become irreversible. It includes specific reform proposals and positive suggestions for personal, group, government, and political action. More....

Getting to the Source: Readings on Sustainable Values

William Ross McCluney, Ph. D., editor

317 pages ISBN 09744461-1-4 $39.95

A collection of essays by prominent environmental writers. Contributions selected for their relevance to the philosophical and ethical aspects of the subject, their eloqence in expressing Earth values, and their special insights into what we must do to create a sustainable future for humanity.

The authors offer a variety of perspectives, critical in framing public policy and inbiting debate on future directions. Included are essays on growth, extinction, world oil production, the environmental movement, and the new manner of thinking Einstein said would be needed for humanity to move to higher levels and survive into the future. More....

News Release

"The Fate of the Earth--That's really up for grabs"

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Book Review Suggestions

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About the Author/Editor

Dr. Ross McCluney, Principal Research Scientist at the Florida Solar Energy Center from 1976 to 2007, has enjoyed a career spanning several disciplines. For his B. A. degree (Rhodes College in Memphis) he studied physics, mathematics, economics, philosophy, English literature, and religion. His M.S. thesis research (University of Tennessee in Knoxville) dealt with the diffraction of laser light by high frequency sound waves in water.

While working as an optical engineer at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, McCluney studied the new field of holography at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, then pioneered at Kodak the use of holographic interferometry for diagnostic tests of optical systems. This work continued while he pursued his Ph.D. degree on a National Science Foundation fellowship at the University of Miami, developing a complex holographic interferometer for detecting minute changes in gas density inside a test cell made of optically imperfect clear acrylic plastic.

During his studies in Miami, McCluney became concerned about humanity’s destruction of Earth’s ecosystems and contacted the Miami regional office of National Audubon Society for more information. This led to the founding of the UM’s first student environmental organization, Environment!, and his work as an organizer of the University’s observance of the first Earth Day Teach-In, on 22 April 1970. While at UM, he taught a semester-long adult education class on South Florida’s environmental problems. An outcome of these experiences was the suspension of his physics studies for a year to work on a graduate assistantship at the University’s new Center for Urban and Environmental Studies, then headed by Carl McHenry. Working at CUES for the renowned ecologist, Art Marshall (http://www.artmarshall.org), McCluney edited a series of essays about the environmental problems of South Florida. The University’s Graduate Research Council agreed to underwrite the project, and the manuscript was published by the University of Miami Press in 1971 as The Environmental Destruction of South Florida. This book reached a seventh printing in 1990, before going out of print in 1992. Copies are available from used book sellers.

Upon returning to his physics work, McCluney switched research topics to optical oceanography, studying the light scattering properties of marine phytoplankton. Following receipt of his Ph.D. degree in physics, he worked for three years as an optical oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, occasionally working with Jacques Cousteau on joint NASA/Cousteau projects.

In 1976 Dr. McCluney was appointed to the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, a research institute of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His textbook, Introduction to Radiometry and Photometry was published by Artech House in 1992.

Over the years since 1976, Dr. McCluney has studied, written, and lectured widely on environmental topics, concentrating on the ethical and philosophical aspects of the subject. In the Fall of 2003 and the Spring of 2004 he taught the first semester-long university course based on the two books he completed in late 2003: Humanity’s Environmental Future and Getting to the Source.

He retired in 2007 from the Florida Solar Energy Center and moved to Chattanooga, where he continues his technical consulting work at SunPine Consulting and his environmental work through the Solar Valley Coalition, the Cherokee Group of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and as a co-founder of the BEST chapter of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

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