The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv shows how tapping into the restorative powers of the natural world can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds.
Publishers Weekly (01/31/2011):
In this sanguine, wide-ranging study of how humans can thrive through the "renaturing of everyday life," Louv takes nature deficit disorder, introduced in his seminal Last Child in the Woods, a step further, to argue that adults need nature, too. "A reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health," he writes, asking, "What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in electronics?" Louv's "Nature Principle" consists of seven precepts, including balancing technology excess with time in nature; a mind/body/nature connection, which Louv calls "vitamin N," that enhances physical and mental health; expanding our sense of community to include all living things; and purposefully developing a spiritual, psychological, physical attachment to a region and its natural history. The book presents examples of these precepts, from studies of how exposure to a common soil bacteria increases production of serotonin in the brain to designing shopping malls inspired by termite mounds. Although lightweight for longtime nature lovers, the book may be just what our high-tech, urban culture needs to bring us down to earth. (May) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
*Starred Review* Louv struck a resounding chord in the best-selling Last Child in the Woods (2005) when he identified nature-deficit disorder, a debilitating syndrome affecting children who spent scant time playing outdoors. But what about adults? Louv distills his latest findings about our lifelong need for direct experience of nature into another essential concept, the Nature Principle, which holds that reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival. A prodigious researcher and inspired interpreter and synthesizer, Louv offers a finely crafted interdisciplinary argument to support this claim, drawing on eye-opening scientific and medical studies as well as the timeless observations of poets. Louv profiles such trailblazers as public-health expert Howard Frumkin and South Central L.A. ecoactivist Juan Martinez as well as citizen naturalists who are strengthening our understanding of the crucial connections between human, economic, and ecosystem health. As he cogently explains why time spent in nature is quantifiably therapeutic, Louv reminds us that nature is everywhere and that the simplest of engagements with nearby nature, such as taking a walk or admiring a tree, are immensely restorative to mind and body. Louvs vital, inclusive, and inspiriting call to better our lives by celebrating and protecting the living world marks the way to profound personal and cultural transformation.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/2011):
A sound argument for the importance of the natural world.
Readers needn't be poets to understand that nature inspires more than five senses, but many would probably benefit from this exploration of nature's significance in our lives and what role it will play in the future. Award-winning science journalist Louv (Last Child In the Woods, 2008, etc.) returns with a discussion of the seven precepts of natural power, introducing such concepts as the "purposeful place," where natural history is as highly valued as human history. While the author comes across as a bit self-obsessed and the book is written to suburban and urban audiences, his writing style is clear and raises many valid points?most of which anyone with a small degree of common sense could figure out on their own. Don't we already know that technology is not bad when used as a tool, or that exposure to nature helps well-being and may even cause physical healing? Louv heartily exhorts readers to become more engaged in the world around them, as citizen naturalists out to discover their own bioregions. Taking time to find and create an everyday Eden is not only beneficial to the individual, but to the community as a whole.
Louv's latest isn't much more than age-old wisdom, but it bears repeating in an asphalt-coated world.
(COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
In his latest book, journalist Richard Luov outlines the ways adults are also at risk for "nature-deficit disorder," a condition he described at length in the national bestseller "Last Child in the Woods". Because our over-busy and electronically mediated lives estrange us from the natural world and its benefits, he offers a vision for a future based on what he terms the "Nature Principle," in which we mend that rift and restore our right relationship with the outdoors for the sake of our health, creativity, spiritual well-being, and basic survival. This is a philosophical project founded on a vast body of academic and other research into the power of nature to bring us to our senses, strengthen our bodies and minds, and fortify families and social networks.
Luov offers seven precepts for such a transformation. For example, he suggests we cultivate a "hybrid mind," thereby utilizing nature and technology in ways that foster creativity, intelligence, and increased productivity; he discusses the usefulness of "biophilic design" in all aspects of our built and social environment; and he writes about the health benefits of Vitamin N, otherwise known as the mind/body/nature connection. In the simplest terms, he proclaims that nature helps us enjoy our lives more fully by opening "doors to health, creativity, and wonder."
Conversely, if we are out of touch with nature, we lose a form of sensitivity linked to humility, and with that loss, some of our instincts for spiritual and physical survival. Luov argues that "a denatured life is a dehumanized life," and a life in which nature plays a vital part is markedly healthier. Studies find that children who live near green spaces have a lower body mass index when compared to those who don't; and there is a mountain of evidence that nature is also a powerful antidote to other health conditions, including depression, dementia, high blood pressure, and memory loss.
Luov's proposal is for a "renaturing of everyday life," and his lively discussion of how to accomplish this is likely to inspire many readers. His is not a doomsday prognosis but rather an inspired prescription for health, happiness, and a world in which humans and nature are in alignment. He envisions citizen naturalists mapping their surroundings and public health policies that acknowledge the health benefits of nature; he calls for cities, hospitals, schools, and homes to integrate design principals that embrace nature.
His last book spurred a movement to get kids outside because to do otherwise "threatens our health, our spirit, our economy and our future stewardship of the environment." Based on the timeliness and breadth of Luov's research, it seems likely that "The Nature Principle" will build on that momentum and change more than a few lives for the better. COPYRIGHT(2011) Foreword Magazine, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
"This book provides a way back to where we belong, a world full of reverence, joy, and discovery." --David Suzuki, author of "The Sacred Balance"
"Louv's vision is not a rejection of technology or a back-to-the-land trend like the one that came out of the environmental movement 40 years ago. Instead, he wants to tap nature to boost our mental acuity, creativity and health. At its heart, the movement seeks to replace the apocalyptic vision that modern society has created....[ Louv] outlines this new nature movement, and its potential to improve the lives of all people no matter where they live, in his latest book, ""The Nature Principle".'" -- "McClatchy Newspapers"
"We have set up an elaborate society designed to strip us of the environment that made us--and Richard Louv is speaking out, inspirationally, on why it doesn't have to be this way." --Carl Pope, Chariman, The Sierra Club
"This book provides a way back to where we belong, a world of reverence, joy, and discovery." --David Suzuki, author of "The Sacred Balance"
"A refreshingly personal and eloquent case for building nature-smart communities." --David Yarnold, President & CEO, National Audubon Society
"There is a great urgency to this work . . . This book makes utter sense and Louv is gentle with his simple agenda: more green in schools, more access to nature in communities, the importance of giving people the tools and the health they need to create a better world." --"Los Angeles Times"
""The Nature Principle" manages to both teach and delight. Think of it as a refreshing hike for the mind and soul." --Oprah.com ""
"Louv's vital, inclusive, and inspiriting call to better our lives by celebrating and protecting the living world marks the way to profound personal and cultural transformation." --"Booklist", starred review ""
""The Nature Principle" tackles the ambitious task of mapping our way to a more connected future . . . Page after page we learn that in working to heal the world through restoration, we end up healing ourselves." --"Orion" magazine
For many of us, thinking about the future conjures up images of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" a post-apocalyptic dystopia stripped of nature. Richard Louv, author of the landmark bestseller "Last Child in the Woods," urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that will touch every part of society.This New Nature Movement taps into the restorative powers of the natural world to boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live.
Booklist 03/01/2011 pg. 22 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
Publishers Weekly 01/31/2011 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 05/15/2011 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Choice 11/01/2011 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Foreword 04/29/2011 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Christian Century 05/30/2012 pg. 40 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Reference and Research Bk News 08/01/2011 pg. 5 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Wilson Public Library Catalog 01/01/2013 pg. 40 (EAN 9781565125810, Hardcover)
Contributor Bio: Louv, Richard
Richard Louv is the author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle.