The first part of the book reviewed diverse ways of thinking about people and environment, in the abstract. The second part of the book provides grounded examples of the ways such ideas are animated, using real world examples. The authors aim to encourage the reader to avoid thinking about human-environment relationships as a laundry list of already known problems and instead consider how human, social, political and economic life mixes with the many animals, plants, chemicals, and minerals of the world. Solutions to the problems posed by society-environment relationships require us (humanity) to take seriously the specific nature of things in the world around us, therefore, as well as ideas that both open and limit our thoughts and actions.
Chapter 9 describes the concerns with carbon dioxide, a major focal point in international affairs surrounding global climate change. The authors fully recognizes carbon emissions as a product of industrial society that the world currently cannot do without. Generally speaking, no country that creates high carbon emissions has any desire to stop completely because (at least as of now) there is no other energy source as cheap and efficient as carbon-based fuels. Attempts have been made to solve these issues facing the world (the Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Accords), but they have largely been insignificant. With the U.S. refusing to ratify treaties like this, almost no headway can be made in the international arena regarding global climate change. The way carbon dioxide circulates around the globally in the atmosphere is a huge concern for it only takes one country to keep polluting the entire world.