nature s ghosts confronting extinction from the age of jefferson to the age of ecology

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Nature S Ghosts

Author : Mark V. Barrow, Jr.
ISBN : 9780226038155
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 66 MB
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The rapid growth of the American environmental movement in recent decades obscures the fact that long before the first Earth Day and the passage of the Endangered Species Act, naturalists and concerned citizens recognized—and worried about—the problem of human-caused extinction. As Mark V. Barrow reveals in Nature’s Ghosts, the threat of species loss has haunted Americans since the early days of the republic. From Thomas Jefferson’s day—when the fossil remains of such fantastic lost animals as the mastodon and the woolly mammoth were first reconstructed—through the pioneering conservation efforts of early naturalists like John James Audubon and John Muir, Barrow shows how Americans came to understand that it was not only possible for entire species to die out, but that humans themselves could be responsible for their extinction. With the destruction of the passenger pigeon and the precipitous decline of the bison, professional scientists and wildlife enthusiasts alike began to understand that even very common species were not safe from the juggernaut of modern, industrial society. That realization spawned public education and legislative campaigns that laid the foundation for the modern environmental movement and the preservation of such iconic creatures as the bald eagle, the California condor, and the whooping crane. A sweeping, beautifully illustrated historical narrative that unites the fascinating stories of endangered animals and the dedicated individuals who have studied and struggled to protect them, Nature’s Ghosts offers an unprecedented view of what we’ve lost—and a stark reminder of the hard work of preservation still ahead.

Ecology And Power In The Age Of Empire

Author : Corey Ross
ISBN : 9780199590414
Genre : History
File Size : 86. 15 MB
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Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire provides the first wide-ranging environmental history of the heyday of European imperialism, from the late nineteenth century to the end of the colonial era. It focuses on the ecological dimensions of the explosive growth of tropical commodity production, global trade, and modern resource management-transformations that still visibly shape our world today-and how they were related to broader social, cultural, and political developments in Europe's colonies. Covering the overseas empires of all the major European powers, Corey Ross argues that tropical environments were not merely a stage on which conquest and subjugation took place, but were an essential part of the colonial project, profoundly shaping the imperial enterprise even as they were shaped by it. The story he tells is not only about the complexities of human experience, but also about people's relationship with the ecosystems in which they were themselves embedded: the soil, water, plants, and animals that were likewise a part of Europe's empire. Although it shows that imperial conquest rarely represented a sudden bout of ecological devastation, it nonetheless demonstrates that modern imperialism marked a decisive and largely negative milestone for the natural environment. By relating the expansion of modern empire, global trade, and mass consumption to the momentous ecological shifts that they entailed, this book provides a historical perspective on the vital nexus of social, political, and environmental issues that we face in the twenty-first-century world.

Ordering Life

Author : Kristin Johnson
ISBN : 9781421406008
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 28. 85 MB
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For centuries naturalists have endeavored to name, order, and explain biological diversity. Karl Jordan (1861–1959) dedicated his long life to this effort, describing thousands of new species in the process. Ordering Life explores the career of this prominent figure as he worked to ensure a continued role for natural history museums and the field of taxonomy in the rapidly changing world of twentieth-century science. Jordan made an effort to both practice good taxonomy and secure status and patronage in a world that would soon be transformed by wars and economic and political upheaval. Kristin Johnson traces his response to these changes and shows that creating scientific knowledge about the natural world depends on much more than just good method or robust theory. The broader social context in which scientists work is just as important to the project of naming, describing, classifying, and, ultimately, explaining life.

Deep Things Out Of Darkness

Author : John G. T. Anderson
ISBN : 9780520273764
Genre : Nature
File Size : 31. 1 MB
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Natural history, the deliberate observation of the environment, is arguably the oldest science. From purely practical beginnings as a way of finding food and shelter, natural history evolved into the holistic, systematic study of plants, animals, and the landscape. Deep Things out of Darkness chronicles the rise, decline, and ultimate revival of natural history within the realms of science and public discourse. Ecologist John G. T. Anderson focuses his account on the lives and contributions of an eclectic group of men and women, from John Ray, John Muir, Charles Darwin, and Rachel Carson, who endured remarkable hardships and privations in order to learn more about their surroundings. Written in an engaging narrative style and with an extensive bibliography of primary sources, the book charts the journey of the naturalist’s endeavor from prehistory to the present, underscoring the need for natural history in an era of dynamic environmental change.

Byron S Nature

Author : J. Andrew Hubbell
ISBN : 9783319542386
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 74. 96 MB
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This book is a thorough, eco-critical re-evaluation of Lord Byron (1789-1824), claiming him as one of the most important ecological poets in the British Romantic tradition. Using political ecology, post-humanist theory, new materialism, and ecological science, the book shows that Byron’s major poems—Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, the metaphysical dramas, and Don Juan—are deeply engaged with developing a cultural ecology that could account for the co-creative synergies in human and natural systems, and ground an emancipatory ecopolitics and ecopoetics scaled to address globalized human threats to socio-environmental thriving in the post-Waterloo era. In counterpointing Byron’s eco-cosmopolitanism to the localist dwelling praxis advocated by Romantic Lake poets, Byron’s Nature seeks to enlarge our understanding of the extraordinary range, depth, and importance of Romanticism’s inquiry into the meaning of nature and our ethical relation to it.

Conserving Southern Longleaf

Author : Albert G. Way
ISBN : 9780820334660
Genre : Nature
File Size : 70. 68 MB
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The Red Hills region of south Georgia and north Florida contains one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America, with longleaf pine trees that are up to four hundred years old and an understory of unparalleled plant life. At first glance, the longleaf woodlands at plantations like Greenwood, outside Thomasville, Georgia, seem undisturbed by market economics and human activity, but Albert G. Way contends that this environment was socially produced and that its story adds nuance to the broader narrative of American conservation. The Red Hills woodlands were thought of primarily as a healthful refuge for northern industrialists in the early twentieth century. When notable wildlife biologist Herbert Stoddard arrived in 1924, he began to recognize the area's ecological value. Stoddard was with the federal government, but he drew on local knowledge to craft his land management practices, to the point where a distinctly southern, agrarian form of ecological conservation emerged. This set of practices was in many respects progressive, particularly in its approach to fire management and species diversity, and much of it remains in effect today. Using Stoddard as a window into this unique conservation landscape, Conserving Southern Longleaf positions the Red Hills as a valuable center for research into and understanding of wildlife biology, fire ecology, and the environmental appreciation of a region once dubbed simply the “pine barrens.”

The Blue Sapphire Of The Mind

Author : Douglas E. Christie
ISBN : 9780199986644
Genre : Religion
File Size : 35. 36 MB
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"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.

The Maximum Of Wilderness

Author : Kelly Enright
ISBN : 9780813932286
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 87. 30 MB
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Danger in the Congo! The unexplored Amazon! Long perceived as a place of mystery and danger, and more recently as a fragile system requiring our protection, the tropical forest captivated America for over a century. In The Maximum of Wilderness, Kelly Enright traces the representation of tropical forests--what Americans have typically thought of as "jungles"--and their place in both our perception of "wildness" and the globalization of the environmental movement. In the early twentieth century, jungle adventure--as depicted by countless books and films, from Burroughs’s Tarzan novels to King Kong--had enormous mass appeal. Concurrent with the proliferation of a popular image of the jungle that masked many of its truths was the work of American naturalists who sought to represent an "authentic" view of tropical nature through museums, zoological and botanical gardens, books, and film. Enright examines the relationship between popular and scientific representations of the forest through the lives and work of Martin and Osa Johnson (who with films such as Congorilla and Simba blended authenticity with adventure), as well as renowned naturalists John Muir, William Beebe, David Fairchild, and Richard Evans Schultes. The author goes on to explore a startling shift at midcentury in the perception of the tropical forest--from the "jungle," a place that endangers human life, to the "rain forest," a place that is itself endangered.

Shaky Colonialism

Author : Charles F. Walker
ISBN : 0822341891
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 17 MB
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A social history of the earthquake-tsunami that struck Lima in October 1746, looking at how people in and beyond Lima understood and reacted to the natural disaster.

Feral

Author : George Monbiot
ISBN : 9780226205557
Genre : Nature
File Size : 76. 42 MB
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As an investigative journalist, Monbiot found a mission in his ecological boredom, that of learning what it might take to impose a greater state of harmony between himself and nature. He was not one to romanticize undisturbed, primal landscapes, but rather in his attempts to satisfy his cravings for a richer, more authentic life, he came stumbled into the world of restoration and rewilding. When these concepts were first introduced in 2011, very recently, they focused on releasing captive animals into the wild. Soon the definition expanded to describe the reintroduction of animal and plant species to habitats from which they had been excised. Some people began using it to mean the rehabilitation not just of particular species, but of entire ecosystems: a restoration of wilderness. Rewilding recognizes that nature consists not just of a collection of species but also of their ever-shifting relationships with each other and with the physical environment. Ecologists have shown how the dynamics within communities are affected by even the seemingly minor changes in species assemblages. Predators and large herbivores have transformed entire landscapes, from the nature of the soil to the flow of rivers, the chemistry of the oceans, and the composition of the atmosphere. The complexity of earth systems is seemingly boundless."

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