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e-Book Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History) epub download

e-Book Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History) epub download

Author: Donald Worster
ISBN: 0521267927
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 29, 1985)
Language: English
Category: Humanities
Size ePUB: 1879 kb
Size Fb2: 1447 kb
Size DJVU: 1166 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 165
Format: lrf doc doc lrf
Subcategory: Other

e-Book Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History) epub download

by Donald Worster



Nature's Economy" is an entire college course on the connection between history and nature

Nature's Economy" is an entire college course on the connection between history and nature. I learned a lot about the history of ecological ideas from this book, just as the title indicates. Not surprisingly, I guess, even back ecology was called "nature's economy", the field was dominated by the idea that nature was for man's use. In other words, the study of nature's economy was overly influenced by how it might be useful for the growing human economy rather than vice versa.

Nature's Economy book. Through that lens, Worster's narrow history of ecology becomes a much broader history of the value sets applied to nature and its relationship with human society throughout the last 300 years of Western history. The first few parts focus on individuals - Gilbert White, Linnaeus, Thoreau, Darwin, - while as time goes on, the conversation becomes more rich and complex.

Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past. He was considered the father of environmental history. He incorporated studies of biology, ecology, geography, and other sciences in his efforts to chronicle and understand human events. It traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature. The book includes portraits of Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, Thoreau, and such key twentieth-century ecologists as Rachel Carson, Frederic Clements, Aldo Leopold, James Lovelock, and Eugene Odum.

Nature's Economy : A History of Ecological Ideas.

Items related to Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past Worster skillfully integrates environmental and intellectual history in a way that gives powerful testimony to the way a historical. Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past. It traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature Worster skillfully integrates environmental and intellectual history in a way that gives powerful testimony to the way a historical understanding of the ecology of place can contribute to the history of ideas.

Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past, first published in 1994. Other titles in Studies in Environment and History. Our view of the living world is a product of culture, and the development of ecology since the eighteenth century has closely reflected society's changing concerns. Donald Worster focuses on these dramatic shifts in outlook and on the individuals whose work has expressed and influenced society's point of view. An Environmental History of Russia.

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Similar books and articles. L. I. Vasilenko - 1998 - Russian Studies in Philosophy 37 (3):19-26. Nature's Economy: The Roots of Ecology by Donald Worster

Similar books and articles. Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas by Donald Worster. Gregg Mitman - 1995 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 86:466-467. Value Theory in Ecological Economics: The Contribution of a Political Economy of Wealth. The Economy and Pocock's Political Economy. Ryan Walter - 2008 - History of European Ideas 34 (3):334-344. Nature's Economy: The Roots of Ecology by Donald Worster. Frank Egerton Iii - 1979 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 70:167-168. The Necessity and Impossibility of Political Economy.

This wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature. Donald Worster focuses on the dramatic shifts in man's view of the living world that have occurred since the eighteenth century, looking closely at the contributions of such figures as Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, and Thoreau, as well as those of the twentieth-century ecologists Frederic Clements, Aldo Leopold, and Eugene Odum. The author has written a new preface for this work, which was first published by Sierra Club Books in 1977.
Zeleence
Viewing nature as a multi-tiered economy is not a recent revelation. Donald Worster explores the genesis of this idea back to Gilbert White during the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. In sum, nature has producers and consumers. Consumers, whether they are humans, lions, bullfrogs or fire ants feed off the producers who are usually represented by photosynthesizing life forms. Consumers often aid producers in their propagation, even though it may not always be obvious. This concept of organic bodies interacting as a community is the basis of ecology.

Because there are so many variables, ecology and environmental study is a tricky field to study. Even more adroit are the historical scholars and their examinations of the environmental study. When most authors are banging their war drums calling for a reevaluation of environmental outlook or positing radical theories, Worster wishes to pursue a "deeper awareness of the roots of our contemporary perception of nature." He does not attempt to argue much of a hard-line point throughout his book, rather than openly explore the history of ecology. This is a simple and humble way to approach any topic and can be a truly wise idea. Worster separated the history of ecological thought into half a dozen eras. His hope was to illuminate the progression of ecology from organic, to romantic, to mechanistic, to tragic, to apocalyptic, and back to organic. By patiently probing through a massively diverse history of ecological ideas, Worster has written an epic of ecological history. If J.R.R Tolkien wrote an epic of ecology it would have turned out similar to Nature's Economy.

One strength of Worster's writing is his ability to draw upon obscure characters and develop attachments to various agents of history. Worster never grazes over characters or ideas, rather he supplies descriptions and backgrounds to diversify the story. He describes the drab appearance of "Oakies" and the tensions of Apollo 13. He explains the geology of the Galapagos Islands and the background Eugene Odum. By providing character development, background science and minute details, Worster has created an ecology of ecologists.

Worster provided so much detail in an attempt to push his minor thesis and his only real argument. According to Worster, ecology (along with other sciences) progressed according to the social and cultural patterns of the time. I will highlight just three of these instances.

The nineteenth century of the western world saw technological growth and scientific development in such quantities that had not been achieved for two thousand years. Man's achievements reaffirmed the belief that the natural world should be categorized and mechanized both physically and ideologically. Ecology in its attempts to identify the various cogs and relationships in nature fit surprisingly well into the mechanists blueprint. Nature was meticulously broken down and organized in order to identify as many agents in the economy of nature as possible. Ecology aided this process.

Ecology was looked to out of desperation during the 1930's and Dust Bowl catastrophe. Ecologists had much to offer in regards to explaining the dust storms. Most importantly they explained why it happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future. Ecology, with its ability to understand natural relationships, educated people in the importance of naturally evolved landscapes. These landscapes evolved through species succession and climax. Ecologists gained some admiration and even a few public pay-checks.

Lastly, ecology became an oasis of purity following the atomic bomb and World War Two. For centuries, scientists were bringers of progress, knowledge, and curiosity. But shame and fear was cast over the scientific community upon the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The most brilliant physicists in the world who once pondered the heavens and studied the forces that keep us floating through space became the harbingers of unrelenting death produced from the laboratory. Chemists who once theorized on the elemental similarities of humans, birds and trees became the dark scientist who played God by perverting the elements. Science, as Worster explained morbidly, had a large stain on its lab coat. Ecology, with its happier appraisals of life and natural connections became very popular in the shadow of the bomb. And so entered, "the Age of Ecology."

As mentioned above, Worster routinely supplemented his history of ecology with details and narratives. Initially, I found this cumbersome and inhibiting to the point. Only after getting through one third of the book did I realize that the details are the point. The details are what create the connections of ecology. The characters and their diverse backgrounds were what the human culture was comprised of. Two hundred years of botany, biology, geology, physics and curiosity mixed with two hundred years of market economy, integrated with two hundred years of social and cultural trends all added up to a photograph of earth taken by an Apollo astronaut drifting through the vacuum of dead space. There it lay, a tiny blueish greenish gem able to support complex life, the only such gem we know of. Ecology as an idea existed for centuries, ecology as a thesis was born from that photograph. Donald Worster's Nature's Economy had to have all the details it did, it was the only way to appreciate the complex connections existing on earth.
Nikok
…needs to read Donald Worster. In fact, he should be required reading to buy property anywhere west of Salina. This book, and his 1992 book, "Under Western Skies", are remarkably inspiring and challenging. For those of us who treasure the delicate and magnificent ecosystems around us, these books are a necessary arsenal against mindless development and loud self-interest groups.

"Nature's Economy" is an entire college course on the connection between history and nature. It can be challenging to read, but like climbing a tall mountain, well worth it. I would highly recommend this book to people who enjoy stimulating and well-researched reading.
tref
I used to muse on the subject of environmentalism and why two seemingly opposed camps ("pro-environment" and "anti-environment"--though "anti-environment" could more fairly be termed "pro-development") think the way they do. This book answered many of my questions and started me thinking about more in-depth issues of environmentalism. The history presented is fascinating and, in some cases, appalling. I found myself thinking, "how could these people so eagerly destroy the environment that sustains them?", but at the same time the logic was right in front of me. I may not have agreed with it, but there it was.

The book is divided into six sections, which explore environmental thinking in chronological order: 1) Two Roads Diverged: Ecology in the Eighteenth Century; 2) The Subversive Science: Thoreau's Romantic Ecology; 3) The Dismal Science: Darwinian Ecology; 4) O Pioneers: Ecology on the Frontier; 5) The Morals of a Science: Ethics, Economics, and Ecology; 6) The Age of Ecology: Science and the Fate of the Earth.

This book was required reading for an environmental ethics class (something I think every college student should take), and I enjoyed reading it. We were asked to think about the points in the book in the context of 6 different frameworks: morals and ethics, religion, capitalism, the commons, science, and wilderness. I recommend that other readers do the same. Thinking about environmentalism from these different viewpoints gives it a different spin every time.

I never really considered myself an environmentalist, although I am all for living sustainably on the earth (within reason--some sustainability viewpoints are admittedly extreme). However, this book definitely shifted my opinions to those of a more environmentalist-like identity than I had before.

This review refers to the Second Edition (1994).
Daigrel
If you want to know why our society is corrupt and immoral look no further from this book. Ecology and evolution as described by this book comes from the worship of nature and observational practices. Popperian science at one time was the hallmark of exploration. Darwin and those before and after him were mere druids. Swimming naked with frogs in an orgy, and these are the founding fathers of ecology. Good job!