After Preservation: Saving American Nature in the Age of Humans

University of Chicago Press
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From John Muir to David Brower, from the creation of Yellowstone National Park to the Endangered Species Act, environmentalism in America has always had close to its core a preservationist ideal. Generations have been inspired by its ethos—to encircle nature with our protection, to keep it apart, pristine, walled against the march of human development. But we have to face the facts. Accelerating climate change, rapid urbanization, agricultural and industrial devastation, metastasizing fire regimes, and other quickening anthropogenic forces all attest to the same truth: the earth is now spinning through the age of humans. After Preservation takes stock of the ways we have tried to both preserve and exploit nature to ask a direct but profound question: what is the role of preservationism in an era of seemingly unstoppable human development, in what some have called the Anthropocene?

Ben A. Minteer and Stephen J. Pyne bring together a stunning consortium of voices comprised of renowned scientists, historians, philosophers, environmental writers, activists, policy makers, and land managers to negotiate the incredible challenges that environmentalism faces. Some call for a new, post-preservationist model, one that is far more pragmatic, interventionist, and human-centered. Others push forcefully back, arguing for a more chastened and restrained vision of human action on the earth. Some try to establish a middle ground, while others ruminate more deeply on the meaning and value of wilderness. Some write on species lost, others on species saved, and yet others discuss the enduring practical challenges of managing our land, water, and air.

From spirited optimism to careful prudence to critical skepticism, the resulting range of approaches offers an inspiring contribution to the landscape of modern environmentalism, one driven by serious, sustained engagements with the critical problems we must solve if we—and the wild garden we may now keep—are going to survive the era we have ushered in.

Contributors include: Chelsea K. Batavia, F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin III, Norman L. Christensen, Jamie Rappaport Clark, William Wallace Covington, Erle C. Ellis, Mark Fiege, Dave Foreman, Harry W. Greene, Emma Marris, Michelle Marvier, Bill McKibben, J. R. McNeill, Curt Meine, Ben A. Minteer, Michael Paul Nelson, Bryan Norton, Stephen J. Pyne, Andrew C. Revkin, Holmes Rolston III, Amy Seidl, Jack Ward Thomas, Diane J. Vosick, John A. Vucetich, Hazel Wong, and Donald Worster.
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About the author

Ben A. Minteer holds the Arizona Zoological Society Endowed Chair in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He has published a number of books, including Refounding Environmental Ethics and The Landscape of Reform. Stephen J. Pyne is a Regents’ Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of many books, most recently The Last Lost World and Fire: Nature and Culture.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Mar 25, 2015
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780226260020
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
Science / Life Sciences / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stephen J. Pyne
Stephen J. Pyne
Andrew C. Scott
Earth is the only planet known to have fire.  The reason is both simple and profound: fire exists because Earth is the only planet to possess life as we know it. Fire is an expression of life on Earth and an index of life’s history. Few processes are as integral, unique, or ancient.

Fire on Earth puts fire in its rightful place as an integral part of the study of geology, biology, human history, physics, and global chemistry. Fire is ubiquitous in various forms throughout Earth, and belongs as part of formal inquiries about our world. In recent years fire literature has multiplied exponentially; dedicated journals exist and half a dozen international conferences are held annually. A host of formal sciences, or programs announcing interdisciplinary intentions, are willing to consider fire. Wildfire also appears routinely in media reporting.

This full-colour text, containing over 250 illustrations of fire in all contexts, is designed to provide a synthesis of contemporary thinking; bringing together the most powerful concepts and disciplinary voices to examine, in an international setting, why planetary fire exists, how it works, and why it looks the way it does today. Students, lecturers, researchers and professionals interested in the physical, ecological and historical characteristics of fire will find this book, and accompanying web-based material, essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all related disciplines, for general interest and for providing an interdisciplinary foundation for further study.

A comprehensive approach to the history, behaviour and ecological effects of fire on earth Timely introduction to this important subject, with relevance for global climate change, biodiversity loss and the evolution of human culture. Provides a foundation for the interdisciplinary field of Fire Research Authored by an international team of leading experts in the field Associated website provides additional resources
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