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Global Environmental History10,000 BC to AD 2000$
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Ian Simmons

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621583

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621583.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter One Resonances
Global Environmental History

I. G. Simmons

Edinburgh University Press

The book adopts a realist epistemology in terms of relaying ‘facts. It also acknowledges that these are mediated through language and metaphor and also that dissonances between actuality and representation are common. Yet the material cannot be ignored: the number of humans is basic to any consideration of environmental change, as are the flows of energy and matter between the human and non-human spheres of activity. Neither can we talk to ‘nature’: we talk to ourselves about it. One helpful image might be the famous DNA spiral in which the strands are those of humans and ‘nature’ and the base pairs suggest the linkages between them. A widening gyre can indicate the growth in the levels of impact the one upon the other.

Keywords:   Realism, Demography, DNA, Material world, Population

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