Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature
Nature: the wilderness that environmentalists try to protect from industrial despoliation; the spectacular national parks where people seek refuge from their everyday urban lives; the endangered plants and animals that now need the shelter of science and law to survive; the rain forests, mountains, deserts, oceans, rivers, and lakes we would like to see as unspoiled, unchanging. These conceptions of nature, so familiar and powerful that we take them for granted, are deeply flawed because they too often leave people out of the picture. The original essays in this volume, by leading scholars from many disciplines, examine the problems that flow from a viewpoint that severs human beings and human activities from their place in nature. The essays draw on evidence from many corners of our cultural landscape, from the parks of Frederick Law Olmsted to the cool confines of The Nature Company's stores, from the Amazon rain forest and the Garden of Eden to the virtual world of cyberspace. Together, they point toward new environmental values that affirm a responsible human place in nature. On such a foundation we can meet the challenges of the present and build an environmentalism for the twenty-first century.
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