I. G. Simmons

in Global Environmental History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780748621583
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670765 | DOI:

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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

Chapter.  11435 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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