American Environmental History: An Introduction by Carolyn Merchant

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By Carolyn Merchant

By way of learning the numerous methods diversified peoples have replaced, formed, and conserved the flora and fauna over the years, environmental historians offer perception into humanity's distinct dating with nature and, extra importantly, are larger capable of comprehend the origins of our present environmental obstacle. starting with the precolonial land-use perform of local american citizens and concluding with our twenty-first century matters over our worldwide ecological drawback, American Environmental historical past addresses contentious matters corresponding to the renovation of the desert, the expulsion of local peoples from nationwide parks, and inhabitants development, and considers the formative forces of gender, race, and sophistication. Entries tackle a variety of subject matters, from the effect of rice cultivation, slavery, and the expansion of the auto suburb to the results of the Russian sea otter alternate, Columbia River salmon fisheries, the environmental justice circulation, and globalization. This illustrated reference is a vital better half for college kids attracted to the continued transformation of the yank panorama and the conflicts over its assets and conservation. It makes wealthy use of the instruments and assets (climatic and geological information, courtroom documents, archaeological digs, and the writings of naturalists) that environmental historians depend upon to behavior their learn. the amount additionally encompasses a compendium of important humans, suggestions, occasions, corporations, and laws, and an in depth bibliography of severe movies, books, and sites.

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Only recently in human history have some people had the luxury of forgetting that nature needs to be subdued if humans are to survive. All of this does not mean that the Bible gives us license to abuse our environment. That is a misinterpretation corrected by a second passage in the Creation story. We have already referred to Genesis 2:15. Here it is with key Hebrew terms added to amplify its meaning: The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work [abad] it and keep [shamar] it.

Ezek. 34:18–19, ESV) God’s judgment of human stewardship is both comprehensive and specific: God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. (Eccles. 12:14, NLT) 21 For only the upright will live in the land, and those who have integrity will remain in it. 22But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be destroyed. (Prov. 2:21–22, NLT) In a similar vein, Jesus promises the earth to the good stewards: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

3:19, ESV) The Hebrew word ruwach means breath, wind, or spirit. Ecology in the Bible 39 The Bible is clear that humanity is a part of nature, not separated from it. The same physical and life principles work in animals and humans. However, the Bible does teach that there is a difference between humans and the rest of creation. Only humans are made “in the image of God” (Gen. 1:26–27). That uniqueness allows God to hold humans responsible to him for their care of the rest of creation (Gen. 2:15).

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