Reply To: 2. Wed 12 Feb: Donald Worster on Environmental History

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Peter # Posted on February 17, 2015 at 15:22

Comments on Fanny SannerudĀ“s reflections from seminar with Donald Worster

I think your reflections regarding Worsters pessimistic attitude toward combating the problems created by climate change are interesting. I also believe he could perhaps have expressed his negative views a bit different. Especially sense he also did talk about that the affects of climate change may not be as dire as many scholars seem to believe today, which would suggest that he also had more positive views on the outcome of climate change. Let us hope that his audience, such as us, instead feels obligated to assist in proving him wrong. At the end of the day know on can predict the outcome of climate change with any certainty, and there are still much that can be done to alleviate the situation.

I also think it is good that you cover Worsters focus on the problems with Capitalism, and its belief in continued economic growth. It is certainly something that I also see as a major narrative both in his book and as a topic in the seminar.

Your reflections on agriculture and food production I believe are also in line with what Worster called one of the three major themes of Environmental History. The first theme being the importance of studying agriculture, the second and third theme being the climate and the impact of capitalism. I think his comments that at the heart of Environmental History lays the issue of food, and how we get it, and that this connects us most to nature shows a strong belief regarding the importance Worster places on the issue. He also reiterated that agriculture was a ten thousand year old mistake, which really puts the study of how we get our food recourses in a more sustainable fashion into focus.