Reply To: Mon 17 Feb: World Systems, History and Ecology

Author Replies # Posted on February 19, 2014 at 16:34

Response to Gao Yongliang’s reflection

By Yaqi Fu

Thanks very much for your comprehensive reflection. Personally I understand your feelings as well.

From the first part in your reflection I can see you are confused about terminological words that Moore used in his article. I agree with you on this problem. Since he seemed to prefer using some “big words” in his essays. It’s easy to get lost if there is insufficient of explanation. Global issues are hard to solve and even to find a way in solving. These “big words” may lead it to the air, but not real solutions, and further as you said, make readers hard to evaluate and comment on his work. But on the other side, it’s helpful to know some new terminology in his articles.

The second part of your essay is about trans-disciplinary thinking. You found Moore’s work is more focused on economical and political history, but less on environmental history. I think that is true. Moore believed current environmental problems are in fact historical, and environmental history can not be studied without understanding capitalism in history and neoliberalism now. In Moore’s idea, environmental problems are much more complicated than what you (I also) understand. This is good to have a broad view on environment issues, I think.

In the third part you questioned if his articles seem to present so much theories but not enough facts. I agree with you on this side. Cheap food is also of my interest. In explaining cheap food, he uses the historical facts in the capitalism age, and a chart to show the price fluctuation in the current time. But it still gives me a feeling that the evidence is so general and partial. From cheap food, he extended to hegemony, capitalism, ecology, neoliberalism and what more. This trial is creative and provoking, and makes us reflect ourselves what is next when cheap food ends. But it’s so broad that gives another feeling that we can not catch any certainty of facts.