Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Author Replies # Posted on March 5, 2014 at 09:42

Reply to Ellen’s comments:

Seminar 3: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange
On: Hornborg, A. 2012. Global Ecology and Unequal Exchange: Fetishism in a Zero-Sum World, Routledge and seminar with Alf Hornborg 2014-03-03 in Geocentrum, Uppsala.

For the most part I agree with Ellen and Hornborg with their view on World-systems thinking. There is a certain degree of isolationism when (environmental) history considers and research case studies, while these often have very extensive relations to other cases and parts of the world, especially when we regard our environmental we experience right now. Over the years we have displaced our production to the poorer countries and now we expect them to deal with it. However I do think that in a lot of historical cases local focus is the solution for a lot of environmental problems, and hornborg seems to suggest this as well, although i’m unsure whether this fits his view of world-systems theory. As he added in the discussion he thinks that a local currency for for instance buying food will stop the world from needlessly globalizing, which he considers to be happening for quite awhile now. So I think that it is smart to consider cross-continetal relations and influence as an important factor in historical research, however when it comes to solutions, conclusions and discussions it can be good to set local limits and experiment with local ideas, since this is the direction that you want to head towards.

We also still need to recognize that every case is different and can’t predict the future, it can help us in the future, but in the end every case study is unique, and sometimes the limits that are set are there for a reason, and in every case this reason can be different. So if some case studies ignore cross-continental relations there is probably a good reason for it

Nick Hirschstein