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Reply to Anna by Yaqi Fu
I think your worry about the nation-state scale in environmental history is quite reasonable. Nation-state is the scale and the awareness of us that influences the writing of environmental history. The scale would be small if we try to build the big ecology in a global context, but the awareness of us is unavoidably connected to and immersed in a national state, and even more, our funding as well. The idea about national state is relatively fresh, which emerged no earlier than the early modern time in Europe. It would be helpful to know what functions of such a scale in human’s affairs, and to put it further, in the nature. In human’s affairs, a national state cares not so much about the justice and legislation, but more on the profit and benefit of its own. If so, in the investigation of nature, who can guarantee the results in such scale will satisfy the world beyond the nation-state itself?
The dichotomy between nature and people is interesting and I am surprised you remember the words which Libby said:“ sometimes the nature is different because people are in it but sometimes humanity is just nature.” In such elaboration, nature is a part of human’s affairs. I think it’s true that nature is always viewed in the way according to human’s interest. Nature is like human’s clothes, housing, which support human’s body and soul. But people would wonder why some other groups of people are so ugly and so weird when they wear the same costume, and live in the same beautiful house. The angry and worried people want to know if these barbaric people destroy the beauty of the whole costume and the house, and want to get the recovery of the beauty, and to make it more clean and splendid which is like sustainable development. Nature is sometimes intertwined with human is such way. :)
Reply To: September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia
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