Reply To: September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia Reply To: September 8th: History, Conservation and politics, the example of Australia

Author Replies # Posted on September 9, 2014 at 11:16

Libby Robin Reflection- Morag Ramsey

I found while reading Libby Robin and her husband’s contributions to Environmental History that I continually stumbled upon issues that I will soon face when I begin thesis writing. In particular I was struck by how the history of power and history of ideas must have interacted and what that will reveal. It made me want to search for the “biodiversity” in my own area of interest. I am hoping to look into conservation in Sweden, in particular when it comes to the wolf. I already suspect that there are emotional, psychological and social elements which combine to make decisions based around this animal, but now I am curious to see how science has been used to justify policy surrounding this particular effort at conservation. I was also interested in the idea that “a crisis itself frames its own solutions.” (25) and I will now try and apply this lens to my work.

I also found this morning’s discussion about indigenous versus settler Australian’s identification with their country very interesting. While I have not concretely connected such ideas to my own thesis yet, I feel they are bound to surface. This idea of land ownership, land use and ancestry being tied to national identity is a difficult idea to navigate successfully. I think better understandings of the ideas of ‘self’ and ‘community’ and how they are connected to the environment can only strengthen the way we negotiate solutions for environmental degradation.

I agree with Libby that a closer examination of those who suffer the most from climate change may bring about more positive change than continuously blaming the ‘developed’ world with no following positive action in return. I am reminded again and again of the complicated relation between individuals and their actions and larger institutions and global connections that dictate certain standards. Libby was speaking about how policy makers are just people with the same emotional response to certain issues as others. At times it seems that dealing with such large international problems that come along with environmental concerns creates faceless actors. I grapple with how to understand such faceless actors in terms of agency and global responsibility. Perhaps later on in life everything will be illuminated?