“Covers a wide range of issues with balance and clarity. . . . I can recommend the book highly as an intermediate-level source of information and insight into the international aspects of the acid rain problem.”—J. F. Hornig, Ambio
“A masterful analysis of the policy problems raised by acid rain in the U.S. and Canada . . . detailed, objective, understandable, and compelling. Weaving substantive and institutional factors into their analysis, the authors skillfully portray the controversy’s multifaceted nature.”—Tracy Dobson, American Journal of International Law
“[A] thorough, well-balanced analysis . . . [that] could serve as a model for analysis of complex policy issues.”—Choice
“Reveals the interface between science, technology, and public policy as being the co-extensive network it really is. . . . Timely and welcomed.”—John de la Mothe, Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques
A Choice Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2005–2006
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic.
While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities. John Iliffe stresses historical sequence. He argues that Africa has had the worst epidemic because the disease was established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed. HIV evolved with extraordinary speed and complexity, and because that evolution took place under the eyes of modern medical research scientists, Iliffe has been able to write a history of the virus itself that is probably unique among accounts of human epidemic diseases. In giving the African experience a historical shape, Iliffe has written one of the most important books of our time.
The African experience of AIDS has taught the world much of what it knows about HIV/AIDS, and this fascinating book brings into focus many aspects of the epidemic in the longer context of massive demographic growth, urbanization, and social change in Africa during the latter half of the twentieth century. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus.
In After Eden, Kirkpatrick Sale answers these questions in a radically new way. Integrating research in paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology, he points to the beginning of big-game hunting as the origin of Homo sapiens’ estrangement from the natural world. Sale contends that a new, recognizably modern human culture based on the hunting of large animals developed in Africa some 70,000 years ago in response to a fierce plunge in worldwide temperature triggered by an enormous volcanic explosion in Asia. Tracing the migration of populations and the development of hunting thousands of years forward in time, he shows that hunting became increasingly adversarial in relation to the environment as people fought over scarce prey during Europe’s glacial period between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago. By the end of that era, humans’ idea that they were the superior species on the planet, free to exploit other species toward their own ends, was well established.
After Eden is a sobering tale, but not one without hope. Sale asserts that Homo erectus, the variation of the hominid species that preceded Homo sapiens and survived for nearly two million years, did not attempt to dominate the environment. He contends that vestiges of this more ecologically sound way of life exist today—in some tribal societies, in the central teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, and in the core principles of the worldwide environmental movement—offering redemptive possibilities for ourselves and for the planet.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is a passionate defense of radical ecology that speaks directly to current debates concerning the nature, and dangers, of sovereign power. Engaging the work of Bataille, Arendt, Levinas, Nancy, and Agamben, among others, Mick Smith reconnects the political critique of sovereign power with ecological considerations, arguing that ethical and political responsibilities for the consequences of our actions do not end with those defined as human.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is the first book to turn Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty and biopolitics toward an investigation of ecological concerns. In doing so it exposes limits to that thought, maintaining that the increasingly widespread biopolitical management of human populations has an unrecognized ecological analogue—reducing nature to a “resource” for human projects. Smith contends that a radical ecological politics must resist both the depoliticizing exercise of sovereign power and the pervasive spread of biopolitics in order to reveal new possibilities for creating healthy human and nonhuman communities.
Presenting a stinging critique of human claims to sovereignty over the natural world, Smith proposes an alternative way to conceive of posthumanist ecological communities—one that recognizes the utter singularity of the beings in them.
Contributors. Arun Agrawal, Mark Baker, Molly Chattopadhyaya, Vinay Gidwani, Sumit Guha, Shubhra Gururani, Cecile Jackson, David Ludden, Haripriya Rangan, Paul Robbins, Vasant Saberwal, James C. Scott, K. Sivaramakrishnan, Ajay Skaria, Jennifer Springer, Darren Zook
Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth and development and a key agricultural input-but in excess it can lead to a host of problems for human and ecological health. Across the globe, distribution of fertilizer nitrogen is very uneven, with some areas subject to nitrogen pollution and others suffering from reduced soil fertility, diminished crop production, and other consequences of inadequate supply.
Agriculture and the Nitrogen Cycle provides a global assessment of the role of nitrogen fertilizer in the nitrogen cycle. The focus of the book is regional, emphasizing the need to maintain food and fiber production while minimizing environmental impacts where fertilizer is abundant, and the need to enhance fertilizer utilization in systems where nitrogen is limited. The book is derived from a workshop held by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) in Kampala, Uganda, that brought together the world's leading scientists to examine and discuss the nitrogen cycle and related problems. It contains an overview chapter that summarizes the group's findings, four chapters on cross-cutting issues, and thirteen background chapters.
The book offers a unique synthesis and provides an up-to-date, broad perspective on the issues of nitrogen fertilizer in food production and the interaction of nitrogen and the environment.
The year 2005 marked the centennial of the founding of the United States Forest Service (USFS). Samuel P. Hays uses this occasion to present a cogent history of the role of American society in shaping the policies and actions of this agency.
From its establishment in 1905 under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, timber and grazing management dominated the agency's agenda. Due to high consumer demand for wood products and meat from livestock, the USFS built a formidable system of forest managers, training procedures, and tree science programs to specifically address these needs. This strong internal organization bolstered the agency during the tumultuous years in the final one-third of the century—when citizens and scientists were openly critical of USFS policies—yet it restricted the agency's vision and adaptability on environmental issues. A dearth of ecological capabilities tormented the USFS in 1960 when the Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act set new statutes for the preservation of wildlife, recreation, watershed, and aesthetic resources. This was followed by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which established standards for the oversight of forest ecosystems. The USFS was ill equipped to handle the myriad administrative and technological complexities that these mandates required.
In The American People and the National Forests, Hays chronicles three distinct periods in USFS history, provides a summarizing “legacy” for each, and outlines the public and private interests, administrators, and laws that guided the agency's course and set its priorities. He demonstrates how these legacies affected successive eras, how they continue to influence USFS policy in the twenty-first century, and why USFS policies should matter to all of us.
Craig Waddell presents essays investigating Rachel Carson’s influential 1962 book, Silent Spring. In his foreword, Paul Brooks, Carson’s editor at Houghton Mifflin, describes the process that resulted in Silent Spring. In an afterword, Linda Lear, Carson’s recent biographer, recalls the end of Carson’s life and outlines the attention that Carson’s book and Carson herself received from scholars and biographers, attention that focused so minutely on her life that it detracted from a focus on her work. The foreword by Brooks and the afterword by Lear frame this exploration within the context of Carson’s life and work.
Contributors are Edward P. J. Corbett, Carol B, Gartner, Cheryll Glotfelty, Randy Harris, M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Linda Lear, Ralph H. Lutts, Christine Oravec, Jacqueline S. Palmer, Markus J. Peterson, Tarla Rai Peterson, and Craig Waddell. Together, these essays explore Silent Spring’seffectiveness in conveying its disturbing message and the rhetorical strategies that helped create its wide influence.
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