Desert

Nature and Culture
Author: Roslynn D. Haynes
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780231695
Category: Nature
Page: 245
View: 4005
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Desert takes a fresh look at one of the most significant natural aspects of our planet, as both a geographical feature and a cultural entity. It examines and often overturns our common notions about deserts, from the fear of desolation and death of thirst on the one hand, to the attraction of the exotic, adventure and freedom on the other. The book considers the immense geographical diversity of deserts from the Sahara to Antarctica, and describes how plants and animals have adapted to these hostile environments in intriguing and often bizarre ways. Diverse races have also inhabited deserts and evolved unique lifestyles and cultures in response to their environments. Desert also asks why all three of the world's great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, originated in the deserts of the Middle East, and traces the continuing connections between the minimal materialism of desert existence and the pursuit of a spiritual dimension. Deserts have also long exerted an allure on the West, leading to the impetus for exploration, the fascination with travellers' tales and the fashion for Orientalism in art, architecture and dress. Desert also reviews the significance of desolate landscapes in literature and film and looks at artists' responses to the desert, from seeing it as empty space, devoid of interest or perspective, to devising new visual techniques through which to 'see' it.

The Face of the Earth

Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture
Author: SueEllen Campbell
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520950712
Category: Nature
Page: 334
View: 9645
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This lively book sweeps across dramatic and varied terrains—volcanoes and glaciers, billabongs and canyons, prairies and rain forests—to explore how humans have made sense of our planet’s marvelous landscapes. In a rich weave of scientific, cultural, and personal stories, The Face of the Earth examines mirages and satellite images, swamp-dwelling heroes and Tibetan nomads, cave paintings and popular movies, investigating how we live with the great shaping forces of nature—from fire to changing climates and the intricacies of adaptation. The book illuminates subjects as diverse as the literary life of hollow Earth theories, the links between the Little Ice Age and Frankenstein’s monster, and the spiritual allure of deserts and their scarce waters. Including vivid, on-the-spot accounts by scientists and writers in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Alaska, England, the Rocky Mountains, Antarctica, and elsewhere, The Face of the Earth charts the depth and complexity of our interdependence with the natural world.

Inheritors of the Earth

How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction
Author: Chris D. Thomas
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610397282
Category: Nature
Page: 320
View: 6158
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Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad. It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Sowing Seeds in the Desert

Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security
Author: Masanobu Fukuoka
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603584196
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 216
View: 4794
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The earth is in great peril, due to the corporatization of agriculture, the rising climate crisis, and the ever-increasing levels of global poverty, starvation, and desertification on a massive scale. This present condition of global trauma is not "natural," but a result of humanity's destructive actions. And, according to Masanobu Fukuoka, it is reversible. We need to change not only our methods of earth stewardship, but also the very way we think about the relationship between human beings and nature. Fukuoka grew up on a farm on the island of Shikoku in Japan. As a young man he worked as a customs inspector for plants going into and out of the country. This was in the 1930s when science seemed poised to create a new world of abundance and leisure, when people fully believed they could improve upon nature by applying scientific methods and thereby reap untold rewards. While working there, Fukuoka had an insight that changed his life forever. He returned to his home village and applied this insight to developing a revolutionary new way of farming that he believed would be of great benefit to society. This method, which he called "natural farming," involved working with, not in opposition to, nature. Fukuoka's inspiring and internationally best-selling book, The One-Straw Revolution was first published in English in 1978. In this book, Fukuoka described his philosophy of natural farming and why he came to farm the way he did. One-Straw was a huge success in the West, and spoke directly to the growing movement of organic farmers and activists seeking a new way of life. For years after its publication, Fukuoka traveled around the world spreading his teachings and developing a devoted following of farmers seeking to get closer to the truth of nature. Sowing Seeds in the Desert, a summation of those years of travel and research, is Fukuoka's last major work-and perhaps his most important. Fukuoka spent years working with people and organizations in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States, to prove that you could, indeed, grow food and regenerate forests with very little irrigation in the most desolate of places. Only by greening the desert, he said, would the world ever achieve true food security. This revolutionary book presents Fukuoka's plan to rehabilitate the deserts of the world using natural farming, including practical solutions for feeding a growing human population, rehabilitating damaged landscapes, reversing the spread of desertification, and providing a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature. Fukuoka's message comes right at the time when people around the world seem to have lost their frame of reference, and offers us a way forward.

Clouds

Nature and Culture
Author: Richard Hamblyn
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780237707
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 9262
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Clouds have been objects of delight and fascination throughout human history, their fleeting magnificence and endless variety having inspired scientists and daydreamers alike. Described by Aristophanes as “the patron goddesses of idle men,” clouds and the ever-changing patterns they create have long symbolized the restlessness and unpredictability of nature, and yet they are also the source of life-giving rains. In this book, Richard Hamblyn examines clouds in their cultural, historic, and scientific contexts, exploring their prevalence in our skies as well as in our literature, art, and music. As Hamblyn shows, clouds function not only as a crucial means of circulating water around the globe but also as a finely tuned thermostat regulating the planet’s temperature. He discusses the many different kinds of clouds, from high, scattered cirrus clouds to the plump thought-bubbles of cumulus clouds, even exploring man-made clouds and clouds on other planets. He also shows how clouds have featured as meaningful symbols in human culture, whether as ominous portents of coming calamities or as ethereal figures giving shape to the heavens, whether in Wordsworth’s poetry or today’s tech speak. Comprehensive yet compact, cogent and beautifully illustrated, this is the ultimate guidebook to those shapeshifters of the sky.

A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert


Author: Steven John Phillips,Patricia Wentworth Comus,Mark Alan Dimmitt,Linda M. Brewer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520287479
Category: Nature
Page: 590
View: 2430
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"This book takes readers deep into the Sonoran Desert, looking closely at the relationships of plants and animals with the land and people, through time and across landscapes. Beginning with its deep biotic and geologic history, the text unveils fascinating ecological adaptations to this desert. The book focuses on the Arizona Upland Subdivision but also touches upon other subdivisions of the Sonoran Desert and associated biotic communities. In clearly accessible language, dozens of naturalists and/or scientists have spelled out the basic concepts of this desert's biodiversity, geology, weather, plants, and animals (from invertebrates to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals). It explains phenomena of desert light, Sky Islands, and rainfall patterns, flowering and pollination, human impacts and much more. Details on the form, habits, and habitat for hundreds of Sonoran Desert species are presented in accounts covering nearly two-thirds of the volume's 600-plus pages. As in the original publication, the new edition includes color plates highlighting Sonoran Desert landscapes, as well as maps, figures, and more than 400 black and white illustrations. Chapters on when and where to watch the spectacular nature of the region have been updated in this edition for readers inspired to journey over its lands and waters to peruse it in three dimensions"--Provided by publisher.

The Desert

Lands of Lost Borders
Author: Michael Welland
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780233892
Category: Nature
Page: 232
View: 4169
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From endless sand dunes and prickly cacti to shimmering mirages and green oases, deserts evoke contradictory images in us. They are lands of desolation, but also of romance, of blistering Mojave heat and biting Gobi cold. Covering a quarter of the earth’s land mass and providing a home to half a billion people, they are both a physical reality and landscapes of the mind. The idea of the desert has long captured Western imagination, put on display in films and literature, but these portrayals often fail to capture the true scope and diversity of the people living there. Bridging the scientific and cultural gaps between perception and reality, The Desert celebrates our fascination with these arid lands and their inhabitants, as well as their importance both throughout history and in the world today. Covering an immense geographical range, Michael Welland wanders from the Sahara to the Atacama, depicting the often bizarre adaptations of plants and animals to these hostile environments. He also looks at these seemingly infertile landscapes in the context of their place in history—as the birthplaces not only of critical evolutionary adaptations, civilizations, and social progress, but also of ideologies. Telling the stories of the diverse peoples who call the desert home, he describes how people have survived there, their contributions to agricultural development, and their emphasis on water and its scarcity. He also delves into the allure of deserts and how they have been used in literature and film and their influence on fashion, art, and architecture. As Welland reveals, deserts may be difficult to define, but they play an active role in the evolution of our global climate and society at large, and their future is of the utmost importance. Entertaining, informative, and surprising, The Desert is an intriguing new look at these seemingly harsh and inhospitable landscapes.

Gathering the Desert


Author: Gary Paul Nabhan
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816535019
Category: Nature
Page: 221
View: 9913
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To the untrained eye, a desert is a wasteland that defies civilization; yet the desert has been home to native cultures for centuries and offers sustenance in its surprisingly wide range of plant life. Gary Paul Nabhan has combed the desert in search of plants forgotten by all but a handful of American Indians and Mexican Americans. In Gathering the Desert readers will discover that the bounty of the desert is much more than meets the eye—whether found in the luscious fruit of the stately organpipe cactus or in the lowly tepary bean. Nabhan has chosen a dozen of the more than 425 edible wild species found in the Sonoran Desert to demonstrate just how bountiful the land can be. From the red-hot chiltepines of Mexico to the palms of Palm Springs, each plant exemplifies a symbolic or ecological relationship which people of this region have had with plants through history. Each chapter focuses on a particular plant and is accompanied by an original drawing by artist Paul Mirocha. Word and picture together create a total impression of plants and people as the book traces the turn of seasons in the desert.

Nature and Madness


Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820342337
Category: Nature
Page: 200
View: 1201
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Through much of history our relationship with the earth has been plagued by ambivalence--we not only enjoy and appreciate the forces and manifestations of nature, we seek to plunder, alter, and control them. Here Paul Shepard uncovers the cultural roots of our ecological crisis and proposes ways to repair broken bonds with the earth, our past, and nature. Ultimately encouraging, he notes, "There is a secret person undamaged in every individual. We have not lost, and cannot lose, the genuine impulse."

Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies

Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism
Author: Catrin Gersdorf
Publisher: Rodopi
ISBN: 9042020962
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 490
View: 3796
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Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies is a collection of essays written by European and North American scholars who argue that nature and culture can no longer be thought of in oppositional, mutually exclusive terms. They are united in an effort to push the theoretical limits of ecocriticism towards a more rigorous investigation of nature's critical potential as a concept that challenges modern culture's philosophical assumptions, epistemological convictions, aesthetic principles, and ethical imperatives. This volume offers scholars and students of literature, culture, history, philosophy, and linguistics new insights into the ongoing transformation of ecocriticism into an innovative force in international and interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies.

Literature and the Environment


Author: George Hart,Scott Slovic
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313321498
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 197
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Scholars critique the works of eleven leading 20th century authors who have explored environmental issues in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Finding home

writing on nature and culture from Orion magazine
Author: Peter H. Sauer
Publisher: Beacon Pr
ISBN: N.A
Category: Nature
Page: 293
View: 2694
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Writing on Nature and Culture from Orion MagazineEdited and with an Introduction by Peter Sauer

Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life


Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 1631490834
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 1433
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Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature. If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it's essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future. Half-Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip "twigs and eventually whole braches of life's family tree." In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity. Uniquely, Half-Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth's ecosystems. In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning. This includes a critique of the "anthropocenists," a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology. Despite the Earth's parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism. Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth's biodiversity can still be reclaimed. Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet's fragility, Half-Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.

Buzz

The Nature and Necessity of Bees
Author: Thor Hanson
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465098800
Category: Science
Page: 288
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From the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers, a natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round. Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing. As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.

Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective


Author: Anne Buttimer,L. Wallin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780792356516
Category: Social Science
Page: 360
View: 3066
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Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective presents 20 essays which explore diverse cultural interpretations of the earth's surface. Contrasted with each other and with the potentially cosmopolitan culture of science, these detailed studies of ways in which different cultures conceptualise nature appear in the context of global environmental change. Understanding across cultural lines has never been more important. This book shows how individual cultures see their own histories as offering protection for nature, while often viewing others as lacking such ethical restraints. Through such writing a discourse of understanding and common action becomes possible. The authors come from the places they discuss, and offer passionate as well as scholarly visions of nature within their cultural homes. Audience: This volume is of interest to academics and professionals working in the fields of cultural geography, environmental history, environmental studies, history of environmental ideas, environmental education, landscape and literature, nature and culture. It can be used for courses in the above-mentioned areas and seminars in comparative literature. It can also be used as a complimentary text to provide cultural context to literary readings, and for seminars on cultural aspects of the environment.

Patterned Ground

Entanglements of Nature and Culture
Author: Stephan Harrison,Steve Pile,N. J. Thrift
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 9781861891815
Category: Education
Page: 312
View: 1645
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Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.

Made From This Earth

American Women and Nature
Author: Vera Norwood
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469617447
Category: Social Science
Page: 392
View: 643
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The broad sweep of environmental and ecological history has until now been written and understood in predominantly male terms. In Made From This Earth, Vera Norwood explores the relationship of women to the natural environment through the work of writers, illustrators, landscape and garden designers, ornithologists, botanists, biologists, and conservationists. Norwood begins by showing that the study and promotion of botany was an activity deemed appropriate for women in the early 1800s. After highlighting the work of nineteenth-century scientific illustrators and garden designers, she focuses on nature's advocates such as Rachel Carson and Dian Fossey who differed strongly with men on both women's "nature" and the value of the natural world. These women challenged the dominant, male-controlled ideologies, often framing their critique with reference to values arising from the female experience. Norwood concludes with an analysis of the utopian solutions posed by ecofeminists, the most recent group of women to contest men over the meaning and value of nature.

A Place on Earth

An Anthology of Nature Writing from Australia and North America
Author: Mark Tredinnick
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803294578
Category: Nature
Page: 268
View: 6016
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This anthology brings together leading Australian and North American nature writers for the first time. Responding to places that sustain, inspire and sometimes sadden, the pieces are propelled by passion, anger and history.

Between Earth and Sky

Our Intimate Connections to Trees
Author: Nalini Nadkarni
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520261658
Category: Nature
Page: 336
View: 7793
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In Between Earth and Sky, a rich tapestry of personal stories, information, and illustrations, world-renowned canopy biologist Nalini M. Nadkarni becomes our captivating guide to the leafy wilderness above our heads. Through her luminous narrative, we embark on a multifaceted exploration of trees that reveals the profound connections we have with them, the dazzling array of things they can provide us, and the powerful lessons they teach us.

Nature and Experience in the Culture of Delusion

How Industrial Society Lost Touch with Reality
Author: D. Kidner
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230391362
Category: Psychology
Page: 327
View: 692
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While the historical development of symbolic power has benefitted humanity enormously, there is an insidious and seldom recognised price that goes beyond environmental degradation and cultural disintegration. With insights from both social and natural sciences, this book explores the changing character of subjectivity in contemporary life.