The Control Of Nature

Author: John McPhee
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374708495
Size: 29.18 MB
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While John McPhee was working on his previous book, Rising from the Plains, he happened to walk by the engineering building at the University of Wyoming, where words etched in limestone said: "Strive on--the control of Nature is won, not given." In the morning sunlight, that central phrase--"the control of nature"--seemed to sparkle with unintended ambiguity. Bilateral, symmetrical, it could with equal speed travel in opposite directions. For some years, he had been planning a book about places in the world where people have been engaged in all-out battles with nature, about (in the words of the book itself) "any struggle against natural forces--heroic or venal, rash or well advised--when human beings conscript themselves to fight against the earth, to take what is not given, to rout the destroying enemy, to surround the base of Mt. Olympus demanding and expecting the surrender of the gods." His interest had first been sparked when he went into the Atchafalaya--the largest river swamp in North America--and had learned that virtually all of its waters were metered and rationed by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project called Old River Control. In the natural cycles of the Mississippi's deltaic plain, the time had come for the Mississippi to change course, to shift its mouth more than a hundred miles and go down the Atchafalaya, one of its distributary branches. The United States could not afford that--for New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and all the industries that lie between would be cut off from river commerce with the rest of the nation. At a place called Old River, the Corps therefore had built a great fortress--part dam, part valve--to restrain the flow of the Atchafalaya and compel the Mississippi to stay where it is. In Iceland, in 1973, an island split open without warning and huge volumes of lava began moving in the direction of a harbor scarcely half a mile away. It was not only Iceland's premier fishing port (accounting for a large percentage of Iceland's export economy) but it was also the only harbor along the nation's southern coast. As the lava threatened to fill the harbor and wipe it out, a physicist named Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson suggested a way to fight against the flowing red rock--initiating an all-out endeavor unique in human history. On the big island of Hawaii, one of the world's two must eruptive hot spots, people are not unmindful of the Icelandic example. McPhee went to Hawaii to talk with them and to walk beside the edges of a molten lake and incandescent rivers. Some of the more expensive real estate in Los Angeles is up against mountains that are rising and disintegrating as rapidly as any in the world. After a complex coincidence of natural events, boulders will flow out of these mountains like fish eggs, mixed with mud, sand, and smaller rocks in a cascading mass known as debris flow. Plucking up trees and cars, bursting through doors and windows, filling up houses to their eaves, debris flows threaten the lives of people living in and near Los Angeles' famous canyons. At extraordinary expense the city has built a hundred and fifty stadium-like basins in a daring effort to catch the debris. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strategies and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking in his vivid depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those who would attempt to wrest control from her--stubborn, often ingenious, and always arresting characters.

The Ecological Crisis And The Logic Of Capital

Author: Chen Xueming
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004356002
Size: 56.38 MB
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Taking an eco-socialist perspective, The Ecological Crisis and the Logic of Capital explores the logic of capitalism as a fundamental cause of today’s environmental crisis, in particular the thirst for profit and the capitalist mode of production.

The Gender And Science Reader

Author: Muriel Lederman
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415213585
Size: 11.54 MB
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The Gender and Science Reader brings together key writings by leading scholars to provide a comprehensive feminist analysis of the nature and practice of science. Challenging the self-proclaimed objectivity of scientific practice, the contributors uncover the gender, class and racial prejudices of modern science. The Reader draws from a range of media, including feminist criticism, scientific literature, writings about scientific education, and the popular press. Articles are grouped into six thematic sections which address: -- Women in Science -- women's access to study and employment in science, combining both analytical evidence and personal testimonies -- Creating Androcentric Science -- exploring the gendered origins of science at the time of the Enlightenment -- Analyzing Gendered Science -- feminist methodologies and epistemology for the study of science -- Gendered Praxis -- examples of how gender bias can affect and distort scientific work -- Science and Identity -- how science reinforces gender and racial stereotypes -- Feminist Restructuring of Science -- what is the future of feminist science studies? In addition to a general introduction by the editors to the volume, and introductions to each of the thematic sections, the Reader also includes a comprehensive bibliography of feminist science studies, making it an indispensable resource for anyone involved in the teaching, research or study of science.

The Moral Authority Of Nature

Author: Lorraine Daston
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226136820
Size: 57.62 MB
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For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify. The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America. Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic. Contributors: Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal

Sociological Theory In The Contemporary Era

Author: Scott Appelrouth
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
ISBN: 0761928014
Size: 54.28 MB
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Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era: Text and Readings combines the major writings of sociology’s core contemporary theorists with a historical and theoretical framework for understanding these works. Authors Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor Edles use this unique text/reader approach to introduce students to sociological theory in a lively and engaging fashion.

The Republic Of Nature

Author: Mark Fiege
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295804149
Size: 12.89 MB
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In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/

Volcanoes

Author: Richard V. Fisher
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691002491
Size: 59.58 MB
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Assisting readers in experiencing this geological phenomena, the authors draw upon actual encounters with volcanoes, often through firsthand accounts of those who have witnessed eruptions and miraculously survived the terrifying aftermath. 46 line illustrations. 85 halftones.

Beyond The Control Of God

Author: Paul Gould
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623569370
Size: 60.59 MB
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The question of God's relationship to abstract objects touches on a number of perennial concerns related to the nature of God. God is typically thought to be an independent and self-sufficient being. Further, God is typically thought to be supremely sovereign such that all reality distinct from God is dependent on God's creative and sustaining activity. However, the view that there are abstract objects seems to be a repudiation of this traditional understanding of God. Abstract objects are typically thought to exist necessarily and it is natural to think that if something exists necessarily, it does so because it is its nature to exist. Thus, abstract objects exist independently of God. Philosophers have called this the problem of God and abstract objects. In this book, six contemporary solutions to the problem are set out and defended against objections. It will be valuable for all students or scholars who are interested in the concept and nature of God.