Changing times: The Holocene Legacy

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Abstract

Environmentalism has become a powerful force in global scientific and political affairs. Part of its influence stems from the truism that a viable environment is not just a lofty ideal but a practical necessity for the future of humanity. Another part comes from a reawakening of prehumanistic thoughts that humanity is not necessarily the sole measure of all things. These two threads of modern environmental thinking underscore the age-old question of the place of humankind in nature. Alternate concepts about the relationship of human beings to nature depend largely on philosophical attitudes independent of any external reality, but accurate perception of environmental history is a prerequisite for valid environmental con- cepts. Understanding how the global environment we observe today has evolved from antecedent conditions is indispensable as part of the basis for guiding future environmental management. An adequate appraisal of environmental history must include a geological perspective

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Authors

  • William R. Dickinson

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