This paper discusses viewing history from an environmental perspective.
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The author examines the effect of history on the environment through three American historical accounts: “Salmon Without Rivers” by Jim Lichatowich, “The Way to the West” by Elliott West and “Land Use, Environment and Social Change;The Shaping of Island County, Washington” by Richard White. The benefits of environmental history are discussed and how it can help a society be better understood through investigation of its relationship to its natural world.
“But certainly, with the future and the further introduction of hindsight, our current situation will be one rendered to environmental historians as the groundswell for human/environment relations to come. And that certainty is at the crux of environmental history, a branch of historiography that attempts to understand human motivations and needs through a lens of environmental behaviors. Most simply stated, environmental history is the study of human populations, the relationships they share with their respective environments, and the various implications that this interrelationship possesses for both. Of course, that said, the fact of environmental history is a great deal more complicated, as it is rife with clashing priorities, periods of evolution and devolution (if such a thing can truly be identified), and constantly shifting possibilities and perspectives.”