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By J. Donald Hughes

This paintings offers a concise heritage, from historical to fashionable occasions, of the interactions among human societies and the opposite different types of existence that inhabit our planet. It investigates the ways that environmental adjustments, usually the results of human activities, have triggered historic has a tendency in human societies.

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Additional resources for An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life (Routledge Studies in Physical Geography and Environment)

Example text

This does not mean, however, that Gaia is an organism in just the same way that the human body is an organism. To explain this, one can look at the relationship between a single cell and the body. Both are alive, but the body is not just a large cell. The body is an immense community of living cells, related to one another in myriads of ways. The whole is greater than the sum of parts. Similarly, Gaia is a community that includes billions of living bodies, but the structure of that living community is much more complex than that of the body, as the structure of the body is more complex than that of the cell.

Hopi cultural attitudes strongly indicated that humans are part of a community of living things, and must strive to cooperate with the other members of that community in order to thrive. “The whole universe is enhanced with the same breath, rocks, trees, grass, earth, all animals, and human beings,”56 said Intiwa. ” The Hopi feeling of comradeship for animals, and of respect and awe of their power, helps to explain their use of animals in ceremonies, such as the live snakes that are carried in the Snake Dance and released to take the prayers of the people for rain to the powers of nature.

Landscape Politics and Perspectives, Oxford, Berg Publishers, 1993, 205–44, 234. 33 Bill Neidjie, Speaking for the Earth: Nature’s Law and the Aboriginal Way, Washington, Center for Respect of Life and Environment, 1991, 53. Reprinted from Big Bill Neidjie, Stephen Davis, and Allan Fox, Kakadu Man, Brisbane, Prestige Litho, 1985. Donald Hughes, American Indian Ecology, El Paso, Texas Western Press, 1983, 32–4. 35 Olga Gostin and Alwin Chong, “Living Wisdom,” 124. Kohen, Aboriginal Environmental Impacts, 86–9.

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