We are delighted to welcome you back to this in person event at our Manchester, VT store!
Local authors and scholars David Bond and Laura Martin will present their new books on environmental issues. Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration is a brilliant and accessible history of how the science of ecology becomes involved in fixing the giant mess we're always making, and how that history shines a bright light into the creeping darkness of our planetary crisis. And Negative Ecologies: Fossil Fuels and the Discovery of the Environment describes how instrumental the disasters of crude oil were in making the environment visible, factual, and worthy of regulation, and what that history means for facing up to climate change.
David Bond's Negative Ecologies: Fossil Fuels and the Discovery of the Environment:
So much of what we know of clean water, clean air, and now a stable climate rests on how fossil fuels first disrupted them. Negative Ecologies is a bold reappraisal of the outsized role fossil fuels have played in making the environment visible, factual, and politically operable in North America. Following stories of hydrocarbon harm that lay the groundwork for environmental science and policy, this book brings into clear focus the dialectic between the negative ecologies of fossil fuels and the ongoing discovery of the environment. Exploring iconic sites of the oil economy, ranging from leaky Caribbean refineries to deepwater oil spills, from the petrochemical fallout of plastics manufacturing to the extractive frontiers of Canada, Negative Ecologies documents the upheavals, injuries, and disasters that have long accompanied fossil fuels and the manner in which our solutions have often been less about confronting the cause than managing the effects. This history of our present promises to re-situate scholarly understandings of fossil fuels and renovate environmental critique today. David Bond challenges us to consider what forms of critical engagement may now be needed to both confront the deleterious properties of fossil fuels and envision ways of living beyond them.
David Bond teaches anthropology and environment at Bennington College, where he also helps direct the Center for Advancement of Public Action (CAPA).
Laura Martin's Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration:
An environmental historian delves into the history, science, and philosophy of a paradoxical pursuit: the century-old quest to design natural places and create wild species.
Environmental restoration is a global pursuit and a major political concern. Governments, nonprofits, private corporations, and other institutions spend billions of dollars each year to remove invasive species, build wetlands, and reintroduce species driven from their habitats. But restoration has not always been so intensively practiced. It began as the pastime of a few wildflower enthusiasts and the first practitioners of the new scientific discipline of ecology.
Restoration has been a touchstone of US environmentalism since the beginning of the twentieth century. Diverging from popular ideas about preservation, which romanticized nature as an Eden to be left untouched by human hands, and conservation, the managed use of natural resources, restoration emerged as a "third way." Restorationists grappled with the deepest puzzles of human care for life on earth: How to intervene in nature for nature's own sake? What are the natural baselines that humans should aim to restore? Is it possible to design nature without destroying wildness? Laura J. Martin shows how, over time, amateur and professional ecologists, interest groups, and government agencies coalesced around a mode of environmental management that sought to respect the world-making, and even the decision-making, of other species. At the same time, restoration science reshaped material environments in ways that powerfully influenced what we understand the wild to be.
In Wild by Design, restoration's past provides vital knowledge for climate change policy. But Martin also offers something more--a meditation on what it means to be wild and a call for ecological restoration that is socially just.
If you have questions about this or any other event, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org