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Suppression of wildfires and ideas: Review of Forgotten Fires by O.C. Stewart

Bowman, David (2004). Suppression of wildfires and ideas: Review of Forgotten Fires by O.C. Stewart. Journal of Biogeography,31(5):859-860.

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Title Suppression of wildfires and ideas: Review of Forgotten Fires by O.C. Stewart
Author Bowman, David
Journal Name Journal of Biogeography
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 31
Issue Number 5
ISSN 0305-0270   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 859
End Page 860
Place of Publication Carlton, Vic, Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
HERDC Category C3 - Journal Article - Non-refereed articles (including articles in professional journals) (internal)
Abstract How, or indeed whether, prehistoric humans modified the environment through hunting and burning is not a politically neutral subject. The putative actions of past human agents are interpreted in the light of contemporary political and philosophical debates such as development–conservation conflicts, the appropriateness of land management interventions and the philosophical nexus, or dichotomy, between humans and nature. Given high political voltage and the necessary overlap between disciplines from the sciences and humanities, it should be no surprise that the intellectual rules of engagement in discourses about humanity’s past ecological impacts are uneven, and often ambiguous. In some situations the strictest evidence is required to demonstrate an effect, in other cases evidence that ‘feels’ right is used to develop master narratives that sweep readers along with bold big ideas. The net effect is the production of a literature that has become filled with jumbled and jagged contradictions, ambiguities and uncertainties. All this is powerfully exemplified by the publication of Omer Stewart’s Forgotten fires, over 50 years after it was written.
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator