Current news on environmental problems frequently emphasizes the totally unprecedented nature of the ecological crises that beset us in this nation and the Western world as a whole. We are told, for example, that the summer of 1988 constituted “the hottest summer on record” in North America. Similarly we hear mat Boston Harbor has never in its history been so polluted, and in European waters seal populations died of an epidemic in 1988 on a scale never before witnessed by man. By stressing this “never before” aspect of events, it is sometimes argued mat the experience of the past is largely irrelevant for policy planners. Since our circumstances are new, so the argument runs, past experience leaves us with little or no instruction for the formulation of a practical public policy for the environment.
Weiskel, T.C. and Gray, R.A. (1990), "The Anthropology of Environmental Decline: Part 1 Historical aspects of Anthropogenic Ecological Degradation", Reference Services Review, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 7-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb049090Download as .RIS
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