STAFF REVIEW: Widely recognized as the nation's first environmental historian, KU professor emeritus of history, Don Worster, has just released his latest book: Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press). Each chapter charts the history of North Americans' slow realization of the limits of their continent's natural resources. Though such a book could naturally devolve into another drumbeat of doom, Worster's text instead integrates the stories of brave, hopeful people who, as early as the mid-1900's "began taking their country's ecological shrinkage seriously and launched an ambitious and successful movement to conserve natural resources, reduce their waste, and preserve natural beauty." Where we go from here depends on how we we follow their examples. Recommended by Kelly
The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth.