School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Translating science and restoring our sense of wonder - The end of nature as a landmark
    Eckersley, R (SAGE Publications, 2005-06-01)
    Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature still stands as an exemplary case of environmental journalism in the way it translates complex scientific ideas into an accessible form and engenders a deep sense of wonder about the natural world. Nonetheless, this article suggests that McKibben’s core claim that we have reached the end of nature (as a human experience of the wild; as an independent, creative force and identity-fixing force; and as a reasonably predictable and reassuring force) is overstated and contradicted by his prescriptions for the future. If nature has come to an end and we humans have taken over nature’s role as the all-powerful force, as McKibben argues, then how can we follow his advice and choose to become nature’s creatures again? And whose idea of nature should count? McKibben appears to have mistaken decline for death and unintended human impacts for God-like control.