Managing the Unknown: Essays on Environmental Ignorance

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Managing the Unknown: Essays on Environmental Ignorance

Frank Uekotter, Uwe Lubken, "Managing the Unknown: Essays on Environmental Ignorance"
English | ISBN: 1782382526, 1785332074 | 2014 | 210 pages | PDF | 2 MB

Information is crucial when it comes to the management of resources. But what if knowledge is incomplete, or biased, or otherwise deficient? How did people define patterns of proper use in the absence of cognitive certainty? Discussing this challenge for a diverse set of resources from fish to rubber, these essays show that deficient knowledge is a far more pervasive challenge in resource history than conventional readings suggest. Furthermore, environmental ignorance does not inevitably shrink with the march of scientific progress: these essays suggest more of a dialectical relationship between knowledge and ignorance that has different shapes and trajectories. With its combination of empirical case studies and theoretical reflection, the essays make a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary debate on the production and resilience of ignorance. At the same time, this volume combines insights from different continents as well as the seas in between and thus sketches outlines of an emerging global resource history.
Frank Uekötter is Reader at the School of History and Cultures of the University of Birmingham. His publications include The Age of Smoke: Environmental Policy in Germany and the United States, 1880-1970 (2009), The Green and the Brown: A History of Conservation in Nazi Germany (2006) and, as editor, The Turning Points of Environmental History (2010). He is currently working on a global resource history.
Uwe Lübken joined the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in 2009 and currently serves as director of the project "Disaster Migration in a Historical Perspective". He received his habilitation in 2010 for a study on flooding of the Ohio River. His most recent publications include, as an editor, a special issue of the journal Global Environment (9/2012) on Environmental Change and Migration in History and, together with Greg Bankoff and Jordan Sand, Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World (2012).
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