As everything from global warming to GM foods becomes headline news, the use and abuse of nature is on the agenda as never before. Is geography just one of several disciplines whose task is to reveal the "truths" of nature so that governments, businesses and the public can know what threats and opportunities it presents for human well-being?
"Nature "describes and explains the shifting ways geographers have studied nature, emphasizing the linkages and differences between human geography, physical geography and the middle ground of resource and hazards geography. It argues that it is no easy matter to determine which of these ideas is "correct." Instead, these ideas are seen to be part of a high-stakes game in which all sorts of actors--academics, citizens, politicians and the media, for example--determine how we act (or don't act) towards the many different aspects of nature. Indeed, these various actions and inactions we take have profound material and moral consequences as the ongoing controversies about human cloning and global warming indicate.
This distinctive text is the first to consider the topic of nature in modern geography as a whole. Secondly, it considers nature in all the major meanings of the term, from the human body and psyche through to the non-human world. Finally, it develops an original argument, namely that student readers should abandon the idea to know what nature is in favor of a close scrutiny of what agendas lie behind competing conceptions of nature.
'Whether scholar or student, this book is an important read for those interested in nature and breadth of our disipline extending across human and physical geography'. - Annals of the Association of American Geographers
"His book will help students and colleagues to place themselves within the scope of geographical research about nature" Joe Smith, Cultural Geographies