How does environmental history bring hope?

Brunner coalmining town
One of the historical images I used in my talk. The remarkable thing about this photograph – of the coalmining town of Brunner on the West Coast (date unknown) – was that it was taken by the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department to promote our country to overseas investors and visitors. Ref: PA1-o-498-36. Alexander Turnbull Library, New Zealand.

I was fortunate to be invited to be a keynote speaker at the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand conference last week in Perth. I spoke about how environmental history can – and should – inform our decision-making about the environment. Continue reading

Nature and the English Diaspora: Environment and History in the US, Canada, Australia, and NZ

nature-and-the-english-diasporaA little while ago, I read a reference to the book Nature and the English Diaspora: Environment and History in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, by Thomas R. Dunlap, which was published back in 1999. I don’t have a copy of this book, and not many libraries hold it, so I was keen to find out what the reviews were at the time. However, I was not able to find one single review through my friend, the usually highly reliable Mr Google.

Luckily, I was able to ascertain that New Zealand environmental historian Paul Star had done a review of the book for the journal Australian Historical Studies in 2000, and he has kindly given me his permission to reproduce a version of it here. This review is written from the perspective of a New Zealand scholar of environmental history, so is particularly useful for Antipodeans. Continue reading