- List of Contributors
- Introduction: A New Environmental History
- Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History
- Animals and the Intimacy of History
- Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History
- Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History
- New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present
- The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary
- And All Was Light?—Science and Environmental History
- Toward an Environmental History of Technology
- New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health
- Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Transnational History of National Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas
- Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives
- Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History
- A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians
- Owning Nature: Toward an Environmental History of Private Property
- Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light
- The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History
- Law and the Environment
- Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History
- Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History
- Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History
- Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History
- Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond
- Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations
- The Politics of Nature
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the cultural and political dimensions of climate change in the past and present in order to highlight the achievements and limitations of environmental history as a discipline. It argues that scholarly work on climate historiography has become particularly strong in terms of sources, knowledge, agency, and culture. Yet there are things that still need to be done, as researchers continue to face significant obstacles that they must overcome, from environmental determinism to the careful analysis of scientific data used to reconstruct precise climatic data, the persistence of stories about how distinct peoples have perceived and explained both climate and their environments, and the difficulty of identifying the historical agency of climate.
Mark Carey is Associate Professor of History in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. His book, In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society (2010), won the Elinor Melville Prize for the best book in Latin American environmental history.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.