464 pages, 48 b/w illustrations
Daniel Botkin's "Discordant Harmonies" (1990) was considered by many to be the classic text of the environmental movement. The book was the first to challenge the then dominant view that nature remained constant over time unless disturbed by human influence. Nature was believed to achieve a form and structure that would persist forever; if disturbed, it would recover, returning to that state of perfect balance. "Discordant Harmonies" argued that natural ecological systems are constantly fluctuating and our plans, policies, and laws governing the environment must change to reflect this new understanding.
The ideas expressed in "Discordant Harmonies", considered ahead of their time in 1990, are now timelier than ever. The belief in a balanced nature is alive and well, though those who hold it are constantly confronted by scientific evidence that stands in opposition. In "The Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Discordant Harmonies Reconsidered", Botkin brings "Discordant Harmonies" into the twenty-first century. The book is updated with new research and statistics, case studies on climate change, and a new introduction.
Preface to the 1990 edition
Part I: The Current Dilemma
Chapter 1: A View From a Marsh: Myths and Facts about Nature
Chapter 2: Why the Elephants Died: Breakdown in the Management of Living resources
Chapter 3: Moose In the Wilderness: The Instability of Populations
Chapter 4: Oaks in New Jersey: Machine Age Forests
Part II: Background to Crisis
Chapter 5: Mountain Lions and Mule Deer: Nature as Divine Order
Chapter 6: Earth as a Fellow Creature: Organic Views of Nature
Chapter 7: In Mill Hollow: Nature as the Great Machine
Part III: Evolving Images
Chapter 8:The Forest in the Computer: New Metaphors for Nature
Chapter 9: Within the Moose's Stomach: Nature as the Biosphere
Part IV: Resolutions for Our Time
Chapter 10: Fire In The Forest: Managing Living Resources
Chapter 11: Salmon in Wild Rivers and Grizzlies in Yellowstone: Managing Wildlife and Conserving Endangered Species
Chapter 12: Winds on Mauna Loa: How to Approach Managing the Biosphere
Chapter 13 Life on a globally Warmed Planet
Chapter 14: The Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Nature in the Twenty-First Century
Postscript: A Guide to Action
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Daniel B. Botkin is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.