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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Ecological Metaphors and Environmental Rhetoric: An Analysis of The Ecologist and Our Common Future

Marilia Coutinho

Environment and History 3(1997): 177-195

This paper discusses two different environmental political projects, the journal The Ecologist and the report Our Common Future. The former deems it necessary to substitute current patterns of production and transformation of the social structure with radical alternatives, claiming that they lie at the roots of our environmental as well as social crisis. The latter rejects this thesis and prescribes minor administrative changes, regarding the environmental problems as management problems with management solutions. Both, however, employ terms and often concepts derived from Ecosystem Ecology to build up their ideas of 'stability', 'limits' and 'control'. Since the environmental issue has recently become an unavoidable problem for scientific as well as political fields, there is a great deal of traffic between these two domains, leading to concepts and ideas in one domain being transported to the other.

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