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Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation$
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John N. Kittinger, Loren McClenachan, Keryn B. Gedan, and Louise K. Blight

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276949

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Choice without Memory

Choice without Memory

Uncovering the Narrative Potential of Historical Ecology

Chapter:
(p.265) Twelve Choice without Memory
Source:
Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation
Author(s):

J. B. Mackinnon

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520276949.003.0012

Marine historical ecologists frequently cite the need for better storytelling to make their research meaningful to society at large. In this chapter, James B. MacKinnon provides a review of literature from this discipline, which points to a promising area of narrative focus. The view of nature as a relatively fixed commodity predominates in public discourse. A historical perspective, however, suggests that the natural world that surrounds us can be seen in large part as a product of choice, with the tragic decline of the marine environment the result of choices made without the benefit of social memory. This understanding places a high value on historical context and offers a forward-looking alternative to familiar narratives of past and present guilt and greed. Most importantly, it affirms that the debate over marine conservation is fundamentally about individual and collective values, in which everyone has a stake.

Keywords:   historical ecology, science communication, storytelling, environmental journalism

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