Taming the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia

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University of Georgia Press, 1999 - History - 347 pages
William J. Lines traces Australia's history from the continent's geological origins, natural development, and earliest native cultures to its present-day state of population and economic overgrowth at the expense of the fragile environmental balance. In particular, Lines examines the period between Australia's British colonization and the present, illuminating a path of environmental destruction from the colonists' Enlightenment views to the end of our century. Indeed, the author's new afterword startles us with the urgency of Australia's plight. Lines describes in great detail the recent damages done to the continent's land, people, and national integrity in the name of "progress". He writes of continued land exploitation through mining, deforestation, and the excessive animal, plant, and land resource consumption of Australia's burgeoning population. Although he places considerable blame on government officials and economic developers, Lines argues that Western civilization as a whole must change its view of the land and its resources. The scope of Taming the Great South Land reaches far beyond the continental boundaries of Australia and other political world borders. He urges us to recognize the magnitude of our responsibility, as a world community, to preserve the natural balances on which our very existence depends.

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