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Nature and Society
Nature and society
Introduction

How are society and nature related? How and why do the relationships vary over time and across space? Together, these questions virtually defined the focus and raison d'être of academic geography when it first gained a toe-hold in Western universities over a century ago. Today, they remain key questions for many geographers – and the stakes are not purely academic. When, in 1864, George Perkins Marsh published Man and Nature, or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action he was in a distinct minority. In the early twenty-first century, by contrast, his warnings about humanity's capacity to cause irreversible changes to ecosystems and habitats are hardly out of place. Indeed, Marsh's concerns about our treatment of the biophysical world are ...

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