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.
Daniel B. Botkin is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara
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 ; Notes ; Index