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By Robert P. Weller

Robert Weller's richly documented account describes the extreme differences that have taken position in chinese language and Taiwanese responses to the surroundings around the 20th century. The booklet makes a speciality of nature tourism, anti-pollution activities, and coverage implementation to teach how the worldwide unfold of western principles approximately nature has interacted with chinese language traditions. unavoidably adjustments of realizing throughout teams have triggered difficulties in administering environmental reforms. they're going to need to be resolved if the dynamic changes of the Nineteen Eighties are to be maintained within the twenty-first century.

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Extra info for Discovering Nature: Globalization and Environmental Culture in China and Taiwan

Example text

There is wanwu, for instance, the “ten thousand things” created out of the interaction of yin and yang. ” Perhaps this is already enough, though, to illustrate the simple point that Chinese and Europeans had very different cultural constructions of the relation between humanity and environment. Rather than continue this exercise in translation, let me turn in more detail to some of the most important ways that Chinese constructed this relationship. There were in fact a great many different ways of conceptualizing relations to the environment, not always consistent with each other.

The lunar calendar determines nearly every important calendrical ritual, from the Chinese New Year to gods’ birthdays. The hours, days, months, and years of the lunar cycle further proceed through finer cycles of ten heavenly stems (tiangan) and twelve earthly branches (dizhi). These stems and branches create particular characteristics for every time of day, and they repeat only every sixty years. The system as a whole, with its interlocking cycles within cycles, interdigitates with the theoretical apparatus of anthropocosmic resonance.

They recognized cosmic principles through yin and yang and the five elements, and as anthropomophized in deities. They recognized the necessity for a proper relationship between those principles and human action in ideas like the mandate of heaven. Yet they also responded to other systems of meaning that could drive more exploitative environmental behavior – the need, for example, to create and recreate families. In the case of land speculators building illegal dikes to reclaim land from Dongting Lake, they responded to economic incentives quite familiar to Night of the living dead fish 29 us.

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