“George Perkins Marsh and the Transformation of the Earth: An Introduction to Marsh’s Man and Nature“, [PDF], (coauthored with Brett Clark, Clark listed first), Organization and Environment, vol. 15, no. 2 (June 2002), pp. 164-69.
George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) stated that his book, Man and Nature, was “a little volume showing the whereas [Carl] Ritter and [Arnold] Guyot think that the earth made man, man in fact made earth” (as cited in Lowenthal, 2000, p. 267). With this position, Marsh inverted a dominant theoretical transformation— both destruction and revitalization— of nature. Despite Marsh’s Calvinist background, he sought to remove teleological tendencies from scientific studies of the material world. In Man and Nature, Marsh (1864) provided a detailed discussion of the historical degradation of nature. His work is seen as a warning to a society that insists on an irrational interaction with nature. Marsh demanded that people must work to restore, to whatever extent is possible, damages to nature, as well as engage in practices that prevent further degradation of nature. Marsh’s work, Lewis Mumford (1931-1971) declared, was “the fountain-head of the conservation movement” (p. 35).