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February 1969 afforded a spot of skiing for Nottingham residents. Photographer: Nottingham Post, courtesy: Nottingham Local Studies photographic collection

How British people weathered exceptionally cold winters

Food shortages, festivities and far-off fighting – Britain’s coldest winters were among its most memorable.
NASA ‘could not imagine the radical effect of seeing the Earth’ from the moon. In the face of a climate catastrophe, we all need to step back and see the Earth again. Bill Anders/NASA/Handout

Friday essay: thinking like a planet - environmental crisis and the humanities

Historical perspective can offer much in this time of ecological crisis,. Many historians are reinventing their traditional scales of space and time to tell different kinds of stories that recognise the unruly power of nature.
Leonardo da Vinci, Landscape drawing for Santa Maria della Neve on 5th August 1473. Wikimedia commons

Leonardo da Vinci revisited: was he an environmentalist ahead of his time?

His exquisite drawings suggest a particular depth of feeling for the natural world and he was attuned to the emotions of animals. Yet it seems that preservation of nature was not on Leonardo’s mind.
In 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, part of a behind-the-scenes policy to ensure access to oil for the U.S. and its allies. National Archives and Records Administration

Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and the rise of Big Oil in American politics

Big Oil has historically played a behind-the-scenes role on American policy and politics. No longer.
Residents near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota and many others are concerned of the impact of mining in its headwaters. atbaker/flickr

Can nature advocates save threatened Boundary Waters wilderness – again?

Almost 100 years ago, the foundations to preserve the Boundary Waters in Minnesota for recreation were put in place. Now residents are debating whether to allow a mine in its headwaters.
Protector in chief: Theodore Roosevelt with conservationist John Muir at Yosemite in 1906. U.S. Library of Congress

Who politicized the environment and climate change?

Historically, environmental causes enjoyed bipartisan support but gains by NGOs and the emergence of climate change as a social issue have created a sharp political divide.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was often referred to as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining in the 19th century. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The twisted roots of U.S. land policy in the West

What explains the anger behind the Malheur occupation in Oregon, and why does the BLM own so much land in the West?
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complicated history of land in the western US. US Fish and Wildlife Service

Malheur occupation in Oregon: whose land is it really?

Like much federal land in the US West, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has a long history tied to Native Americans’ plight and conflicts between settlers and the federal government.

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