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A Pleasant Surprise


February 20, 2015 by nsakas1

After being assigned the tagging categories environment and sustainability I was thankful in that I am interested in both of these term as topics. I was curious to see how these topics would be related to history, rather than science as they are more generally associated. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me in that many of the blog posts looked at intersections between history and science. One of these intersections deals primarily with climate change. While some of us may say that this is the problem for science to solve; what can historians do? However, these posts raise some intriguing points about the role historians have in telling the story of climate change. Many of these posts, including one by our own Adina Langer, emphasize that climate change has occurred through human events, and that including narratives about humans role in climate change is also the responsibility of the public historian as well as the scientist.

Having only two tag topics that complimented each other, there was not much variety in the posts these tags related to. I felt that for the most part that both the tags environment and sustainability pertained equally to the posts I found, and the additional tags each post used were also pertinent to the individual posts. I did not find that some tags were more useful than others. After reading Susan’s post, I agree with the sentiment that there is no such thing as to many tags. I also agree that the very nature of tagging is subjective and reflects the thoughts and experiences of the blogger, and while some may not agree with all of the tags others there will also be some who do agree and find them useful.

One of the posts did not speak of climate change, but was interesting in that it appealed to some of my personal interests as well as having connections to one of the subjects we have discussed in class. The post was titled where are our citizen historians? It talked about how many fields in science, including my favorite past time birding, rely on ordinary citizens to collect and record scientific data. Birders list sightings all over the world that ornithologists use in their research. The blogger asked how this might look in the historical field. In class the other night we discussed how some institutions are using volunteers to transcribe oral history interviews, journals, diaries, etc. The blogger asked where are our citizen historians? I am glad to see they are not absent.


Where are our citizen historians? Harry Klinkhammer, November 3, 2014

Lake Effects: Missing the Boat on Climate Change, Adina Langer, September 19, 2014

Striking a Balance: Conference Planning and Environmental Sustainability, Stephanie Rowe, December 18, 2013

Public Historians Take on Climate Change, Leah Glaser, April 29, 2012

“Sustainable public history” means action in Monterey, Cody Fergusen, March 22, 2014

A good-enough Platform for Change, Cathy Stanton, March 17, 2014

Memorializing Without Change? Hurricane Sandy at the World Trade Center, Cathy Stanton, November 12, 2012

What are Public Historians Doing About Sustainability Initiatives? Leah Glaser, July 27, 2012

Rethinking the Refrigerator: The Surprisingly Sustainable Past, Briann Greenfield, July 18, 2013

Project Showcase: Ironbound Environmental Justice History and Resource Center, Nancy Zak, January 22, 2014


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