EGAD, The PYROCENE
I'VE BEEN LUCKY in the big things. Since retiring from teaching, I've been able to write books that summarize the two grand themes of my career.
BEGIN with the Pyrocene. It's time to use the concept more forcefully. For a fuller explanation, see Pyrocene (or above, in banner). The University of California Press published the book in September, 2021, at which time I was hiking with a group to the Illilouette basin in Yosemite National Park, which I soon appreciated offered a cameo of the Earth's transition from an ice-informed world to a fire-informed one.
STILL, I'm a hedgehog who knew two big things. I'm juggling fire with my other major theme and have written a 600-year survey history of exploration that I'm calling The Great Ages of Discovery. How Western Civilization Learned about a Wider World (my shorthand for the book is EGAD, Exploration's Great Ages of Discovery). It abstracts the conceptual framework that undergirded The Ice, How the Canyon Became Grand, and Voyager. Exploration has been Western Civ's quest narrative. Now the book is out. For a short trailer, click here.
OTHERWISE, I fuss over our urban Farm at the End of the Road, where I wrangle sheep, chickens, and citrus, and follow Voltaire's admonition to tend my garden.
* Wild Visions, a book on wilderness in the contemporary scene, modeled on the old Sierra Club exhibit-format series. Ben Minteer is the lead author and Mark Klett is overseeing the photos. Yale University Press will publish in 2022.
* Five Suns: a fire history of Mexico, a project that I have long had in mind. I should complete the manuscript this year.
* Vidas en fuego. I'm facilitating a collection of autobiographies from six major figures in Mexican fire research and management. The Universidad Autonoma de Chapingo and Colegio de Postgraduados will co-publish it in summer, 2022.
* Pyrocene Park. A journey through the fire history of Yosemite National Park. A landscape best known for its ice sculptings is increasingly challenged by fire in all its manifestations. In press through the University of Arizona Press.