World Fire: The Culture of Fire on Earth
World Fire is the story of how fire and humans have coevolved, like the bonded strands of a DNA molecule. The prevalence of humans is largely ... Show synopsis World Fire is the story of how fire and humans have coevolved, like the bonded strands of a DNA molecule. The prevalence of humans is largely attributable to their control over fire, and the distribution and characteristics of fire have become deeply dependent on humans. The two are inseparable, and together they have repeatedly remade the landscape. Author Stephen Pyne surveys the emerging geography of global fire, exploring fire in order to learn more about history. Contrary to popular belief, there is probably a lot less fire on the planet today than when Columbus sailed, and through a global sampling of major fire situations, Pyne follows fire into the contemporary world of unsettled ecology, where there is too much fire in the wrong places and, thanks to unwarranted fire suppression, too little fire in the right places. Obsessive fire control has become itself a disordering process, and in much of the world it is the control of fire that is out of control. Pyne looks at the future of this elemental force and argues that eliminating it will not save the planet from destruction but will only abolish the regenerative powers that it once implemented.