About this issue

Is environmental history our “best hope for the future”? The field is young, dynamic, and poised to contribute knowledge and understanding to a variety of problems facing the entire planet. Its work is in demand, but to what extent can its offerings provide hope, or better yet, practical solutions? Which fields have we neglected? Are there directions we should encourage and support? The sixteen contributions in this volume of RCC Perspectives offer diverse insights and concerns about the future of the field from those working in environmental history and related disciplines.

How to cite: Coulter, Kimberly, and Christof Mauch (eds.), “The Future of Environmental History: Needs and Opportunities,” RCC Perspectives 2011, no 3. doi.org/10.5282/rcc/5623.


  • Introduction by Kimberly Coulter and Christof Mauch


  • The Repair of the Earth and the Redemption of the Historical Profession by Patricia Limerick
  • Future Research Needs in Environmental History: Regions, Eras, and Themes by John R. McNeill
  • Filling the Blue Hole in Environmental History by John Gillis
  • Environmental History and Other Histories by David Blackbourn
  • Broader Horizons? by Harriet Ritvo
  • Globalizing Environmental History—Again by Frank Uekoetter
  • Nations, Nature, and Environmental History by Mahesh Rangarajan
  • Mainstreaming Environmental History by Martin V. Melosi


  • Rising to the Challenge: Linking Humanities Research and Environmental Policy by Peter Coates
  • Offering Solutions by Frank Zelko
  • History for Global Anxiety by Libby Robin
  • The Cash Value of Environmental History by Stephen J. Pyne
  • On the Edge of Environmental History by Richard Walker
  • From Modernity with Freedom to Sustainability with Decency: Politicizing Passivity by Julia Adeney Thomas
  • Recapturing Justice and Passion in Environmental History: A Future Path by Jane Carruthers
  • The Magic of Environmental History and Hopes for the Future by Christof Mauch