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History Study and Environmental Problems

MEI Xue—qin School of History,BNU,Beijing 100875,China  
What is the value of history study in the research of environmental problems?This is an issue concerning the legitimate status of the discipline for environment.The key lies in the unity between the characteristics of environmental problems and the relevant history research.Environmental problem has certainly something to do with the nature,but is es- sentially a social historic problem.It has such characteristics as breaking out abruptly through accumulation,complicated na- ture,concrete duty,lasting influence,difficulty in control,all of which could be brought into the concern of history.In fact,history has demonstrated its own uniqueness in the research on environmental problems in the past,for instance,its at- tention to the relationship among multiple social factors relating to environmental problems,their deep cultural reasons,deli- cate and detailed narration of an event history,and unequivocal advocacy for the value orientation,ones that have provided reference for real environmental control.Therefore,history study has great significance in government environment policy- making and in public environmental education.
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