How Natural is Niagara Falls ?

June 01, 2008 12:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Liz Colville
A new book on Niagara Falls contends that as more artifice than nature, the tourist attraction is a model of humanity’s impact on nature.

30-Second Summary

In her book, “Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies,” Ginger Strand writes that the energy source and major contributor to U.S. tourism is largely manmade, and that its centuries-long manipulation is a symbol of humanity’s failure to consider nature an “equal partner.”

Reviewing the book in Newsweek, David Gates outlines Niagara Falls’ hopeful and detrimental history. “Strand doesn't try to hide devastation behind a hedge,” he writes, “she's done more than her share of raking the chemical-infused muck.”

Strand uses Niagara Falls as an example of the impact human life and industry have had on nature, but she also profiles some of the engineering feats that have taken place at the falls.

Strand’s book comes at a time when many writers, scientists and environmentalists are exploring the extent of humanity’s impact on the planet, and debating whether the future is as grave as some global warming proponents claim.

In fact, many environmental writers are taking a centrist approach to the problem of global warming, writes The New York Times.

Headline Link: Humans Directing Nature

Background: The history of Niagara Falls

The Evolution of the Falls
Preserving the Falls
Niagara Falls Today

Related Topics: The debate on global warming

Key Players: Ginger Strand

Reference: ‘Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies,’ by Ginger Strand


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