Steve Pyne focuses on the study of extreme places and extreme history. The places make it environmental; the people, history; and the way people express their interactions situates the expressed outcome within historiographic and cultural traditions. Ice, abyss, and space have some features in common with, and some in which they differ from, the settings of traditional history. They are all places in which humans cannot live without extensive life-support systems. They are unpopulated, and have never been populated, and in any meaningful sense, they will be populated only tepidly if ever and without the normal complement of a fully functioning society. There is no prospect for an encounter, and without an encounter the moral drama of history drains away or devolves into stories of solitary survival, soliloquies, or adventures acted out through spacecraft so distant in space and time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)