RAUCH, François Antoine, 1762-1837
Harmonie hydro-végétale et météorologique : ou recherches sur les moyens de recréer avec nos forêts la force des températures et la régularité des saisons par des plantations raisonnées / par F.A. Rauch. - Paris : chez les frères Levrault, An X de la République . - 2 vol. ; 20 cm. – Library classification-CDI : RES. 1569 A
First edition of one of the first works on spatial planning policy, written as an ecological manifesto. – Legacy of Simão José Fernandes
This is a first edition of one of the first works to express ecological concerns, which are more than ever on the agenda.
The work of François Antoine Rauch theorised, already at that time, the influence of soils and vegetation on the climate. Rauch founded and directed the periodical Annales Européennes of Physique Végétale et d'Économie Publique (1821-1827).
In France during the revolutionary period (we can read "An X de la Republique" at the imprint, i.e. 1802 in the revolutionary calendar), as in the rest of Western Europe, the demand for agricultural land led man, for centuries, to clear large areas of forest, without any concern for what we might today call ecological aspects.
This approach to natural resources – which only considered economic and other immediate needs, ignoring the medium or long-term consequences for both ecosystems and human life itself, and the absence of a scientific study and planning –has not completely disappeared still today. It is therefore a matter of admiration that it was present in an author of this period, despite the fact that Fauch did not have data and information that we could call scientific, and would certainly act alone or almost alone. There will certainly be a lot of speculation in this work that advances in this area would put aside, which in no way invalidates the merit of the work and its author.
The Harmonie hydro-végétale et météorologique... had little receptivity in its time. A revival of interest in Fauch's writings is due to Roger Heim, who mentions it in his work L'Angoisse de l'an 2000, much later, in 1973.
As for this 1st edition, it is much rarer than the revised edition of 1818.
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