Early political ecology, it should now be clear, demonstrated that ‘the environment’ was not simply a problem for science and technology to solve, but was fundamentally and thoroughly social and political. Nature-society relations, it was argued, should be regarded as a dialectical unity (Watts, 1983b). Environmental problems should be treated as simultaneously political-economic and ecological in character (Blaikie, 1985). If we take seriously the necessity of integrating the biophysical and social worlds in our analyses of environmental problems, we are immediately presented with a series of methodological and philosophical challenges. How do we reconcile epistemological differences between the biophysical and social sciences in order to reach some mutual understanding of the causes of and solutions to environmental problems? How, for example, do social scientists demonstrate causal proof to natural scientists when the ‘chain of explanation’ of soil loss includes ‘oil prices’, ‘abilities of administration’, and ‘laws of inheritance’ (Blaikie, 1989)? How do we reconcile a poststructuralist position that treats environmental conservation as the production of ‘fourth order of simulacra’ (Bartram and Shobrook, 2000) with a conservation biologist’s response that characterizes social theory as a ‘covert assault’ on science (Soulé, 1995)? What sort of dialogues are commenced or curtailed by a feminist theoretical stance that treats science as a masculinist discourse or a postcolonial theoretical stance that treats it as a colonizing enterprise?