Global Environmental History

Global Environmental History

by I. G. Simmons
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226758109

ISBN-13: 9780226758107

Pub. Date: 08/15/2008

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

The global environment has been in a state of change since the height of the last glacial maximum of the Pleistocene. Examining this state of flux of both the natural environment and the living organisms that inhabit it, I. G. Simmons’s Global Environmental History ranges from 10,000 BCE to the modern day to present an incredibly rich and deep

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Overview

The global environment has been in a state of change since the height of the last glacial maximum of the Pleistocene. Examining this state of flux of both the natural environment and the living organisms that inhabit it, I. G. Simmons’s Global Environmental History ranges from 10,000 BCE to the modern day to present an incredibly rich and deep time overview of how we have come to our current state of ecological crisis.

A far-reaching approach that considers the truly global picture and recognizes the contributions of many disciplines—including the natural sciences, the social sciences, and increasingly, the humanities—Global Environmental History focuses not only on the material world but also on humans’ ideas about the planet and their place on it. Taking as his starting point the major phases of human technological evolution of the last 12,000 years, Simmons considers how these changes have affected the natural world and goes on to assess the response to conditions such as climate change. By putting today’s environmental preoccupations into a long-term perspective, Simmons reveals the history of some current anxieties.

A timely examination of the interrelation of history and nature, Simmons’s book will be welcomed by any concerned reader interested in the origins of the modern environmental crisis.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226758107
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
08/15/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


List of tables     viii
List of figures     ix
Preface     x
Prologue: Mustering the marks     xii
An approach to a complex history     xiii
States of change     xiv
Perspectives     xv
Resonances     1
Some assumptions     2
Basic demography     6
Material linkages in human-environment relationships     8
Talking to ourselves     13
Local, regional, continental, hemispherical, global     17
A transition to the later chapters     19
The gatherer-hunters and their world     24
'Joint tenants of the world'     25
The cultural ecology of gatherer-hunters     26
Evolution and dispersal     26
The energy relationships of gatherer-hunters     27
'The first great force employed by man'     29
Management and impact     35
The diminution of foraging societies     38
Proper respect: hunter-gatherers in a cohesive world     39
Buying the land: fragmentation in the foragers' worlds     40
Representing hunters and gatherers     41
Outcomes     43
Hunter-gatherers in theirecosystems     44
Foundations of the foragers' environmental history     45
Pre-industrial agriculture     52
'No god like one's stomach'     53
The cultural ecology of agriculture     54
Evolution and dispersal     54
Environmental relationships     58
Fire and the farmer     61
Management and impact     63
Diminution and disappearance     86
Sewing the world together     87
All coherence gone?     90
Representing this world     93
Outcomes     94
The world on the cusp of industrialisation     94
Technologies of a solar-powered era     95
The emergence of philosophies     96
An industrious world     109
A second Iron Age     110
The cultural ecology of industry     111
Evolution and dispersal     111
Environmental relationships     114
Management and impact     117
Prometheus' next bound     143
Moral, intellectual and material     146
The collapse of continuity     150
Representing industriousness     153
A waste land?      154
A post-industrial era?     167
I saw it on TV     168
The cultural ecology of the world after 1950     169
Evolution and dispersal     170
Environmental relationships     171
Management and impact     176
Insider knowledge     195
Increased population, higher consumption     196
Technology and 'progress'     197
Superpower: coalescence after 1950     199
No power here     201
Screening the world?     203
Tensions     205
A haste land?     209
Emerging themes     218
Ignoring the snap-locks     219
Under the sun     220
Minding our language     220
Postmodernity and environment     222
The ecology of emotion     223
Religion     226
Myth, symbol, value     227
Parts and wholes     229
Unpredictable woods and pastures     232
'The balance of nature'     233
The 'nature' of consciousness     235
The drive to dominion     237
At the year 2000     239
Knowing where we are     239
Rolling smithy-smoke     244
Indra's internet?     245
Further reading     255
Glossary     256
List of Acronyms     261
Index     262

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