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Green History of the World: Nature, Pollution and the Collapse of Societies

Green History of the World: Nature, Pollution and the Collapse of Societies

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by Clive Ponting

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Library Journal
British historian Ponting provides a fascinating and comprehensive environmental perspective on the rise and fall of civilizations, including the Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Mayans. Beginning with hunting-and-gathering societies, settled societies, and the industrialized societies of today, he describes how each has had greater effects on the environment than the last. Settled societies use more resources to support larger populations, often overextending the resources available. ``Since the rise of settled societies . . . the majority of the world's population have lived in conditions of grinding poverty.'' Ponting's forecast for the future based on current population trends and available resources is equally bleak. ``To feed the whole world on the diet enjoyed by the average American, using the same level of inputs into agriculture, would require all the world's current oil production and exhaust known reserves within not much more than a decade.'' A significant contribution that needs to be available and promoted in every public library.-- Mary J. Nickum, Fish and Wildlife Reference Svce., Bethesda, Md.
Historian Ponting examines human history from an environmental perspective--how nature has affected the growth of civilizations, and how humanity has altered the earth--and concludes that if the current global civilization follows the pattern of earlier civilizations, it will outstrip its resource base, bringing about its own destruction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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St. Martin's Press
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1st U.S. ed

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