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The Way the Wind Blows: Climate Change, History, and Human Action

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Overview

Scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand in ever-increasing detail that environmental problems cannot be understood solely through the biophysical sciences. Environmental issues are fundamentally human issues and must be set in the context of social, political, cultural, and economic knowledge. The need both to understand how human beings in the past responded to climatic and other environmental changes and to synthesize the implications of these historical patterns for present-day sustainability spurred a conference of the world's leading scholars on the topic. The Way the Wind Blows is the rich result of that conference.

Articles discuss the dynamics of climate, human perceptions of and responses to the environment, and issues of sustainability and resiliency. These themes are illustrated through discussions of human societies around the world and throughout history.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Robert W. Harms
This book not only represents the 'state of the art' of current discussions, but it also sets the agenda for future thinking and research on how humans produce and respond to climate change. . . . This book defines and occupies new ground...[and] will mark a turning point in the way scholars and students from a variety of disciplines study and understand the interaction of people and their environments.
Booknews
From the Global Change in History and Prehistory conference, held in September 1995 near Houston, anthropologists offer 13 essays on climate, environment, and human action, social memory, cultural responses to climate change, and history and contemporary affairs. A main purpose is to examine past responses to perceived climate change as a clue to constructing a response to the climate change taking place early in the 21st century. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231112086
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/17/2000
  • Series: Historical Ecology Series
  • Pages: 448
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.26 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Roderick J. McIntosh is professor of anthropology at Rice University.

Joseph A. Tainter is project leader of Cultural Heritage Research at the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Susan Keech McIntosh is professor of anthropology at Rice University and the director of Scientia: an institute for the history of science and culture.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsList of TablesNotes on the Contributors1. Climate, History, and Human Action, by Roderick J. McIntosh, Joseph A. Tainter, and Susan Keech Mc Intosh1. Climate, Environment, and Human Action2. Climate Variability During the Holocene: An Update, by Robert B. Dunbar3. Complexity Theory and Sociocultural Change in the American Southwest, by Jeffrey S. Dean2. Social Memory4. Environmental Perception and Human Responses in History and Prehistory, by Fekri Hassan5. Social Memory in Mande, by Roderick J. McIntosh6. Memories, Abstractions, and Conceptualization of Ecological Crisis in the Mande World, by Tereba Togola7. From Garden to Globe: Linking Time and Space with Meaning and Memory, by Carole L. Crumley8. Chinese Attitudes Toward Climate, by Cho-yun Hsu3. Cultural Responses to Climate Change9. Three Rivers: Subregional Variations in Earth System Impacts in the Southwestern Maya Lowlands (Candelaria, Usumacinta, and Champoton Watersheds), by Joel D. Gunn and William J. Folan10. The Lowland Maya Civilization: Historical Consciousness and Environment, by David Freidel and Justine Shaw11. Social Responses to Climate Change Among the Chumash Indians of South Central California, by John R. Johnson4. History and Contemporary Affairs12. Global Change, History and Sustainability, by Joseph A. Tainter13. Land Degradation as a Socionatural Process, by S.E. van der Leeuw and the ARCHAEOMEDES Research TeamIndex

Columbia University Press

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