This book presents a large-scale multidisciplinary evaluation of what has happened and is happening to the earth under man's impress. It includes the papers presented by fifty-three eminent scholars at a major conference on ecology—one of the first ever held—sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. A pioneering publication in the field of environmental research, the work has steadily contributed to ecological studies, and is now considered a classic.
The volume is organized into three parts. Part 1 deals with man's rise to the status of ecological dominance, and includes discussions of such topics as the role of fire as the first great force harnessed by man, early food-producing populations, the clearing of Europe's woodlands, subsistence economies and commercial economies, and the natural history of urbanization.
Part 2 investigates environmental changes such as man's impact upon the seas and coastlines. The highly topical ecology of wastes is discussed, as well as urban-industrial demands and the depletion of natural resources.
Part 3 is concerned with the limits of the earth's resources. It includes papers dealing with the population spiral, possible limitations of raw-material consumption and energy use, and technological denudation.
Each part is accompanied by a report summarizing the ideas discussed at the conference by the participants.
Table of Contents
Our World from the Air: Conflict and Adaptation (E. A. Gutkind)
Retrospect: Man's Tenure of the Earth
Through the Corridors of Time
Symposium Discussion: Retrospect Process: Introductory
Man's Effects on the Seas and Waters of the Land
Alterations of Climatic Elements
Slope nad Soil Changes through Human Use
Modifications of Biotic Communities
Ecology of Wastes
Urban-Industrial Demands upon the Land
Symposium Discussion: Process. Prospect: Limits of Man and the Earth
The Role of Man
Symposium Discussion: Prospect. Summary Remarks