A New Green History Of The World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations

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As a result of the modification, that defence was removed. After this enactment, it was taken that '"public interest" is what the government of the day says it is. Following his resignation from the Civil Service, Ponting served as a reader in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea , until his retirement in He was one of the pioneers of big history. His historical works have attracted significant attention and often courted unfavourable reviews in the United Kingdom, given the controversial positions he has taken, although international reviews and more recent reviews have been favourable.

Ponting joined the Scottish National Party in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Rasor, pub Greenwood, , p. Hi Hitler ;, by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, pub Cambridge University Press, , p. HL Deb vol c Retrieved 1 December Against Extinction. William Bill Adams. Outgrowing the Earth. Ecosystem Services Come To Town. Gary Grant. An Introduction to Agricultural Geography. David Grigg. Exploring Agrodiversity. Harold Brookfield. Africa in Crisis. Lloyd Timberlake. Water Resources and Agricultural Development in the Tropics.

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View 1 comment. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Clive Ponting offers a sprawling history of the world from an environmental perspective. He begins the work with a page description covering roughly two-million years of human survival.

The food surplus allowed for a percentage of the population to pursue other activities like art, governance, and war. Food surplus allowed for urbanization and a growth in population. The fixed aspect of agriculture and urbanization led to greater demands from nearby water supplies and fertile soil. Ponting provides cautionary tales of the collapse of early civilizations due to environmental deterioration.

Human Population Through Time

He also suggests that the First Great Transition was truly a transition from human subsistence as hunters and gatherers to a dependence on agriculture and the governance required to protect land and distribute food with the consequent growth of bureaucracies. Ponting implies that it was an irreversible transition as the environment became too damaged to support large populations as hunters and gatherers. Ponting describes the rise and fall of populations due to available food and the impacts of disease.

A New Green History Of The World

Interestingly, many of our major diseases originated in other species and jumped to the human population due to the domestication of animals. Smallpox is very similar to cowpox and measles is related to rinderpest another cattle disease and canine distemper. Tuberculosis originated in cattle as did diphtheria. Influenza is common to humans, pigs and birds and the common cold came from the horse. Leprosy came from the water buffalo. According to Ponting evidence indicates that hunters and gatherers were considerably healthier than humankind during this period.

Ponting continues his green history with a long and thorough description of our growing debasement of the environment: deforestation, mining, the fur trade, whaling, overfishing, and the salination and desertification of fertile land are all covered in gory detail. He does not shrink from assessing economic systems and the resulting inequalities of access to sufficient food and clean water. The Second Great Transition, according to Ponting, has been our exploitation of fossil energy to support ever growing populations of people with fertilizers, pesticides, and farm machinery with ever-growing levels of consumption with industrialization and automation, etc.

Clive Ponting - Wikipedia

Like the first great transition, the second appears irreversible as we rely on fossil energy to augment a diminishing and polluted natural environment. The challenge, of course, will be to recognize the point at which this will no longer be possible ,and to find the economic and social means to respond to achieve some level of sustainability. Nov 29, Judith rated it really liked it. I will never forget the lessons of Easter Island as described in this book. The history of Easter Island is not one of lost civilisations and esoteric knowledge.

Rather it is a striking example of the dependence of human societies on their environment and of the consequences of irreversibly damaging that environment. It is the story of a people who, starting from an extremely limited resource base, constructed one of the most advanced societies in the world for the technology they had available. However, the demands placed on the environment of the island by this development were immense. When it could no longer withstand the pressure, the society that had been painfully built up over the previous thousand years fell with it. This book is also interesting for everyone who want to know more about the history of stone chicken coops ; Jun 23, Kent Curtis rated it it was amazing.