We live in a world that is increasingly vulnerable to climatic shocks - affecting agriculture and industry, government and international trade, not to mention human health and happiness. Serious anxieties have been aroused by respected scientists warning of dire perils that could result from upsets of the climatic regime. In this internationally acclaimed book, Emeritus Professor Hubert Lamb examines what we know about climate, how the past record of climate can be reconstructed, the causes of climatic variation, and its impact on human affairs now and in the historical and prehistoric past. This 2nd Edition includes a new preface and postscript reviewing the wealth of literature to emerge in recent years, and discusses implications for a deeper understanding of the problems of future climatic fluctuations and forecasting.
Author: Sara Miglietti
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2017-03-27
Throughout the early modern period, scientific debate and governmental action became increasingly preoccupied with the environment, generating discussion across Europe and the wider world as to how to improve land and climate for human benefit. This discourse eventually promoted the reconsideration of long-held beliefs about the role of climate in upholding the social order, driving economies and affecting public health. Governing the Environment in the Early Modern World explores the relationship between cultural perceptions of the environment and practical attempts at environmental regulation and change between 1500 and 1800. Taking a cultural and intellectual approach to early modern environmental governance, this edited collection combines an interpretative perspective with new insights into a period largely unfamiliar to environmental historians. Using a rich and multifaceted narrative, this book offers an understanding as to how efforts to enhance productive aspects of the environment were both led by and contributed to new conceptualisations of the role of ‘nature’ in human society. This book offers a cultural and intellectual approach to early modern environmental history and will be of special interest to environmental, cultural and intellectual historians, as well as anyone with an interest in the culture and politics of environmental governance.
Author: Sam White
Release Date: 2018-08-10
This handbook offers the first comprehensive, state-of-the-field guide to past weather and climate and their role in human societies. Bringing together dozens of international specialists from the sciences and humanities, this volume describes the methods, sources, and major findings of historical climate reconstruction and impact research. Its chapters take the reader through each key source of past climate and weather information and each technique of analysis; through each historical period and region of the world; through the major topics of climate and history and core case studies; and finally through the history of climate ideas and science. Using clear, non-technical language, The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History serves as a textbook for students, a reference guide for specialists and an introduction to climate history for scholars and interested readers.
Author: Daniel Callahan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-10
In recent decades, we have seen five perilous and interlocking trends dominate global discourse: irreversible climate change, extreme food and water shortages, rising chronic illnesses, and rampant obesity. Why can't we make any progress in counteracting these problems despite vast expenditures of intellectual, institutional, and social capital? What makes these global emergencies the "wicked problems" that resist our best efforts and only grow more daunting? Daniel Callahan, noted author and the nation's preeminent scholar in bioethics, examines these global problems and shines a light on the institutions, practices, and actors that block major change. We see partisan political and ideological forces, old-fashioned hucksters, and trumped-up scientific disagreements but also the problem of modern progress itself. Obesity, anthropogenic climate change, degenerative diseases, ecological degradation, and global famine are often the unintended consequences of unchecked industrial growth, insatiable eating habits, and technologically extended life spans. Only through well-crafted political, regulatory, industrial, and cultural counterstrategies can we change enough minds to check these threats. With big thinking on issues that are usually evaluated separately, this book is sure to scramble partisan divides and provoke unusual, heated debate.
Author: John L. Brooke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-03-17
Climate Change and the Course of Global History presents the first global study by a historian to fully integrate the earth-system approach of the new climate science with the material history of humanity. Part I argues that geological, environmental, and climatic history explain the pattern and pace of biological and human evolution. Part II explores the environmental circumstances of the rise of agriculture and the state in the Early and Mid-Holocene, and presents an analysis of human health from the Paleolithic through the rise of the state, including the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Part III introduces the problem of economic growth and examines the human condition in the Late Holocene from the Bronze Age through the Black Death, assessing the relationships among human technologies, climatic change, and epidemic disease. Part IV explores the move to modernity, stressing the emerging role of human economic and energy systems as earth-system agents in the Anthropocene. Supported by climatic, demographic, and economic data with forty-nine figures and tables custom-made for this book, A Rough Journey provides a pathbreaking model for historians of the environment, the world, and science, among many others.
Author: Daniel Yergin
Release Date: 2011-09-20
Genre: Business & Economics
This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. The Quest tells the inside stories, tackles the tough questions, and reveals surprising insights about coal, electricity, and natural gas. He explains how climate change became a great issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never more timely, The Quest vividly reveals the decisions, technologies, and individuals that are shaping our future.
Author: Geoffrey Parker
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2017-06-06
An accessible synthesis of the prescient best seller exploring seventeenth-century catastrophe and the impact of climate change First published in 2013, Geoffrey Parker’s prize-winning best seller Global Crisis analyzes the unprecedented calamities—revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, and regicides—that befell the mid-seventeenth-century world and wiped out as much as one-third of the global population, and reveals climate change to be the root cause. Examining firsthand accounts of the crises and scrutinizing the prevailing weather patterns during the 1640s and 1650s—longer and harsher winters, and cooler and wetter summers—Parker reveals evidence of disrupted growing seasons causing malnutrition, disease, a higher death toll, and fewer births. This new abridged edition distills the original book’s prodigious research for a broader audience while retaining and indeed emphasizing Parker’s extraordinary historical achievement: his dazzling demonstration of the link between climate change and worldwide catastrophe 350 years ago. Yet, the contemporary implications of his study are equally important: are we prepared today for the catastrophes that climate change could bring tomorrow? At half the original length, this user-friendly abridgment is ideal for students and general readers seeking a rapid handle on the key issues.
How much further should the affluent world push its material consumption? Does relative dematerialization lead to absolute decline in demand for materials? These and many other questions are discussed and answered in Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization. Over the course of time, the modern world has become dependent on unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and the highest practical rates of recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rates that would be high enough to negate the rising demand for materials generated by continuing population growth and rising standards of living. This book explores the costs of this dependence and the potential for substantial dematerialization of modern economies. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization considers the principal materials used throughout history, from wood and stone, through to metals, alloys, plastics and silicon, describing their extraction and production.
Author: Mark Bowen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2006-10-03
"One of the best books yet published on climate change . . . The best compact history of the science of global warming I have read."—Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books The world's premier climatologist, Lonnie Thompson has been risking his career and life on the highest and most remote ice caps along the equator, in search of clues to the history of climate change. His most innovative work has taken place on these mountain glaciers, where he collects ice cores that provide detailed information about climate history, reaching back 750,000 years. To gather significant data Thompson has spent more time in the death zone—the environment above eighteen thousand feet—than any man who has ever lived. Scientist and expert climber Mark Bowen joined Thompson's crew on several expeditions; his exciting and brilliantly detailed narrative takes the reader deep inside retreating glaciers from China, across South America, and to Africa to unravel the mysteries of climate. Most important, we learn what Thompson's hard-won data reveals about global warming, the past, and the earth's probable future.
Author: Benjamin Lieberman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2018-01-25
Climate Change and Human History provides an up-to-date and concise introduction to the relationship between human beings and climate change throughout history. Starting with periods hundreds of thousands of years ago and continuing up to the present day, the book illustrates how natural climate variability affected early human societies, and how humans are now altering climate drastically within much shorter periods of time. For each major period of time, the book will explain how climate change has created opportunities as well as risks and challenges for human societies. The book will introduce and develop several related themes including: Phases of climate and history Factors that shape climate Climate shocks and sharp climate shifts Climate and the rise and fall of civilizations Industrialization and climate science Accelerating climate change, human societies, and the future An ideal companion for all students of environmental history, Climate Change and Human History clearly demonstrates the critical role of climate in shaping human history and of the experience of humans in both adapting to and shaping climate change.
Supported by in-depth scientific evidence, Singer and Avery present the compelling concept that global temperatures have been rising mostly or entirely because of a natural cycle. Unstoppable Global Warming explains why we're warming, why it's not very dangerous, and why we can't stop it anyway.
Author: Robert Marks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2007
This volume presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world. Unlike most studies, which assume that the rise of the West is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history accords importance to the 'underdeveloped world'.
Author: Tom Bristow
Release Date: 2016-04-20
Genre: Business & Economics
Charting innovative directions in the environmental humanities, this book examines the cultural history of climate change under three broad headings: history, writing and politics. Climate change compels us to rethink many of our traditional means of historical understanding, and demands new ways of relating human knowledge, action and representations to the dimensions of geological and evolutionary time. To address these challenges, this book positions our present moment of climatic knowledge within much longer histories of climatic experience. Only in light of these histories, it argues, can we properly understand what climate means today across an array of discursive domains, from politics, literature and law to neighbourly conversation. Its chapters identify turning-points and experiments in the construction of climates and of atmospheres of sensation. They examine how contemporary ecological thought has repoliticised the representation of nature and detail vital aspects of the history and prehistory of our climatic modernity. This ground-breaking text will be of great interest to researchers and postgraduate students in environmental history, environmental governance, history of ideas and science, literature and eco-criticism, political theory, cultural theory, as well as all general readers interested in climate change.
Author: Richard W. Bulliet
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2011
A boom in the production and export of cotton turned Iran into the richest region of the Islamic caliphate in the ninth and tenth centuries. Yet in the eleventh century, Iran's primacy ended as its agricultural economy entered a steep decline. Richard W. Bulliet advances several provocative explanations, for example that the boom in cotton production paralleled the spread of Islam and that Iran's agricultural decline stemmed from a significant cooling of the climate that lasted more than a century. Substantiating his argument with innovative quantitative research and scientific discoveries, Bulliet first establishes the relationship between Iran's cotton industry and Islam and then outlines the evidence for what he terms the "Big Chill." He then focuses on a lucrative but temperature-sensitive industry of cross-breeding one-humped and two-humped camels, concluding with an unusual concatenation of events that had a profound and long-lasting impact not just on the history of Iran but on the development of the world.