British historian Clive Ponting did a fantastic amount of research, and . Ponting, Clive, A New Green History of the World: The Environment. Like Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, Clive Ponting’s book studies the relationship between the environment and human history. A Green History of the World. The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. by Clive Ponting. pages, paperback, Penguin, A Green History.

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It just so happened to be Islam. Additionally, the narrative takes on a repetitive, heavy-handed tone after a while, which becomes the intellectual equivalent of a wall of sound, drowning out pertinent details.

I will remember this book only because this story. This book began well, and does offer some interesting insight, but while I anticipated a lot more reconstructions via archaeology of historical situations, what I got was mostly an indictment of colonialism and imperialism, for its exploitative practices in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as the post-colonial fallout of the later 20th and early 21st centuries.

Consequently, villages and towns remained small, close to their food supply. The Environment and the Collapse of Great My own writing has been concerned with global water and sanitation issues, and I know how easy it is to have a document which is more footnotes than text, but without references I cannot really make use of or defend any of his woeld statements. The ObserverLondon A welcome change from the scatter-gun apocalypse-mongering which cclive become standard fare in green literature.

Kind of a People’s History of the World, but from an environmental perspective. Destructive environmental behaviour today takes place on a much larger scale than ever before and the consequences will be correspondingly greater. Are there prevailing issues that were faced by all the empires of old?


pontjng The Technology Fairy also appears impotent to accelerate the crop yield gains necessary for feeding the projected mob in 50 years see Cribb and Bourne. It is hard to imagine anyone, after reading this book, seriously arguing that the western lifestyle and especially the American lifestyle can be sustained much longer.

A Green History of the World: The Environment & the Collapse of Great Civilizations

Our global society is now embarked on an incomparably massive resource extraction. We suspected very few. New York City had to remove 15, dead horses annually.

By BC, when yields were only about a third of the level obtained during the Early Dynastic period, the agricultural base of Sumer had effectively collapsed and the focus of Mesopotamian society shifted permanently to the tbe, where a succession of imperial states controlled the region, and Sumer declined into insignificance as an underpopulated, impoverished backwater of empire.

I expect that I don’t, and won’t as I continue to read, agree with everything he says. The Affluent Society so famously named conventional wisdoms are products of our physiological need to histiry place all nouns under “us versus them” inspection.

He begins the work with a page description covering roughly two-million years of human survival. A Green History of the World. Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. By the s, regional wood shortages began limiting growth. In this instance, there likely won’t be one. Fecal-oral diseases were popular, and bathing was not, especially in chilly months. This may seem like nit-picking, but I had to struggle to get through the beginning of the book, and then was rewarded by the much higher quality later on.

Ponting has no faith in biotech miracles. The editor didn’t do a very good job though, for a second edition there were a lot more typos than I expected.


A New Green History of the World: Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of Although I was basically born an environmentalist, the books I read at this time in my life formed the foundation of my thinking. The Lessons of Easter Island. When it could no longer withstand the pressure, the society that had been painfully built up over the previous thousand years fell with it.

With luck and foresight, and more books like this, we may yet learn our lesson. Description Clive Ponting’s original and provocative history of human civilization? With the shift to agriculture and civilization, we invented forest mining, which is unsustainable.

It picks up the garbage and carries it to landfills.

A New Green History of the World : Clive Ponting :

Influenza is common to humans, pigs and birds and the common cold came from the horse. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: A New Green History of the World: We use cookies to give you the best possible experience.

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At the end of the book, the author mostly just summarizes the main points he made throughout without offering any call to action as most environmental books do. Their streets were jammed with slow chaotic clippity-clop traffic, close to capacity, with little room for more.