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ePub A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations download

by Clive Ponting

ePub A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations download
Author:
Clive Ponting
ISBN13:
978-0140176605
ISBN:
0140176608
Language:
Publisher:
Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 1993)
Category:
Subcategory:
Engineering
ePub file:
1414 kb
Fb2 file:
1470 kb
Other formats:
mobi mbr docx mbr
Rating:
4.3
Votes:
306

Clive Ponting offers a sprawling history of the world from an environmental perspective.

It spans the two million year saga of our hominid ancestors, devoting most attention to the last 12,000 years, the era of thunder footprints. Clive Ponting offers a sprawling history of the world from an environmental perspective. He begins the work with a 20-page description covering roughly two-million years of human survival.

History of algebra from antiquity to the early twentieth century.

The final versions of each system are compared with each other, and with. Rorschach's own system. History of algebra from antiquity to the early twentieth century.

Clive Ponting (born 13 April 1946) is a former senior British civil servant .

Clive Ponting (born 13 April 1946) is a former senior British civil servant and historian. He is known for having leaked documents about the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano in the Falklands War. At the time of his resignation from the civil service in 1985 he was a Grade 5 (assistant secretary) earning £23,000 per year. As an historian he has written a number of books on British and world history. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations (1991), Penguin, ISBN 0-14-017660-8. Churchill (1994), Sinclair-Stevenson

The synopsis on the back of the book says that it analysis why the great civilizations declined in terms of changes . Nazism seemed to end the effects of the great depression

The synopsis on the back of the book says that it analysis why the great civilizations declined in terms of changes in their environ. Nazism seemed to end the effects of the great depression 4 pages 100 Jan/1996 .

Clive Ponting has a Victorian love of statistics in action.

Clive Ponting's bestselling study of man's despoliation of the planet - now completely revised and updated. See all Product description. Customers who bought this item also bought. Clive Ponting has a Victorian love of statistics in action.

A Green History addresses the influence of the environment on human history over the past 10,000 years . Ponting substantially revised the book in 2007. We prefer the original book.

A Green History addresses the influence of the environment on human history over the past 10,000 years, starting with the expansion of hunting and gathering groups, and the transition to settled agriculture. The Easter Islanders, aware that they were almost completely isolated from the rest of the world, must surely have realised that their very existence depended on the limited resources of a small island.

Like Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, Clive Ponting's book studies the relationship between the environment and human history. It examines world civilisations from Sumeria to ancient Egypt, from Easter Island to the Roman Empire and it argues that human beings have repeatedly built societies that have grown and prospered by exploiting the Earth's resources, only to expand to the point where those resources could no longer sustain the societies' populations and cause subsequent collapse.

Few colorful anecdotes, but an impressive accumulation of evidence culled from the annals of recorded history: a sobering view of a planet deeply in peril. A GREEN HISTORY OF THE WORLD: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations.

Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for A New Green History Of The World: The . Clive Ponting was until recently Reader in Politics and International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea.

Clive Ponting was until recently Reader in Politics and International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea.

In an important work that forces readers to view history with new eyes, Ponting shows in compelling detail how, over and over, human beings throughout history have prospered by exploiting the Earth's resources to the point where they could no longer sustain societies' populations, causing collapse. Publicity to tie in with Earth Day (April 23rd).
  • In an age of specialization, the author provides a much-needed (and brilliant) general overview of man's impact on the planet. 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. We may succeed in hanging on for a few more years (especially if we manage to keep developing countries from attaining our own living standards), but it seems unlikely that our nationalistic political systems will be able to agree and implement the necessary global solutions (whatever those may be - it is not clear that there are any) in time.

    This is an immensely valuable analysis, but I think that it is a 5-star topic hiding within a 3-star book. Let me give two reasons:
    1. It is virtually impossible to substantiate his arguments without reading the extensive bibliography, a daunting task. For example, when he states that, in energy efficiency, "The United States is still 60 per cent less efficient than Italy and Japan", he needs a citation to support the statement. This applies throughout the book. 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 important statements.
    2. As another reviewer has commented, the book needed a strong editor. I have not read the earlier (1991) version of this book, and so cannot make comparisons, but much of the book is so well written, and other parts so badly, that it feels as if the earlier version was very well edited, and then the updates were inserted on a word processor. The early chapters in particular have too many sentences with "and" linking ideas which need to be treated separately, and he is very sparing with punctuation which would have made the sense clearer. The acid test is reading the text aloud; often you will hesitate because you need to read to the end of the sentence before you can clearly identify its structure and subordinate clauses and hence the underlying ideas. A good editor would also have caught matters such as neutral pH being given as 6.5, the map accompanying the discussion on Sumer and its principal settlement, Uruk, omitting both names, and various typos. 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.

    I certainly do not regret buying the book, which has given me a much broader understanding of our present problems and the way we got where we are (he is particularly strong on the impact of colonialism and its modern-day successors) - but if you want to engage in serious debate with proponents of "business as usual" you will need many more hard facts to make your case.

  • Awarding this book five stars has come as somewhat of a surprise to me. The text has a number of shortcomings that would ordinarily conspire to produce no more than a mediocre work. Somehow, in this instance, they instead play to each other's strengths to create a tome of rare quality, depth and relevance to our times.

    The first negative aspect that stood out for me was the book's dry academic tone. I felt like I was being pounded with figures and statistics until I couldn't take any more. A friend of mine reached the saturation point after only a few excerpts. We couldn't help but wonder how many people would persevere in slogging through the text to absorb the invaluable information that it contained. We suspected very few.

    Secondly, despite the breadth of its scope - attempting to cover the environmental history of the world since prehistoric times - the book comes off as one-dimensional. It simply chronicles the impact on nature that various civilisations have made through the history. It doesn't try to present an overarching thesis that it can back up with this data, nor does it suggest ways in which the present ecological degradation can be reversed.

    Considering how thorough the book is at detailing the problems, lack of solutions is a sizeable omission. It is very difficult to walk away from this book thinking that our civilisation is anywhere but on the course to total collapse triggered by the breakdown of the biosphere that supports us. Ending on such a desolate note is all too likely to leave the reader feeling helplessly depressed over our inevitable self-destruction.

    Taken together, these shortcomings are surprisingly effective at accomplishing what I suspect were Ponting's aims. Presenting reams of data from all time periods and parts of the world places the current ecological problems in a larger context that cannot be acquired from reading about the problems themselves. This broadened perspective is critically important when considering potential solutions. That the book doesn't suggest what these might be feels reflexively disappointing, but I consider it a strength. One pattern that emerges from the book is human capacity for sticking our heads in the sand as the world burns and continuing with business as usual well past the point where corrective action was urgently needed. Expecting to be offered solutions is a part of that mentality. By being devastatingly clear about the nature and severity of the problems and offering no solutions, the book sends a clear message that it is up to us to put in the hard work of discovering what those solutions might be and implementing them. It also serves as a rude awakening from our dependency on happy endings. In this instance, there likely won't be one. This might be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but I believe a necessary one. I've come across far too many people who willingly refrain from looking at the facts right in front of them because they know full well that doing so would disturb the comforts of their daily lives.

    What we do need is comprehensive and credible information to base our analysis and decisions on. The book delivers it in spades. Its dry academic tone and focus on facts rather than rhetoric are real assets here. There's no need for Ponting to argue a thesis. The patterns from the data are so clear that the reader cannot help but become utterly concerned for the future of our world. Reading about yet another instance of human population growth outstripping its food supply, yet another way in which we pollute the earth, or yet another animal species that we have exterminated is painful, but imparts on the current environmental problems a sense of magnitude that a mere polemic cannot give. It also puts to rest any thought of solving these problems through legislation or environmental activism. While these actions (suggested by Lester Brown in Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, among other sources) are probably necessary to stem the tide of destruction, they cannot be sufficient because they don't address the fundamental factors that have given rise to these problems in the first place - our very outlook on the world and the way it causes us to treat it and each other.

    I cannot recommend this book as a pleasant reading experience, but I unreservedly recommend it as an eye-opening one. It comes at a high price in the reader's labour and nerves, but the clarity of vision with which it illuminates our environmental crisis is well worth it.

    (From the author of A Glimpse of Another World and Living Deliberately)

  • great information that brought me to some stark conclusions about the past present and future state of our culture but was too elaborate in many instances making it a long read but still worth it.

  • Haven't finished it yet. But I did stop in wonder for a good long while when I read that Plato (PLATO!) had given a good long description of the deforestation and erosion of Greece.

    It covers more ground than the (similar point of view and many years later) Jared Diamond Collapse. For instance, in a later chapter that I skimmed early on, he talks about epidemics and sickness. Our best health care in the world, in Ponting's view, is mostly following, not altogether successfully, in the footsteps of basic sanitation--i.e., public health and nutrition trump treatment for disease.

    I expect that I don't, and won't as I continue to read, agree with everything he says. But he does makes one think.