World Ecological Degradation: Accumulation, Urbanization, and Deforestation, 3000 B.C.-A.D. 2000

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Rowman Altamira, Jan 1, 2001 - Nature - 217 pages
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Deforestation, soil runoff, salination, pollution. While recurrent themes of the contemporary world, they are not new to us. In this broad sweeping review of the environmental impacts of human settlement and development worldwide over the past 5,000 years, Sing C. Chew shows that these processes are as old as civilization itself. With examples ranging from Ancient Mesopotamia to Malaya, Mycenaean Greece to Ming China, Chew shows that the processes of population growth, intensive resource accumulation, and urbanization in ancient and modern societies almost universally bring on ecological disaster, which often contributes to the decline and fall of that society. He then turns his eye to the development of the modern European world-system and its impact on the environment. Challenging us to change these long-term trends, Chew also traces the existence of environmental conservation ideas and movements over the span of 5,000 years. Can we do it? Look at Chew's evidence of the past five millennia and decide. Ideal for courses in environmental history, anthropology, and sociology, and world-systems theory.
  

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Contents

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V
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VI
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About the author (2001)

\Sing C. Chew is professor and chairperson of the Department of Sociology at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Associate Director in the Office of Vice-President (Resources), International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. He has been a Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, and recently, Guest Researcher at the Human Ecology Division, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, where this book was completed. His most recent book is a co-edited volume: The Underdevelopment of Development: Essays in Honor of Andre Gunder Frank.

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