World Ecological Degradation: Accumulation, Urbanization, and Deforestation, 3000 B.C.-A.D. 2000
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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accumulation process activities Aegean agricultural production America areas Asian Bronze Age Bronze Age world building centers century A.D. China cities civilizations colonial consequence consumption copper core cultivation cultural Culture-Nature relations deforestation demise Dilmun Dynasty early East eastern ecological degradation ecological relations economic elites empire Enkidu environment especially Europe expansion exploitation export forests further global grain growth Gulf Harappan Harappan civilization hectares hinterland human communities impact imported India Indonesia Japan Knossos land landscape levels lifestyles Malaysia manufacturing Mediterranean meet Mesopotamia Mesopotamia and Harappa Messenia metals millennium B.C. million Minoan Crete Mohenjo-daro Mycenae Mycenaean Greece natural environment natural resources needs nomic occurred palace percent period Perlin Philippines pottery rainforests region reproduction Roman Rome second millennium settlements ships social socioeconomic soil erosion Southeast Asia southern Mesopotamia supply Tang Dynasty textiles third millennium thousand timber tion trade routes transformation trees trends urbanized communities Uruk utilization wood world economy world history