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Changing the Face of the Earth: Culture, Environment, History

I. G. Simmons

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ISBN 10: 0631140492 / ISBN 13: 9780631140498
Published by Blackwell Pub, 1989
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP48399844

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Changing the Face of the Earth: Culture, ...

Publisher: Blackwell Pub

Publication Date: 1989

Book Condition:Good

About this title


This history describes the human impact on the biophysical systems of the Earth from earliest times to the post-industrial world. Access to energy sources determines the way in which human beings use the natural environment and the degree of access to the forces of energy conditions the rate of environmental change. Professor Simmons considers the impact on primitive man of fire, the advances made by hunter societies, the development of agriculture and the effects of industrialization, with the use of fossil-fuel energy and the population explosion. The author concludes with an assessment of current environmental change and the attempts to assess and control the effects of human activities on the climate and surface of the Earth.

From the Back Cover:

This is a history of the human impact upon the natural environment of the Earth. It is a compelling story, the result of many years of original research and scholarship and drawn from work in a wide range of natural and humane disciplines. It covers every kind of culture and society, ranges in time from the earliest social groupings to the present, and considers the short and long-term consequences of current trends.

A key argument of the book, and one that informs its structure, is that access to energy is a crucial influence on the way in which we have used and exploited our natural surroundings. If environmental impacts of the discovery of fire were substantial, and of agriculture dramatic, the effects of industrial and technological change over the last two centuries have been revolutionary.

Exponential growth in the use of fossil fuels and of the human population mean that our own activities now constitute a critical variable in environmental change. The recent history of the interaction between human kind and nature has become different from the past not only in degree but in kind: and there is a mismatch between our ability to affect and to control the natural environment. These issues form the concluding theme of this outstanding and articulate book.

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