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A New Green History of the World - Clive Ponting

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Genre: History / Author: Clive Ponting / Edition: Rev Upd / Paperback / 464 Pages / Book is published 2007-12-18 by Penguin Books

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      03.08.2000 23:45
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      'A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations' by Clive Ponting In 'A Green History of the World' Clive Ponting provides an extremely thorough and detailed account of the interaction between humankind and the natural world. He demonstrates that, over and over again, human societies have followed a pattern of growth and over-exploitation of a regions resources until it can no longer adequately support the population. The ensuing collapse is not averted because the society is not aware that it is approaching or because of the deep entrenchment of social attitudes towards continued growth and consumption. He describes the transition from hunting and gathering societies to agricultural societies, showing that in order to achieve the higher outputs required to support a growing population, the average person worked longer and harder but actually ended up considerably poorer and less nourished than his hunter/gatherer counterpart. The second great transition - from agricultural to industrial societies - further increased the exploitation of non-renewable resources and caused large-scale pollution of the environment. The problems of green-house gasses and global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, uneven distribution of wealth among industrialised and third world countries, population explosion, health problems associated with pollution, and other 'green' issues are researched thoroughly and presented in great detail. All in all, I would urge everyone to take the time to read this book. It will open your eyes in many important ways. I should say however that although Ponting recounts the history very well, he does not do much else. He draws no real conclusions and makes no recommendations either to the individual reader or to societies in general. I was left thinking "you're right, this is terrible but what am I supposed to do about it?" Nevertheless,
      this is a very valuable reference work and definitely worth reading. Published 1994 Penguin Books; ISBN: 0140176608

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    Published by Penguin Books