Download e-book for kindle: An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing by J. Donald Hughes

By J. Donald Hughes

ISBN-10: 0415136199

ISBN-13: 9780415136198

This paintings presents a concise historical past, from old to trendy instances, of the interactions among human societies and the opposite kinds of lifestyles that inhabit our planet. It investigates the ways that environmental adjustments, frequently the results of human activities, have prompted historic has a tendency in human societies.

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Additional resources for An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life (Routledge Studies in Physical Geography and Environment)

Example text

It is possible to examine the natural state of Earth in realistic ecological terms. Though it was undeniably less polluted and more profuse in living things than today, Earth before humans was not a boring Eden. There were sudden and immense changes: 14 Primal harmony volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, forest fires, floods and droughts. The wounds left by these soon healed, as life, often finding the devastated areas enriched by mineral and organic deposits, reclaimed them in the stages of natural succession.

They apparently form abstractions, remember the past, and plan for the future. They tell jokes, and even lie and swear, other characteristics once thought to be exclusively human. The student of animal behavior, Francine Patterson, reported a conversation with a gorilla named Koko in which Koko indicated that she had a self-concept. ”22 Gorillas, in studies cited by Patterson, have been observed to communicate by signs of their own in the wild. In coming to understand the place of the human species in the history of Earth, it may be more instructive to examine resemblances to the rest of creation than differences.

The newly cultivated plants were planted and harvested by humans, and their forms changed due to seed selection until some, like maize, became entirely dependent on human agriculture for their survival. Animals altered their patterns of movement under domestication, and also their shapes; the varied breeds of dogs and pigeons, for example, are the result of human preference. 43 Ways of life changed radically for some humans as well. When farmers planted crops, they had to live near them during the growing season to guard them against birds, animals, and human opportunists.

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An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life (Routledge Studies in Physical Geography and Environment) by J. Donald Hughes


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