An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing by J. Donald Hughes PDF

By J. Donald Hughes

ISBN-10: 0415136199

ISBN-13: 9780415136198

This paintings offers a concise heritage, from historic to trendy occasions, of the interactions among human societies and the opposite sorts of lifestyles that inhabit our planet. It investigates the ways that environmental alterations, frequently the results of human activities, have prompted historic has a tendency in human societies.

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Additional info 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

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. Great changes were wrought by the working of the ecological processes themselves. The populations of some species built up cyclically to insupportable numbers, depleting their food supplies, and then suddenly declined. Some species became extinct while others evolved. There were those that, like beavers and termites, greatly altered their environments over large areas.

Members of the community must defend it against human enemies from outside. Individuals may go out into the world of nature, or into the world of dreams, to gain spiritual power, and this power is to be used for the benefit of the tribal group. Elders are respected and protected, since they embody the wisdom and memory of the community. 32 But Dreamtime is not only in the past; Aboriginal people maintain their identification with the land and other living things. As Big Bill Neidjie, elder of a Gagudju clan, put it, “That tree same as me.

Why would they want to do something that would harm their own hunting territories, upon which they depended so completely? 38 Fire is a natural phenomenon, and in areas that are not burned periodically, wildfire can become a holocaust. If the primal hunters and gatherers made a major impact on natural systems, however, they usually intended and managed to maintain a balance with them. Of course, they had little choice, because if they did upset the balance within their own territory, the ecology might restore a balance by failing to provide enough food to support human numbers.

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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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