Read e-book online An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing PDF

By J. Donald Hughes

ISBN-10: 0415136199

ISBN-13: 9780415136198

This paintings presents a concise background, from historic to fashionable occasions, of the interactions among human societies and the opposite different types of existence that inhabit our planet. It investigates the ways that environmental adjustments, frequently the results of human activities, have brought on old 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)

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Buffalo and black rhinoceros find cover here, but along with the elephant, make paths that encourage the growth of grass, so fire, too, can follow. Browsers such as impala, bushbuck, kudu, gerenuk, and dikdik wander in the bushland. 9 Gallery forests line the banks of watercourses. These riverine communities are composed of water-dependent trees, of which Euclea, Diospyros, and greenheart, along with African olive, figs, and palm, predominate. I stayed at a lodge that provided a raised wooden walk through the trees of the gallery forest, where one could go to watch birds, monkeys, and tree hyrax.

Humans are adapted to live within many of them, though not all. Human existence is linked to those ecosystems. Any traveler outside them must carry parts of them along: oxygen, water, food manufactured by plants and perhaps animals, and ways of maintaining temperatures within a certain range. Anyone who wants to live in space, or like Jacques Cousteau and his colleagues in stations on the sea bed,23 must reproduce at least the minimum conditions that sustain life in the parts of Earth’s surface to which humans are adapted.

The human species and human culture evolved through natural selection that took place because humans during their history as a species were part of biotic communities where their interactions with other kinds of animals and plants decided whether or not they survived and reproduced. One of the greatest mistakes made by humans today is to think about themselves as existing and acting without reference to other forms of life. 16 This is common knowledge in biology, but must also be recognized as a basic fact of history.

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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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