The Great Warming

Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781596917804
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 3864

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From the 10th to 15th centuries the earth experienced a rise in surface temperature that changed climate worldwide-a preview of today's global warming. In some areas, including much of Western Europe, longer summers brought bountiful crops and population growth that led to cultural flowering. In others, drought shook long-established societies, such as the Maya and the Indians of the American Southwest, whose monumental buildings were left deserted as elaborate social structures collapsed. Brian Fagan examines how subtle changes in the environment had far-reaching effects on human life, in a narrative that sweeps from the Arctic ice cap to the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. The lessons of history suggest we may be yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives today.

The Great Warming

Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1596913924
Category: History
Page: 282
View: 4247

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Anthropologist and historian Brian Fagan shows how climate transformed - and sometimes destroyed - human societies during the earth's last global warming phase, the 10th to 15th centuries.

A Cultural History of Climate


Author: Wolfgang Behringer
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745645291
Category: Science
Page: 295
View: 4356

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Explores the latest historical research on the development of the earth's climate, showing how even minor changes in the climate could result in major social, political, and religious upheavals.

Floods, Famines, and Emperors

El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786727683
Category: Science
Page: 368
View: 9116

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In 1999, few people had thought to examine the effects of climate on civilization. Now, due in part to the groundbreaking work of archaeologist Brian Fagan, climate change is a central issue. Revised and updated ten years after its first publication, Floods, Famines and Emperors remains the definitive account of how the world’s best-known climate event had an indelible impact on history.

The Winds of Change

Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations
Author: Eugene Linden
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684863529
Category: History
Page: 302
View: 2208

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A concise history of significant world events that occurred as a direct result of climate changes describes lost societies in Greenland, central America, and central Africa, in a cautionary account that evaluates the present world's readiness for threatening climate changes. By the author of The Octopus and the Orangutan. 35,000 first printing

The Fate of Rome

Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire
Author: Kyle Harper
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888913
Category: History
Page: 440
View: 4250

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A sweeping new history of how climate change and disease helped bring down the Roman Empire Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. Interweaving a grand historical narrative with cutting-edge climate science and genetic discoveries, Kyle Harper traces how the fate of Rome was decided not just by emperors, soldiers, and barbarians but also by volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, climate instability, and devastating viruses and bacteria. He takes readers from Rome’s pinnacle in the second century, when the empire seemed an invincible superpower, to its unraveling by the seventh century, when Rome was politically fragmented and materially depleted. Harper describes how the Romans were resilient in the face of enormous environmental stress, until the besieged empire could no longer withstand the combined challenges of a “little ice age” and recurrent outbreaks of bubonic plague. A poignant reflection on humanity’s intimate relationship with the environment, The Fate of Rome provides a sweeping account of how one of history’s greatest civilizations encountered and endured, yet ultimately succumbed to the cumulative burden of nature’s violence. The example of Rome is a timely reminder that climate change and germ evolution have shaped the world we inhabit—in ways that are surprising and profound.

The Collapse of Western Civilization

A View from the Future
Author: Naomi Oreskes,Erik M. Conway
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537956
Category: Science
Page: 112
View: 1029

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The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and—finally—the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People's Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment—the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies—failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization. In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon combustion complex" that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.

Windfall

The Booming Business of Global Warming
Author: McKenzie Funk
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143126598
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 310
View: 5693

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An award-winning journalist shares the stories of entrepreneurs who are realizing marketing opportunities associated with global warming, from Israeli artificial snow-makers and private firefighters in California to fund managers backing Sudanese warlords and the Dutch architects of floating cities.

Rise and Fall of the Carbon Civilisation

Resolving Global Environmental and Resource Problems
Author: Patrick Moriarty,Damon Honnery
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781849964838
Category: Science
Page: 218
View: 2215

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A vast amount has been written on climate change and what should be our response. Rise and Fall of the Carbon Civilisation suggests that most of this literature takes a far too optimistic position regarding the potential for conventional mitigation solutions to achieve the deep cuts in greenhouse gases necessary in the limited time frame we have available. In addition, global environmental problems, as exemplified by climate change, and global resource problems – such as fossil fuel depletion or fresh water scarcity – have largely been seen as separate issues. Further, proposals for solution of these problems often focus at the national level, when the problems are global. The authors argue that the various challenges the planet faces are both serious and interconnected. Rise and Fall of the Carbon Civilisation takes a global perspective in its treatment of various solutions: • renewable energy; • nuclear energy; • energy efficiency; • carbon sequestration; and • geo-engineering. It also addresses the possibility that realistic solutions cannot be achieved until the fundamentally ethical question of global equity – both across nations today and also inter-generational – is fully addressed. Such an approach will also involve reorienting the global economy away from an emphasis on growth and toward the direct satisfaction of basic human needs for all the Earth’s people. Rise and Fall of the Carbon Civilisation is aimed at the many members of the public with an awareness of climate change, but who wish to find out more about how we need to respond to the challenge. It will also be of interest to technical professionals, as well as postgraduate students and researchers, from the environmental and engineering science sectors.

Climate Change and the Health of Nations


Author: Anthony McMichael
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190262958
Category:
Page: 400
View: 4380

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When we think of "climate change," we think of man-made global warming, caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But natural climate change has occurred throughout human history, and populations have had to adapt to the climate's vicissitudes. Anthony J. McMichael, a renowned epidemiologist and a pioneer in the field of how human health relates to climate change, is the ideal person to tell this story. Climate Change and the Health of Nations shows how the natural environment has vast direct and indirect repercussions for human health and welfare. McMichael takes us on a tour of human history through the lens of major transformations in climate. From the very beginning of our species some five million years ago, human biology has evolved in response to cooling temperatures, new food sources, and changing geography. As societies began to form, they too adapted in relation to their environments, most notably with the development of agriculture eleven thousand years ago. Agricultural civilization was a Faustian bargain, however: the prosperity and comfort that an agrarian society provides relies on the assumption that the environment will largely remain stable. Indeed, for agriculture to succeed, environmental conditions must be just right, which McMichael refers to as the "Goldilocks phenomenon." Global warming is disrupting this balance, just as other climate-related upheavals have tested human societies throughout history. As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. Why devote so much analysis to the past, when the daunting future of climate change is already here? Because the story of mankind�s previous survival in the face of an unpredictable and unstable climate, and of the terrible toll that climate change can take, could not be more important as we face the realities of a warming planet. This sweeping magnum opus is not only a rigorous, innovative, and fascinating exploration of how the climate affects the human condition, but also an urgent call to recognize our species' utter reliance on the earth as it is.

The Long Summer

How Climate Changed Civilization
Author: Brian M. Fagan
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781862077515
Category: Climate and civilization
Page: 284
View: 6626

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The Earth's climate has always been in flux: glacial periods and warm ones have slowly and relentlessly alternated for millennia. But the period of global warming of the last 15,000 years is without precedent, and it set the conditions which enabled civilization to arise. It is our 'long summer'. From the almost unimaginably hostile climate of the late Ice to the onset of 'Little Ice Age', which began in 1315 and lasted half a millennium, this book tells the remarkable story of how human history has been influenced by the planet's ever-changing climate. Confronted with such challenges as severe droughts in southwestern Asia and the ripple effects of the Medieval Warm Period, our ancestors have proved themselves to be at their most resilient and adaptable. Deploying all the resources of new climatology from the past century, from tree rings to deep cores from glaciers, Fagan provides us, for the first time, with an historical context in which to understand the unprecedented global warming of today, as we try to anticipate an uncertain climatic future.

The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean

Climate Change and the Decline of the East, 950–1072
Author: Ronnie Ellenblum
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139560980
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 6930

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As a 'Medieval Warm Period' prevailed in Western Europe during the tenth and eleventh centuries, the eastern Mediterranean region, from the Nile to the Oxus, was suffering from a series of climatic disasters which led to the decline of some of the most important civilizations and cultural centres of the time. This provocative study argues that many well-documented but apparently disparate events - such as recurrent drought and famine in Egypt, mass migrations in the steppes of central Asia, and the decline in population in urban centres such as Baghdad and Constantinople - are connected and should be understood within the broad context of climate change. Drawing on a wealth of textual and archaeological evidence, Ronnie Ellenblum explores the impact of climatic and ecological change across the eastern Mediterranean in this period, to offer a new perspective on why this was a turning point in the history of the Islamic world.

The Great Disruption

How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy
Author: Paul Gilding
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408822180
Category: Nature
Page: 304
View: 700

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'One of those who has been warning me of [a coming crisis] for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment - when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once - The Great Disruption.'-Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

Empires of Food

Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Author: Andrew Rimas,Evan Fraser
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439110133
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 4026

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We are what we eat: this aphorism contains a profound truth about civilization, one that has played out on the world historical stage over many millennia of human endeavor. Using the colorful diaries of a sixteenth-century merchant as a narrative guide, Empires of Food vividly chronicles the fate of people and societies for the past twelve thousand years through the foods they grew, hunted, traded, and ate—and gives us fascinating, and devastating, insights into what to expect in years to come. In energetic prose, agricultural expert Evan D. G. Fraser and journalist Andrew Rimas tell gripping stories that capture the flavor of places as disparate as ancient Mesopotamia and imperial Britain, taking us from the first city in the once-thriving Fertile Crescent to today’s overworked breadbaskets and rice bowls in the United States and China, showing just what food has meant to humanity. Cities, culture, art, government, and religion are founded on the creation and exchange of food surpluses, complex societies built by shipping corn and wheat and rice up rivers and into the stewpots of history’s generations. But eventually, inevitably, the crops fail, the fields erode, or the temperature drops, and the center of power shifts. Cultures descend into dark ages of poverty, famine, and war. It happened at the end of the Roman Empire, when slave plantations overworked Europe’s and Egypt’s soil and drained its vigor. It happened to the Mayans, who abandoned their great cities during centuries of drought. It happened in the fourteenth century, when medieval societies crashed in famine and plague, and again in the nineteenth century, when catastrophic colonial schemes plunged half the world into a poverty from which it has never recovered. And today, even though we live in an age of astounding agricultural productivity and genetically modified crops, our food supplies are once again in peril. Empires of Food brilliantly recounts the history of cyclic consumption, but it is also the story of the future; of, for example, how a shrimp boat hauling up an empty net in the Mekong Delta could spark a riot in the Caribbean. It tells what happens when a culture or nation runs out of food—and shows us the face of the world turned hungry. The authors argue that neither local food movements nor free market economists will stave off the next crash, and they propose their own solutions. A fascinating, fresh history told through the prism of the dining table, Empires of Food offers a grand scope and a provocative analysis of the world today, indispensable in this time of global warming and food crises.

The Economics and Politics of Climate Change


Author: Dieter Helm
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019957328X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 538
View: 1022

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The volume brings together leading climate change policy experts to set out the economic analysis and the nature of the negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and beyond.

Climate Change and the Course of Global History

A Rough Journey
Author: John L. Brooke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521871646
Category: History
Page: 631
View: 5395

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Climate Change and the Course of Global History presents the first global study by a historian to fully integrate the earth-system approach of the new climate science with the material history of humanity. Part I argues that geological, environmental, and climatic history explain the pattern and pace of biological and human evolution. Part II explores the environmental circumstances of the rise of agriculture and the state in the Early and Mid-Holocene, and presents an analysis of human health from the Paleolithic through the rise of the state, including the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Part III introduces the problem of economic growth and examines the human condition in the Late Holocene from the Bronze Age through the Black Death, assessing the relationships among human technologies, climatic change, and epidemic disease. Part IV explores the move to modernity, stressing the emerging role of human economic and energy systems as earth-system agents in the Anthropocene. Supported by climatic, demographic, and economic data with forty-nine figures and tables custom-made for this book, A Rough Journey provides a pathbreaking model for historians of the environment, the world, and science, among many others.

Climate Change in Human History

Prehistory to the Present
Author: Benjamin Lieberman,Elizabeth Gordon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472598512
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 7290

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Climate Change and Human History provides an up-to-date and concise introduction to the relationship between human beings and climate change throughout history. Starting with periods hundreds of thousands of years ago and continuing up to the present day, the book illustrates how natural climate variability affected early human societies, and how humans are now altering climate drastically within much shorter periods of time. For each major period of time, the book will explain how climate change has created opportunities as well as risks and challenges for human societies. The book will introduce and develop several related themes including: Phases of climate and history Factors that shape climate Climate shocks and sharp climate shifts Climate and the rise and fall of civilizations Industrialization and climate science Accelerating climate change, human societies, and the future An ideal companion for all students of environmental history, Climate Change and Human History clearly demonstrates the critical role of climate in shaping human history and of the experience of humans in both adapting to and shaping climate change.

The Attacking Ocean

The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408836041
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 5130

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The past fifteen thousand years - the entire span of human civilization - have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines. Global sea levels stabilised about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.

Collapse

How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141976969
Category: History
Page: 608
View: 7147

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From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

Dark Age America

Climate Change, Cultural Collapse, and the Hard Future Ahead
Author: John Michael Greer
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 1550926284
Category: Social Science
Page: 256
View: 9173

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After decades of missed opportunities, the door to a sustainable future has closed, and the future we face now is one in which today’s industrial civilization unravels in the face of uncontrolled climate change and resource depletion. The questions we need to ask now focus on what comes next. This book provides a hard but hopeful look at the answer