Ian Whyte's exciting new work looks at major episodes of environmental change from different periods of history. Such past environmental crises provide helpful warnings for the future, revealing the nature and scale of environmental change and its capacity to affect society.
Among the episodes included are the rise and fall of the Mayas, the deforestation of the Mediterranean in Roman times, the extinction of big game in North America, the eruption of Thera and its impact on Minoan civilzation, as well as a number of more recent events such as sea level changes and the desiccation of the Aral Sea. At a time when we are more than ever conscious of the realities of environmental change, and of the detrimental effect we have had upon the environment, this timely work provides both an important and lively read.
Ian D. Whyte is Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Lancaster. He is the author of many books including Landscape and History since 1500 (Reaktion 2002)