Environmental concerns and conflicts have surfaced throughout human history, from the earliest settlements to the latest headlines. This comes as a surprise to many people because our emphasis in history has all too often been on war and politics, rather than environment, culture and development.
Preview Of Environmental History
Environmental history is the study of the changing affairs of humans within the natural world over time. In contrast to other historical disciplines, it emphasizes the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs.For more information on Social Studies Lessons click here.
This is a new discipline that came into being during the 1960’s and 1970’s. it was a direct consequence of the growing awareness of worldwide environmental problems such as pollution of water and air by pesticides, depletion of ozone layer and the enhance greenhouse caused by human activity.
Two important origins of environmental history:
• Ecology ¬– which are used to analyze past environments and geography used to study the ever changing face of the earth.
• Geographical – this is the changing of the surface of the earth and reshaping. Climatic, biological and human resource also belongs to geographical.
3 main components:
• First, the nature itself and its change over time, includes physical impact of humans on Earth’s land, water, atmosphere, and biosphere.
• Second, how human use nature, includes the environmental consequences of increasing population, more effectively technology and changing patterns of production and consumption.
o Other key themes are the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer communities to settled agriculture in the Neolithic revolution, the effects of colonial expansion and settlements and the environmental and human consequence of the industrial and technological revolutions.
• Third, environmental historians study how people think about nature, the way attitudes, beliefs, and values influence interaction with nature, especially in the form of myths, religion and science.
There is no universally accepted definition of environmental history. In general terms it is a history that tries to explain why our environment is like it is and how humanity has influenced its current condition, as well as commenting on the problems and opportunities of tomorrow.
"Environmental history is the interaction between human cultures and the environment in the past."