Welcome to the Anthropocene. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human-caused climate change has impacted the globe with the burning of fossil fuels. The debate in classrooms and the political realm should not be whether climate change is happening or how much it places human civilization at risk but over how societies and individuals should respond. This interdisciplinary book offers an in-depth examination of the history of the Earth’s climate and how historians and citizens can influence contemporary climate debate and activism.
The author explains climate history and climate science and makes this important subject matter accessible to a general audience. Chapter topics include examining the Earth’s geological past, the impact of climate on human evolution, the impact of climate on earlier civilizations, climate activism, and the need for international cooperation. Presenting climate history, human history, and climate science in a readable format and featuring resources for students, this book is meant for use by teachers in high school elective or an introductory college course setting.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Climate Vocabulary; 1. "Our House is on Fire" ; 2. Responsibility of the Historian as Public Intellectual; 3.Tipping Points ; 4. Great Climate Migration ; 5. Earth’s Past Climates ; 6. Climate Change and Human Evolution ; 7. Extreme Heat; 8. Four Billion Years of Climate History ; 9. Mass Extinctions; 10. "Clocking" Climate Change; 11. Diseases Carried by Mosquitoes or Hidden in the Ice ; 12. Climate Change Deniers and Minimizers; 13. A Short Cold Snap of about 500 Years ; 14. Power of Ice; 15. Climate Repercussions ; 16. Water Scarcity, Water’s Vengeance ; 17. Technology Debate; 18. Saving the Amazon Rainforest ; 19. Capitalism vs. the Climate; 20. Climate Activism (Where do we go from here?); Appendix 1: Annotated Bibliography; Appendix II. Resources for Teaching about Climate Change;
Alan J. Singer is a teacher educator at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, a former New York City high school teacher, and a life-long political activist starting with the anti-war and Civil Rights movements of the 1960s.