2nd Edition

The Environment in World History

By Stephen Mosley Copyright 2024
    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    Now in its second edition and refreshed by a decade of new research, The Environment in World History uncovers the deep-rooted causes of interconnected climate, biodiversity, and ecological crises that have brought the environment to the top of the global political agenda in the twenty-first century.

    Its expanded chapters and case studies explore a wide range of issues including the following: the hunting of wildlife and the loss of biodiversity across the globe; deforestation and the development of strategies to protect the world’s forests; soil degradation caused by worldwide agricultural expansion, one of the most profound ways that humans have altered the planet; the widening impact of urban-industrial growth and the deepening ecological footprints of the world’s cities; and the rising levels of air, land and water pollution as the trade-off for continued economic growth worldwide. Covering the last five hundred years, it offers an essential environmental perspective on well-known world history narratives of imperialism and colonialism, trade and commerce, technological progress and the advance of civilisation.

    Clearly written and fully up-to-date, it is an invaluable resource for all students of world history and environmental studies.

    1. Introduction: environment and history 2. The world hunt 3. Forests and forestry 4. Soils and irrigation 5. Cities and the environment 6. Conclusion: beyond the limits?


    Stephen Mosley is Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Lancaster University. He is the author of The Chimney of the World: A History of Smoke Pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester, also published by Routledge.

    ‘A book like this one goes a long way to making environmental history something that any and everyone can easily grasp.’

    Reviews in History

    ‘A must read for anyone interested in exploring the historical roots of a planetwide ecological crisis. Essential.’


    ‘As with many of the volumes in this series "Themes in World History", this one will undoubtedly become an important contribution to the field of world environmental history.’

    Anthony N. Penna, Comparativ

    ‘Meticulously researched, it is sure to provide even the hardened environmental historian with some new case study, some unexpected interpretive slant or some grim statistic to mull over. Brief though it is, this is surely one of the best histories of the environment currently available.’

    Environment and History