The Global Casino is an introduction to environmental issues which deals both with the workings of the physical environment and with the political, economic and social frameworks in which the issues occur. Using examples from all over the world, the book highlights the underlying causes behind environmental problems, the human actions which have made them issues, and the hopes for solutions. It is a book about the human impact on the environment and the ways in which the natural environment impacts human society.
The sixth edition has been fully revised and updated throughout, with new case studies, figures, and online resources including a complete lecture course for tutors and multiple-choice questions for students. New concepts and topics covered for the first time in this edition include the green economy, the forest transition model, marine microplastic pollution, urban disasters, decommissioning of big dams, and the start of the Anthropocene. Recent international initiatives covered include the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the Sendai Framework for managing disaster risk. New case studies include Morocco’s Noor concentrated solar power plant, desert recovery in Kuwait, and river management on the Huang Ho.
Eighteen chapters on key issues follow three initial chapters which outline the background contexts of the physical and human environments and the concept of sustainable development. Each chapter provides historical context for key issues, outlines why they have arisen, and highlights areas of controversy and uncertainty to appraise how issues can be resolved both technically and in political and economic frameworks. Each chapter also contains an updated critical guide to further reading – many of them open access – and websites, as well as discussion points and essay questions. The text can be read in its entirety or individual chapters adopted as standalone reading.
This book is an essential resource for students of the environment, geography, earth sciences and development studies. It provides comprehensive and inspirational coverage of all the major global environmental issues of the day in a style that is clear and critical.
Table of Contents
List of figures List of tables Preface Acknowledgements 1 The Physical Environment 2 The Human Environment 3 Sustainable Development 4 Tropical Deforestation 5 Desertification 6 Oceans 7 Coastal Issues 8 Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands 9 Big Dams 10 Urban Environments 11 Climatic Change 12 Acidification 13 Food Production 14 Soil Erosion 15 Biodiversity Loss 16 Transport 17 Waste Management 18 Energy Production 19 Mining 20 Warfare 21 Natural Hazards 22 Conclusions Glossary Bibliography Index
Nick Middleton is a Fellow and Lecturer in Geography at St Anne’s College, Oxford University. He also works as an environmental consultant and freelance author, having written more than 300 articles in journals, magazines and newspapers, and 25 books.
Reviews of previous editions
‘Middleton has a clear, smooth style and is excellent at sketching specific local examples to convey what is happening on the ground’ - International Journal of Environmental Studies
‘The book is extremely sound ... and covers basic theory, examples and illustrations, with a profusion of photographs and diagrams which makes the subject live. The real strength lies in the fact that the book outlines both the workings of the physical environment and the political, economic and social frameworks in which the issues occur’ - Global Environmental Change
‘The Global Casino is timely and has much to offer. It provides a comprehensive, undergraduate-level introduction to environmental problems and is packed with case studies and up-to-date information...the improved and re-organised lists of references and websites provide an excellent resource for researching topics further.’ - Progress in Physical Geography
‘A comprehensive yet critical look at some of the most pressing issues faced by humans… an essential resource for academics, students and practitioners in the environment, geography, planning, earth sciences and development fields.’ - Australian Planner