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Contents Preface to the German edition Preface to the English edition I. Thinking about environmental history 1. Blinders and dead ends in environmental history 2. The sameness of vicious circles and the complex ways of escaping them 3. In the depth of time, and: the mysterious regenerative power of the nature idea 4. Trees or sheep? The problem of value judgments in environmental history 5. Ecology as historical explanation: from the collapse of Mayan culture to the great Irish famine 6. Terra incognita -- environmental history as secret history or the history of the obvious II. The ecology of subsistence and tacit knowledge -- primeval symbioses between humans and nature 1. In the beginning was fire: global slash-and-burn agriculture and pyromania in environmental history 2. Humans and animals -- hunting and domestication 3. Gardens and fruit trees 4. Farmers and Herders 5. The "tragedy of the commons" and the plaggen plague: was premodern agriculture "unconscious destructive exploitation"? 6. Mother Earth and the Father in Heaven: On the Ecology of Religion III. Water, Forests, and Power 1. Hydraulic engineering, power, and ecological chain reactions 2. Egypt and Mesopotamia: an archetypal contrast 3. The irrigated terrace: a socio-ecological cell culture 4. China as a model and a terrifying vision 5. Water civilizations within constrained spaces: Venice and the Netherlands 6. Malaria, irrigation, deforestation -- endemic disease as nature's avenger and the protector of ecological reserves 7. Deforestation and 'ecological suicide' in the Mediterranean region: a fictitious problem? Erosion in harmony with nature and misleading historicization 8. Forest and power in Europe: from the forest-clearance movement to the era of forest regulations 9. Focal points of an early consciousness of crisis: cities and mining IV. Colonialism as a watershed in environmental history 1. The Mongol Empire and the "microbial unification of the world" 2. Ecological dynamics in overseas colonialization 3. The birth of the global perspective: colonial and insular origins of modern environmental awareness 4. Colonial and post-colonial turning points in India's environmental history 5. Yankee and mushik ecology 6. The question of European exceptionalism in environmental history. The effect of colonialism on the colonial powers. V. At the limits of nature 1. Toward the last reserves 2. "Wo Mistus, da Christus" ("Where there is dung, there is Christ"): From the fallow to the "cult of dung" and the politicization of agriculture 3. Alarm over wood scarcity, the afforestation movement, and the rise of an ecological forest apologetics 4. "Sweet, holy nature": the ambiguous development of the modern religion of nature 5. Nature and nation: making concrete the nature in need of protection 6. The first industrial environmental crisis and the genesis of basic patterns of modern crisis management VI. In the labyrinth of globalization 1. The deepest rupture in the history of the environment: the failed Americanization of the world 2. Blood and Soil: self-sufficiency gone mad 3. Substrata of environmental concerns: the nuclear apocalypse and cancer fears 4. Scientific, spiritual, and economic origins of the environmental movement 5. Nepal, Bhutan, and other summit perspectives: environmental problems in tourism, development aid, and space flight 6. The problems of power and uncertainty in environmental policy VII. Conclusion: Perspectives on history and political style -- How to argue with environmental history in politics
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Human ecology -- History.
Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- History.