The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History

The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History

Anthony N. Penna

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 1118912462

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History, Second Edition, presents a multidisciplinary global history of Earth from its origins to the present day.

  • Provides a comprehensive, global, multidisciplinary history of the planet from its earliest origins to the present era
  • Draws on the most recent research in geology, climatology, evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, history, demography and the social and physical sciences
  • Features the latest research findings on planetary history, human evolution, the green agricultural revolution, climate change, global warming and the nature of world/human history interdependencies
  • Offers in-depth analyses of topics relating to human evolution, agriculture, population growth, urbanization, manufacturing, consumption, industrialization, and fossil fuel dependency.













coal which abounds in measureless quantities in the immediate neighborhood of the city.”60 The demand for coal became insatiable as Pittsburgh's steam-powered railroads, factories, and industries expanded their manufacturing output. Four southwestern counties of Pennsylvania, the location of Pittsburgh's deep seam of coal, expanded production to meet the city's production needs. In 1850, they produced less than a half a million tons of coal annually but by 1911 production had skyrocketed to 66.5

the ears into their waiting baskets. This most important human intervention causes a single plant gene to mutate, turning wild cereals into domestic varieties. This same process occurs in various strains of peas and lentils.7 As we will note throughout this chapter, humans have engaged in the genetic modification of foods since the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture millennia ago. Only recently has the process become consciously scientific with advances in plant genetics.

region's history. China's Early Cities Early Chinese history began in the great bend of the Yellow (Huang He) River and also in the southeast region of the country. From these early enclaves, the Chinese migrated outward in all directions, occupying land and gaining political control over the people they encountered. Chinese civilization began under rulers from a tribe named the Shang whose use of the military chariot gave them a sizable advantage over their neighbors along a substantial area

these were capital, port, or national trading cities. Almost all remained the great capital cities of the twentieth century.44 Despite the growth of these large cities, maintenance of the momentum of urbanization from 1750 to 1850 was made possible by the growth in the number of small cities with populations of 10,000. Their numbers tripled during that 100-year period, some as the result of the creation of new factory towns but many others as a result of the impact of economic and population

regions of Europe. By 850 CE, the towns of Southampton and Ipswich in England had built settlements designed in a grid pattern of workshops, stalls, and storehouses. Wines, glassware, and wheel-thrown pottery were traded for hides and wool. The workshops forged the innovative heavy plow, mounted on wheels connected by a fabricated iron axle and pulled by oxen. The wheels allowed farmers to adjust the plowshare to the depth of the furrow. Multiple harnesses (made from hides) allowed one ox or

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