A New Perspective
Clive Ponting's bestselling study of man's despoliation of the planet - now completely revised and updated.
Like Jared Diamond's COLLAPSE, Clive Ponting's book studies the relationship between the environment and human history. It examines world civilizations from Sumeria to ancient Egypt, from Easter Island to the Roman Empire and it argues that human beings have repeatedly built societies that have grown and prospered by exploiting the Earth's resources, only to expand to the point where those resources could no longer sustain the societies' populations and subsequently collapsed. He shows, for example, how the fall of Rome has particular and vital importance for our modern global civilization.
Destructive environmental behaviour today takes place on a much larger scale than ever before and the consequences will be correspondingly greater. Ponting argues for a higher sensitivity to the finite nature of our resources and the catastrophic impact on our modern world, should we continue to squander those resources.
This new edition of Clive Ponting's international bestseller has been revised, expanded and updated. It provides not only a compelling story of how we have damaged the environment for thousands of years but also an up-to-the-minute assessment of the crisis facing the world today - and the problems that have to be faced in the search for solutions.
“Large, ambitious and often enthralling, it is a successful attempt to look at the unfolding of worlds history from an entirely new perspective...The joy and originality of this book is that Ponting offers us very little that is unfamiliar.”
“Few single-volume efforts have covered so much ground in terms of sheer time-scale and territory, and the general reader will find plenty of useful reference material...Ponting is at his best on technology and the economy, and his description of Europe's waning influence since the 1940s makes perfect sense.”
“This is a history book with a difference. It is imaginative in its approach, courageous in its execution and expansive in its sweep of interest...His approach is radical and interesting...It is a fine example of how a radically new point of departure can cast light on a range of areas over which the specialists will continue to do battle long into the future.”
Sunday Business Post
“Pioneering...an impressive feat of scholarship. Clive Ponting has embraced a daunting task with commendable success.”
Times Literary Supplement