South Asia: An Environmental History shows how the civilizations of this geographically diverse region were formed (physically, ethically, and culturally) by their interactions with the environment--a relationship with particularly strong social and spiritual dimensions because of the interdependence of the predominantly agrarian population and the land. Specific topics range from ancient irrigation techniques and peasant adaptation to the environment, to the impact of imperialism on nature, the effect of post-colonial technology on contemporary life, and the enduring influence of religion on the way South Asian societies address ecological issues.
The contributing authors focus on ways of rethinking the garden and its role in contemporary society, using it as a crossover platform between nature, science and technology. Drawing upon their diverse fields of research, including History of Science and Technology, Environmental Studies, Gardens and Landscape Studies, Urban Studies, and Visual and Artistic Studies, the authors unveil various entanglements woven in the past between nature and culture, and probe the potential of alternative epistemologies to escape the predicament of fatalistic dystopias that often revolve around the Anthropocene debate.
This book will be of great interest to those studying environmental and landscape history, the history of science and technology, historical geography, and the environmental humanities.
This book examines the local realities and environmental changes in East Asia, and is one of a few publications in English on the subject. Contributors apply rich historical material, maps and statistical data to reveal the local environmental realities infused by global perspectives. Part I deals with attitude toward nature, focusing on the soundscape conceived by traditional Chinese literati and on "industrious revolution" in Tokugawa Japan. Part II includes four case studies which respectively discuss the hydraulic management and political ecology in the Yongle reign (1403-1424), the "Woosung Bar" controversy in the 1870s, the expansion of Daihaizi Reservoir in Xinjiang in the 1950s, and interactions between the indigenous communities and NGOs in Hualien, Taiwan. Part III presents case studies of Japan dealing with natural disasters: volcano eruption, floods, and the human actions around Tokyo since the eighteenth century. These chapters and the insights they offer provide the reader with the most recent research on East Asian environmental history.
Covering the geographical areas of Japan, North and Northwest China, the Lower Yangzi Delta and Taiwan, and the timeframe spanning the seventh century BC to the present day, the book will be of great interest to anyone studying the history of East Asia, environmental history or environmental studies.
The most frank, readable and detailed account available in the English language of the political, economic, environmental and cultural changes sweeping through south-east Asia.
By the mid-1990s, south-east Asia and its fast-growing economies were the envy of the world. The region’s leaders boasted that their societies, based on hard work and family values, were superior to those of the decadent West. Then came the financial crash of 1997.
The Trouble with Tigers examines in detail the miracle that turned sour, including:
• the debate about the existence of ‘Asian values’
• the relationship between democracy and authoritarianism
• SE Asia’s Generation X – as wild and happy-go-lucky as any Western teenagers
• the region’s political and business leaders
• the environmental disaster befalling the region
• power politics – between Russia, China and the United States – in the region
Victor Mallet talks to politicians, drug addicts, environmentalists, warlords, prostitutes, peasant farmers and captains of industry in a vivid and perceptive study that sheds much-needed light on the complextities of this varied region.
North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory.
In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.
"Roy Scranton's Learning to Die in the Anthropocene presents, without extraneous bullshit, what we must do to survive on Earth. It's a powerful, useful, and ultimately hopeful book that more than any other I've read has the ability to change people's minds and create change. For me, it crystallizes and expresses what I've been thinking about and trying to get a grasp on. The economical way it does so, with such clarity, sets the book apart from most others on the subject."--Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy
"Roy Scranton lucidly articulates the depth of the climate crisis with an honesty that is all too rare, then calls for a reimagined humanism that will help us meet our stormy future with as much decency as we can muster. While I don't share his conclusions about the potential for social movements to drive ambitious mitigation, this is a wise and important challenge from an elegant writer and original thinker. A critical intervention."--Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
"Concise, elegant, erudite, heartfelt & wise."--Amitav Ghosh, author of Flood of Fire
"War veteran and journalist Roy Scranton combines memoir, philosophy, and science writing to craft one of the definitive documents of the modern era."--The Believer Best Books of 2015
Coming home from the war in Iraq, US Army private Roy Scranton thought he'd left the world of strife behind. Then he watched as new calamities struck America, heralding a threat far more dangerous than ISIS or Al Qaeda: Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, megadrought--the shock and awe of global warming.
Our world is changing. Rising seas, spiking temperatures, and extreme weather imperil global infrastructure, crops, and water supplies. Conflict, famine, plagues, and riots menace from every quarter. From war-stricken Baghdad to the melting Arctic, human-caused climate change poses a danger not only to political and economic stability, but to civilization itself . . . and to what it means to be human. Our greatest enemy, it turns out, is ourselves. The warmer, wetter, more chaotic world we now live in--the Anthropocene--demands a radical new vision of human life.
In this bracing response to climate change, Roy Scranton combines memoir, reportage, philosophy, and Zen wisdom to explore what it means to be human in a rapidly evolving world, taking readers on a journey through street protests, the latest findings of earth scientists, a historic UN summit, millennia of geological history, and the persistent vitality of ancient literature. Expanding on his influential New York Times essay (the #1 most-emailed article the day it appeared, and selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014), Scranton responds to the existential problem of global warming by arguing that in order to survive, we must come to terms with our mortality.
Plato argued that to philosophize is to learn to die. If that’s true, says Scranton, then we have entered humanity’s most philosophical age--for this is precisely the problem of the Anthropocene. The trouble now is that we must learn to die not as individuals, but as a civilization.
Roy Scranton has published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Boston Review, and Theory and Event, and has been interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air, among other media.