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History of Technology and Environment : From Stone Tools to Ecological Crisis (Hardcover) (Edward L.
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This book is designed to provide an accessible overview of the impact of key areas of technology on earth’s environment. It makes the case that the easiest way to understand current problems is by tracing the history and development of four broad areas of technology - direct harvesting of natural resources; agriculture(and population); chemical technologies; and energy use).
Combining approaches drawn from environmental biology and the history of science and technology, it describes the motivations behind many technological advances and the settings in which they occurred, before tracing their ultimate environmental impacts. Four broad areas of human activity are described:
• Over-harvesting of natural resources using the examples of hunting, fishing and freshwater use
• Farming and other land use practices
• Discovery, synthesis and use of manufactured chemicals
• The development of sources of artificial energy and the widespread pollution caused by power generation and energy-consuming devices
These innovations have been driven by various forces, but in nearly every case, new technologies emerged out of fascinating, psychologically-rich, human experiences. This book provides an introduction to these complex developments and will be essential reading for students of science, technology and society, environmental history and the history of science and technology.