Cataclysms: An Environmental History of Humanity
Cataclysms: An Environmental History of Humanity
Laurent Testot

Translated by Katherine Throssell


Testot explores the interconnected histories of human evolution and planetary deterioration, arguing that our development from naked apes to Homo sapiens has entailed wide-scale environmental harm. Testot makes the case that humans have usually been catastrophic for the planet, "hyperpredators" responsible for mass extinctions, deforestation, global warming, ocean acidification, and unchecked pollution, as well as the slaughter of our own species. Organized chronologically around seven technological revolutions, Cataclysms unspools the intertwined saga of humanity and our environment, from our shy beginnings in Africa to today's domination of the planet, revealing how we have blown past any limits along the way—whether by exploding our own population numbers, domesticating countless other species, or harnessing energy from fossils. Testot’s book, while sweeping, is light and approachable, telling the stories—sometimes rambunctious, sometimes appalling—of how a glorified monkey transformed its own environment beyond all recognition.

In order to begin reversing our environmental disaster, we must have a better understanding of our own past and the incalculable environmental costs incurred at every stage of human innovation. Cataclysms offers that understanding and the hope that we can now begin to reform our relationship to the Earth.

Title Cataclysms: An Environmental History of Humanity
Author Laurent Testot
Translated by Katherine Throssell
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
Title First Published 09 November 2020
Format Hardcover
Nb of pages
ISBN-10 022660912X
ISBN-13 9780226609126
Publication Date 09 November 2020
Weight 32 oz.
 


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