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Environmental History

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Peter Ling argues that Thomas Jefferson’s ideas have had dramatic continent-wide effects on the landscape and ecology of the United States.

The controversy over fracking finds echoes in 19th-century concerns over groundwater.

Volume: 64 Issue: 1 2014

A new exhibition at the British Museum on the aftermath of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79 raises questions about the relationship between past and present, says Daisy Dunn.

Volume: 63 Issue: 3 2013

Historians are becoming more ambitious in the breadth and depth of their coverage. Is there a danger that this will reduce the role of humans to a bit part? Not necessarily, says Paul Dukes.

Volume: 63 Issue: 11 2013

The Oxford Dodo has defined our idea of the creature. When alive, the bird was displayed in London as part of a kind of urban freak show. In death it featured in Alice in Wonderland. Charles Norton reveals what became of the last dodo.

Volume: 63 Issue: 4 2013

Robin Whitlock asks if studies of the decline of societies such as that of Easter Island can shed light on contemporary concerns.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

Christian apocalyptic literature and ecological predictions both anticipate the end of the world. Are they born of the same tradition, asks Jean-François Mouhot?

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

The Neanderthals failed to adapt to climate change and may have died out in as little as a thousand years. Are we making the same mistakes, asks Mike Williams.

Volume: 60 Issue: 10 2010

The great Russian author drew inspiration from the countryside and explored the practical and spiritual impact of trees on people, as well as on the environment and climate, Roland Quinault writes.

Volume: 60 Issue: 2 2010

James Hamilton looks at how volcanic activity in Iceland in 1783 and elsewhere elicited strange reactions, and stimulated the creative powers of artists and scientists.

Volume: 60 Issue: 7 2010

Devastating earthquakes have been chronicled on the island of Hispaniola for the past 500 years, writes Jean-François Mouhot.

Volume: 60 Issue: 4 2010

The Antarctic Treaty, signed 50 years ago, kept the cold continent out ofthe Cold War and fostered collaboration on scientific research. The world now faces a different challenge as climate change affects this vast region, writes Peter J. Beck.

Volume: 59 Issue: 12 2009

The Turkish government’s plans to flood two ancient towns with the reservoirs created by two dams are being fiercely resisted – but time is rapidly running out, as Pinar Sevinclidir reports.

Volume: 59 Issue: 2 2009

Jean-François Mouhot traces a link between climate change and slavery, and suggests that reliance on fossil fuels has made slave owners of us all.


Glen Jeansonne and David Luhrssen describe how the pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh was increasingly disturbed by the tension between technology and its impact on the environment. In his later career, in the 1960s, Lindbergh became a spokesman for the embryonic environmental movement as they describe here.

Volume: 58 Issue: 1 2008

Nigel Watson recalls a mysterious explosion that occurred in deepest Siberia in June 1908.

Volume: 58 Issue 7 2008

Our prehistoric ancestors survived rapid climate change and rising temperatures as extreme as those we face today, says Kate Prendergast. What can they tell us about global warming?

Volume: 57 Issue: 8 2007

Richard Cavendish describes the earthquake that shook San Francisco on April 18th, 1906.

Volume: 56 Issue: 4 2006

Peter Ling argues that Thomas Jefferson’s ideas have had dramatic continent-wide effects on the landscape and ecology of the United States.

Volume: 54 Issue: 1 2004

Peter Monteath recalls what happened when two explorers, whose nations were battling for supremacy, met on the other side of the world.

Volume: 53 Issue: 1 2003

The week-long hurricane that struck the south of England and the English Channel on November 24th, 1703, was beyond anything in living memory.

Volume: 53 Issue: 11 2003

Devra Davis looks at the London Smog disaster of 1952-53.

Volume: 52 Issue: 12 2002
David Lowenthal introduces our new series on History and the Environment with an overview of the subject and of human interaction with the world we inhabit.
Volume: 51 Issue: 4 2001
Michael Williams continues our series on History and the Environment by considering how long humans have been making ever-growing inroads into forests.
Volume: 51 Issue: 7 2001

Charles Maechling argues that the Japanese attack, which took place on December 7th 1941, was partly a response to the country's limited energy resources.

Volume: 50 Issue: 12 2000

Bruce Campbell argues that a unique conjunction of human and environmental factors went into creating the crisis of the mid-14th century.

Volume: 50 Issue: 6 2000

Renaissance Venetians developed a sophisticated technology for keeping the city’s vital waterways free from silt and in the process, as Joseph Black explains, created a unique landscape that inspired travellers and painters.

Volume: 48 Issue: 4 1998

Antony Taylor reveals that Eco-Warriors were active more than a century ago.

Volume: 48 Issue: 2 1998

Daryl Best on use and abuse in Australia's environmental history.

Volume: 47 Issue: 10 1997

Raymond Smith and Nicholas Young chart the history of human waste disposal.

Volume: 43 Issue: 2 1993

The campaign to preserve the Battle of Naseby site in Northamptonshire, a pivotal moment in the English Civil War.

Volume: 39 Issue: 4 1989

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