A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1991 - Nature - 430 pages
1 Review
Historian Clive Ponting demonstrates in this book that the answer has urgent relevance for our modern global civilization. The Roman empire, ever expanding in population and ever evolving in technological complexity finally exhausted its bountiful natural resources and experienced an ecological breakdown that doomed the society. Ponting shows how the story is repeated throughout human history and all over the globe, from Sumeria to ancient Egypt to pre-Columbian North America to tiny Easter Island - Human beings prosper by exploiting Earth's resources until those resources can no longer sustain the society's population, which leads to the decline and eventual collapse of that society

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

The statistics in this book are a bit out of date, but it is still worth reading. It reminded me of Jared Diamond's book, "Collapse", but where Mr. Diamond looked at several societies in detail, Mr ... Read full review

A GREEN HISTORY OF THE WORLD: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A comprehensive assessment of humanity's assault on the environment across the centuries, by British historian Ponting (University College, Swansea). Examining the interaction between societies and ... Read full review


The Foundations of History
Influence of the physical world significance and role of ecosystems effect
The Settlement of the World

27 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1991)

Clive Ponting is the author of several books on world history.

Bibliographic information