Living in a Dangerous Climate

Living in a Dangerous Climate : Climate Change and Human Evolution

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Living in a Dangerous Climate provides a journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society. Is it possible for humanity to evolve quickly, or is slow, gradual, genetic evolution the only way we change? Why did all other Homo species go extinct while Homo sapiens became dominant? How did agriculture, domestication and the use of fossil fuels affect humanity's growing dominance? Do today's dominant societies - devoted as they are to Darwinism and 'survival of the fittest' - contribute to our current failure to meet the hazards of a dangerous climate? Unique and thought provoking, the book links scientific knowledge and perspectives of evolution, climate change and economics in a way that is accessible and exciting for the general reader. The book is also valuable for courses on climate change, human evolution and environmental science.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 14 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • 1139418866
  • 9781139418867

Table of contents

Part I. Earth's Climate: Impacts on Habitat and Humans: 1. Putting our emergent house in order; Part II. The Evolution of the Homo Species: 2. The cradle of humankind; 3. The Neanderthal enigma; 4. The end of Homo diversity; Part III. Climate and Human Migration: 5. Climate and human migration; 6. Braving the new world; Part IV. Climate and Agriculture: 7. Agriculture and the rise of civilization; 8. The Maya civilization and beyond; Part V. The Dominant Paradigm: 9. Dominance destabilized; 10. Fitness folly; 11. Darwin the selector; 12. Hunting down Woody; 13. Kammerer's suicide; 14. Giants and pygmies; 15. Dutch hunger winter babies; Part VI. Today and Tomorrow: 16. Today and tomorrow; 17. Dead zones; Part VII. The Economic Connection: 18. The economic connection; 19. The progress of dominance; Part VIII. Dangerous Attitudes: 20. Dangerous attitudes; 21. Helpful strangers; 22. Triumphant oblivion; Part IX. Living in Dangerous Times: 23. Our children; 24. Living in a dangerous climate.show more

Review quote

'... a wide-ranging book with high ambitions ... excellent read for the general reader ...' Miriam Belmaker, Reports of the National Center for Science Education '... a very informative and readable tour through the history of humankind and its relations to the climates ...' Natural Hazards Observer 'Ethnobiologists, especially those concerned with the role of environmental interactions in the history of human evolution and the development of farming, will find this book useful. In particular, the synthesis of recent research is especially enjoyable, and supported by an extensive bibliography and informative endnotes. The book also stands as an important example of how palaeoanthropological and ethnobiological perspectives can be brought to bear on the question of what to do about surviving climate change.' Ethnobiology Lettersshow more