Global Population: History, Geopolitics and Life on Earth

Rating: Alison Bashford. 2014. Global Population: History, Geopolitics and Life on Earth. Columbia University Press. ISBN978 0 231 14767 5. Be careful what you wish for. Leaving aside issues on who actually produced these words, they do seem rather apposite for studies on the population numbers debate in the C20th. The problem of over-population would be solved, we were told at the time, by aiming for zero population growth (zpg) – that net increase and decrease would balance. Now, there […]

An Environmental History of Wildlife in England 1650-1950

Rating: Tom Williamson. 2013. An Environmental History of Wildlife in England 1650-1950. Bloomsbury. ISBN978 1 4411 2486 9. It is probably fair to say that I was brought up to consider the English countryside as natural; as something that had always been there. Wildlife were the plants and animals that lived outside of towns and farms. All very simple really. And almost certainly completely wrong! I didn’t get it immediately. It took me some years to finally get to teach […]

First Migrants

Rating: Bellwood, Peter. 2013. First Migrants. Wily Blackwell. ISBN 978 4051 8908 8. One of the first topics I ever covered was human development. Fascinating. OK, maybe not when I was seen demonstrating brachiation by the Principal, but a good set of lessons nonetheless! It aroused my interest in the point that I’d previously buried in my thinking – human migration at the scale I was considering was an evolutionary process as well. The go-to text of the day was […]

Biodiversity in Agriculture

┬áRating: Gepts P, Famula TR, Bettinger RL, Brush SB, Damania AB, McGuire PE and Qualset CO. (eds). 2012. Biodiversity in Agriculture. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 17087 1.   Many years ago when interest in environmental science started one of our key texts was Ucko and Dimbleby’s “Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals”. This was a set of conference proceedings whose basic tenet was to examine how we came to have our modern set of plants and […]