The Environment

Traditionally history is the story of human beings, the cultures and societies they have created and the relations between them. But we also need to understand our relationship with nature and, in particular, with the environment we inhabit. Although we usually associate the study of the environment with geographers, geologists, biologists, botanists, ecologists and climatologists, the historian provides an additional perspective: the ways in which nature and environment have influenced the course of human history and the impact that human beings have had on their environment. This includes looking at how the environment has changed over time and the impact that this has had on people; the development of human settlements and the creation of a built environment; the ways in which people have used and tried to control natural resources; and the issues that now confront humanity as a result of climate change, rapid population growth and urban development, pollution, deforestation and the depletion of natural resources that cannot be renewed.

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