Download PDF by Sing C. Chew: Ecological Futures: What History Can Teach Us (Trilogy on

Environmental Studies

By Sing C. Chew

Ecological Futures argues that heritage can be utilized as a advisor to attainable socioeconomic, political, and ecological eventualities that may rework our globalized global.

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Extra resources for Ecological Futures: What History Can Teach Us (Trilogy on World Ecological Degradation)

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Following Cortés’s arrival in Mexico, fifty years later the total population went from 25 million–30 million persons to about 3 million (Bray 1996). In another estimate, in the sixteenth century, smallpox killed about 18 million people in Mexico, and in Peru, the Incas were reduced from 8 million to 1 million (Karlen 1995). On an overall basis, some estimates suggest that the New World population suffered losses from diseases totaling about 90 percent following the arrival of the Europeans. Two other virulent diseases that impacted Europe and Asia were typhus and cholera.

Similar settlements also appeared in Syria and Palestine. In Syria, some communities were living in caves. It is estimated that these colonies had population of monks of several hundreds. Cave living was chosen as it would bring the monks closer to a natural state (Bergmann 1985). The organizational feature of these settlements was comprised of a complex of buildings including bakeries, a church, and accommodation for guests who visited. The monks produced baskets, mats, ropes, and linen for their own needs, and in some cases they were exchanged with the local community for other necessities.

By pursuing this sense of place one also develops a direct relationship with one’s immediate surroundings. This relationship is then transformed into a set of life practices and awareness. It involves being aware of the rhythms and contours of the landscape and the ecological relations that underline its dynamics. It entails being aware of the diversity of life and the need either to restore what has been degraded or to ensure that ecological degradation does not take place. What it also means is the enriching of the sociocultural life and the natural aspects of the place.

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