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Living in a Dangerous Climate
Climate Change and Human Evolution

$108.00 (P)

  • Date Published: April 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107017252

$ 108.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • An exciting and fast-paced journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society
    • Provides insights into how humanity might react to the challenge of coming climate change
    • Links science, perspectives of evolution, climate change and economics in a way that is accessible and exciting for the general reader
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… [an] ambitious and wide-ranging book … provides a highly readable overview of how environmental change has affected humans from the time Homo species appeared … Highly recommended."
    D. Goldblum, Choice

    "… a wide-ranging book with high ambitions … [an] 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 Letters

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107017252
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Author

    Renée Hetherington, RIT Minerals Corp., Canada
    Renée Hetherington obtained a BA in Business and Economics from Simon Fraser University, British in 1981; an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1985; and an interdisciplinary PhD in anthropology, biology, geography and geology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in 2002. She was awarded a Canadian National Science and Engineering Research doctoral fellowship for her work reconstructing the paleogeography and paleoenvironment of the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii. The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council subsequently awarded her a postdoctoral fellowship for her research relating climate change to human evolution and adaptability over the last 135,000 years. She has been co-leader of the United Nations International Geological Correlation Program project 526, 'Risks, Resources, and Record of the Past on the Continental Shelf'. She is CFO and director of RITM Corp., a natural resource and management consulting company. She ran for office as a Member of the Canadian Parliament in 2011 and is currently member of Shadow Caucus with the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. She is the co-author (with Robert Reid) of The Climate Connection (Cambridge, 2010).

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