Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations

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9780520272903: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations
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"Anyone interested in environmental issues should read this book... Entertains and stimulates thought." Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes) 20070803 "Fascinating insights into what be our most precious natural resource and gives important pointers toward sustainable land management." Bioscience 20080401 "How societies fare in the long run depends on how they treat their soils. Simple. Concise. You are your dirt." -- Carol Ekarius Hobby Farms 20090217 "Sobering... A timely text that will no doubt stimulate the discussion of this issue, and its potential solutions, for years to come." Environment & History 20091101 "Strengthen[s] appreciation for how important the soil is to our existence." Great Plains Research 20090519 "This book is a thorough and enlightening treatment of the topic." The Perennial Bookworm 20110307 "Sounds an ever timely and necessary clarion call." Vadose Zone Journal 20100517

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Dirt, soil, call it what you want - it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, and our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" explores the compelling idea that we are - and have long been - using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, "Dirt" traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil - as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.

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Montgomery, David R.
Verlag: University Press Group Ltd Apr 2012 (2012)
ISBN 10: 0520272900 ISBN 13: 9780520272903
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Buchbeschreibung University Press Group Ltd Apr 2012, 2012. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. 230x154x18 mm. Neuware - In a fast-paced, accessible yet sweeping synthesis, renowned geologist and published trade author David Montgomery examines human history through the lens of agriculture and how increasing intensification of farming undercut the foundation civilizations around the world whose use of soil outstripped the natural supply. Drawing from archaeology, geology, soil science, and history, Montgomery shows that the life span of civilizations can be determined from the way they treat their land. Dirt is our most under-appreciated yet most essential resource. Soil erodes much more quickly than it forms, but erosion is inevitable and is hastened by our widespread agricultural practices and other abuses. Each year, the world now loses some 24 billion tons of topsoil. Montgomery describes how ancient societies - the Greeks, Romans, Maya, etc. - repeatedly exhausted their land at a pace set by their technological sophistication and hastened their downfall and created populations of refugees. Societies that run out of dirt run out of options to survive, but Montgomery holds out hope that recent interest in no-till and organic agriculture, practices that protect soil and water, will allow farsighted societies to follow a more sustainable path and cling to the ground beneath them. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780520272903

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