Standing on the Edge of Being
Scotland 1850 to COP 26
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About the Book
Drawing together the evidence of archaeology, palaeoecology, climate history and the historical record, this first environmental history of Scotland explores the interaction of human populations with the land, waters, forests and wildlife.
This volume takes the reader from the mid nineteenth century to the present, confronting the ‘Anthropocene’ – the era where human action became a key driver of environmental and climatic change – and explores Scotland’s experience of its consequences and costs. In the first half of the book, we chart a course through a century of decline and loss alongside the first serious efforts to curb and reverse the worst environmental impacts, from the filth-spewing cities and foul factory emissions of the lowlands to the degraded mountains, moorland and waters of the upland zones, In the second half, we trace the conflict between pressures to develop and to conserve, to go for economic growth or environmental protection, against the backdrop of mounting public awareness of an unfolding environmental disaster. We see how political compromises have failed to deliver security – for jobs or the environment – and how the toxic legacies of now-vanished industries have been left to the public purse to remediate. But, even now, all is not lost: this final volume of the exploration of the last two thousand years of Scotland’s environmental history calls for deeper and wider public engagement in shaping a future vision for the nation.
Richard D. Oram gained an MA (Hons) in Medieval History with Archaeology and a PhD in Medieval History, both from the University of St Andrews. He is currently Professor of Medieval and Environmental History at the University of Stirling. A former Director of the Centre for Environmental History and Policy and member of the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland, he is now a Trustee of the National Museums of Scotland.
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Hardback | Pub: 02 May 2024£75.00
Drawing together the evidence of archaeology, palaeoecology, climate history and the historical record, this first environmental history of Scotland explores the interaction of human populations with the land, waters, forests and wildlife. This...