© 2017

Environmental History in the Making

Volume I: Explaining

  • Estelita Vaz
  • Cristina Joanaz de Melo
  • Lígia M. Costa Pinto

Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Approaches – (Social Bondage to Maths, Arts or Socio-Biology)

  3. Proposing – Concepts, Sources, Methodologies

  4. Clarifying – Results – Interchange of Psico-Social with Natural and Analytical

  5. Bluring All Confronting Data: New Interpretations, Old Themes, Different Outcomes

About this book


This book is the product of the 2nd World Conference on Environmental History, held in Guimarães, Portugal, in 2014. It gathers works by authors from the five continents, addressing concerns raised by past events so as to provide information to help manage the present and the future. It reveals how our cultural background and examples of past territorial intervention can help to combat political and cultural limitations through the common language of environmental benefits without disguising harmful past human interventions.

Considering that political ideologies such as socialism and capitalism, as well as religion, fail to offer global paradigms for common ground, an environmentally positive discourse instead of an ecological determinism might serve as an umbrella common language to overcome blocking factors, real or invented, and avoid repeating ecological loss.

Therefore, agency, environmental speech and historical research are urgently needed in order to sustain environmental paradigms and overcome political, cultural an economic interests in the public arena.

This book intertwines reflections on our bonds with landscapes, processes of natural and scientific transfer across the globe, the changing of ecosystems, the way in which scientific knowledge has historically both accelerated destruction and allowed a better distribution of vital resources or as it, in today’s world, can offer alternatives that avoid harming those same vital natural resources: water, soil and air. In addition, it shows the relevance of cultural factors both in the taming of nature in favor of human comfort and in the role of the environment matters in the forging of cultural identities, which cannot be detached from technical intervention in the world.

In short, the book firstly studies the past, approaching it as a data set of how the environment has shaped culture, secondly seeks to understand the present, and thirdly assesses future perspectives: what to keep, what to change, and what to dream anew, considering that conventional solutions have not sufficed to protect life on our planet.


Environmental History Landscape shaping Development Colonial history Environmental change

Editors and affiliations

  • Estelita Vaz
    • 1
  • Cristina Joanaz de Melo
    • 2
  • Lígia M. Costa Pinto
    • 3
  1. 1.Escola de CiênciasUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.IHC, Universidade Nova de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  3. 3.Universidade do MinhoNIMA, Esola de Economia e GestaoBragaPortugal

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Environmental History in the Making
  • Book Subtitle Volume I: Explaining
  • Editors Estelita Vaz
    Cristina Joanaz de Melo
    Lígia M. Costa Pinto
  • Series Title Environmental History
  • Series Abbreviated Title Environmental History
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science Earth and Environmental Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-41083-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82262-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-41085-2
  • Series ISSN 2211-9019
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-9027
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 357
  • Number of Illustrations 12 b/w illustrations, 26 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Life Sciences, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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