European Economic Development and the Environment

  • Luca Mocarelli


My analysis takes as a starting point the somewhat provocative theory of Jared Diamond as outlined in his book Guns, Germs and Steel, in which the scholar proffers a key to a long-term assessment of the differences between the various parts of the world.1 According to Diamond, what happened after the end of the last Ice Age (about 11,000 B.C.) is of paramount importance, particularly after the “invention” of agriculture around 8,500 B.C. For this was actually the first great socioeconomic revolution in the history of mankind because we passed from the world of nomadic hunter-gatherers to that of permanent settlements. It was the huge increase in available food resources made possible by farming and animal husbandry that permitted an innovation that changed the course of history — the birth of the cities.2


Industrial Revolution United Nations Environment Programme United Nations Development Programme High Plain International Energy Agency 
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© Luca Mocarelli 2015

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  • Luca Mocarelli

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