Tag: Jan Oosthoek (page 2 of 2)

Environmental History: Between Science and Philosophy


The Environment has been a prominent part of the political agenda since the 1960s. The expansion of the consumer society after the Second World War in North America and Europe increased the pressure on the environment to such an extent that it became alarming. A more affluent and better educated population showed its concern for the environment and demanded a cleaner and healthier environment. The environmental movement that originated from these concerns was not very historically oriented and regarded the contemporary problems as a unique product of 20th century capitalism and industrial progress. However, some realised that a historical perspective was needed to understand the origins of the contemporary environmental crisis. This is where environmental history came into being. Continue reading

The Role of Wood in World History

The destruction of the world’s forests is a major concern in our age. According to the UN about 40 percent of Central America’s forests were destroyed between 1950 and 1980 and during the same period Africa lost about 23 percent of its forests. A whole range of environmental problems is associated with deforestation, among them severe flooding, accelerated loss of soil, encroaching deserts and declining soil productivity1. Sometimes we get the impression that these problems are unique to our time, but vast areas of surface of the earth were stripped of their tree cover well before the modern period.

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