Dirt : the erosion of civilizations

Complete Title: 
Dirt : the erosion of civilizations
Non IUCN Publication

Dirt, soil, call it what you want--it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, 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 environmental calamities, 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 time to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of archaeology, geology, and history, 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 history--as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt, leaving a legacy of impoverished lands. 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. -- from publisher's description

Monographic Series no.: 
Berkeley, CA, USA : University of California Press, 2007
Physical Description: 
ix, 285p. : ill., maps
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Record created: 2013/09/13
Record updated: 2020/04/10