【講演者】Hu Minghui (Associate Professor, UC Santa Cruz)
The talk provides a comprehensive framework of global environmental history from prehistoric times. We will look at how Homo Sapiens became the dominant species on the planet, how some managed to grow food and domesticate animals, and how these agrarian or nomadic societies developed states or even empires. Why do some of them continue for a long time and become what we call civilizations? What made some learn to harvest energy differently to boost industrial productivity? How did climate change create such a condition that nearly the entire planet sank into wars, catastrophes, and environmental disasters? Why do fossil industries become so prevalent in the contemporary environment? What is the environmental payoff for everyone? Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) will create the largest middle-class societies consuming an ever-greater share of this planet’s natural resources. What is the future of our world?