The present and future state of the environment give rise to ever increasing concern, and to an ever increasing body of scholarship, but much less is known as yet about the past the damage done to the environment in the past couple of centuries, how far our predecessors were aware of it, and the steps they took to help. This book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of these things. Its first half examines the intellectual roots of the environmental movement, in its scientific, economic and aesthetic aspects. It traces the pollution that industry has caused to the air, water and land of Britain, and the remedies that have been taken to safeguard them from further damage. It examines the growing awareness of a heritage to be protected - whether it be ancient monuments or threatened landscapes. The second half considers the economic implications of using up exhaustible resources, and examines ways of economising on finite resources through recycling, the use of by-products and by varying the quality of goods. Finally, it discusses the feasibility of long-run growth in a finite world.
These are all key questions for today and tomorrow; and Clapp sets them in perspective, against the background of the past.