A temperate empire : making climate change in early America
- Anya Zilberstein.
- New York, NY, United States of America : Oxford University Press, 
- Copyright notice
- Physical description
- xi, 264 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
- Zilberstein, Anya, author.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages -241) and index.
- Introduction: Improving the climate
- The golden mean
- Transatlantic networks and the geography of climate knowledge --
- An American Siberia -- Jamaicans in and out of Nova Scotia
- Works in progress.
Most people assume that climate change is recent news. A Temperate Empire shows that we have been debating the science and politics of climate change for a long time, since before the age of industrialization. Focusing on attempts to transform New England and Nova Scotia's environment in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this book explores the ways that early Americans studied and tried to remake local climates according to their plans for colonial settlement and economic development. For colonial officials, landowners, naturalists and other local elites, New England and Nova Scotia's frigid, long winters and short, muggy summers were persistent sources of anxiety. They became intensely interested in understanding the natural history of the climate and, ultimately, in reducing their vulnerability to it. In the short term, European migrants from other northern countries would welcome the cold or, as one Loyalist from New Hampshire argued, the cold would moderate the supposedly fiery temperaments of Jamaicans deported to colonial Nova Scotia. Over the long term, however, the expansion of colonial farms was increasingly tempering the climate itself. A naturalist in Vermont agreed with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson when he insisted that every cultivated part of America was already "more temperate, uniform, and equal" than before colonization-a forecast of permanent, global warming they all wholeheartedly welcomed. By pointing to such ironies, A Temperate Empire emphasizes the necessarily historical nature of the climate and of our knowledge about it.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Copyright date
- Title Variation
- Making climate change in early America
- 9780190206598 (hardcover ; alk. paper)
- 0190206594 (hardcover ; alk. paper)
Browse related items
Start at call number: