Inventing Pollution: Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain Since 1800 (Ecology & History)
By: Peter Thorsheim (author)Hardback
More than 4 weeks availability
Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke. In this far-reaching study, Peter Thorsheim explains that, for much of the nineteenth century, few people in Britain even considered coal smoke to be pollution. To them, pollution meant miasma: invisible gases generated by decomposing plant and animal matter. Far from viewing coal smoke as pollution, most people considered smoke to be a valuable disinfectant, for its carbon and sulfur were thought capable of rendering miasma harmless. Inventing Pollution examines the radically new understanding of pollution that emerged in the late nineteenth century, one that centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion. This change, as Peter Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.
Peter Thorsheim is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Number Of Pages:
- ID: 9780821416808
- Saver Delivery: Yes
- 1st Class Delivery: Yes
- Courier Delivery: Yes
- Store Delivery: Yes
Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly
© Copyright 2013 - 2016 WHSmith and its suppliers.
WHSmith High Street Limited Greenbridge Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, SN3 3LD, VAT GB238 5548 36