Living in a Dangerous Climate provides a journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society. Is it possible for humanity to evolve quickly, or is slow, gradual, genetic evolution the only way we change? Why did all other Homo species go extinct while Homo sapiens became dominant? How did agriculture, domestication and the use of fossil fuels affect humanity's growing dominance? Do today's dominant societies - devoted as they are to Darwinism and 'survival of the fittest' - contribute to our current failure to meet the hazards of a dangerous climate? Unique and thought provoking, the book links scientific knowledge and perspectives of evolution, climate change and economics in a way that is accessible and exciting for the general reader. The book is also valuable for courses on climate change, human evolution and environmental science.
Renee Hetherington obtained a BA in Business and Economics from Simon Fraser University, British in 1981; an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in 1985; and an interdisciplinary PhD in anthropology, biology, geography and geology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in 2002. She was awarded a Canadian National Science and Engineering Research doctoral fellowship for her work reconstructing the paleogeography and paleoenvironment of the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii. The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council subsequently awarded her a postdoctoral fellowship for her research relating climate change to human evolution and adaptability over the last 135,000 years. She has been co-leader of the United Nations International Geological Correlation Program project 526, 'Risks, Resources, and Record of the Past on the Continental Shelf'. She is CFO and director of RITM Corp., a natural resource and management consulting company. She ran for office as a Member of the Canadian Parliament in 2011 and is currently member of Shadow Caucus with the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. She is the co-author (with Robert Reid) of The Climate Connection (Cambridge, 2010).
Part I. Earth's Climate: Impacts on Habitat and Humans: 1. Putting our emergent house in order; Part II. The Evolution of the Homo Species: 2. The cradle of humankind; 3. The Neanderthal enigma; 4. The end of Homo diversity; Part III. Climate and Human Migration: 5. Climate and human migration; 6. Braving the new world; Part IV. Climate and Agriculture: 7. Agriculture and the rise of civilization; 8. The Maya civilization and beyond; Part V. The Dominant Paradigm: 9. Dominance destabilized; 10. Fitness folly; 11. Darwin the selector; 12. Hunting down Woody; 13. Kammerer's suicide; 14. Giants and pygmies; 15. Dutch hunger winter babies; Part VI. Today and Tomorrow: 16. Today and tomorrow; 17. Dead zones; Part VII. The Economic Connection: 18. The economic connection; 19. The progress of dominance; Part VIII. Dangerous Attitudes: 20. Dangerous attitudes; 21. Helpful strangers; 22. Triumphant oblivion; Part IX. Living in Dangerous Times: 23. Our children; 24. Living in a dangerous climate.