About the BookPost-Rio Earth Summit (1992), the debate on environment has moved beyond just science and scientific concerns. Today our understanding of environment has certainly become more scientific as well as more humane. We have come to accept that the environment and society should be seen in integrity and not separate from each other. The ‘Doomsday syndrome’ of 1970s has been rejected. The science, society and politics have come closer for better understanding of the environment as well as to hammer out policy-decisions to ensure inclusive sustainable growth in a more equitable and more dignified world. The rectification or improvisation of the environment has become tied with welfare of humanity. New philosophical paradigms have redefined the man-man and man-nature relations in a subtle way. The more we study the environment, the more complex it becomes. But that has not come in the way of taking concrete steps. Growing sensitiveness has forced us to eco-restructure our energy base and social behavior. The pattern of the climate-change negotiations and actions taken in this regard show that we are moving on the path of sustainability, albeit little slow.
The book attempts to encapsulate several dimensions of contemporary discussion on environment in five chapters dealing with separate yet interconnected themes. These five themes are: biodiversity; global warming; sustainable development; eco-summits; and environmentalisms. It presents a holistic picture of the debate on environment in the backdrop of developments in scientific knowledge as well as changing social, political, geo-political, economic, and technological realities. The book is written with global perspective in mind so far as the issues are concerned. But at the same time these issues have been contextualized in the larger debate on varying perceptions in different regions, especially the developed and developing countries. The needs, aspirations and challenges of the poor and small island countries have also been integrated in the discussion.About the Author/sAshutosh Kumar (b. 1970): After completing bachelor in history from Delhi University, he moved to Centre for Historical Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to pursue further studies. He submitted his M.Phil. dissertation, entitled “Merchants, Companies, and Mughal Officials at Surat in the 17th Century” in 2001. The scholarly acumen of certain history professors such as Bipan Chandra, K.N. Panikkar, Muzaffar Alam, Harbans Mukhia, Neeladri Bhattacharya, Madhavan K. Palat and Shireen Ratnagar has made deep impression on him. An encounter with Perry Anderson in an Indo-French seminar in JNU in 2004 pushed him to close other career options and stay on history. He is a curious observer and an avid reader. He has developed wide range of interests through extensive readings. His special areas of interests are political economy of Mughal India, historiography, environment, gender, and Sanskrit literature.
He started teaching career in 2003. He currently works as assistant professor in the department of history in Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi.
This is his first book.