In his work, Pan’s Travail, Donald Hughes examines the environmental history of the classical period and argues that the decline of ancient civilisations resulted in part from their exploitation
of the natural world. Looking at the current state of the environment, one cannot help but wonder if tragedy will recur, for the catastrophic events of today seem to be harbingers of doom that befell our ancestors. Humanity seems helpless to overcome the problems created 5 in the face of rampantly expanding populations and rapidly declining biodiversity, leading to worsening environmental conditions. Well-meaning initiatives to save the environment multiply with each passing day, but these initiatives typically flounder against the unthinkable prospect that we might actually change our fundamental behaviour. Today, our dying world is in danger, and asks us to take seriously this vision of a world in which humans and other species might 10 live together peacefully, united by a sense of kinship and community.
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