Origins: May 2012 Issue

Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective presents its May 2012 issue, featuring:
Climate, Human Population and Human Survival: What the Deep Past Tells Us about the Future


The controversies generated by climate science in recent years center around the human relationship with the natural world and with natural resources. This month, historian John Brooke puts that critical question in historical perspective—deep historical perspective. For most of human history, our species had to struggle to survive powerful natural forces, like climate and disease. In the past three centuries, however, things have changed dramatically: that struggle has been reshaped by the unprecedented growth of the human population—from under one billion to now over seven. This issue of Origins forces us to ask whether our population can continue to grow given the current Malthusian pressure on resources and on the earth system itself.


Origins is a free, non-commercial publication from the Public History Initiative and eHistory in Ohio State University’s History Department. Origins is found at