Advertisement

Introduction: Environment, Health and History

  • Virginia Berridge
  • Martin Gorsky
Chapter
  • 187 Downloads

Abstract

The environment and health are not always considered in the same breath. In 2009, when the Lancet published a special issue on the impact of climate change on health, commentators noted that the health impact of global warming had come on to the agenda only since the 1990s.1 Why are issues which appear to be closely connected, and have been connected in the past, so often discussed apart? This book historicises the changing nature of the connection, or lack of it, over time. It examines how and why health and the environment have been considered separately or together and why the relationship has changed. Such change has also taken place against a backdrop of evolving ideas of what is meant by ‘the environment’ and by ‘health’. The traditional environmental rubric of ‘airs, waters and places’ has come to encompass the built environment and urban growth. Deforestation, the extension of irrigation and the conversion of grasslands came on to the agenda as the environment itself changed. What is meant by health, and the term itself, has also changed across the centuries. Most recently the reformulations of ‘public health’ have intersected with the ‘new environmentalism’, as we will see below. This introductory chapter is in three sections. First, we survey very broadly the relationship between health and the environment from the Greeks to the near present, with brief allusions to where the book chapters fit into that time frame; then we examine how historians have written about health and the environment; and finally, we summarise the arguments which our authors make in this book.

Keywords

Urban Growth National Health Insurance Scheme Environmental History Public Health Benefit Temperature Related Mortality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    A. Haines, A. J. McMichael, K. R. Smith, I. Roberts, J. Woodcock, A. Markandya, B. G. Armstrong, D. Campbell-Lendrum, A. D. Dangour, M. Davies, N. Bruce, C. Tonne, M. Barrett and P. Wilkinson (2009). ‘Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: overview and implications for policy makers’, Lancet, 19 Dec, 374 (9707), 2104–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. A. Markandya, B. G. Armstrong, S. Hales, A. Chiabai, P. Criqui, S. Mima, C. Tonne and P. Wilkinson (2009). ‘Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: low-carbon electricity generation’, Lancet, 12 Dec, 374 (9706), 2006–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. P. Wilkinson, K. R. Smith, M. Davies, H. Adair, B.G. Armstrong, M. Barrett, N. Bruce, A. Haines, I. Hamilton, T. Oreszczyn, I. Ridley, C. Tonne and Z. Chalabi (2009). ‘Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: household energy’, Lancet, 5 Dec, 374 (9705), 1917–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    M. Dobson (1997). Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    A. Crosby (2003). The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 30th anniversary edition).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    R. Grove (1996). Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    J. C. Riley (1987). The Eighteenth-Century Campaign to Avoid Disease (London: Macmillan)Google Scholar
  8. A. Rusnock (2002). Vital Accounts: Quantifying Health and Population in Eighteenth Century, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 7.
    M. Foucault (1974). ‘The birth of social medicine’, in J. Faubion (ed.) (1994). Michel Foucault: Power. Essential Works of Foucault 1954–1984, Volume Three (London: Penguin), pp. 135–56.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    A. La Berge (1992). Mission and Method: The Early Nineteenth-Century French Public Health Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 54–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 9.
    E. Chadwick (1842). Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, ed. M. W. Flinn (1965) (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    A. Hardy (1993). The Epidemic Streets: Infectious Disease and the Rise of Preventive Medicine, 1856–1900 (Oxford: Clarendon Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 11.
    C. Hamlin (1998). Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick. Britain, 1800–1854 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  14. 12.
    P. Starr (1982). The Social Transformation of American Medicine (New York: Basic Books), p. 189.Google Scholar
  15. 13.
    M. Worboys (2000). Spreading Germs: Disease Theories and Medical Practice in Britain, 1865–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  16. 14.
    D. Porter (1999). Health, Civilisation and the State. A History of Public Health from Ancient to Modern Times (London: Routledge), p. 143.Google Scholar
  17. 15.
    W. Wilson Jameson and F. T. Marchant (1920). Hygiene, Specially Intended for those Studying for a Diploma in Public Health (London: J and A Churchill).Google Scholar
  18. 17.
    H. Ritvo (2009). The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere and Modern Environmentalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 18.
    R. Roberts (1976). A Ragged Schooling: Growing up in the Classic Slum (Manchester: Manchester University Press), p. 16.Google Scholar
  20. 19.
    A. Bramwell (1994). The Fading of the Greens. The Decline of Environmental Politics in the West (New Haven and London: Yale University Press)Google Scholar
  21. A. Bramwell (1989). Ecology in the Twentieth Century: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press)Google Scholar
  22. R. Proctor (1999). The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  23. 20.
    J. Lewis (1986). What Price Community Medicine? The Philosophy, Practice and Politics of Public Health since 1919 (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books).Google Scholar
  24. 21.
    R. Parker (1986). ‘The struggle for clean air’, in P. Hall, H. Land, R. Parker and A. Webb (eds). Change, Choice and Conflict in Social Policy (Aldershot: Gower), first published 1975 and reprinted 1978, pp. 371–409Google Scholar
  25. V. Berridge and S. Taylor (2005). The Big Smoke: Fifty Years after the 1952 London Smog. Proceedings of a Witness Seminar (London: Centre for History in Public Health). http://www.ccbh.ac.uk/witness_bigsmoke_index.php, accessed 6 June 2011.Google Scholar
  26. 22.
    V. Berridge (2007). Marketing Health. Smoking and the Discourse of Public Health in Britian, 1945–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 23.
    C. Sellers (2006). ‘Worrying about the water; sprawl, public health and environmentalism in post World War Two Long island’, seminar given at Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM 7 April.Google Scholar
  28. 24.
    W. Beinart and P. Coates (1995). Environment and History: The Taming of Nature in the USA and South Africa (London: Routledge)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. W. Beinart and L. Hughes (2009). Environment and Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press)Google Scholar
  30. W. Beinart (2008). The Rise of Conservation in South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  31. 25.
    V. Berridge, D. A. Christie and E. M. Tansey (eds) (2006). Public Health and the 1980s and 1990s: Decline and Rise? (London: Wellcome Centre at UCL). http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed/publications/wellcome_witnesses_c20th_med/vol_26, accessed 6 June 2011.Google Scholar
  32. 26.
    W. H. McNeill (1977). Plagues and Peoples (Oxford: Basil Blackwell).Google Scholar
  33. 27.
    I. Simmons (2008). Global Environmental History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. S. Mosley (2010). The Environment in World History (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    B. Luckin (2006). ‘Environmental activism, environmental history’ paper given to Centre for History in Public Health seminar LSHTM, 19 January.Google Scholar
  36. D. Schott, B. Luckin and G. Massard-Guilbaud (eds) (2005). Resources of the City: Contributions to an Environmental History of Modern Europe (Aldershot: Ashgate).Google Scholar
  37. 33.
    W. Cronon (1991). Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York: W. W. Norton)Google Scholar
  38. M. Melosi (2000). The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press).Google Scholar
  39. 34.
    S. Mosley (2008). The Chimney of the World: A History of Smoke Pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester (London: Routledge)Google Scholar
  40. B. Luckin (1986). Pollution and Control: A Social History of the Thames in the Nineteenth Century (Bristol; Adam Hilger)Google Scholar
  41. A. Wohl (1983). Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain (London: Methuen).Google Scholar
  42. 35.
    G. Mitman, M. Murphy and C. Sellers (eds) (2004). Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Illness in Modern Environments. Osiris special issue, 19Google Scholar
  43. P. Weindling (1986). The Social History of Occupational Health (London: Croom Helm/Society for Social History of Medicine).Google Scholar
  44. 36.
    M. Jackson (ed.) (2007). Health and the Modern Home (London: Routledge)Google Scholar
  45. C. Mills (2007). ‘Coal, clean air and the regulation of the domestic hearth in post war Britain’, in Jackson (2007)Google Scholar
  46. S. Mosley (2003). ‘Fresh air and foul: the role of the open fireplace in ventilating the British home, 1837–1910’, Planning Perspectives, 18, 1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 37.
    T. Cooper (2008). ‘Challenging the “refuse revolution”: war, waste and the rediscovery of recycling’, Historical Research, 81 (214), 710–31.Google Scholar
  48. 40.
    K. G. Kuhn, D. Campbell-Lendrum, B. Armstrong and C. R. Davies (2003). ‘Malaria in Britain: past, present and future’, PNAS, 100(17), 9997–10001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. C. Carson, S. Hajat, B. Armstrong and P. Wilkinson (2006). ‘Declining vulnerability to temperature related mortality in London over the twentieth century’, American Journal of Epidemiology, 164, 77–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. T. McMichael (2001). Human Frontiers, Environments and Disease: Past Patterns, Uncertain futures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 42.
    P. Slack (1985). The Impact of Plague in Tudor and Stuart England (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
  52. 44.
    G. Rosen (1958). A History of Public Health, (edn 1993, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 45.
    J. Matthews (1990). ‘They had such a lot of fun: The Women’s League of Health and Beauty between the wars’, History Workshop Journal, 30, 22–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. I. Zweiniger- Bargielowska (2007). ‘Raising a nation of ‘good animals’: the new health society and health education campaigns in interwar Britain’, Social History of Medicine, 20, 73–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 46.
    D. M. Haynes (2001). Imperial Medicine: Patrick Manson and the Conquest of Tropical Disease (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 47.
    R. Packard (2007). The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), pp. 175–6.Google Scholar
  57. 49.
    C. Webster (1992). ‘Public health in decline’, healthmatters, 11, 10–11.Google Scholar
  58. 50.
    J. Ashton (1991). ‘Sanitarian becomes ecologist: the new environmental health’, British Medical Journal, 26 January, 302, 189–90.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Virginia Berridge and Martin Gorsky 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia Berridge
  • Martin Gorsky

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations