John McNeill, Something New Under the Sun Reading Worksheet

1, Chapters 3-6, and 9-12. Line-spacing: 1.5 . You do not need to write down the question on the paper

1. What is the overall thesis of the book? Or, as McNeill states, what are the -various propositions” that he aims to convince the reader of?
2. What does he mean by “rats” and “sharks”? In what ways are humans like rats, and in what ways are they like sharks?
3. What, according to his arguments in the first chapter, are the most important elements in determining the particular history of 20th-century environmental change?
4. How, according to McNeill, was air pollution different before and after the transitional period from 1870 to 1900? (Note you’ll have to examine and combine his ideas from Chapters 3 and 4 to answer this question.) 5. Please define and provide an example of each: coal cities, smog cities, megacities, and recovering cities. 6. What is acid raid? What causes it, and what are its effects? Provide one example of when and where this occurred. 7. How has water pollution changed in the past 200 years? Provide at least two specific examples that McNeill discusses. 8. What roles do dams, diversions, flood control, and diversion play in ecological change? 9. In what ways are cities of the 20th century fundamentally different from cities previously?10. What is an “energy regime,’ and why is it so important for both environmental and economic change? 11. According to McNeill, how have “environmental ideas” changed in the 20th century? What new ideas have emerged, and why are they important? 12. Consider Guha and Gadgil’s discussion of various modes of resource use. What do they suggest will be major features of industrial societies? List at least six different predictions they make, in any category. 13. For each of those six predictions, please determine if McNeill’s account agrees, disagrees, or does not provide enough information to answer. A.B.C.D.E.F

















































Sample Solution