The study of environmental history is no more only of forests, rivers, but also of agriculture, climate, economic practices and human culture. In recent times environmental studies as a discipline has come to the forefront with growing concerns over the ozone layer depletion but has led to investigation of the historical factors and processes of man and environment relationship and its impact. Very little was earlier known about the devastative impact on the environment of imperialism, state capitalism of post-colonial nations and the liberalization and globalization of these economies. There is no aspect of the environment which has not felt the impact of such developmental human process. Rivers have thus either dried up or are polluted with highly toxic materials, seas and oceans have become the dumping ground of nuclear and other wastes, streams are blocked, rains reduced, forest covers depleted, wildlife has dwindled, concrete jungles have replaced green fields and natural water-bodies, desertification of landscapes has happened. It has had its own impact on human life as well. Droughts, floods, dust storms, landslides, water shortage, agricultural decline and food crisis, starvation and epidemics followed. The planet earth and its inhabitants are currently in the throes of the most devastating man-made crisis for survival.
In an attempt to enhance our understanding of the environmental crisis, the present collection has essays investigating wide ranging events ranging from understanding climate from logbook of East India Company to the construction of Himalayan tropics; environmental cost of damming the Damodar River to water politics of south India; impact of Tsunami of the years 1737 as well as of 2004-5; politics over earthquake rehabilitation to the Sarna movements of eastern Indian tribals.