The understanding of our ecosystem would be incomplete without understanding its past. Hence CSE’s latest book is invaluable as it helps you figure out some present day environmental concerns from a historical perspective. The past bears heavily on our forests, villages, cities, even air, water and the atmosphere. Current environmental concerns — climate change, conservation and pollution — bear the imprint of the past. It takes us to early debates on pollution, patents and industrialisation. It highlights instances of biopiracy and bioterrorism when these words had not found a place in the English dictionary and shows how ecology played a role in the rise and fall of ancient civilisations. It reveals the environmental underpinnings of warfare, diplomacy, even music and celebration.