Once upon a time, New Zealand was covered by rain forest, but then came the Maori, who began to take down the forests and after them the Europeans (a lot of Scots and Irish among them) who continued with the deforestation. They turned the islands into pastures for especially sheep, acquiring a stronghold in the market for wool and mutton.
Also in Canada the Irish and Scots arrived to find forests to the size Europe had not had until centuries ago. The scale of for example forest fires was something they could hardly grasp. The podcast tells of the great forest fires in the 19th century and how they made headlines back in Britain. As a side note, there is also mention of the eruption of the Tambora in 1815 in Indonesia and its effect on the climate in Canada.
After this, host Jan Oosthoek projects what is ahead for the 20th edition and announces he is going to address the general question what environmental history is. It turns out that this choice of subject is a reaction to this blog, where it was stated that this definition remains somewhat unclear. In passing Oosthoek pays a compliment to Anne is a Man. You can hear it in the closing minutes of the podcast where he says this blog is
one of the sharpest and smartest podcast reviewers on the web.
More Environmental History:
Climate Change in recent history,
Urban Air Pollution,
Apartheid and Environmental History,
Environmental History and South Africa.