Publications, articles and resources

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The US-based Public History Commons has just published  (March 2014) “Public History in a Changing Climate” which develops themes closely linked to that of Rescue!History.



224_coverThe Rescue!History network has produced a multi-author book History at the End of the World? History, Climate Change and the Possibility of Closure, which is available from Humanities-Ebooks and in paperback from Troubador (Published April 2010). It includes pieces from a wide range of historians, archaeologists, social scientists and other (independent as well as university based) researchers considering the crisis we now find ourselves in, through prisms of both recent and distant past. See PDF flyer here.

Rescue History has also published in autumn 2010 for the Higher Education Academy, History Subject Centre the following guide for college history teachers ‘Past Actions: Present Woes, Future Potential: Rethinking History in the Light of Anthropogenic Climate Change’ A Teaching Guide by Rescue!History.



More recently, we organised a public debate:‘Does Climate Change put a Spanner in the Works of History?’ Held under the auspices of London University’s Institute of Historical Research on 1 April 2011, the actual debate between Penelope J. Corfield, Professor Emerita at Royal Holloway College, London and Dr Mark Levene, Reader in Comparative History, at the University of Southampton, is available on podcast at

However, Rescue!History seeks to elicit a broader discussion involving  both academic historians and a much wider audience as to where we go with this debate.  Corfield and Levene have developed their respective arguments as essays: ‘Climate Blues’ and ‘Climate Reds.’ The titles themselves might suggest that while they agree on the essential Rescue!History premise, their responses  to the biospheric crisis  are very different.  The two pieces: Mark Levene, ‘Climate blues: or how awareness of the human end might re-instil ethical purpose to the writing of history’ 2011 and Penelope J. Corfield, ‘Climate Reds: Responding to Global Warming with Relative Optimism’ 2011, are available here. We very much invite your responses, which will be forwarded (with your permission) to the Rescue!History list and posted on the blog page.

More generally, the Rescue!History site is wide open for your ideas, views and further discussion about history in an age of anthropogenic  climate change. Here, too are some further articles to which were we would like to bring to your attention. They begin with some pieces commissioned by History Today fromRescue!History in 2007-8.


History Today

Mark Roodhouse, ‘Carbon Copies?’, History Today, July 2007

Kate Prendergast, ‘The Last Big Meltdown’, History Today, August 2007

Mark Levene, ‘Only Connect; Why History Matters’, History Today, November 2007 (the original unedited version ‘Why history really matters’ is available here)

Jean-François Mouhot, ‘Free the planet: Jean-François Mouhot traces a link between climate change and slavery, and suggests that reliance on fossil fuels has made slave owners of us all’, History Today, August 2008

These articles and others are also available on the Environmental History section of History Today’s website here.


BBC History Magazine

Mark Levene et al, ‘Can history help halt the runaway train?’, BBC History Magazine, April 2008.

Chris Callow and Jean-François Mouhot, ‘A climatic warning from history’, BBC History Magazine, July 2008.


Further publications

Mark Levene, ‘Historians for the Right to Work: We Demand a Continuing Supply of History’, History Workshop Journal, 2009, 67: 69-81

Prof Colin Richmond, ‘A Life’s Task’ For Rescue!History, August 2009.

Jean-François Mouhot, ‘Past connections and present similarities in slave ownership and fossil fuel usage’, Climatic Change, November 2010. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-010-9982-7

Mark Levene, ’10 good reasons why the past can offer us help on climate change’ (originally commissioned for the archaeology website,

Dean Bavington, ‘Environmental History During the Anthropocene, Critical reflections on the pursuit of policy-oriented history in the man-age’, EH+, March 27, 2011 (The first commissioned paper on environmental history in Canada for EH+. More on Dean Bavington at

“The Future of Environmental History: Needs and Opportunities.” 2011
RCC Perspectives is an interdisciplinary series of papers and essays in environmental history, environmental studies, and related fields. The papers have their roots in the scholarly activities of the Rachel Carson Center and in current debates in society. They combine thought pieces and fresh empirical research, and they are designed both to further international dialogue and to inspire new perspectives on the complex relationship between nature and culture.

Lesley Docksey, Climate Change and its Disastrous Impacts on Earth and Humanity Reclaiming Our memories: how can we face a future of climate change if we have forgotten our past’ Global Research, 14 July 2013 (an inspired response to the Rescue!History meeting in July 2013)

Nicola Whyte’s contribution to the ‘History from Below’ online symposium, entitled ‘Landscape history from below’ 12 July 2013


If you have information, comments, or blogs of your own you wish to place on this site please contact Marianne McKiggan in the first instance.


Last updated: 22 March 2014