George Perkins Marsh

Tags: climate environmentalism

George Perkins Marsh wrote Man and Nature in July 1864 (Marsh originally wanted to title the book "Man the Disturber of Nature's Harmonies" but was dissuaded by his publisher who felt it would damage sales [1, pp. 293]).

Marsh served as the US Ambassador to Turkey in Constantinople (appointed by Pres. Lincoln) where he traveled extensively throughout Turkey, Eastern Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East. On a cruise down the Nile, he noted and remarked about the changes to the environment caused by irrigation.

Marsh identified early on how deforestation and irrigation were drastically changing the environment and local wildlife. Marsh was among the first to identify the deleterious effects of mankind's consumption habits.

Influenced By


  1. Wulf, Andrea. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. First American Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 2015.