ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENTALISM

Memoria … in risposta al quesito additare la migliore e più facile maniera per rimittere i boschi nelle montagne diboschite dell’alta Lombardia e per conservarli e profittarne. Proposto dall’Imp. R. Istituto Lombardo di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti con programma del giorno 30 maggio 1844. Premiata nel concorso biennale dell’anno 1846.

Milan, presso l’I.R. Istituto, 1847.

8vo, pp. xi, [1 (blank)], 402; very occasional marginal marks, but clean and fresh throughout; uncut and partly unopened in the original printed yellow wrappers, spine reinforced with drab paper; extremities frayed in places, and slight staining to upper cover, nonetheless a very good copy.

£950

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US $1288€1135

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Memoria … in risposta al quesito additare la migliore e più facile maniera per rimittere i boschi nelle montagne diboschite dell’alta Lombardia e per conservarli e profittarne. Proposto dall’Imp. R. Istituto Lombardo di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti con programma del giorno 30 maggio 1844. Premiata nel concorso biennale dell’anno 1846.

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First edition of this comprehensive report on the best means to reverse the deforestation of the mountains of Lombardy, in a way that could be both environmentally sustainable and economically profitable.

Learned societies in Italy, such as the Lombard Institute of Sciences, Letters, and Arts, were increasingly concerned from the late eighteenth century onwards about environmental matters in the light of floods and droughts that had affected the region; the Lombard Institute, for its 1844 biennial essay prize, sought responses to how best to replace the forests on deforested mountains in upper Lombardy, and to conserve and benefit from them. Twenty-five entries were received, including two that became books: the present work, and one by Pietro Caimi, also published by the Institute in the same year. Meguscher examines the ways in which forestry is useful in supplying building materials and fuel, while also noting that the existence of forests affects local weather patterns and acts as a means of limiting flooding of towns and agricultural land below. He goes on to describe the best way of planting, the different trees appropriate to the landscape, the ways in which each type should be maintained, and the use of the trees, with notes on the carbon content of different woods, and the use of resins.

See Marcus Hall, Earth Repair: a transatlantic history of environmental restoration (2005), p. 41 ff.; outside continental Europe, OCLC records copies at Illinois, Florida, Harvard, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and the University of London only.

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