Author: Engelhard Weigl
published in: HiN II, 2 (2001)
In the middle of the 19th century the question whether expanding civilization and industrialization had an effect on climate was discussed intensely worldwide. It was feared that increasing deforestation would lead to continuous decrease in rainfall. This first scientific discussion about climate change as the result of human intervention was strongly influenced by the research Alexander von Humboldt and Jean-Baptiste Boussingault had undertaken when they investigated the falling water levels of Lake Valencia in Venezuela. Engelhard Weigl´s essay aims to clarify the question whether Alexander von Humboldt can be counted among the leading figures of modern environmentalism on account of this research.