Environmental degradation in the Aral Sea basin has been a touchstone for increasing public awareness of environmental issues. The Aral crisis has been touted as a 'quiet Chernobyl' and as one of the worst human-made environmental catastrophes of the twentieth century. This multidisciplinary 1999 book comprehensively describes the slow onset of low grade but incremental changes (i.e. creeping environmental change) which affected the region and its peoples. Through a set of case studies, it describes how the region's decision-makers allowed these changes to grow into an environmental and societal nightmare. It outlines many lessons to be learned for other areas undergoing detrimental creeping environmental change, and provides an important example of how to approach such disasters for students and researchers of environmental studies, global change, political science and history.