Resource extraction has historically caused dramatic environmental changes across the globe. Although mining and oil drilling have transformed landscapes and polluted the air and water wherever they have taken place, knowledge of how these environmental transformations have been experienced and lived in different parts of the world remains fragmentary. This special issue seeks to provide new insights into the environmental histories of resource extraction, particularly in the Global South, where extractive industries have intensified markedly since 1950. Inspired by recent environmental history scholarship, we link together analyses of imperialism, capitalism, and environmental inequality in African, Asian, and Latin American localities of resource extraction. Furthermore, drawing on the analytical framework of political ecology, we examine why protests against extractive industries did or did not occur in specific sites. Given the increasing global demand for resources and pressing current-day questions about how to live in the Anthropocene, it is timely to scrutinise production practices, pollution, and protest in global history.