Human Ecology I - Introduction-1.ppt

Human Ecology I - Introduction-1.ppt - Humans and Nature...

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Humans and Nature
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One of the most enduring concepts in Western cultures is that traditional humans live in harmony with nature. Nature is dominant, omnipresent Traditional humans are subject to the forces of nature, which are not understood, are feared, are given mystical/divine explanations. There is no separation between man and nature. People live in immediate contact with nature There may be attempts to appease natural forces, but not to control them.
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With the rise of economies and trade, nature becomes viewed as natural resources to be exploited. The vast planet is there for our benefit, constantly renewing itself without limit. The human impacts of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining seem tiny relative to the size of the Earth, and changes are so slow that the idea of limits does not seem relevant. For the urban population, nature becomes separate, outside, rarely experienced directly. Civilization, the human system, is what is seen as important, and nature is to be conquered.
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This concept of nature is heavily based on ideas developed in Europe and the United States during the romantic period of 19 th century.
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The romantic notion of harmony with nature is depicted in a series of painting by Thomas Cole in the 1830’s
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This concept of nature persists in the popular representations of peoples practicing simple
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