35 confronting human-induced environmental change

35 confronting human-induced environmental change - CHAPTER...

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121 CHAPTER 35: CONFRONTING HUMAN - INDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Introduction A. Environmental changes are caused by both humans and nature 1. Greeks and Romans cut down many trees 2. Spanish invaders harvested the forests of Mexico 3. Florida Everglades are drying up from a natural trend 4. Today, many of Earth's physical systems are being influenced by human activities B. Geography is one of the few academic disciplines which studies the relationship between humans and the environment as a primary concern 1. Centrally involved in an interdisciplinary symposium on "Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth" in 1955 2. Recently led a symposium on "The Earth as Transformed by Human Action" 3. Global environmental systems are interconnected at numerous temporal and spatial scales a) Release of chlorofluorocarbons contributes to a growing hole in Earth's ozone layer b) Industrial production in the Netherlands and Germany contributes to acid rain in Scandinavia II. Understanding environmental change A. Global changes 1. Express themselves at all scales, from local to global 2. Now forced to think about rates of environmental change 3. Humans are accelerating rate at which natural processes occur 4. Dramatic growth of human population B. Population 1. Greater number of people translates into greater capacity for environmental change 2. Example of China discussed 3. Many questions are being raised about population growth and environment C. Patterns of consumption 1. Many societies consume resources at a level and rate that far exceed basic subsistence needs 2. A hunter-gatherer could subsist on the resources found within an area of about 26 square kilometers
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35 confronting human-induced environmental change - CHAPTER...

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