EnvHistory - EnvironmentalIdeologyand EnvironmentalPolicies...

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Environmental Ideology and  Environmental Policies Lecture 4
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A Historical Perspective Humans have always had impacts on the environment Typically low in hunter-gather societies Exceptions:  fire, extinctions, permanent settlements Fire was used to: Keep areas clear of trees Keep forests clear of underbrush Drive animals into traps
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A  Historical Perspective Non-market agricultural/pastoral societies had greater impact § Field clearing – removal of native vegetation § Irrigation – wetlands and aquatic systems disrupted § Soil degradation – salinization, erosion, reduced fertility Impacts small, but cumulative Mesopotamia, Greece  negatively affected by  centuries of soil  degradation
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A  Historical Perspective Two related factors stepped up global exploitation of  resources in the 1500s: § Mercantile economies – trade based, focused on exporting more  goods than imported § European colonization – provided raw materials for mercantile  trade Made possible by advances in European  shipbuilding,  navigation and mapping
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Phase 1: Exploitation and Expansion 1600 - 1870 North America colonized by the Spanish, English and French Different strategies: Spanish sought gold French interested in furs English desired long-term agricultural based settlement Same interest – exploiting the abundant natural resources of  North America
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Phase 1: Exploitation and Expansion 1600 - 1870 To Europeans, North American resources seemed limitless § Forests  § Agricultural land § Furbearing animals § Fish and shellfish § Mineral resources There was always more -> lead to frontier mindset
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1600 - 1870 Frontier mindset aided and abetted by US Government Land acquisition west of Appalachians – Louisiana Purchase,  annexation of Texas, land claimed from Mexico
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course GEOGRAPHY 211 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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EnvHistory - EnvironmentalIdeologyand EnvironmentalPolicies...

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