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The Ecological Environment

The Ecological Environment - secure a disproportionate...

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o The Ecological Environment Humans have transformed one-third to one-half of the earth’s land surface and use more than half of all the world’s accessible surface fresh water; some 25 percent of the world’s bird species have been driven to extinction, and forested areas have decreased by a third since the rise of agriculture. Human-Environment Interactions: A Closer Look. Sociologists are interested in the relationships between population size, politics and economics, environment, and technology. While humans can overexploit natural resources, they can also protect and restore them. The Functionalist Perspective. Functionalist theorists see the ecosystem as exhibiting a tendency toward equilibrium in which its components maintain a delicately balanced relationship. The Conflict Perspective. Some conflict theorists say that the basic issue is not one of how much is available but which individuals and groups will
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Unformatted text preview: secure a disproportionate share of what is available. The Interactionist Perspective. Symbolic interactionists focus on "people behaviors" related to environmental issues. Interests include the gap between people’s attitudes and actions and the difference between public and expert perceptions of risk. Entering the New Millennium. In 1997, Jane Lubchenko, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called upon scientists to look at the environment as the most important issue of the future. Economist Julian Simon, in contrast, felt that the free market will result in life improving indefinitely. Others see that we have made progress in solving some environmental problems and could continue to do so. Historical analysis shows that the earth’s human inhabitants have changed their view of nature as a usable resource to nature as a life-sustaining global ecosystem....
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