DBQ Interactions between humans and the Environment - PowerPoint Presentation

DBQ Interactions between humans and the Environment
DBQ Interactions between humans and the Environment

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Happy Earth Day which is Saturday As humans moved from hunting and gathering to farming and herding nature and the realities of the environment confronted them In the process towards civilization humans had to learn to live with to ID: 709937 Download Presentation


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DBQ Interactions between humans and the Environment

Happy Earth Day ( which is Saturday)

As humans moved from hunting and gathering to farming and herding, nature and the realities of the environment confronted them. In the process towards civilization, humans had to learn to live with, to harness, or to modify the characteristics of their surroundings. Since human-environment interaction first began, since the Neolithic Revolution and first cities, there have been great accomplishments and unmitigated disasters. With the worldwide Industrial Revolutions of the 19th century, this conflict with and exploitation of nature has intensified. Today many humans realize that the environment is threatened and that humans are its greatest threatSlide2

Negative consequences of human interaction with the environment

Slash and burn leads to soil erosion

Deforestation leads to desertificationIndustrialization leads to air and water pollutionHuman waste(industrial, nuclear, consumer, sewer) leads to loss of biodiversityDense urban populations leads to noise, air, light pollutionMan’s need to control the environment( over fishing, over hunting, over planting, over building) has led to mass extinctions of plant and animal life not seen for over a billion yearsOil spills (Exxon Valdez, Deep Water Horizon)leads to poisoning of important natural protections ( wetlands)Fracking on a global level is contributing to potential geotectonic disaster and overutilizing scarce clean water resourcesSlide4

What is being done?

As result of Earth Day celebrations humans have worked copiously to educate, protect and conserve the environment

Many governmental agencies like the EPA have been established to create legislation to protect and conserve forests, wetlands, water and airNGO’s like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and WWF have raised awareness, collected funds and have worked tirelessly to change the perception on what can be doneNew forms of renewable and sustainable energiesInternational meetings like Kyoto protocol and recent meetings in Peru have had international agreements to lower carbon emissions, protect environments and prosecute criminalsSlide5

Tao Te

Ching (The Way of Virtue, Number 29: Taking No Action), Lao Tzu, China, Fifth century BCE

“external world is fragile, and he who meddles with its natural way, risks causing damage to himself.” keep nature natural and don’t try to change ( philosophy of the farmers) “The sage does not try to change the world by force, for he knows that force results in force” purpose to provide harmony within nature by remaining disciplinedSlide10

Buddhist Sutta

Nitta, a hymn, attributed to the Buddha, Fifth Century BCE

The founder of the 4 noble truths and 8-fold path said “all creatures weak or strong, all creatures great and small;creatures unseen and seen, dwelling afar or near, born or awaiting birth,--- may all be blessed with peace.” suggesting the protection of the sanctity of all life.Slide11

Hebrew Book of Genesis 1:26 – 29, first written down seventh century BCE

In contrast to the last two documents, Genesis provide mankind control over nature “

let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens,” Unlike Buddhism and Taoism mankind in Genesis has control to do what needs to be doneSlide12

Johann Gottleib Fichte, German philosopher, nationalist, and early Romantic, 1762-1814, remarks about nature

This document hails from a time of nationalism and a yearning for self-determination… “

Nature [shall] ever become more and more intelligent and transparent . . .; human power, enlightened and armed by human invention, shall rule over her without difficulty.” this suggests mankind’s invention and intelligence should govern the laws of nature and can control more appropriately his environment. Can be coupled with doc 3 and opposing docs 1 and 2Slide13

John Muir, American conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, nineteenth century CE, from one of his many books on the environment

This reaction to industrialization and human control suggests the need for change “

and then has left his rich fields and meadows, forests and parks, to be sold and plundered and wasted at will, depending on their inexhaustible abundance. Now it is plain that the forests are not inexhaustible, and that quick measures must be taken if ruin is to be avoided. Year by year the remnant is growing smaller before the axe and fire, while the laws in existence provide neither for the protection of the timber from destruction nor for its use where it is most needed.” This may be grouped in the need to correct mankind’s view espoused in docs 3 and 4Slide14

Chief Seattle, Northwestern Indian, reply to the United States’ government, 1852

This Native American perspective f the environment is quite like the Taoist and Buddhist in Docs 1 and 2 “

We are part of the earth and it is part of us. What befalls the earth befalls all sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. To harm the earth on to heap contempt upon its creator.” Slide15

Aldo Leopold, American conservationist and founder of the World Wildlife Fund, from his book,

A Sand County Almanac, c. 1950 CE

This document may be combined in reaction to mankind’s destruction and the need to conserve…” A land ethic changes homo sapiens from conqueror of the land community to plain member and citizen of it. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” this may be grouped with document 5 in terms of the need to conserveSlide16

. Saravanand

Naiker, newspaper editor, his story in Malaysian The New Straits Times Press, 11 July 2000

This is a reaction to the ever increasing knowledge and destruction to the eco-system and what must be done “Each year, the human population grows, and . . . species are becoming extinct faster. As species disappear, humans lose today’s food and industrial products. . . . The Government should look at sustainable development seriously although development is vital . . . Without bio-diversity the lives of humans will become precarious as every living creature plays a role in balancing the ecosystem. We need tigers, elephants and wild boars. They too have a right to exist.”Note: The author is from the developing global south which is profoundly impactsSlide17

Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin's

Speech Marking Yangtze-Damming for Three Gorges Project, November 8, 1997

This Chinese premier’s ability to tap into prior Chinese accomplishments of mastering their environment suggests the control for the public good but does little to discuss conservation “The water conservancy and hydro-power project we are building today on the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, the scale and overall benefits of which have no parallel in the world, will greatly promote the development of our national economy, and prove to be a lasting exploit in the service of the present and future generations.” This can be grouped with Genesis, Doc #4 and nationalism and focuses on the nation over the environmentSlide18

Dr. Julian Simon, Noble prize winning economist, his speech in Pamplona to Roman Catholic group, Opus Dei, 1998


This economist discusses the improvements made by the scientific community to improve components of the environment to a Catholic group (look back at doc 3). “But people solve problems. The principal fuel for the acceleration of progress is our "stock" of knowledge; and the brakes are: a lack of imagination and erroneous social regulations of activities. People are the ultimate resource . . .” this documents the problem solving abilities by humans to master their environmentSlide19


From the beginning of humans interaction with the environment many belief systems an advocacy to protect and limit interference with nature’s delicate balance, still others suggested the mastery of this environment through science, technology and the benefits it produces mankind. Others have argued that this delicate balance should be mitigated by conservation as all resources on this planet are finite. A record of tree deforestation in the global south would help to provide the impact of the palm oil market in Indonesia, Africa and Latin America to identify impacts of carbon emissions of potential global warmingSlide20


A member of Greenpeace to illustrate conservation methods utilized to protect the environment.A industrialist bourgeoisie whose factories are contributed to pollution and their response of capital production.

A member of an indigenous laborer whose subsistence farming is being impacted by industrial production

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