Man On The Environment Dependence Essay

Length: 9 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Transportation - Environmental Issues Type: Essay Paper: #87392302 Related Topics: Environment, Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Environmental Science
Excerpt from Essay :

Like most complex systems, ecosystems tend to exemplify cyclic fluctuations around a state of estimated stability. Looking at the picture from a long-term perspective, however, ecosystems inexorably alter when the atmosphere changes or when a very different species appears because of migration or evolution -- or they are introduced deliberately by humans (Rutherford & Ahlgren 1991). What all this illustrates is not only mankind's dependence on the environment, but how mankind finds itself confronted with the fact that it may be living at the expense of future humans to come. Our innovations -- especially technological ones -- may hide the decrease in the earth's potential to maintain human activities, but, looking at the situation from a long-term perspective, the technological (or other) innovations will not be able to compensate for the major reduction in essential resources such as productive land, fisheries, forests, and biodiversity (Daily 1997).

On a global scale, different groups of people are now living at one another's expense, as is readily apparent in the disruption and overexploitation of earth's open-access resources and waste sinks. For example, whereas the levels of disruption caused by energy were once small, local, and reversible, they have now reached global proportions and carry irreversible consequences. In fueling their industrialization historically and pursuing their activities today, the developed nations appear to have largely used up the atmosphere's capacity to absorb CO2 and other greenhouse gases without risk of inducing climate change. In the process, they have foreclosed the option of safely using fossil fuels to sustain comparable levels of industrial activity by developing nations (Daily 1997).

We can now see that resource consumption in one area can lead to degradation of ecosystem services and related health effects in other areas of the world (WHO 2005). By looking at the situation from a very basic level of examination, the pressure on ecosystems can be imagined as a function of population, technology and lifestyle (2005). These factors then rely upon different social and cultural principles. One example would be the fertilizer that is used in agricultural production and how it increasingly is dependence on resources taken from other areas and this has led to eutrophication (excessive nutrients) of rivers, lakes and coastal ecosystems (2005).

Man's dependence on the environment and the environment's ecosystems as a fundamental determinant of human health is obvious, however, there are sociocultural factors that also play a very important part. Infrastructural assets, income and wealth distribution, technologies used, and level of knowledge also play an important role. In many industrialized countries, alterations in the aforementioned social factors over the last three hundred years or so have both enhanced some ecosystem services (for example, more productive agriculture) and bettered health services and education, both of which contribute...


This is because of the fact that any changes in social, economic, political, residential, behavioral and psychological circumstances all have health consequences (WHO 2005).

Basic determinants of human well-being may be defined in terms of: security; an adequate supply of basic materials for livelihood (e.g. food, shelter, clothing, energy, etc.); personal freedoms; good social relations; and physical health. By influencing patterns of livelihoods, income, local migration and political conflict, ecosystem services impact the determinants of human well-being (WHO 2005).

The environment, as we can see, is the source of all the resources we must have to prosper and survive (Cunningham & Cunningham 2008). The only way to ensure that human life continues in a both healthy and fruitful manner is to educate younger generations about the importance of living organisms and the vital role that the environment's ecosystems play in human life (2008). There are certainly clashing views on how to use the earth's precious resources today. It is true that humans can't live and society can't exists without using the earth's resources -- soil, water, wood, animals, etc. (2008), however, it is up to humans to use the resources while not exploiting them (as we have learned from previous societies that have exploited them and thus perished because of it).

It would seem that humans are, for the most part, getting on the right track when it comes to taking care of the planet's resources. The Western world seems to be noticing the importance of recycling and reusing, discontinuing more selfish rituals (such as only using a plastic bag once at the grocery store), carpooling or taking public transportation, and buying local rather than from "big box" stores. Time will tell if our efforts have been worth it. However, there are issues such as global warming that are not as easy to fix. Global warming proves to be one of the most important issues of our day as it is changing ecosystems, which will, in turn, kill off important species. The road we are on today may not have a way back. We may have gone too far to ever retrieve what we have lost; however, this does not mean that humans cannot salvage more from being lost. Education about the earth's ecosystem services and ecosystem goods is vital as well as teaching younger generation (or those who don't know) that humans are utterly dependent on the environment in which they live. From food to shelter, to economic goods and services, to health and well-being, the environment provides mankind with everything.


Cunningham, William P. & Cunningham, Mary Ann. (2008). Principles of environmental science: inquiry and applications. (Custom 5th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Daily, Gretchen C. (1997). Nature's services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems.

Island Press.

Daily, Gretchen C., Kibert, Charles J., & Wilson, Alex. (1999). Nature's services:

societal dependence on natural ecosystems. Reshaping the built environment:

ecology, ethics, and economics. River Island.

Easton, Thomas A. & Goldfarb, Theodore D. (2008). Taking…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cunningham, William P. & Cunningham, Mary Ann. (2008). Principles of environmental science: inquiry and applications. (Custom 5th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Daily, Gretchen C. (1997). Nature's services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems.

Island Press.

Daily, Gretchen C., Kibert, Charles J., & Wilson, Alex. (1999). Nature's services:

Cite this Document:

"Man On The Environment Dependence" (2010, October 17) Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

"Man On The Environment Dependence" 17 October 2010. Web.12 April. 2021. <>

"Man On The Environment Dependence", 17 October 2010, Accessed.12 April. 2021,

Related Documents
Human Activity on the Environment
Words: 1487 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues Paper #: 50066375

Tehran's geography makes air pollution worse: the Alborz Mountains at its north side trap the increasing volume of pollutants and lead these to remain and hover over Tehran when the wind is not strong enough to blow them away. Furthermore, Tehran's high altitude makes fuel combustion inefficient and adds to the problem. Its altitude is between 3, 300 and 5,000 feet and it is in this space that the

American Myths Nature Environment Unlimited Growth and
Words: 1789 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Animals Paper #: 31829670

American Myths Nature Environment Unlimited Growth and Finite Resources Western Civilization is currently coming to terms with some very important and unsettling realities. Capitalism, and modern economics thinkers, have idolized economic growth without limit. In most economic textbooks and theories, economic growth is considered an end good, and a lack of economic growth a problem. Though we can argue about whether economic growth is a good in all situations, it is indisputable that

Converting Sugar Into Fuel Man's
Words: 2102 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Energy Paper #: 30641303

Such biodegradable batteries have the ability to last 3 to 4 times longer than the lithium ion batteries in use today. It is not just the average consumer who is interested in these products but the military is also extremely interested in using such sugar-powered batteries. The portability of such devices would be appropriate for the extreme mobility required in the battlefield. It would also be suitable in emergency

Drowned More Men Than the
Words: 1771 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 73660805

They are also more likely, the research presented by Hutchinson shows, to have problems in school, legal problems, and "multiple personal problems." Additionally those children who have been subjected to alcohol abuse by a parent or guardian, that is also associated with violence against a family member, are at risk of depression, and of transmitting those same problems to their own children. Works Cited Centers for Disease Control (2007). Excessive Alcohol

Managing in a Global Environment
Words: 2317 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 37561659

Managing in a Global Environment International market growth has become a significant priority for a large number of companies. Therefore it has become necessary to create a strategy that makes the company compete with effectiveness in global markets to become successful. The company would have to create a strong competitive base in a wide range of disparate markets keeping in mind competition that is bound to arise from regional and local

Eden Project Is One of
Words: 5745 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Recreation Paper #: 13509169

As one would expect, those with children and teens tended to increase visits in the summer. While the older demographic groups dominated during the winter months. Seasonal fluctuations in Cornwall follow typical patterns found in non-tropical regions. The tourism trade in Cornwall depends on the influx of seasonal visitors during the warm summer months. According to statistics from the Cornwall Tourism Board (2007), the largest percentage of visitors were from