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Environmental History What lessons can we learn from the past? What people have shaped the present course?

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Environmental History What lessons can we learn from the past? What people have shaped the present course? How have cultural changes impacted the environment? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental History What lessons can we learn from the past? What people have shaped the present course?


1
Environmental HistoryWhat lessons can we learn
from the past?What people have shaped the
present course?
2
Figure 2-1Page 20
The story of the Bison, one of unsustainable
practices.
  • What happened?
  • Who was responsible?
  • How was the situation turned around?
  • Are there similar stories happening to animals
    today?

1500
1850
1870
1880
1906
3
How have cultural changes impacted the
environment?
  • Stage one Early Man
  • What were the impacts of the hunter gatherers on
    the environment?
  • Nomadic
  • Seasonal
  • Lived in small groups
  • High mortality/ short life span
  • Later groups used fire to clear land
  • Some carried seeds with them to new places.
  • Some animals extinct due to their impacts.

4
  • Agricultural revolution
  • Was it positive or negative?

People learned to plant and harvest food Began
10,000 -12,000 years ago (coincident with the
beginning of our present climate) The Long Summer
We became less mobile and more dependent on
climate - the curse of Akkad
Slash and Burn agriculture Plots were rotated
and often left empty for several years
5
Figure2-2Page 22
6
Agricultural Revolution
Good News
Bad News
Destruction of wildlife habitats from clearing
forests and grasslands
More food
Supported a larger population
Killing of wild animals feeding on grass or crops
Longer life expectancy
Fertile land turned into desert by livestock
overgrazing
Higher standard of living for many people
Soil eroded streams and lakes
Formation of villages, towns, and cities
Towns and cities concentrated wastes and
pollution and increased spread of diseases
Towns and cities served as centers for trade,
government,and religion
Increase in armed conflict and slavery over
ownership of land and water resources
7
The Industrial - Medical revolution Began mid
1700s in England / US mid 1800s
  • What did it bring us?
  • Healthier longer lives
  • More technology
  • Easier existence
  • At what cost?
  • Dependence on non-renewable resources
  • People moved to the cities -health impacts
  • Food had to travel to them

8
Trade-Offs
Industrial-Medical Revolution
Good News
Bad News
Increased air pollution
Mass production of useful and affordable products
Increased water pollution
Higher standard of living for many
Increased waste pollution
Greatly increased agricultural production
Soil depletion and degradation
Lower infant mortality
Groundwater depletion
Longer life expectancy
Increased urbanization
Habitat destruction and degradation
Lower rate of population growth
Biodiversity depletion
9
Information - Globalization Revolution
  • Began 50 year ago (1950)
  • New technologies
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Computers and data bases

10
Trade-Offs
Information-Globalization Revolution
Good News
Bad News
Computer-generated models and maps of the
earths environmental systems
Information overload can cause confusion and
sense of hopelessness
Remote-sensing satellite surveys of the worlds
environmental systems
Globalized economy can increase environmental
degradation by homogenizing the earths surface
Ability to respond to environmental problems more
effectively and rapidly
Globalized economy can decrease cultural diversity
11
Timeline of US Environmental History 1800 -Present
1832 - 1870 Rapid growth causing unprecedented
resource consumption and degradation.Two
important figures who were concerned by the loss
they saw around them. Henry David Thoreau -
lived for two years at Walden Pond George
Perkins Marsh - wrote Man and Nature
Henry David Thoreau
12
Government and citizen involvement begins 1870
-1930
The resource act of 1891 Turning point in the
federal government becoming involved. Formation
of the Sierra Club. Preservationist movement
John Muir
13
Golden Age of Conservation 1901 - 1909
National Forest System Gifford Pinchot directed
1865 -1946 Role of fire in the forest service and
the American West National Park System 1916 The
Antiquities Act 1906 allowed for the preservation
of the Grand Canyon
Teddy Roosevelt
14
1930 - 1960 Depression and War
  • What is wars effect on the environment?
  • Economy?
  • National Priorities?

15
Conservation continues to Simmer
  • The early conservation movement.
  • Forest service
  • Wilderness Management
  • Conservation and Environmental Movements

Aldo Leopold - Sand County Almanac
16
Second wave of national resource conservation
  • Franklin D Roosevelt and CCC
  • Built parks, roads, public works
  • Examples
  • Hoover dam
  • Lake mead
  • Roads and bridges
  • Worked in national forests

17
1960 - 2004 Environmental Era
Triggered by major events DDT and the bald
eagle Apollo Mission -1969 Oil Spill off the
coast of Santa Barbara California - Earth day
1970 Protective measures put in place The
Wilderness Act -1964 Nixon established the EPA
-1970 Endangered Species Act -1973
Rachel Carson - Silent Spring
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