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Environmental History

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Environmental History Earth Systems & Resources Essential Learning Questions / Objectives Define three major cultural and environmental changes that have occurred ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental History


1
Environmental History
  • Earth Systems Resources

2
Essential Learning Questions / Objectives
  • Define three major cultural and environmental
    changes that have occurred since humans were
    hunter-gatherers.
  • Describe the environmental history of the United
    States in terms of the Tribal and Frontier Eras,
    the Early Conservation Era, and the Environmental
    Era.
  • Compare slash-and-burn agricultural practices
    with the modern advanced forms of farming. State
    the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • List individuals who made major contributions to
    conservation/environmental movements in the
    United States and briefly describe these
    contributions.
  • Define environmental backlash. Briefly describe
    the effects of this backlash.
  • Summarize the key environmental events of the
    1980s in the U.S. and the World
  • Compare and contrast the environmental policies
    of the Clinton administration and the Bush
    administration.

3
Early History
  • Earth has existed for an estimated 4.6 billion
    years
  • Homo sapiens have been on earth only about 60.000
    years
  • Until about 12,000 years ago men were mostly
    hunter-gatherers.

4
Cultural Changes the Environment
Hunter-Gatherers Humans (Homo sapiens) have been
in existence for about 160,000 years, a mere
blink of an eye in terms of biological life.
(early humans lived off the land
nomadic) Agricultural (Neolithic)
Revolution (10,000 to 12,000 years
ago) Industrial-Medical Revolution (began in the
1700s in England Progressed to United States in
the 1800s) Information and Globalization
Revolution (since 1950 and especially since 1970)
5
Hunter-Gatherers
  • Survived by eating edible wild plants, fishing,
    hunting, and scavenging meat killed by other
    animals
  • Lived in small bands
  • Were nomads
  • They discovered
  • Which plants and animals could be eaten and used
    as medicine
  • Where to find water
  • How plant availability changed throughout the
    year
  • How game animals migrated

6
Advanced Hunters-Gatherers
  • Used more advanced tools and fire
  • Contributed to the extinction of some animals
    (saber-toothed tiger)
  • Altered distribution of plants by carrying seeds
  • OVERALL IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT WAS LOW DUE TO
  • Small population
  • Low resource use/person
  • Migration allowed ecosystem to repair itself
  • Lack of technology

7
Agricultural Revolution
  • 10,000-12,000 years ago
  • Also called Neolithic revolution
  • Gradual shift from nomads to settling in
    agricultural communities
  • Domesticated animals and cultivated wild plants

8
Slash-and-Burn Cultivation
  • Slash and Burn did destroy local environment, but
    was usually very small and had a limited impact.
  • Still a problem
  • in some parts
  • of developing
  • World. (Amazon)

9
Shifting cultivation
10
The Agricultural Revolution Trade offs
11
The Agricultural Revolution
  • Most early farmers practiced SUSTAINABLE
    CULTIVATION
  • Had little impact on the environment because
  • Depended on human muscle power and crude tools
  • Low population size and density
  • Land was available for movement to other areas

12
The Industrial Revolution
13
The Industrial Revolution
  • Began in England in the mid 1700s and in America
    in the 1800s
  • Based on dependence on coal (nonrenewable fossil
    fuel) rather than renewable wood
  • Invention of the steam engine
  • Switched from small-scale localized production to
    large-scale production of machine-made goods.
  • People began to live longer
  • Movement from rural to cities
  • Often very bad living and working conditions

14
Resulted in
  • Fossil-fuel powered farm machinery
  • New plant-breeding techniques increasing yield
    per acre
  • More reliable food supply
  • Longer life spans
  • Increase in population size

15
Information Globalization Revolution
  • Many new technologies telephone, computers, tv,
    etc
  • Automated data bases
  • Remote sensing satellites
  • A shift took place where humans moved from
    relying on wood and flowing water to a dependence
    on machines run by nonrenewable fossil fuels
    (first coal, then later oil and natural gas)
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