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Word Count: 1,387
Not until the spread of the Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century has man possessed the ability to adversely alter on a global scale the geologic and climatic cycles that have existed for millennia Planet earth which man calls home is approximately 5 billion years old The science of paleontology tells us that man is a relative new comer to the planet Modern man did not arrive on the scene until approximately 10000 to 15000 years ago Developments in hunting agriculture literacy and the sciences have allowed man to thrive and inhabit nearly every corner of the planet However this success has not been good for the earth The worlds population has recently surpassed 6 billion and the developed countries community models and lifestyles are not sustainable Due to rapid unrestrained growth housing shopping and entertainment construction has spread across the surface of the planet like an oil slick We are depleting resources and altering ecosystems at an alarming rate Only now are we beginning to comprehend the long-term effects of more than a century of environmental ignorance neglect and apathy Historically city and community planners lacked the vision and understanding that would lead to environmentally friendly and sustainable conditions allowing us to live in harmony with nature This coupled with irresponsible consumerism and poor individual choices has led us to a crossroad It is now clear we cannot continue to build communities that are unsustainable and we must change our lifestyles We have arrived at the threshold of the 21st century where nothing less than a global call to action is necessary We can continue on our current path which will ultimately lead to severe health problems loss of valuable resources extinctions and a wholesale denial of contaminated areas or we can take positive radical steps to break with the past Regarding unsustainable communities and lifestyles the blame lies mainly with two specific phenomena Americans love affair with the automobile and
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