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Chapter 2 Environmental History An Overview 2-1 Cultural Changes and the Environment Main Changes- Agricultural Revolution Industrial Revolution Information and Globalization Revolution Damage- More energy and power to change and alter plant to meet our basic needs Allowed expansion of human population at expense of other populations mostly because of increased food supplies and longer life spans Increased environmental impact because of resource use pollution and environmental degradation Hunter-gatherers had little impact on environment because Small populations Low technology Low basic needs little demand on environment to provide Agricultural Recolution-10000- 12000 years ago Early ways of agriculture Slash-and-burn cultivation- Cutting down trees and other vegetation in a patch of forest leaving the cut vegetation on the ground to dry and then burning it The ashes that are left add nutrients to the nutrient-poor soils found in most tropical forest areas Plots must be abandoned after a few years typically 2-5 years Shifting cultivation- Clearing a plot of ground in a forest especially in tropical areas and planting crops on it for a few years typically 2-5 years until the soil is depleted of nutrients or the plot has been invaded by a dense growth of vegetation from the surrounding forest Takes 10- 30 years to return to normal Industrial Revolution- mid-1700s spread to the US in the 1800s Shift from renewable wood resource and flowing water to dependence on machines running on nonrenewable fossil fuels first coal later oil and nature gas Reduced need for farmers Information and Globalization Revolution- now New technologies have increased the rapid exchange of information on a global scale Many positive sides to Information and Globalization Revolution Helps us understand the Earth better Allows us to respond to the environmental problems more effectively and rapidly Develop computer models to make maps of Earths environmental systems Environmental researchers and activists to exchange data as its discovered Negative side Overload of information Confusion distraction and sense of hopelessness 2-2
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