Environment and Society and How the Environment Has Brought About Social Change Essay Sample

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In this essay I shall be discussing the link between the environment and society and also how the environment has brought about social change. This essay shall also include various environmental issues faced by society. Natural environment refers to the earth’s surface and atmosphere, counting all living organisms as well as the air, water, soil and other resources essential to maintain life. Humans depend heavily on the natural environment to sustain their lives; they depend on food, clothing and shelter as well as many other essential resources. It also provides us with advanced sources of energy that humans use for the construction and operation of vehicles and other numerous electronic devises. The social practices conducted in society are harming the environment in many different ways. Pollution destroys the air as well as the ozone layer, but the societies don’t think about the consequence of their actions on future generations. Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes unsteadiness, disorder, destruction or distress to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Merriam-webster.com. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2012-04-05. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as heat, noise or light.

Pollutants, the apparatus of pollution, can be either overseas substances/energies or naturally stirring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. The Blacksmith Institute issues an annual list of the world’s worst polluted places. In the 2007 issues the ten top nominees are located in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia. The World’s most polluted places, Blacksmith Institute – September 2007 ,PDF file. Climate change is a major and permanent change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole Earth. Education Center – Arctic Climatology and Meteorology. NSIDC National Snow and Ice Data Center. The use of CFC’s shall effect all the changes in the environment like the rise in the sea level and it will cause the decrease in animals because of sickness.

This can affect our way of living, the change in the weather could lead to poor people dying because of the lack of shelter and the increase of CO2 could possibly give rise to many diseases and the poverty stricken people would not have enough capital to pay for proper medical health care. The industries also pollute the environment; humanity has proven that the environment holds less importance as they introduced genetically modified food, thus resulting in people being less dependent on the natural environment like they were in the past. Recently there have be

en “Ozone friendly” products available in order to stop the destruction of the Ozone layer. This

is a major step to a sustainable environment. It is beneficial to the atmospheric ozone, as opposed to harmful ground-level ozone, filters out the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which can cause cancer. Many products, such as refrigerants and aerosols, were once made with compounds that destroyed ozone when they were released into the atmosphere. In 1985, scientists exposed that concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere were falling rapidly, particularly near the poles.

This disintegration has since been accredited to ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs and HCFCs. Although the “Montreal Protocol” treaty has greatly reduced the use of CFCs, some products in some countries are still made with this harmful chemicals.nrdc.org.Retrieved2012-04-05 (http://www.nrdc.org/enterprise/greeningadvisor/pu-ozone.asp) Laboratory and epidemiological studies reveal that UVB causes no melanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malevolent melanoma expansion. In addition, UVB has been linked to cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens. All sunlight contains some UVB, even with normal stratospheric ozone levels. EPA uses the Atmospheric and Health Effects Framework (AHEF) model, developed in the mid 1980s, to estimate the health benefits of stronger ozone layer protection policies under the Montreal Protocol. EPA estimates avoided skin cancer cases, skin cancer deaths, and cataract cases in the United States. .org.Retrieved2012-04-05 (http://www.nrdc.org/enterprise/greeningadvisor/pu-ozone.asp) Environmental degradation is the worsening of the environment through diminution of resources such as air, water and soil; the annihilation of ecosystems and the disappearance of wildlife.

It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Johnson, D.L., S.H. Ambrose, T.J. Bassett, M.L. Bowen, D.E. Crummey, J.S. Isaacson, D.N. Johnson, P. Lamb, M. Saul, and A.E. Winter-Nelson. 1997. Meanings of environmental terms. Journal of Environmental Quality 26: 581-589. Leo Mark (1994) stated that humans are the cause of all the natural problems that society faces and it is not the natural world. Mark argues that such ecological issues are also issues for social understanding. Sociologists bring about various understandings. There are many ways in which the environment affects people. The environment in a big city is quite different from the environment in the natural world. In the city there are many pollutants and toxins that can cause disease. In the natural environment, far away from cities, the air is cleaner and there are fewer toxins. Unfortunately, we have polluted the world so much, that there are very few areas where nature exists in its pure state. The sociologists show us how human social patterns have caused mounting stress on the natural environment, like pollution. Sociologists also conduct research on different public opinions of various environmental issues. They find out about peoples different fears as well as concerns. Sociologists also explore what the environment and nature mean to people of different social backgrounds.

People living in high-income countries, such as most of those in Europe, have supreme power to affect the earth’s ecosystem for the effortless reason that they use so much of the planet’s resources thus resulting in normal everyday decisions can mount up to large consequences on the planet and the environment as a whole.

While populations no doubt are large in many countries, and demands on resources are obviously large, it is only one of many other causes and some of those other issues such as over-consumption based, untenable expansion may have an even larger impact. Our choice of how to use those resources for what purposes are critical issues as well on the consequential impact on the environment to meet those uses and purposes.globalissues.org. 2001-09-18. Retrieved on 2012-04-05 A vital characteristic of this dissimilarity is the disturbing growth of environmental racism, the outline by which environmental hazards are greatest in propinquity to poor people, especially minorities. In this essay I have discussed the various contributing factors to the environmental disintegration and well as how the environment affects society. I have also outlined hoe the environment is linked to society and how we depend on it. This essay clearly outlines all the different ways the society has changed due to the environment.


Shah, A. Stress on the environment. [online]. Available: http://www.globalissues.org/article/214/stress-on-the-environment-society-and-resources. [18 September 2001] Macaulay,D. Ozone friendly effects.[online]. Available: http://www.nrdc.org/enterprise/greeningadvisor/pu-ozone.asp. [5 january 2006] Johnson, D.L., S.H. Ambrose, T.J. Bassett, M.L. Bowen, D.E. Crummey, J.S. Isaacson, D.N. Johnson, P. Lamb, M. Saul, and A.E. Winter-Nelson. 1997. Meanings of environmental terms. Journal of Environmental Quality 26: 581-589.

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