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GEOG 1220 (40)
Chapter 2


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GEOG 1220
Lorne Bennett

GEOG 1200Chapter 2 Notes The Search for an Enduring Balance between Humanity and Environment INTRO y Humans must achieve system of global land use that is sustainable generation after generation y Sustainable use of earth requires human participation in natural cycles of air water organisms and other systems without degrading and depleting them y Requires thinking more about sharing worlds harvest than consumption of planets wealth and rethinking notions of progress growth development wealth and wellbeing at all scales of human existence from personal to global y United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNCEDEARTH SUMMIT in 1992 was milestone for global community o Was important because was first time that world leaders discussed policies and programs that would benefit environment o Since several more conferences have occurred to address environmental and developmental issues UN conference on population and development 1994 and the UN framework convention on climate change conferences every year since 1995 THE GROWING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY y Humans reaching further into environment and very systems that cycle energy and material that supports life y In Americas and Australia most of vast forests and grasslands of the midlatitudes and subtropics converted to crop and grazing land in little more than century y Today vast areas of tropical forest being cleared resulting in eradication of countless species many with potential value as sources of food and medicine y Worldwide 9 million square kilometres of new cropland have been opened in last 150 years y Soil erosion reduced range and cropland productivity and increased loads of sediment and other pollutants in streams lakes and wetlands y Overgrazing in arid and semiarid lands has resulted in vegetative cover loss increased erosion and even desertification y Increase in irrigation has also in century has modified surface water flows with diversions and impoundments along with depletion of groundwater y Also has been degraded by salinewaterlogged soils y Agricultural expansion contributed to acute scarcity of fuel wood in many parts of developing world
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