IDSB04H3 Chapter 10: IDSB04 Chapter 10 Reading

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International Development Studies
Anne- Emanuelle Birn

IDSB04 Chapter 10 Reading Chapter 10 Health and the Environment Key Questions: How are health and environmental conditions interrelated? What are the major challenges involving health and the environment and how should they be addressed? Changes in environmental conditions have contributed to health consequences o These environmental changes have come with excessive manufacturing, deforestation, pollution etc. Scientists have demonstrated that environmental degradation, which is the contamination and depletion of natural resources (and its harm to health) is not inevitable but rather provoked by various actions of humans o This include production, transportation, settlement patterns Political ecology = conceptualizes relations of power as central to environmental dynamics o It incorporates economic, social and political forces, actors and institutions that shape both environmental change and health and disease patters o It helps us to understand that the interactions are usually circumscribed where water, soil or air contamination have localized effects Human activities amplify the global impact of many local events o Theres factory production, agribusiness, mining which are increasingly controlled and influenced by TNCs o Theres resource extraction that must be done in order to complete certain actions Box 101 Definitions Natural environment = physical, chemical, geological, and biological factors and process external to people, through potentially their making Built environment = humanmade commercial, public and industrial buildings, living areas, transportation, roads etc. as well as policies that relate to land use, zoning, and community design Social environment = conditions within which people live and work, where they are shaped by cultural, historical, social, economic and political relations and factors Environmental health = the area of research, monitoring, control and assessment of the physical, chemical, geological, biological, and related factors outside to a person and can potentially affect health Ecosystem = system of interaction of a community of organisms and their natural environment Ecology = study of ecosystems Political ecology = the study of interacting social and ecological changes, focusing particularly on issues of power and inequitable relations Framing Environmental Health Problems: The Motors and Drivers Key Questions: How do different modes of production and consumption affect then environment and health? How does a political ecology of health approach frame the connections among capitalism, environmental health and inequity? Past Interaction of Humans with the Natural and Built Environments Relationship with other dimensions of the natural world are required for animal species and humans to survive on a long term Agriculture transformed social and economic relations, emphasizing on built and natural environments o As settlements grew, land productivity increased and crop surpluses were generated o Irrigation systems were also made along with other innovations which allowed for more land to be cleared Wealth and power became a priority for Roman emperors they took some steps in order to do so o They obtained, transformed, and traded precious metals and minerals when this occurred excessively, this is when environmental degradation occurred The exploitation of natural resources accelerated during the transition from feudalism to capitalism, with the rise of colonialism o Transport routes to get more resources from distant places European imperialism made the environmental impact much larger o The industrial revolution expanded energy demands, severe pollution Post1800, the new geologic era: Anthropocene this is characterized by humaninduced environmental changes that are provoking a perilous climatic imbalance Political Ecology of Health: How Imperialism, Production, and Consumption Patterns Shape Health and Environmental Degradation
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