How Do People Interact With Their Environment?


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People react to their environment in many different ways. They may have virtually no impact on the environment or they may try to change the environment for economic, technological or cultural gain. When considering human interactions with the environment, it's important to consider how the environment has affected human ecosystems. Understanding this partially helps explain how humans interact with the environment. Understanding sustainability is also important when examining human interactions with the environment. Sustainability is one way that humans and the environment can co-exist peacefully.

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Environmental Impact on Humans
It is important to understand that the natural environment has an impact on human environments. The natural environment shapes and in some cases constrains the human environment. One way to understand this is to look at natural disasters. Natural disasters such as wild fires, earthquakes and hurricanes greatly constrain human environments. When these events occur, human beings have to get out of their way. Sometimes scientists can use instruments to determine ahead of time if these natural disasters will occur. These detecting systems often help people to get to safety because they are aware of what is to come. There's a debate about whether or not some of these natural disasters are precipitated through climate change, that is, precipitated by human interaction with the environment. Whether or not natural disasters are caused by human interaction, they nonetheless impact human ecosystems.

How Sustainability Plays a Role
There is a movement to find out whether or not humans and the environment can coexist peacefully. This movement is called sustainability. Sustainability examines how human beings can have as little as possible of an impact on their environment. Sustainability practices include using local ingredients to cook food instead of importing them from distant locations. This type of importing uses gas, which has a detrimental impact on the environment.

This is an important part of sustainability. Governance examines how people are limited in making decisions and how these decisions are constrained by environmental concerns. Oftentimes, how people make decisions environmentally is due to external factors. A great way to understand it is to look at a farmer. When a farmer makes a decision about crops or harvesting on his or her farm, external factors such as the environment and the government play a role. Farmers are not autonomous in making these decisions on their own. Environmental governance concerns how natural resources are managed by these stakeholders. Sustainability practices put limits on this decision making process for the betterment of the environment.

A discussion about how human beings impact the environment and practice sustainability cannot be complete without analyzing ethics. Ethics involves prioritizing human needs above non-human ones. Some people benefit more from industrial expansion then others. Another aspect that ethics studies is the cost of environmental changes that are caused by humans. Some of these environmental changes can be remedied through financial means. At other times, only good sustainability practices will remedy the situation.

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