Environment and Society

The topic of overpopulation was a very interesting issue to look at. It is absolutely mind-blowing how exponentially our population is growing. When you think about the garbage or pollution we produce or the amount of space our homes/places of employment take up, it’s a lot. It might not seem so large for one particular person, but as population size continues to increase, the amount of space and things we need are increasing as well.fgfdgfgdf

Anyone with a bit of ecology knowledge knows that a large exponential increase like the human population cannot persist. Eventually we will hit our carrying capacity and our population size will drop. It will be interesting to see if we slowly level off or if we shoot way over the carrying capacity and drop back down.


However, it is important to note that a large portion of the human population do not actually create much of an impact (environmentally) at all. Populations of humans living in developed countries are what we really need to be worried about.

Also, as you all can tell from last weeks blog on eating animals, information concerning factory farming/meat eating is extremely interesting to me. You all heard my thoughts on the ethics of it, but Foer didn’t mention much concerning the environmental aspects of it. Yes, he mentioned the large amount of poop produced by the animals, but what does that mean as far as CO2 and methane? For anyone who has seen cowspiracy, meat eating is one of the major contributors to climate change. It also uses a ton of water. Giving up showering would not save as much water as giving up meat. Side-note: did anyone see the commercial during the Superbowl about turning the water off when you brush your teeth? Well during that commercial this is what every vegan was thinking:


I liked the section on nature and how important trees are. “Trees fueled civilization (fire wood) and represent “the core marker of the complex relationship of environment and society” (p 161) I took population and community ecology last semester and one of our assignments was a digital simulation concerning the use of wood for new settlers. They settled in a forest, but as they began to reproduce they had to choose whether to decrease their personal comfort (less firewood-colder) or to use up more trees than could be replaced (essentially cutting the forest down faster than the trees can grow back. This can be used to represent our entire human population. Currently, the U.S., and many other countries, are choosing comfort over future stability.


Trees are important symbolically as well. Whenever humans settle in an area the presence of trees really influences their survival and comfort. Trees can symbolize stability and a strong sense of comfort for people. Maybe if people witnessed first-hand the amount of deforestation being done in order to provide their comfort they would be more willing to give up some of their comfort.

Overall, the book was obviously very textbook-like, but that was to be expected just looking at it. I felt it was pretty good for a textbook-like read.

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