Gen Ed 111
March 23, 2012
Environmental Crisis and Sustainability
“Nature, to be controlled, must be obeyed,” (Francis Bacon). The effect humans have had and do have on nature is consequently driving animal and plant species to extinction. These plants and animals are beneficial to humans, and the lack of their existence would severely impact the human population. Sustainable development is one of the most important topics of today due to its presence in not only the current world, but the future as well. Sustainable development encompasses three main topics: economic sustainability, sociopolitical sustainability, and environmental sustainability. It is the goal to have all three spheres of sustainable development to meet in the middle creating a balance of economy, society, as well as environment; the focus of this paper. Historians, philosophers, theologians, and environmentalists alike share similar thoughts on the discussion of nature and society. Daniel Quinn explains in his novel Ishmael, “…Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely” (Quinn, 101). Humans have depended on nature since the dawn of time; since the switch from hunter-gatherer’s to agricultural based societies land has become continually exploited to benefit humans, rather than a conservative relationship from which humans benefit. Environmental sustainability is the process of making sure current processes of interaction with the environment are conducted in a way that keeps the health of the environments in positive status. This means monitoring and the upkeep on the practices and factors that contribute to the quality of the environment on a long term basis. So long as humans take from nature at a rate that is matched by nature’s reproduction, the balance between nature and humans will be met. However, words with no action are nothing more than a sail without wind. Over the past fifty years humans have made noted efforts in...