Systems Theory and Human Population Growth

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1. Provide a brief summary of the history of the environmental movement. The environmental movement began when people saw either a problem with their waters, forests, and other natural resources. Even as early as the middle ages, farmers in the East and what would become South America realized the need for crop rotation to prevent soil erosion. In Europe, the plague prompted improvements in the public health system, particularly to improve the water. Also, due to Englanders nearly depleting all of their forests, they switched to coal—a resource that would later cause many more health problems, especially in the larger cities. Beyond that, as health problems arose over the centuries, people saw a need to improve their environment. The environmental movement became more organized in the 1960s when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, caught fire and in 1969 when UNESCO’s Man and His Environment conference prompted the international community to work together on environmental issues. In the early 80s, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded and spearheaded massive cleanup efforts to improve the environment. In the 80s, the Chernobyl disaster, along with several other worldwide incidents, sparked further reform. In 1987, world leaders signed the Montreal Pact, promising to support the environmental cause. The same year, reports on ozone layer depletion served to bring about the ban of aerosols by the 90s. When George W. Bush was elected president in 2001, however, environmental regulations became more relaxed in spite of the mounting evidence for global climate change.

2. Explain the main point concerning exponential growth and whether it is good or bad. Compare exponential growth to a logistic growth curve and explain how these might apply to human population growth. What promotes exponential growth? What constrains population growth? The population growth is dependent and thus proportional to the birth rate, which is the main variable....
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