Functionalist perspective is a way of looking at the entire system. We as a society and a world are from a functionalist perspectinve a whole and complete entity. If we look at it in the same way and go from their we can safely say that human activity is the dominant influence. This influence is what affects the environment. Let me see if I can make this more clear.
If we take America as an example we can see that we love entertainment. The joy we have for boating directly affects aquatic life due to moving from one body of water to the next. We introduce species of life into areas where they are not part of the eco system. The eco system is not prepaired to defend itself from this species and thus the eco system crumbles.
Americans have a need to travel far and to do so quickly. Because of this we use automobiles and these in turn present a host of environmentally unfreindly issues. The tapping of oil is a mar on the environment. The refining of the oil into gas and safe oil for auto's creates smog. The transportation of the materials in order to distribute them creates smog through the use of tires and exhaust creates more environmental problems. The use of electricity to distribute the fuel is not environmentally freindly and the use of the gas once distributed is not friendly.
We could look at the human need for water as another example. We need water yet we continue to contaminate the water we have and this results in us needing to buy bottled water. This results in plastic that is just thrown on the ground or in the trash. This is bad for the environment. Most people do not recylce and attempt to do things that can help the environment and thus we as a society contribute to environmental problems. When we truly look at it the choices we make as a society affect the environment. This can be anything from using wood to build our houses to the way we buy our packaged food. In the end society all the way down to the individual are responsible.
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