Geography And The Environment Basic Parameters

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Geography And The Environment –Basic Parameters

Geography is the academic discipline that links the social sciences with the natural sciences. The phrase “Man and the Land” is often used to convey the essence of geography. While the relationship of humans to the earthly environment is a core concept in geography, an equally important idea is that the relationship has a certain distribution in space. Geographers recognize that he quality of the life layer varies from place e to place intermix of richness or poverty of life forms capable of being supported. Geographers recognize environmental regions, each with a particular set of qualities for life support. A given environmental region usually has certain definite locations on the globe in terms of latitude and continental position. It has a characteristic combination of soil type and native plant cover and offer as certain set of food.

Some environmental regions are richly endowed with water and food. Others are very poorly endowed. The poorly endowed environments are too cold, too dry or too rocky to support much life. A major goal of geography is to evaluate capacity. Environmental influences include in the broadest sense forces and restraints than tarries form Man’s natural resources contained in elaborately developed social structures. These structures of society are industrial, political, religious,  or approached and solved without taking into account value judgments that are weighed against the consequences to our total culture Cleaning up the air over cities an the water of lakes and streams requires an enormous output of human energy and tangible resources. Resources so expended must extend are we willing to change our life styles to restore quality of environment? Are we willing to relinquish the automobile in favor of mass rapid transport systems? Are we willing to put a large share of our income into pollution abatement programmers? From these programmers you will not derive any immediate pleasure of entertainment? Are we as a society willing to submit to rigid population control? We are here providing only background considerations of the problems of pollution control. Only a Committee or Commission can take up work plans of practical action.

To understand the environment, one needs to study each of the global realms: atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. When one makes decisions about environmental action there is no substitute for a real understanding of the working of ht earth’s physical and biological systems. Most of the present environmental problems facing the human race today have developed in the absence technology that has been at our disposal. Had society chosen to put this knowledge to use we might have headed off most of the troubles in which we now find ourselves. But society is now awakening and responding. National priorities are changing in response to the demands of a troubled society.

Are Man’s resources of materials and energy adequate for the future?  The raw materials of industry, in the form of mineral concentrations, have accumulated though exceedingly slow geological processes acting over millions of years of time. Yet we are using these resources at an alarming rate .Inevitably the world supplies of certain key minerals will run low or give our  entirely. use of industrial mineral resurgences particularly the metals, has an important impact on the environment. After use, these materials are largely disposed off as wastes which create problems. of air, water and soil. Extraction of the minerals in many cases leaves gaping pits and scars on the land.

The fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal), now supply most of our energy for industrial processes, transportation and heating. Here again we are consuming energy resources that required large span of geological time to create. World supplies of fossil fuels will eventually run out and we must tureen to other sources, such as solar energy and geothermal energy. The combustion of fossil fuels has had an important impact on the atmosphere; another rips upon the face of the solid earth as huge strip mines scarify the lands and cut across wilderness areas. Because of their environmental impacts, we should study the future energy resources and their use.

Industrialization has added a new dimension to the environment, namely the introduction of the new substances into the air, water, and ground-substances that were never present in the pre-industrial era. One striking example is the radioactive substances spewed into the atmosphere by nuclear explosions and herbicides which enter the natural cycles of water transport and food chains of life forms. Interactions usually occur in such a way that more than one field of science must be drawn upon for the understanding of the problem and its solution. 

As natural areas of the earth are invaded by the human race and converted into farms, cities, highways, and vacation places, the remaining wilderness areas shrink. A new movement is building throughout the world to save the few wild areas that remain. The idea behind this movement can be called the wilderness ethic. Its supporters have run headlong into conflict with those who have followed the frontier tradition, based on a deep-seated conviction that natural landscapes should be modified to provide farmland, timber and water supplies.