Environmental Analysis

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The environment has been essential for the survival of human beings. The changes we make, though, destroy the environment. In the book The Environment In World History, Stephen Mosley discusses the relationship between humans and the natural world through history. Humans have always modified their environment for personal benefits, but these alterations have accelerated greatly over the past 500 years. Since the European expansion in 1492, natural resources have been quickly diminishing. To find solutions to these environmental problems, it is important to look at the environmental history of the world.
Over the last five centuries the population and diversity of wildlife in the world has been declining. Animals have been an important part of the human economy. In the late sixteenth century, there was a large demand for animal furs, which were used for warmth, fashion, and an indication of status (Mosley, 16). This led to hunters targeting fur-bearing animals, such as bears, beavers and otters. As hunting methods became more advanced, the populations of many species began to decline. Similarly to fur, the demand for ivory and feathers also began to rise. This led to the overhunting of elephants, rhinoceroses, and many birds, such as the ostrich. There was even a point in the nineteenth century when ornamental feathers were worth more than gold (Mosley, 18). Commercial hunting depleted the populations of various species, and even caused extinction for others.
Before the overhunting of animals, wildlife was much more abundant and diverse. Many exotic species were pushed to extinction because of sport hunting. Hunters found a thrill in locating and killing the best animal. This created competition and pressured hunters to capture th...

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...ghout the history of human civilization, but over the past five centuries they have worsened. The growing human population is putting more stress on the natural environment. By looking at the environmental history of the world, we are able to discover more efficient ways to preserve the earth. The history of the earth also shows the developing issues of the environment, and it can help raise awareness. The themes that Mosley presents show the interconnectedness of the natural world. Deforestation not only destroys the forests, but it also endangers the wildlife, and causes the soil to erode. In order to understand environmental politics, it is important to know how each problem is caused, and how seemingly unrelated events are connected to larger issues. History is important for understanding the relationships in nature, which will help to preserve the environment.
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