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Using Resources Wisely

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In my English 130 class we watched the movie Inconvenient Truth and, for the first time, I saw the growing industrialization of China. After seeing China’s growing wasteful consumption of resources, I was reminded of a discussion that took place in my Anthropology 113 class last semester. In this discussion, my professor brought to light how our production of food is just as disturbing as our consumption of it. He presented a video that showed how the industrialization of certain areas led the farmers to abandon their tradition agricultural system and replace it with mass food production. This “small” change ended up having a huge negative impact on their society. Previous to change in their farming techniques, the farming system allowed for more social interaction between the generations and gave them enough food to feed themselves with still plenty left to generate in income. After the push for mass production, this system was destroyed, leaving the town with problems they had no precedent for. These events show how a change in production of goods (especially crops) can have disastrous effects on people and their environment. For my research I set my heart on further exploring this relationship between human’s participation in agriculture and its affects on the environment. Hence, I began my research trying to figure out what it is that people are doing to leave the world with fewer agriculturally usable lands.

After reading a hand full of books, I found myself with even more unanswered questions and lots of contradictory information. Some books, like One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future, say that the unbelievable growth in population and the population’s consumption is at fault rather tha...

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