Environment the record of what one age finds

              Environment
can be defined as everything and anything around us which include living and non-living
things, physical, chemical and other natural forces. With the increase in
population, the presence on environment is increasing and nature has become a
bowl of raw materials which can be processed further to satisfy our needs. Due
to exploitation, we started experiencing more calamities such as flash floods,
hurricanes, droughts and climatic changes. So it is important to study
environment and also find ways to minimize exploitation.

               To study
environment in respect to other factors like ecology, culture and exploitation,
a new branch called environment history is started. Environmental history is
the study of interaction between humans and natural world. It can be defined as
the record of what one age finds unworthy in another (Guha, 1993). Environment history can be broadly grouped into 3 man
categories namely 1) Material environmental history which concerns about
forests, soil, fish and other materials things related to nature 2) Policy and
political environmental history which mainly focuses on the policies adopted by
the people in earlier ages and the ways they can be made better 3) Intellectual
and cultural activity which involves thoughts, paintings, sculptures, dance,
songs of people about environment of their respective ages. (McNeil, 2010).

             There exists
both Imperial and Arcadian attitude environmental historians. Worster also
calls it Pinchot – Muir dialect. Imperialists are those who think that
environment is just a bowl of raw materials which can be used as inputs for
production or in simple words they feel that nature exists for human benefits.
Arcadians are those who explain humanity’s relationship with nature. The debate
of megalomania and moderation had become radically famous and ethically
important. (Worster, 1977)

                   Blaikie
and Brookfield (1987) in his key text land degradation and society talks about
the relationship between environment degradation and other components like
poverty, pressure of deprivation. They try explains how poverty effects
environment the most and also sees it as a social marginalization. But by
looking at amazon basin deforestation, it can be understood that impoverishment
can no more be considered as a cause of destruction when compared to capital (Hecht
and Cockburn, 1989).

               I find dual
view definition of environment and our planet very interesting, where “our”
shows man’s dependence on it and on the other hand the ownership on the nature
which results in over exploitation of nature. The over exploitation may cause
the harmful effects which can never be reversed or maybe the resources can
never be replenished. A healthy environment is not a luxury and it is a
necessity for healthy living of people. 

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