Environment Manipulation is always very important topic for Man’s History.Man was originally a nomadic hunter; he discovered fire and employed burning to drive game, and possibly to condition the native vegetation to produce more edible plants; he then moved away from the impoverished soil to new land.
Man then learned to domesticate, breed, and cultivate plants and animals; he was assured of a regular food supply and was freed from the necessity of hunting and gathering so that his numbers increased, and he was gradually obliged to change from eating meat provided by his grass-fed animals to eating cereals as well. This situation prevails today as a result of land shortage and overpopulation.
The next development was the discovery of metal ores, and the invention of smelting, which required extra fuel. Forests were accordingly denuded. Early man was a despoiler of the environment, but these losses were on a small scale. However, the invention of steam power in the nineteenth century caused a massive effect on the environment. More and more power was needed: this was now obtained from the store of fossil fuel. In addition to coal mining, there were other extractive processes to provide the raw materials for the newly developed chemical industry. Around these natural resource sites, cities developed.
What Is Environment Manipulation And its Role In Environmental Science
In the industrialized world, before the eighteenth century, men worked in their cottages; but with the industrial revolution, they were required to work together in factories which contained the expensive machinery.
Settlements had developed in other ways, e.g.. transport cities depended on the presence of docks, rivers, warehouses, railroads, and highway intersections, and a concentration of universities, gambling houses, government offices, or resorts produced other types of settlements These associations of skills, which provide new ideas and tools for the country as a whole, are the essence of industrial cities, the human environment of which is the developing theme of this essay.
With the aggregation of people it becomes practicable to provide transport, social services, and other facilities. Unfortunately, each of these benefits has a less attractive side: the overgrowth of towns and roads occurs at the expense of the countryside.
The sewage of the householders and their domestic animals must bebe requires expensive plants, but in many cities, the effluent is untreated and is simply allowed to flow into rivers and lakes. The presence of nitrates and phosphates alters the ecology of these waters by causing overgrowth of algae, which depletes the water of its oxygen and leads to the death of fish and other river life. A similar disruption is caused by detergent pollution. Another serious problem is the disposal of rust-proof cans, junk automobiles, and inert packaging plastic, which is almost impossible to degrade.
Food must be provided for city people, and in advanced countries this must be achieved by an industrial approach. To produce the quantity that is required at a reasonable price, fertilizers and pesticides are needed. Though not directly toxic, they persist in the soil and are absorbed by animals in whose fat they remain unchanged. In wild life there may be long-term effects on fertility, and in this way man’s manipulation of the environment further interferes with the ecologic balance.
The massing of animals and mechanized feeding methods raise problems of waste disposal that are much larger than those caused by human population, perhaps five to ten times as great. Los Angeles has a pile of manure 50 feet high, spread over 4 acres, which remains that size in spite of efforts to dispose of it. This would be a valuable commodity in an agricultural area, but in a metropolis it is an embarrassment.
To provide heat, domestic fires are used, but the smoke is responsible for smog, which is especially lethal to people already suffering from chronic respiratory or cardiovascular disorders. In London, the passing of a clean air act considerably improved matters, although power station stacks and domestic fires still produce sulfur dioxide. Chronic bronchitis is particularly prevalent in industrial cities.
The use of the internal combustion engine produces carbon monoxide. lead, and unburnt fuels which produce smog when they react with dust and sunlight, as in Los Angeles and east coast cities.When man applies himself to industry, the problems are much more serious. By means of central heating, air conditioning, motor exhaust, and decreased ultraviolet radiation, man has changed the properties of the free atmosphere within and above the city.
Each house, factory, railway station, wall, and pavement combine to produce a substantial climatic entity—the urban micro-environment (Chandler). Together with the human micro-environment (vide supra), this is the true climate affecting urban man, because we know, from studies of his habitual activities, that most of his time is spent in the built environments of his home and work, and in traveling between the two in closed transport.