environmental depletion

environmental depletion

the process in which the stocks of available physical and economic resources tend to run down or become degraded as the result of processes such as the intensification ofagriculture, mining, industrial pollution, physical overcrowding, etc. The idea that the world has reached a situation in which it must pay careful attention to the relative, or even absolute, degradation of the physical and social environment has only recently gained prominence (see GREEN MOVEMENT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, POSITIONAL GOODS AND POSITIONALITY). However, some theorists, e.g. Marvin Harris (1978), have even suggested that the process has been visible in human societies over a far longer period. According to Harris, Stone-Age peoples may have lived far happier and healthier lives than many of those who have come after them. From his viewpoint of CULTURAL MATERIALISM, Harris also suggests that many of the cultural, political and socioeconomic transformations undergone by societies in the modern historical era can be explained as the outcome of environmental pressures. These outcomes include the subordination of women, the need for settled agriculture and for state direction, and prohibitions on meat eating in some cultures. However, such claims are obviously far more controversial than the general claim that environmental depletion is not a recent problem, and has major implications.
References in periodicals archive ?
How does one 'evangelize' such diverse communities of wealth and poverty, in strife over religion, ethnicity, territory, self-determination, environmental depletion, defilement by dictatorial tendencies, and greed?
It is about the big issues in the world, such as climate change, trade, resource and environmental depletion, human rights, conflict and democracy, and about how they relate to each other and to people.
Two such cases are economic inequality and environmental depletion.
The report, More with Less: Scaling Sustainable Consumption and Resource Efficiency, outlines the opportunity and imperative for industry-led action for smarter resource efficiency through which economic value can be created without environmental depletion and degradation.
In the aftermath of hard-hitting documentaries like 11th Hour and Inconvenient Truth, there is a greater awareness of the perils of environmental depletion amongst the general population.
Agenda 2000 and reform of European agricultural and structural policies, protecting biodiversity and our common European natural heritage, transport and the environment, development of a sustainable waste and product policy, improvement of rights for information and participation, better consumer protection and transparency and finally, enlargement without environmental depletion.

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