I think we are. With our increasing technology and studies being done, we are finding out more and more of what we are doing to the environment. Environmentalism didn’t even begin until the 1960s with Rachel Carson publishing her book “Silent Spring” about pesticide use. That was a huge factor in sparking sentiment to watch out for our mother Earth. Since then, sentiment has gone up and down, but overall we have never been more aware of our impacts.
Yes and no. We are certainly more aware of the environment from a technological and scientific standpoint. However, in the past when society was at the whim of environmental variables people were certainly aware of the impact of their actions. In Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” he describes how the tribes in the highlands of Papua New Guinea did not come into contact with “modern” society until the 1930’s. He discuses how they designed efficient irrigation systems for farming and that there farmlands were ruined when it they implemented “modern” irrigation techniques.
We certainly can explain the cause and effect of our environmental impact, however, I do not believe that people today are any more aware and coherent to the conquences of our actions than past generations.
As of quite recently, I believe the public is more aware of the impact humans have on the environment. Some are still in denial over the issue of global warming, but ideas such as going green and reducing one’s carbon footprint have spread. However, awareness and action are two very different things. Someone can be very aware of what state the environment is in but leave the actual doing and saving to someone else. It will take more than simply being conscious of the negative effects of warming climates. The public as a whole, on a global scale, will have to want to change for the better.
I think that environmentalists have been aware for some time, but environmental issues are more accessible to the general public due to electronic media and other technologies. Thus, the general public seems much more aware of general environmental impacts, which has significantly helped recycling issues as well as minimized dumping of hazardous materials.
I do, especially considering the increased media coverage environmental issues have been getting as of late. Granted, these are often unfortunately in light of disaster (i.e. climate change, BP Deepwater Horizon spill, etc.), but people are begining to educate themselves and becoming more aware of how their actions impact the environment. Two of my former professors actually have done research on the media’s coverage of environmental issues, below is a link to a pdf of their study.
On a large scale, yes. Back when local farms were the only way to feed our families, there was probably more attention paid to reducing waste for purely financial reasons. But now, thanks to the internet and mainstream media, Americans are hard-pressed to not know about the environmental issues, whether we agree with them or not. As our society progresses, be it a curse or a blessing, we simply have more information available to us – and that makes us more aware of EVERYTHING, for better or worse.
It’s hard to say, but I think that since we have a greater environmental impact now that at any other time, we are probably more keenly aware of that impact. It would be interesting to review historical records, even ancient records, concerning humans’ ideas about the environment and the earth.
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC