I guess it could mean all kinds of things. It sounds like one of those “made up” terms that teachers contrive, then ask students to explain. Lol.
Whatever someone’s political stance on environmentalism, it’s agreed that many of the issues are worldwide. Rising sea levels and reduced fishing stocks affect many people directly around the world.
But there’s a problem we’ll all have to deal with in the next few decades, which is: What do we really want our planet Earth to be like? There’s no longer any “natural” state we can restore it to, even if we wanted.
A good example is from Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune. The planet where much of the action takes place is almost entirely desert. All kinds of people, including the “planetary ecologist” want to reclaim the sands and make them farms and gardens. All well-and-good, except in the sands live a creature, a worm, that produces one of the most valuable things in the universe. Uh-oh. If the farmlands are created, “taking back the desert”, the worms die.
We are in much the same situation today, although usually people aren’t thinking this far ahead. It’s pretty clear at this point that sea levels are rising, and that heat records are being set. The Arctic ice will soon be gone. And Greenland will go back to being “green”?
That last thought is where all the problems are: If Greenland is greener, the way it was 1000 years ago, should that be more important than grape crop failures in the Napa valley? Who gets to say what the “ideal” environment is?
I can relate to this definition that a global environment is where people come together to share an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social and production relations, government, and relations between peoples. It is sharing a common perspective to nature and the environment.
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