Environmental Sociology

Environmental sociology has passed a complicated and severe way of its formation and finally formed in the late 80s. In this development, it passed through three stages. The first is the human and the urban environment in the 1920-1930-ies. The second is the sociology of environmental problems that people solved in different ways in the United States, Western Europe, in 60-70 years. And the third stage is the actual environmental sociology. Although ecology is a relatively young scientific discipline in its development, there are several phases.

Man and nature are inseparable from each other and are tightly interlinking. For a person, as well as for society as a whole, nature is the medium of life and the only source for the existence of the necessary resources. Nature is the basis on which lives and develops human society, the source of satisfying the material and spiritual needs of people. The man is a part of nature and as a living being of his vital functions of the unit has a tangible impact on the environment.


Transforming human impact on the environment is inevitable. Insertion of its economic activities of the changes in nature intensified with the development of productive forces and the increase in weight of the substances involved in the economic turnover. Global processes of the formation and motion of living matter in the biosphere usually connect and are accompany by the cycling of matter and energy. In contrast to the purely geological processes, biogeochemical cycles involving living matter are much higher intensity, speed, and a number of agents involved in the trafficking. With the advent and development of the process of evolution of humanity has mutated significantly. In the early stages of civilization cutting and burning of forests for agriculture, grazing, fishing and hunting of wild animals, the war devastated entire regions, led to the destruction of plant communities, destruction of individual species. With the development of civilization, especially after the industrial revolution of the late middle ages, humanity possessed more and more power, increasing the ability to engage and use to meet their growing needs enormous mass of matter.

The ecological situation is one of the most substantial problems of modern society. The reason is that from the middle of the XX century began a distinct unbalance in the relations of man and the nature of the reason for that there are serious flaws in the first of all ideological and practical, as well as scientific and political. Processes of relations man and nature are characterizing by such negative phenomena as consumer attitude towards nature, its beauty, gifts. Unfortunately, as a rule, in conflict with nature not so much the technique production itself becomes guilty, as the inability, and sometimes the reluctance to organize the human activity that man, in the end, is the determining factor in establishing a rational relationship with nature. Therefore, along with the technological, organizational, economic problems, much depends on the people's environmental awareness, their behavior. In the era of scientific progress, the role of the environmental awareness becomes so large that it becomes an important question. The real shifts in the biosphere processes began in the XX century as a result of the next industrial revolution. The rapid development of power engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, transport has led to the fact that human activity has become comparable in scale with the natural energy and material processes occurring in the biosphere. The intensity of the consumption of energy and material resources of humanity grows in proportion to the population, and even ahead of its growth.

Throughout the whole life, people pollute the environment. Over the cities and industrial areas in the atmosphere increases the concentration of gases, which are usually in rural areas and in very small quantities or absent. Polluted air is harmful to health. In addition, harmful gases combine with atmospheric moisture and dropping in the form of acid rain, degrade soil quality and reduce yield. Global air pollution affects natural ecosystems condition, especially the green cover of our planet. Acid rain causes mainly by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, causing enormous damage to forest ecosystems. From these the forests suffer, especially the conifers. The main cause of air pollution is the fossil fuel combustion and metallurgical production. In the XIX and early XX century, coming into the environment of coal combustion products and liquid fuels almost completely assimilated by the vegetation of the earth, it is now the content of the combustion products steadily increases. From the ovens, furnaces, car exhausts air enters in a range of pollutants. Among them is the sulfur dioxide - a toxic gas, is easily soluble in water. Sulfur dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is particularly high in the vicinity of copper smelters. It causes the destruction of chlorophyll, the underdevelopment of the pollen grains, drying and falling of leaves, pine needles.

Water is the foundation of all the life processes on the Earth. Water is the most common inorganic compound on the planet. Water is the basis of all life processes, the only source of oxygen in the main engine process on Earth - photosynthesis. With the emergence of life on Earth the water cycle has become relatively complex, because of the simple phenomenon of evaporation added more complex processes associated with the vital activity of living organisms, especially human. The extent of use of water resources is rapidly increasing. This is due to population growth and the improvement of sanitary conditions of human life, industrial development and irrigated agriculture. Daily water consumption in the domestic needs in rural areas is 50 liters per 1 person in urban areas - 150 l. People use in industry a big amount of water. The industry consumes 85% of all water consumed in cities, leaving a household target of about 15%. At this rate of consumption, taking into account population growth and the volume of production by 2100, humanity could have exhausted all reserves of fresh water. The constant increase in water consumption in the world leads to the danger of "water famine", which makes it necessary to develop measures to cost-effective use of water resources. Significant contamination of water exposed to the seas and oceans. With the river flow, as well as the maritime transport in the sea come pathogenic waste, petroleum products, heavy metals, toxic organic compounds, including pesticides. They are found even in the body of penguins living in Antarctica. Pollution of the seas and oceans reaches such proportions that in some cases, caught fish and shellfish are unfit for human consumption.

One consequence of strengthening industrial activity is intense pollution of soil, in the role of the main pollutants of soils favor metals and their compounds, radioactive elements, as well as fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture. Significant impact on the chemical composition of the soil has a modern agriculture, widely used fertilizer and a variety of chemicals to control pests, weeds, and plant diseases. Currently, the number of substances involved in the process cycle in agriculture, is approximately the same as the process of industrial production. The production and use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture are increasing every year. Inept and uncontrolled use of them leads to the violation of circulation of substances in the biosphere.

The overall objective of sustainable natural resource management is to find the best way to exploitation of natural and man-made ecosystems. Exploitation refers to the harvest and the effects of these or other types of economic activity in the conditions of existence of ecosystems.

The task of creating the optimal natural resource management decision is greatly complicated by the presence of not one, but a plurality of optimization criteria. These are reduced operating costs, conservation of natural landscapes, the maintenance of species diversity of the communities to ensure the purity of the environment, the preservation of the proper functioning of ecosystems and their complexes. Nowadays, consumer attitude towards nature, the withdrawal of its resources without taking measures for their rehabilitation comes to the past. The problem of the rational use of natural resources, protection of nature from the devastating effects of human activities becomes national importance. Nature conservation and environmental management is a complex problem, and its solution depends on the consistent implementation of government measures aimed at the conservation of ecosystems as well as from the expansion of scientific knowledge that society for their own well-being cost-effective and profitable financing.

The consequences of human intervention in all spheres of nature cannot be ignored anymore. Without decisive turn mankind's future is unpredictable. We strive to understand the causal basis in nature to come to the harmony of our relationship with nature. But why the wildlife "discord" with her happens so often? When we contrast ourselves nature having the illusion of "freedom" from it, then we will inevitably come into conflict with nature. People usually believe, that as a result of economic activity of people over the past 50 years, our planet has changed to a greater extent than those 800 thousand years that separate us from the beginning of human mastery of fire. The result is a sharp deterioration of the ecological systems, sometimes even the death of the unique natural complexes, the reduction and disappearance of populations of individual species of plants and animals, the risk of irreversible changes in the structures of the geographical areas, which can lead to unpredictable negative consequences for human society as a whole. Humanity has come to a point, beyond where the beginning of the ecological drama is close enough. The time of foolish and reckless use of natural resources has already passed. Nature must be carried out on a scientific basis, taking into account all the complex processes that occur in the environment as without, and with the participation of the person. Otherwise, it may not be because of nature, and the impact of human activity is getting stronger and stronger. Environmental protection and rational use of natural resources are some of the most pressing environmental areas.

Currently, is a pivotal era in Earth's history when the spontaneous evolution of nature gives way to a conscious, purposeful its regulation, real opportunities for managing the biosphere in the interests of the Person. But an indispensable prerequisite for this is a scientific approach to the most productive activities and social relations. Humanity can get rid of the "environmental pollution" just get rid of, so to speak, social pollution.

Everyone must begin with saving the resources and the environment. It is manifesting in simple everyday things, such as going to work by bicycle rather than by car, and release of waste in extra places.

Feb 8, 2020 in Socioligy
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