Society Comparison Paper - Essay Example

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Customer Name Teacher Name Environmental Studies 6th October 2011 Society Comparison Environment has become a major decisive factor while determining the sustainability of any society. Environmental degradation and ecological interferences have resulted in the collapse of numerous societies in the past, like Norse Greenland and the Harappan Indus Valley Civilization…
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Download file to see previous pages It needs to be realized that currently all societies of the world are battling with the Environmental concerns. Whereas Orkney Society can be classified as a “surviving” society, it nevertheless has its own set of concerns and improvisations that can improve its environmental conditions. Nevertheless, in contrast with Norse Greenland Society, Orkney society undoubtedly lives. The Orkney and Greenland societies both belong to the Viking colonies of North Atlantic. Orkney survived whereas Greenland saw its demise after a time span of 450 years. Four major environmental factors have been recognized for this difference of fate of both societies; ocean distances between Norway and Britain, resistance offered by non-Viking residents of the region, suitability for agricultural productions and environmental fragility in terms of soil erosion and deforestation (Diamond). Orkney is a continental Island, surrounded by water from its northern tip. It proved to be the naval base for British forces in both world wars. With respect to environmental concerns, Orkney has left no stone unturned in its attempt to provide a better living standard for its residents. Currently, the Orkney Islands Council’s Environmental Health Team is responsible for identifying and devising possible solutions for any activity that poses a risk to the health and well-being of the citizens (Orkney Islands Council). Education and awareness is being spread about the environmental concerns and ways of tackling it. At present, all residents of Orkney Islands are entitled to quality air, atmosphere, water, soil, land and landscape as well as factors affecting the quality of these (Orkney Islands Council). Environmental conservation has been the Orkney’s primary concern. On the other hand, Norse Greenland was naturally deficient in resources like metallic elements, and was also incapable of exploration due to the absence of ships and manpower. It was invaded by the Vikings during 1200 AD. Skirmishes between the Natives and the Vikings (called Innuits) did not allow peace to be established in the region. Greenland was also incapable of promoting agricultural activities in their region due to the extreme climate. This had caused the people of Greenland to migrate out of the region as the Climate changed dramatically. The current climatic change can now be scientifically attributed to Global Warming, which also caused the rise of water tables (Karen). Greenland could not practice environmental conservation, partly due to natural deficiencies and partly on behalf of their harsh climatic conditions and Viking colonization. Hence the Norse Greenland society collapsed after a mere 450 years of desperate survival. The energy resources for Greenland are not clearly documented, but the time line suggests these resources would not have been “green” fuels. On the other hand, Orkney has established an Environmental concerns agency by the name of ECO, which tries to make everything environment-friendly – from fuels to recycling etc. The energy sources for Orkney include renewable sources like tidal, solar, wind and wave powers (ECO). The population of Greenland, in 1000AD numbered at 500 people, which increased with the subsequent invasion by the Innuit Vikings (Diamond). The population of Orkney, according to 2011 statistics, is numbered at 19,590 people (True ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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