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Human Patterns of Consumption and the Environment - Essay Example

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Modern day human patterns of consumption have recently garnered a concerned attention not only from environmental movements and organizations, but also from business corporations, social-civic groups and even government agencies…
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Human Patterns of Consumption and the Environment
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As time went by, and environmental problems ensued, people could no longer just give a blind eye. As Emerald (2004) said “the effects of all of this are that individuals are caught in a cycle of acquisition, leading to the creation and maintenance of a false - self, and a continuance of economic policies that further depletion of our natural resources and the spread of pollution, and ultimately, an erosion of our spiritual connections with nature” (p.22). It has come to the attention of many environmentalist groups that many of the natural disasters occurring this age could have been avoided if it were not for the unrestrained nature of human patterns of consumption. Human consumption has many factors that are to be considered with regards to its effects with nature. Perhaps the most pivotal among these factors is the development of human system of economics.

The human spirit is one of continuing enterprise, and this could be viewed in how human economies developed to globalization and consumerism. As the world got more connected, the culture of commercialization and consumerism spread throughout the world. Imhoff, Bounoua, Ricketts, Loucks, Harriss and Lawrence (2004) indicated that “human populations clearly are not limited to consuming the products of local photosynthesis since regional and global trade transports these products widely, such that the environmental impacts of human consumption are partly realized far from where products are actually consumed”....
There is always the demand to satisfy more wants and needs as the world is more interconnected than before. This is being done with little regard to its negative effects towards nature. Muradian (2004) observed: The very nature of environmental impacts may vary from industrialized (most of them located in temperate areas) to developing countries (many of them located in tropical and biodiversity-rich areas). For instance, while soybean may be cultivated both in Brazil and the U.S., the environmental consequences of soybean expansion are quite different in these countries. Current trade-related soybean expansion into the Brazilian Amazon (in part to cover a booming Chinese demand) may produce permanent and significant biodiversity loss, while the environmental impacts of American soybean production is mainly associated with the use of agrochemicals (p.6). As industrialization and commercialization develops and progresses to satisfy human consumption, so does the increase of human population and habitation are to be expected. The unchecked expansion of urbanized zones also has negative effects towards the environment. Stein (2009) posited that “increasing home sizes as well as increases in the amount of appliances and IT products being used mean more coal-fired power plant construction and higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions while the increase in landfills and biomass burning from growing disposal of goods has increased CH4 emissions (p.47). These resulted to sudden climate changes around the world and also due the effects of global warming. Nordhaus (2007) wrote that “the discoveries about abrupt climate change have led to concerns that there may be grave or even catastrophic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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