Section 21: Earth, Humans, and the New Millennium

SLOs: Earth and humans, international cooperation, the future.

Lesson 1:


Humans are very likely the most influential living beings on Earth (at this time).  The human population is predicted to reach nearly 7 billion people soon.  All these people are utilizing the resources of this planet faster than these resources can be replaced.  The problem is that most individuals in our species do not practice sustainable lifestyles.  Therefore, many scientists speculate that there will be catastrophic consequences in the near future (decades? or centuries?) if humans will not change their wasteful and destructive ways.       

Photos, Images, and/or Videos
 (trash littered along a street in Ventura)  


Your assignment is to pick up three pieces of trash (that you did not create) everyday.  If every person living in Ventura County were to pick up some trash off the streets, the beaches, the parks... on a daily basis, then think how much cleaner our local environment would be.  This only works if you clean up after yourself too.


Lesson 2:


International cooperation is necessary to continue the process of figuring out: what can we do?  Multiple meetings with government leaders and delegates from all over the world have already occurred.  A few of the most noteworthy of these are the Earth Summit environmental-topic meetings, the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols banning certain gases harmful to the atmosphere, and the International Conference on Population and Development in which the name speaks for itself.  Agreement and action are the most imperative goals in each of these meetings. 

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Go online and look up a few of these international meetings.  Which ones really made a difference?  Do they make a difference for Ventura County?  What suggestions do you have for local and international cooperation in the future?


Lesson 3:


Christopherson (the Geosystems author) listed twelve paradigms or essential topics for this century.  These are given below.

1)    Population increases in the less-developed countries;

2)  Planetary impact per person;

3)  Feeding the world's population;

4)  Global and national disparities of wealth and resource allocation;

5)  Status of women and children;

6)  Global climate change;

7)  Energy supplies and energy demands;

8)  Loss of biodiversity;

9)  Pollution of air, surface water, groundwater, oceans, and land;

10)  The persistence of wilderness;

11) Globalization versus cultural diversity; and

12)  Conflict resolution.


Photos, Images, and/or Videos
    (this is what we'll have to look forward to if we cannot solve our problems)      


Your assignment is to do something about the diminishing conditions on Earth in your lifetime.  This can be accomplished politically, culturally, environmentally, and probably in many other ways.  The survival of our planet depends on you, those around you, and the next generations.  It is up to you to carry this weight.  Remember: the rest of human kind will carry it too; you are not alone.  But your actions and your decisions will shape the world.  Good luck!  

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2006 Jessica Douglas