On spaceship Earth there is an interrelationship between population, resources and environment. Population is a demand factor, making demands upon resources and environment. The demand made is the product of numbers and expectations, both of which are growing rapidly at the present time. The end product I take to be human welfare, which probably involves satisfying most but not all of the expectation. Resources are often classified into renewable, like soil and plants, or non-renewable, like fossil fuels or metals. Both sorts. however, have fairly finite limits to their exploitations. The environment may be regarded as having a finite if somewhat elastic carrying capacity for people and their activities, including their wastes and pollution. Beyond this limit, serious problems, such as the breakdown of life-support systems, may occur. There is also something perceived by the population as a good environment and therefore as a component of the quality of life and hence of human welfare. Certain human activity tends to cause a progressive decline in the quality of the environment and this occurs well before the total ecological breakdown mentioned above.
KeywordsHuman Welfare Human Ecology Outdoor Recreation Forest Clearance Global Ecosystem
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