Mahatma Gandhi had once remarked, ?What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.?
India is emerging as an economic superpower with a phenomenal growth rate?one of the highest in the world. Within the next two decades its economy is expected to overtake that of Italy, France and Germany. In the next three decades, its economy will exceed that of Japan and by 2050, India is slated to be the third largest economy in the world, after China and the US. But all this growth would be nullified if proper care is not taken of the environment, as all development would prove counterproductive. It would be like taking one step forward and two steps backward.
The author, a former professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, with his vast experience of teaching has written this book to provide the essence of concepts, issues and happenings pertaining to the environment. The global environment has been discussed in general, with emphasis being laid on India in particular.
The author begins by explaining concepts like the natural or physical environment which includes landmass, deserts, glaciers, forests, etc.; the social and political environment where the social aspects, i.e. the environment that human being creates in a ?collective creation? in small groups (country), in large groups (nations) and in very large groups (the world) and includes relationships and norms specific to each group. Political environment refers to the set of power relationships between the various members or groups of a society. The technological environment refers to the advances made by mankind in the field of science and technology and its application in life. In this case technology becomes a tool for deriving benefits from the physical surroundings.
Considerable depletion and degradation of the natural environment, which has occurred and is continuing to occur has now become a cause of concern for the entire world. When referring to environmental studies or environment, we mainly refer to the physical environment. The rate of use or withdrawal of a material from the physical environment is faster than the rate at which Nature can replace or regenerate it, and thus this eventually leads to total depletion of that material in Nature. And this is in no way ?sustainable?.
The author discusses in detail the multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies, the ecological concept and the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle and sustainability. Natural resources and biodiversity are also discussed apart from the major biomes of the world as these are large ecosystems where the flora and fauna are adopted to a certain type of climate, environmental pollution and social issues related to the environment.
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