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History[ edit ] The equation was developed in during the course of a debate between Barry CommonerPaul R. Ehrlich and John Holdren. Commoner argued that environmental impacts in the United States were caused primarily by changes in its production technology following World War II and aimed his thoughts on present day deteriorating environmental conditions in the U.
Ehrlich and Holdren argued that all three factors were important and emphasized in particular the role of human population growthbut focused more on a broader scale, being less specific in space and time.
The environment may be viewed as a self-regenerating system that can sustain a certain level of impact sustainably. The maximum sustainable impact is called the carrying capacity.
As long as "I" is less than this amount the associated population, affluence, and technology that make up "I" are sustainable. If "I" exceeds the carrying capacity, then the system is said to be in overshootwhich can only be a temporary state.
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Overshoot may degrade the ability of the environment to sustain impact, therefore reducing the carrying capacity.
Impact may be measured using ecological footprint analysis in units of global hectares gha. Impact is modeled as the product of three terms, giving gha as a result.
Population is expressed in human numbers, therefore Affluence is measured in units of gha per capita. Technology is a unitless efficiency factor. The three factors[ edit ] See also: World population and Human overpopulation Population est.
Since the rise of industrial societies, human population has been increasing exponentially. This has caused Thomas MalthusPaul Ehrlich and many others[ who? The United Nations project that world population will increase from 7. This phenomenon is the result of demographic transition all over the world.
The UN projects that human population might stabilize around Increased land use - Results in habitat loss for other species. Increased resource use - Results in changes in land cover Increased pollution - Can cause sickness and damages ecosystems.
It represents the average consumption of each person in the population. As the consumption of each person increases, the total environmental impact increases as well.
A common proxy for measuring consumption is through GDP per capita. While GDP per capita measures production, it is often assumed that consumption increases when production increases. Environmental impacts of affluence[ edit ] Increased consumption significantly increases human environmental impact.
This is because each product consumed has wide-ranging effects on the environment. For example, the construction of a car has the following environmental impacts: Ecological impacts of each product are far reaching, increases in consumption quickly result in large impacts on the environment through direct and indirect sources.
Improvements in efficiency can reduce resource intensiveness, reducing the T multiplier. For example, for a situation where the human impact on climate change is being measured, an appropriate unit for T might be greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP. Environmental impacts of technology[ edit ] Increases in efficiency can reduce overall environmental impact.
However, since P has increased exponentially, and A has also increased drastically, the overall environmental impact, I, has still increased.
As was shown by Alcott, : Similarly, an extensive historical analysis of technological efficiency improvements has conclusively shown that improvements in the efficiency of energy and material use were almost always outpaced by economic growth, resulting in a net increase in resource use and associated pollution.
This means the equation does not account for varying degrees of power, influence, and responsibility of individuals over environmental impact.
Environmental impact is a function of human numbers, affluence ie resources consumed per capita and technology. It is assumed that small scale societies have low environmental impacts due to their practices and orientations alone but there is little evidence to support this  .University of Hawaii (UH) - School of Travel Industry Management (T.I.M.) "UH TIM School is the best known Brand in Asia within the UH System".
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In time we will do our greatest to improve the quality and information available to you on this website in order. Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical environments and ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming, environmental degradation (such as ocean acidification), mass extinction and .
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