NB: Glossaries are not neutral and always involve a point of view.
Agency: The ability of people to change the institutions in which they live. People make their own history; however, they do not make it just as they please, but under circumstances directly encountered, given, and transmitted from the past.
Agrodiversity: Agrodiversity, or agricultural biodiversity, refers to the part of genetic resources that feeds and nurtures people - whether derived from plants, animals, fish, or forests. We are losing genetic resources for food and agriculture at an unprecedented rate, with three-quarters of the worldwide genetic diversity in agricultural crop cultivars and animal breeds already lost since 1900.
Alienation: The domination of humans by their own products - material, political, and ideological - the separation of humans from their humanity, the interference with the production of authentic culture, the fragmentation of social bonds and community. The solution to alienation is social change rather than psychological counseling.
Anthropocentrism: Sometimes also referred to as "human-centrism" or "speciesism," not unlike "racism," "ageism," or "sexism"; it is contrasted to "ecocentrism" or "biocentrism." The practice of treating the human species as if it were the center of all values and the measure of all things.
Anthropogenic: Caused or produced by humans.
Australopithecus: Meaning "southern ape": the genus to which the very earliest hominids, who lived around 2 million to 4 million years ago in Africa, belong. (The "Lucy" fossil is an example of Australopithecus.)
Background extinction: The rate of extinction typical of most of the fossil record. Before humans existed, the species extinction rate was (very roughly) one species per million species per year (0.0001 per cent). Estimates for current species extinction rates range from 100 to 10,000 times that, but most hover close to 1,000 times pre-human levels (0.1 per cent per year), with the rate projected to rise, and very likely sharply.
bce and ce: The notations bce (for "Before the Common Era") and ce (for "Common Era"), which are arbitrarily modeled on the Western calendar, represent an attempt by world historians to establish a trans-parochial time frame.
Biodiversity: The variety of living organisms of all kinds - animals, plants, fungi, and micro-organisms - that inhabit an area. Synonymous with species richness and relative species abundance in space and time, or "life on Earth." The diversity of life today in all corners of the Earth is the result of over 3 billion years of evolution, and when it is threatened the consequences are far-reaching, but not always understood.
Bioinvasion: The spread of non-native, or "exotic," species, bioinvasion may be the least visible and least predictable of all the major dimensions of global ecological decline. Next to habitat loss, it is also one of the most dangerous, because exotics often create pressures for which there is no local evolutionary precedent: native species simply may not be adapted to live with the invaders.
Bioregion: The term is derived from the Greek terms for "life" and "territory," and thus it means a place defined by its life forms and the carrying capacity of the land. Bioregionalism implies an understanding of the land, its geographical features, its resource inventory, and its carrying capacity as a self-sufficient human and wild habitat. The term is considered liberating in the way it opens up to communitarian values of cooperation, participation, and reciprocity.
Biosphere: That part of Earth within which life exists, including (1) the lithosphere, the uppermost layer of Earth approximately 2 miles deep; (2) the hydrosphere, the oceans; and (3) the troposphere, the lower atmosphere. All living matter is the product of the biosphere.
Bourgeois society: A type of society in which exchange relationships replace social relationships in which cultural items (e.g. sex, drugs, foods, loyalty, sports) and nature (air, water, biodiversity, etc.) become commodities exchanged for profit, and in which private profit is the central test of production. Sociologists also use the term "post-bourgeois industrial society" to describe social-cultural conditions in the late modern era.
Cambrian period: The earliest period of the Paleozoic era, extending from 500 million to 550 million years ago.
Carrying capacity: Defined by ecologists as the population of a given species that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently damaging the ecosystem upon which it is dependent. It is usually defined as the average maximum number of individuals of a given species that can occupy a particular habitat without permanently impairing the productive capacity of that habitat.
Class: Class is one of five great systems of social domination which affect patterns of health, housing, self-esteem, religion, education, recreation, and politics. The critical definition of class is different from that used by many sociologists who use terms like middle-class to refer to level of income rather than relationship to the process of production. Critics of class societies point out that such systems do not allow the rational control of economic life, but rather distort society/nature relations into progressively speciescidal or ecocidal directions. (See Systems of social domination.)
Colonization: A type of exchange relation between societies and their physiological and biological natural environments. This exchange relation is a prerequisite of metabolism, the flows of materials and energy between society and nature; it cannot be described within the logic of input-output models, but rather within the logic of domination.
Commodification: The practice of converting use value into exchange value; a process of turning goods and services, even land, labor, and biodiversity, into products for sale in the market. Food, for example, has a use value, but its exchange value may be set so high that people starve even when there is a lot of food; the same is true for any essential goods or services once they have been commodified.
Corporation: A group of people joined in a common purpose to hold property, make contracts, and share profits according to the terms of a formal agreement or contract (charter) recognized by the state.
Critical theory: An approach to the study of society holding that human interests shape and guide the research enterprise from the formation of analytic categories to the quest for accurate, relevant, timely, and sensible information. Critical theory has an overt political goal: that of a rational and decent society.
Culture: The human species' most notable anthropological characteristic. Humans make themselves by widening and deepening their culture. Whether termed material, social, or spiritual, culture includes the multitude of relations between humans and nature: the procuring and preservation of food; the securing of shelter; the utilization of the objects of nature as implements or utensils; and all the various ways in which humanity utilizes or controls, or is controlled by, the natural environment.
Democracy: Greek: demos, the people; kratein, to rule: rule of the people. Not to be confused with republican forms of governance. The elements of a strong democracy include open discussion, direct voting on significant issues, policy formation in all realms of social life: economics, education, religion, and public life. (See also Ecological democracy.)
Depoliticization: The process of reducing the range of a question that is to be settled by collective and public discourse; thus (a) treating questions of foreign policy, employment policy, crime, environment, education, and science as settled, or (b) turning them over to technicians to manage. Most major news networks treat public issues as if they were depoliticized, that is, as if they were spectacles to be watched rather than problems to be solved by the public.
Ecocide: Acts undertaken with the intention of disrupting or destroying, in whole or in part, a human ecosystem. Ecocide includes the use of weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear, bacteriological, or chemical; attempts to provoke natural disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, or floods; the military use of defoliants; the use of bombs to impair soil quality or to enhance the prospect of disease; the bulldozing of forests or croplands for military purposes; the attempt to modify weather or climate as a hostile act; and, finally, the forcible and permanent removal of humans or animals from their habitual place of habitation on a large scale to expedite the pursuit of military or other objectives. The concept of ecocide is analytically expanded here to describe contemporary holocaustic patterns of global environmental degradation and anthropogenic mass extinction of species. (See also Overshoot.)
Ecological democracy: To give a voice and a vote to mute nature in all human deliberations. Here, representative democracy becomes essentially that: humans re-present - make present again - the other creatures in all that we do. Ecological democracy cannot be achieved apart from grassroots democracy and economic democracy, and vice versa.
Ecological footprint: In the early 1990s, researchers at the University of British Columbia began to calculate the amount of land needed to sustainably supply national populations with resources (including imported ones) and to absorb their wastes. They dubbed this combined area the "ecological footprint" of a population, which can be used to measure the "load" imposed by a given population on nature and to determine the land area necessary to sustain current levels of resource consumption and waste discharge by that population.
Ecological sustainability: That which is needed to maintain indefinitely the bioproductivity (production of organic matter through photosynthesis) of the ecosystem of the biosphere, in which prevailing conditions satisfy the universal health needs of the human population.
Ecology: The word "ecology" is ancient in origin, derived from the Greek term oikos, from which "economy" is also derived. Until relatively recently, ecology referred either purely to social organization (sociology) or to natural relations (biology). Used in an interdisciplinary way, as in this book, ecological thought raises problems that are unlike any that human beings have ever faced before.
Ecosystem: A recognizable interrelated whole consisting of both living organisms and the non-living environment, defined over a particular area. For example, a tropical forest, grassland, or lake, including the dynamic complex of plant, animal, fungal, and micro-organism communities in it and their associated non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit. Three principles characterize an ecosystem: complexity, uncertainty, and interconnectedness.
Egalitarian society: A society based on the principle that all are entitled to equal treatment and rights in the society. The point of an egalitarian society is not that everyone is treated exactly alike (as in a massified bureaucratic system) but rather that everyone is accorded full status as a human being to produce culture. People can play very different roles and earn different rewards in such societies, but no one is excluded by reason of birth.
Evolution, natural: According to Darwin, what forms of life evolve, persist and continue to evolve or go extinct depend on the biological interplay between mutation, selection, and adaptation - or, if you will, on trial (and contingency) and error. There are many skips, jumps, twists, and reversals in plant, animal, and human evolution, which lead some to suppose a God created each species and continues to create new species. But a revision of Darwinian thought called "punctuated equilibrium" explains these jumps empirically rather than theologically.
Evolution, social: Generally, a view that society is changing for the better as a consequence of the struggle for survival in which the best (fittest) social forms survive. Most such theories celebrate whatever benefits their sponsors, but there is little evidence that things are getting better and certainly no assurance that things get better all by themselves.
Extinction: The disappearance of any lineage of organisms, from populations to species to higher taxonomic categories (genera, families, phyla). Extinctions can be local or global (total), and they strike both on the land and in the sea. Catastrophic exogenous causes can include meteorite impacts and comet or neutrino showers; catastrophic earth agents include volcanism, glaciation, variations in sea level, global climatic changes, and changes in ocean levels of oxygen or salinity, and the actions of human societies.
Future Eaters: A term coined by Tim Flannery in his paleohistorical work of the same name, in which he demonstrates that humans dominate rather than live as part of their environment, eating into the "capital resource base," exhausting it rather than using it sustainably, and eating away their own. The habit of "future eating" has recently become almost universal for humans. We are perhaps the first generation of future eaters who have looked over our shoulders at the past, but we have done so quite late in the process of environmental destruction.
Genera: The plural form of genus, referring to a taxonomic group of related species.
Global climate change: Current and predicted changes in global temperature, rainfall, and other aspects of weather due to increased human production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Rapid global climate change and increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are expected to accelerate modern mass extinction of species.
Globalization: A set of social processes, defined by various commentators in different and often contradictory ways depending upon their vantage points. Some see it as a polite term to describe the disastrous global expansion and universalization of capitalism, while others believe that the associated compression of time and space and the effective erasure of national boundaries for economic purposes herald unprecedented progress.
Habitat fragmentation: The process by which a continuous area or habitat is divided into two or more fragments by roads, farms, fences, logging, and other human activities. Habitat fragmentation is one of several mechanisms of biodiversity loss.
Holocene: Of, belonging to, or designating the geologic time of the two epochs of the Quaternary period, extending from the end of the Pleistocene epoch to the present.
Hominid: Refers to all human-like primates, that is, members of the genus Homo. Archaeologists have produced convincing evidence that over 15 different species of human-like primates have existed over the 6 million-year sojourn of the hominid family, and that many of these species existed simultaneously.
Homo esophagus colossus: A creature with a gigantic esophagus, capable of irreversibly devouring entire ecosystems. (Related or equivalent terms include Homo ecocidus and Homo terricidus.)
Homo sapiens sapiens: The modern-day human, a subspecies of Homo sapiens who appeared approximately 40,000 years ago in the middle of the last ice age, whose cultural practices included rituals associated with hunting, birth, and death. Cro-Magnon man, one of the best-known early populations of Homo sapiens sapiens, was an advanced hunter who used the bow and arrow to hunt for food, and whose remains have been found in quite a few late Stone Age sites in Eurasia.
Hotspots: Areas that (a) feature exceptional concentrations of endemic species and (b) face imminent threat of habitat destruction. Identification of the world's hotspots - there are roughly 18 to 25 in number, depending on the criteria employed - provides a means by which to focus on areas where threats to biodiversity are most extreme and where conservation efforts can be potentially most effective. Forests and other habitats in these remaining biodiversity hotspot areas have been reduced to a small fraction of their prehuman levels, and most are at immediate risk of disappearing.
Human load: Total "human load" imposed on the "environment" by a specified population is the product of population size times the average per capita resource consumption and waste production. The concept of load recognizes that human carrying capacity is a function not only of population size but also of aggregate material and energy throughput. Thus, the human carrying capacity of a defined habitat is its maximum sustainably supportable load. (See Ecological footprint.)
Ice age: A period of time when the Earth's climate is cold, resulting in glaciation, or the advancing of ice sheets. The last great ice age began about 115,000 years ago and ended only 10,000 years ago.
Ideology: A set of beliefs is ideology if: (1) it is false, (2) if it is believed by most people, and (3) if it is in the interest of the ruling class. Ideology represents an attempt on the part of all ruling classes to universalize their own beliefs, values, morality, and opinions as part of the "natural order of things" and indicates that humans are capable of (re)producing phantoms (unrealities), typically involving cognitive and political distortions of the survival situation.
International Monetary Fund: The financial agency used by rich countries to force debtor nations to institute state policy in order to return both principal and interest to the banks that loan money to them. Higher taxes and fewer programs of social justice ensue as a result of its work, and a great share of gross national income in poor nations goes to debt servicing.
Internationalization: Refers to the increasing importance of international trade, international relations, treaties, alliances, and the like. The basic unit remains the nation, even as relations among nations become increasingly necessary and important. Globalization, by contrast, refers to global economic integration of many formerly national economies into one global economy, mainly by free trade and free capital mobility, but also by easy or uncontrolled migration.
Introduced species: A species found in an area outside its historically known natural range as a result of intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities (also known as exotic species or alien species).
Juggernaut: Something, such as a belief or an institution, that elicits blind and destructive devotion or to which people are ruthlessly sacrificed; an overwhelming, advancing force that crushes or seems to crush everything in its path. The American Heritage Dictionary definition is adopted here as a metaphor to describe the progressively ecocidal and self-destructive, "runaway" quality of the late modern world economy and its associated culture.
Late modern: From 1945 onward; a period in which the types of environmental degradation include global warming, ozone depletion, marine pollution, deforestation, desertification, soil exhaustion, overspill and collective resource problems, acid deposition, nuclear risks, global biodiversity decline, and hazardous wastes. The key forces of environmental degradation include Western growth and consumption, socialist industrialization, industrialization of the global South and demographic explosion, and new high-consequence risks from nuclear, biological, and chemical technologies.
Late Quaternary mass extinction event: An ongoing series of selective prehistoric extinctions, typically catastrophic, eliminating within the past 40,000 years two-thirds or more of large land mammals of America, Australia, and Madagascar, and at least half the species of land birds on the remote islands of the Pacific. Humans are present, or suspected to be present, in virtually all cases of extinction. (See Quaternary.)
Liberalism: Refers to those who advocate absolute freedom in the marketplace; the unrestricted right to own, use, abuse, or sell; the right to turn anything into a commodity if there is a demand; the right to move capital and jobs anywhere in the world where profits are higher or costs lower.
Market economy: A network of buying and selling usually based upon use value, supply, and demand. Neoliberal economists argue that a free market works best in the long run; most socialists/Marxists hold that it should be replaced by collective planning such that production and distribution should be based on needs rather than profit.
Mass extinction: An extinction occurring over a relatively short period that is of large magnitude, wide biogeographic impact, and involves the extinction of many taxonomically and ecologically distant groups. Five major mass extinction events took place in Earth's history, the most dramatic of which occurred some 245 million years ago and destroyed 90 per cent of species on land and sea. Perhaps the most commonly known mass extinction marked the close of the Cretaceous period, around 65 million years ago, with the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
Megafauna: Refers mainly to large herbivores such as mammoths, mastodons, huge ground sloths, cave bears, and woolly rhinoceros, as well as the carnivores that fed on them, such as dire wolves and saber-toothed cats. Large terrestrial vertebrates are variously defined as greater than 1, greater than 10, and greater than 44 kg adult body weight; the latter category is equivalent to 100 pounds and similar to the average weight of adult humans.
Meng Tze: A Chinese philosopher, also known as Mencius, who lived during the fourth century bce. He was acutely aware of environmental degradation in his time, warning the rulers of imperial China in vain of the unsustainable use of resources and land.
Mesozoic era: The age of dinosaurs, and dragonflies with 5-foot wingspans. The geologic era occurring between 230 million and 65 million years ago that included the Triassic, the Jurassic, and the Cretaceous periods, characterized by the development of flying reptiles, birds, and flowering plants, and both the appearance and the extinction of dinosaurs.
Metabolism: Here refers to the physical processes of input, transformation, and output that occur between societies and their natural environment. Natural resources are "ingested," processed internally, and released into the environment, and history may be written as an enormous increase in this metabolic process. A person in an industrial society consumes 15 to 20 times the amount of biomass, 20 times the amount of water, and about 10 times the amount of air that his or her individual metabolism alone would require; this expansion, of course, puts an enormous pressure upon the environment. (See Colonization.)
Modernization: An economic theory holding that science, technology, art, and all essential goods and services must be mass produced and mass marketed in order to maximize social well-being. Much mischief is done in "underdeveloped" countries by replacing community and agrarian/craft work with low-wage work in capitalist markets; this displaces people from land and kin to become the surplus labor in large ghettos, barrios, favelas, and cities around the world. Young people, dispossessed of land and cut off from their family, must find work at low wages or turn to begging, prostitution, theft, or worse.
Nationalism: Giving one's overriding loyalty to one's own nation and putting the interests of that nation above those of all other nations. Nation-states have been around for some 300 years and are one of the many sources of war, injustice, social-ecological destruction, and exploitation; they are just now beginning to merge into blocs, or dissolve into ethnic or regional segments.
Nature: From Latin natura, meaning birth, change, growth; that is, things and processes of a kind that existed on Earth before human culture became a force in the biosphere. Early use of the term in Plato and Aristotle referred to that which changed, in contrast to the laws of the gods, which were eternal and unchanging.
Neo-liberalism: A tenacious movement based on populist ideology, arguing for the reduction of bureaucracy and state control. Neo-liberalism advocates the need for a weak state, "free market"-based solutions, and the separation of economic and political spheres. When confronted with environmental issues, neo-liberal discourse tends to stress that their seriousness is exaggerated, and it criticizes environmentalists for downplaying the remarkable resilience and recovery power of nature.
Neoteny: Defined as retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of species. Neoteny explains many of the differences between humans and other apes. Many of the central features of our anatomy link us with fetal and juvenile stages of primates: small face; vaulted cranium and large brain in relation to body size; unrotated big toe; foramen magnum under the skull for correct orientation of the head in upright posture; primary distribution of hair on head, armpits, and pubic areas. We retain not only the anatomical stamp of childhood, but its mental flexibility as well; thus, albeit nearly indistinguishable from chimpanzees in terms of DNA, humans are lifelong learners.
Order: A term in biology referring to the taxonomic category of organisms ranking above a family and below a class. (See Taxonomy.)
Over-exploitation: Harvesting of a natural resource, such as fish or timber, at a more rapid rate than can be naturally replenished. Much biodiversity loss in the early and pre-modern era was due to local and regional overexploitation; in the late modern era, however, habitat destruction on an increasingly global scale becomes a prime culprit in mass extinction of species.
Over-extension, social and ecological: A condition that often afflicts complex systems during periods of expansion. The success that occurs early in a period of expansion may lead to the construction of systems that are dependent upon continual growth or, put another way, upon continual infusion of capital. (See Overshoot.)
Overkill: The destruction of native fauna by humans, either by gradual attrition over many thousands of years, or suddenly in a few hundred years or less. Sudden extinction following initial colonization of a landmass inhabited by animals especially vulnerable to the new human predator represents, in effect, a prehistoric faunal Blitzkrieg. (Overkill also accurately describes the effects of recent human cultures on many surviving species of large mammals.)
Overshoot, ecological: The condition of a population when it exceeds its available carrying capacity or maximum persistently supportable load. The population may survive temporarily but will eventually crash as it depletes vital natural capital (resource) stocks. A population in overshoot may permanently impair the long-term productive potential of its habitat, reducing the habitat's future carrying capacity.
Phanerozoic: The major division of geological time from 550 million years ago to the present, the time of the planet's greatest biodiversity.
Pleistocene: An epoch in Earth's history from about 2-5 million years to 10,000 years ago, when the most recent glaciations occurred. The geological time that ended with the last glacial period, the appearance of humans, and megafauna extinctions on all major continents.
Prehistory: The first of the three stages that human societies pass through, according to Enlightenment historiographical thought. In prehistory, humans are at the mercy of the blind forces of nature; in the second, history, science, and theory begin to offer human beings some control over their future; in the third, post-history, knowledge and politics come together in democratic forms to allow human beings to build social institutions that are supportive of ecologically sustainable practice and the continuance of species.
Primary production: The amount of energy produced by photosynthetic organisms in a community; also known as "net primary production of photosynthesis" (NPP).
Primate: Placental mammals of the order Primates, typically with flexible hands and feet, hands with opposable first digits, and good eyesight. The order includes lemurs, lorises, monkeys, apes, and humans. There are three suborders of primates: Anthropoidea (humans, apes, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys), Prosimii (lemurs, lorises, and bush babies), and Tarsioidea (tarsiers).
Private property: The set of rights that the owner of something has in relation to others who do not own it. The word "private" originates from the Latin privare, which means to deprive, showing the widespread original view that property was first and foremost communal.
Quaternary period: The ice ages of at least the past 1.81 million years, including the Pleistocene and the Holocene. (See Late Quaternary mass extinction event.)
Social change: A product of human beings' continuing attempts to realize their innate rationality in the context of a social ecological lifeworld that both enables and constrains. Thus social change is a product of the inborn, special capacity of humans to create knowledge, to interpret it, to communicate with one another, and to learn from the past.
Social Darwinism: A theory of social change originated by Herbert Spencer which holds that progress is inevitable if people only cease interfering with nature. This has been taken to mean that if others stop interfering with the plans of private business, there will be progress; thus, it represents a more formal version of laissez-faire ("let it be") cloaked in the language of science.
Socialization: The process by which young people are taught to honor the values and embody the norms of a society. The term first appeared in 1828
and was used to explain the way in which human behavior is patterned by interaction within primary groups such as family, school, and play groups. Socialization includes the rights and obligations to reproduce existing social relationships or to work within the system to change it.
Social justice: Refers to a set of policies and programs in which housing, health care, education, transportation, recreation are distributed on the basis of perceived social need rather than, or in addition to, profit. Note that "justice" varies with the mode of production; what is fair and right depends upon the social relationships that are considered normal. (If justice is blind, social justice is not.)
Social stratification: The structured inequality of entire categories of people, who have different access to social rewards as a result of their status in a social hierarchy. A process by which some people in a society are channeled into inferior or superior social positions. There is usually class, race, and gender inequality; such inferiority affects one's capacity to create culture and to enter into social relationships, thus diminishing the human potential of those both at the bottom and at the top.
Specialization: The performance of a narrowly defined task, usually relating to technical work; the rationale is that one can do something efficiently if one does it all the time. Specialization often subdivides labor so much that the worker loses sight of the purpose of work, and control over his or her work; specialists can be useful in capitalism because, since they know little of the social meaning of their labor, they tend not to experience guilt or shame at the results of their work. (See Technocracy.)
Sustainable development: A pattern and path of economic and social development compatible with the long-term stability of environmental systems, particularly those essential to human well-being.
Systems of social domination: There are five major systems of domination which variously make up all recent stratified societies. They include stratification patterns based on class (elitism), gender (sexism), ethnicity (racism), age (ageism), and territory (tribalism and nationalism). The domination of human societies over non-human species and nature and their accompanying ideologies (speciesism, anthropocentrism) could be added as additional analytical categories. (See also Class; Social stratification.)
Taxonomy: The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics; division into ordered groups or categories.
Technocracy: Political rule by engineers, scientists, and other specialists, the rationale being that there is a natural division of labor and that the experts should make decisions since they alone know what is right and natural. In a well-designed society, knowledge would be widely available, such that pro fessionals and lay persons would share the research process as well as decisions about how to use knowledge gained from it. (See Specialization.)
Threatened species: Species that are, often, genetically impoverished, of low fecundity, dependent on patchy or unpredictable resources, extremely variable in population densities, persecuted, or otherwise prone to extinction in human-dominated landscapes.
Treadmill of production: A term derived from the economist J.K. Galbraith's view of how our present materialist and "consumer-oriented" society operates. The methods and aims of production of this society have a profound influence on how people view themselves and nature.
Tributary societies: Societies in which commoners owe the rulers tribute (in the form of taxes, labor, loans that need not be repaid, or even gifts); in which production is organized politically rather than through direct control of the means of production. Some tributary systems have been relatively loosely organized, such as feudal Europe, medieval Japan, and pre-colonial Bali; others have been exceptionally tightly organized, such as dynastic Egypt, the pre-Colombian Inca Empire, and imperial China.
Trophic: Pertaining to food or nutrition.
Water pollution: Lowering of water quality due to input of sewage, pesticides, agricultural run-off, and industrial wastes that can result in harm to aquatic plants and animals. Two-thirds of the world's population lacks adequate access to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities, and by 2025 half of the world's population will experience water shortages.
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Disasters: Why No ones Really 100 Safe. This is common knowledgethat disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.