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I realized because both human beings and the environment are each complex, adaptive,
and interconnected systems, they interact on an almost constant basis. No other species on Earth
has as much impact on the environment as human beings. These human environment interactions
are both positive and negative, and the interaction is largely dependent upon the characteristic of
the human society.
Human Environment Interaction
Society has tremendous impact on how human beings view the environment. The values
of society, how people view life shapes how they modify the environment. Ecosystem benefits
are vital to human survival. They are the benefits, such as food, water, timber, farmland, or
energy that human beings obtain from the world around them. Many traditional, hunter-gatherer
societies have minimal and mutually beneficial interaction with their environment. Conversely,
many believe that modern industrial society has exploited the environment to the point of
There is a causal chain of links between human activity and environmental degradation
that characterizes negative human-environment interaction. Driving forces generate pressure on
the environment, releasing pollutions into the water and air for example. These, in turn, modify
the state of the environment, which causes negative impacts. These impacts push many towards
responses that seek to reduce problems, which then modify the societys driving forces.
Think about all the bodies of water on our planet. Every river, lake, stream, major ponds
are essential to the way our world functions. Unfortunately, our society has done very little to
preserve these water sources and as a result, our rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans are suffering
from many forms of pollution. Every oil spill, discarded water bottle, and obstructive dam
continually adds to our already-polluted waters, and very little is being done to reverse this
problem. The most prominent issue being studied today is storm water runoff. The collection of
fine sediments, chemicals, and debris, are a serious pollution concern. Many solutions and
technologies have already been developed, but the number one controversy that is holding us
back is storm water regulations. Storm water regulations are the basic guidelines that all states
follow when constructing storm drains and other runoff structures as well as controlling the
pollutants that are discharged from water treatment plants, but they limit the actions needed to
reduce the runoff pollution. In order to fix the mess our society has made with urbanization and
waterway pollution, storm water regulations must be changed to allow for new solutions and
technologies that deal with sediment pollution and storm water runoff.