Assessing the impact of human activities on current and future generations
"But man is everywhere a disturbing agent. Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discords."
In his book titled Man and Nature, George Perkins Marsh asserts that great civilizations decline because they adversely affect their environment. In this unit, students will assess the impact of human activities on current and future generations from a variety of perspectives.
Cleveland provides an ideal setting for this exploration. Once hailed as "The Forest City" and the Silicon Valley of America's industrial period, Northeast Ohio now lies at the center of the so called "Rust Belt" and the city's population has been hemorrhaging since the 1950s. Is it possible, as George Perkins Marsh suggested, that the abuse of the natural environment is what led to Northeast Ohio's decline? The city's tree canopy was reduced by 50% over the last seventy years. The steel, oil, and chemical plants that were celebrated as the engines of Cleveland's industrial revolution also caused environmental harm as evidenced by the Cuyahoga River fires and brown fields that occupy prime real estate throughout the region.
The learning targets for this unit are for students to:
- Assess the impact of human activities made by individuals and socieities on current and future generations, including intended and unintended consequences.
- Examine how sustainability issues are interpreted and treated differently by people viewing them from various political, economic, and cultural perspectives.
- Assess how international associations and non-governmental organziations offer a means of collaboration to address sustainability issues at local, national, and international levels.
Perspectives on economy & environment
Art as activism & photographer tips
DOCUMERICA photo project analysis
Environmental Justice/Photo Proposal
Tree Canopy & Environmental Justice
Virtual Photo Gallery
PSL student exemplars