Date of Degree

2-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Sophia Perdikaris

Subject Categories

Other Arts and Humanities

Keywords

Sustainability, Environmental

Abstract

Throughout the course of human history, people have not only survived but thrived through their intimate knowledge of the land that they occupy. This not only includes the ability to procure food and the materials to build a shelter or tools, but it also contains the information that kept them safe from predators and other natural elements that surrounded them. The Industrial Revolution brought about many changes. People began to leave their rural lifestyles and migrate to cities in large numbers. With technologies and urbanization increasing, people became more and more distant from food production activities. Basic necessities, such as food, textiles, and other materials, are now transported from farms across the country and across the globe to supply the non-food producing city dwellers. The survival skills required as an urban dweller are diametrically different from a hunting and gathering or farming existence. The convenience of urban life has brought with it issues of resilience. The Industrial Revolution has started an avalanche of environmental issues that are currently still exploding, one after another. Many of the critical environmental tipping points have been breached and the data shows that things will continue to move in this direction. It seems inevitable that at some point our current systems will no longer be able to provide for people in the manner that they have. What will then be the choices available to humans? Will they be able to re-embrace rural settings and reconnect with nature is a more dependent role? Is, the nature that people return to able to sustaining them? What will the alternatives for human sustainability look like?

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