Welcome to the history of the environment. Now I want you to take a minute to walk outside and really take a good look at your surroundings. Go ahead and hit the ‘pause’ button and go outside and check ’em out. I’ll wait. Now, when you were looking at your surroundings, you were also checking out your environment. To distinguish between things in the environment, we have come up with terms such as biotic and abiotic. Biotic refers to all living parts of our environment while abiotic refers to the non living parts that make up our environment. As our human species evolved, we have used the environment to benefit the human race. At first, we were nomadic; meaning we didn’t stay long in one place and humans went out and hunted and gathered the food we needed to survive. And there was really minimal impact on the environment around us. When we started to settle down in a location and our human populations really began to grow; farming started to support our growing needs. We called this transformation the Agricultural Revolution. Now during the Agricultural Revolution an area of land could support many more people through a culture based on farming than it could in a hunter/gatherer culture. This changed the ecosystems inhabited by humans in many ways. Habitats were changed; plants were changed; and animals were changed all throughout the Agricultural Revolution. As humans changed from doing labor intensive duties like farming, they found the benefit of using machines and thus started what we call the Industrial Revolution. During the Industrial Revolution we changed from using natural products and grew to depend on such things as fossil fuels. We produced goods on a larger scale. These goods were machine made and could be transported over long distances. Humans are now learning from our mistakes of destroying and depleting our natural resources, and we have seen a new shift towards information and globalisation. We now use information and technology as a tool to respond to the problems in our environments. As our reliance on technology grows, so does the chance of information shortsightedness. We must keep a balance between the environment and technology so we do not repeat the mistakes of previous advancements and protect the environment we live in.