Environmental Change and Human Development focuses on environmental change and human fortunes. While there is a large and rapidly expanding literature dealing with how people affect the environment, less attention has been given in recent years to how the environment shapes human development. In an ever more crowded world there is a need for anticipatory environmental management, and a crucial input to this is consideration of the interaction between environment and humans.
The environment is not as stable, benign or controllable as people like to think. The world population is vastly larger than it has ever been and is still growing, and humans increasingly upset nature through pollution and other activities. While modern communications may help environmental managers, rapid travel also increases the dispersal of diseases and pests. Technological advance and social development is not all beneficial; some innovations have the effect of making people more vulnerable to disruption by natural disaster, and citizens are often less able to cope with changed conditions than people were in the past.
Environmental Change and Human Development addresses key issues such as soil degredation, natural climatic variations and volcanic activity, and provides geography and earth sciences students with an essential introduciton to the major debates surrounding this topic.