What Is Adaptation?

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The concepts of adaptation and mitigation have been vital to the evolution of the human race especially in the period where humans moved from scattered bands of hunter gatherers to the sedentary agricultural societies. Adaption has do with the ability to adjust to changes that occur in ones surroundings to best suits ones needs. A simple example of adaptation might be if a hunter gatherer group could not find adequate herds of prey in the region they lived in, so they subsequently moved to somewhere with more resources. On the other hand, mitigation is the creation of solutions for problems. Taking the hunter gatherer example from above, the group could have encouraged new herds of animals by burning parts of the forest to encourage fresh vegetation …show more content…
Hunter gatherer’s reveal to us the importance of flexibility in order to adapt to a changing world since their success was based entirely on their ability to be flexible and adapt to each new challenge they encountered. A similar attitude is important in today’s world where people are mostly settled and stuck in unsustainable patterns of consumption. However, it must be noted that many of the issues that plague humans today are human caused, and therefore humans have a responsibility to mitigate these problems. Pastoralism provides us the lesson that humans are capable of complex self-organization to combat shared concerns of the group such as when herds were threatened. These highly scattered and seemingly chaotic groups were able to effectively organize quickly in order to deal with challenges that affected them all. This kind of ability to organize and work together is something that sustainability is very interested in since often times it is very difficult to inspire individuals to come together to aid in solving sustainability problems. Through the study of these ancient societies, greater insight can be gained into the strengths and ability of humans to address problems in the …show more content…
The I=PAT equation, which states that Impact is equal to the population multiplied by the affluence multiplied by the technology present, provides a simplified value that states the overall impact of an area, which is useful since it provides some idea of the impacts of different countries relative to others, however the actual values and what values are actually considered sustainable in each category are highly debated. David Satterthwait discusses in detail some of the problems that surround calculating impacts such as GHG emissions using measures of population growth and he states that “it is not correct to suggest that it is the increase in population that drives the growth in GHG emissions, when the lifetime contribution to GHG emissions of a person added to the world’s population varies by a factor of more than 1,000 depending on the circumstances into which they are born and their life possibilities and choices”(Satterthwait, 2009). Instead of the population actually determining the emissions here, Satterthwait asserts that it is in fact the social contexts and the decisions people make that truly determines the factors that result in environmental impacts. This further complicates the solutions to

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