Humans have for thousands of years refined methods of food production with the aim of increasing supply to sustain society. The moment a group of humans settled anywhere and switched from nomadic patterns of life to an agrarian approach, food always became a key item of focus. Once man understood his environment’s patterns and the edible crops most suitable for the setting, he created consistent methods to support and sustain the settlement.
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Humans have created two major systems over the last 10 millennia that have had revolutionary effects on the supply of food. The first of this is irrigation. Controlling the supply of water has enabled several civilizations to produce tons of food even in hostile environments, as was the case in ancient Egypt (Mays, 2010, pp. 53 – 66). The effect was the greening of the environment and its transformation into habitable zones for humans
The second system has been a consequence of the first, storage. Once humans were able to produce food in abundant amounts, they developed methods of storage such as silos (and in the last century, refrigeration), that provided them with a constant supply channels and surplus food for trade. These storage systems have been relatively harmless to the environment, only affecting human health.
The major concerns about food safety in the modern world relate to processing and handling before consumption. First among these is contamination. Preventing food from coming into contact with infectious bacteria is quite a challenge especially when transported over long distances. This problem is still a challenge today.
Once the food arrives at its destination (especially restaurants or processors), the processing and presentation provides many opportunities for its adulteration. Factories dealing in foodstuffs and restaurants that serve cooked food expose themselves to numerous errors among staff that may affect food quality.
The deadliest effect of global warming is climate change. The rise in atmospheric temperatures affects weather patterns the world over, leading to an imbalance in the seasons, the unpredictability of agricultural patterns, destruction of the environment through the reduction of forest cover, increased calamities such as hurricanes and tornadoes that lead to massive economic losses (IPCC, 2007).
The second deadliest effect of global warming is the melting of ice caps at the North and South Poles. This effect has far-reaching consequences on the environment including a rise in sea levels and the desalination of seawater that endangers numerous animals and organisms.
Firstly, a rise in sea levels endangers coastal populations across the whole world, forcing humans and other animals to seek alternative habitats. At the same time, coastal vegetation is submerged and lost. Secondly, when snow caps melt they produce fresh water and reduce the level of salt in the seas, affecting the ecological balance and the lives of billions of organisms.
Efforts to improve air quality are worth the economic costs because unpolluted air does not contribute to global warming. As explained above, the cost of the effects of global warming are multidimensional and inter-continental, neglecting environmental regulation places the whole planet at risk. Humans are not the only victims of the effects of global warming; plants, animals and other organisms also suffer. Ignoring the need to improve air quality due to the economic costs would be dangerous for the whole planet.
IPCC. (2007). Effects of Global Warming .
Mays, L. W. (2010). Water Technology in Ancient Egypt. In L. Mays, Ancient Water Technologies (pp. 53 – 66). Arizona: Springer.