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In the Greco-Roman age, the environment was exploited at a much slower rate than it is nowadays. Since the beginning of modern times the exploitation of natural resources has been increasingly intense, favoured by geographical and scientific discoveries, developments in communication and the population explosion. Some consider that greater control over nature is the clearest indication of progress. Environmental problems have aroused great interest, especially in developed countries, in which the reactions to these problems have been very varied. Some believe that new products can be created to replace natural ones, even beneficially, while others believe that humanity will not be saved unless it returns to living by the precepts of past civilisations and that the ills of humanity have been caused by scientific progress. The different ways of viewing the relationship between humans and the environment have given rise to a series of questions, amongst which are: Is man part of nature or extraneous to it? Is it right to deplete the environment of its resources for gain? Should human activities only take account of the needs of present generations living on Earth or of future ones as well?

Additional information

Authors: RAVERA O, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Convegno "Scienza e Tecnica per l'uomo e il suo Ambiente", Forli (IT), Oct. 19-21, 1989
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper IT 35097 ORA
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