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What Are Social Environmental Issues?

If we define environmental issues as problems that are caused by human activity, then they are also social issues. The consequences of environmental change are typically more severe for some groups than others. For instance, poorer nations and people within them are often the most affected.

Many of the world’s major natural disasters, such as earthquakes, have profound effects on people and their communities. In addition, global environmental change has a direct impact on human health. This includes mental distress and respiratory illness. Moreover, climate change has contributed to higher mortality rates on the planet.

Increasing population has led to the shortage of resources. Some of the common effects of global environmental change include income disruption, food insecurity, and mental distress. Climate change is also linked to water security and extreme events.

Efforts to solve environmental problems are often termed as social movements. But these efforts cannot help combat the underlying problem. Environmental racism, or environmental inequality, is a serious social issue. People in poor neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and hazardous waste. Likewise, factories that dump chemicals into water sources are likely to impact people of color.

Environmental sociology is a discipline that studies the relations between society and nature. While the field has traditionally remained rooted in the Cartesian separation of Society and Nature, there are many proposals for moving beyond the anthropocentrism of the scientific method.

To move towards an environment that is not framed by the separation of Nature and Society, sociologists need to understand the interrelations of all life elements. In other words, they need to think through the environment to deeply “unsettle” many assumptions.

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