Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 92: Technology and the Environment
THOMAS J. BURNS & ANDREW K. JORGENSON
Technology and the environment Throughout time, humanity has grappled with questions of how to survive and, in so doing, to meet the needs for basics such as food and shelter. Historically, humankind has used technology to assist in the pursuit of these survival basics. Researchers examining society from a comparative and historical perspective note that as subsistence technology has developed—for example, from the digging stick to the plow to the steam engine—so have there been profound changes in the ways societies themselves are organized (e.g., Lenski 1966; Lenski and Nolan 1984. With the advance in technology, societies are able to acquire and produce more food and to accumulate surpluses. This leads to a number of profound changes in social and ecological processes, including changes in the numbers of people living in a society, and, more generally, on the planet, and in the patterns of accumulation and distribution of resources among ...