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The Path to More Sustainable Energy Systems by Daniel M. Martínez, Ben W. Ebenhack

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Chapter 6

Environmental Impact

This chapter focuses on the environmental component of sustainability as it relates to energy choices.

6.1 The Environment and Humans: Interconnected Systems

The word “environment” refers to the totality of that which surrounds us: nature, resources, the world itself, and other humans, are all part of our environment. Humans impact the environment and the environment impacts humans as well. The prevalent focus on the concept of environmental sustainability stems from the reality that humans depend on natural inputs to survive and to sustain a good quality of life, but overuse of those inputs can lead to unwanted and unsustainable degradation for humanity and the world.

Throughout most of history, we humans have ...

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