Acclimatize – definition: to adapt oneself to one’s surroundings, environment, or climate
Most of us are familiar with how animal species have adapted to their environments. As a David Attenborough fan, I have watched numerous programs where he has shown these in glorious color. I will not go into the hundreds of adaptations here but this link is a great source of information, if you are interested. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/adaptations
It is the adaptations of the human species, which concerns me. Earlier civilizations lived with their surroundings and maintained the natural balance. As humans developed and formed larger and larger groups, this changed and we began manipulating our surroundings to suit us. Areas of the planet previously uninhabited due to the climate or conditions were invaded and structures built to accommodate. Resources were, and still are, ravaged. Vast areas of the planet are now under concrete and this ‘invasion’ is still going on.
Humans adapt their environment in any way they can. From the sewing of furs, inventing shoes, discovering how to shear sheep to make wool for weaving clothing, taming fire, domesticating animals, and inventing agriculture, there has been an explosion of adaptations. Also housing became more and more sophisticated from caves to mud huts to brick buildings and wooden structures with insulation. Another discovery was herbs and how they could be used either for culinary or medicinal uses, and which were poisonous. Tools have developed and improved from split rocks with sharp edges to battery powered tools for every aspect of building. Yes, we are a ‘clever’ animal but at what cost?
Unfortunately, this behavior is continuing even though there is scientific proof that human impact on the planet and its inhabitants is destroying the only ‘home’ we have. Obviously, we can not unlearn our inventions and expectations for ourselves – everyone wants a nice home to live in and easy access to food and clothing.
What is the answer? That is the billion dollar question!