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Pollution is defined as undesirable physical, chemical, or biological changes in the characteristics of water, air, or land that negatively affect the survival, health, or activities of humans and other living organisms. For much of human history, the natural world was considered as an adversary to be defeated and as a reservoir of resources to be exploited—pollution was at most a local problem for some communities and was not of widespread practical or ethical concern. However, as the world rapidly industrialized and as problems of pollution grew in regional and global scope, ethical theories of the environment were advanced to address the ethical and moral obligations of humans to stem the adverse impact of humangenerated pollution.

The amount of pollution attributable to human activity has grown ...

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