Environmental Protection

Environmental protection is the set of actions or measures that societies take to ensure the health of their life support systems: air, water, land, and biomass. The measures can take many forms, such as passing laws that limit or forbid the use of a certain resource or the performance of some activities in specific areas (e.g., offshore oil drilling, agricultural practices on certain lands), fines for discharging pollutants into the air or water, subsidies for purchasing energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling technologies, encouraging recycling and waste reduction, emissions trading, and smart growth of human settlements, among others.

Human beings obtain food, energy, and materials from the Earth's ecosphere and lithosphere, water from the hydrosphere, and oxygen from the atmosphere. These resources are termed environmental goods and ...

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