Christopher Columbus first discovered corn in 1492 in Cuba. He was gifted corn from the Indians and brought it back to Europe, specifically Spain. Within a few years, it spread throughout France, Italy, all of southeastern Europe, and northern Africa. By 1575, it made its way into western China. It was often used as food for animals as well as humans in these regions.
The definition of a crisis is as follows: any unstable and dangerous social situation that affects large numbers of entities. With this definition it is hard to believe that many consider global glacier melting not to be a crisis at all. As technology continues to develop and uncover mysteries and facts, people around the world are starting to realize what glacier melting is doing to the earth. Human activity, be it manufacturing or the use or fossil fuels, has started heat up the world and will spell the eventual end of glaciers. Like any story in the media it started out small when people started to realize what we were really doing as people who are a part of the modern consumer society.
Since food production is in essence a natural process, it is dependent on the natural world and its systems. Thus, "Without agriculture there will be immediate mass starvation, but with agriculture there will be a continual eroding away of the productive basis of human livelihood." (Wes Jackson) As Jackson points out, an agricultural system that ignores the health of the environment is ignoring its very foundations. A vast majority of our current food needs are being met by the modern production-focused agricultural system, or “agribusiness”. However, the scientific community is hard at work finding new methods of agriculture that are being practiced and that focus equal attention to both environmental health and food production.
But how did humans even get to this kind of lifestyle? What about this period in time made all these transitions possible? The answer is that their climate changed. Although climate changes happened all over the world, one of the most prominent examples of this change is shown in the Fertile Crescent. Humans here were forced to give up their hunter-gatherer ways because “there was a decline in the availability of naturally occurring wild grains and a fall in the size of the antelope and deer herds” (Harman 10).
many hunters and gatherers lived along the coastal plains of modern Syria and Israel and in the valleys and hills near the Zagros Mountains (Kreis 2013). Instead of constantly having to travel for food, they would find themselves staying in one region and start using what was around them. This was the beginning of civilization as we know it. Sumerian civilization was not just a civilization, but also a foundation for many civilizations that followed which adopted and implemented many of its developments and inventions (Kreis 2013). One of the biggest contributions to civilization by the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews was the invention of agriculture.
The industrial revolution introduced mass production and greater markets. The world was slowly transpiring into a global village, with all the new machinery and technology being produced. Ultimately, the industrial revolution was a turning point in history that paved the way for technological, scientific, and cultural advancements. However, with all these advancements, there are negative consequences to be faced. This can be demonstrated through the examination of urbanization, the rise of new classes, theories (by Smith, Malthus and Ricardo), and factory conditions.
The Columbian Exchange greatly affected almost every society on Earth. New diseases introduced by Europeans, to which the indigenous peoples of the Americas had no immunity, depopulated many cultures. Data for the pre-Columbian population in the Americas is uncertain, but estimates of its disease-induced population losses between 1500 and 1650 range between 50 and 90 percent.  On the other hand, the contact between the two areas circulated a wide variety of new crops and livestock which supported increases in population in both hemispheres. Explorers returned to Europe with maize, potatoes, and tomatoes, which became very important crops in Eurasia by the 18th century.
He also claims that the rise of ecological problems on the scale now occurring is a cultural phenomenon. If this is true, then a search for the roots of the cultural attitudes could show us how we might change our culture in order to effectively address these ecological problems. White basis his ideas on several key historical claims. These claims include, science and technology in its current form is typically Western and early employment of technology to drive the machines of production is also Western. White speculates that the beginnings of the change in attitude came with changes in ways of viewing humans' relationship with the local environment that came with the invention of, for instance, the furrowing plow.
The amounts of energy released when coal is burned gave inventors the ability to operate larger and more productive steam engines. Previously, wood was used and did not have enough energy released to power steam engines and other machines. Once the energy in coal began being used, it changed the course of history. This was the first time in history that people stopped paying attention to the cycles of the Earth and instead they began working against them. Before the industrial revolution, they had to grow crops when weather was good and store enough food and fuel sources to last through the winters.
The growth in the human population has lead to a reduction in available land for plants and other animals, this results to the extinction of certain species, as they may not be able to adapt to a new habitat or limited food. Humans compete for resources and space, spreading out or moving to another area and building on clear land. This is very easy for humans to do, because unlike other animals humans can adapt to and survive in almost all habitats and climates. The growth in the human population and the increased standard of living is damaging the global environment. This is happening because the demand for non-renewable sources, land is growing, more water is being produced and the higher levels of greenhouse gases and pollutants.