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China's Destructive Exploitation

  • Date Submitted: 04/07/2011 08:15 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.9 
  • Words: 2825
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This past summer, I had the life changing experience of visiting China. The cities of Shanghai and Beijing providing examples of culture and landscape so immensely different from any that I have otherwise encountered. The idea of the trip, which I took with my parents, was to not only acquaint myself with a fascinating country but to witness first hand the economic progress and potential of China as it continues to grow itself into a global capitalist market. While touring factories and reading of new plans for foreign investment to China, I considered the environmental implications that would inevitably come with such extensive and rapid economic development. My thoughts on the subject became increasingly negative when I envisioned the impact a population of over one billion could have on a global scale. These thoughts form the foundation for my “Great Imaginations” research paper, which will focus on Carl O. Sauer and the concept of destructive exploitation.

The remainder of this paper will be written with the notion that Carl O. Sauer, with his destructive exploitation concept has identified what should be the primary concern for the human race. Sauer has additionally stimulated future generations of geographers concerned with the damage that has been done to the world’s natural resources and natural habitat. To prove this theory, I will provide a well-balanced argument. The research paper will begin with a brief biographical sketch of Carl Sauer’s career followed by his uptake and development of the destructive exploitation concept. Next, I will examine the further development of destructive exploitation by geographers influenced by Sauer’s work such as Michael Williams and Susan Kidwell. Subsequently, I will present contesting theories and criticism to Carl Sauer and his views on destructive exploitation, such as environmental determinism by Ellen Churchill Semple and “Raubwirtshaft”. Finally, the paper will end with a reflection on how Carl Sauer and...


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