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Black Creek
An example of the environment

Environment is the sum total of all surroundings of a living organism, including natural forces and other living things, which provide conditions for development and growth as well as of danger and damage. Living things do not simply exist in their environment. They constantly interact with it. Organisms change in response to conditions in their environment. The environment consists of the interactions among plants, animals, soil, water, temperature, light, and other living and non-living things.

The word environment is used to talk about many things. People in different fields of knowledge (like history, geography or biology) use the word differently. An electromagnetic environment is the various radio waves that equipment such as radio and radar can meet.

In psychology and medicine a person's environment is the people, physical things, places, and events that the person lives with. The environment affects the growth and development of the person. It affects the person's behavior. It affects the person's body and mind.

Discussions on nature versus nurture are sometimes framed as heredity vs environment. The earth is the only planet in the solar system that support life.

Natural environment[change | edit source]

In biology and ecology the environment is all of the natural materials and living things, including sunlight. This is also called the natural environment. Some people call themselves environmentalists. These people think that harmony with the environment is important. They think we must protect the environment (to keep it safe.) They think people should not put so much pollution (waste) into the environment. The important things in the environment that we value are called natural resources. For example fish, sunlight, and forests. These are renewable natural resources because more grow naturally when we use them. Non-renewable natural resources are important things in the environment that do not come back naturally, for example coal and natural gas.

Historical environment[change | edit source]

Green environment.jpg
See also: Relativism

Environment is the events and culture that a person lived in. A person's beliefs and actions are dependent on his environment. For example, Thomas Jefferson and Julius Caesar owned slaves. Modern people mostly think it's wrong to own slaves. But in Jefferson's and Caesar's different environments slavery was normal. So, their actions did not look as wrong in their societies.