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Explain how technology and affluence have made wilderness areas more accessible.

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Introduction

Explain how technology and affluence have made wilderness areas more accessible. A wilderness can be defined as an extensive area of land which supports a variety of ecosystems. It is remote and remains pristine and largely unaffected by modern technological society. The Land Conservation Council (Victoria 1991) states that wilderness should be protected against "the influence of settlement". Wilderness environments are often harsh with temperature extremes and have low population and until the beginning of the 20th century the wilderness areas were relatively untouched. This was mainly because their potential as resources could not be recognised when the technology did not exist to enable their exploitation. Over the last 100 years this has changed and now all but the most remote areas have been affected by modern society. This essay will examine the increased access to a range of wilderness areas. Antarctica is the most remote of all wilderness areas. The first human to lay eyes on this massive continent did so in 1820; all the other wilderness areas had provided a basic lifestyle for their indigenous tribes for decades and centuries before this. But this great white continent has never been home to any tribes and does not have any native people. ...read more.

Middle

These boats need to be specially made and, although this type of tourism started in the late 1950's, it is far easier now as the ice-strengthened material is cheap from Russia and technological resources carried on the ship make it safer and more attractive. For sometime now, scientific researchers have been able to live on the continent. Research stations run by 18 countries operate all year round. During the Antarctic summer up to 5,000 research scientists and support staffs are based there. These numbers can increase as countries governments gain more affluence and can afford to put a larger amount of funding into the research. The scientist can get to the island by boat, helicopter or aeroplane now. By far the biggest technological development is the road to the South Pole. It is made from the ice and crosses 1600 kilometres of treacherous terrain. The US has put $12 million dollars into the lengthy project, as well as many specialists and durable bulldozers and a snow tractor! They are one of the richest countries in the world and their wealth opens up a whole range of other technological possibilities in Antarctica after this project. ...read more.

Conclusion

Traveling to the Solomon Islands is a more obvious choice for MEDC middle class tourists. It is hot with white sandy beaches and beautiful tropical rainforest covering most of it. Simple development of the rainforest and basic technology for Brazilian businesses like building places for the tourists to stay and ensuring they have access to clean water here is making this area of wilderness feel more accessible to a large amount of wealthy society. To conclude, it seems inevitable that western countries are becoming increasingly more affluent and with this wealth comes better technology. As the above essay explains, technology leads to roads being built and transport increasing in the areas. Travel companies set up tourism schemes and resources start being extracted. These provide people with a lot of enjoyment, knowledge and more obviously, wealth. However, it is important not to forget that the wildernesses are fragile once invaded by modern society and unless they are conserved in parts, the whole of a wilderness environment could become highly populated, deforested or simply destroyed. They cover nearly half the world's land surface, so it is surely possible to sustain a large part of them whilst still being able to use our technological and economic advantages to gain the most out of them. ...read more.

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