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Perspective

Unnatural Cycles: Anthropogenic Disruption to Health and Planetary Functions

1
Gibson Consulting and Training, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 0JH, UK
2
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Steatham Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jesus Martinez-Frias, Joanna Wragg and Mark Cave
Geosciences 2022, 12(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030137
Received: 24 January 2022 / Revised: 3 March 2022 / Accepted: 7 March 2022 / Published: 15 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology in the Urban Environment)
Natural cycles underpin the very stuff of life. In this commentary we consider unnatural cycles: that is, anthropogenic activities which have a circularity, but whose nature is to have a detrimental effect on human health, exacerbating existing problems. Natural cycles have feedback loops, some of which have recently come to light, with an understanding that everything is connected in some way. In health, feedback loops are imperative in homeostatic mechanisms. However, in the unnatural cycle the feedback loops serve to reinforce (and in some cases amplify) negative problems. We offer a commentary on an unnatural cycle moving from air quality to lung function and back to air quality; we call this the lung disease unnatural cycle. We suggest where links occur, and where wider consideration of interactions between various disciplines can lead to breaking this unnatural (or vicious) cycle, changing it to a healthy cycle where individual health can be improved, along with better global scale outcomes. We suggest that many activities within this unnatural cycle occur within silos. However, the improved cycle incorporates joint activities at geological, health, and financial levels, to the mutual benefit of all, breaking the unnatural cycle and improving health, life, and financial costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural cycles; air pollution; asthma; chronic obstructive airways disease; mining; sustainability; circular economy natural cycles; air pollution; asthma; chronic obstructive airways disease; mining; sustainability; circular economy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gibson, G.; Stewart, A.G. Unnatural Cycles: Anthropogenic Disruption to Health and Planetary Functions. Geosciences 2022, 12, 137. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030137

AMA Style

Gibson G, Stewart AG. Unnatural Cycles: Anthropogenic Disruption to Health and Planetary Functions. Geosciences. 2022; 12(3):137. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030137

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gibson, Gillian, and Alex G. Stewart. 2022. "Unnatural Cycles: Anthropogenic Disruption to Health and Planetary Functions" Geosciences 12, no. 3: 137. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12030137

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