Environmental Science&Sustainability Week 2 Notes
Environmental Science&Sustainability Week 2 Notes Geog 280
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geog 280 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Leslie North in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Environmental Science and Sustainability in Geography at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 09/08/16
August 29 “The Environment” ● Inclusive concept including all of our surroundings: ★ All the things around us with which we interact ★ Abiotic (nonlivingrocks, soil) and biotic (livingplants, animals, insects) ★ Dead plants and trees are still considered biotic ★ The natural world and the humanbuilt world ● Includes all conditions surrounding/affecting living beings: ★ Climate ★ Air/Water ★ Soil/Landforms ★ Other living organisms What is environmental science? ● The study of: 1. How the natural world works 2. How the environment and humans affect each other 3. How the different parts interact ● Most interdisciplinary of the natural/social sciences (meaning it pretty much overlaps with many different elements) ● Environmental Science is a total sciencemeaning it is holistic/very inclusive Examples of Environmental Science’s Interdisciplinary Aspect: ● Economics: Coal is the cheapest source of energy in a community. ● Geography: Where will the coal be mined from? ● Engineering/Geography: How will the coal be transported? Road? Rail? ● Chemistry: Pollution is created in the atmosphere as a result of coal use. ● Meteorology: Acid rain falls as a result of the pollution. ● Ecology: Structure of the ecosystem changes as a result of this acid rain. ● Politics: Laws are passed to prevent further pollution/acid rain. Global Environmentalism: ● Global Environmentalism explores issues and problems across the whole world, on a global scale Goal of Environmental Science: ● Establish general principles about how our natural world functions ● Use the principles to develop legitimate possible solutions to solve certain environmental problems; solutions are based on scientific information/knowledge as much as possible ● What constitutes problems varies between individuals/societies, place, time, etc. Environmental Science vs. Environmentalism: ● Environmental Science: ★ Scientists must try to be objective ★ Not a social movement ● Environmentalism/Environmentalists: ★ A social movement dedicated to protecting the Earth/Environment Radical Environmentalism: ● Groups using militant tactics, arrest, violence, etc. ★ Biocentrism (Earth’s life is the most important thing in the world) ★ Earth First!, Earth Liberation Front ● No compromise, in the name of Mother Earth ● Based on “Deep Ecology” ● Shunned by most environmental groups, but radicals are used as “foil,” in other words use radicalists to convince people to deal with regular environmental scientists rather than radicalists. Environmental Science: ● ...asks how the natural world works ● ...asks how our environment affects us ● ...asks how we affect our environment ● ...seeks to develop solutions to environmental issues ● ...seeks to inform on how we can prevent future environmental issues ● ...is a science, not an advocacy The “Three E’s” ● Environment ● Economics ● Social Equity August 31 Social Equity ● See slide 1 from blackboard for graphic What is social equity? ● All people need to be able to benefit equally from the resources we get from society and the environment ● All people should be treated with dignity and respect, and have equal opportunity for success ● Fairness in delivery of public services (schools, roads, etc.) ● “Do minority communities/people endure more environmental risk than the majority of people?” ● “Is race a determining factor in assessing exposure to environmental risk? Is this exposure deliberate?” ● Pollution: any substance that is in an environment that is degrading the quality of that environment. ● Precautionary Principle: use caution, and err on the side of not knowing, rather than using something and hoping for the best.