Intro to Environmental Science and Environmental Ethics
Intro to Environmental Science and Environmental Ethics ENVS 170
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by zoebitsie Notetaker on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVS 170 at University of Arizona taught by Monica Ramirez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Intro Environmental Science in Science at University of Arizona.
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Date Created: 09/23/16
Intro to Environmental Science and Environmental Ethics Environment o Entirety of our surroundings, everything that we interact with o Living/non-living things o Physical environment o Society Humans and Our Environment o We are only as healthy as the planet around us o Nature is currently being threatened with pollution, deforestation, species endangerment, erosion o EnviSci is the study of how our planet functions and how we interact with it Natural Resources o Substances/energy sources essential to human survival o Renewable resources: constantly renewing themselves o Sunlight o Wind energy o Wave energy o Geothermal energy o Non-renewable resources: can be depleted o Oil o Natural gas o Coal o Metals (copper, aluminum, etc.) Human Population o Current global population consists of almost 7 billion people o Climbing population due to agricultural and industrial revolution o Thomas Malthus: population needs to be contained or we will use up all of our resources, will lead to destruction of humanity o Neo-Malthusians: increasing population is bad for the planet o Tragedy of the Commons (Garret Hardin): people will simply continue to consume as many resources as they can until they are all gone because they are not limited in any way o This could be solved with: private ownership or regulations set in place by the government Ecological Footprint o Environmental impact of an individual person or an entire population o Using 30% more resources than are available on a sustainable basis Environmental Science o Studies relationship between humans and environment so that we can learn from our mistakes and develop solutions to problems that are impacting our planet o Natural science AND social science o Different from environmentalism which is a social movement that is dedicated to protecting the natural world (environmental activism rather than environmental study) Ethics o Ethics: study of good v. bad, right v. wrong o “The set of moral principles or values held by a person or society that tells us how we ought to behave” o Relativists: ethics vary with social context o Universalists: right/wrong remain the same across all cultures and situations o Ethical standards: criteria that assists in differentiating right from wrong, good from bad o Utility: something right produces the most benefit for the most people Environmental Ethics o Environmental ethics: application of ethical standards to the relationships between humans and their environment o Anthropocentrism: the perspective that only humans have rights o Anything that does not benefit people does not have value o Biocentrism: the perspective that all life has ethical standing o Development is opposed in any situation that would destroy life o Ecocentrism: the perspective that entire ecological systems have value o Values the well-being of species/communities/ecosystems Preservation Ethic o Nature should be protected for its own inherent value o Nature promotes human happiness and fulfillment in its best state o Supported by John Muir Conservation Ethic o Natural resources should be used wisely in a way that will benefit the most people in the best way (utilitarian perspective) o Calls for sustainable resources to be extracted and used efficiently and with care o Supported by Gifford Pinchot Land Ethic o All parts of an ecological system must be protected in order for it to be healthy o Encourages people to treat nature as an equal counterpart o Supported by Aldo Leopold Ecofeminism o 1960s-1970s o People treat nature similarly to how men treat women o Degradation, social oppression o “A patriarchal society is a root cause of both social and environmental problems” Environmental Justice o ALL people should be able to live in healthy environments o Poor/minorities are more commonly exposed to polluted and hazardous environments