SCI/256: Week 1 NOTES – Environmental Science and Environmentalism
Environmental Science is the study how humans interact with their environment. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary - brings together information from several physical, biological and social sciences. The main goal of environmental science is to solve environmental problems using science.
What is “Natural Environment”? –Environment is our natural surroundings consisting of living and nonliving things. The Earth is part of our environment, comprising 4 “Spheres” Biosphere (living things), Hydrosphere (water), ...view middle of the document...
Systems can be closed or open. Systems respond to inputs and have outputs. The responses are known as positive or negative feedback. System theory is about how components work together to produce results.
The Earth is a “living” system in which interacting parts or spheres are affected by the presence of life (biosphere). A change in one sphere often results in changes in others. The biosphere interacts and influences the Earths natural spheres. As a living system, the earth has been influenced by the presence of life. It is dynamic and self-regulating and can react like a living organism to maintain a critical balance.
Environmental Movement (Environmentalism)
Environmentalism is the movement to protect the quality and continuity of life Approaches to environmentalism include Conservation is the sensible and careful management of resources such as air, forests, water Preservation is setting aside resources or undisturbed areas and protecting them from human activities Protection is protecting the environment and human health.
History of Environmentalism;
Ancient Environmentalism: Concern for the environment probably began in the 1850s in the attempt to correct the “Frontier Attitude” of early settlers (reckless exploitation of resources and environmental damage) which developed into the need for conservation and later preservation of forests, wildlife and parks.
Modern Environmentalism: The environment did not become a big concern to most people until the 60’s after Rachel Carson published Silent Springs describing effect of toxic chemicals and the incidence of several major environmental events, such as oil spills along California coast, rivers in Ohio on fire, air pollution that killed people and publicized threats of different animal extinctions, the environment became popular topic with politicians and the American public leading to the holding of the first Earth Day in April 1970. The early days of modern environmentalism were dominated by confrontations between those labeled environmentalists and those labeled anti-environmentalists. Today, the situation has changed. And people around the world rank the environment among the most important social and political issues. Advances have also been made in the creation of legal frameworks for the management of the environment, thus providing a new basis for addressing environmental issues
Global Environmentalism - Most recent trends in environmentalism started in the 1990s. Common environment shared on a global scale with focus on international environmental issues of global climate change, sustainability, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, and trans-boundary pollution, green movement
The National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), of 1970 established the Environmental Protection Agency EPA) to protect our environment and require Environmental Impact Statements for all projects.
Environmental laws since the 70s helped improve the quality of our...