Rem 100 - notes october 19th.docx

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Resource & Environmtl Mgmt
REM 100
Neil Braganza

th October 19 2012 REM – 100 Notes Legacies of the great transformation Unprecedented wealth and material consumption was created however, the wealth is inequitably shared. A large increase in the human population occurred. Considerable modifications to the environment occurred. Considerable costs in terms of human health and pollution were encountered along that way – and many improvements resulted Western societies were also transformed with considerable improvements in human welfare; Western values became dominated by the idea that human welfare is inextricably linked to economic growth. ‘Cracks’ in the growth paradigm? .Growth dilemma (unlimited growth vs. biophysical limits) . Control dilemma (free markets vs. Government intervention) . Distribution dilemma (free trade vs. protectionism . Work roles (job creation vs. rising unemployment) The Easterlin paradox – higher levels of material consumption have not increased people’s perception of their happiness Growth of environmentalism In the 1960’s a new social movement arose in Western countries People became increasingly concerned about the state of environment because of, for example - Visible pollution of the atmosphere - Pollution of waterways - Devastation of bird populations by pesticides - Threatend extinction of the great whales The Earth as an ‘Entity’ J. Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis (1970s) “ …a complex entity involving the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil: the totality constituting a feedback system Dominant Social Paradigm The most widely held set of beliefs, values and ideals that guide thinking about society, governance, and the roles of individuals. A DSP may be defined as a society’s dominant belief structure that organizes the way people perceive and interpret the functioning of the world around them. The SDP includes the totality of our institutions The dominant social paradigm for western societies includes democracy, acceptance of regulated capitalism, individualism, economic growth, the notion of progress, and faith in science and technology. Elements of social change Society’s institutions depend on a ‘sufficient consensus’ that the values, norms and roles are valid A society has a problem when it perceives that it departs from the values and beliefs embodied in its institutions Paradigm Shift Occurs when a society changes one or more of its institutions Examples : Abolition of slavery Equal rights for women Acceptance of divorce Abrupt wholesale paradigm shifts occasionally take the form of revolutions with violent social upheaval Societies are learning to avoid these by accepting gradual social change through evolution in their institutions (arguable) This means that modern societies adapt slowly to changing circumstances – substantial change usually requires generational time scales, i.e. 20 – 100 years Time scales for social change The environment movement began in the 1960’s We have made a lot of progress – but not all the problems have bee
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