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Environmental Studies
Eric Crighton

ENV1101 January 14 , 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism and Decision Making Environmentalism…different than environmental science - taking ideas and pushing an agenda to try and make changes Environmental Past  Ancient civilizations keenly interested in how environmental processes affect human well-being (and vice versa)  Example: What influences seasonal flow levels in the Nile? (Practicing agriculture for 5k years, use earth& banks – small channel with a gate – around their fields they would build earth walls. The process is sustainable. Doesn’t lead to salinization.  Example: How to protect soil from wind erosion in China? Dry-land interior – population pressures leading to advancement of these deserts. For many years the environment has been maintained in a sustainable way, but we are seeing changes. Humans Separate from Nature th  Enlightenment 16 Century  Europe – “Science” began to emerge as a discipline distinct from religious theory  Ex: Galileo (Astronomy) , Descartes (methodology), Newton (calculus, physics) Humans as Part of Nature  Science breaks from creationism in the 19 Century • Ex: Lamarck, Darwin, Agassiz…Humans evolved from non-human ancestors • Ex: Malthus: Human population numbers governed by food supply Environmental Determinism  Human activities are dictated by the environment  Reaches apogee in early 20 century when some geographers argue that racial stereotypes are manifestations of environmental conditions (Semple, Huntington)  Racist norms of superiority (some races are superior, others inferior- Hitler used this) completely absurd ENV1101 January 14 , 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism and Decision Making  Equatorial Paradox – 70% of countries economic conditions are predicted by how far they are from the equator North American Environmental Thought  The Canon: Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson  Noteworthy Canadians: Grey Owl, Gordon Hewitt  Terms: Preservation and Conservation North American Environmentalism  1800s: Preservation ethic: the idea that nature is a direct manifestation of the divine (represents the divine, God created nature, we need to preserve what God created, being close to nature = being closer to God)  Rapid European settlement of North American interior under way  Preservation ethic was very much against large-scale deforestation, extermination of bison, removal of native peoples from land  Can areas be set aside where no development occurs? Preservation ethic  Origins of Wilderness Society, Sierra Club – came out of the preservation ethic: protecting nature/what God has created Preservation: Walden  Henry David Thoreau o Harvard Graduate o Decided to live alone 1845-1847 on shores of Walden Pond, MA o Walden – described his experience/philosophy, which was contrary to the mentality o “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, Get rest of slide John Muir (1838-1914) ENV1101 January 14 , 2014 Ethics, Environmentalism and Decision Making  Lived & travelled in Ontaro along Lake Huron in 1860s  In 1868- quit his job in Indiana and walked to Florida (1000 mles)  Moved to Yosemite, conducted environmental science, push for created  *get rest of slides Emergence of Conservation  By the end of the 19 Century, European settlement of North America is complete  Parks movement emerges, (Yellowstone 1982, Algonquin 1893)  First forest conservation conferences organized  Laurier (Clifford Sifton) & Roosevelt make conversation a policy issue  Nature – not so much the di
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