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Lecture 2

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Lecture TwoSeptember 9 2011How We Define Environment Need to think carefully about how we define it for many reasonsHas legal implications if you do or dont include something in the way you define the environmentThe definition provides legal foundation o Eg Ontario law has definition that is a page long great detailsAnything you emit into your surroundingsSmellsRoads etcHelps us determines policyo All things that govern how we live and how we carry out our business o Eg if environment definition doesnt include people cultures or social factors then we can go ahead and build a dam and not worry about surrounding settlements and villages that you are flooding because they are not included in the environment definitiono If we are more inclusive in the way we define environment helps us establish policies of what we can or cannot doInfluences the nature of the humanenvironment relationship o If environment is seen as all the stuff around us we remove ourselves form the relationshipo We are not fundamentally implicated in the relationship unless we include ourselves o To have a relationship you need parties interacting o Only seeing environment as stuff out there takes away responsibility from us in this relationshipo In different religious traditions environment is seen as something that has to be dominated rather than viewing it as a two way relationship of the environment supporting us and us having an impact on itThe way environment is viewed in these religious traditions influences the whole way we view this relationship o Eg First European settlers in North America saw the continent as one that had to be conqueredClear the land and plant and create settlements etcSpent first 100 or so years doing this Had different perspective of the environment than we do nowDefined in in terms of how the environment supported themo But now we are headed towards a more inclusive and reciprocal type of definition where we recognize that we depend on the environment and that our actions influence it o Negative consequences on the environment can turn around and negatively affect us What the Environment Encompasses Our environment is more than just our surroundingsMust also know how do we as individuals define environment thoughtful response in our own words
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