EESA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Homo Naledi, Doubling Time, Fertile Crescent

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Published on 6 Dec 2015
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EESA01 – Lecture 2
What is environmental science?
-It is the discipline which combines many different fields of study into one in
order to increase our understanding of our environment and surroundings
-Many fields are included such as:
i. Economics
ii. Engineering
iii. History
iv. Chemistry
v. Biology
vi. Ecology
vii. Ethics
…and many more
Environmental Scientists and Environmentalists
-These 2 types of people are not the same
-The basis of science is to NOT approach a problem with a biased view
-Many environmentalists are not objective with their views, i.e. they are biased
-This does not mean that the 2 groups are mutually exclusive, just that they are
not the same
Different philosophies on our future
-There are 2 main philosophies concerning our environmental future
1. Cornucopia (literally horn of plent): view the future more positively
They assume that human ingenuity will see us through crisis when the time
arises
2. Cassandra (mythical princess that predicted disasters): view the future
more negatively
Believe that our environmental impact is past the tipping point
-Bigger, more advanced countries tend to have a larger ecological footprint
-The global ecological footprint is now estimated to be 40% greater than what
the Earth can sustain
The IPATS model
-1974: Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren
-The model measures the Total impact (I) on the environment as a result of the
interactions between Population (P), Affluence (A), Technology (T), and
Sensitivity (S)
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