Final examination format
- 2 hours
- 80 multiple-choice questions (35% from lectures, 65% from readings)
- 4 out of 6 short-answer questions – about one paragraph length, every other line
(both lectures and readings)
Society and the environment
- Industrialization (including industrialization of agriculture), population growth, and
consumption habits/levels of populations influence environmental quality.
- Canadians consumer 1.24 times more energy per capita than Americans, 2.88
times more than EU residents, 7.6 times more than Chinese, 27.87 times more
- Causes: more single-person households, large and increasing size of dwellings
(10% larger than in the 1990s), multiplication of small appliances, lack of public
transit, increasing number of SUVs and minivans (40% vehicle sales), energy-
intensive extractive economy, lack of energy conservation.
- Subject matter: “socio-environmental dialectic,” aspects of societies that have
environmental impact; assessment of social projects necessary to improve
- Environment is considered both as a physical and socio-cultural (symbolic)
- Problematizes the concept of progress, by calling attention to environmental
damage caused by economic growth.
- Ironically, environmental activism is enabled by a long period of economic
prosperity in developed countries, which gave rise to post-materialism among
the middle class.
- Bruntland Commission. 1987. “Development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
1. Perseveration of non-renewable resources (environmental scarcity) and
2. Preservation of environmental quality.
- Improvements in the economic conditions in undeveloped countries are
needed to avoid ecological disaster.
- It includes some level of equality and social justice.
- Critique: it still advocates development. May be unrealistic.
1 1972. The Limits to Growth
- Modeling of unchecked economic and population growth with finite resources
(cf. Warriner). Environmental collapse by the mid- or late 21 c. unless action is
taken. Technological and social solutions to problems.
- 1974. Mankind at the Turning Point: a more optimistic prognosis: many of the
factors are within human control, therefore environmental and economic