SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Unintended Consequences, Ss Atlantic Conveyor, Hurricane Sandy

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Sociology
Course
SOCA02H3
Professor
SOCA02 Week 12 April 4, 2013
Environment
Worldwide Insured Damage
- People have moved more and more into dangerous zones
o Hurricane Zones
- Inflation (Money)
Food in Developing Countries
- Not many cropland areas left, however, production has been able to go up
o Green revolution (The ban of pesticides)
So far... (So good?)
- Julian Simon vs. Paul Ehrlich
o Wager on the price of 5 commodities
o The prices of all 5 commodities have gone down
- Chaotic Phenomenon
Sorting Out the Results
- Spaceship metaphor (Come from missiles from outer space)
o Threats from local to global
Coal burning in London (Heavily polluted)
30 km out of London, you were fine
However, now it is global (Polar bears foods are polluted)
o Planet is finite (Limited amount of resources)
o Interdependence (We are interdependence on each other, loss of forest from acid rain)
- Nature’s Veto
o Gaia hypothesis
The planet is really a whole life system and life system is balanced and if
changed dramatically, it will become chaotic and it will threaten us (Living
system between us, planets and animals)
Ex. Oxygen in atmosphere 23%; if it was 25-26% we’d be screwed
because of fires (Ex. Forest Fires)
If it goes a bit lower, we won’t be able to breathe unless we have an
oxygen tank…
Nature may wipe us out because of out pollution and etc.
For each of us there may be 10 000 kilograms of termites, but we need them as
they eat up things in the forest and without them we clog on ourselves
(decomposition). We don’t want them in our house (wood). If there is a nuclear
war, termites and ants will survive as they are able to reproduce and mutate
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o Rivet Metaphor
Holds the top and bottom of a wing,
Planes are well engineered and the safest type of transportation (Commercial
airlines in the West)
2nd rivet, okay. 3rd rivet slight vibration, X rivet The plan won’t be fly worthy
We may be living in a rivet system but if we bust the critical rivet, there may be
implications
Rivet Examples
- Ozone Hole
o Critical
- Climate Change
- Atlantic Conveyor Belt
o Works as a belt moving water from north to south, south to north
o If it shuts down or changes, it would change our whether and we would not know what
it would become
- And…
o British Medical Journal, suggesting decline of human sperm count, created a panic when
it was introduces
o It was blamed in Tupperware at first, now it turns out it is possibly just wrong
(advancement in technology)
Sociology and the Environment
- Ignore it
o Theories of geographic determinism (Northern people doing better than southern
people)
- Human Exceptionalism: The view that humans can overcome all natural challenges
o Above Nature
Akin to Gods (A bit strong)
Even if climate change turns out to be real, we can overcome it and
solve the problem. (We did solve the Ozone problem)
- Deal with climate change…
o We have air condition, swimming pools. If it gets hotter, we can turn the air condition
up
o If extreme predictions are true, it would affect forest fires, drought, plants, animals and
etc.
Ecology
- Everything is interconnected
o “Cannot do one thing”
o Unintended consequences
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Document Summary

Soca02 week 12 april 4, 2013. People have moved more and more into dangerous zones: hurricane zones. Not many cropland areas left, however, production has been able to go up: green revolution (the ban of pesticides) Julian simon vs. paul ehrlich: wager on the price of 5 commodities, the prices of all 5 commodities have gone down. Spaceship metaphor (come from missiles from outer space: threats from local to global. 30 km out of london, you were fine. However, now it is global (polar bears foods are polluted: planet is finite (limited amount of resources) Interdependence (we are interdependence on each other, loss of forest from acid rain) The planet is really a whole life system and life system is balanced and if changed dramatically, it will become chaotic and it will threaten us (living system between us, planets and animals) Oxygen in atmosphere 23%; if it was 25-26% we"d be screwed because of fires (ex.

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