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SOCA02 - Week 12 - April 4, 2013.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

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 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. 3 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  DDT in Borneo  DDT (Insecticide), Boreno; it didn’t affect caterpillars. Caterpillars ate thatched roofs. Wasps killed the caterpillars but DDT killed wasps.  Flies had decimated. Lizards ate flies and they died. Cats ate lizards and then they also died. Cats killed/ate rats but with Cats gone, Rat population increased. People were then worried about plague because of so many rats  Deer would go into people’s back yards to eat people’s plants. We had killed the wolves that would kill/eat the deers Garret Harding - The tragedy of the commons o Global commons  The ocean, over fishing (COD fish)  Pollution  Air/Atmosphere  Climate change or pollution  Antarctica  We have agreed to not develop it; but apparently there is a lot of wealth there o Limited carrying capacity  Sheep herders
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