Tues September 11 th
- 4 Tutorials
-1 Tut week is September 25 th
Thurs September 13 th
There are some scientific assumptions
- World is knowable
- There are universal patterns
- Inductive reasoning: specifics -> general
- Change in knowledge is inevitable
- If generalizations cannot be tested, then not a scientific statement
- Science can never provide absolute proof
- BUT can provide increasingly accurate approximations
Ideas are modified.
- Universe revolves around earth -> Heliocentric -> Circular Orbit -> Elliptical
-> Eccentric variation
+In everyday usage
- A guess, hypothesis, prediction, notion, belief
- A grand scheme that relates and explains many observations supported
by great deal of evidence (eg Evolution)
What is ENVIRONMENTAL Science?
- Environment – circumstances and conditions that surround an organism
or groups of organisms
- Science – derived from knowing in Latin, process for producing
- Study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us,
and how we are affecting it.
- Can never provide absolute truth, which is an issue for policy makers
who say they require 100% to change policy.
- Dealing with complex phenomena
- Uncertainties are inherent in data
Action on environmental issues must begin with examination of relevant
scientific info. - Vital to ensure recognition of a problem
- Promotes critical thinking, which involves questioning and synethizing
information to achieve better understanding.
Tues 18 th
- For tut next week, half page response to the Orr readings.
- Different worldviews can study the same situation, review identical data
but draw different conclusions.
- Influenced by religion, spiritual beliefs, shared experiences, culture,
political ideology, economic factors.
-Branch of Philosphy that involves the study of good and bad, right and wrong.
-How ought we to behave?
- Set of moral principles or values held by an individual or society.
-Relativists: ethics vary with social context
- Universalists: there exist some fundamental, objective notions of right and
wrong, good and bad.
-Criteria to help differentiate right from wrong
- Kant’s categorical imperitive
- Application of ethical standards to relationships between humans and
-Concern once people perceive environmental changes brought about by
+obligations to future generations (sustainable development)
+ disproportionate share of pollution
+Human justification for driving species to extinction
Ethical Consideration to whom?
Evolution of Enviro Ethics
- Academic discipline arising in 1970’s
- Ancient aboriginal oral traditions – env as source of sacred teachings
- Jain Dharma - compassion for all life
- Plato “The land is our ancestral home and we must cherish it even more
than children cherish their mother” Conservation and Preservation
- conservation ethic: humans should put natural resources to use but we have a
responsibility to manage them wisely (Gifford Phinchot, Clifford Sifton)
- preservation ethic: should protect the natural environment in a pristine,
September 20 – Basic Enviro Economics
1. How much environmental protection is enough?
- Most env protection costs money or lifestyle or both.
- People have limited willingness to pay
- Inevitably p