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Multi. Enviro.docx

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School of Environment
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Karen Ing

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ENV221H1F Karen Ing 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 Orbit -> Eccentric variation Theory +In everyday usage - A guess, hypothesis, prediction, notion, belief +In science - 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 knowledge - Study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us, and how we are affecting it. Challenges - 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. Worldview - 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. Ethics -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 - Utilitarianism Environmental Ethics - Application of ethical standards to relationships between humans and nonhuman entities -Concern once people perceive environmental changes brought about by industrialization - Examples: +obligations to future generations (sustainable development) + disproportionate share of pollution +Human justification for driving species to extinction Ethical Consideration to whom? - Anthropocentrism - Biocentrism - Ecocentrism 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, unaltered state 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
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