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Lecture

Role of Science P1


Department
School of Environment
Course Code
ENV222H1
Professor
Mairi Mac Donald

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Thursday, February 10, 2011
Prof. MacDonald
ENV222H1S
The role of science
Renewable technology (nuclear)
it is a reliable source of electricity unlike the intermmitent solar and wind
McGuinty government: has shifted from coal (due to air pollution) to conservation and
renewables, but we have kept nuclear
counterargument
there are fossil fuels that are relible; there is still the question of nuclear waste
safety of the plants (accidents as Cherynobil - it is safer than coal)
fears of terrorist attacks: facilities are large so probability is very rare but very significant
Complex technological systems being more susceptible to attacks; eco approach: small is
beautiful
tied to nuclear proliferation: there is a very likely way that it could be bombed
prof: no nuclear is not viable
prof: irreversability and technological development
there is a real advantage to get started on new technologies, and once they are
known you cannotput it back in the box”
it is hard to imagine any knowledge on new technologies be kept secret. We have
to live with these technologies
we need to be more careful w/our intro of new techs b/c once they are here theyre
here for good
how much do we go for the technological solution and how much do we go for the behavioural
change solution? (class comment)
difficulty of making transitions: it has always been in layers of change. Inevitably we will layer
renewables. Also there are basic problems of changing the infrastructures to implement these
technologies
The role of science today
Globe and Mail:Ottawa mixes rules
a law was introduced to increase the export of GMO crops
it is reliant on the technology
some EU and African countries are reluctant to accept
the story explains the politics behind it
at the end, the agricultural minister is there to defend the economic interests of farmers
it is critical that our system remains based firmly in science not politics what we want is
this mix, but it is very difficult to get this mix
www.notesolution.com
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