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The Environment

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University of Toronto St. George

The Environment November 16 technology & the environment intertwined - nuclear bombs over japan (hiroshima), 200,000 killed - provides divide in periods - naive optimism (before bomb) - technology could do no bad - after hiroshima people began to question advances in technology - before people revered science and scientists - oppehheimer created nuclear bomb - even he feared its power - disasters due to technology made people fear the power of tech - ie gas leak at pesticide plant in india, chernobyl, exxon crude oil leak technology - application of scientific principles to the improvement of human life normal accident - recognizes that the very complexity of modern tech ensures they will inevitable fail though in unpredictable way (charles perow) - computer freezes, etc risk society - society in which tech distributes danger and advantage among all social groups. some categories more exposed than others (ulrich beck) - mounting environmental threats - global warming, greehouse effect, endangered species new environment created need for new fuels - gasoline, natural gases - burning them releases carbon dioxide - allows heat to be trapped in atmosphere - concentration of co2 in air very related to temperature of earth - temp increased sharply in past 20-30 years due to industrialization - warmer temps leads to more water evaporation, harsher storms, more flooding, more erosion - oceans rise due to warmer water expanding and polar caps melting - small rise in oceans would result in .5% of US and 12% of egypt to flood
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