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Lecture 10

English 2017 Lecture 10: Lecture 10 Notes

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Western University
English 2017
Nigel Joseph

Local to Global Inequalities Why should we study the environment Industrial production has a relationship with our environment and our lives, the power plant effects our environment Canada has always been a resource based nation Urban life, once you live in a city you’re not exposed to the life. The city is completely human made city The car has very strongly effected the environment we live in. Why study the environment 2 Our health is closely tied to environment, the rise in cancer rates is closely linked to environmental factors. Work and prosperity, what is more important, to create strong and stable economy with a lot of jobs to gain income to gain education, but massive industrial production has effects on the environment. Can we have this and good environment, or can we not have both, what is more important? Individual vs. Social responsibility, were all implicated, we all consume a tremendous amount of stuff that it costs to make, we all drive the pollutes, the more we do that the more were implicated in the decline in the environment around us The Commons We need to think about the environment a set of commons, commons refer to someone that no one owns but we all use, for example water, air, soil etc. Problem: We also abuse these commons, we pollute the air, we drive around the city and produce car emissions, we build new sub divisions and shopping centers and cut down agricultural forests etc. The Commons 2 Problem II: transaction between 2 parties that have a consequence on a un intended third party. Problems are created by a few and the consequences are for many. An example is that one company in Stratford pollutes, now all the residents in the town have the breath polluted air and drink contaminated water. -The costs of abuse on commons are not paid by the abuser, for example now since all the residents of Stratford are sick, the government pays for the health cost rise. Social Change and Environment attitudes Industrial capitalism until 1960/1970s Preoccupied with growth and production High levels of ‘unfiltered pollution’ Excessive use of pesticides 1970s/1980s onward Greater awareness of harmful effects of excessive growth Ozone depletion and climate change: early example of scientists and government working together to sole environmental crisis Sustainability concerns dominate today: global warming, species extinction, climate change, renewable energy etc. Social Movements Environmental concerns may have eclipsed other equity concerns Some sociological perspectives Risk Society (Beck,1992) Natural Vs. Manufactured risks: We need to dinstinguish between them, the world has alwaus had natural risks, like tornados, earth quakes, odd weather etc. Manufactured risks now more important than natural risks: What we see now is that a lot of natural risks are manufactured, by the way we live creates natural risks Risks affect us all (fallout from a nuclear accident doesn’t care if you’re in a mansion or in the slums): Although there is no class safe from a natural disaster, people with high amount of resources have better ways of ensuring and protecting themselves from risks. Although the risk might affect us all, our ability to manage the risk is different Some sociological perspectives 2 Future discounting Environmental decline, not tangible or immediately visible for most of us: Back of mind issue Focus shifts depending on economic conditions Framing Who represents environmental issues and how (e.g. in the media or politics) For a thousand years, during the non industrial life, the surface temperature was relatively stable Climate change: All scientific evidence says its real and serious Main cause: Global Warming Global Warming: Gradual worldwide increase in average surface temperature. - As temperatures rise, more water evaporates: - More evaporation causes more rainfall and bigger storms, which lead to more soil erosion, which in turn destroys cultivable land: - Warming melts ice, causing the sea level to rise, which increases the chance of flooding in heavily populated coastal regions: - Topic: The Environment and Globalization How did we get here? Human activity: Global industrialization, in lots of countries industrialization is new and the regulations are low Last 50 years have changed the ecosystems more than any other period 60% of the worlds regional ecosystems are degraded or used ot the point of unsustainable We draw resources from earth (oil, wind power, hydro power), and we put waste back into it (pollution, plastic in the ocean, etc.) Topic: The Environment and Globalization 2 As we use more resources, finding new ones is getting more difficult, Current economic activity = 133% earths capacity, this means was working beyond that we can The ease of global interaction (movement of goods, people, information) has made a massive difference in accelerating this trend: this is made worse by t
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