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Lecture 1

Environmental Science 1021F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Working Animal, Sequoia National Park, Infographic

Environmental Science
Course Code
Christie Stewart

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Environmental Philosophy and History
Interdisciplinary science, triple bottom line of environment,
Ecology: The study of the environment, from the greek origin “oikos” meaning house or
Precautionary Principle: Taking precaution about harming or degrading necessities, forward
Climate change is still an ongoing debate about whether there is actually something wrong, and
is the impact big enough.
Priorities and World views
-Important environmental issues are often determined and influenced by
1) prevailing social attitudes and dominant groups
people are likely to feel external pressures from social groups or political powers on what is a
common social attitude.
Hegemonic Power: a position held by a state or class when it so dominates its sphere of
operation that other states or classes are forced to comply with its wishes
Paradigm: pattern or model or concept of how something is viewed. Exist in all different
disciplines; shape culture, history, environment, politics, education;
Paradigm Shift: how a set of theories or hegemonic set of ideas gives way to another over
time. These shift all the time based on new knowledge/scientific information
-paradigm shifts occur when the current paradigm is challenged leading to alternative theories
that provide better explanation in light of the data.
intrinsic value: Something is said to have intrinsic value if it is good ‘in and of itself,'' i.e., not
merely as a means for acquiring something else.
Instrumental value: Having those assets is good only to the extent that you can use them to
get something else.
Worldviews: Two Basic Groups
1) Individual- centred or Atomistic
Human Centred (Anthropocentric)
>Dualism: Humans are separate from nature
>Hierarchy: Humans are above nature
>Utility: Nature as a resource for humans (instrumental value)
>Stewardship: Humans in charge of taking care of nature for our sake
Assumption: Economic growth is good and unlimited (assumption not the truth)
-Healthy environment depends on healthy economy
-technology can save us, the resources will never run out thanks to technology
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