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Global Ecology.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Global Studies
Timothy Clark

Global Ecology James Lovelock  Gaia (book) - said Earth is a living organism  revenge of gaia (book) - organism striking back Welcome to the Anthropocene  Anthropocene is the idea that Earth's geological history of the Earth has been altered by humanity  Measured by large changes Coming to terms with Ecology  Natural limits and overpopulation o Garret Hardin: the Tragedy of the Commons  finite resources and infinite growth  can't have infinite growth based on finite resources  Human nature and the commons, a cautionary tale  Freedom to breed - children put extra demand on the global system o Paul Ehrlich: The Population Bomb:  The Neo-Malthusian Thesis and the spectre of overpopulation  Thomas Malthus said the populations grow exponentially while food supply does not o How should we measure population by numbers or by resources use intensity  problem is they consider population as if all humans were the same  should measure by consumption, not amount of people  Anthropocentrism vs. biocentrism o Anthropocentrism (human centered) - as humans we only have responsible for other humans o Biocentrism = should preserve enivronment/animals because they provide farm benefits  Does the world and its biota have value beyond human purposes? o To what field of beings and things do we attach our ethical judgements? o How do we exclude "others" (both human and non-human) from our ethical consideration? o The answers to such questions are hardwired into:  the way we talk about or "construct" our world,  the way we place value on elements of our world,  the way we conceive "community" What are natural resources?  Athabasca oil sands  Strip Mining: total ecosystem destruction o strip away the entire earth where the oil sands are located  Natural resources become more valuable to us based on their usefulness Towards a Biocentric World View  Is the environment something "out there" that we simply interact with as we seek the material basis (livelihood)  What if we consider human life to be no more special or privileged than the lives of other living (and non-living?) entities?  What if we conceive of "community" in terms of the networks of material flows that make the distinction between "in here" and "out there" blurry and fluid? National Citizenship vs. Ecological Citizenship  National citizenship is have rights/responsibilities to things within your national boundary  Ecological Citizenship is where we start breaking down the ethical boundaries  Addressing joined-up problems in a fragmented world  Constituting citizen rights and obligations: political allegiance or mate
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