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GS101 Lecture Notes - The Population Bomb, James Lovelock, Thomas Robert Malthus

Global Studies
Course Code
Timothy Clark

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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
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
o The answers to such questions are hardwired into:
the way we talk about or "construct" our world,
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