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ENSC 203- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 46 pages long!)


Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENSC 203
Professor
Allison Goebel
Study Guide
Midterm

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Queen's
ENSC 203
Midterm EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Week 1 Lecture
Lecture 1
ENSC 103: Environment and Sustainability
Instructors: Dr. Allison Goebel & Dr. R. Stephen Brown
What is Eiroetal “tudies?
An interdisciplinary field that attempts to understand and to solve the problems caused by the
interactions of natural systems and cultural systems
Includes human values and culture (social, political, economic dimensions)
Notes
Emphasis in marking will be on quality of discussion not the position taken
Answers must use info from class, texts, readings, or other sources to clearly explain ideas
A position or argument must be backed up with facts and related info to be valid or persuasive
Example question: Write a short paragraph explain whether drinking water as a human right
should be free
Good Answer: No, many critical resources that are human rights, including food, education, and
health care, are delivered through market or for-profit systems, or a mixture of public and private
systes. I the readig Water Issues y Zheder, they etio that because water is a human
right there should be 30-50 L per person guaranteed at a low cost, but they recommend a low fee to
encourage conversation and pay for treatment.
Good Aser: Yes, Water is ot just a eessity, i leture Prof. Goeel said it’s usustitutale,
hih akes proidig ater ore ritial tha other hua rights. I the readig, “ellig Out
Nature, MCauley says that puttig a prie o ater is a ad idea eause
Bad Aser: Eeryoe eeds ater, so it should e free. That’s y opinion and I feel very strongly
about it...
Sustainability
Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their needs
Sustainability is interdisciplinary, consider various perspectives and impact of decisions
Includes inter-generational effects and time-scales
Emerging as dominant framework for assessing actions in response to environmental issues
Positive Feedback
In climate change, a feedback loop is the equivalent of a vicious or virtuous circle something that
accelerates or decelerates a warming trend. A positive feedback accelerates a temperature rise,
whereas a negative feedback decelerates it
Non-linear Effects
Anthropocentric (and anthropogenic)
regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as
opposed to God or animals.
Ecocentric
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a philosophy or perspective that places intrinsic value on all living organisms and their natural
environment, regardless of their perceived usefulness or importance to human beings
Deep Ecology
Is an ecological and environmental philosophy promoting the inherent worth of non-human living
beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, plus a radical restructuring of
modern human societies in accordance with such ideas
Stakeholder
Framework
Precautionary Principle
Is a strategy to cope with possible risks where scientific understanding is yet incomplete, such as the
risks of nano technology, genetically modified organisms and systemic insecticides
Tipping point
The tipping point is the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible
development.
Greening
The process of taking a greater interest in environmental issues and acting to protect the
environment
Green Washing
Whe a opay or orgaizatio speds ore tie ad oey laiig to e green through
advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize
environmental impact.
Lecture 2
The Scientific Paradigm
Paradigms can define what scientists "know"
A Theory providing a unifying explanation for a set of phenomena in some field, which serves
to suggest methods to test the theory and develop a fuller understanding of the topic, and
which is considered useful until it is replaced by a newer theory providing more accurate
explanations or explanations for a wider range of phenomena
Epistemology: the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with
reference to its limits and validity
Thomas Kuhn (1962)- a scientific paradigm can be defined as:
o What is to be observed and scrutinized
o The kind of questions that are supposed to be asked and probed for answers in relation
to this subject
o How these questions are to be put
o How the results of scientific investigations should be interpreted
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