Class #2▯ Science & Society▯ September. 12, 2011
We Depend on our Environment
- Absorbs our wastes
- Provides climate stability - provides us the climate we live in
- Without our environment we would be fried to death - Protects us from
- We tend to think of the Environment as a collection of commodities we obtain from
around the world
- But the Environment is the very source of our lives and well being
- Environment is the source of practically everything
- Environment gives us absolutely everything to keep our lifestyle which produces a lot
of waste which we feed back to the environment
- All the things around us with which we interact:
- Biotic (living things)
- Animals, plants, forests, soils, etc.
- Abiotic (nonliving things)
- Continents, oceans, clouds, icecaps
- Our built environment
- Structures, human-created living centers
- Social relationships and institutions
What is Environmental Science?
- Interdisciplinary - a very diverse science
- Broad Field
- Establish general principles about how the natural world functions
- How are things working?
- How should they work?
- Identifying, understanding, and solving problems
Environmental Science is Interdisciplinary
- What experts would you need for:
- Atmosphere Science
- Oceanography - Geology
- Political Science
- The proposed draining of a wetland to build a new subdivision?
- A proposal to permit bear hunting in a national park?
- Check population
- Check sickness among the animal
- The management of a large oil spill offshore from a pristine beach?
- Comes from Ernest Haekel 1869
- Classiﬁed thousands of different species and named them
- Study of inter-relationships among organisms and their environment
- Derived from the Greek “oikos” = “home” hence Ecology is the study of the home-life
- Natural Resources = substances and energy sources needed for survival
- Renewable resources - perpetually available sources
- Wind Energy
- Wave Energy
- Geothermal Energy
- Renewable over short periods
- Agriculture crops
- Fresh water
- Forest products
- Nonrenewable natural resources - ﬁnite supply; can be depleted
- Crude oil
- Natural gas
- Copper, aluminum, and other metals
Population & Resources
- Economic growth tied to