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SCIE 1P50 (8)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Class #2

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Caroline Starrs

Class #2▯ Science & Society▯ September. 12, 2011 THE ENVIRONMENT We Depend on our Environment - 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 ultraviolet radiation - 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 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 - Goals - 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: - Economics - Ethics - Ecology - Biology - Chemistry - Atmosphere Science - Oceanography - Geology - Archaeology - Anthropology - Sociology - History - Political Science - Engineering - 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? Ecology - 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 of organisms - Natural Resources = substances and energy sources needed for survival - Renewable resources - perpetually available sources - Sunlight - Wind Energy - Wave Energy - Geothermal Energy - Renewable over short periods - Agriculture crops - Fresh water - Forest products - Soils - Nonrenewable natural resources - finite supply; can be depleted - Crude oil - Natural gas - Coal - Copper, aluminum, and other metals Population & Resources - Economic growth tied to
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