(15) Envirionment - M Spencer Ecology study of the...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 5/8/09 Environment M Spencer
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Ecology – study of the interaction of living organisms and the natural environment Natural environment – Earth’s surface and atmosphere, including living organisms, air, water and other resources necessary to sustain life Humans (alone) take deliberate action to remake the world according to our own interests and desires – for better and worse l What does the environment have to do with sociology?? Environmental problems do not arise from the natural world operating on its own
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The Global Dimension l The planet is a single ecosystem – regardless of political divisions like countries/ states/ cities Ecosystem – system composed of the interaction of all living organisms and their natural environment Greek meaning of “eco” – house l Earth is our home and a change in any one part sends ripples through the rest US huge demand for beef P expand in ranching in Brazil, Costa Rica and Latin America & cattle feed on grass ± uses lots of land » cut down thousands of square miles of forest each year which are vital to maintaining Earth’s atmosphere
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Technology and the Environmental Defici l I = PAT I = environmental impact P = society’s population A = level of affluence T = level of technology l Hunter/ gatherers - hardly any impact (simple technology) Nature affects them harshly (floods, fires, droughts) l Horticulture/ pastoral – more impact, but still limited due to use of muscle power
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Technology and the Environmental Defici l Industrialization – can control the natural environment l Machinery burns fossil fuels – two effects on environment 1. Consume natural resources 2. Release pollutants into atmosphere l Bend nature to our will Tunnel through mountains, dam rivers, irrigate deserts, drill for oil l Ppl in rich nations (18% of population) use 80% of world’s energy
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Technology and the Environmental Defici l Impact goes beyond energy consumption Industrial ppl produce 100 times more foods than ppl in agrarian societies Higher standard of living increases problems of solid waste (throw away much of what we use) and pollution (industry generates smoke and other toxic substances) l We are running up an environmental deficit Profound long term harm to the natural
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5/8/09 Culture, Growth and Limits
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The Logic of Growth l 3 core US values: Material Comfort –money and the things it
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course SOCI 102 taught by Professor Spencer during the Spring '08 term at Bridgewater State University.

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(15) Envirionment - M Spencer Ecology study of the...

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