ENV200MidtermStudyPackag - l Lecture Notes Jan 6 Michael Ansell What do we mean by global environmental change In a nutshell concerns that are

ENV200MidtermStudyPackag - l Lecture Notes Jan 6 Michael...

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l Lecture Notes Jan 6 Michael Ansell: What do we mean by global environmental change? In a nutshell: concerns that are precipitated by anthropogenic activities changes caused by humankind changes and rates of changes are causing this concern + ultimately it is the impact of humankind on the earth We affect: climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, loss of species diversity, resource overexploitation and large scale global problems Studying from scientific perspective rt how science understands these problems what methods do the scientists u nfn se? Themes: Intro to science and environmental science Population and sustainability Earth systems sciences: earth composition; biogeochemical cycles; atmosphere; ozone depletion; climate change Life sciences; ecosystems; evolution; natural selection; biodiversity; conservation biology Systems: agriculture; forests; freshwater; Objectives Understanding/appreciating how sciences helps us understand our world and can assist in refining a life-long environmental ethic Recognition of people as part of ecosystems, i.e. while our intellect may differentiate us from other species, at a basic level we need water, food, air – just as all other species do. Ability to think critically to evaluate sources of information for scientific credibility to enable students to assess the degree of future environmental perturbations Jan 8: Tas Fraser Starting Position · Action on environmental issues must begin with an examination of relevant scientific information · Vital to ensure recognition and scope of a problem · Promotes critical thinking which involves questioning and synthesizing information to achieve better understanding Recent Scientific Debates · Evolution vs. intelligent design · Climate change
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· Recent progress has been stalled by climate deniers · Many American public accept the denier’s allegations as true or at least are confused by them. · Result: do not know what to think or who to trust, stalls process · Science has been effectively undermined, which has eroded public support for the action needed to avoid the worst effects of global warming Links to: In nature, Brian Owens reports & Foreign scientists, silencing scientists, CBC fifth estate episode: silence of the labs. · What is important is scale of assault on knowledge…(+other quotes) Science as a way of Knowing · Science is a way to understand the world and It uses an explicit approach to that understanding · Science seeks to explain HOW things work invoking only natural causes · Study of natural phenomenon vs. human constructs What is Science? · Does not deal with things that do not have the potential to be tested by observations i.e. is it possible to disprove? · Way of knowing · Process of discovery · Essence is change in ideas · Increasingly better approximations about how the world works Scientific Assumptions · World is knowable · Universal patterns · Inductive reasoning: specifics--> general · Change in knowledge is inevitable ·
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