Chapter 1: Environmental Literacy: On the Road to Collapse What lessons can we learn from a vanished Viking society? EnvironmentalScience- An interdisciplinary field of research that draws on natural and social sciences and the humanities in order to understand the natural world and our relationship to it. Environmentalism- concern about and action aimed at protecting the environment Ecology- branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings Sustainability- A method of using resources in such a way that we can continue to use them indefinitely. Sustainable ecosystem - A capacity of ecosystems to maintain their essential functions and processes, and retain their biodiversity in full measure over the long-term. Renewable energy- Energy that comes from an infinitely available or easily replenishable source Carrying capacity2. After 450 years of prosperity the Vikings disappeared from Greenland, leaving their story for archeologists only in trash heaps. Why? 3. According to Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse” he identified five factors that led to their demise, and as he argues in his book, the demise of all societies. Which are the five factors and how did they apply to the Vikings? 4. What evidence did scientists use in Greenland to study atmospheric conditions? What were the mad core samples used for?