ENV221-Lecture 3 - ENV221, Fall Semester 2010 Sept. 23rd...

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ENV221, Fall Semester 2010 Sept. 23 rd Lecture #3: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 1. What is environmental science? Environment = circumstances and conditions that surround an organism or group of organisms Science = derived for “knowing” in Latin, process for producing knowledge Environmental Science = study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us, and how we affect our environment. It may not be a pure science but it is much broader 2. Environmental science as an interdisciplinary pursuit 3. Central questions of environmental science What is our proper place in nature? What ought we to do? What can we do to protect the irreplaceable habitat that produced and supported us? 4. Challenges of environmental science It can never provide absolute truth, but it can provide increasingly better approximations Change in knowledge is inevitable as new information is gathered It deals with complex phenomena Uncertainties are inherent in data Direct experimentation is not always possible as it looks at a much larger system and at how we impact on each other It operates within the complex web of society 5. Conclusion Action on environmental issues must begin with examination of relevant scientific information It’s vital to ensure recognition of a problem (there are always people that are not convinced) It promotes critical thinking which involves questioning and synthesizing information to achieve better understanding (is there a fact behind that?)
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ENV221, Fall Semester 2010 Sept. 23 rd ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 1. History What’s ethics? -
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ENV221-Lecture 3 - ENV221, Fall Semester 2010 Sept. 23rd...

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