Social problems chapter 15-environment
Terms in this set (39)
defined as a catastrophe that threatens or overwhelms an areas capacity to get people to safety, treat casualties, protect infrastructure and control panic.
British petroleum's deep-water horizon
drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
killed 11 workers and injured 17
threatened wildlife and tourism industries in Alabama florida Louisiana Mississippi and texas
Northern Japan Earthquake
9.0 earthquake hit in 2011
natural catastrophe overlaid by a technical situation
followed by a tsunami
Damage to 3 nuclear reactors in Fukushima
John Swartz writes "the sobering fact is that megadisasters like the Japanese earthquake can overcome the best efforts of our species to protect against them. No matter how high the levee or how flexible the foundation, disaster experts say, natures bats last"
considers the interactions between our physical and natural environment, on the one hand, and our social organization and behavior on the other.
Humans are an integral part of the ecosystem/ the state of the environment is also influenced by our cultural values and attitudes towards the environment, our social class, our technology and our relationship with others
Sociological perspective on environmental problems
we acknowledge that human activities are causing the deterioration in the quality of the environment and that environmental deterioration in turn has negative impacts on people.
create environmental problems through intentional efforts to exploit of manage nature
pursuit of economic development, growth and jobs leads to depregation of environment
worlds most poluted
Azerbaijan, China, India Peru, Russia Ukraine the worlds most polluted places
they are exposed to organic and industrial pollutants caused by mining, manufacturing and transportation.
The Shanxi Province
center of china's coal mining industry
The countries industrial and urban growth has increased the demand for coal, one of the dirtiest sources of energy.
coal provides 2/3 of chinas energy
Shanxi city is most polluted city in china, there has been an increase in Bronchitis, pneumonia and lung cancer cases
in addition lead poison and arsenicosis ( a disease caused by drinking water with high levels of arsenic)
China pollution problem
is a world problem
sulfer dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its coal fired power plants turn into acid rain falling on Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo and Japan
takes 5-10 days for Chinas coal pollution to reach the US. China is the source of mercury in fish living in oregon willamette river and particulate pollution over LA
Biosphere 2 was a 3 acre glass enclosed ecosystem intended to sustrain eight people for a 2 year experiment from September 1991-1993
$200 million budget was not enough
by the end: air and drinking water were polluted, crops and trees had been killed by other vegetation, and 19 of 25 small animal species had died. Scientists who lived there showed signs of oxygen starvation
Where would environmental problems arise:
they would say they develop from system itself. Agricultural and industrial modes of production are destabilizing forces in our ecosystem. Agriculture replaces complex nature systems with simpler artificial ones to sustain select highly productive crops/ These crops need attention in the form of cultivation fertilizers and pesticides, all foreign to the environment
modern industrialization uses "more resources to make few people more productive" and as a result "more people chasing fewer resources
for improved quality of life we must deal with th negative consequences of waste pollution and destruction of resources
Functionalist Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich
impact of any human group on the environment is the product of three factors
2) average persons consumption of resources or level of affluence
3) amount of damage caused by technology
Formula: environmental damage=(people)x(level of affluence)x (technological damage)
environmental problems are created by humans competing for power, income and their own interests
J Clarence Davies (1970) argues competing political and economic interests ensure conflict with polluting our natural world because air and water are treated like infinite and free resources.
environmental problems occasionally make life unpleasant or inconvenient, but polluters will tolerate this for the benefits and comforts associated with a developed industrial economy
higher standard of living is confused with consumption
argues the objective of consumer capitalist society is to satisfy real or imagined material needs
TV and advertisements teach us we need stuff we don't actually need
but increased consumption leads to increased production and energy that damaged environment
defined by Robert Bullard
any environmental policy, practice or directive that differentially affects or disadvantages individuals, groups or communities based on race or color.
low income people and people of color are exposed to greater environmental risks than are those who live in white or affluent communities. also more likely to get environmentally generated diseased and death
expanded to other disadvantaged communities race class gender education and political power
a masculine world view is responsible for the domination of nature, women and minorities.
ecofeminism: 1974, in an effort to bring attention to the power of women to bring an ecological revolution
ecofeminist argue: men driven by rationalism domination competitiveness individualism and a need to control are most often the culprits the exploitation of animals and environment
feminist Cynthia Hamilton
argues that environmental conflicts mirror social injustice struggles in other areas- for women for people of color, for the poor. In environmental movements what motives activists women is the need to protect home and children.
Feminist: environmental justice movement
emerged out of citizens protests at love canal, near Niagara falls new york. the movement is based on the principle "all people and communities are entitled to equal protection of environmental and public health laws and regulations
Feminists Lois Gibbs and Debbie Cerillo
center of Love Canals citizens protest movement was a group of local women who called themselves "housewives turned activists"
they formed Love Canal Homeowners Association in 1978
They were concerned about number of miscarriages, birth defects, illnesses and rare forms of cancer among families and neighbors. love canal was then made a disaster area for 800 residents
addresses how environmental problems are created and defined.
Riley Dunlap and William Catton explain: "environmental sociologists have a long tradition of highlighting the development of societal recognition and definition of environmental conditions as problems" environmental problems do not materialize by themselves
social constructionists do not deny real environmental problems exist, but interest is in "the process through which environmental claims-makers influence those who hold reins of power to recognize definitions of environmental problems, to implement them to accept responsibility for their solution
this perspective helps us understand how environmental concerns vary over time and some problems are given higher priority than others
describes the successful construction of environmental problems require six factors
the scientific authority for the validation of claims
the existence of popularisers (activists scientists) who can frame and package the "problem" to journalists, political leaders, and other opinion makers; media attention that frames the problem as novel and important (such as the problems of rain forest destruction or ozone depletion); the dramatization of the problem in symbolic or visual terms; visual economic incentives for political action; and the emergence of an institutional sponsor who can ensure legitimacy and continuity of the problem
surface heat is required to have life on earth
heat is trapped through the build up of green house gases- water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases- making earths average temp 60 degrees
Climate change: the warming of the earths surface. refers to the perceptible climate trends on a time scale of decandes or more rather than weather conditions or atmostpheric events in a specific area and time.
earths temp has reisn 1.4 degress in pasat century
problem: is the accumulation of greenhouse cases- carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide- attributed to human activity during past 50 years
200-2009 warmest on record for globe
Global combined land and ocean surface temp
was 0.96 degrees above the twentieth century average (56.9 for 1901-2000)
1990 decade temp was .65 degree above 20th century average
Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) predicts climate change should increase 2.2 to 11.5 degrees over next 100 years
Since the industrial Revolution
Carbon dioxide increased nearly 30%
nitrous oxide 15%
fossil fuels responsible for 98% carbon dioxide emissions, 24% methane emissions, 18% nitrous oxide
China and United states have highest fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions world wide
Climate change will affect
our health agriculture, resources forests and wildlife are venerable to changes brought by climate change
soil moisture will decline
rainstorms may become more frequent
changing regional climate will alter forests, crop yields, water supplies.
sea levels could rise 2 feet along most of US coast
in 2007, IPCC predicted that the most severe effects would be felt in poor countries and areas facing existing dangers from climate and coastal hazards
ever recorded was 2012
country experienced worst drought affecting 88% of corn crop
extreme weather threatened countries infrastructure
excessive heat lead to roads and highways to crack or pop up, overheated subway rails and stressed local and regional power grids
Who believes in climate change
2007 poll asked if people would choose between stimulating the economy or protect environment:
52% Americans chose protecting environment
90% agreed they want car manufacturers to produce more energy efficient carts
75% willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable energy resources
69% people believed that global warming was affecting US weather
during his presidency downplayed climate change and said there wasn't scientific evidence
in 2001 he announced he did not support Kyoto Protocol, which was drawn up in 1997 to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change. It would limit emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels.
In 2nd term, Bush changed position
2005: agreed for the first time that human action was responsible for climate change
2007: called for long term plan for cutting emission in the US over 10 -2 years
in 2009 during the UN climate change conference, we joined Kyoto Protocol
treaty brought together industrial nations: US, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa
The accord calls for limiting the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2.6 degrees and for economic support for emerging countries to develop low carbon energy systems to adapt to climate change, and to protect tropical forests.
Environmental problems include
climate change, air pollution, hazardous waste sites, brownfields (abandoned or underused commercial properties with hazardous substances) and polluted and toxis water
because of pollution, increasing urbanization, and sprawling developments, we may be running out of water. Human efforts to conserve water, such a building dams, are now recognized as causes of serious and negative environmental problems
Land conservation and wilderness protection
efforts in these departments seem to be successful largely because of federal protection policies and legislation. Examples, among many, are the Wilderness act, the endangered species and the formation of environmental protection agencies
established in1970, provides leadership in the nation evnironmtal science, research education and assessment efforts. It sets national standards and delegates certain function of enforcement to states. The EPAs five long term goals through 2014 are:
preserve and restore land
build healthy communities and ecosystems
build healthy communities and ecosystems
and ensure compliance and environmental stewardship
play an important role in American politics since the foundation of the Sierra club in 1892. Groups include the national Audubon society and national wildlife federation. these first wave groups are concerned with land conservation and protection of specific sites and specials, and they rely on member supports and involvement
2nd wave of environmental groups
emerged during 1960s and1970s, includes the environmental defense funds and the natural resources defense council. They focus on fighting pollution, and they adopt an ecological approach, recognizing the interrelationship between all living things and using science as a tool for understanding and protecting the environment. After the 1970s, environmental groups began to direct their appeals to policy makers
usually consist of inexperienced but passionate working class participants, people of color, women,. these groups are motivated by a desire to protect the health and safety of families against some immediate environmental threat. They emphasize environmental justice
confront problems through direct action, such as breaking the law, destroying property or equipment, or performing acts of civil disobedience. Most "eco-warriors" act on their own and without the leadership of an organizational hierarchy. They recognize that they cant effect change on their own, but their actions usually draw media attention and thus engender public support. they also work with mainstream groups.
has had a significant impact in controlling hazardous facilities urging business to consider environmental impacts, encouraging preventative approaches to problems expanding citizens rights to participate in decision making serving as psychological and social support networks for victims and their families bringing concerns and action to working class and minority Americans, and influencing how the general public thinks about the environment and public health
College and university
are demonstrating environmental leadership by constructing green building purchasing alternative energy and investing in efforts to make campuses carbon neutral and sustainable
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