Principles of Environmental Science
Principals of Environmental Science Joshua Hammack ENV/100 February 4, 2013 Christopher Bertram Principals of Environmental Science Environmental science is the relationship between the earth and all living things and organisms that use the earth’s resources to sustain life. Environmental science is also the ongoing study of the environment and all of its interconnected systems. The style of research performed by environmental scientists is very diverse. Also, environmental science is composed of many components such as geology, physics, social science, meteorology, and biology.
Social science looks more at how humans and animals interact within the environment and the effects they have on one another. “Environmental scientists try to establish general principles about how the natural world functions. They use these principles to develop viable solutions to environmental problems—solutions that are based as much as possible on scientific knowledge” (M. C. , 2009). Technology and science affect the problems and solutions of today’s society both positively and negatively.
Take for instance the invention of the car by Karl Friedrich Benz in 1885, (Bruno, 1997) while there was a demand for better transportation as people became more sophisticated and wanted to travel further than possible on a horse it created a demon for the environment to fight. Today, worldwide there are more than 1 billion passenger vehicles on the roadways, (Tencer, 2011) and with an increase in automobiles comes added pollution from oil, grease, petroleum, and rubber, but not only the cars produce pollution.
The manufacturing does equal amounts of damage from steel mills, rubber plants and stamping plants. With growing population these numbers will begin to rise. At the same time the technologies that are contributing to the Worlds pollution problems are also being used to help solve the problem by creating means necessary to obtain valuable data to aid in the solution. For example studying marine life in the depths of the ocean would not be possible without using motorboats to reach these remote locations. The double edge sword being that the boat itself pollutes the water.
Finding a balance between the neccessity of technology and the over consumption of technology is a slippery slope, but it is crucial to the sustainability of the environment. “Ecologist Garrett Hardin (1915–2003) is best known for his 1968 essay “The Tragedy of the Commons. ” In it he contended that our inability to solve complex environmental problems is the result of a struggle between short-term individual welfare and long-term environmental sustainability, the ability to meet humanity’s current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (M.
C. , 2009). It is essential that society studies the sustainability of our resources not only so they can be preserved, but to aid in the prediction of growth and evolution. Some countries like the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe are highly developed countries that are consuming the majority of the worlds sustainable consumption. As the under developed countries such as Haiti, yemen, and Sudan begin to grow they will take on a larger share of the sustainable consumption.
Without monitoring the development from an environmental point of view the worlds population could literally eat themselves out of house and home. “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. ” –Edmund Burke. Looking back through history the United States has not always been the best stewards to the land. In fact, through many mistakes the lessons of Mother Nature have been ingrained into our culture. The concept of conservation and preservation was brought about by a group of men in the mid 1800’s through the early 1900’s.
Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), Grover Cleveland (1837–1908), William McKinley (1843–1901), and Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) were all the first to use the Forest Reserve Act, this act was put into affect in 1881 which gave the president the authority to establish forest reserves on public, federally owned land (M. C. , 2009). Before this the lands in the western United States were falling victim to deforestation with 160 billion board foot of lumber being cut from 1860, just after the Civil War to 1900.
Throughout history the government has been very proactive in establishing programs to help preserve and protect the natural resources. Until 1970, the voice of the environmentalist was nothing but a whisper that was only heard through two organizations, the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation (M. C. , 2009). When Denis Hays, a Harvard graduate student was influenced by a former Wisconsin senator to organize the first recognized Earth Day it bacame a gateway for informing the public on sustainability, consumption and what we needed to do to preserve our environment.
Eventually Earth Day became a way to show people that their little contribution to reducing their carbon footprint as much as possible was magnified greatly when coupled with others efforts. “By Earth Day 1990, the movement had spread around the world, signaling the rapid growth in environmental consciousness” (M. C. , 2009). In conclusion, it is inevitable that the world as a whole will continue to grow, the population will increase, and resources will be exhuasted. It is for that reason the human race must be aware of what is coming.