Environment and Society: Max Kerns


Environment and Society is an excellent source and should be used as a text for anyone that would like to know more about the interactions between humans and the environment. The Authors view the main issue with all environmental problems to be in concerns of the total human population.

Chapter 2:

Zero population growth, I was particularly interested in the model that global population is likely to reach stability in the next 50 years.

Also that National Fertility rates and literacy rates seem to go hand in hand.

I = P*A*T and the idea that different people have different ecological footprints.

Chapter 3:

Environmental scarcity drives markets, innovations, and new products.

Incentives to but more environmental products, though education about products truly meeting these guidelines are important. Green Business is and can be an opportunity for profit.

This made me wonder about ideas behind things like the energy saving light bulb.  How do government subsidies and politics play into these models?

Chapter 4:

Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the idea that individuals often do not make the best overall choice for the greater group. I wondered how this played into basic statistics.

Tragedy of the Commons: basic to all environmental discussions. Generally this is when a group shares a resource that many act out of personal interest that can hurt the group as a whole. Though once confronted with this, the group can learn to cooperate for the better good.

Chapter 5:

This is a bit of review from a lot of the reading we have done thus far. Basically deals with ethics when dealing with the natural realm. Though this brings up ideas of whether an eco-centric of anthropocentric system is more ideal.

Chapter 6:

This chapter mainly deals with risk and understanding problems or hazards with the human population, though also understanding that this is perspective based, and meaning that the individual assessment might not always be viewed in a logic or coherent state.

I found this particularly interesting when looking at the places that vast amounts of people live in the United States, particularly when looking at coastal areas or high risk areas. I recently did a report on the Sierra Nevada fault systems, and the amount of people in the shakedown area of California is intense.

More later.




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