Thought For the Day: On An Introduction to Environmental Science

Two Issues Described Related To Environmental Science Either Local or Nationwide:

Of the many and varied facets of environmental science, there are at least two general areas that have have been of interest for many decades.   The first of these is the ideas surrounding reasonable efforts at sustainability such as the further development of sustainable and cleaner methods of aquaculture to feed the growing populace.  An interesting point brought up in the text is that after being fed a doomsday scenario with respect to population growth from the days of Malthus through Ehrlich to almost the present up to and including Al Gore, the newer and probably more accurate prediction is that population growth is now predicted to stabilize in the 21st Century (Hassenzhal, et al., 2017).   This provides us a reasonable trajectory to look at when making our balanced considerations

The second area of major interest interrelates to nearly all aspects of environmental science, particularly as it pertains to the development of public policy.  That is the reduction of polarization of the dogmatic positions taken by many on the multiple issues and concerns studied within environmental science.  As is noted, science is a “process” (Hassenzhal, et al., 2017) not a foregone conclusion however firmly held the opinions are on one opinion or another based on scientific analysis and open discussion of the possibilities and probabilities that each deserve careful consideration.  The marketplace of ideas coupled with empirical observation and reasoned not impassioned conclusions should be the driving force behind public policy determinations. It is or should be of some very determined importance to keep Einstein’s own thoughts about his General Theory of Relativity in which he was extremely open to the idea that especially where science calls for conjecture that there is no scientific theory that should be seen as infallible.  Where any part of his theory(ies) were found to be wrong and to the degree this called his General Theory into question, this question or question should be very carefully considered and not censored but welcomed.  To do otherwise is a disservice to science, society and the world.

A Brief Summary of Facts Surrounding These Issues:

With respect to sustainability, the UN and the studies of other organizations have found that our reliance on the oceans for our food sources and other resources will greatly increase in the coming century (Osborn, 2019)).  We must take great care to do so in ways that control the discharge of effluents and prevent cross-contamination of the species being managed as well as those in the surrounding biomes as well.  The mistakes in farming the terrestrial realm should be avoided where and when this is a possibility.    

With respect to reducing polarization as to the multiple concerns covered under the umbrella of Environmental Science. Even those who believe any challenges to the climate change paradigm is due primarily to ‘pseudo-skepticism’ see the problematic nature of rabid polarization of thought even if largely holding against the persons challenging their favored position (Torcello, 2016). 

What Things Currently Not Understood Might This Course Clarify:

The thing that I most want to learn from better understanding the interplay between our common blunders of being innately human as well as our best or at least better angels is how to approach concerns and issues in ways that better foster dialog between disparate approaches to life so that we might better once again unite to foster the common good of our local communities, our nation and the world in a utilitarian manner that still makes room for the underlying philosophy of individualism in an world that has too many people shouting and not enough taking time to listen to the valid viewpoints from multiple sides and not just their chosen outlook.  Perhaps that is a bit utopian.   But as we have seen burning down society to allegedly save society is not a very fruitful way of doing life.

What do you all think on these subjects?

Mahalo and aloha,

Michael Doyle

References:

Hassenzhal, D., Hager, M. & Berg, L, (2017) Visualizing Environmental Science (5th Edition) Purdue University Global Bookshelf: Visualizing Environmental Science (vitalsource.com)

 Osborn, A., & Henry, J. (2019). The role of aquaculture farm biosecurity in global food security. Revue Scientifique et Technique (International Office of Epizootics)38(2), 571–587. https://doi.org/10.20506/rst.38.2.3005

 Torcello, L. (2016). The Ethics of Belief, Cognition, and Climate Change Pseudoskepticism:                                Implications for Public Discourse. Topics in Cognitive Science8(1), 19–48.                                                                  https://doi.org/10.1111/tops.12179

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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