Lecture: Sustainability and Environmental Literacy Essay

Submitted By Aojia
Words: 1268
Pages: 6

Lecture_04 -­‐ Environmental Literacy (09-­‐02)

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8/30/13

ON THE ROAD TO COLLAPSE

What lessons can we learn from a vanished Viking society?
Case
Study – Viking Se�lers in Greenland

History – Viking se�lers from Norway established camps and eventually villages in Greenland.

They relocated their old way of life to a new land that could not support their agricultural methods.

Over a rela�vely short period of �me, the Vikings died out, leaving their story for archeologists only in trash heaps.

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TERMS
TO KNOW: Environment Environmental science

Environmental science is all encompassing
Environmental
Science is all encompassing

We are more likely to see conflict in societal or poli�cal terms rather than with the natural environment.

The interdisciplinary play between natural and applied sciences allows us to have a be�er understanding of our rela�onship with and ul�mate dependence on the resources of the planet.

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Lecture_04 -­‐ Environmental Literacy (09-­‐02)

1

8/30/13

Environmental science is all encompassing
Scien�fic
inves�ga�on uses a systema�c approach that begins with observa�ons and the ques�ons those observa�ons generate.

We can use what we learn about one series of observa�ons and experiments to inform our ac�ons and generate change in many other situa�ons.

Because environmental problems are o�en far more complicated than they appear, our ability to understand the natural world and accept the trade-­‐offs that come with our decisions is needed to ensure our own survival.

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The Greenland Vikings’ demise was caused by natural events and human choices
Evidence
of the Vikings’ rela�onship with the land comes from the trash they le� behind and also from atmospheric par�cles trapped by the ice sheets.

Falling snow absorbs par�cles from the atmosphere. When it compacts and freezes into ice, those par�cles are preserved, stra�fied, and leave a perfect sample of the atmosphere over �me.

TERMS TO KNOW: Empirical science Applied science Environmental literacy Trade-­‐offs Triple bo�om line

Analysis of the layers over �me showed changes in the atmosphere over the �me Vikings were se�ling Greenland.

This period of a mini ice age coupled with self-­‐inflicted environmental damage was inconsistent with survival.

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Lecture_04 -­‐ Environmental Literacy (09-­‐02)

1

8/30/13

The Greenland Vikings’ demise was caused by natural events and human choices
In
addi�on to the ice cores, scien�sts…