Industrial ecology and global change by Robert H. Socolow PDF

Environmental Studies

By Robert H. Socolow

ISBN-10: 0521471974

ISBN-13: 9780521471978

ISBN-10: 0521577837

ISBN-13: 9780521577830

This booklet describes how humankind can extra totally industrialize our society with out overwhelming the Earth's usual structures. within the 5 major elements of this booklet, members talk about the industrialization of society; the most common structures cycles; poisonous chemical compounds within the setting; commercial ecology in corporations; and policy-making with appreciate to business ecology. The publication will attract execs in quite a lot of environmental fields.

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Extra info for Industrial ecology and global change

Sample text

Yet very little of this insight has informed the analysis of environmental problems and the design of environmental policy. Environment has been framed as a struggle between good and evil, where fault lies entirely with "industry" and not at all with John and Jane Public. Industry, for the most part, has colluded in this drama, casting itself as helpless victim of misguided public outrage. Industry has rarely stepped forward to organize the debate—failing, for example, to add its abundant expertise to the first stages of discussion of environmental goals.

Here, more than with chemical or physical degradation, one confronts irreversibility, in the form of loss of species. Loss of species diminishes the robustness of ecosystems. It also removes from the human future a source of enjoyment, education, and possible direct material benefit. In principle (but rarely in practice), one could use some energy source in very large amounts to reconcentrate a mineral resource or to reconstitute an aquifer. Not even in principle can one recover lost species. Unlike most chemical and physical degradation of the environment, ecological degradation can be abrupt.

The relationships are similar to those between biology and medicine. To be sure, there are risks in broad collaborations and in an orientation to problem-solving. Science normally proceeds by isolating small pieces of large problems. Ecotoxicology, atmospheric chemistry, cultural studies of economic development—any of these could become paralyzed, if each subproblem were always first embedded in a system that manifested the complexity of the full problem. Or, research could suffer from becoming politicized, if stakes in particular outcomes were too deeply embedded in nominally dispassionate research.

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Industrial ecology and global change by Robert H. Socolow

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