Week 1 Summary
During this weeks group discussion, we reviewed a few pronounced topics from the learning resources, including Anthropocene, global bio-spheric feedback loop, environmental equity, public involvement in environmental management, and applying interdisciplinary studies in the environmental field. We found Anthropocene noteworthy to create a good running dialogue throughout our discussion.
As we start to get involved in our weeks summary, one student mentioned a great example of Anthropocene in New York Citys Hudson River. General Electric polluted the river for 30 years tracing back to 1944 and was one of the most expensive environmental remediation due to an abundance of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) discharge into the river with an estimated discharge of 500K 1.5M pounds of PCB (Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2016). This was considered a significant human impact on the local area and the ecosystems.
Another topic we also discussed in our group was about environmental equity highlighted by another student. We agreed that people of color, developing countries, and low-income communities are experiencing environmental injustice. We came to a conclusion that that most industrialized countries are the ones who emit the majority of greenhouse gases.
Then, students chose to discuss the importance of public involvement because is the most powerful form of exposure to show stakeholders or lawmakers what the community is voicing. However, public involvement often addresses major disasters in environmental issues. The professor charged us to find some examples where public involvement helped address an environmental disaster. We immediately found; Exxon-Valdez, Three Mile Island, UN Istanbul Declaration, and Habitat Agenda to name a few.
Finally, we discussed how applying interdisciplinary studies in the environmental field has many benefits. Having a broader connection with other science background will give scientist a better understanding of various factors that affect the environment.
US EPA (2016). Hudson River PCBs Background and Site Information. Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/hudson/background.htm.
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