Most of the problems that affect mankind are normally stemming from the environment. It is in this regard that people found it necessary to find solutions to those environmental problems. “Environmental science can be defined as a field of study that provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems” (Cunningum, 2008). It also combines physical sciences with other biological sciences such as chemistry, ecology, and biology. Both environmental studies and engineering are closely linked to the study of environmental science. Environmental engineering is concerned with the use of technology to make the environment better. The study of the environment also involves the analysis of social sciences so that we can understand how people relate to and perceive the environment.
Application of Science and Technology Principles to Environmental Science
Just like other academic disciplines, environmental science has its own principles. These principles provide comprehensive guidelines, methods, and concepts that can be used to solve problems that are related to the environment. For example, they can help us deal with challenges that may arise as a result of people’s interaction with the environment. Science and technology are normally based on research principles. This means that solutions and recommendations are normally given after a proper research has been conducted. This approach can enable us to solve challenges and disasters arising from our environment. For example, alternative energy sources have been invented out of continuous scientific and technological research. Scientific principles also guide us on the ways of maintaining the environment.
Studying Environmental Sustainability
It is important for us to continue studying the idea of environmental sustainability because of the following reasons. “Environmental sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (McConnell & Abel, 2007). The concepts of this study are important because it is through them that we can learn to make and keep our environment safe, so that the future generation can benefit from it. We can achieve this by reducing the level of pollution in our environment. The consumption of renewable energy should also be encouraged. Carbon foot prints are not good for the environment and we should reduce them. This is because the environment has been degraded by excess use of fossil fuels. We should also utilize items that are eco-friendly. “However, there is much more to sustainability than just recycling and using eco products” (Cunningham, 2008). Environmental sustainability can be achieved by using the concept of going green. In addition to this, policies that favor sustainability should be developed. For example, technological innovations should not affect sustainability. Nonetheless, achieving this sustainability requires much commitment from all stakeholders in environmental issues including the entire human population.
Human Values and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability challenges are incredibly intricate and they can be solved using different approaches. Sustainability stretches beyond simple conservation of resources that can be useful in future. In this case, we should also bear in mind human values and how they affect this sustainability. Sustainability encompasses human rights, ethics, and governance; and they all influence sustainability. Many aspects to sustainability are also laden in human values. This is because policies and procedures in or society are based on our values. Therefore, environmental values that are applied in the society determine sustainable outcomes. “The solutions to all our environmental problems do not lie in the capitalistic mindset, the Judeo-Christian value system, or the male-dominated, white cultures of modern man” (Woods, 2010). The solution is embedded in the values that the indigenous individuals have, and their interaction with the earth. “But more importantly, the solution lies in aligning ourselves with the values of the millions of other species with whom we share this planet” (Woods, 2010).
Impact of Environmental Hazards
Environmental hazard is a situation that interferes with the well being of the natural environment, and seriously affects human health. Environmental hazards can exert many complicated effects on human beings. For example, electromagnetic radiation may make people susceptible to cancer and other body complications. For example, the recent tsunami disaster that struck Japan’s nuclear plant may in the near future lead to serious health problems on those people who live or work near the plant. The oil spill that took place in the gulf high seas also polluted the water and people who use water from that region may be affected. Air pollution that arises from industrial carbon emissions also lead to respiratory diseases.
Cunningham, W. (2008). Principles of Environmental Science. New York: Mcgraw Hill Higher Education.
McConnell, R., & Abel, D. (2007). Environmental Issues: An Introduction to Sustainability. New York: Prentice Hall.
Woods, K. (2010). Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability. London: Edward Elgar Pub.