Environmental Studies PHS/100
Warner Pacific College
November 28, 2010
Is it an intuitive intelligence which creates awareness of habitat alteration, deforestation, pollution in our waters and animal extinction? Is it our natural curiosity that is the trajectory for scientists and society to ask questions that result in conservation or preservation?
Or is it in the moments of silence, whether it is a walk in the forest, a stroll on the beach, or a picnic in the park when we learn how we could be better stewards to our earth? All of these questions could have been what lead scientist to assess society behaviors and the impact we humans have on the earth.
We currently have the pioneers, and pilgrims of our lifetime working in the field of restoration ecology. The practice of such crusaders may give us one of the greatest results of our history. The results come from an essential part of the scientific method of observation before developing a hypothesis. It is in the observation and assessment that we begin to see the enormous footprint humans are leaving upon this land.
One example currently underway from science assessments is “the prairie plants restoration project”. Jay Withgott and Scott Brennan mention the prairie plants restoration project in their text Environment. The prairie project is occurring in the Midwest. Due to agriculture in the 19th century the prairie grass lands were devastated and are nearly nonexistent. “A number of efforts are underway to restore small patches of prairie by planting native prairie vegetation, weeding out invaders and competitors and introducing controlled fire to mimic the fires that historically maintained this community” (Withgott & Brennan, 2008). Another effort of restoration in the United States is an ongoing effort to restore the Florida Everglades, because observations of over 90-95% of wading birds have disappeared.
Withgott and Brennan also mention “One of the most exciting restoration projects is being done in Iraq”. The project is beginning the process of restoring the Mesopotamian marshes between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. It is the history of thee Rivers which create enthusiasm for their preservation.
Having an understanding how communities live together harmoniously and competitively that lead us to these great and wonderful discoveries about our society and earth. Another important aspect of society and culture are the environmental regulations an intelligent society have implemented to protect what we value most.
As a culture and society, we have the ability to look at problem solving tools. It is within the tools and policies that create what we believe are ethical for our communities at large. It is our laws, politics, and governance which is the fundamental foundation for which we contain that which if important to our society.
Within our laws, communities create environmental policies, with the intention of protecting our environment. One example of laws is the “Clean Water Act”. This was a bill passed by President Nixon in the 1970’s. It was during the Nixon administration that the Environmental Protective Agency was also created. This agency was implemented to protect our Air, Water and other environmental issues.
It is this agency we rely on to keep society aware of the environmental issues that may arise, such as oil spills, catastrophic pollution spilling into the air we breathe.
Our intentions are good and it is within this goodness we develop what we believe is right. Not only right for us but for the children of our future. It is this good intention that we create our foundational laws.
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment; The science behind the stories. San Francisco CA.: Pearson Education, Inc.