The world has changed in recent decades. Therefore, demands for education have changed as well to meet new requirements and challenges that the world poses in front of humanity. Today it is not enough to know maths and grammar. It is important to be “environmentally literate”. This knowledge is necessary to handle environment-related issues on a daily basis and to raise public awareness, which is necessary to prevent more dramatic effects of human activities on ecology.
Speaking about the definition of environmental science, it is worth to say that holistic approach to science and life in general is gaining more popularity. Scholars have realized that without linking disciplines to each other, it is virtually impossible to see a comprehensive picture of the world. Therefore, environmental science includes a whole range of other disciplines such as ecology, physics, biology, geography, geology, and others.
It is true that technology is able to destroy the planet and many steps have unfortunately been taken in that direction. The issue is that science and technology do not follow moral principles, so the genius but immoral mind can give birth to monsters like atomic bombs. It can also create oil-based industry that will pollute air and water. However, the same mind creates environmentally-friendly technologies like energy saving or solar batteries. Thus, environmental science can rely on technology, but it has to treat it from the point of view of its influence on humanity and environment.
The concept of environmental sustainability is crucial because it is clear today that resources of our planet are scarce. This does not only refer to scarcity of oil and gas, which makes humans think of alternative sources of energy. This has to do with more global things like water to drink and air to breath, and on the global level it is about sustaining life on Earth. Thus, environmental sustainability is another combination of social and moral values, which marks human responsibility for ecology in a short-term and long-term prospective.
Therefore, concern for sustainability is part of environmental ethics and is a criterion, which determines what exactly is ethical and what is not in relations between a human and ecosystem. Needless to say is that economic growth and development of consumerist mentality has had a negative impact on environment over the last century. Part of biodiversity has vanished forever without any hope to restore it. If analogy is made with a human body, it is like removing a tooth or, more dramatically, cutting a finger or a hand.
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It is important to realize that person’s behavior is dictated by society to which he or she belongs. This means that while consuming goods and having thousands of gadgets is becoming a value for people, it causes mental change that in its turn affects the environment. That is why return to the basics in relations with nature can change the world and restore harmony.
Today several issues are of major importance to humanity. These issues are able to affect health of people in a negative way. Deterioration of ozone layer causes the increase of Sun’s activity, and hence leads to radiation-related deceases including cancer. One more threat is atomic energy, which proved to be fatally dangerous when unleashed.
Thus, environmental sustainability is an essential part of new way of thinking, which is related to ecology. It is necessary to realize that people need to take responsibility today in order to prevent global environmental disasters in the future. Now it is clear that human activities have already challenged the existence of balanced ecosystem, which threatens existence of life on Earth. People should be careful because climate and health changes are unpredictable due to human’s irresponsible behavior. Environmental science helps to form a new type of mentality based on respect to nature and to future generations.