environmental science versus environmental studies, what’s the difference?

There are two separate majors that can prepare you for environmentally-oriented careers:  environmental science and environmental studies.  In the midst of all of the other confusion you are bound to feel as you try to determine what to do with your life, this is an unwelcome addition.  Let’s sort it out.

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urban adventures.

I have long been a proponent of the urban adventure, taking that kind of exploratory wanderlust that we normally reserve for the wilderness and directing it to our built environments.  You can choose your own route, you can ‘map your walk,’ or you can follow one of many marked, designated, and otherwise outlined paths through the concrete jungles of the world.  You’ll find surprises along the way for sure, maybe even meet a fellow trekker or finally at last discover that a slow pace helps you to discover a sense of place.

My own ongoing urban adventure follows the California Coastal Trail from Mexico to Oregon, covering a lot of pavement along the way.  I’m taking a break from it while I’m abroad, but look forward to resuming the walk when I return to the West Coast.

Read more about hiking urban environments in this Outside Magazine article.

should you read Silent Spring?

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring as she was battling cancer.  It would become a seminal book on humanity’s misguided propensity to undermine its own well-being through the widespread use of chemical poisons.  It would also become recognized as the starting point of the modern environmental movement.  It’s no small irony that I had never read it despite having introduced it to countless audiences of introductory environmental science students.

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attribution science.

When a drunk driving accident happens we have no problem implicating alcohol, even though there are countless other elements of the situation that may have contributed.  We all agree though that drunkenness enhances the likelihood of the event.  So we punish drunk drivers.

The climate change ‘debate’ is still focused on the claim that individual weather events can’t  be linked to human activites, which, as it turns out, is false.  Scientists are making great progress in understanding the connection.  What follows from this is that eventually it may lead to accountability; industries being held to blame for death and loss of property.   No wonder there is a ‘war on science.’

Read how scientists are building a body of evidence to attribute individual weather events to climate change here.