3.2.1 Introduction

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Unit 3 Contents



But is there really an ecological crisis?  What is the evidence?  So far this unit has given a historical outline which, in effect, makes a theoretical case for why ecological crisis is pretty much an inevitability.  But does the evidence support this theory?

No doubt you are aware, simply from following the news, that it is the issue of ‘climate change’ which has been in recent years the main focus of discussion about alleged ecological crisis.  On this issue – which we shall look at shortly – most scientists agree that human activities, notably use of coal and other fossil fuels, are changing the composition of the atmosphere in ways that mean the world is heating up.  But you will also be aware that some dispute this analysis.

This is typical of discussion of the evidence about ecological crisis: on almost every issue, even where there is much evidence, there are disputes about causes and/or about what it means for us.

A helpful way of approaching this is to survey the way that ecological concern has emerged over the past several decades.  This section presents a brief summary of some of the main landmarks.



End of 3.2.1

Go to 3.2.2 The 1950s and 1960s


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