Understanding Environmental Issues

"Understanding Environmental Issues will stimulate critical thinking and debate about the inextricable links between the physical and socio-political determinants of our planet's future."—Julian Agyeman, Tufts University"In a world where concrete environmental systems are in a state of change at the same time our understandings of these systems are in upheaval, teaching environmental issues has become impossible without meaningful integration of earth systems and political-economic relationships. Buckingham, Turner, and their collaborators accomplish this extremely difficult task and make a range of complex and iterative synergies clear, immediate, and compelling: hydrology and water rights; agronomy and land control; carbon loading and carbon trading; systems of flows and systems of meaning. A terrific teaching text."—Paul Robbins, University of Arizona There is now an unprecedented interest in, and concern about, environmental problems. Understanding Environmental Issues explains the science behind these problems, as well as the economic, political, social, and cultural factors which produce and reproduce them. Key FeaturesExplains, clearly and concisely, the science and social science necessary to understand environmental issues, using learning outcomes, text boxes, tables and figures throughout to make complex ideas accessible and relevant.Describes in section one the philosophies, values, politics, and technologies which contribute to the production of environmental issues.Uses cases in section two on climate change, waste, food, and natural hazards to provide detailed illustration and exemplification of the ideas described in section one. The conclusion, a case study of Mexico City, draws together the key themes.Intended Audience: Vivid, accessible and pedagogically informed, Understanding Environmental Issues will be a key resource for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in Geography, Environment, and Ecology; as well as students of the social sciences with an interest in environmental issues."The arena of environmental issues is a minefield for undergraduate students seeking clarity about key problems and solutions. This is where Understanding Environmental Issues will play a major role, providing a stimulating guide through the wealth of material and complex ideas. In particular the unification of social and physical science in the case studies provides a holistic approach to the subject that is essential for students and a refreshing innovation for environmental textbooks."—Anna R. Davies, Trinity College, University of Dublin "...provides an excellent foundation for developing critical thinking about contemporary environmental concerns and the ways in which these are debated, represented and managed. The book should achieve its aim of stimulating students to engage with how ideas of sustainability and environmental justice can be applied both in policy and in practical action."—Gordon Walker, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University "Straight out of Uxbridge something special emerged from the grim surroundings of Brunel University, a concrete jungle in the London suburbs, in the 1990s - a passionate, committed group of geographers and geologists with a commitment to innovative pedagogy, to the application of knowledge, and to tackling the big environmental issues of the day. This book, written by a Brunel University team that includes at least two media stars, shows that understanding the environment should involve engagement, and reaching out beyond the campus. It also tackles the big issues of the day, and how we value them and approach them as scholars, citizens and activists. A useful set of thematic chapters introduce students to key environmental issues - the food and waste streams, climate change, natural hazards, and urban environments. Highly recommended."—Simon P. J. Batterbury, University of Melbourne and University of Oxford "The book's strengths are to do with the pedagogic backgrounds and commitment of the authors and the spread of expertise revealed. I do like section 1 where some of the big ideas and concepts are explored followed by section 2 where case studies are written by partnerships of scientists and social scientists. The case studies provided are of worldwide environmental significance and the final chapter on Mexico City touches on many of the concepts and cases written about earlier in the text. A key objective was to stimulate interest and action by the readers - I think it will achieve that and not just for an undergraduate audience. I found it was written and illustrated in an accessible way. Highly recommended."—Ashley Kent, Institute of Education University of London

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