Friday, July 25, 2014

Environmental Studies - Introduction

The word environment is derived from the French word “environner” which means to encircle or surround. Thus our environment can be defined as the physical, chemical and biological world that surround us and the complex social and cultural conditions affecting an individual or community.

This broad definition includes the natural world and the technological environment as well as the cultural and social contexts that shape human lives. It includes all factors living and nonliving that affect an 
individual organism or population at any point in the life cycle.

The three reasons for studying the state of the environment are listed below.
  • There is a need for information that clarifies modern environmental concepts like equitable use of natural resources and a sustainable life style.
  • There is a need to change the way in which we view our environment, using practical approach based on observation and self learning.
  • There is a need to create a concern for our environment that will trigger pro-environmental action including simple activities we can do in our daily life to protect it.
Environmental studies is essentially the application of scientific methods and principles to the study of environmental issues. It is a multidisciplinary subject and its components include Biology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Sociology, Health Sciences, Anthropology, Economics, Statistics and Philosophy. An Understanding of the working of the environment requires the knowledge from wide ranging fields. Environment is not a single subject, it is an integration of several subjects that include both science and social studies.
Thus, the scope of environmental studies extremely wide and covers some aspects of nearly every major discipline.