Environmental Science: Toward A Sustainable Future (13th Edition)
We are now well into the 21st century and are at critical junctures in the relationship between humans and the rest of the environment. Globally, major changes are taking place in the atmosphere and climate, the human population and its well-being, and the Earth’s natural resources. We are still recovering from a major global economic recession, the scientific evidence for climate change continues to accumulate, terrorism and conflict continue to grip the Middle East, and an extended drought in the western half of the United States and elsewhere is affecting food production and water availability. In contrast to these trends, there are some changes that point to a brighter future. Renewable energy is ramping up swiftly in its share of the world’s energy portfolio; many of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were achieved by their target date of 2015; the Sustainable Development Goals that follow them have been crafted and are close to launching.
Even though international accord on climate change is slow in coming, many countries are achieving major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; death by tobacco use is being addressed in a global campaign; AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are on the defensive as public-health agencies expand treatment options and research; and population growth rates in many regions are continuing to decline. The most profound change that must happen, and soon, is the transition to a sustainable civilization—one in which a stable human population recognizes the finite limits of Earth’s systems to produce resources and absorb wastes, and acts accordingly. This is hard to picture at present, but it is the only future that makes any sense. If we fail to achieve it by our deliberate actions, the natural world will impose it on us in highly undesirable ways.
Environmental science stands at the interface between humans and Earth and explores the interactions and relations between them. This relationship will need to be considered in virtually all future decision making. This text considers a full spectrum of views and information in an effort to establish a solid base of understanding and a sustainable formula for the future. What you have in your hands is a readable guide and up-to-date source of information that will help you to explore the issues in more depth. It will also help you to connect them to a framework of ideas and values that will equip you to become part of the solution to many of the environmental problems confronting us.
In this new edition, we hope to continue to reflect accurately the field of environmental science; in so doing, we have constantly attempted to accomplish each of the following objectives:
• To write in a style that makes learning about environmental science both interesting to read and easy to understand, without overwhelming students with details;
• To present well-established scientific principles and concepts that form the knowledge base for an understanding of our interactions with the natural environment;
• To organize the text in a way that promotes sequential learning yet allows individual chapters to stand on their own;
• To address all of the major environmental issues that confront our society and help to define the subject matter of environmental science;
• To present the latest information available by making full use of resources such as the Internet, books, and journals, every possible statistic has been brought up to date;
• To assess options or progress made in solving environmental problems; and
• To support the text with excellent supplements for teachers and students that strongly enhance the teaching and learning processes.
Because we believe that learning how to live in the environment is one of the most important subjects in every student’s educational experience, we have made every effort to put in their hands a book that will help the study of environmental science come alive.
New to This Edition
Building on its core values, Environmental Science has several new features that help make the content more approachableto students.
• Concept Check questions appear at the end of sections to help students check their understanding. Each concept check aligns with the learning objectives at the start of the chapter.
• Understanding the Data questions appear alongside figures, such as graphs or maps, to help students further engage with the data and build data analysis skills.
• Content has been thoroughly updated throughout; environmental science and the related issues are complex and constantly evolving. The thirteenth edition features the most current research presented in a balanced manner.
• Transitioning beyond the Millennium Development Goals of 2000–2015, discussions of environmental issues and solutions have been reframed to reflect the new Sustainable Development Goals.
• New Everyday Environmental Science videos and coaching activities in MasteringEnvironmentalScience accompany the thirteenth edition and will help students to see the application of the key concepts presented throughout the text to the real world.
|August 16, 2019
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