1.3.8 Summary of section

  • During the 1970s and 1980s, countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan benefited from their low-cost advantages in the new global division of labour. Now, however, the gap between rich and poor nations is wider and competition in the world economy greater, prompting campaigning groups to argue that contemporary low-wage economies do not have the options for economic development that their predecessors had.

  • In the face of market fragment
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1.2.9 In praise of cheap offshore labour? continued

Significantly, no one from the pro-market lobby is actually denying that sweatshops exist, or trying to cover up the fact that workers in such places have to endure bad working conditions. But, as the subtitle of Krugman's (1997) article suggests: ‘bad jobs at bad wages are better than no jobs at all’. Low as the wages are in the offshore T-shirt or microwave factories compared with those in more developed economies, they tend to be higher than those of other workers around them. The huma
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5.3 The rebound effect

When individuals or organisations implement energy efficiency improvements, they usually save money as well as saving energy. However, if the money saved is then spent on higher standards of service, or additional energy-consuming activities that would not have otherwise been undertaken, then some or all of the energy savings may be eliminated. This tendency is sometimes known as the ‘rebound effect’. For example, if householders install improved insulation or a more efficient heating boi
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • appreciate different connotations and traditions of the terms ‘nature’ and ‘environment’ in the context of environmental responsibility;

  • use conversation as a core metaphor for describing ‘what matters’ in environmental responsibility;

  • identify and compare formal and less formal expressions of environmental responsibility.


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Acknowledgements

Author

This unit was prepared by Tom Power with guidance from Dr Arlene Hunter.

Tom Power is a lecturer in science education at The Open University. His research interests include teacher education in the global south (www.open.ac.uk/deep) and the CASE intervention. He has been a teacher and an advisory teacher in East Sussex and a specialist adviser to the TTA teacher research panel.

Dr Arlëne Hunter, Staff Tutor in Science in Ireland
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Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes for this unit are to:

  • Develop an understanding of the current evidence for global warming.

  • Model and apply the techniques of ‘measuring’ the Earth's temperature.

  • Understand the current warming in relation to climate changes throughout the Earth's history.

  • Explain factors forcing climate change, and the extent of anthropogenic influence.

  • Assess the ‘best predictions’ of current climate model
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5.4 The ozone hole

Another group of greenhouse gases, the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are double villains because they are also implicated in the destruction of the ozone in the upper atmosphere. CFCs are synthetic gases used in aerosols, as solvents and as coolants in refrigerators. They are also used to make a light insulating material called Styrofoam, from which packaging for hot take-away food containers can be constructed. It has been relatively easy to get international cooperation to ban further product
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5.2 Air pollution

There are many popular beliefs about air quality and health. As a child you might have been exhorted to, ‘go out and play in the nice fresh air’. Mountain air is often regarded as being particularly beneficial, especially for those who are recuperating from or suffering some types of respiratory diseases.

Ques
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1 Legacies and inheritance

There is no doubt that each one of us affects the lives of those who surround us. Many of our interactions with others are very obvious to us and could be described in terms of personal, professional and social relationships. But there are other, often unnoticed, interactions: the mother taking her children to school, the man buying his paper, the youth at the bus stop – all people we see regularly and only notice when they are not there. Younger people are often very worried about what oth
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5.2 New Zealand's changing environment

In this study I want to explore some possible effects of this new trade on the environment of one of the countries involved. I've chosen New Zealand, partly because the developments we have just been discussing happened only a few decades after the first large-scale settlements of Europeans, and had a strong influence on the direction of its economy. Some background information will help to set the scene.

New Zealand consists of two mountainous islands with a total area similar to that
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2.2 The origins of a rights discourse

In some form, the ideas of ‘rights’ and ‘justice’ could probably be found in all societies and cultures. They are moral concepts because they are concerned with moral ideals; with how things should be rather than describing how things are. However, the notion of rights now has a prominence in political debate in a way it has not had in other times and places. In the political thought of the ancient world, for example, a key question was how individuals could best contrib
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2.1.1 Where did the attempt to define notions of rights internationally come from?

To some extent, this ideology of rights was new because it was expressed at the international level with new vigour, with the horrors of the Second World War and the calculated extermination of Jews, gypsies and others in mind. The discourse of individual rights had a stronger impact on international politics than at any time previously, as did the notion of a right to national self-determination. Yet this new departure for international politics also built upon ideas about rights that had be
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3.1 (4A) Exploring dynamic relationships using sign graphs

Here is where things start getting really interesting in terms of system dynamics! So far, most of your modelling work has been pretty static, with a limited sense of how things change over time. In fact, the behaviour of complex systems is rarely stable. Sometimes change is exponential (e.g. the growth of the World Wide Web); sometimes systems crash and burn (e.g. extinction of populations); but often systems demonstrate repetitive patterns of behaviour (e.g. economic boom and bust cycles).
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5.4 Critical modelling

Critical phenomena are the simplest to model of the three classes of temperature-dependent changes we have been examining. We don't need a power series such as 1 + αT+ βT2+…, nor exponentials such as exp(−Ea/kT). Instead we can describe the behaviour with logical expressions like these:

if T < Tc, then property=subcritical value (or fu
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2.1 The development of engineering

Engineering is one important component of systems engineering. In this topic I will examine the development of engineering before presenting a modern view of the subject. Section 3 will then pick up and discuss the idea of systems engineering.

William Shipley, a drawing master from Northampton, was instrumental in founding ‘the Society Instituted at London for the promotion of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’ in 1754. This later became the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following source for permission to reproduce material within this unit:

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5 Summary

The building blocks of a basic optical-fibre communications link are the modulated light source, the fibre and the detector. There are choices to be made between different types of light source and fibre, with trade-offs between cost and performance. For example, for high signalling rates over long distances single-mode fibre will be used with a single-mode laser (possibly with external modulation) operating in the 1550 nm window, whereas for short-distance links operating at lower signalling
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3.3 Optical amplifiers

Figure 22 shows in outline one possible structure for an Erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA).

Figure 22
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2.4.3 Polarization mode distortion

Because light is an electromagnetic wave, it has a ‘state of polarization’, which, for light in single-mode fibre, is at right angles to the path of the fibre. If you've not encountered electromagnetic waves before, all you need to appreciate is that as light travels down the fibre the electromagnetic field has an orientation across the fibre (Author(s): The Open University