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2.3 Moving about

Water is more viscous than air, so it can take more effort to move through water (try running in a swimming pool). Friction between the body and the water causes turbulence, which holds a swimmer back, and the faster the swimmer tries to move, the greater the turbulence. One way of avoiding the problem is to leave the water for short periods and travel through air, and some of the smaller pinnipeds and cetaceans resort to ‘porpoising’, leaping from the water for short periods when they ne
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1.6.5 RSS

RSS (‘Really Simple Syndication’ or ‘Rich Site Summary’) newsfeeds supply headlines, links, and article summaries from various websites. By using RSS ‘feedreader’ software you can gather together a range of feeds and read them in one place: they come to you, rather than you having to go out and look for breaking news. The range of RSS feeds on offer is growing daily. There is probably a feed to cover all aspects of your life where you might need the latest information, and you may
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1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although both search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by
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3.2.1 What is the difference between government and governance?

Governance is from the Greek words kybenan and kybernetes, meaning ‘to steer’ and ‘pilot’ or ‘helmsman’. It is the process whereby ‘an organization or a society steers itself, and the dynamics of communication and control are central to the process’ (Rosenau and Durfee, 1995, p. 14). Of course, you could read these words as a pretty sound definition of government but that would be missing the point. Government describes a more rigid and narrower set
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Acknowledgements

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons licence). See Terms and Conditions.

Text

Box 1: ‘O sweet spontaneous’. Copyright 1923. Trustees for the E E Cummings Trust.

Box 5: Maugh, T H (2008) ‘The MIT Meteorologist’s theory
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5.2.1 Supply-side measures

On the supply side of our energy systems, there is a very large potential for improving the efficiency of electricity generation by introducing new technologies that are more efficient than older power plant. The efficiency of a power plant is the percentage of the energy content of the fuel input that is converted into electricity output over a given time period. Since the early days of electricity production, power plant efficiency has been improving steadily. The most advanced form
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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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Introduction

Life is full of risk. We encounter many uncalculated outcomes, some beneficial and others adverse. Businesses, especially in the financial context, often consider risk in terms of opportunities for gain. Risk in our context is a way of describing the probability and consequences of harm, or at worst a disaster. Risk management involves many stakeholders who can themselves influence the risks facing an organisation. Integrated management systems help ensure that safety, quality, environmental
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8 Summary

  • We are biologically predisposed to provide for our offspring and may try to ensure that this provision continues after our death. However, our interactions with other members of society are wide-ranging and many people leave legacies to benefit the wider community.

  • All species alter their environment to some extent because they do not live in isolation from one another. The study of the interactions between plants, animals and their environ
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6.1 The path to prevention

So far in this Introduction I have concentrated on some specific environmental issues, which has inevitably meant I have spent time looking at problems and their possible causes. A balanced account would look in similar detail at possible responses and solutions. The Greenfreeze example in Case Study 1 was one attempt at a solution. At the local scale, in the factory, scientists and engineers have always provided society with solutions to the problems of pollution and threats to public
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2.3 The Industrial Revolution and its environmental impacts

The environmental issues you have identified in your answer to the first exercise are likely to be complex and difficult to unravel, yet alone resolve. Rather than attempt that at this stage I'd like to start this section with another question. Where does our material prosperity come from? To which one short answer would be ‘The Industrial Revolution’. In the space of less than 100 years between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, first Britain, then several other count
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5.8 Review of criticisms of international rights

Activity 1

Review the four criticisms of rights at the international level discussed in the previous sections.

  1. Identify which of these criticisms are objections in principle to the discourse of
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Learning outcomes

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

  • understand the different interpretations of internationally recognised notions of rights and justice;

  • give examples of implementing justice in an international sphere;

  • investigate questions in international studies;

  • analyse the different agencies of change in the international system.


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1.2 Readings

This study unit tackles head-on the hypothesis proposed in this block linking reductionism with unsustainable practices. Reading 3.1 looks at the philosophical roots of reductionism and provides an example of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ – a familiar outcome of this way of thinking.

Reading 3.2 opens the debate with regard to what all of us are concerned with: how do we characterise and measure the quality of our lives? While most of modern society has been obsessed with the redu
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1.3 Activities

Activity 2A sets the scene by focusing on the ‘big picture’ where you will be asked to choose between four alternative visions of the future. This activity radically shifts the scale of investigation from the personal to the global. However, as with all systems, the emergent behaviour of societ
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1.2 Readings

In considering the environmental and social challenges that we are currently facing, we are clearly dealing with so-called ‘wicked’ problems: the ‘problems’ manifest themselves only as you try to engage and change society and the Author(s): The Open University

1.1 Aim

This study unit introduces you to the proposition that our mental models change through learning, and
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Introduction

This unit will facilitate your own exploration of key environmental, social and economic threats that will converge to challenge communities in the near future. You will be required to develop this exploration according to three modes of modelling and communication: verbal, visual, and numeri
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material within of this unit.

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