1.3.3 Books and electronic books

Books are a good source of information. The publishing process (where a book is checked by an editor before publishing, and often reviewed by another author) means that books are reliable sources of information, although they may need to be evaluated for bias. A growing number of books can be found online.

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1.2.3 Basic principles

Whatever resource you choose to use to find information on the internet, many of the same principles apply. Each source that you use will probably look quite different from the one you tried before, but you'll notice that there are always features that are similar – a box to type your search terms in, for instance, or a clickable help button. Different resources refer to the same functions using different terminology, but the principles behind them are exactly the same. The trick is to chec
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1.1.5 Organising information

How confident are you that you know when it is appropriate to cite references (refer to the work of other people) in your written work?

  • 5 – Very confident

  • 4 – Confident

  • 3 – Fairly confident

  • 2 – Not very confident

  • 1 – Not confident at all

How confident do you feel about producing bibliographies (lists of references) in an appropriate format to accompany you
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1.1.3 Searching for information on maths and statistics

How well does the following statement match what you do when you begin a new search for information?

Before I begin a new search for information (maybe for an assignment, or to help you choose your next holiday destination), I spend some time thinking about what I already know, what the gaps in my knowledge are, and the best types of information to meet my needs.

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Learning outcomes

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

  • conduct your own searches efficiently and effectively;

  • find references to material in bibliographic databases;

  • make efficient use of full text electronic journals services;

  • critically evaluate information from a variety of sources;

  • understand the importance of organising your own information;

  • identify some of the systems available;

  • describe ho
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Introduction

This unit will help you to identify and use information in maths and statistics, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of or
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2.2 Vibrant civil societies and a networked globe

One thing is common to all three attempts to find a route to a sustainable economy and society: in different ways they all assume that people will get actively involved in making human societies more sustainable. But this transformation will not take place through the corporate world's promises, by local protectionism, a return to ‘strong states’ or the publication of numerous indicators. Any of the three positions outlined above requires interactions and feedbacks created by a vibrant
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1.2 Globalisation is about networks

Globalisation is a term that refers to the flows around the world of species, money, goods, ideas, people, etc., and the networks that are integral to these flows. The word is used to attempt to capture a dizzying mix of recent economic, political and socio-cultural developments. The term can also be applied to ecological globalisation. The global transport of people, goods and services has massively increased. Technological and economic networks have developed to smooth trade and econ
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you will:

  • Have gained an understanding of the four dimensions of globalisation in relation to climate change;

  • Be able to distinguish between the three approaches to achieve sustainability;

  • Know the difference between ‘government’ and ‘governance’;

  • Identify what makes ecological citizenship distinctive;

  • Understand how the medium of the web can aid transitions to sustainability.


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6.3 The role of active citizens and communities

Few people agree that individuals should take the main responsibility for tackling environmental issues. For example, in a 2007 poll of over 2000 UK citizens, 70% agreed that the government should take a lead in combating climate change, even if it means using the law to change people's behaviour. However, over 60% disagreed that there was nothing they could do to avert climate change and over half agreed that they would do more if others did more too, although 40% thought that recycling was
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1.1 What is the carbon footprint and why is it important?

The carbon footprint is the annual amount of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, that result from the activities of an individual or a group of people, especially their use of energy and transport and consumption of goods and services. It's measured as the mass, in kilograms or tonnes per year, either of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions alone, or of the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) effect of other greenhouse gas emissions.


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2.1 Preamble

Here are some quotes from the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ (SPM) included in the report from the scientific working group in the IPCC TAR (IPCC, 2001a):

  • The Earth's climate system has demonstrably changed on both global and regional scales since the pre-industrial era, with some of these changes attributable to human activities.

  • Globally, it is very likely that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the instru
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2.1 Dealing with change in what matters: ethics, policy and action

Much of what has been covered so far in this unit deals with the individual human capacity to frame nature as a means for enabling environmental responsibility. But what are the implications of this for actually doing something about policy design and action to improve matters? Framing the natural world is an inevitable human endeavour that we all carry out, whether consciously or subconsciously, as part of our interaction with human and non-human nature. For example, each of the tools listed
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1.4.1 Introduction

Up to now I have focused on the claims of the antisweatshop movement and the counter-claims of those who contest the purely negative conclusions drawn about the exploitation of another country's poor. To that end, I have, at various moments, touched on issues of demands to take responsibility: whether, for instance, responsibility for sweatshops should be divided up in some way between all those connected to the market system which gives rise to them, or placed firmly at the door of the big r
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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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4.4.1 Tidal Energy

The energy that causes the slow but regular rise and fall of the tides around our coastlines is not the same as that which creates waves. It is caused principally by the gravitational pull of the moon on the world's oceans. The sun also plays a minor role, not through its radiant energy but in the form of its gravitational pull, which exerts a small additional effect on tidal rhythms.

The principal technology for harnessing tidal energy essentially involves building a low dam, or barrag
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4.3 Indirect use of solar energy

The above examples illustrate the direct harnessing of the sun's radiant energy to produce heat and electricity. But the sun's energy can also be harnessed via other forms of energy that are indirect manifestations of its power. Principally, these are bioenergy and hydropower, already discussed in Section 3 above, together with wind energy and wave power.


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3.3 Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is based on harnessing the very large quantities of energy that are released when the nuclei of certain atoms, notably uranium-235 and plutonium-239, are induced to split or ‘fission’. The complete fission of a kilogram of uranium-235 should produce, in principle, as much energy as the combustion of over 3000 tonnes of coal. In practice, the fission is incomplete and there are other losses, but nevertheless nuclear fuels are more highly concentrated sources of energy than f
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1.1.1 Where do we get our energy from?

The world’s current energy systems have been built around the many advantages of fossil fuels, and we now depend overwhelmingly upon them. Concerns that supplies will ‘run out’ in the short-to-medium term have probably been exaggerated, thanks to the continued discovery of new reserves and the application of increasingly advanced exploration technologies. Nevertheless it remains the case that fossil fuel reserves are ultimately finite. In the long term they will eventually become deplet
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References

Climatic Research Unit (2003) Information Sheets at http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk
New Internationalist (2003) ‘The Big Switch: Climate Change Solutions’, June, issue number 357.
The Open University (1998) S103 Discovering Science, Block 2 ‘A Temperate Earth?’, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

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