Environmental science is, without a doubt, one of the most important fields people need to get acquainted with today. The world is, to put it simply, a mess when it comes to the problems we are witnessing in our environment.
Global warming, air and water pollution, violent displays of nature in forms of hurricanes, tsunamis, and droughts, and extinction of species - all of these problems threaten our lives every year and every day. That is why science-based evidence that documents the changes human actions have on this planet need to be present in the academic world.
Importance Of Environmental Science Today
One problem with today’s world, at least when it comes to the effective reach of environmental science, is the close link to politics, or better to say the economic system that seems to favor production over preservation. Humans need different resources to stay alive. Problems that became prominent in the 20th century, and only continued to grow bigger in the time we live today, are focused on the way we manage our resources, and how a lot of the methods we have are harming Earth.
Environmental Science: A Corrective Force
From a moral standpoint, one could argue that environmental science and the empirical analysis it offers, needs to be a corrective force that tells people what they are doing wrong. The truth is that nobody likes that, especially something so insatiable like the capitalist system when there is a group of people telling you that the way you live your life is harming the planet.
Or that the way we utilize our fossil fuels is causing large-scale pollution, and that we are pushing the limits so far, we may not even have a planet to continue with mindless resource management. In what ways is environmental science important today, other than trying to stop the doomsday clock we keep on winding?
An Interdisciplinary Approach
First of all, the approach of environmental science is and must be an interdisciplinary attempt to define and explain problems that happen in our environment. Biology, physics, chemistry, geography, and even social sciences - all of these scientific fields approach the same thing but have different focuses.
As mentioned before, pollution and resource management are indeed a problem that threatens life on a basic level, but they are also a political issue. This means that tackling a problem that is simply described as ‘’hurting the only home we have’’ needs to include various opinions. Not about discussing the presence of the problem, because that story is long behind us now, but how to deal with issues that emerge every day. Keeping our ecosystem healthy is a priority, and trying to insist on biodiversity is a must.
Environmental scientists, as such, are currently dealing with tremendous amounts of pressure. Not just as factors in the political discourse where more people want to dismantle their scientific validity, but also as human beings who are trying to raise everyone else’s concern. With the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we have seen how important are medical systems and organizations. Not just on a level where they do the ultimate good thing and save people’s lives if they get infected, but on the level of educating and informing people about facts and how to behave during a pandemic.
The same thing applies to environmental studies today - even though the virus is different (mostly originating from human activities, though), the importance of education and science-based evidence offered by environmental science stays the same.