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Norton's approach to environmental problem-solving

    Wicked problems

  • Norton, drawing from Webber and Rittel, characterizes environmental problems as "wicked." This may not be the most felicitous choice of works since declaring problems wicked seems to place them beyond solution. But wicked can be spelled out to show that environmental problems are solvable but require a different, more social and interdisciplinary approach.
  • Wicked problems are difficult to formulate because they cover "ill-structured" situations. Specifying them requires the exercise of the structuring capacities of imagination. And it requires recognition that these problems can be brought to determination in different ways.
  • Wicked problems are not numerical problems. (Non-computability) They have components or regions that admit of quantification but, as a whole, resist quantification. This requires that environmental problem-solvers go beyond economic and quantitative ecological methods.
  • Wicked problems are non-repeatable. This is, perhaps, an indirect way of saying that they are context bound. Because the context shifts from situation to situation, what works in one situation must be reconstructed to fit the specific content of a different, new situation. We learn from the past but the past must be modified to fit the context of the present and future.
  • Both wicked problems and their solutions are open-ended. We can distinguish between good and bad problem specifications and good and bad solutions. But there is no uniquely correct problem formulation and there is no uniquely correct solutions. Pragmatists argue that this is due to fallibilism (our efforts to reach the truth always fall short) and experimentalism (our solutions must be tested in the crucible of experience).
  • Finally, wicked problems must be approached from an interdisciplinary standpoint. They present economical, ecological, social, and ethical dimensions that must be integrated in the problem-solving process. This is, decidedly not multidisciplinary where the disciplines are present alongside one another but do not interact. In environmental problem-solving these disciplines much engage and challenge one another, work to formulate common problems, and design solutions that integrate the different disciplinary concerns and aims.

    Norton's sustainability values

  • Community Procedural Values : These are values (reciprocity, publicity, and accountability) that, when adopted by a community, help it to structure a fair and open community deliberative process.
  • Economic Values : Economic goods emerge from actual and hypothetical values. (1) Willingness-to-Pay: the instrumental value of a resource is set by the price an individual or group would be willing to pay to acquire the resource; (2) Willingness -to-Sell: because WTP undervalues resources (it ties value to the constraint of disposable income) a more accurate measure of value would be the amount that an individual or group would accept from a bidder to take the resource out of its current use and put it to a different one.
  • Risk Avoidance Values : Precautionary Principle--"in situations of high risk and high uncertainty, always choose the lowest-risk option." 238
  • Risk Avoidance Values : Safe Minimum Standard of Conservation--"save the resource, provided the costs of doing so are bearable."348.
  • Values Central to Community's Identity : Justice, integrity, trust, responsibility, and respect can apply here but they should be taken in their thick as well as thin senses. These values, in their thick sense, depend on the quality of the discourse generated within the community.

Questions & Answers

Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
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