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Indicators of Environmental Quality

  • William A. Thomas

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Thomas L. Kimball
    Pages 7-14
  3. Gordon J. F. MacDonald
    Pages 15-21
  4. Martin Murie
    Pages 43-51
  5. John H. Finklea, Douglas I. Hammer, Kenneth M. Bridbord, Vaun A. Newill
    Pages 83-91
  6. C. Stafford Brandt
    Pages 101-107
  7. Gerald Goldstein
    Pages 109-131
  8. Robert P. Pikul, Charles A. Bisselle, Martha Lilienthal
    Pages 147-172
  9. Robert M. Brown, Nina I. McClelland, Rolf A. Deininger, Michael F. O’Connor
    Pages 173-182
  10. Lyndon R. Babcock Jr., Niren L. Nagda
    Pages 183-197
  11. W. D. Shults, John J. Beauchamp
    Pages 199-209
  12. David M. Lipscomb
    Pages 211-241
  13. Richard H. Rust, Russell S. Adams, William P. Martin
    Pages 243-247
  14. Paul S. Rohwer, Edward G. Struxness
    Pages 249-255
  15. David F. Grigal
    Pages 257-267
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 269-275

About this book

Introduction

Researchers and agencies collect reams of objective data and authors publish volumes of subjective prose in attempts to explain what is meant by environmental quality. Still, we have no universally recognized methods for combining our quantitative measures with our qualitative concepts of environ­ ment. Not all of our environmental goals should be reduced to mere numbers, but many of them can be; and without these quantitative terms, we have no way of defining our present position nor of selecting positions we wish to attain on any logically established scale of environmen tal values. Stated simply, in our zeal to measure our environment we often forget that masses of numbers describing a system are insufficient to understand it or to be used in selecting goals and priorities for expending our economic and human resources. Attempts at quantitatively describing environmental quality, rather than merely measuring different environmental variables, are relatively recent. This condensing of data into the optimum number of terms with maximum information content is a truly interdisciplinary challenge. When Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated its Environmental Program in early 1970 under a grant from the National Science Foundation, the usefulness of environmental indicators in assessing the effects of technology was included as one of the initial areas for investigation. James L. Liverman, through his encouragement and firm belief that these indicators are indispensable if we are to resolve our complex environmental problems, deserves much of the credit for the publication of this book.

Keywords

development ecology environment environmental pollution formation research soil

Editors and affiliations

  • William A. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.American Bar FoundationChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information