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Wildfires: environmental and social entanglements

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Wildfires: environmental and social entanglements

This course explores how environmental and social factors interact to cause wildfires and shows why these interactions need to be considered when preparing for future wildfires. Focusing on the 2007 wildfires in Greece, this course introduces students to the geographical concept of entanglement as a tool for exploring these interrelated factors. Using the ideas of the environmental historian Stephen Pyne, the course establishes that wildfires are entangled physical, ecological, and human processes. Then it helps students critique the relative benefits of trying to prevent or respond to the environmental challenge of wildfires in the future.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course DD213 Environment and society.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the complex interactions between environmental and social factors that caused the Greek wildfires of 2007
  • critically reflect on Greece's state of preparedness for future wildfires
  • use social science approaches to gain complex understandings of what causes wildfires
  • use social science approaches to critically assess existing preparations for the ongoing global environmental challenge of wildfires
  • explain and use the geographical concept of entanglement.

First Published: 20/07/2023

Updated: 20/07/2023

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