Glossary – F

Fact/value distinction

The assumption that facts and values are mutually exclusive. Facts represent what is while values describe what ought to be. The fact/value distinction has been criticized on the grounds that it is impossible to precisely distinguish facts from values as the two necessarily interpermeate.

Flagship species

Any species having broad public appeal and that can be used to promote conservation efforts. The hope is that in protecting flagship species, entire biological communities and their associated ecosystems will also be protected. Charismatic megafauna are large animals belonging to flagship species including lions and tigers, bison and elephants, gorillas and orangutans, pandas and polar bears, and whales and sea turtles.


See perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)

Fossil fuels

Any hydrocarbon deposit such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas that when burned with air directly produces heat or indirectly energy. All fossil fuels are the result of geologic processes acting on the fossilized remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.