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Environmental Issues, Their Causes, and Sustainability

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Title: Environmental Issues, Their Causes, and Sustainability


1
Environmental Issues, Their Causes, and
Sustainability
Sustainability Growth Development Resources
Pollution Problems in the Environment
2
Environmental Issues Journal
  • What is sustainability?
  • Discuss the correlation, if any, between human
    population and natural resource consumption.
  • Do you believe that the current lifestyle of the
    US is sustainable? Analyze your lifestyle how
    would resources be affected if everyone on Earth
    lived the way you do?

3
Key Concepts
  • Growth and Sustainability
  • Resources and Resource Use
  • Pollution
  • Causes of Environmental Problems

4
The Field of Environmental Science
  • Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, and
    includes applied and theoretical aspects of human
    impact.
  • Incorporates scientific aspects of ecology,
    conservation, geography, with inputs from social
    sciences such as economics, sociology and
    political science.

5
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6
Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems
  • Environment is everything that affects an
    organism during its lifetime.

7
An Ecosystem Approach
  • Ecology- the study of the relationships between
    living organisms and their environment.
  • Ecosystem Region in which the organisms and the
    physical environment form an interacting unit.
  • The task of an Environmental Scientist is to
    recognize and understand natural interactions and
    integrate these with human uses of the natural
    world.

8
Living More Sustainably
  • Sustainability-
  • (1) living off the natural income replenished by
    soils, plants, air and water
  • (2) not depleting earths endowment of natural
    capital that supplies this income
  • Sustainable Society-satisfying the basic needs of
    the people for food, clean air water, and
    shelter indefinitely without
  • (1) depleting or degrading natural resources
  • (2) preventing future generations from meeting
    their basic needs

9
Population Growth
  • ExponentialGrowth- Growth in a species that
    takes place at a constant rate per time period.
  • Doubling Time/Rule of 70- 70 divided by
    percentage growth ratedoubling time

10
Rule of 70
  • How long does it take to double?
  • Resource use
  • Population size
  • Money in a savings account
  • Rule of 70
  • 70 divided by the percentage growth rate
    doubling time in years
  • 70 / 7 means it takes ten years to double

11
Exponential Growth
  • Starts off slowly, doubles a few times, then
    grows to enormous numbers
  • Quantity increases by a fixed percentage of the
    whole in a given time as each increase is applied
    to the base for further growth

12
Exponential Growth
  • Growth yields a J-shaped curve
  • Describes the human population problem that
    disturbs the environment today

13
World Population
Fig. 1-1 p. 2
14
Economic Growth
  • Gross National Product (GNP)- the value of all
    the goods and services produced within and
    outside of a country during a year plus the net
    income earned by its citizens
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)-the value in dollars
    of all goods and services produced within a
    country
  • Gross World Product (GWP)- the value of all the
    goods and services produce in the world during a
    year
  • Per Capita GNP- GNP divided by the population at
    mid-year each persons slice of the pie

15
Economic Development
  • Developed countries (MDC)- (pop1.2b) highly
    industrialized with high per capita GNP
    represent 20 of the worlds pop that control 85
    of wealth 88 of resources and produce 75 of
    pollution and waste
  • Developing countries (LDC)- (pop5.1 bil) low per
    capita GNP represent 95 of the projected
    increase in the worlds population

16
The Good of Economic Growth
  • Positive
  • Increased Life Expectancy
  • Infant Mortality Drop
  • Increased Food Production
  • Safe Drinking Water in Rural Areas
  • Increased Production with fewer materials
  • Decrease in Major Air and Water Pollution (since
    1970s) in MDC

17
The Bad of Economic Growth
  • Negative-
  • Life Expectancy Lower in LDCs
  • Infant Mortality is 8 times Higher in LDCs
  • Less Sustainability in Agricultural Practices
  • Air and Water Pollution in LDCs is too High (WHO)
  • Increased Demand on Resources (pop)
  • Increased Disturbance of Habitable Surface (73
    already)
  • Climate Change from Burning of Fossil Fuels
  • 1 in 4 people in the world make less than
    370/year
  • Economic Gap Increase (Rich get richer, poor get
    poorer)

18
Wealth Gap
  • The gap between the per capita GNP of the rich,
    middle-income and poor has widened
  • More than 1 billion people survive on less than
    one dollar per day
  • Situation has worsened since 1980

19
Globalization
  • Globalization-the process of global, social
    environmental and political change that leads to
    an increased integrated world Three major
    indicators
  • Economic Effects
  • Information and Communication
  • Environmental Effects

20
Environmental Degradation
  • Common Property Resources
  • Tragedy of the Commons- PLEASE READ ARTICLE AND
    ANSWER QUESTIONS (see teacherweb.com)
  • Resources owned by none, but available to all
    users free of charge
  • May convert potentially renewable resources into
    nonrenewable resources

21
The Tragedy of the Commons
Garrett Hardin, 1968 In a commons open to
all, unregulated use will deplete limited
resources.
22
Resources
  • Perpetual
  • Renewable
  • Non-renewable

23
Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)
  • Population growth will lead to starvation, war,
    disease.
  • Death rates check population unless birth rates
    are lowered.
  • Today, Paul Ehrlich (The Population Bomb, 1968)
    is called neo-Malthusian.

24
Renewable Resources
  • Sustainable Yield- the highest rate of use of a
    resource in which it can be used indefinitely
    without reducing its available supply
  • Environmental Degradation- exceeding a resources
    natural replacement rate causing the resource to
    decrease
  • Urbanization of productive land
  • Excessive erosion/soil compaction
  • Deforestation/overgrazing
  • Decreased biodiversity

25
Non-Renewable Resources
  • Energy- coal, oil, natural gas
  • Metallic- iron, copper, aluminum (recycleable)
  • Non-Metallic- salt, sand, clay, phosphate

26
Ecological Footprint
Fig. 1-8 p. 10
27
Pollution
  • Pollution- any addition of a material into the
    environment that negatively affects organisms
    can either be natural or man-made (anthropogenic)
  • Volcanic activity
  • Burning of fossil fuels
  • Effects of Pollution-
  • Disrupt life-support systems for species
  • Damage to species and property
  • Unwanted noise, smells, tastes, and sights

28
Pollution Sources
  • Point Source- pollution that comes from a readily
    identifiable source
  • Smokestack
  • Drainpipes
  • Exhaust pipes (cars)
  • Nonpoint Source- pollution that comes into an
    area from another, difficult to locate, region
  • Farm runoff (pesticides)
  • Sprayed pesticides materials carried by wind

29
Dealing With Pollution
  • Prevention (Input Control)- the reduction or
    elimination of pollutants
  • Refuse, replace, reduce, reuse recycle
  • Cleanup (Output Control)- occurs after pollutants
    have been released issues
  • Temporary as long as consumption of product
    continues
  • Transient-moves pollution from one area to
    another
  • Costly- generally passed to the consumer

30
Air Pollution
  • Global climate change
  • Stratospheric ozone depletion
  • Urban air pollution
  • Acid deposition
  • Outdoor pollutants
  • Indoor pollutants
  • Noise

31
Water Pollution
  • Sediment
  • Nutrient overload
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Infectious agents
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Pesticides
  • Oil spills
  • Excess heat

32
Food Supply Problems
  • Overgrazing
  • Farmland loss and degradation
  • Wetlands loss and degradation
  • Overfishing
  • Coastal pollution
  • Soil erosion

33
Food Supply Problems
  • Soil salinization
  • Soil waterlogging
  • Water shortages
  • Groundwater depletion
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Poor nutrition

34
Model of Environmental
Impact
  • Number of People x Number of units of resources
    used per person x Environmental degradation and
    pollution per unit of resource used
    Environmental impact of population
  • P x A x T I

35
Environmental Problems
36
Hunter-Gatherers
  • Had only three energy sources
  • Sunlight in captured plants
  • Fire
  • Their own muscle power
  • Very little impact on environment
  • See Jared Diamond

37
Environmental and Resource Problems
  • Five Root Causes

38
Agricultural Revolution
  • Agricultural Revolution
  • Cultural shift that began in several regions of
    the world
  • Involved a gradual move from a lifestyle based on
    nomadic hunting
  • Agroforestry
  • Planting a mixture of food crops and tree crops

39
Agricultural Revolution
  • Slash-and-burn
  • Cutting down trees and other vegetation and then
    burning the underbrush to clear small patches of
    land
  • Subsistence Farming
  • Family grew only enough food to feed itself.

40
Environmental Impact
41
Environmental Interactions
42
Environmental Worldviews
  • Planetary Management-humans are dominate and
    decide how to best manage the planet
  • Humans are in charge
  • There will always be more (unlimited supply)
  • Economic growth is goodalways
  • Success depends on our ability to dominate,
    understand and control nature
  • Technology will inevitably save mankind

43
Environmental Worldviews
  • Environmental Wisdom- human beings are like other
    species and rely on the earth to survive
  • Nature does not exist just for us we need the
    earth but the earth does not need us
  • Limited Resources should not be wasted
  • Some economic growth is good, other types are
    not encourage the good
  • Understand the earth to learn to live in harmony
    with it the more informed, the better our
    decisions

44
Environmentally-Sustainable Economic Development
45
Environmental science
can help us avoid mistakes made by past
civilizations. On Easter Island,
people annihilated their culture by destroying
their environment.
46
QUESTION Review
  • Which statement is FALSE?
  • a. Our environment includes living and
    nonliving
  • elements.
  • b. Thomas Malthus favored population growth.
  • c. Environmental science includes multiple
  • disciplines.
  • d. Theories are better supported by evidence than
    are hypotheses.

47
QUESTION Review
  • Which is NOT an application of science?
  • a. Policy decisions
  • b. Technologies
  • c. Experimental results
  • d. Management practices

48
QUESTION Review
  • Why has biodiversity loss been called our biggest
    environmental problem?
  • a. It exacerbates all other environmental
    problems.
  • b. Problems like pollution can be reversed, but
    once extinctions happen, they are
    irreversible.
  • c. It is proceeding more quickly than all other
    problems.
  • d. No one has claimed this pollution is the
    biggest problem.

49
QUESTION Weighing the Issues
  • What do you think is the best way to combat the
    tragedy of the commons?
  • a. Sell the commons into private hands, so
    owners have incentive to manage resources.
  • b. Have government regulate the amount of
    resources individuals take from the commons.
  • c. Have users work out cooperative systems among
    themselves to police resource use.

50
QUESTION Weighing the Issues
  • Increasing world agricultural production could
    allow us to feed more people. Should this be a
    goal for the world?
  • a. Yes, because it could alleviate hunger and
    poverty.
  • b. No, because it could speed population
    growth, causing more poverty
  • and environmental degradation.

51
QUESTION Interpreting Graphs and Data
  • Population increase over the last 500 years has
    been?

a. Equal to that of the previous 500 years b.
More than that between 10,000 and 500 years ago
c. Less than that between 10,000 and 500 years
ago d. Equal to that of the previous 5,000 years
52
QUESTION Interpreting Graphs and Data
  • What happens if results fail to reject a
    hypothesis?
  • a. The hypothesis is proven to be true.
  • b. The hypothesis is supported, but not
    confirmed.
  • c. The hypothesis may be retested in a
    different way, with new predictions.
  • d. Both b and c are true.
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