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Global Environmental Issues Part II


Global Environmental Issues Part II Economic Development v Environmental Issues Population Growth For most of our history it has taken 2000 years to double our ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Environmental Issues Part II

Global Environmental Issues Part II
  • Economic Development v Environmental Issues

Population Growth
  • For most of our history it has taken 2000 years
    to double our population rate, since 1900 we have
    quadrupled our population.
  • 19001.6 billion
  • 19603 billion
  • 19703.7 billion
  • 19804.5 billion
  • 20066.5 billion

What are the reasons for population growth?
  • Improvements in sanitation medicine have
    lowered the death rates.
  • Agricultural techniques have increased food
    production and feed large populations.
  • Predictions of widespread starvation and
    shortages were common.

Does the planet have enough resources for the
worlds population?
  • New exploration and extraction techniques have
    increased supplies of energy.
  • New materials are replacing scarce materials.
  • Innovation has changed gears concentrating on new
    methods of energy.
  • However, the fact remains we are using resources
    faster and many are non-renewable.

Energy Resources
  • Energy is at the crux of todays environmental
  • The industrial revolution fueled the use of
    fossil fuels.
  • Substituting natural gas for oil and coal could
    reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it provides
    almost ¼ of the worlds energy. However, it too
    is in limited supply.

Gas Guzzling
  • The most recent gas shortage and price hikes have
    finally fueled auto makers to look at alternative
    fuel car possibilities.
  • Most automakers are now investing in alternative
    or hybrid models that use an energy source other
    than fossil fuels.
  • Ethanol is a moot point.
  • WE MUST decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

What are the alternatives to fossil fuel?
  • Nuclear14 of the worlds power.
  • Hydroelectric power19 of the worlds power.
  • Both offer reductions in emissions of greenhouse
  • Nuclear energy does present some problems, most
    notably Chernobyl and Tokaimura, Japan.
  • France meets 77 of their energy needs using
    nuclear power.
  • Some critics of hydroelectric power say it
    disrupts the natural flow of rivers and the
    fragile ecosystem of these rivers.

What about wind and solar power?
  • Both are safe and envrironalmentally friendly.
  • Hampered by cost and feasibility.
  • Low fuel prices made developing these
    alternatives unrealistic monetarily.
  • Large power plants, oil companies and gas and
    coal companies lobby against development of
    alternative fuel sources.

Closing the gap.
  • Yet in the last few decades wind power production
    cost have dropped 90 and are closing in on
    natural gas prices.
  • Germany gets 6.4 of its energy from wind power.
    Extensive new wind farms are cropping up in the
    U. S. and Brasil.
  • Solar energy has seen significant advances, yet
    the U.S. has of yet to jump on this bandwagon,
    while Germany and Japan have taken the lead on
    developing this form of alternative engery.

What else is out there?
  • Geothermal and hydrogen energy are not widely
    used today, but are expected to become more
    accessible in the near future.
  • Geothermal energy is energy gathered from the
    earths core and produces no waste and is
    accessible all over the world.
  • Hydrogen fuel is abundant and efficient, it is
    the most common element in the world (hydrogen)
    and is completely clean. The process for making
    hydrogen fuel is called electrolysis which is the
    separating of H from H2O. When H and O are fused
    into water, energy is produced and can be stored
    in fuel cells.

  • Fusion is a more experimental energy source that
    is still in its infancy.
  • This would be an endless supply of radioactive
    free energy.
  • An international project to build a test reactor
    is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Resource Consumption
  • Little population growth in developed countries
    1.2 billion people who live in these countries
    consume well over half of the worlds resources.
  • The average person living in the US consumed
    almost ten times as much energy as the average
    person living in Asia.
  • Shortages of clean water , food, land and fuel
    are some of the environmental factors that
    frequently spark conflict.

What is sustainable development?
  • Sustainable development is a way of using
    resources that protects both environmental and
    human well-being in the long term.
  • The goal of sustainable development is to meet
    the social and economic needs of the present
    generation w/o depleting resources for future

Examples of Sustainable Development
  • Using fabric bags rather than plastic bags.
  • In Paris, France they are offering bike rentals
    rather than using cars in order to reduce traffic
    congestion, emissions, and reduce the use of
    fossil fuels.
  • Developing countries dont have to sacrifice
    progress for the environment either, solar power
    is used in the Philippines to pump and purify
  • In the Andean villages of Peru they are
    harnessing electricity from the high levels of
    rainfall and networks of rivers and streams. All
    of this improves health, education and employment

Competing interests?
  • Continued economic growth w/o environmental over
    site would be disastrous for the worlds ecology.
  • Policy makers and economists say that the
    developing countries can grow green by using
    technologies that were not available when the
    developed nations were first industrialized.

Industrialized Counties what environmental
challenges do wealthy countries face?
  • Over consumption these countries produce over ½
    of the worlds wealth, consume most of the
    worlds resources and generate the bulk of
    pollutants. The U.S. alone contributes 1/5 of the
    worlds carbon dioxide emissions. Although we are
    the third leading producer of oil, imports amount
    to 58 of world consumption.

More issues.
  • Because the wealthy countries industrialized
    first, they are often the most polluted, i.e.
    many of Britains cities are soot covered and
    suffer from health problems related to polluted
    air and water.
  • The U.S. has cities such as L.A. who rely heavily
    on cars therefore they have a severe air
    pollution problem. In Colorado many cities have
    banned the burning of firewood because of the
    pollution it causes.

The Former Soviet Union
  • Under went a crash industrialization phase that
    has produced terrible long term results. Yet,
    because of the type of government (communism)
    failed to attain the wealth of their counterparts
    in the west. This has left a legacy of pollution
    and poorly monitored nuclear plants, there are 66
    plants across the FSU.

Newly industrializing countries
  • Most in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America
    have embarked on fast paced industrialization
  • They rely heavily on fossil fuels and do not have
    environmental standards in place.
  • China overtook the U.S. as the leading emitter of
    carbon dioxide in 2006 as the result of
    production of goods, mainly sold in the U.S.

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Pollution caused by industrialization has become
a world problem.
  • This pollution has caused stunted growth in
    children in cities such as Cairo, Egypt.
  • In China a mere 1 of 560 million people breath
    air that is deemed safe by European standards.
  • Inadequate sanitation and waste disposal are
    major causes of disease.

Less-developed counties how do environmental
concerns affect these countries?
  • Growing number of people relying on land for
  • Deforestation desertification are widespread.
  • Use of land for exportable crops rather than
    sustainable crops for food production.
  • Because of over use hundreds of thousands starved
    to death in Sudan, Ethiopia and elsewhere in the
  • These lessons have opened the minds of
    governments to pursuing sustainable development

Part III Environmental Issues on the
International Agenda
  • Historically when nations came together to
    discuss world issues such as war and trade,
    issues such as the health of the environment were
    rarely discussed.
  • In recent years, however, environmental issues
    have been brought to the forefront by concerned
  • Global environmental issues have become an
    important international topic of concern and

What is the North-South divide?
  • Regarding the issues of environmental debate the
    world has been divided by the northern and the
    southern. The northern countries are typically
    the wealthier, more industrialized nations, while
    those nations in the southern part of the globe
    typically are poorer and less industrialized.
    This divide is not about the issues themselves,
    but is a question of responsibility and

North v South
  • The northern countries point to the rapid
    population growth and industrialization of
    southern countries as the chief threat to the
  • They want these countries to curb population
    growth and address issues of pollution and

North v South contd
  • In contrast the southern hemisphere countries
    note that the northern consume most of the
    worlds resources and emit most of the pollution.
  • They feel they their need for economic
    development cannot be overlooked in efforts to
    clean up the environment.
  • They feel the rich societies should absorb the
    majority of the cost of helping developing
    countries meet international environmental
  • The southern countries are at a distinct
    disadvantage in areas of climate change, i.e.
    rising seal levels (many developing nations are
    below sea level and therefore at greater risk).
    They also argue they suffer from the effects of
    the greenhouse gases the richer countries have

What are the origins of the disagreements btwn
the global North and South?
  • The North and the South have deep historical
  • In the early 19th and 20th centuries, many
    Northern countries colonized Southern countries
    and established industries in these countries to
    harvest and manufacture goods using the Southern
    countries raw materials, such as timber, spices,
    ore, gold, diamonds and much more.

Colonial Rule
  • By the 20th century almost all of Africa and Asia
    were under the rule of Britain and France. U. S.
    colonies included the Philippines and Cuba.
  • Imperial rule ended by the 1960s but
    colonization left lasting effects on the Southern
    countries. These effects are the source of many
    of these countries current problems.

The Environment and International Security
  • The environment is closely linked to
    international security.
  • Scientist believe that climate change will have
    increasingly negative effects on world stability.
  • An example is the period btwn the 14th 19th
    centuries when the world experienced dramatic
    winters that caused persistent crop failures
    which resulted in famine.

  • Deforestation
  • Urbanization
  • Water pollution
  • Are all considered major destabilizes in the
    Southern hemisphere.
  • In the Southern countries where governments are
    not equipped to handle major catastrophic events
    a series of poor harvests or destruction of a
    fishing ground could cause millions of refugees
    to cross borders causing violence or governmental
    collapse. This has already happened in Sudan.
  • This threat could lead to more authoritarian
    governments thus reducing democracy in the world.

Destabilizers cont
  • An example of this destabilization occurred in
    the country of Myanmar (Burma) a cyclone
    devastated the country and displaced one million
    people from their homes. Because of the structure
    of the government no humanitarian aid was sent to
    the millions affected. Starvation and disease was
  • Unstable weather such as droughts, and hurricanes
    leave many without clean water and food supplies,
    this in turn creates tension and the feeling of
  • The violence after Katrina is another example of
    how precariously we sit and how desperate people
    may become.

International Environmental Agreements
  • 1992-The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was
    signed by 150 countries here.
  • 1997-The Kyoto Conference was a result of the
    Earth Summit as well. The Kyoto Protocol was
    developed here. Stakeholders from
    environmentalist to multinational corporation
    continue to meet yearly to address environmental

  • Unfortunately, the 800 page document that
    resulted by the Earth Summit avoided many of the
    thorniest issus.
  • The developing nations pressured that there would
    be little said or insisted upon concerning
    population control.
  • The developed nations (industrialized) succeeded
    in protecting the wealthy multinational
    corporations from the new environmental

How was climate change addressed at the Earth
Summit in Rio?
  • The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
    (UNFCCG) was an agreement among countries to
    reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It also developed a system through which
    countries could continue to meet in order to
    eventually reach the general goals set forth in
    Rio. (Western European were the most enthusiastic

The U. S. Role
  • The U.S. was less enthusiastic they opted not to
    set targets to reduce emissions.
  • U.S. carbon dioxide emissions increased by about
    39 from 1990-2006.
  • China and India insisted that the global North
    must reduce greenhouse emissions before we could
    expect the global South to accept restriction.

What was the purpose of the Kyoto Protocol?
  • Intended to put teeth into the international
    efforts to contain climate change.
  • Established specific binding limits for the
    emissions of six greenhouse gases.
  • Political jockeying went on and the global South
    joined with Western European countries insisting
    that the global North dramatically reduce their
    greenhouse gas emissions while rejecting any
    constraints on their own economic growth.

What is the Kyoto Protocol?
  • The Protocol is a legally binding treaty as of
    February 2005.
  • It affects more than 180 countries.
  • Thirty-seven industrialized countries in the
    world must meet their Kyoto targets by 2012 or
    the targets become more stringent.
  • Western Europe is to cut greenhouse gases by 9
    of their 1990 outputs, Japan by 6. All countries
    should reduce their gases to 5 below their 1990

Yet again
  • The Protocol does not require countries such as
    China and India to reduce their emissions, but
    calls on other Southern state to voluntarily set
  • In 2008 scientist determined the global South
    emitted more co2 than the global North.
  • Butover the course of history the northern
    countries still outweigh emissions from the
    southern countries.
  • Most scientist believe the Protocol does not do
    enough to decrease global warming as much as is

Yet again
  • Another part of the treaty allows countries to
    use carbon sinks to reduce the presence of co2
    in the air by reabsorbing it.
  • This encourages countries to improve forest
    management and conserve soils.
  • Critics claim it allows countries to continue
    business as usual.
  • It also allows industrialized countries to assist
    developing countries in reducing their emissions,
    which then allows the industrialized country to
    meet their own targets without really doing so.