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Causes and Consequences of Environmental Degradation

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Title: Causes and Consequences of Environmental Degradation


1
Causes and Consequences of Environmental
Degradation
  • Martin Donohoe

2
Am I Stoned?
  • A 1999 Utah anti-drug pamphlet warns
  • Danger signs that your child may be smoking
    marijuana include excessive preoccupation with
    social causes, race relations, and environmental
    issues

3
Our Home
4
(No Transcript)
5
Overpopulation
  • World population - exponential growth
  • 1 billion in 1800
  • 2.5 billion in 1950
  • 6 billion in 2000
  • 7 billion in 2011

6
Overpopulation
  • Africa, Asia, and Latin America primarily
    affected
  • Causes
  • Poverty
  • Womens rights issues
  • impaired access to reproductive health care and
    education
  • political/legal/economic/social marginalization

7
Air Pollution
8
Health Effects of Air Pollution
  • Causes approximately 60,000 - 75,000 premature
    deaths/yr. in U.S.
  • 656,000 in China
  • Over 2 million worldwide

9
Health Effects of Air Pollution
  • MI
  • CHF
  • Ventricular arrythmias
  • Asthma/COPD
  • PVD
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Multiple other illnesses

10
Air Pollution
  • Indoor combustion of coal and biomass for
    cooking, heating and food preservation
  • 3 billion people worldwide
  • 2 million deaths/yr
  • Tobacco smoke
  • 5.4 million deaths/yr worldwide (1/10 deaths)

11
Air Pollution The Good News
  • Reductions in air pollution under Clean Air Act
    Account for up to 15 of overall increase in life
    expectancy in major U.S. metropolitan areas
  • Saved 160,000 lives in 2010

12
Effects of Ozone Destruction
  • Ozone hole over Antarctic (2½X size of Europe)
  • Shrinking
  • Increased cataracts (UV damage)
  • Increased lifetime melanoma risk
  • 1/1500 - 1930
  • 1/68 - today

13
US Energy Consumption by Fuel
  • Oil 37 - peak oil production expected 2014
  • Natural gas 24
  • Coal 22 - peak coal production 1920
  • Nuclear 8.5
  • Renewables (mostly hydroelectric and biomass
    small amounts of geothermal, wind, and solar)
    7.3

14
Oil and War
  • Countries that export oil are gt40 times more
    likely to be engaged in civil war than those that
    do not
  • Gulf Wars I and II
  • The Future Water Wars

15
Toxins/Pesticides
  • 6 trillion tons of over 85,000 chemicals produced
    annually
  • More than 90 have never been screened for
    toxicity
  • 5 billion lbs/yr pesticides worldwide
  • 1.1 billion lbs/yr in U.S.
  • About 3 lbs/person/yr in U.S.

16
Pesticides
  • EPA U.S. farm workers suffer up to 300,000
    pesticide-related acute illnesses and injuries
    per year
  • 25 million cases/yr worldwide
  • NAS Pesticides in food could cause up to 1
    million cancers in the current generation of
    Americans
  • WHO 1,000,000 people killed by pesticides over
    the last 6 years

17
Health Effects of Pesticides
  • Autism
  • Parkinsons Disease
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity (with prenatal exposure)
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Endocrine/reproductive effects

18
Toxic Pollutants
  • 85,000 known or suspected hazardous waste sites
    in the U.S.
  • Environmental Racism
  • Waste dumps/incinerators more common in lower SES
    neighborhoods
  • Cancer Belt (Baton Rogue to New Orleans)

19
Infamous Industrial Disasters
  • Minimata, Japan
  • Love Canal
  • Bhopal, India
  • Chernobyl, USSR

20
Infamous Industrial Disasters
  • Alaska, Exxon Valdez, 1989
  • 2006 BP Alaskan pipeline rupture
  • 2010 BP Gulf disaster
  • 2011 Yellowstone pipe rupture

21
Minimata Disease W Eugene Smith
22
Deforestation
  • Tropical forests constitute 7 of land surface
    area, contain gt 50 of plant and animal species
  • Majority of tropical forests destroyed
  • One acre of worlds forest cut down every second
  • 50 of global wetlands destroyed (54 in U.S.)

23
Deforestation
  • Historical -Easter Island (Polynesians), Middle
    East, U.S. Southwest (Anasazi Indians)
  • Contemporary -Mauritania, Ethiopia, Haiti
    deforested -Philippines and Thailand are now net
    importers of forest products, looking at Latin
    America

24
Deforestation Causes
  • New agricultural settlements (overpopulation,
    poverty, unsustainable farming practices)
  • Logging
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Cattle ranching
  • Drug cultivation

25
Global Warming
26
Consequences of Global Warming
  • 160,000 deaths and 5.5 million disability-adjusted
    life years lost per year
  • WHO, UN Environment Program
  • Expected to double by 2020

27
Consequences of Global Warming
  • Polar icecaps/glaciers/Greenland ice
    sheet/Himalayas/permafrost melting, sea levels
    rising
  • ? weather extremes/natural disasters/insurance
    claims
  • ? infectious diseases

28
Greenlands Ice Cap Melting 1992
29
Greenlands Ice Cap Melting 2002
30
Greenlands Ice Cap Melting 2005
31
Global Warming
  • The top 1/5 of the worlds largest 145 countries
    account for 63 of global C02 emissions (lowest
    1/5 2)
  • Countries most affected are those least
    responsible
  • Climate refugees
  • Disappearing locales Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Kivalina
    (Alaska), Male (Maldives)

32
Agriculture
  • Global per capita cropland down over 50 from
    1961 to present
  • Soil erosion exceeds soil formation
  • Decreasing crop diversity/genetic diversity
  • Consequences vulnerability to disease, huge crop
    losses (e.g., Irish potato famine)

33
Factory Farming
34
Factory Farming
  • Factory farms have replaced industrial factories
    as the 1 polluters of American waterways
  • Agriculture accounts for 70 of U.S. antibiotic
    use
  • CDC Antibiotic use in food animals is the
    dominant source of antibiotic resistance among
    food-borne pathogens.

35
Overfishing
  • Fisheries collapsing
  • Coral reef destruction
  • Aquaculture

36
Species Loss
  • Rate of extinction 4,000-6,000 species/year
  • 1,000 - 10,000X background rate of extinction

37
Causes of Species Loss
  • Habitat loss (overpopulation, logging, etc.)
  • Environmental pollution
  • Global warming
  • Exotic species invasions
  • Overhunting
  • Black market in endangered animals
  • HUMANS

38
Maldistribution of Wealth
  • 500 billionaires worldwide
  • top 250 billionaires worth 1 trillion, the
    combined income of bottom 2.5 billion people (45
    of worlds population)

39
Maldistribution of Wealth
  • U.S Richest 1 of the population owns 50 of
    the countrys wealth -poorest 90 own
    30 -widest gap of any industrialized nation
  • Associated with 880,000 deaths per year over
    expected number if gap was same as in Western
    European nations

40
Maldistribution of wealth
  • Less than 4 of the combined wealth of the 225
    richest individuals in the world would pay for
    ongoing access to basic education, health care
    (including reproductive health care), adequate
    food, safe water, and adequate sanitation for all
    humans (UNDP)

41
Declaration of Independence
  • All men are created equal.

42
George Orwell
  • Some people are more equal than others

43
Hudson River, 2009
44
Voltaire
  • The comfort of the rich rests upon an abundance
    of the poor

45
Maldistribution of Wealth/Resources Threatens
National Security and Requires a Permanent War
Economy
  • The U.S. has about 50 of the worlds wealth,
    but only 6.3 of its population. This situation
    cannot fail to be the object of envy and
    resentment. Our real task in the coming period is
    to devise a pattern of relationships which will
    permit us to maintain this position of disparity
    withoug positive detriment to our national
    security.
  • George Kennan, U.S. State Dept. Policy Planning
    Study, 1948

46
Racial Disparities
  • Economic
  • Educational
  • Criminal justice system involvement
  • Discrimination

47
Racial Disparities Health Care
  • Higher maternal and infant mortality
  • Higher death rates for most diseases
  • Shorter life expectancies
  • Less health insurance
  • Fewer diagnostic tests / therapeutic procedures

48
Racial Disparities Health Care
  • Equalizing the mortality rates of whites and
    African-Americans would have averted 686,202
    deaths between 1991 and 2000
  • Whereas medical advances averted 176,633 deaths
  • AJPH 2004942078-2081

49
Overconsumption (Affluenza)
  • U.S. 6.3 of worlds population
  • Own 50 of the worlds wealth
  • U.S. responsible for -25 of worlds energy
    consumption -33 of paper use -72 of hazardous
    waste production (1 ton/person/year)

50
But are we happier?
  • Workloads increasing, vacation and free time
    decreasing
  • U.S. Only OECD country not to guarantee paid
    vacation and sick leave
  • Erosion of social capital

51
Economic Stagnation
  • Inflation-adjusted income of the median U.S.
    household
  • 1989 - 54,600
  • 1997 - 49,000
  • 2004 - 44,389
  • 2009 - 49,777
  • 2011 - 51,860
  • Financial Crisis / Recession

52
Exorbitant CEO Pay
  • CEO salaries up 500 since 1980
  • The average CEO makes 300-400X the salary of the
    average U.S. worker (1960 - 41X 1980 - 42X)
  • Mexico 451
  • Britain 251
  • Germany 111
  • Japan 101

53
The Global Economy
  • 53 of the worlds 100 largest economies are
    private corporations 47 are countries
  • Wal-Mart is larger than Israel and Greece
  • ATT is larger than Malaysia and Ireland

54
Corporations
  • Almost 6 million corporations
  • 500 companies control 70 of world trade

55
Corporations
  • Internalize profits
  • Externalize health and environmental costs
  • Confidential legal settlements keep important
    public health and safety information secret
  • May delay governmental intervention, cause
    unnecessary morbidity and mortality

56
Corporate Taxation
  • Corporations shouldered over 30 of the nations
    tax burden in 1950 vs. 6.5 today (real rate
    2.8 per U.S. Treasury Department)
  • Corporate taxes are at their lowest level since
    WW II

57
Reasons for Inadequate Corporate Taxation
  • Tax breaks, corporate welfare, corporation-friendl
    y tax laws, loopholes, transferring assets
    overseas
  • Cheating and under-payment common
  • Offshore tax havens shelter capital

58
Ugland House, Cayman Islands 18,000 Corporations
Registered Here
59
The Stock Market
  • 20 of Americans own stock
  • 90 of stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets
    owned by 10
  • 51 of all stocks, bonds, and mutual fund assets
    owned by 1

60
Consequences of Differential Stock Ownership
  • Corporations are answerable to their shareholders
  • Governments are answerable (at least in theory)
    to their citizens (either through elections or
    revolutions)

61
Economic Injustices
  • The Third World Debt Crisis
  • Africa/Latin America/Asia - 300 billion
  • Unfair economic organizations and trade
    agreements
  • WTO, IMF, GATT, NAFTA, others
  • Child labor
  • ? Unionization
  • Unsafe working conditions

62
Foreign Aid
  • In total dollars U.S. 1
  • As a of GDP, U.S. 21
  • U.S. Aid Over 1/3 military, 1/4 economic, 1/3
    for food and development

63
Foreign Aid
  • 0.9 of the total federal budget
  • On average, Americans think that 24 of the
    federal budget goes toward foreign aid

64
U.S. Charitable Giving
  • Approximately 250 billion/year
  • 2.5 of income
  • 2.9 at height of Great Depression

65
(No Transcript)
66
2009 Federal Budget 2.65 trillion
67
World Military Spending (2008)
68
The Military and Pollution
  • Worlds single largest polluter
  • 6-10 of global air pollution
  • 2-11 of world raw material use
  • 97 of all high level and 78 of all low level
    nuclear waste
  • Military exempt from most environmental
    regulations

69
The Military Diversion of Resources Away from
Health Care
  • 3 hours world arms spending annual WHO budget
  • 1/2 day of world arms spending full childhood
    immunizations for all worlds children
  • 3 days of U.S. military spending amt. spent on
    health, education, and welfare for U.S. children
    in 1 year

70
The Military Diversion of Resources Away from
Health Care and Other Scientific Projects
  • 3 weeks of world arms spending/yr. primary
    health care for all in poor countries, incl. safe
    water and full immunizations
  • 25 of the worlds 2.5 million research
    scientists and engineers work entirely on
    military R and D

71
  • Every gun that is made, every warship launched,
    every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense
    a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
    those who are cold and not clothed.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

72
Poverty and Hunger
  • US 14 of residents and 20 of children live in
    poverty
  • Rates of poverty in Blacks and Hispanics almost
    3X Whites
  • 17 (52 million people) lack health insurance
    (2011)
  • Poverty associated with worse physical and mental
    health

73
Poverty
  • 1.1 billion people lack access to safe, clean
    drinking water -1.8 million child deaths/year
  • 2 billion have no electricity
  • 2.6 billion do not have adequate sanitation
    services
  • Lack of clean water and sanitation cause 4
    billion cases of diarrhea and 1.6 million deaths
    per year

74
Famine
75
Famine
  • 1.5 billion malnourished
  • Hunger kills 18,000 people per day, most under
    age 5
  • Hunger-related causes kill as many people in 8
    days as the atomic bomb killed at Hiroshima

76
Poverty and Priorities
  • Amount of money needed each year (in addition to
    current expenditures) to provide water and
    sanitation for all people in developing nations
    9 billion
  • Amount of money spent annually on cosmetics in
    the U.S. 8 billion

77
Poverty and Priorities
  • Amount of money needed each year ( in addition to
    current expenditures) to provide reproductive
    health care for all women in developing countries
    12 billion
  • Amount of money spent annually on perfumes in
    Europe and the U.S. 12 billion

78
Medical Care
  • 50 of global health care budget spent in the
    U.S.
  • Per capita expenditure on health care
  • U.S. 8,160
  • Typical poor African/Asian country 5-10

79
Medical Care
  • U.S. - 52 million uninsured
  • Ranks 24th worldwide in overall population health
    (as judged by disability-adjusted life
    expectancy)
  • Ranks 42nd in global life expectancy

80
Headline from The Onion
  • Uninsured Man Hopes His Symptoms Diagnosed This
    Week On House

81
Would You Sign a Petition to Ban Dihydrogen
Monoxide?
  • 1. It can cause excessive sweating and
    vomiting 2. It is a major component in acid
    rain 3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous
    state 4. It can kill you if accidentally
    inhaled 5. It contributes to erosion 6. It
    decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes 7.
    It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer
    patients

82
Geographic Ignorance
  • Percent of US teens unable to locate the
    following on a map
  • United States 11
  • Pacific Ocean 29
  • United Kingdom 68

83
Ignorance/Pseudoscientific Beliefs
  • Half of US citizens do not believe in evolution
    and do believe that humans and dinosaurs
    coexisted (2007)
  • 22 of Americans dont know whether an atomic
    bomb has ever been dropped (2000)
  • 25 believe in UFOs (2007)

84
The Obfuscation of Science
  • Advertising
  • US spends 290 billion/yr on advertising (almost
    1,000/person/yr in the U.S.
  • Lobbying
  • Campaign Contributions (Citizens United)
  • Greenwash
  • Astroturfing

85
The Obfuscation of Science
  • Corporate Front Groups
  • Sponsored Environmental Educational Materials
  • Media consolidation, corporate control
  • 5 corporations control majority of US media, down
    from 50 in 1983

86
Global Warming Controversial?
  • Of 928 articles in peer-reviewed scientific
    journals, 0 were in doubt as to the existence or
    cause of global warming
  • Of 636 articles in the popular press (NY Times,
    Washington Post, LA Times, WSJ), 53 expressed
    doubt as to the existence (and primary cause) of
    global warming
  • Science 20043061686-7
  • (Study covers 1993-2003)

87
Lobbying
  • Over 15,000 full-time lobbyists
  • Estimates of return on lobbying range from 28 to
    100 for every 1 spent

88
Lobbying
  • Lobbying groups spent 3.5 billion in 2010
    (federal lobbying, a record)
  • All single issue ideological groups combined
    (e.g., pro-choice, anti-abortion, feminist and
    consumer organizations, senior citizens, etc.)
    76 million
  • SCOTUS Citizens United decision has opened the
    floodgates for unlimited corporate contributions

89
The Decline of Democracy
  • True democracy demands an informed citizenry
    (education), freedom of the press (media), and
    involvement (will, time, money)
  • Democracy is critical to the success of public
    health

90
Corporations and International Agreements
  • Corporations attempt to influence writing and
    acceptance/rejection of international agreements
  • Through misinformation, lobbyists, revolving door
    between industry and government
  • Large behind the scenes role

91
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social, and
    Cultural Rights
  • Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel
    Land Mines

92
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • Treaty to ban cluster bombs Convention on the
    Rights of the Child
  • Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
    Against Women

93
International Non-Cooperation/Isolationism
  • Failure to sign or approve
  • WHO Code of Conduct for Marketing Breast Milk
    Substitutes
  • Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in
    Persons
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
    Pollutants

94
Primo Levi
  • A country is considered the more civilized the
    more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder
    a weak man from becoming too weak or a powerful
    one too powerful.

95
Solutions
  • Stronger environmental laws
  • Restructure tax system
  • Renewable energy
  • More equitable distribution of medical research
    funds and health care dollars
  • Single payer health care (PHM/PHC)

96
Solutions
  • Improve status of women / access to reproductive
    health care
  • Living wage laws
  • E.g., NY, LA, Chicago, and Philadelphia
  • Create maximum wage
  • Reform education

97
Solutions
  • Publicly financed campaigns and campaign finance
    reform
  • Proportional representation
  • Instant runoff voting/cumulative voting/range
    (rating) voting

98
Solutions Vote
  • US voter turnout low (139/172 worldwide)
  • Wealthy vote at almost twice rate of poor
  • Whites gt Blacks gt Hispanics
  • Old gt Young
  • Property owners gt Renters
  • Activism / Protesting / Whistleblowing
  • Work in Groups (PSR)

99
Günter Grass
  • The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth
    open.

100
Anita Roddick
  • "If you think you are too small to have an
    impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in your
    tent"

101
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102
  • Public Health and Social Justice Website
  • http//www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org
  • http//www.phsj.org
  • martindonohoe_at_phsj.org
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