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Chapters 1 & 2 HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY: AN OVERVIEW.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapters 1 & 2 HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY: AN OVERVIEW."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapters 1 & 2 HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY: AN OVERVIEW

2 Chapter Overview Questions What keeps us alive? What is an environmentally sustainable society? What keeps us alive? What is an environmentally sustainable society? How fast is the human population increasing? How fast is the human population increasing? What are economic growth, economic development, and globalization? What are economic growth, economic development, and globalization? What are the earths main types of resources? How can they be depleted or degraded? What are the earths main types of resources? How can they be depleted or degraded?

3 Chapter Overview Questions (contd) What are the principal types of pollution? What can we do about pollution? What are the principal types of pollution? What can we do about pollution? What are the basic causes of todays environmental problems? How are these causes connected? What are the basic causes of todays environmental problems? How are these causes connected? Is our current course sustainable? What is environmentally sustainable development? Is our current course sustainable? What is environmentally sustainable development?

4 Chapter Overview Questions (contd) What major beneficial and harmful effects have hunter-gatherer societies, agricultural societies, and industrialized societies had on the environment? What might be the environmental impact of the current information and globalization revolution? What major beneficial and harmful effects have hunter-gatherer societies, agricultural societies, and industrialized societies had on the environment? What might be the environmental impact of the current information and globalization revolution? What are the major phases in the history of land and wildlife conservation, public health, and environmental protection in the United States? What are the major phases in the history of land and wildlife conservation, public health, and environmental protection in the United States?

5 Chapter Overview Questions (contd) What is Aldo Leopolds land ethic? What is Aldo Leopolds land ethic?

6 Core Case Study: Living in an Exponential Age Human population growth: J-shaped curve Human population growth: J-shaped curve Figure 1-1

7 LIVING MORE SUSTAINABLY … the study of how the earth works, how we interact with the earth and how to deal with environmental problems.

8 What is Environmental Science? The goals of environmental science are to learn: The goals of environmental science are to learn: how nature works. how nature works. how the environment effects us. how the environment effects us. how we effect the environment. how we effect the environment. how we can live more sustainably without degrading our life-support system. how we can live more sustainably without degrading our life-support system.

9 Sustainability, is the ability of earths various systems to survive and adapt to environmental conditions indefinitely. Sustainability, is the ability of earths various systems to survive and adapt to environmental conditions indefinitely. The steps to sustainability must be supported by sound science. The steps to sustainability must be supported by sound science. Sustainability: The Integrative Theme

10 Environmentally Sustainable Societies … meets basic needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without degrading the natural capital that supplies these resources. … meets basic needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without degrading the natural capital that supplies these resources.

11 POPULATION GROWTH, ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Economic growth provides people with more goods and services. Economic growth provides people with more goods and services. Measured in gross domestic product (GDP). Measured in gross domestic product (GDP). Economic development uses economic growth to improve living standards. Economic development uses economic growth to improve living standards. The worlds countries economic status (developed vs. developing) are based on their degree of industrialization and GDP. The worlds countries economic status (developed vs. developing) are based on their degree of industrialization and GDP.

12 Global Outlook Comparison of developed and developing countries. Comparison of developed and developing countries.

13 Percentage of World's Population Developing countries Developed countries Pollution and waste Resource use Wealth and Income Population Growth

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15 RESOURCES Perpetual: On a human time scale are continuous. Perpetual: On a human time scale are continuous. Renewable: On a human time scale can be replenished rapidly (e.g. hours to several decades). Renewable: On a human time scale can be replenished rapidly (e.g. hours to several decades). Nonrenewable: On a human time scale are in fixed supply. Nonrenewable: On a human time scale are in fixed supply.

16 Nonrenewable Resources Exist as fixed quantity Exist as fixed quantity Becomes economically depleted. Becomes economically depleted. Recycling and reusing extends supply Recycling and reusing extends supply Recycling processes waste material into new material. Recycling processes waste material into new material. Reuse is using a resource over again in the same form. Reuse is using a resource over again in the same form.

17 Our Ecological Footprint Humanitys ecological footprint has exceeded earths ecological capacity. Humanitys ecological footprint has exceeded earths ecological capacity.

18 POLLUTION Found at high enough levels in the environment to cause harm to organisms. Found at high enough levels in the environment to cause harm to organisms. Point source Point source Nonpoint source Nonpoint source

19 Pollution Pollutants can have three types of unwanted effects: Pollutants can have three types of unwanted effects: Can disrupt / degrade life-support systems. Can disrupt / degrade life-support systems. Can damage health and property. Can damage health and property. Can create nuisances such as noise and unpleasant smells, tastes, and sights. Can create nuisances such as noise and unpleasant smells, tastes, and sights.

20 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND CONNECTIONS The major causes of environmental problems are: The major causes of environmental problems are: Population growth Population growth Wasteful resource use Wasteful resource use Poverty Poverty Poor environmental accounting Poor environmental accounting Ecological ignorance Ecological ignorance

21 Depletion of nonrenewable resources SOLAR CAPITAL Human Capital Human Economic and Cultural Systems Pollution and waste Degradation of renewable resources Heat Goods and services Natural Capital EARTH

22 Natural capital degradation The exponential increasing flow of material resources through the worlds economic systems depletes, degrades and pollutes the environment. The exponential increasing flow of material resources through the worlds economic systems depletes, degrades and pollutes the environment.

23 Solutions: Prevention vs. Cleanup Problems with relying on cleanup: Problems with relying on cleanup: Temporary bandage without improvements in control technology. Temporary bandage without improvements in control technology. Often removes a pollutant from one part of the environment to cause problems in another. Often removes a pollutant from one part of the environment to cause problems in another. Pollutants at harmful levels can cost too much to reduce them to acceptable levels. Pollutants at harmful levels can cost too much to reduce them to acceptable levels.

24 Poverty and Environmental Problems 1 of 3 children under 5, suffer from severe malnutrition. 1 of 3 children under 5, suffer from severe malnutrition.

25 Resource Consumption and Environmental Problems Underconsumption Underconsumption Overconsumption Overconsumption Affluenza: unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism. Affluenza: unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism.

26 Connections between Environmental Problems and Their Causes

27 CULTURAL CHANGES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Agricultural revolution Agricultural revolution Allowed people to stay in one place. Allowed people to stay in one place. Industrial-medical revolution Industrial-medical revolution Led shift from rural villages to urban society. Led shift from rural villages to urban society. Science improved sanitation and disease control. Science improved sanitation and disease control. Information-globalization revolution Information-globalization revolution Rapid access to information. Rapid access to information.

28 Which single advantage and disadvantage are the most important? Which single advantage and disadvantage are the most important?

29 SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS Technological optimists: Technological optimists: suggest that human ingenuity will keep the environment sustainable. suggest that human ingenuity will keep the environment sustainable. Environmental pessimists: Environmental pessimists: overstate the problems where our environmental situation seems hopeless. overstate the problems where our environmental situation seems hopeless.

30 How Would You Vote? Is the society you live in on an unsustainable path? Is the society you live in on an unsustainable path? a. Yes: Without readily available green products and services, converting to a sustainable society is unrealistic. a. Yes: Without readily available green products and services, converting to a sustainable society is unrealistic. b. Not entirely: I'm doing what I can to improve sustainability, including recycling and using less energy. b. Not entirely: I'm doing what I can to improve sustainability, including recycling and using less energy.

31 Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability: Copy Nature Reliance on Solar Energy Reliance on Solar Energy Biodiversity Biodiversity Population Control Population Control Nutrient Recycling Nutrient Recycling

32 Aldo Leopolds Environmental Ethics Individuals matter. Individuals matter. … land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. … land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity… We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity…

33 Implications of the Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability


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