Presentation on theme: "HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY: AN OVERVIEW"— Presentation transcript:
1HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY: AN OVERVIEW Chapters 1 & 2HUMANS AND SUSTAINABILITY:AN OVERVIEW
2Chapter Overview Questions What keeps us alive? What is an environmentally sustainable society?How fast is the human population increasing?What are economic growth, economic development, and globalization?What are the earth’s main types of resources? How can they be depleted or degraded?
3Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) What are the principal types of pollution? What can we do about pollution?What are the basic causes of today’s environmental problems? How are these causes connected?Is our current course sustainable? What is environmentally sustainable development?
4Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) 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?
5Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) What is Aldo Leopold’s land ethic?
6Core Case Study: Living in an Exponential Age Human population growth: J-shaped curveFigure 1-1
7LIVING MORE SUSTAINABLY … the study of how the earth works, how we interact with the earth and how to deal with environmental problems.
8What is Environmental Science? The goals of environmental science are to learn:how nature works.how the environment effects us.how we effect the environment.how we can live more sustainably without degrading our life-support system.
9Sustainability: The Integrative Theme Sustainability, is the ability of earth’s various systems to survive and adapt to environmental conditions indefinitely.The steps to sustainability must be supported by sound science.
10Environmentally Sustainable Societies … meets basic needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without degrading the natural capital that supplies these resources.
11POPULATION GROWTH, ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Economic growth provides people with more goods and services.Measured in gross domestic product (GDP).Economic development uses economic growth to improve living standards.The world’s countries economic status (developed vs. developing) are based on their degree of industrialization and GDP.
12Global OutlookComparison of developed and developing countries.
13Percentage of World's 18 Population 82 Population Growth 0.1 1.5 85 Wealth andIncome15Resourceuse88Figure 1.5Global outlook: comparison of developed and developing countries, (Data from the United Nations and the World Bank)12Pollutionand waste7525Developed countriesDeveloping countries
14Figure 1.6Generalized distribution of poverty. Poverty is found mostly in the southern hemisphere, largely because of unfavorable climates and geological bad luck in terms of fertile soils, minerals, and fossil fuel supplies. (Data from United Nations and World Bank)
15RESOURCES Perpetual: On a human time scale are continuous. 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.
16Nonrenewable Resources Exist as fixed quantityBecomes economically depleted.Recycling and reusing extends supplyRecycling processes waste material into new material.Reuse is using a resource over again in the same form.
18POLLUTIONFound at high enough levels in the environment to cause harm to organisms.Point sourceNonpoint source
19Pollution Pollutants can have three types of unwanted effects: Can disrupt / degrade life-support systems.Can damage health and property.Can create nuisances such as noise and unpleasant smells, tastes, and sights.
20ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND CONNECTIONS The major causes of environmental problems are:Population growthWasteful resource usePovertyPoor environmental accountingEcological ignorance
21Human Economic and Cultural Systems Recycling and reuse SOLARCAPITALEARTHGoods and servicesHeatHuman CapitalHumanEconomicandCulturalSystemsDepletion of nonrenewable resourcesDegradation of renewable resourcesNatural CapitalFigure 1.10Natural capital use, depletion, and degradation: human and natural capital produce an amazing array of goods and services for most of the world’s people. But the exponentially increasing flow of material resources through the world’s economic systems depletes nonrenewable resources, degrades renewable resources, and adds heat, pollution, and wastes to the environment.Pollution and wasteRecycling and reuse
22Natural capital degradation The exponential increasing flow of material resources through the world’s economic systems depletes, degrades and pollutes the environment.
23Solutions: Prevention vs. Cleanup Problems with relying on cleanup:Temporary bandage without improvements in control technology.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.
24Poverty and Environmental Problems 1 of 3 children under 5, suffer from severe malnutrition.
25Resource Consumption and Environmental Problems UnderconsumptionOverconsumptionAffluenza: unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism.
26Connections between Environmental Problems and Their Causes
27CULTURAL CHANGES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Agricultural revolutionAllowed people to stay in one place.Industrial-medical revolutionLed shift from rural villages to urban society.Science improved sanitation and disease control.Information-globalization revolutionRapid access to information.
28Which single advantage and disadvantage are the most important?
29SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS Technological optimists:suggest that human ingenuity will keep the environment sustainable.Environmental pessimists:overstate the problems where our environmental situation seems hopeless.
30How Would You Vote?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.b. Not entirely: I'm doing what I can to improve sustainability, including recycling and using less energy.
31Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability: Copy Nature Reliance on Solar EnergyBiodiversityPopulation ControlNutrient Recycling
32Aldo Leopold’s Environmental Ethics Individuals matter.… land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity…
33Implications of the Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability