Presentation on theme: "Environmental Science"— Presentation transcript:
1 Environmental Science What is Environmental Science?Environmental Science studies connections in NatureHow do you define Environment? – all living and nonliving things with which an organism interactsEcology studies the relationships between organisms – an important part of environmental scienceEnvironmental science – The interdisciplinary study of how earth works, our interaction with earth and how we deal with environmental problemsUnlike: Environmentalism – a social movement to protect the environment
2 What Is an Environmentally Sustainable Society? Brainstorm key question:Miller: we are seriously degrading our own life support system – living unsustainably“Tragedy of the commons” simulation activityMeets current and future basic resource needs of people in a just and equitable way w/out compromising the environment for future generationsSocieties can become more environmentally sustainable through economic development dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone without degrading the earth’s life-support systems. Economic growth provides goods and services needed to sustain population growth.
3 What Is an Environmentally Sustainable Society? SUSTAINABILITYThe ability of earth’s natural and human cultural systems to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions indefinitelyAn environmentally sustainable society meets current and future basic resource needs of people in a just and equitable way without compromising the environment for future generations
4 Key Principles of Sustainability PRESERVING NATURAL CAPITALNatural resourcesRenewable (renews in hrs – decades)Nonrenewable (fixed quantities)Natural servicesFunctions of natureRELIANCE ON SOLAR CAPITALPerpetual energy from the sunCreates renewable energyWind, hydropower, biomassConcept 1-1A We depend on energy from the sun (solar capital) and natural resources and natural services (natural capital) provided by the sun and earth.Concept 1-1B Living sustainably means living off earth’s natural income without depleting or degrading the natural capital that supplies it.Examples: renewable – forests, air / nonrenewable – fossil fuels, mineralsMUST understand our environment and practice sustainability - Consider Your Consumption Factor (Jared Diamond)
5 Environmental Sustainability and Economic Growth The economy and the environment are closely linkedThe environment contains all resources used in the economyThe economy supports the development (and preservation) of resourcesEnvironmentally sustainable economic growth and developmentIncreasing productivity of goods and services while improving the quality of life without degrading the earth’s natural capital
6 Key Natural Resources and Services Environmental Sustainability – living off the earth’s natural income without depleting or degrading the natural capitalHuman activities degrade natural capitalNormally renewable resources are used faster than nature can renew themTrade-offs (compromises) must be made based on sound science and participation by economic and political systemsIndividuals matterFig. 1-3, p. 8
7 Industrial revolution Black Death—the Plague Agricultural revolution World populationExponential GrowthIndustrial revolutionProjections225,000 people added per day (adds population of U.S. < 4 years) by 2050 ~ 9.2 billion peopleResource consumption, degradation, depletion - Possible resultsHuge amount of pollution and wastes; Disrupt economies; Loss of species, farm land, water supplies; Climate change; Political falloutBlack Death—the PlagueHuntingand gatheringAgricultural revolutionIndustrial revolutionFig. 1-1, p. 1Fig. 1-1, p. 5
8 Percentage of World's: 18% Population 82% Population growth 0.1% 1.5% Life expectancy77 years66 yearsWealth andincome85%15%Figure 1.5: Global outlook: comparison of developed and developing countries, 2007.Question: Why do you think less developed, less wealthy countries have higher population growth rates?(Data from the United Nations and the World Bank)Resourceuse88%12%Pollutionand waste75%25%Fig. 1-5, p. 10
9 How Are Our Ecological Footprints Affecting the Earth?
11 How Are Our Ecological Footprints Affecting the Earth? We are depleting and degrading more and more of the earth’s natural capital.Sustainable yieldApplies to renewable resourcesHighest use while maintaining supplyEnvironmental degradationUse more than the sustainable yieldExceed natural replacement rate
12 Since the beginning of agriculture, human activities have accelerated natural soil erosion -1 cm can take hundreds of years to formFig. 1-6, p. 12
13 Measuring Environmental Impact Ecological footprintAmount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply renewable resources and adsorb the waste and pollution producedEcological deficitWhen ecological footprint exceeds biological capacityCurrently exceeding earth’s biological capacity by over 25%Expected to reach 100% by 2050Per capita ecological footprint
14 Per Capita Ecological Footprint (hectares per person) Total Ecological Footprint (million hectares) and share of Global Ecological Capacity (%)Per Capita Ecological Footprint (hectares per person)Projected footprintEcological footprintEarth’s ecological capacityFigure 1.8: Natural capital use and degradation: total and per capita ecological footprints of selected countries (top). In 2003, humanity’s total or global ecological footprint was about 25% higher than the earth’s ecological capacity (bottom) and is projected to be twice the planet’s ecological capacity by 2050.Question: If we are living beyond the earth’s ecological capacity, why do you think the human population and per capita resource consumption are still growing exponentially?(Data from Worldwide Fund for Nature, Global Footprint Network)Stepped ArtFig. 1-8, p. 13
15 Why do we have Environmental Problems? Environmental problems are growing exponentiallyFig. 1-9, p. 15
16 Pollution is an obvious environmental problem What is pollution?Any chemical or physical change in the environment – harmful to living organismsNatural – volcanoHuman induced - industryPoint sources – single, identifiableSmokestack, oil spill, car exhaustNonpoint sources – dispersed, difficult to identifyFertilizer runoff, acid rainUnwanted effects of pollution?What are some of the Unwanted effects of pollution?Degrade life support systemsDamage healthCreate nuisances
17 Solutions to Pollution Pollution prevention (input control)Less expensive in the long runPollution cleanup (output control)TemporaryExample: Catalytic converter - pop. growth offsets technologic advancesCostlyThere is no “away” in “throw it away”!Pollutants move from one place to anotherBurial in landfills leachate formationIncineration air pollution
18 Five basic causes of the environmental problems. Causes of Environmental ProblemsPopulationgrowthUnsustainableresource usePovertyExcludingenvironmental costs from market pricesTrying to manage nature without knowing enoughabout itBy the end of the century – resource consumption by the growing population will be responsible for loss of 1/3 to ½ of all known speciesStepped ArtFig. 1-10, p. 16
20 Lack of access to Number of people (% of world's population) Adequate sanitation facilities2.6 billion (39%)Enough fuel forheating and cooking2 billion (30%)Electricity2 billion (30%)Clean drinkingwater1.1 billion (16%)Adequatehealth careFigure 1.11: Some harmful results of poverty.Question: Which two of these effects do you think are the most harmful? Why?(Data from United Nations, World Bank, and World Health Organization)1.1 billion (16%)Adequatehousing1 billion (15%)Enough foodfor good health0.84 billion (13%)Fig. 1-11, p. 16
21 Environmental Effects of “Affluence” Harmful effectsObtain resources from anywhere in the worldDon’t count environmental cost of resource useHigh consumption and waste of resourcesFalse advertising – more makes you happy“Affluenza”: The addiction to overconsumption of material goodsBeneficial effectsConcern for environmental qualityProvide money for environmental causesReduced population growthDo you agree with Jared Diamond? Why or why not?Do you think it is an American’s global responsibility to reduce consumption so that others in the world will have access to resources?Do you think it is an American’s global responsibility to reduce consumption so that future generations in America will have access to resources?
22 Moving Towards an Environmentally Sustainable Society Brainstorm key question:Miller: we are seriously degrading our own life support system – living unsustainably“Tragedy of the commons” simulation activityMeets current and future basic resource needs of people in a just and equitable way w/out compromising the environment for future generationsSocieties can become more environmentally sustainable through economic development dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone without degrading the earth’s life-support systems. Economic growth provides goods and services needed to sustain population growth.
23 Sustainability Emphasis Current EmphasisSustainability EmphasisPollution cleanupPollution preventionWaste disposal(bury or burn)Waste preventionProtecting speciesProtecting habitatEnvironmental restorationEnvironmentaldegradationIncreasing resource useLess resource wasteFigure 1.14: Solutions: some shifts involved in bringing about the environmental or sustainability revolution.Question: Which three of these shifts do you think are most important? Why?Environmental worldviewsPlanetary management worldview –nature exists to meet our needsStewardship worldview – ethical responsibility to be stewards of natureEnvironmental wisdom worldview – we are totally dependent on nature / success depends on learning how earth sustains itselfPopulation growthPopulation stabilizationDepleting and degrading natural capitalProtecting natural capitalFig. 1-14, p. 20
24 What Are the Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability? Reliance onSolar EnergyBiodiversityFigure 1.13: Four scientific principles of sustainability: these four interconnected principles of sustainability are derived from learning how nature has sustained a variety of life on the earth for about 3.7 billion years. The top left oval shows sunlight stimulating the production of vegetation in the Arctic tundra during its brief summer (solar energy) and the top right oval shows some of the diversity of species found there during the summer (biodiversity). The bottom right oval shows Arctic gray wolves stalking a caribou during the long cold winter (population control). The bottom left oval shows Arctic gray wolves feeding on their kill. This, plus huge numbers of tiny decomposers that convert dead matter to soil nutrients, recycle all materials needed to support the plant growth shown in the top left and right ovals (nutrient cycling).Nutrient CyclingPopulation ControlFig. 1-13, p. 20
25 AP - Chapter 1 test - Free Response Developed countries are the largest consumers and wasters of resources (overconsumption) while poorer developing countries under consume. This imbalance of resource utilization has led to a growing condition known as affluenza.1. Define affluenza in terms of sustainability. Where does the problem exist and what are some of the causes?2. How can affluenza be implicated in having both negative and positive effects on the environment?