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Environmental Science. What Is an Environmentally Sustainable Society?

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Science. What Is an Environmentally Sustainable Society?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Science

2 What Is an Environmentally Sustainable Society?

3 SUSTAINABILITY The ability of earths natural and human cultural systems to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions indefinitely An 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 CAPITAL Natural resources Renewable (renews in hrs – decades) Nonrenewable (fixed quantities) Natural services Functions of nature RELIANCE ON SOLAR CAPITAL Perpetual energy from the sun Creates renewable energy Wind, hydropower, biomass

5 Environmental Sustainability and Economic Growth The economy and the environment are closely linked The environment contains all resources used in the economy The economy supports the development (and preservation) of resources Environmentally sustainable economic growth and development Increasing productivity of goods and services while improving the quality of life without degrading the earths natural capital

6 Key Natural Resources and Services Fig. 1-3, p. 8 Environmental Sustainability – living off the earths natural income without depleting or degrading the natural capital

7 Fig. 1-1, p. 1 Hunting and gathering Agricultural revolution Industrial revolution Black Deaththe Plague Industrial revolution Fig. 1-1, p. 5 World population Exponential Growth

8 Fig. 1-5, p. 10 Percentage of World's: Population growth Wealth and income Resource use Pollution and waste 18% 77 years 0.1% 85% 15% 88% 12% 75% 25% Life expectancy 82% 1.5% 66 years

9 How Are Our Ecological Footprints Affecting the Earth?

10 The Lorax Part 1 Part 2

11 How Are Our Ecological Footprints Affecting the Earth? We are depleting and degrading more and more of the earths natural capital. Sustainable yield Applies to renewable resources Highest use while maintaining supply Environmental degradation Use more than the sustainable yield Exceed natural replacement rate

12 Fig. 1-6, p. 12 Since the beginning of agriculture, human activities have accelerated natural soil erosion -1 cm can take hundreds of years to form

13 Measuring Environmental Impact Ecological footprint Amount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply renewable resources and adsorb the waste and pollution produced Ecological deficit When ecological footprint exceeds biological capacity Currently exceeding earths biological capacity by over 25% Expected to reach 100% by 2050 Per capita ecological footprint

14 Fig. 1-8, p. 13 Stepped Art Projected footprint Ecological footprint Earths ecological capacity Total Ecological Footprint (million hectares) and share of Global Ecological Capacity (%) Per Capita Ecological Footprint (hectares per person)

15 Why do we have Environmental Problems? Fig. 1-9, p. 15 Environmental problems are growing exponentially

16 Pollution is an obvious environmental problem What is pollution? Any chemical or physical change in the environment – harmful to living organisms Natural – volcano Human induced - industry Point sources – single, identifiable Smokestack, oil spill, car exhaust Nonpoint sources – dispersed, difficult to identify Fertilizer runoff, acid rain Unwanted effects of pollution?

17 Solutions to Pollution Pollution prevention (input control) Less expensive in the long run Pollution cleanup (output control) Temporary Example: Catalytic converter - pop. growth offsets technologic advances Costly There is no away in throw it away! Pollutants move from one place to another Burial in landfills leachate formation Incineration air pollution

18 Five basic causes of the environmental problems. Fig. 1-10, p. 16 Stepped Art Causes of Environmental Problems Trying to manage nature without knowing enough about it Excluding environmental costs from market prices Poverty Unsustainable resource use Population growth By the end of the century – resource consumption by the growing population will be responsible for loss of 1/3 to ½ of all known species

19 Harmful Effects of Poverty Fig. 1-12, p. 16

20 Fig. 1-11, p. 16 Number of people (% of world's population) 0.84 billion (13%) 1 billion (15%) 1.1 billion (16%) 2 billion (30%) 2.6 billion (39%) Enough food for good health Adequate housing Adequate health care Clean drinking water Electricity Enough fuel for heating and cooking Adequate sanitation facilities Lack of access to

21 Environmental Effects of Affluence Harmful effects Obtain resources from anywhere in the world Dont count environmental cost of resource use High consumption and waste of resources False advertising – more makes you happy Affluenza: The addiction to overconsumption of material goods Beneficial effects Concern for environmental quality Provide money for environmental causes Reduced population growth

22 Moving Towards an Environmentally Sustainable Society

23 Fig. 1-14, p. 20 Increasing resource use Sustainability EmphasisCurrent Emphasis Pollution prevention Waste prevention Protecting habitat Environmental restoration Less resource waste Population stabilization Protecting natural capital Waste disposal (bury or burn) Pollution cleanup Protecting species Environmental degradation Depleting and degrading natural capital Population growth

24 Fig. 1-13, p. 20 Population Control Reliance on Solar Energy Biodiversity Nutrient Cycling What Are the Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability?

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 ?

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