3 This lecture will help you understand: The meaning of the term environmentThe importance of natural resourcesThat environmental science is interdisciplinarySome pressures facing the global environmentSustainability and sustainable development
4 Environment: the total of our surroundings All the things around us with which we interact:Living thingsAnimals, plants, forests, fungi, etc.Nonliving thingsContinents, oceans, clouds, soil, rocksOur built environmentBuildings, human-created living centersSocial relationships and institutions
5 What Is Environmental Science? Environmental Science is the study of how humans interact with their environmentOur environment is everything that surrounds us, both natural and man-made.
6 Environmental science: how does the natural world work? Environment impacts HumansIt has an applied goal: developing solutions to environmental problemsAn interdisciplinary fieldNatural sciences: information about the worldEnvironmental Science programsSocial sciences: values and human behaviorEnvironmental Studies programs
8 ResourcesWhat is the difference between a renewable and a non-renewable resource?With your partner come up with a list of 5 ways that human’s are interacting with the environment in sustainable and non-sustainable ways
9 Natural resources: vital to human survival Natural resources = substances and energy sources needed for survivalRenewable resources:Perpetually available: sunlight, wind, wave energyRenew themselves over short periods: timber, water, soilThese can be destroyedNonrenewable resources: can be depletedOil, coal, minerals
10 Environmental science … can help us avoid mistakes made by past civilizations.The lesson of Easter Island: people annihilated their culture by destroying their environment. Can we act more wisely to conserve our resources?
11 Environmental science is not environmentalism The pursuit of knowledge about the natural worldScientists try to remain objectiveEnvironmentalismA social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world
12 Population & consumption Human population growth exacerbates all environmental problemsThe growth rate has slowed…but we still add more than 200,000 people to the planet each dayOur consumption of resources has risen even faster than our population growth.Life has become more pleasant for us so farHowever, rising consumption amplifies the demands we make on our environment.
13 Billions of people Time 1615?14131211?109Billions of people8?765432Black Death–the Plague12-5 millionyears800060004000200020002100TimeB.C.A.D.Fig. 1.1, p. 2Hunting andgatheringAgricultural revolutionIndustrialrevolution
14 How Fast does population double? D= 70/GD (time, years) example 3 years!G (growth rate) example 2 % annual growth rateANSWER THESE QUESTIONS BELOW!HOW long will it take a population with a 10% annual growth rate to double?How long will it take a population with a 1% growth rate to double?
15 Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons Unregulated exploitation leads to resource depletionSoil, air, waterResource users are tempted to increase use until the resource is goneSolution?Private ownership?Voluntary organization to enforce responsible use?Governmental regulations?
21 The “ecological footprint” The environmental impact of a person or populationAmount of biologically productive land + waterfor raw materials and to dispose/recycle wasteOvershoot: humans have surpassed the Earth’s capacityWe are using 30% more of the planet’s resources than are available on a sustainable basis!
22 Ecological footprints are not all equal The ecological footprints of countries vary greatlyThe U.S. footprint is almost 5 times greater than the world’s averageDeveloping countries have much smaller footprints than developed countries
23 Population Question?Should individuals be allowed to have children? If so…how many?Should offspring be taxed?
24 We face challenges in agriculture -Expanded food production led to increased population and consumption-It’s one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but at an enormous environmental costNearly half of the planet’s land surface is used for agricultureChemical fertilizersPesticidesErosionChanged natural systems
25 We face challenges in pollution Waste products and artificial chemicals used in farms, industries, and householdsEach year, millions of people die from pollution
26 We face challenges in climate Scientists have firmly concluded that humans are changing the composition of the atmosphereThe Earth’s surface is warmingMelting glaciersRising sea levelsImpacted wildlife and cropsIncreasingly destructive weatherSince the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have risen by 37%, to the highest level in 650,000 years
27 We face challenges in biodiversity Human actions have driven many species extinct, and biodiversity is declining dramaticallyBiodiversity loss may be our biggest environmental problem; once a species is extinct, it is gone forever
28 Sustainable solutions exist We must develop solutions that protect both our quality of life and the environmentOrganic agricultureTechnologyReduces pollutionBiodiversityProtect speciesWaste disposalRecyclingAlternative fuels
29 Sustainability: a goal for the future How can humans live within the planet’s means?Humans cannot exist without functioning natural systemsSustainabilityLeaves future generations with a rich and full EarthConserves the Earth’s natural resourcesMaintains fully functioning ecological systemsSustainable development: the use of resources to satisfy current needs without compromising future availability of resources
30 Will we develop in a sustainable way? The triple bottom line: sustainable solutions that meetEnvironmental goalsEconomic goalsSocial goalsRequires that humans apply knowledge from the sciences toLimit environmental impactsMaintain functioning ecological systems
31 Precautionary principle: What is the precautionary principle and why is it hard to implement?
32 ConclusionEnvironmental science helps us understand our relationship with the environment and informs our attempts to solve and prevent problems.Identifying a problem is the first step in solving itSolving environmental problems can move us towards health, longevity, peace and prosperityEnvironmental science can help us find balanced solutions to environmental problems
33 Early Environmentalists President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir were two of the first environmental activists.T. Roosevelt established the National Park System and the system of wildlife refuges found across the country.However much of the preservation system was based upon utilitarian conservation-the preserving of resources so they can provide homes and jobs for people.
34 Early Environmentalists John Muir was a geologist, author and founder of the Sierra Club. Muir argued that nature deserved to exist for its own sake, regardless of its usefulness to us.His view was called altruistic preservation-emphasizing the fundamental right of other organisms to exist and to purse their own interests.
35 Natural ResourcesMuir and Roosevelt both saw the need to preserve natural resourcesNatural resources may be renewable such as solar energy and treesNatural resources may be non-renewable such as oil, natural gas or metalsWe must always be careful not to deplete renewable resources faster than they can be replaced, and to recycle and conserve nonrenewable resources.
36 A Century of “Growth”The inventions of the twentieth century had a remarkable effect on daily life. They also had a devastating effect on the environment. Human population reached 6,000,000,000 in 1999 and continues to grow.In Rachel Carson wrote a ground-breaking book on what was happening to the environment. Her book was called “Silent Spring”. It became a warning to change our ways.
37 “Silent Spring”The title of Carson’s book referred to the disappearance of songbirds due to the pollution of air and water.People were shocked by the severity of the problem. Carson’s book highlighted the effects of air and water pollution on humans and other species of animals.
38 The Growth of Environmentalism In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to honor the Earth and shine a light on the damage being done to her.Thousands of people turned out across the country for rallies and demonstrations to bring attention, both political and popular to environmental problems. Later that same year, 1970, the first Clean Air Act was voted into law which made factories legally responsible for cleaning up what gases are produced through their smokestacks.
39 Scale of Environmental Problems Environmental problems are typically categorized by the affected population.Global problems, like global warming and the hole in the ozone layer affect the entire world population.It is important to note that even though the entire planet’s population is affected, the problems are caused by people living in the world’s richest countries.
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41 The Good NewsWith all that said however, it is important to note that the wealthiest countries have done much to address the world’s environmental problems. The U.S. for example has much better air and water quality than it’s poorer neighbor, Mexico.Typically these “poorer” countries have few environmental protection laws and many of the same problems.
42 Gaia Hypothesis Is the Earth Living? True or untrue? Debate time! Decide if you think the earth is living or not and come up with 5 pieces of evidence to support your belief.
43 What difficulties do we face when solving environmental problems Come up with a list of 5 problems we face!
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