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The Environmental Problem Too many people: 7 billion of us. Growing by 219,000 a day! 9 billion of us by 2040. “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t.

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Presentation on theme: "The Environmental Problem Too many people: 7 billion of us. Growing by 219,000 a day! 9 billion of us by 2040. “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Environmental Problem Too many people: 7 billion of us. Growing by 219,000 a day! 9 billion of us by “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more.” Sir David Attenborough, April Sources: U.S. Census estimates, Optimum Population Trust

2 And We’re Too Dirty We emit more than 50 gigatons of greenhouse gasses every year. Up 70% since Drastic effects to everyone, everything alive. Water, agriculture, air, sea levels, civilization in for a rude shock. Time left to do anything? Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

3 Sources of Air Pollution Source: IPCC, 2007

4 We Foul the Water, Too 80% of sewage in developing countries is untreated. Pollutes rivers, lakes, coasts. Many polluting industries—chemicals, leather-making, have moved to developing countries—little regulation. Freshwater use up 300% in 50 years. 70% is used for agriculture. Industry+energy use=20%. Source: U.N. Water Development Report, March 2009

5 Why So Polluted? Until recently, economic cost of pollution and resource depletion not part of economic equations. Environmental economics now the rage. Remember “externalities.” “Mechanism design theory.” Carbon trading, tighter regulation, more international treaties are all happening.

6 On the other hand … Kyoto Protocols have failed. Meeting Copenhagen in 2009 went nowhere. Meeting in Durban in Developing vs. developed nations. U.S. hasn’t supported. New agreement by 2015, effect Kyoto expires in 2012.

7 Are multinationals to blame? Industry is only 19% globally in terms of air pollution. Agriculture is 70% of water use. Multinationals are highly visible, have large operations, much public data. But in scheme of things, they’re not the biggest problem as such. Transit+energy=39% air pollution. Other industry=19%.

8 Drive a Car? Pollution is driven by demand from people like you for services and products. All companies try to produce what you want at a profit. Emphasis has been on supply fixes, vilifying corporations. Little emphasis on individual demand, responsibility. Remind you of the “war on drugs?”

9 What You Can Do Stop driving. Turn out the lights. Turn off the heat and the aircon. Stop eating meat. Don’t reproduce. Stop cleaning anything with water. Ceasing to exist would help. Really, how much can demand be cut?

10 The Toxic Top E.I. du Pont de Nemours Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Dow Chemical Bayer Group Eastman Kodak General Electric Arcelor Mittal US Steel ExxonMobil AK Steel Holding 2010 Bayer Group ExxonMobil Sunoco E.I. du Pont de Nemours ArcelorMittal Steel Dynamics Inc. Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) Ford Motor Co. Eastman Kodak Co. Koch Industries Source: Political Economy Research Institute, U. Mass.

11 10 Biggest Companies 2009 General Electric Royal Dutch Shell Toyota Motor ExxonMobil BP HSBC Holdings AT&T Wal-Mart Stores Banco Santander Chevron Source: Forbes magazine 2011 JPMorgan Chase HSBC Holdings General Electric ExxonMobil Royal Dutch Shell PetroChina ICBC Berkshire Hathaway Petrobras-Petróleo Brasil Citigroup

12 Energy & Transportation Transportation involves individuals in developed countries, more and more in developing countries. Energy involves commerce and individuals, mainly in developed countries, but more and more in developing countries. Coverage has to concentrate on these sectors.

13 Other Sectors That Pollute Chemicals: water, air, land, exotic chemicals. Construction: deforestation, waste, energy use. Food and Agriculture: water, air, land, animal waste, water waste, fertilizer pollution Manufacturing: byproducts, waste, air, water. Mining: land, water, air, byproducts, land destruction. Pharmaceuticals: water use & pollution, exotic chemicals into air, water. Technology: water use, weird chemical waste.

14 Write Stores About Groundwater Contamination Industrial Mining Activities Metals Smelters and Processing Radioactive Waste and Uranium Mines Untreated Sewage Urban Air Quality Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling Contaminated Surface Water Indoor Air Pollution Artisanal Gold Mining

15 More Story Topics Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise Energy and Socioeconomic Systems Land-Use and Ecosystems Oceanic Trace Gases Solar and Atmospheric Radiation Trace Gas Emissions Vegetation Response to CO2 and Climate Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions Atmospheric Trace Gas Measurements Terrestrial Carbon Management

16 Yet More Stories I. Elementary Resources - atmosphere: air quality, climate - water: quality/ pollution, reserves - terrestrial/ soil: land use, fertilization, salinization

17 Still More II. Natural Resources - food - agriculture - farming - fishery -forestry -ocean aquaculture -biodiversity

18 Yet More Stories III. Mineral Resources - coal - oil - natural gas - uranium - rare minerals - Industrial metals—steel, copper, etc.

19 Yet More Stories IV. Energy Consumption - coal - natural gas - oil - charcoal -biomass, wood, waste -cogeneration -geothermal -hydroelectric

20 Yet More Stories VI. Social Conditions - health - sanitation - poverty - disasters (natural) VII. Waste - hazardous (including medical) - human and agricultural

21 More Stories “Corporate Social Responsibility” Growing response by big companies to criticism on many fronts. New codes of ethics and agreements, many touching on the environment. Critics call this “greenwashing.” “Fair Trade”—growing movement to market only sustainable products. Some big companies getting involved.

22 Cap & Trade, Carbon Trading Concept: You can “offset” your pollution by financing antipollution, e.g. buying a forest. If you pollute less, you can sell your rights to pollute to someone else. Done only with carbon so far. Market is developed in Europe, developing in U.S., elsewhere. Will spread to other polluting markets.

23 How Will Change Come? Market demand: If less-polluting products, services are demanded, business will shift to supply them. Regulation, taxes and incentives: Governments can use carrots and sticks to change nature of supply, but will they? New markets: Pollution markets might stop increases in pollution, but not clear they can start cutting pollution. Who will participate?


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