Presentation on theme: "Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability"— Presentation transcript:
1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability Chapter 1Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability
2 Chapter Overview Questions What are the main themes of this book?What keeps us alive? What is an environmentally sustainable society?How fast is the human population growing?What is the difference between economic growth, economic development, and environmentally sustainable economic development?
3 Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d) What are the harmful environmental effects of poverty and affluence?What three major human cultural changes have taken place since humans arrived?What are the four scientific principles of sustainability and how can we use them and shared visions to build more environmentally sustainable and just societies during this century?
4 OBJ 1.1 ? Billions of people Black Death—the Plague Time Industrial Figure 1.1Exponential growth: the J-shaped curve of past exponential world population growth, with projections to Exponential growth starts off slowly, but as time passes the curve becomes increasingly steep. Unless death rates rise, the current world population of 6.6 billion people is projected to reach 8–10 billion people sometime this century. (This figure is not to scale.) (Data from the World Bank and United Nations; photo courtesy of NASA)Black Death—the PlagueTimeIndustrialRevolutionHunting andGatheringAgricultural revolution
5 CHECKPOINT What is exponential growth? Why is living in an exponential age a concern for everyone living on the planet?
6 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Earth's Life-Support SystemHuman CulturesphereAir(atmosphere)Water(hydrosphere)PopulationSizeWorldviewsand ethicsSoil androcks(lithosphere)Life(biosphere)Figure 1.2Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study of connections between the earth’s life-support system (left) and the human culturesphere (right).EconomicsPolitics
7 What Keeps Us Alive?OBJ 1.2SolarNaturalFig. 1-2, p. 7
8 Natural capital degradation The exponential increasing flow of material resources through the world’s economic systems depletes, degrades and pollutes the environment.Figure 1-11
9 CHECKPOINTExplain the terms natural capital, natural resources, natural services, solar capital and natural capital degradation.
10 Sustainability: The Integrative Theme OBJ 1.3Sustainability, 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.
11 Environmentally Sustainable Societies … meets basic needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without degrading the natural capital that supplies these resources.
12 CHECKPOINT Describe an environmentally sustainable society. List three ways in which you could make your lifestyle more environmentally sustainable.
13 OBJ 1.4GROWTH & DEVELOPMENTEconomic growth provides people with more goods and services.Measured in gross domestic product (GDP) and purchasing power parity (PPP).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-PPP.
14 Global Outlook Comparison of developed and developing countries. Figures 1-5 and 1-6
15 Figure 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)Fig. 1-6, p. 11
16 CHECKPOINTSummarize the advantages and disadvantages of globalization.
17 Perpetual: On a human time scale are continuous. OBJ 1.5RESOURCESPerpetual: 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.LINK:
18 CHECKPOINTCreate a concept map showing a connection between the following terms: perpetual, renewable and nonrenewable energy.Give examples of each type of resource.
21 OBJ 1.6The Tragedy of the Commons Or: the challenge of common-pool resources Or: why the sum total of individual “rational” choices can lead to perverse (and socially sub-optimal) outcomesCredits: cow images from
22 Imagine a field of grass shared by 6 farmers, each with one cow…
23 A few facts: Each cow currently produces 20 liters of milk per day The carrying capacity of the commons is 8 cows. For each cow above 8, the milk production declines by 2 liters (due to overgrazing, there is less grass for each cow: less grass, less milk!).20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 120 liters
24 Do the farmers sit back and stay at 6 cows Do the farmers sit back and stay at 6 cows? Not if they are individual profit maximizers (here simplified as milk production maximizers)20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 120 liters (6 cows)
25 Total daily milk production for the commons: 140 liters (7 cows) Do the farmers sit back and stay at 6 cows? Not if they are individual profit maximizers (here simplified as milk production maximizers)“I’ll get another cow”40 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 140 liters (7 cows)
26 We are now at the carrying capacity -- do they stop? No. “Then I’ll get another cow too”40 liters40 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 160 liters (8 cows)
27 Total daily milk production for the commons: 162 liters (9 cows) They are now at the maximum total milk production. But do they stop? No…36 liters36 liters“I’ll get another cow”18 liters36 liters18 liters18 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 162 liters (9 cows)
28 Total daily milk production for the commons: 160 liters (10 cows) “My cow is now less productive, but 2 will improve my situation”32 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 160 liters (10 cows)
29 Total daily milk production for the commons: 154 liters (11 cows) “I’ll get another cow”28 liters28 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 154 liters (11 cows)
30 Total daily milk production for the commons: 144 liters (12 cows) “Well, everyone else is getting one, so me too!”24 liters24 liters24 liters24 liters24 liters24 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 144 liters (12 cows)
31 Total daily milk production for the commons: 130 liters (10 cows) “Well, I can still increase milk production if I get a third cow”30 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 liters20 litersTotal daily milk production for the commons: 130 liters (10 cows)
32 CHECKPOINTHow can environmentalists solve the issue of tragedy of the commons?
34 1-4: Pollution What is pollution? - Presence of substances at high level in air, water, food that can threaten the health, survival, activities of organismsEffects of Pollutiondisrupt/degrade life-support systemsDamage wildlife, human health, propertyNuisances such as noise, unpleasant smellsSourcesPoint: single, identifiable sources- EX: Smokestack of a coal-burning power plantNonpoint: dispersed, difficult to identify- EX: pesticides sprayed in air
35 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.
36 CHECKPOINTHow is the production of pollution and waste related to exponential growth of the world’s population and economies?List three things you would do to reduce the amount of pollution and waste that we produce.List three changes in your lifestyle that would reduce the amount of pollution and wastes you produce.
37 Dealing With Pollution OBJ 1.7Dealing With PollutionPrevention (Input Control)- Reduce or eliminate production of pollutantCleanup (Output Control)- Cleaning up or diluting pollutants after theyhave been producedProblems1. temporary bandage2. removes pollutant from 1 part to causepollution in another3. costs too much to reduce pollutants toacceptable levels
38 Solutions: Prevention vs. Cleanup OBJ 1.7Solutions: Prevention vs. CleanupProblems 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.
39 CHECKPOINTDistinguish between pollution prevention and pollution cleanup.Evaluate the effectiveness of these two approaches in decreasing pollution.Explain how placing much greater emphasis on pollution prevention would help reduce the exponential growth of the human ecological footprint and your own ecological footprint.
40 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND CONNECTIONS OBJ 1.8ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND CONNECTIONSThe major causes of environmental problems are:Population growthWasteful resource usePovertyPoor environmental accountingEcological ignorance
42 Human 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 reuseFig. 1-10, p. 17
43 CHECKPOINTIdentify five basic causes of the environmental problems we face today.
44 Poverty & Environmental Problems 1 of 3 children under 5, suffer from severe malnutrition.Figure 1-12 and 1-13
45 Resource Consumption and Environmental Problems UnderconsumptionOverconsumptionAffluenza: unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism.
46 Connections between Environmental Problems and Their Causes Figure 1-14
47 CHECKPOINT What is poverty? In what ways do poverty and affluence affect the environment?Explain the problems we face by not including the harmful environmental costs in the prices of goods and services.
48 Implications of the Four Scientific Principles of Sustainability OBJ 1.9
49 Reliance on Solar Energy BiodiversityFigure 1.16Four 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 the nutrients needed to support the plant growth shown in the top left and right ovals (nutrient recycling).Nutrient RecyclingPopulation ControlFig. 1-16, p. 24
50 CHECKPOINTFor each of the following actions, state one or more of the four scientific principles of sustainability that are involved:recycling soda cansusing a rake instead of leaf blowerchoosing to have no more than one childwalking to class instead of drivingtaking your own reusable bags to the grocery store to carry things home involunteering to restore a pine rockland