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Chapter 1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability.

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1 Chapter 1 Environmental 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 Industrial Revolution ? Agricultural revolution Hunting and Gathering Billions of people Time Black Death—the Plague OBJ 1.1

5 CHECKPOINT 1.What is exponential growth? 2.Why is living in an exponential age a concern for everyone living on the planet?

6 Air (atmosphere) ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Human CulturesphereEarth's Life-Support System Politics Population Size Worldviews and ethics Economics Life (biosphere) Soil and rocks (lithosphere) Water (hydrosphere)

7 What Keeps Us Alive?  Solar  Natural  Solar  Natural Fig. 1-2, p. 7 OBJ 1.2

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 CHECKPOINT 1.Explain the terms natural capital, natural resources, natural services, solar capital and natural capital degradation.

10 Sustainability, 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. Sustainability: The Integrative Theme OBJ 1.3

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 1.Describe an environmentally sustainable society. 2.List three ways in which you could make your lifestyle more environmentally sustainable.

13 GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT Economic 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. OBJ 1.4

14 Global Outlook Comparison of developed and developing countries. Figures 1-5 and 1-6

15 Fig. 1-6, p. 11

16 CHECKPOINT 1.Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of globalization.

17 RESOURCES Perpetual: 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: OBJ 1.5

18 CHECKPOINT 1.Create a concept map showing a connection between the following terms: perpetual, renewable and nonrenewable energy. 2.Give examples of each type of resource.

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20 Our Ecological Footprint Humanity’s ecological footprint has exceeded earths ecological capacity. Figure 1-7

21 The 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) outcomes Credits: cow images from OBJ 1.6

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 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 120 liters

24 Do the farmers sit back and stay at 6 cows? Not if they are individual profit maximizers (here simplified as milk production maximizers) 20 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 120 liters (6 cows)

25 Do the farmers sit back and stay at 6 cows? Not if they are individual profit maximizers (here simplified as milk production maximizers) 20 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 140 liters (7 cows) 40 liters “I’ll get another cow”

26 We are now at the carrying capacity -- do they stop? No. 20 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 160 liters (8 cows) 40 liters “Then I’ll get another cow too”

27 They are now at the maximum total milk production. But do they stop? No… 18 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 162 liters (9 cows) 36 liters “I’ll get another cow” 36 liters

28 32 liters 16 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 160 liters (10 cows) 32 liters “My cow is now less productive, but 2 will improve my situation”

29 28 liters 14 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 154 liters (11 cows) 28 liters “I’ll get another cow” 28 liters

30 24 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 144 liters (12 cows) 24 liters “Well, everyone else is getting one, so me too!” 24 liters

31 20 liters Total daily milk production for the commons: 130 liters (10 cows) 30 liters 20 liters “Well, I can still increase milk production if I get a third cow” 20 liters

32 CHECKPOINT 1.How can environmentalists solve the issue of tragedy of the commons?

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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 organisms  What is pollution? - Presence of substances at high level in air, water, food that can threaten the health, survival, activities of organisms  Effects of Pollution -disrupt/degrade life-support systems -Damage wildlife, human health, property -Nuisances such as noise, unpleasant smells  Effects of Pollution -disrupt/degrade life-support systems -Damage wildlife, human health, property -Nuisances such as noise, unpleasant smells Sources  Point: single, identifiable sources - EX: Smokestack of a coal-burning power plant  Point: single, identifiable sources - EX: Smokestack of a coal-burning power plant  Nonpoint: dispersed, difficult to identify - EX: pesticides sprayed in air  Nonpoint: 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 CHECKPOINT 1.How is the production of pollution and waste related to exponential growth of the world’s population and economies? 2.List three things you would do to reduce the amount of pollution and waste that we produce. 3.List three changes in your lifestyle that would reduce the amount of pollution and wastes you produce.

37 Dealing With Pollution  Prevention (Input Control) - Reduce or eliminate production of pollutant  Prevention (Input Control) - Reduce or eliminate production of pollutant  Cleanup (Output Control) - Cleaning up or diluting pollutants after they have been produced Problems 1. temporary bandage 2. removes pollutant from 1 part to cause pollution in another 3. costs too much to reduce pollutants to acceptable levels  Cleanup (Output Control) - Cleaning up or diluting pollutants after they have been produced Problems 1. temporary bandage 2. removes pollutant from 1 part to cause pollution in another 3. costs too much to reduce pollutants to acceptable levels OBJ 1.7

38 Solutions: Prevention vs. Cleanup Problems 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. OBJ 1.7

39 CHECKPOINT 1.Distinguish between pollution prevention and pollution cleanup. 2.Evaluate the effectiveness of these two approaches in decreasing pollution. 3.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 The major causes of environmental problems are: –Population growth –Wasteful resource use –Poverty –Poor environmental accounting –Ecological ignorance OBJ 1.8

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42 Fig. 1-10, p. 17 Depletion of nonrenewable resources SOLAR CAPITAL Human Capital Human Economic and Cultural Systems Pollution and waste Degradation of renewable resources Heat Goods and services Natural Capital EARTH

43 CHECKPOINT 1.Identify 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 Underconsumption Overconsumption –Affluenza: unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism.

46 Connections between Environmental Problems and Their Causes Figure 1-14

47 CHECKPOINT 1.What is poverty? 2.In what ways do poverty and affluence affect the environment? 3.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 Fig. 1-16, p. 24 Reliance on Solar Energy Population Control Nutrient Recycling Biodiversity

50 CHECKPOINT 1.For each of the following actions, state one or more of the four scientific principles of sustainability that are involved: a)recycling soda cans b)using a rake instead of leaf blower c)choosing to have no more than one child d)walking to class instead of driving e)taking your own reusable bags to the grocery store to carry things home in f)volunteering to restore a pine rockland

51 STUDY RESOURCES


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