4“The Tragedy of the Commons” essay written by ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968idea -- the main difficulty in solving environmental problems is the conflict between the short-term interests of individuals & the long-term welfare of society
5“The Tragedy of the Commons” someone or some group has to take responsibility for maintaining a resourceif no one takes that responsibility, then the resource can be overused & become depleted
6Discussion Question:Do you think people will continue to act in their own self-interest to the point of society’s collapse?What can societies do to come up with solutions that responsibly use Earth’s natural resources?
7Economics & the Environment Law of Supply & Demand – the greater the demand for a limited supply of something, the more that thing is worthReal Situation: If the supply of gasoline decreases, we can . . .pay a higher price for ituse less of itfind new/different sources of energy
10Economics & the Environment Cost-Benefit Analysis – balances the cost of the action needed to solve an environmental issue against the benefits one expects from itWatch Out! Who is doing the analysis may determine what is or is not important!
12Costs & BenefitsAn industry may not find that controlling pollution to meet environmental regulations is cost effective, while a neighboring community may find it very important that that industry meet the standards.Consumers must be prepared to pay a higher cost for the product though!
13Economics & the Environment Risk Assessment – the public must be able to accurately perceive the risk from various technologies to create cost-effective solutions to environmental problemWhich is riskier?a nuclear power plantriding a bicycle
14Unequalthe distribution of wealth and environmental resources is not equal throughout the worldthis influences the choices that people make in solving environmental problems
15Developed vs. Developing Countries higher average incomeslower population growthdiverse industrial economicsstrong social support systemslower average incomesrapid population growthsimple & agriculture-based economies
16Discussion Question:Brainstorm some countries and categorize them as developed or developing.Compare health care, life expectancy rates, wealth, amount of living space, amount of energy use, amount of pollution production, & the amount of waste produced.
17Fast Fact:developed nations use about 75% of the world’s resources, yet only make up about 20% of the world’s population
18Ecological Footprints shows the productive area of Earth needed to support one person in a particular countryused to express differences in resource consumption between nationsestimates the land used for crops, grazing, forest products, housing, ocean used for seafood harvesting, & forest area needed to absorb air pollution
20Ecological Footprints Try taking this quiz to see what your footprint is on EarthHow many Earths would we need to support people if everyone were like you?
21Key Goal of Environmental Science: achieving sustainabilitymeeting human needs in such a way that the entire human population can survive indefinitelyfinding solutions that allow people on all parts of our planet to live in a clean, healthy environment & have the resources they need for a good life
22Discussion Question:How can we play a role in achieving sustainability?Check out this web siteChoose one of the links & use the information in your next journal entry.
23Complex Problems . . .some solutions cause more damage than the original problemhow do you balance the rights of individuals against society as a whole?how do we deal with the environmental impact of immigrants, both legal & illegal?
24Lead to Misinterpretation . . . people may distort information to mislead others about a causemedia often sensationalized environmental issuesresearch can be biased or misrepresentedtherefore, . . .
25So Learn to Think Critically . . . listen to multiple viewpoints, not just the ones you like or want to hearidentify your own bias so you can determine if it affects the way you’re interpreting an issueinvestigate the source of information – is it biased or overly persuasive?try to gather all the information you can before drawing your own conclusion