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Ch 1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch 1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch 1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability

2 Case Study Exponential Growth: Starts slowly but grows enormously after a few “generations”.

3 Living More Sustainably Environment: Humans use environment for resources but the larger the human population gets the more damage is done to the environment. Environmental Science: Natural Sciences (biology, geology, chemistry, ect.) Social Sciences (economics, politics, and ethics) Ecology:

4 Living More Sustainably Sustainability: Steps toward living sustainable. (5 steps) 1 st : understand natural capital (all the resources and natural services that allow us and other species to survive. 2 nd : recognize that many human activities degrade natural capital. (Ex: clearing forests much quicker then they can replace themselves). 3 rd : Search for solutions to environmental problems. 4 th : Make trade-offs or compromises to resolve any conflicts. 5 th : Individuals matter

5 Population Growth 2006 population was at 6.6 billion people Population growth in 2006 was 1.23%. Do the math: 6.6 billion x.0123 = 81 million more people (each year) Developing country: Developed country: Developing countries have MUCH more of the world’s population then developed countries but use MUCH less of the resources and make MUCH less income.

6 Resources Resources: Ex: water, sun, food, shelter, metals Perpetual resource: Ex: Solar Renewable resource: Forests, freshwater, fertile soil Sustainable yield: Environmental degradation: Nonrenewable resources: Ex: fossil fuels Recycle and Reuse

7 Ecological Footprint Ecological footprint: Human ecological footprint exceeds the earth’s ecological capacity by 39% - Humans are using and degrading resources faster then nature can replenish them. United States leads with the highest ecological footprint. China and India ecological footprint is growing rapidly. If they’re ecological footprint was the same as the US then we would need 2 Earths to support the current population.

8 Population Growth Doubling time and Exponential Growth The Rule of 70 70/% growth rate = doubling time in yrs. Ex: In 2006 growth rate was 1.23% 70/1.23=57. So… the world’s population will double in 57 yrs if the growth rate stays at 1.23%. 2006 - 6.6 billion people; 2063 – 13 billion people.

9 Pollution Pollution: Point Source: Ex: smoke stack, exhaust pipe Nonpoint Source: Ex: pesticide spray, runoff

10 Pollution Unwanted effects – 1) disrupt or degrade life supports systems, 2) damage wildlife, human health and property, 3) create nuisances Prevention and cleanup Prevention: input pollution control (control or eliminate amount of pollution released). Clean up: output pollution control (cleanup or dilute pollution once it has been released).

11 Environmental Problems Forest are shrinking, deserts are expanding, soils are eroding, atmosphere is warming, glaciers are melting, seas are rising, storms are stronger, water tables are falling, rivers are drying out, fisheries are collapsing, coral reefs are disappearing, species are going extinct, environmental refugees are increasing, pollution is rising.

12 Causes of Environmental Problems 1. Population growth 2. Unsustainable resource use 3. Poverty 4. Not including the environmental costs of economic goods and services in their market prices 5. Trying to manage and simplify nature with too little knowledge about how it works

13 Why Environmental Problems are hard to fix 1. Do not understand cause of environmental problems 2. Global trade policies undermine environmental protection 3. Influence of money in politics 4. Failure of those concerned about environment quality to provide inspiring and positive visions of a more sustainable and durable economic and environmental future.

14 Poverty vs. Affluenza Poverty: Tend to have larger pop growth Die prematurely (many are children under 5 yrs) Affluenza: Fact: 27 tractor trailer loads of resources/yr to support 1 American. Affluenza can be good because it allows people to become educated on environmental issues and provides money to develop technologies to help environment.

15 Connections between Environmental Problems and their Causes Population (P) x Affluenza (A) x Technologies/unit consumption (T) = Environmental impact of pop (I) P x A x T = I

16 Environmental Worldviews and Ethics Answer the questions on pg 22. Different environmental worldviews: Planetary management worldview: humans are separate from nature. Nature exists mainly to meet our needs. Assumes economic growth is unlimited. Stewardship worldview: we can manage the earth to our benefit but we have a responsibility to be responsible managers. We should encourage environmental beneficial forms of economic growth and discourage environmental harmful forms. Environmental wisdoms worldview: we are part of and totally dependent on nature and that nature exists for all species.

17 4 Scientific Principles of Sustainablility COPY NATURE 1. Relay on Solar Energy Sun warms planet and provides energy to make food. 2. Biodiversity Many genes, species, ecosystems and processes provide ways to adapt to changes 3. Population control In nature, no population can grow indefinitly. Eventually run out of resources 4. Nutrient Recycling All things in nature are recycled and reused by plants and animals to stay alive.

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