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 Living in an Exponential Age Human population growth: J-shaped curve
3 Population growth Resource use and waste Poverty Loss of biodiversity Exponential Growth plays a key role in 5 important and interconnected environmental issuesPopulation growthResource use and wastePovertyLoss of biodiversityGlobal climate change
4 Biodiversity includes: Genetic variation within a speciesVariety of species in an areaVariety of habitat types within a landscape
5 What is Environmental Science? The goals of environmental science are to learn:how nature works.how the environment effects us.how we effect the environment.how we can live more sustainably without degrading our life-support system.
6 Sustainability: The Integrative Theme 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.
7 - changes in response to environmental changes A Path to SustainabilityNatural CapitalDegradationIndividualsMatterNatural CapitalSolutionsTrade-OffsSound ScienceNatural Capital: the natural resources and natural services that keep us and other species alive and support our economies- it is not fixed- changes in response to environmental changesFigure 1.3A path to sustainability: five subthemes are used throughout this book to illustrate how we can make the transition to more environmentally sustainable or durable societies and economies, based on sound science—concepts widely accepted by natural and social scientists in various fields.
8 Environmentally Sustainable Societies … meets basic needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without degrading the natural capital that supplies these resources.
9 Some people disagree that we are living unsustainably They believe we can overcome these problems by human ingenuity, economic growth, and technological advances
10 POPULATION GROWTH, ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND ECONOMIC 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.
11 The United Nations classifies the World’s countries as Economically developed – 1.2 billion peopleU.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, European countriesEconomically developing – 5.2 billion peopleMost of Africa, Asia, and Latin AmericaBased primarily on their degree of industrialization and their per capita GDP
12 Global Outlook Comparison of developed and developing countries. Figures 1-5 and 1-6
13 Percentage of World's 18 Population 82 Population Growth 0.1 1.5 85 Wealth andIncome15Resourceuse88Figure 1.5Global outlook: comparison of developed and developing countries, (Data from the United Nations and the World Bank)12Pollutionand waste7525Developed countriesDeveloping countriesFig. 1-5, p. 11
14 Comparison of developed and developing countries FeatureDevelopedDevelopingStandard of livingHighLowPer capita food intake3,100 – 3,500 cal/day (high)1,500 – 2,700 cal/day (low)Crude birth rate15/1000 pop.33/1000 pop.Doubling timeHigh (120 years)Low (33 years)Infant mortalityLow (20/1000 births)High (90/1000 births)Life expectancy at birthHigh (72 years)Lower (57 years)IndustrializationEnergy use per personIlliteracy rateLow (1% - 4%)High (25% - 75%)
15 Nonrenewable Resources Exist as fixed quantityBecomes economically depleted.Recycling and reusing extends supplyRecycling processes waste material into new material.Reuse is using a resource over again in the same form.
16 Common-property / Free access Resources Clean airOpen ocean and its fishMigratory birdsWildlife speciesPublicly owned landGases of lower atmosphereSpace
17 Tragedy of the Commons Garrett Hardin (1968) wrote an article “If I don’t use this resource, someone else will.”
18 Solutions to Common-Property Use at rates well below their estimated sustainable yieldRegulate ocean fishing, grazing lands, forestsConvert common-property to private ownershipProblemsPrivate owners do not always do what is best for the natural resourceNot practical for global common resource – cannot divide atmosphere, open ocean, most wildlife species, and migratory birds
19 Ecological FootprintThe amount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply each person or population with the renewable resources they use and to absorb or dispose of the wastes from such resources
21 Earth’s Ecological Capacity Number of EarthsHumanity's Ecological FootprintFigure 1.7Natural capital use and degradation: total and per capita ecological footprints of selected countries in 2002 (left). By 2002, humanity’s average ecological footprint was about 39% higher than the earth’s ecological capacity (right). (Data from Worldwide Fund for Nature, UN Environment Programme, Global Footprint Network, Worldwatch Institute)YearFig. 1-7c, p. 13
22 Bad NewsIt will take 1.15 planet Earths to indefinitely supply our current use of renewable resourcesWould take the land area of about 4 more planet Earths for the rest of the World to reach U.S. levels of consumptionChina has the World’s largest population and hopes to increase its total and per capita economic growth, which will increase its ecological footprint
23 POLLUTIONFound at high enough levels in the environment to cause harm to organisms.Point sourceNonpoint sourceFigure 1-9
24 Two sources of Pollution Point sourcesmokestack of a coal burning power plantDrainpipe of a factoryExhaust of an automobileNonpoint sourcePesticides sprayed in the airRunoff of fertilizers and pesticides
25 Pollution 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.
26 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND CONNECTIONS The major causes of environmental problems are:Population growthWasteful resource usePovertyPoor environmental accountingEnvironmental ignorance
27 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
28 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.
29 Poverty and Environmental Problems 1 of 3 children under 5, suffer from severe malnutrition.Figure 1-12 and 1-13
30 Number of people (% of world's population) Lack of access to AdequateSanitation2.4 billion (37%)Enough fuel forheating andcooking2 billion (31%)Electricity1.6 billion (25%)Clean drinkingWater1.1 billion (17%)Figure 1.12Natural capital degradation: some harmful results of poverty. QUESTION: Which two of these effects do you believe are the most harmful? (Data from United Nations, World Bank, and World Health Organization)Adequatehealth care1.1 billion (17%)Enough foodfor good health1.1 billion (17%)Fig. 1-12, p. 18
31 Relationship Between Poverty and Environmental Problems Deplete and degrade forests, soil, grasslands and wildlife for short-term survivalPoor people often have many children to help grow food, gather fuel, haul drinking water, tend livestock, work, and beg in streets
32 Affluenza unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism
33 Resource ConsumptionIt takes about 27 tractor trailer loads of resources per year to support one AmericanAverage U.S. citizen consumes about 35x more than the average citizen of India and 100x more than the average person in the World’s poorest countryPoor parents in a developing country would need children to have the same lifetime resource consumption as 2 children in a typical U.S. family
34 Connections between Environmental Problems and Their Causes Figure 1-14
35 Technological impact per unit of consumption (T) Environmental Developing CountriesConsumptionper person(affluence, A)Technological impact per unit of consumption (T)Environmentalimpact of population (I)Population (P)Figure 1.14Connections: simplified model of how three factors—number of people, affluence, and technology—affect the environmental impact of the population in developing countries (top) and developed countries (bottom).Developed CountriesFig. 1-14, p. 20
36 CULTURAL CHANGES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Agricultural revolutionAllowed people to stay in one place.Industrial-medical revolutionLed shift from rural villages to urban society.Science improved sanitation and disease control.Information-globalization revolutionRapid access to information.
37 Aldo Leopold’s Environmental Ethics Individuals matter.… land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity…