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Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability

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

1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability
Chapter 1

2 Question #1: What are the 6 major themes of this book?

3 Answer Central Theme: Sustainability Subthemes: Natural Capital
Natural Capital Degradation Solutions Trade-Offs Individuals Matter …. Sound Science

4 Question #2: What is an environmentally stable society?

5 Living More Sustainability
Environment Ecology Environmental science Environmentalism Sustainability

6 Path to Sustainability
A Pa t h t o S u s t a i n a b i l i t y Natural Capital Natural Capital Degradation Solutions Trade-Offs Individuals Matter S o u n d S c i e n c e Fig. 1-2, p. 7

7 Example Imagine you win $1 million in a lottery. If you invest this money and earn 10% interest a year, you will have sustainable income of $100,000. if you spend $200,000 per year, your $1 million will be gone early in the 7th year. Even if you spent $110,000 a year you would be bankrupt in the 18th year.

8 Natural Capital Earth’s natural capital Capital Financial income
Biological income Degrading capital Fig. 1-3, p. 7

9 Natural Capital Stepped Art Fig. 1-3, p. 7 NATURAL CAPITAL =
NATURAL RESOURCES Air Water Soil Land Life (biodiversity) Nonrenewable minerals (iron, sand) Renewable energy (sun, wind, water flows) Nonrenewable energy (fossil fuels, nuclear power) + NATURAL SERVICES NATURAL CAPITAL Air purification Water purification Soil renewal Nutrient recycling Food production Pollination Grassland renewal Forest renewal Waste treatment Climate Control Population control (species interactions) Pest control

10 Solutions to Environmental Problems
Trade-offs (compromises) Individuals matter Sound science Environmentally sustainable societies

11 Question #3: How fast is the human population increasing?

12 World Population Exponential growth Poverty
Extinction and biodiversity Climate changes Good news: possible solutions Fig. 1-1, p. 1

13 Black Death—the Plague Agricultural revolution
World Population ? Billions of people Black Death—the Plague Time Hunting and gathering Agricultural revolution Industrial revolution Fig. 1-1, p. 1

14 Human Population Growth
World total Developing countries Population (billions) Developed countries Year Fig. 1-5, p. 9

15 Global Outlook Percentage 19 Population 81 0.1 Population growth 1.5
of World's 19 Population 81 0.1 Population growth 1.5 Wealth and income 85 15 Resource use 88 12 75 Pollution and waste 25 Developed countries Developing countries Fig. 1-4, p. 9

16 Question #4: What is the difference between economic growth and economic development?

17 Economics Economic growth – increase in the capacity of a country to provide people with goods and services. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the annual market value of all goods and services produced by all firms and organizations in a country. Per capita GDP – the GDP divided by the total population midyear.

18 Economics Economic development – the improvement of human living standards by econoic growth Developed and developing countries What is the difference?

19 Economic Development Fig. 1-6, p. 10
Trade-Offs Economic Development Good News Bad News Global life expectancy doubled since 1950 Infant mortality cut in half since 1955 Food production ahead of population growth since 1978 Air and water pollution down in most developed countries since 1970 Number of people living in poverty dropped 6% since 1990 Life expectancy 13 years less in developing countries than in developed Countries Infant mortality rate in developing countries over 9 times higher than in developed countries Harmful environmental effects of agriculture may limit future food production Air and water pollution levels in most developing countries too high Half of world's workers trying to live on less than $2 (U.S.) per day Fig. 1-6, p. 10

20 Question #5: What are the main types of pollution, and what can you do about pollution?

21 Resources Perpetual – renewed continuously
SOLAR Energy Renewable – replenished fairly rapidly Forests, grasslands, wild animals, fresh water, and fresh air Nonrenewable – exist in a fixed quantity on Earth Coal, oil, natural gas, salt, clay, sand, etc

22 Nonrenewable Resources
Energy resources Metallic mineral resources Nonmetallic mineral resources Economic depletion Recycling and reuse

23 Perpetual and Renewable Resources
Sustainable yield – a renewable resource can be reused but never lose its available supply. Environmental degradation – exceeding the natural replacement rate of resources. Tragedy of the Commons – “If I don’t use it someone else will…” mentality

24 Ecological Footprint Fig. 1-7, p. 11

25 Per Capita Ecological Footprint Total Ecological Footprint
(Hectares per person) Country United States The Netherlands India 9.6 3.8 0.8 Total Ecological Footprint (Hectares) Country United States The Netherlands India 3 billion hectares 62 million hectares 880 million hectares Fig. 1-7a, p. 11

26 Ecological Footprint Fig. 1-7, p. 11 1.5 Earth's Ecological Capacity
1.2 0.9 Humanity's Ecological Footprint Number of Earths 0.6 0.3 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Year Fig. 1-7, p. 11

27 Pollution What is pollution? Point Source – single identifiable source
Any addition to air, water soil or food that threatens health, survival, or activities, of humans or other organisms. Point Source – single identifiable source Nonpoint sources – dispersed and hard to identify What are some unwanted effects of pollution?

28 Point-source Air Pollution
Fig. 1-8, p. 13

29 Solutions to Pollution
Pollution prevention (input control) Pollution cleanup (output control) Disadvantages of output control

30 Environmental Problems: Causes and Connections
First step: Understanding the causes Poverty and population growth Premature death among the poor

31 Natural Capital Use, Depletion and Degradation
SOLAR CAPITAL EARTH Goods and services Human Economic and Cultural Systems Heat Human Capital Depletion of nonrenewable resources Degradation of renewable resources Natural Capital Pollution and waste Recycling and reuse Fig. 1-9, p. 13

32 Question #6: What are the harmful environmental effects of poverty and affluence?

33 Causes of Environmental Problems
Population growth Unsustainable resource use Poverty Not including the environmental costs of economic goods and services in their market prices Trying to manage and simplify nature with too little knowledge about how it works Fig. 1-10, p. 14

34 Some Harmful Results of Poverty
Lack of access to Number of people (% of world's population) Adequate sanitation 2.4 billion (37%) Enough fuel for heating and cooking 2 billion (31%) Electricity 1.6 billion (25%) Clean drinking water 1.1 billion (17%) Adequate health care 1.1 billion (17%) Enough food for good health 1.1 billion (17%) Fig. 1-11, p. 14

35 Malnutrition Fig. 1-12, p. 15

36 Economics and Ethics Affluenza – addiction to consumption
How does globalization and global advertising impact affluenza? Law of Progressive Simplification – transfer of energy from material to nonmaterial things. What are the positive environmental effects of affluenza?

37 Question #7: What are the basic causes of today’s environmental problems, and how are these causes connected?

38 Environmental Problems and Their Causes
Developing Countries X X = Consumption per person (affluence, A) Technological impact per unit of consumption (T) Environmental impact of population (I) Population (P) X X = X X = Developed Countries Fig. 1-13, p. 16

39 Historical Changes in Human Culture
Hunter-gatherers Agricultural revolution Industrial-medical revolution Information-globalization revolution

40 Eras of US Environmental History
Tribal era Frontier era Early conservation era Environmentalism

41 Is Our Present Course Sustainable?
Different views Technological optimists – overstate the situation by reminding us that technological advances will save us all. Environmental pessimists – overstate the problem by stating that our environmental situation is hopeless. How Would You Vote? Exercise

42 Sustainability Revolution
Current Emphasis Sustainability Emphasis Pollution cleanup Waste disposal (bury or burn) Protecting species Environmental degradation Increased resource use Population growth Depleting and degrading natural capital) Pollution prevention (cleaner production) Waste prevention & reduction Protecting where species live (habitat protection) Environmental restoration Less wasteful (more efficient) resource use Population stabilization by decreasing birth rates Protecting natural capital and living off the biological interest it provides Fig. 1-14, p. 18

43 Global Ecological Footprints

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