Presentation on theme: "How Do We Develop and Maintain a Sustainable Future?"— Presentation transcript:
1 How Do We Develop and Maintain a Sustainable Future?
2 What is Environmental Science? Multidisciplinary field that draws from all the sciences, as well as other fields, to help us better understand the relationship between humans and the world in which we live.It focuses on three main areas:Conservation and protection of natural resourcesEnvironmental education and communicationEnvironmental research
3 Major fields of study that contribute to Environmental Science Biology: Study of living organismsEarth Science: Study of Earth’s nonliving systemsPhysics: Study of matter and energyChemistry: Study of chemicals and their interactionsSocial Sciences: Study of human populationsEcology: Study of how living (biotic) things interact with their nonliving (abiotic) environment
4 Tragedy of the CommonsIn 1968, Garrett Hardin published an essay that argued the main difficulty in solving environmental problems was the conflict between short term interests of individuals and long term welfare of society.
5 Our Environment Over Time Wherever humans have hunted, grown food or settled, they have changed their environment.HUNTER-GATHERERSBurned prairies to prevent tree growthOver hunting in combination with climatic changes led to disappearance of large mammal species such as: Giant sloths, giant bisons, mastadons, cave bears and saber-tooth tigers
6 AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION About 10,000 years ago man began to plant seeds and domesticate animals This allowed human population to grow at a very rapid rate (an area can support 500 times more people)Plants we grow and eat today are descendants of wild plantsGrasslands, forests and wetlands were replaced with farmland; habitats were destroyedBad farming techniques, overworked soil became water logged and contaminated by salts
7 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Until mid 1700’s tools were powered by humans and animals Began in EnglandFewer people grew their own food, populations in urban areas grewPollution and habitat loss became commonMany products made life easier but we are now beginning to understand some of the environmental problems they present
8 Environmental Problems We Face! Decrease in Biodiversity