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How Do We Develop and Maintain a Sustainable Future?

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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 resources Environmental education and communication Environmental research

3 Major fields of study that contribute to Environmental Science Biology: Study of living organisms Biology: Study of living organisms Earth Science: Study of Earths nonliving systems Earth Science: Study of Earths nonliving systems Physics: Study of matter and energy Physics: Study of matter and energy Chemistry: Study of chemicals and their interactions Chemistry: Study of chemicals and their interactions Social Sciences: Study of human populations Social Sciences: Study of human populations Ecology: Study of how living (biotic) things interact with their nonliving (abiotic) environment Ecology: Study of how living (biotic) things interact with their nonliving (abiotic) environment

4 Tragedy of the Commons In 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. Burned prairies to prevent tree growth Burned prairies to prevent tree growth Over 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 Over 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 HUNTER-GATHERERS

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) 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 plants Plants we grow and eat today are descendants of wild plants Grasslands, forests and wetlands were replaced with farmland; habitats were destroyed Grasslands, forests and wetlands were replaced with farmland; habitats were destroyed Bad farming techniques, overworked soil became water logged and contaminated by salts Bad farming techniques, overworked soil became water logged and contaminated by salts

7 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Until mid 1700s tools were powered by humans and animals Began in England Began in England Fewer people grew their own food, populations in urban areas grew Fewer people grew their own food, populations in urban areas grew Pollution and habitat loss became common Pollution and habitat loss became common Many products made life easier but we are now beginning to understand some of the environmental problems they present Many 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

9 Depletion of Resources

10 Pollution

11 What is the Root Cause? POPULATION INCREASE!!!!!!


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