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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
G. Tyler Miller’s Living in the Environment 14th Edition Chapter 1 Sections 1 and 2

2 Key Concepts Sections 1 and 2
1) What keeps us alive? What is an environmentally sustainable society? 2) How fast is human population growing? What are economic growth, economic development and globalization?

3 Living More Sustainably Key Terms
Environment: is everything that affects living organisms. Ecology: biological science that studies the relationships between living organisms and their environment. Environmental Science: an interdisciplinary study that uses information from physical sciences and social sciences to learn how the earth works, how we interacts with the earth and how to deal with environmental problems.

4 What is environmentalism?
A social movement dedicated to protecting the earth’s environment. Can include: Ecologists Biologists Geologists Environmentalists

5 What Keeps Us Alive? Capital
Solar Capital: without the sun there would be no life. (What is the difference between direct and indirect solar energy? Natural Resources: Air, water, soil ect. Fig. 1-2, p. 7

6 What is an environmentally sustainable society?
Meets the basic needs of its people indefinitely without compromising future generations ability to meet those same needs?

7 Population Growth Exponential Growth: a quantity increases at a constant rate per unit of time Between 1950 and 2004 the world population increased exponentially from 2.5 B to 6.4 B. Each year your college raises tuition 6%, does that mean every year the tuition goes up the same amount? Fig. 1-4, p. 8

8 World Population Growth
1950: 2.5 billion 2004: 6.4 billion 2100: 8-12 billion Current avg. growth rate 1.25%/year = 219,000 people per day or 80 million per year. (6.4 billion X ) Despite a 22 fold increase in worldwide economic growth, almost one of every two survive on less than $3/day.

9 World Population Compare hunter/gathering, agriculture, and industrial revolution time period. Fig. 1-1 p. 5

10 Where is most population growth occurring?

11 Economic Growth An increase in the capacity of a country to provide its people with goods and services. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): annual market value of all goods and services produced within the country. Per Capita (GNP): GDP divided among the population of the country. Economic Development: improving living standards by economic growth

12 Worldwide Per Capita GDP

13 Economic Development Developed Countries: US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe. High Per Capita GDP. (1.2 billion people) Developing Countries: 5.2 billion people living with very little. 97% of population growth. Example: Mexico Daily Minimum Wage is about $4-6 dollars a day.

14 Percent of World’s 19 Population 81 0.1 Population growth 1.6 85
Wealth and income 85 15 88 Resource use 12 75 Pollution and waste 25 Developed countries Developing countries

15 Trade-Offs Economic Development Good News Bad News Global life expectancy doubled since 1950 Life expectancy 11 years less in developing countries than in developed countries Infant mortality rate in developing countries over 8 times higher than in developed countries Infant mortality cut in half since 1955 Harmful environmental effects of agriculture may limit future food production Food production ahead of population growth since 1978 Air and water pollution down in most developed countries since 1970 Air and water pollution levels in most developing countries too high Half of world’s people trying to live on less than $3 (U.S.) per day Number of people living in poverty dropped 6% since 1990

16 Globalization We live in a world that is increasingly interconnected through economic, cultural and environmental interdependence. What does that mean for our environment?

17 Globalization: A Few Pros/Cons
Sharing ideas and technology around the world. Access to materials once unthinkable (example: fresh fruits and vegetables year round) Cons Wealth not shared equally. Pollution now worst in poor countries. Loss of local identities.

18 Sections 1 and 2 Review List 3 pros and cons related to economic development. List several differences between developed and developing countries? Describe exponential growth as it related to population. How may globalization impact the worlds environment? What does environmentally sustainable society mean? List 3 types of solar capital and natural capital. What is the current worldwide population? How is that expected to change?


20 Chapter 1 Sections 3,4 and 5 Main Ideas
What are earth’s main types of resources? How can they be depleted or degraded? What are the principle types of pollution? What can we do about pollution? What are the basic causes of today’s environmental problems? How are the causes connected?

21 Resources Perpetual: renewed continuously on a human scale.
Renewable: can be replenished fairly quickly. Non-renewable: exist only in fixed quantities. (once they are gone they are gone.) Fig. 1-6 p. 9

22 Renewable Resources Can be depleted or degraded.
Sustainable Yield: the highest rate at which a renewable resource can be used without reducing its supply. Example: over-farming the land leading to soil erosion, clear-cutting forests. Environmental Degradation: when we exceed the natural replacement rate of the resource. Example: groundwater depletion, water pollution.

23 Tragedy of the Commons 1968 Garrett Hardin
Degradation of renewable free-access resources. “If I do not use this resource, someone else will. The little bit I use or pollute is not enough to matter, and such resources are renewable anyway.” Solutions????

24 Ecological Footprint Measure of the biologically productive land and water needed to support each person. 1 hectare = 100 acres or 10,000 square meters (about 100 football fields) Fig. 1-7 p. 10

25 Non-Renewable Resources Exist only in fixed quantities on earth.
Energy Resources: such as coal, oil and natural gas. Metallic Resources: such as iron, copper, aluminum Economic Depletion Fig. 1-8 p. 11 Non-Metallic Resources: Such as salt, clay, sand When 80% is gone it may be too costly to get the last 20%.

26 Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Saving Nonrenewable resources
Reduce: Use less resource Reuse: To use the resource more than once to conserve. Recycle: collecting resource, processing it into new products.

27 Pollution: What is it? Pollution is the presence of substances at high enough levels in air, water, soil or food to threaten humans or other living organisms. Most pollution are unintended by products of useful activities. Example: driving cars gives of pollutant.

28 Effects of Pollution Disrupt or degrade life-supporting systems for humans or other species. Can damage wildlife, human health or property. Can by a nuisance such as noise, smell, sights.

29 Sources of Pollution Point Source: pollutants that come from one single, identifiable source such as a pipe. Nonpoint Source: pollutants that are dispersed and often difficult to identify such as farm or street runoff.

30 Dealing With Pollution
Prevention (Input Control): Reduced or eliminates pollutants from production EXAMPLE: driving more fuel efficient automobile

31 Dealing with Pollution
Pollution Cleanup (output control): Cleaning up or diluting pollution once in the environment. What are the problems with pollution cleanup?


33 Environmental and Resource Problems: 5 Root Causes

34 Environmental Impact Fig p. 15


36 Environmental Interactions
Goal for environmental science is to learn about these complex interactions. Fig p. 15

37 Solutions Fig. 1-16, p. 18

38 What is Our Greatest Environmental Problem????
Disease Overpopulation Water Shortages Climate Changes Biodiversity Loss Poverty Malnutrition

39 Sections 3,4,5 Review Questions
List and describe several “root causes of environmental problems.” Describe the differences between point and non-point source pollution. What is an “ecological footprint?” Identify several perpetual, renewable and nonrenewable resources. Analyze the differences between pollution preventions and pollution cleanup. Describe the “Tragedy of the Commons.” Describe “reduce,” “reuse” and “recycle.”


41 Environmental Worldviews
Look up these worldviews for tomorrow and write which one you fit into and why. Hint: page 16 Planetary Management Environmental Wisdom Stewardship

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