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Introduction to Environmental Science. What is Environmental Science? When you see the term environment what do you think of? Our environment is what.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Environmental Science. What is Environmental Science? When you see the term environment what do you think of? Our environment is what."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Environmental Science

2 What is Environmental Science? When you see the term environment what do you think of? Our environment is what is around us in the natural world, but also what we produce. Environmental science is the study of how humans interact with the environment.

3 An Introduction… Environmental science involves many fields of study – one important one being ecology Ecology is the study of how living things interact with each other and with their nonliving environment. Some other fields involved are… Biology Earth science (geology, climatology, etc) Physics (engineering) Chemistry Social studies

4 5 Major Themes Human population increase is a large reason the environment is changing. Industrial development and urbanization also have serious environmental consequences. Sustainability – having enough resources as we grow for us all to live comfortably Small changes have huge effects Environmental issues involve values and attitudes as well as science and understanding.

5 Revolution Agricultural Revolution – a boom in growing, breeding and caring for plants and animals that are used for food, clothing, housing and transportation. Human population grew during this time What were some negative effects of this revolution? Burning down trees Flooding Water shortages Soil loss

6 Revolution Industrial Revolution – a boom in the use of machinery instead of human and animal powered tools Major use of fossil fuels like coal and oil Quality of life improved…why? What were some negative effects of this revolution? POLLUTION

7 Human Population Growth During the AR and IR the human population grew faster than it ever had before…along with modern medicine and sanitation (people were healthier and cleaner) Increase in population means less… RESOURCES

8 Human Population Growth

9 Think about it… Is it right for humans, knowingly, to cause the extinction of a species for their own convenience?

10 Quick Review Scientific Method Observation Hypothesis Prediction Experiment Variable - the factor of interest Control and experimental group Collect data and analyze Draw conclusions Repeat experiment

11 Major Environmental Issues Air Pollution Global climate change Stratospheric ozone depletion Urban air pollution Acid rain Outdoor pollutants Indoor pollutants Noise Biodiversity Depletion Habitat destruction Habitat degradation Extinction Food Supply Problems Overgrazing Farmland loss and degradation Wetlands loss and degradation Overfishing Coastal pollution Soil erosion Soil salinization Soil waterlogging Water shortages Groundwater depletion Loss of biodiversity Poor nutrition Water Pollution Nutrient overload Toxic chemicals Infectious agents Oxygen depletion Pesticides Oil spills Excess heat Waste Production Solid waste Hazardous waste Major Environmental Problems

12 “The Tragedy of the Commons” People thought if no one used the land it would go to waste, and their animals wouldn’t cause a lot of harm anyway. They all shared the commons; eventually there was nothing left for anyone. Eventually the commons was closed off in sections for individual ownership. Overgrazing didn’t happen because they knew there would be less food for animals the following year.

13 “The Tragedy of the Commons” The idea that someone or some group needs to take responsibility for maintaining a resource because if NO ONE takes the responsibility it will run out or become depleted. Our natural resources are the “commons”

14 Resource Depletion Natural resources are any natural material used by humans Natural resources are classified into two categories: Renewable – can be replaced relatively quickly by natural processes Nonrenewable – forms at a slower rate that the rate it is used With the person sitting next to you, or someone close to you, brainstorm about what you think is renewable and nonrenewable

15 Renewable vs Nonrenewable Renewable – water, soil, wood, air, sunlight Nonrenewable – metals like aluminum, iron and copper, salt, sand, clay, fossil fuels

16 Write this down… “Which is more important, the survival of people alive today or the conservation of the environment on which future food production and human life depend?” WHY?

17 What you said… People today need to survive, people in the future will have the technology to fix what goes wrong If we don’t use it now we will die Conserve the environment because every species deserves life and we are all connected so we need to conserve our resources How will the people of the future survive? If there is no environment for the food to grow in then we cant survive at all Equally important, they depend on each other I don’t care about the future, I will be dead

18 Economics and the Environment The law of supply and demand says that the more we need something, the more it is worth. Example – the more we need oil (when the production goes down) the more it costs. We have to do 1 of three things… Pay the higher price Use less oil Find an alternative

19 Developed vs. Developing Countries Developed countries Higher incomes Slower population growth Diverse industrial economy Stronger social support systems U.S., Japan, Canada Developing countries Lower income Rapid population growth Simple agricultural based economy Weak social support system Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia

20 People in developed countries are living a better life than ever before, but in order to maintain this lifestyle they are using way more resources than people in developing countries Developed countries use 75% of the worlds resources, creating more waste and pollution Developing countries use only 20% of the worlds resources

21 Ecological Footprint An Ecological footprint shows the amount of resources one person in a particular country uses.

22 Ethics and the Environment Ethics are moral principles that influence/govern a persons behavior Environmental ethics are morals that influence a persons decision and behavior toward the environment. What right does man have to controlling the non-human world? What makes it difficult is that not everyone has the same values. Joe Schmo in a developing country might not see a big deal cutting down trees to build a farm to make money, but Jim Bob in the US might see the consequences related to carbon dioxide increases into the atmosphere. Can our environmental problems really be solved?

23 Write down one of your most important environmental values and how you can put it into action.

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