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OUR PLANET Section 1-1 What is Environmental Science?

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Presentation on theme: "OUR PLANET Section 1-1 What is Environmental Science?"— Presentation transcript:

1 OUR PLANET Section 1-1 What is Environmental Science?

2 How Do You Affect The World? Environmental Science – Studies the impact of human activities on the environment; It includes… Biology – The study of living organisms Chemistry – Studies chemical interactions Physics – Studies matter and energy Earth Science – Studies our planet’s non-living systems Social Sciences – The study of human populations The goal of environmental science is to improve society by understanding how we interact with the environment. What types of environmental problems have you recently heard about?

3 Prehistoric Homo Sapiens Our modern society had a very humble beginning… Hunter-Gatherers – Early people collected plants and hunted animals for almost 200,000 years, driving some species to extinction It was a difficult, nomadic life since people had to follow herds and search for crops until the development of… Agriculture – The ability to grow and breed plants which allowed for the creation of settlements & domestication of animals over 10,000 years ago; Since then we learned… Poor farming practices will eventually ruin the land!

4 When Did Environmental Science Begin? Agriculture sustained society until about 200 years ago, when people used fossil fuel energy instead of human and animal power. This began the… Industrial Revolution – Using fossil fuels and machinery to produce goods & services that improve our quality of life (but at a cost) All three stages in society’s development have created serious environmental problems leading to the need for environmental science. What actions are being taken now to ensure our planet is healthy for future generations?

5 Current Threats to Our World Resource Depletion – Non-renewable natural resources are being used up. Ex: metals, minerals, fossil fuels Some renewable resourcess are being used up faster than they can replaced. Ex: fresh water Pollution – Undesirable changes in our environment Ex: Ozone, Sewage & Styrofoam Loss of Biodiversity – The number and variety of species across the globe are decreasing If life is so simple to maintain on Earth, then why was the two-year experiment in Biosphere 2 such a failure!

6 How Long Can The Earth Last? With over 6 billion people living on Earth… Environmental scientists are working everyday to discover new ways to improve society while ensuring the environment is protected! Some people think of our planet as a spaceship, traveling through space with a limited amount of supplies and an increasing amount of waste. Others think of our planet as a lifeboat that can only support a limited number of people before its overburdened and sinks.

7 Close Your Notebooks… What have you learned in this unit? 1. Describe the five major fields that make up environmental science. 2. What is the primary goal of environmental scientists? 3. Describe the life of a person living in a hunter-gatherer society. 4. What elements of society were made possible by the development of agriculture? 5. What are some benefits and drawbacks to the industrial revolution.

8 OUR PLANET Section 1-2 The Environment and Society

9 How Do We Protect The Environment? Because most of what is consider to be “the environment” is not privately owned, we create… Tragedy of the Commons – People will take advantage of public resources for short-term gain Ex: In a public field, farmers let their sheep overgraze because “If I don’t use the resources, then someone else would”. Once property became private, farmers used their land better. What would happen to a set of I-Pods if the school provided them for classes to share during gym?

10 Who Owns the Environment? In our world, the distribution of resources is not equal, creating regions of the haves and haves-nots. Developed Countries – Those that have resources and industry to support social programs and personal wealth Ex: United States, Japan, England & Australia Developing Countries – Have less resources & low incomes Ex: Most of South America, Africa & Eastern Asia Countries build their wealth & economies based upon the… Law of Supply and Demand – The greater the demand for a limited supply of something, the more it is worth

11 At What Cost? The problem now is developed countries are using the world’s resources to support an extravagant quality of life! Its evident in… Sweatshops Imported oil E-waste in Asia Ecological Footprint – Shows the area of Earth needed to support one person’s lifestyle in a particular country The average person in the U.S. needs about twice as much land & sea compared with a person from Japan, Germany, France or the Netherlands.

12 The Answer Is… Sustainability – The condition in which human needs are met so that the human population can survive indefinitely We are a long way off from sustainability so what ideas do you have for… Conserving non-renewable resources, such as metals and oil Reducing pollution Improving the environment for all living things on Earth Throughout this course you will learn how you affect the world and how your environment affects you!

13 Close Your Notebooks… What have you learned in this unit? 1. What does the “tragedy of the commons” explain? 2. List four characteristics for a developed country. 3. Where are most developing countries found in the world? 4. Explain why developed countries might be unable to maintain their current quality of life. 5. How does sustainability relate to a hotel built upon the moon?

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