CH 1 Understanding Our Environment Outline • Introduction • A. Historical Perspective 1. Pragmatic Resource Conservation 2. Moral and Aesthetic Nature Conservation 3. Modern Environmentalism 4. Global Conservation • B. Current Conditions • C. Divided World • D. Sustainable Development slide • A. Humans have always inhabited both the natural world and the social world. • B. Environment: 1. Circumstances or conditions that surround an organism or groups of organisms. 2. The complex of social or cultural conditions that affect an individual or community. slide • C. Environmental Science: Systematic study of our environment, and our proper place in it. 1. Interdisciplinary 2. Integrative - Natural Sciences - Social Sciences - Humanities 3. Mission Oriented Environmental Science HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE • D. Four Distinct Stages 1. Pragmatic Resource Conservation 2. Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation 3. Health and Ecological Damage Concerns 4. Global Environmental Citizenship E. Pragmatic Resource Conservation • George Perkins Marsh - Man and Nature - Influenced Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot. 1. Pragmatic Utilitarian Conservation “Greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time” Multiple Use Policies of USFS. Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation 2. Nature deserves to exist for its own sake - regardless of degree of usefulness to humans. (Biocentric Preservation) John Muir - President Sierra Club 3. Modern Environmentalism • Industrial explosion of WW II added new concerns to the environmental agenda. Rachel Carson - Silent Spring (1962) Environmental Agenda expanded in 1960’s and 70’s to include: • Atomic Weapons Testing Fossil Fuel Issues Air and Water Pollution Wilderness Protection 4. Global Concerns • Increased technology has greatly expanded international communications. Daily events now reported worldwide instead of locally or regionally. - Global Environmentalism F. CURRENT CONDITIONS 1. Human Population > 6 Billion. Food shortages and famines exist in many densely populated areas. Water Quantity and Quality Issues Fossil Fuel Burning - Air and Water Pollution Landscape Destruction - Loss of Biodiversity G. Signs of Hope 1. Progress has been made on many fronts. Population has stabilized in many industrialized countries. Incidence of life-threatening diseases has been reduced in some countries. Average life expectancy nearly doubled. H. RICH / POOR: A DIVIDED WORLD • Poor countries tend to be located in Southern Hemisphere. World Bank estimates1.4 billion people live in acute poverty of < $1 (U.S.) per day. Daily survival necessitates over-harvesting resources thus degrading chances of long-term sustainability. Poor are often victims and agents of environmental degradation. • Wealthy countries tend to be located in the Northern Hemisphere. • About 1/5 of world population live in countries with per capita income > $25,000.00 (U.S.). Poor people exist here as well. • Gap between rich and poor continues to increase. Wealthiest 200 people in the world have combined wealth of $1 trillion - more than total wealth of poorest half (3 billion) of the world’s population.
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