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Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and by rft18172

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									   Environmental Problems,
Their Causes, and Sustainability

           Chapter 1
Core Case Study: Exponential Growth (1)

 Slow start, rapid increase

 Human population
  • 2007 ~ 6.7 billion people

 Projections
  • 225,000 people per day
  • Add population of U.S. < 4 years
  • 2050 ~ 9.2 billion people
Core Case Study: Exponential Growth (2)

 Resource consumption, degradation, depletion

 Possible results
  •   Huge amount of pollution and wastes
  •   Disrupt economies
  •   Loss of species, farm land, water supplies
  •   Climate change
  •   Political fallout
Living in an Exponential Age
                Industrial revolution

                Black Death—the Plague

  Hunting       Agricultural revolution   Industrial
and gathering                             revolution
                                              Fig. 1-1, p. 1
                                                 Fig. 1-1, p. 5

 Understand our environment

 Practice sustainability
1-1 What Is an Environmentally
Sustainable Society?

 Concept 1-1A Our lives and economies
  depend on energy from the sun (solar capital)
  and natural resources and natural services
  (natural capital) provided by the earth.

 Concept 1-1B Living sustainably means living
  off earth’s natural income without depleting or
  degrading the natural capital that supplies it.
Studying Connections in Nature

 Environment

 Environmental science

 Ecology

 Environmentalism
Environmental Science
             religion           Biology

   science                           Ecology

Economics                             Chemistry



                                                  Fig. 1-2, p. 7
Living More Sustainably

 Sustainability – central theme

 Natural capital
  • Natural resources
  • Natural services
Natural Resources

 Materials
  • Renewable
  • Nonrenewable

 Energy
  • Solar capital
  • Photosynthesis
Natural Services

 Functions of nature
  • Purification of air, water
  • Nutrient cycling
Key Natural Resources and Services

                                     Fig. 1-3, p. 8
Nutrient Cycling
matter in

matter in

            matter in soil

                                               Fig. 1-4, p. 9
Environmental Sustainability

 Trade-offs (compromises)

 Sound science

 Individuals matter
  •   Ideas
  •   Technology
  •   Political pressure
  •   Economic pressure
Sustainable Living from Natural Capital

 Environmentally sustainable society

 Financial capital and financial income

 Natural capital and natural income

 Bad news: signs of natural capital depletion at
  exponential rates
1-2 How Can Environmentally Sustainable
Societies Grow Economically?

  Concept 1-2 Societies can become more
   environmentally sustainable through economic
   development dedicated to improving the quality
   of life for everyone without degrading the earth’s
   life-support systems.

 Economic growth

 Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

 Per capita GDP – PPP

 Economic development

 Developed countries

 Developing countries
Global Outlook
Percentage of

   Population 0.1%
      growth    1.5%

         Life                    77 years
  expectancy                 66 years

  Wealth and                      85%
     income       15%

    Resource                         88%
         use     12%

     Pollution                 75%
    and waste          25%

                                            Fig. 1-5, p. 10
1-3 How Are Our Ecological Footprints
Affecting the Earth?

 Concept 1-3 As our ecological footprints grow,
  we are depleting and degrading more of the
  earth’s natural capital.
Natural Resources (1)

 Perpetual – renewed continuously
  • Solar energy

 Renewable – hours to decades
  • Water, air
  • Forest, grasslands
Natural Resources (2)

 Sustainable yield
  • Highest use while maintaining supply

 Environmental degradation
  • Exceed natural replacement rate
Natural Resources (3)

 Nonrenewable – fixed quantities
  • Energy (fossil fuels)
  • Metallic minerals
  • Nonmetallic minerals

 Recycling

 Reuse
Natural Capital Degradation

                              Fig. 1-6, p. 12
Reuse and Recycling

                      Fig. 1-7, p. 12
Measuring Environmental Impact

 Ecological footprint
  • Biological capacity to replenish resources and
    adsorb waste and pollution

 Per capita ecological footprint
  • Renewable resource use per individual
Ecological Footprint

                       Fig. 1-8, p. 13
Total Ecological Footprint (million hectares)        Per Capita Ecological Footprint
and share of Global Ecological Capacity (%)          (hectares per person)

                                                Projected footprint

             Ecological footprint

                                                                              Stepped Art
                                                                             Fig. 1-8, p. 13
Case Study: China

 Rapidly developing country
  • Middle-class affluent lifestyles

 World’s leading consumer in:
  • Wheat, rice, meat, coal, fertilizers, steel, cement
  • Televisions, cell phones, refrigerators

 Future consumption
  • 2/3 world grain harvest
  • Twice world’s current paper production
  • Exceed current global oil production
1-4 What Is Pollution and What Can We
Do about It?

 Concept 1-4 Preventing pollution is more
  effective and less costly than cleaning up

 What is pollution?

 Point sources

 Nonpoint sources

 Unwanted effects of pollution
Point Source Air Pollution

                             Fig. 1-9, p. 15
Solutions to Pollution

 Pollution prevention (input control)
  • Front-of-the-pipe

 Pollution cleanup (output control)
  • End-of-the-pipe
Disadvantages of Output Control

 Temporary
  • Growth in consumption may offset technology

 Moves pollutant from one place to another
  • Burial
  • Incineration

 Dispersed pollutants costly to clean up
1-5 Why Do We Have Environmental

 Concept 1-5A Major causes of environmental
  problems are population growth, wasteful and
  unsustainable resource use, poverty, excluding
  the environmental costs of resource use from
  the market prices of goods and services, and
  trying to manage nature with insufficient

 Concept 1-5B People with different
  environmental worldviews often disagree about
  the seriousness of environmental problems and
  what we should do about them.
Causes of Environmental Problems

 Population growth

 Wasteful and unsustainable resource use

 Poverty

 Failure to include environmental costs of goods
  and services in market prices

 Too little knowledge of how nature works
Five Basic Causes of Environmental

                                     Fig. 1-10, p. 16
Population   Unsustainable   Poverty   Excluding       Trying to manage
growth       resource use              environmental   nature without
                                       costs from      knowing enough
                                       market prices   about it

                                                            Fig. 1-10, p. 16
      Causes of Environmental Problems

Population     Unsustainable   Poverty   Excluding       Trying to manage
growth         resource use              environmental   nature without
                                         costs from      knowing enough
                                         market prices   about it

                                                                Stepped Art
                                                              Fig. 1-10, p. 16
Some Harmful Results of Poverty
    Lack of              Number of people
    access to            (% of world's population)

           Adequate                                  2.6 billion (39%)
 sanitation facilities

     Enough fuel for
                                             2 billion (30%)
heating and cooking

          Electricity                         2 billion (30%)

     Clean drinking
                                     1.1 billion (16%)

         health care                1.1 billion (16%)

           Adequate                1 billion (15%)

       Enough food
                                  0.84 billion (13%)
     for good health
                                                                   Fig. 1-11, p. 16
Global Connections

                     Fig. 1-12, p. 16
Environmental Effects of Affluence

 Harmful effects
   • High consumption and waste of resources
   • Advertising – more makes you happy

 Beneficial effects
   • Concern for environmental quality
   • Provide money for environmental causes
   • Reduced population growth
Evaluating Full Cost of Resources Use

 Examples
  • Clear-cutting + habitat loss
  • Commercial fishing + depletion of fish stocks

 Tax breaks

 Subsidies
Environmental Viewpoints

 Environmental worldview

 Environmental ethics

 Planetary management worldview

 Stewardship worldview

 Environmental wisdom worldview

 Social capital
Case Study: Chattanooga, Tennessee (1)

 1960s
  • Dirtiest air in the United States
  • Toxic waste in Tennessee River
  • High unemployment, crime

 1984
  • Vision 2000 – grassroots consensus
Case Study: Chattanooga, Tennessee (2)

 1995
  • Zero emission industries, buses
  • Low-income renovations, downtown renewal

 Individuals matter!
1-6 What Are Four Scientific Principles
of Sustainability?

 Concept 1-6 Nature has sustained itself for
  billions of years by using solar energy,
  biodiversity, population regulation, and nutrient
  cycling – lessons from nature that we can apply
  to our lifestyles and economies.
Four Scientific Principles of
    Reliance on     Biodiversity
    Solar Energy

Nutrient Cycling   Population Control
                                        Fig. 1-13, p. 20
Learning to Live More Sustainably
Current Emphasis      Sustainability Emphasis

Pollution cleanup     Pollution prevention

Waste disposal
                      Waste prevention
(bury or burn)

Protecting species    Protecting habitat

Environmental         Environmental
degradation           restoration

Increasing resource   Less resource waste

Population growth     Population stabilization

Depleting and
degrading natural     Protecting natural
capital               capital
                                                 Fig. 1-14, p. 20
Animation: Levels of organization
Animation: Two views of economics
Animation: Resources depletion and
degradation interaction
Animation: Exponential growth
Animation: Capture-recapture method
Animation: Life history patterns
Video: Cahuachi Excavation

Video: Easter Island


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