Lecture Chapter 1 - Environmental Problems Their Causes and...

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Unformatted text preview: Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability Chapter 1 Can our current society be sustained by the environment in the future? 1. 2. 3. 4. Yes No Not sure Don't care 0% 0% 2 0% 3 0% 4 1 World Population Exponential growth Poverty Extinction and biodiversity Climate changes Good news: possible solutions Fig. 1-1, p. 1 Living More Sustainability Environment Ecology Environmental science Environmentalism Sustainability Path to Sustainability A Pa t h t o S u s t a i n a b i l i t y Natural Capital Natural Capital Degradation Solutions Trade-Offs Individuals Matter Sound Science Fig. 1-2, p. 7 Natural Capital Earth's natural capital Capital Financial income Biological income Degrading capital Fig. 1-3, p. 7 Solutions to Environmental Problems Trade-offs (compromises) Individuals matter Sound science Environmentally sustainable societies Economics Economic growth Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per capita GDP Economic development Developed and developing countries Global Outlook Percentage of World's Population 19 81 0.1 1.5 85 15 88 12 75 25 Developed countries Population growth Wealth and income Resource use Pollution and waste Developing countries Fig. 1-4, p. 9 Human Population Growth Population (billions) World total Developing countries Developed countries Year Fig. 1-5, p. 9 Economic Development Trade-Offs Economic Development Good News Bad News Global life expectancy doubled since 1950 Infant mortality cut in half since 1955 Food production ahead of population growth since 1978 Air and water pollution down in most developed countries since 1970 Number of people living in poverty dropped 6% since 1990 Life expectancy 13 years less in developing countries than in developed Countries Infant mortality rate in developing countries over 9 times higher than in developed countries Harmful environmental effects of agriculture may limit future food production Air and water pollution levels in most developing countries too high Half of world's workers trying to live on less than $2 (U.S.) per day Fig. 1-6, p. 10 Resources Perpetual Renewable Nonrenewable Perpetual and Renewable Resources Sustainable yield Environmental degradation Tragedy of the Commons What is an ecological footprint? 1. To obtain the food, energy, and materials that we use everyday, a certain amount of space must be used. 2. For example, to grow corn for breakfast cereal, a corn field replaces the natural vegetation in an area. 3. We total area that must be set aside to generate the things we consume is called an "ecological footprint". How big is your ecological footprint (in football fields)? 1. 2. 3. 4. 1 2-5 6-10 More than 10 100% 0% 1 25 0% 610 th a M or e 0% n 10 Ecological Footprint 1 ha = 2 football fields Country United States The Netherlands India 0.8 3.8 Per Capita Ecological Footprint (Hectares per person) 9.6 Country United States The Netherlands India Total Ecological Footprint (Hectares) 3 billion hectares 62 million hectares 880 million hectares Fig. 1-7a, p. 11 Ecological Footprint 1.5 Earth's Ecological Capacity i ca og ol 1.2 Number of Earths 0.9 y' s nit a Ec nt pri ot Fo l 0.6 m Hu 0.3 0 1960 1970 1980 Year 1990 2000 2010 Fig. 1-7, p. 11 Nonrenewable Resources Energy resources Metallic mineral resources Nonmetallic mineral resources Economic depletion Recycling and reuse Pollution What is pollution? Point and nonpoint sources Unwanted effects of pollution Point-source Air Pollution Fig. 1-8, p. 13 Solutions to Pollution Pollution prevention (input control) Pollution cleanup (output control) Disadvantages of output control Environmental Problems: Causes and Connections First step: Understanding the causes Poverty and population growth Premature death among the poor Natural Capital Use, Depletion and Degradation SOLAR CAPITAL EARTH Goods and services Human Capital Human Economic and Cultural Systems Heat Depletion of nonrenewable resources Degradation of renewable resources Natural Capital Pollution and waste Recycling and reuse Fig. 1-9, p. 13 Causes of Environmental Problems Causes of Environmental Problems Population growth Unsustainable resource use Poverty Not including the environmental costs of economic goods and services in their market prices Trying to manage and simplify nature with too little knowledge about how it works Fig. 1-10, p. 14 Some Harmful Results of Poverty Lack of access to Adequate sanitation Enough fuel for heating and cooking Electricity Number of people (% of world's population) 2.4 billion (37%) 2 billion (31%) 1.6 billion (25%) Clean drinking water 1.1 billion (17%) Adequate health care 1.1 billion (17%) Enough food for good health 1.1 billion (17%) Fig. 1-11, p. 14 Economics and Ethics Affluenza Globalization and global advertising Law of Progressive Simplification Positive environmental effects of affluenza Environmental Problems and Their Causes Developing Countries X X = Population (P) X Consumption per person (affluence, A) X Technological impact per unit of consumption (T) = Environmental impact of population (I) X X = Developed Countries Fig. 1-13, p. 16 Historical Changes in Human Culture Hunter-gatherers Agricultural revolution Industrial-medical revolution Information-globalization revolution Eras of US Environmental History Tribal era Frontier era Early conservation era Environmentalism Is Our Present Course Sustainable? Different views Technological optimists Environmental pessimists How Would You Vote? Exercise Sustainability Revolution Current Emphasis Pollution cleanup Waste disposal (bury or burn) Protecting species Sustainability Emphasis Pollution prevention (cleaner production) Waste prevention & reduction Protecting where species live (habitat protection) Environmental restoration Less wasteful (more efficient) resource use Population stabilization by decreasing birth rates Protecting natural capital and living off the biological interest it provides Environmental degradation Increased resource use Population growth Depleting and degrading natural capital) Fig. 1-14, p. 18 Can our current society be sustained by the environment in the future? 1. 2. 3. 4. Yes No Not sure Don't care 0% 0% 2 0% 3 0% 4 1 ...
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