Chapter 1 Notes FINAL

Chapter 1 Notes FINAL - Sean O'Brien AP Environmental...

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Sean O’Brien AP Environmental Science Period 2 Mr. G. Cusimano 21 August 2009
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Chapter 1 – Introducing Environmental Science and Sustainability (pg. 1) What Is Environmental Science? An interdisciplinary study of how humanity affects the relationships among other organisms and the nonliving physical environment. The branch of science concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment. The study of how we and other species interact with one another and with the nonliving environment (matter and energy). A physical and social science that integrates knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. A study of how the parts of nature and human societies operate and interact. Environmental science encompasses many complex and interconnected problems involving human numbers, Earth’s natural resources, and environmental pollution. Pollution can be viewed as any alteration of air, water, and soil that harms the health, survival, or activities of humans and other living organisms. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary because it uses and combines information from many disciplines: o Physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. o Geography, economics, and sociology. o Cultural anthropology and natural resources management. o Agriculture. o Law, politics, and ethics.
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Why is the Environmental Science Important? Because of the impact of the increase numbers of humans. Because of the increase amount of consumption. Because of the challenges and complexity of the problems we are creating. One of the most important concepts currently used in environmental science is Environmental sustainability . o It can be defined as the ability to meet humanity’s current need without compromising future generations to meet their needs. o It also implies that the environment should function indefinitely without going into a decline from the stresses imposed by human society on natural systems. o Based in part on the following ideas: We must consider the effects of our actions on the well being of the natural environment. Earth’s resources are not present in infinite supply and we must live within those limits. We must understand all the costs to the environment of the products we consume. We must each share the responsibility for environmental sustainability. Human Impacts on the Environment (pg. 2) Experts believe human society is not operating to sustain the environment because: o We use non-renewable resources as if they were present in unlimited supplies. o We use renewable resources faster than they can be renewed naturally. o We are polluting the environment with toxins as if the capacity of the environment to absorb them is limitless. The number of humans continues to grow despite the Earth’s finite ability to feed and sustain us and
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2009 for the course BUS 306 taught by Professor Selvili during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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Chapter 1 Notes FINAL - Sean O'Brien AP Environmental...

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