Midterm 1 Study Guide

Midterm 1 Study Guide - Env 25Environmental Science and...

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Env 25—Environmental Science and Policy Study Guide Exam I, February 16, 2010 I. Introduction Readings: Christensen – Chapter 1, modules 1, 2 and 3 (note bold face terms in the text). 1. Describe and discuss several fundamental challenges associated with environmental issues. 2. What is an ecosystem? All the organisms and their physical and chemical environments within a restricted area, functioning as a integrated ecological unit. 3. What is meant by the phrases “ecosystem processes” and “ecosystem services”? Ecosystem processes refers to the flows of matter and energy in and out of an ecosystem and the processes that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. Ecosystem services are the multitude of resources and functions provided to humans by ecosystems: provisional services, cultural services, regulatory services and supporting services. 4. How do key properties of ecosystems relate to environmental challenges? Matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Ecosystems are constantly open to gains and losses of matter and energy. Ecosystems are regulated by interactions between their living and non-living components. Ecosystem is essential and inevitable. 5. How have notions of sustainability changed through time? 1987 definition: meeting needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Broadened definition: meeting needs of present in an equitable and fair fashion without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. II. Ethics, Economics and Policy {Lectures 2-4} Readings Christensen – Chapter 2, modules 2, 3, 4 and 5 Leopold – Land Ethic essay, Le Guinn – The Ones who Walk Away From Omelas – Consider where these fit into ethics framework 1. Ethical systems can be based on the rightness of motivations, actions or outcomes. Explain. Three general ethical systems: - Duty-based (rightness of actions) - Utilitarianism (rightness of outcomes) 1
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- Virtue-based (rightness of motivations) 2. Differentiate between intrinsic and instrumental value. Instrumental value: something valued as a means to an end Intrinsic value: something valued as an end unto itself 3. What is the difference between anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism? Anthropocentrism: assigns priority to humans Biocentrism: all living things have worth equal to that of humans Ecocentrism: values communities of organisms, ecosystems; all elements of the natural environment have equal intrinsic value 4. Defend the assertion that the American economy includes elements of subsistence, market and planned economic systems. Market is obvious. Planned: regulations from government like gas tax. Subsistence: farmers in the Western parts of America, live off what they extract from the environment 5. Explain the forces that shape the price and availability of a resource commodity such as oil or tuna fish. Neoclassical economics focuses on the determination of price and production quantities
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2010 for the course ENVIRON 25 taught by Professor Christensen,n during the Spring '08 term at Duke.

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Midterm 1 Study Guide - Env 25Environmental Science and...

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