lect02-09-10

lect02-09-10 - Readings (Week 4) Miller and Spoolman,...

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Unformatted text preview: Readings (Week 4) Miller and Spoolman, Chapters 1, 23, 6, & Supplement 5 (pp. S31 S38) Haub, C. "Global and U.S. National Population Trends", Consequences, Vol 1, No. 2, 1995 http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/summer95/popula tion.html Major Environmental Problems Economic Perspective on Environmental Problems General Cause for Concern: market failures and other institutional failures First Order Manifestations: excessive population growth, extremes of poverty and affluence, uncorrected externalities from production and consumption Consequences: excessive air and water pollution; non-sustainable patterns of resource use - loss of critical natural resources such as productive soil, forests, fisheries, biodiversity, and groundwater Pollution & its Sources Pollution: undesirable change in physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of air, water, soil, or food that can adversely affect humans or other living organisms Nonpoint Sources: dispersed & often difficult to identify sources (e.g., agricultural runoff) Point Sources: single identified sources of pollution (e.g., smoke stack or effluent discharge) Policy Implications? Severity of a Pollutant Chemical Nature How active & harmful to living organisms? Concentration How much is present in the environment? Persistence How long does it take to break down to acceptable levels? Persistence of a Pollutant Nonpersistent Pollutant Easily broken down by natural processes - e.g., sewage Persistent Pollutant Degrades very slowly - e.g., many plastics, DDT Costly to remove from environment Extreme Case - Nondegradable - e.g., lead, mercury Control of Pollution Input Control - Prevention Reduce harmful inputs - conservation and substitution Output Control - Abatement & Cleanup Remove pollutant from output before release into environment (e.g., catalytic conversion) - abatement Remove pollutant from output after release into environment (e.g., groundwater remediation) cleanup Prevention is usually cheaper than Cleanup History of Resource Use & Environmental Change Important Global Socio-Economic Patterns of Life & Events: Hunter-Gatherer Stage (from around 60,000 b.c. to until about 10,000 b.c.) Agricultural Revolution (began around 10,000 b.c. ) Industrial Revolution (began around 1750 a.d. ) Agricultural Revolution Early Stages involved Slash-and-Burn Cultivation, Shifting Cultivation, Subsistence Farming Later Stages involved Use of Metal Plows, Irrigation, Larger Farms, Settled Communities, Production for Market Environmental Impact Increased - Soil Erosion, Water Pollution from Run-off, Deforestation, Desertification Social Change - Rise of Feudalism Industrial Revolution Key Characteristics: Factory Based Production - Machines made Workers Highly Productive, Tasks became Standardized and Routine Heavy Reliance on Nonrenewable Resources - Coal, Iron Urban Phenomenon - Started in Cities, Led to Massive Growth of Urban Areas Began in England - Why? Industrial Revolution Prerequisites: Abundant Labor and Raw Materials, Mature Financial Institutions, Markets to Sell England Most Suitable in All Respects: Agricultural Prosperity - High Birth Rates Mechanization of Agriculture, Weakened Feudalism - Labor Released to Urban Areas Rich in Coal, Iron Well Developed Credit Markets Strong Naval/Shipping Capabilities & Access to Foreign Markets References: E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1962; S. Kreis "The Origins of the Industrial Revolution in England" http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture17a.html Industrial Revolution Social Impact: Dramatic increases in - average material well-being - income disparity - crime & other social problems in cities Environmental Impact: Dramatic increases in - per capita energy consumption - urban air pollution & water pollution - regional and global environmental problems ...
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