Essential Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition)

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Chapter 1 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Renewable and nonrenewable resources are both categories of natural resources, the various substances and energy sources we need in order to survive. Resources replenished by the environment over relatively short periods of time are renewable resources (e.g., sunlight, wind energy). Those in limited supply and that are formed much more slowly than we use them are nonrenewable resources (e.g., oil, coal). 2 Human population grew markedly as a result of both the agricultural and industrial revolutions. The agricultural revolution made it easier for humans to meet their nutritional needs than as hunter- gatherers; thus they lived longer and had more children. The industrial revolution brought improved sanitation and medical technology, and increased agricultural productivity fueled by fossil fuels and fertilizer. This significantly increased life expectancy, decreased mortality, and expanded the capacity to feed a growing population. 3 The “tragedy of the commons” refers to a situation in which resources that are open to unregulated exploitation will eventually be depleted. In a publicly held pasture, each person whose animals graze there would benefit from grazing more animals. If each individual makes the rational decision to graze more, eventually the pasture will be overgrazed and its value destroyed. In the case of
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EOC_ch01 - Chapter 1 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Renewable...

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