EOC_ch08

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

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Chapter 8 Testing Your Comprehension 1 The human global population is approximately 6.7 billion people, with about 220,000 added daily. 2 In many cases, humans have been able to substitute one resource for another, thereby avoiding environmental limitations at least temporarily. As to how long this can be sustained, answers will vary. 3 Environmental scientists are generally convinced that the effects of resource limitation cannot be avoided forever (i.e., that resources are not infinitely substitutable). Cornucopians take the opposing view. Population growth is a problem to the extent that it leads to crowding, resource depletion, reduced standards of living, and environmental degradation. 4 The IPAT model says that our I mpact on the environment is a function of P opulation size, per capita A ffluence, and our T echnological choices. Technology can either increase or decrease I mpact— for example, choosing a bicycle versus a sport utility vehicle as a transportation technology, or choosing a compact fluorescent lighting fixture versus an incandescent one. 5 Demographers study population size, density, distribution, age structure, sex ratio, and rates of birth, death, immigration, and emigration. Each of these help determine our environmental impact,
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