14_env - 1 2 People The Environment Like all living things...

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1 1 Resource Issues Resource Issues 2 People & The Environment People & The Environment Q Like all living things, people interact with their environment. Q Unlike other living things, we have the ability to radically alter our environment Q We can choose how we will affect the natural world — constructively or destructively. Source: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/gwb/pps.html 3 Resources Resources Q A resource is a substance in the environment that is useful to people, is economically and technologically feasible to access, and is socially acceptable to use. Q There are two basic categories of resources: renewable and non-renewable . Renewable resources – like fertile soil, trees, fish – can be used without being used up – they can renew themselves (in a reasonable period of time). Non-renewable resources – like oil and minerals – can be exhausted. Once they are used, they’re gone . 4 The Tragedy of the Commons The Tragedy of the Commons Q If they are mismanaged or wasted , renewable resources can be made non-renewable. Q Solutions? Legal ( policing ); Moral ( shame ); Structural ( privatize ). 5 Energy: Consumption Energy: Consumption Q About ¼ of the world’s population live in MDCs – and consume about ½ of all the world’s energy. Q The US has 5% of the world’s population and consumes nearly ¼ of the world’s energy. Q In the US energy is consumed by BUSINESS: Mostly electricity, and mostly from coal, followed by natural gas and oil. HOMES: Mostly for heating, and mostly from natural gas, followed by coal and oil. TRANSPORTATION: Almost all transportation energy today comes from oil. 6 Per Capita Energy Consumption Per Capita Energy Consumption
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