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ch01_Dilemmas - The Environmental Challenges We Face...

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Unformatted text preview: The Environmental Challenges We Face Chapter 1 A World in Crisis – Earth provides raw materials and energy for Life – Earth is approx 4.5 Billion years old • Modern humans appeared in Africa 195,000 yrs ago • Human populations have grown and expanded in range • Technology has allowed humans to live better (at least in developed nations) – Humans are the most significant agent of environmental change • Overpopulation • Overconsumption of natural resources: topsoil, water, air • Transforming and destroying natural environments • Eradicating unique species • Human-induced climate change A World in Crisis Human Impacts on the Environment • Learning Objectives: 1. Distinguish among highly developed countries, moderately developed countries, and less developed countries. 2. Relate human population size to natural resources and resource consumption. 3. Distinguish between people overpopulation and consumption overpopulation. 4. Describe the three factors that are most important in determining human impact on the environment. • Overpopulation – Earth’s central environmental problem – Links all other environmental problems together – World’s population continues to grow and has grown very fast – 1960: 3 billion people – 1975: 4 billion – 1987: 5 billion – 2009: 6.8 billion • People consume food and water, use energy and raw materials and produce waste • Several more billion people will be added in the 21 st century, even if we are proactive about population growth Human Impacts on the Environment Linear vs. Exponential • Linear growth - a quantity increases by a constant amount per unit of time: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 & so on. • Exponential growth - a quantity increases by a fixed percentage of the whole in a given time: 1, 2, 4, 16 Environmental InSight Environmental InSight • Poverty – A condition in which people are unable to meet their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, education, or health. – One in four people lives in extreme poverty (less than $2/day): 3.3 billion people – Poverty is associated with short life expectancy, illiteracy, inadequate access to health services, safe water, balanced nutrition Human Impacts on the Environment • Population Growth – Projected 7.7–10.6 billion people depending on fertility rate – Current fertility rate is 2.6 children/woman • Family planning efforts – World’s population may stabilize by end of 21 st century • Can Earth support so many people?...
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ch01_Dilemmas - The Environmental Challenges We Face...

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