LITE1_study_guide

LITE1_study_guide - Study Guide Chapter 1 - Environmental...

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Study Guide – Chapter 1 - Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability Exponential Growth growth at a fixed percentage per unit time ; why is it important? Note that exponential growth can result in exceedingly high population levels over a relatively short period of time, as per the rice and paper folding examples. The environment is the sum of the biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors that affect an organism; what are some of the biotic and abiotic factors that affect you? In the context used in the book, environmental science and natural resource conservation are one in the same; how nature works, how the environment affects us, how we affect the environment, and how to deal with environmental problems and live more sustainably . Much of what we talk about in this class deals with Ecology , the science of relationships between living organisms and their environments (both biotic and abiotic components). In this class we will deal mostly with renewable resources, certainly an important part of environmental science. Remember that Environmentalism is not a science, it is a social movement, usually involving concerned activists working to pass legislation, enforce regulations, and find sustainable solutions to environmental problems, hopefully based on research by environmental scientists. Sustainability is the ability of natural systems to adapt indefinitely; more specifically from a human standpoint, it is the ability of a system to provide resources to current populations without degrading the ability of those systems to provide resources for future generations. This is the cornerstone of conservation; how can we use things without degrading or destroying them. Figures 1-3 and 1-4. The book emphasizes the natural capital , which includes the resources and processes (such as nutrient cycling) that support all living organisms on the planet. What kind of “trade-offs” might we need to make in an attempt to become more sustainable? How do humans affect the quality and quantity of our natural capital? Another important point in the book is that individuals matter ; as Aldo Leopold said, conservation is not a government activity, it depends on people. The conclusions of the
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course RNR 1001 at LSU.

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LITE1_study_guide - Study Guide Chapter 1 - Environmental...

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