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APES Chapter 1. Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability “At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” Paul Hawken. Basic Terms. Environment - everything that affects living organisms

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Apes chapter 1 l.jpg

APES Chapter 1

Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability

“At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” Paul Hawken


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Basic Terms

  • Environment- everything that affects living organisms

  • Ecology-science that studies relationships b/t organisms and environment


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Human Population

  • The human race plays a key role in important issues we will be discussing the whole year

    • Population growth

    • Resource use

    • Poverty

    • Loss of biological diversity

    • Pollution

    • Global climate change


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Population GrowthLinear

  • Linear growth- no consistent doubling time with straight line graph

    • Slow growth


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Population GrowthExponential

  • Exponential growth- quantity increases at a constant rate per unit time

    • Starts slowly, but grows enormously due to doubling

    • Addition to population proportional to current size

      • Larger populations add more people than smaller ones growing at same rate 10% growth of 100,000 people = 10,000 added/yr

        10% growth of 1,000,000 people = 100,000 added/yr

      • These larger populations will then increase their population considerably


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Population GrowthExponential

  • Doubling time- the amount of time it takes a population to double its size.

    • Exponential growth shows a doubling time

    • Rule of 70: 70/rate (%) = doubling time

      70 divided by the growth rate as a percentage = d.t.

    • The higher the growth rate, the less time it takes to double

    • i.e.: growth of populations of people and bacteria, savings accounts, etc.


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Let’s See If the Rule of 70 Works!

  • 10% fixed growth rate….what is doubling time?

  • 70/10 = 7 year doubling time

    100 people to start

    (.10)(100) =+10 10% growth

    110 total # of people at end of year 1

    (.10)(110) =+11

    121 end of year 2

    (.10)(121) =+12

    133 end of year 3

    (.10)(133) =+13

    146 end of year 4

    (.10)(146) = +14

    160 end of year 5

    (.10)(160) = +16

    176 end of year 6

    (.10)(176) = +17

    193 end of year 7—almost doubled!


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Population Size vs. Time

How would

we figure

out doubling time from this graph of population growth?


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Population Size vs. Time

Using the graph you can see that after 7 years population has nearly doubled from 100 to 200


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Population Growth

  • World growth has slowed, but still growing exponentially at an annual growth rate of 1.25%/year

    • Not much?

    • Calculate doubling time (70/1.25 = ? years)

  • 1950-2004 2.56.4 billion (6,400,000,000)

    • 80,000,000 people added in 2004

    • 9100/hour

  • Growth more rapid than Earth can support

  • Projected 8-12 billion by end of century, depending on growth rate


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16

15

?

14

13

12

11

?

10

9

Billions of people

8

?

7

6

5

4

3

2

BlackDeath–the Plague

1

0

2-5 million

years

8000

6000

4000

2000

2000

2100

Time

B.C.

A.D.

Hunting and

gathering

Agricultural revolution

Industrial

revolution


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Resource Use

  • Global economic output is a rough measure of human resource use

  • More people due to exponential growth and economic growth ↑ resource use


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Poverty

  • 22 fold ↑ in economic growth b/t 1950 and 2004

  • 50% of people still trying to survive off < $3/day

  • To survive they must deplete and degrade environment


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Poverty

Wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated, with the richest 20% receiving most of the world's income (82.7%).


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Loss of Biological Diversity

  • Premature extinction of species due to habitat degradation

  • 1%/year

  • IRREVERSIBLE!

  • i.e. cutting down forests due to farming and development


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Pollution

  • Pollution- presence of substances at high enough levels to harm living organisms due to:

    • Natural occurrences= biogenic (volcanic eruptions)

    • Human activities= anthropogenic (burning fossil fuels, using pesticides, etc.)

  • Disrupt support systems of organisms


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Pollution

  • Occurs more in urban areas

  • Can contaminate area where produced or be carried away by wind or water

  • Factors that determine damage a pollutant can cause:

    • Concentration

    • Persistence

    • Chemical nature

    • Rate of degradation


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Pollution

  • Point sources- single, identifiable

    • Cars, smokestacks

    • Easier to identify and control

  • Nonpoint sources- dispersed, difficult to identify

    • Pesticides runoff and spray


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Pollution

  • Prevention (output control)

    • Stop before it starts

    • Easier to do

    • Less expensive to reduce to acceptable levels—regulation

  • Cleanup

    • Temporary bandage

    • Only moves pollution to another site

    • Expensive


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Climate Change

  • Population growth, resource use, poverty, and loss of biological diversity contribute to climate change

    • Global warming

    • Cycle continues


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What the Earth Provides UsSun and Earth’s Natural Capital

  • Capital—baseline wealth used to sustain (i.e. a business or life)

  • Income--output derived from an investment of capital

  • All life and economies depend on solar and natural capital.


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What the Earth Provides UsSolar Capital/ Energy

  • Solar capital- direct sunlight and indirect forms of renewable solar energy

    • Provides 99% of the energy used on earth to sustain life.

    • Biomass (plant matter) made by plants during photosynthesis using solar energy (i.e. firewood, food, coal)

    • Hydropower, windpower, and solar power


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What the Earth Provides UsNatural Capital

  • Natural capital- Earth’s resources and ecological services

    • Air

    • Water

    • Soil

    • Forests

    • Fishery

    • Minerals

    • Natural water and air purification


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SOLAR ENERGY

RESOURCES

Water

Energy

Air

Soil

Minerals

NATURAL CAPITAL

NutrientRecycling

PollutionControl

Biodiversity

Pest & DiseaseControl

PopulationControl

ClimateControl

WasteTreatment

SERVICES


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What the Earth Provides UsNatural Resources

  • Resource-anything obtained from environment to satisfy needs OR wants

    • Food

    • Water

    • Shelter

    • Transportation

    • Recreation

  • Natural resources are classified as

    • Perpetual

    • Renewable

    • Nonrenewable

  • Population and World Resources-24min


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Resources

Perpetual

Nonrenewable

Non-

metallic

minerals

Metallic

minerals

Fossil

fuels

Winds,

tides,

flowing

water

Direct

solar

energy

(iron,

copper,

aluminum)

(clay,

sand,

phosphates)

Renewable

Fresh

air

Fresh

water

Fertile

soil

Plants and

animals

(biodiversity)


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What the Earth Provides UsPerpetual Resources

  • Perpetual resources- renewed continuously

    • Solar energy

    • Winds

    • Flowing water

  • Resources we cannot drain--yet


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Renewable resources- can be renewed or replenished fairly rapidly by natural processes

    • Fresh air

    • Fresh water

    • Plants

    • Animals

  • Renewable only as long as we don’t use them quicker than they’re renewed!


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Sustainable yield -highest rate that a renewable resource can be used indefinitely w/o reducing its available supply (capital)

    • LIVE OFF INCOME, NOT CAPITAL

  • Environmental degradation –degrading environment in any way

    • i.e. using more than sustainable yield causing resource capital to shrink (degrading environment)

    • LIVING OFF INCOME AND CAPITAL


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • “Tragedy of the Commons”

  • Garrett Hardin, 1968

  • Said we are exploiting and degrading publicly owned, common resources.

  • Need to take no more than sustainable yield.


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Possible solutions to the tragedy?

    • Limit access

    • Reduce population

    • Convert free access to private

      • Private owners environmentally conscientious?

      • How do you make global resources (oceans and air) private?

      • Will restricted access foster lack of appreciation for these resources?


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Government has laws and treatises that regulate access to commonly owned resources

    • Hunting licenses

    • Fishing licenses

    • National Park rules and regulations

    • IDEM standards


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Ecological footprint- amt of biologically productive land and water needed to supply us with the renewable resources we use and absorb or dispose of our waste

    • How much of Earth’s natural capital and biological income we use

    • EVERYTHING we do leaves an effect our environment—our footprint

    • Renewable resources are being depleted and degraded to support our lifestyles


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Total Ecological Footprint

(Hectares)

Country

3 billion

hectares

United States

62 million hectares

The Netherlands

880 millionhectares

India


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What the Earth Provides UsRenewable Resources

  • Per capita- per person

  • Per capita ecological footprint=

    total footprint/total population

    • Humanity’s per capita ecological footprint exceeds Earth’s biological capacity by 15%

    • We are exceeding sustainable yield and dipping into our capital

    • i.e. country has 1,000,000 hectares of ecological footprint and 100,000 people:

      • 1,000,000 ha/ 100,000 people = 10 ha/person


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Per Capita Ecological Footprint

(Hectares of land per person)

Country

9.6

United States

3.8

The Netherlands

0.8

India


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1.4

Humanity’s Ecological Footprint

1.2

1.0

Earth’s Ecological Capacity

.8

Number of Earth’s

.6

.4

.2

0

1961

1965

1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

2005


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What the Earth Provides UsNonrenewable Resources

  • Nonrenewable resources- those we can deplete fixed quantity

    • Energy resources

      • Gas, Coal

    • Metallic mineral resources

      • Iron, Copper

    • Nonmetallic mineral resources

      • Salt, clay

  • **These nonrenewables are economically depleted when it costs too much to obtain what is left


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Resources

Perpetual

Nonrenewable

Non-

metallic

minerals

Metallic

minerals

Fossil

fuels

Winds,

tides,

flowing

water

Direct

solar

energy

(iron,

copper,

aluminum)

(clay,

sand,

phosphates)

Renewable

Fresh

air

Fresh

water

Fertile

soil

Plants and

animals

(biodiversity)


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Area under curve

equals the total

amount of the

resource.

Economic depletion

(80% used up)

Resource production

Time


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What the Earth Provides UsNonrenewable Resources

  • Solutions for preserving our nonrenewable resources

    • Try to find more

    • Recycle/Reuse

    • Waste/Use less

    • Substitute

    • Wait millions of years


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Economic Growth

  • Economic growth- an ↑ in the capacity of a country to provide people with goods and services needed

    • Measured by change in country’s:

      • GDP (Gross Domestic Product)- annual market value in $ of all goods and services produced WITHIN a country

      • GNP (Gross National Product)- annual market value in $ of all goods and services produced by a country’s businesses THROUGHOUT THE WORLD


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Economic Growth

  • Country’s standard (quality) of living gauged by

    • Per capita GDP= GDP/country’s population

    • Per capita GNP = GNP/country’s population

  • Countries with larger populations have to spread the wealth thinner

    • Lower per capita GDP lower standard of living

    • China


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Economic Development

  • Economic development- improving living standards by economic growth

  • UN classifies countries as economically developed or developing based on Human Development Index (HDI):

    • Standard of living (per capita GDP)

    • Life expectancy

    • Literacy

  • What country is #1?

  • HDI List


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Economic Development

  • Developed (MDC): US, Canada, Japan, etc.

    • High life expectancy, literacy, industrialization and per capita GDP

  • Developing (LDC): Africa, Asia, Latin America, India

    • Lower life expectancy, literacy, industrialization and per capita GDP

    • 97% of world’s projected ↑ in population is expected to take place in these countries


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12

11

10

Worldtotal

9

8

Developing

countries

7

Population (billions)

6

5

4

Developed

countries

3

2

1

2050

2000

2100

1950

Year


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Percent of World’s

19

Population

81

0.1

Populationgrowth rate

1.6

85

Wealth andincome

15

Resourceuse

88

12

Pollutionand waste

75

25

Developedcountries

Developingcountries


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Trade-Offs

Economic Development

Good News

Bad News

Life expectancy 11 years less in developing countries than in developed countries

Global life expectancy doubled since 1950

Infant mortality rate in developing countries over 8 times higher than in developed countries

Infant mortality cut in half since 1955

Harmful environmental effects of agriculture may limit future food production

Food production ahead of population growth since 1978

Air and water pollution down in most developed countries since 1970

Air and water pollution levels in most developing countries too high

Half of world’s people trying to live on less than $3 (U.S.) per day

Number of people living in poverty dropped 6% since 1990


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Globalization

  • Globalization- process of social, economic and environmental changes that lead to increased

    interconnectedness throughout world

    • Information (internet)

    • International trading

    • Technology

    • Human mobility

  • **One country can’t be environmentally sustainable without the others!!


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Environmental and Resource ProblemsThe Big Five Causes

  • Major causes of problems

    1. Population growth

    2. Wasteful resource use

    3. Poverty

    4. Poor environmental accounting

    5. Ecological and environmental ignorance


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Environmental and Resource ProblemsThe Big Five Causes

1. Talked about population growth

2. Wasteful resource use

  • Affluenza

    • High stress

    • High debt

    • Bankruptcies

    • Overuse of resources


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Environmental and Resource ProblemsThe Big Five Causes

3. Poverty

  • Survival at the expense of environment

  • Live in areas w/ greater risk of natural disasters

  • Work in unsafe, unhealthy conditions

  • Life expectancy low

  • Many children for economic security

  • Death from preventable causes


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Environmental and Resource ProblemsThe Big Five Causes

4. Poor environmental accounting

  • Not including environmental cost of economic goods and services in the market price

  • Cleanup and waste expensive and corners cut

    5. Ignorance

  • Many have no idea about the impact of their actions

  • Many “live for today”


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Environmental and Resource ProblemsProblem and Cause Connection

  • Environmental impact (I) affected by interaction b/t population size (P), resource consumption (A) and technology (T)

  • Technology can be helpful or harmful

  • I = P X A X T


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Developing Countries

X

X

=

Consumption

per person

(affluence, A)

Technological impact per

unit of consumption (T)

Environmental

impact of population (I)

Population (P)

X

=

X

Developed Countries

X

=

X


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Living More SustainablyTwo School of Thought on How It’s Done

  • Environmentalists:

    • Eliminate waste and stop depletion and degradation to sustain our capital

  • Others:

    • Say environmentalist are exaggerating and/or it is a hoax

    • Man can overcome problems w/ ingenuity, economic growth, and technology


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Living More SustainableWhat We Must Do

  • Protect solar and natural capital (wealth) and live off the resources they provide (income)

  • Meet current needs of people without compromising the needs of future generations

    • NO DEPLETION OF CAPITAL

    • NO SELFISHNESS

  • Identify how Earth sustains itself and apply this info to our lifestyles and economies

    • Gaia hypothesis

  • Rewards to encourage more sustainable forms of economicgrowth and penalties to discourage


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    Current

    Emphasis

    Sustainability

    Emphasis

    Pollution prevention(cleaner production)

    Waste prevention& reduction

    Protecting wherespecies live

    (habitat protection)

    Environmentalrestoration

    Less wasteful (more efficient)resource use

    Population stabilization bydecreasing birth rates

    Protecting natural capitaland living off the biological interest it provides

    Pollution cleanup

    Waste disposal(bury or burn)

    Protecting species

    Environmentaldegradation

    Increased resourceuse

    Population growth

    Depleting anddegrading naturalcapital)


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    Is Our Present Course Sustainable?Guidelines for the Earth

    • Never leave it worse than you found it

    • Take only what you need

    • Sustain diverse living organisms

    • Maintains Earth’s capacity for self-repair

    • Don’t waste

    • Don’t pollute

    • Decrease population


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