Warm Up to ……Causes of Environmental Problems • We have been raising our awareness about the types of environmental problems that exist at local, regional, national and international levels. • What are ROOT CAUSES of these problems are ? Jot down as many as you can think of. • Problem - Root Cause • Ex. Runny nose, Sore throat – bacterial infection • Ex. Car won’t run, battery dead – broken alternator
Experts Have Identified Five Basic Causes of Environmental Problems • Population growth • Unsustainable resource consumption • Poverty • Not including environmental costs in market prices • Lack of knowledge of basic ecological principles
1. Population growth • Considered by many to be the biggest threat to the environment. • Every minute 200,000 people are added to world’s population. • Human population at 7 + billion people may have has already exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity for it. • Carrying capacity - maximum number of individuals that an area can indefinitely sustain without depleting /degrading its resources. • Slower growth rate is occurring but due to longer life length overall population numbers keep going up
13 12 11 10 9 ? 8 7 Billions of people 6 5 4 3 Industrial revolution 2 Black Death—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 Fig. 1-1, p. 5
1. Agricultural Revolution – Began ~ 10,000 ya transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural lifestyle • Provided stable food source which improved human health and freed people to move and work in cities. • 1950’s Green Revolution – technological advances that increased agricultural production
2. Industrial Revolution – • Began in the early 1700’s but really took off in early 1900’s • Shift from rural, animal-powered farming to an urban society powered by nonrenewable fossil fuel energy sources • Improved medical and agricultural technology and sanitation which increased survivorship
Unsustainable Resource Consumption • “It’s not just the number of people on Earth, but how much they consume”
What is a resource? • Anything an organism needs to survive – food, shelter, mates, breeding sites, water, air, land • Two types of resources: 1. Renewable 2.Nonrenewable
Renewable Resources • Resource that is replenished over “short” periods of time (within our lifetime). • Ex. Wood, wildlife, sunlight, wind, water, soil • If consumed faster than replaced it can be permanently lost.
Nonrenewable Resources • Nonrenewable natural resource - Resource that is formed much more slowly than its used. • Ex. Minerals, Gas, Oil, Coal,
Sustainability • Some types of renewable resources may become nonrenewable if they are not used at a sustainable rate • In recent years, consumption of natural resources has increased to unsustainable levels driven by the growth of the largest human population in history
Unsustainable Resource use –Shrinking of the Aral Sea • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzvEW1FHc60 2min • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N-_69cWyKo 5 min • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp_mlKJiwxgamerican
TOverexploiting Renewable Resources • “Tragedy of the Commons”- • famous essay written by American • ecologist Garrett Hardin • Describes the abuse that occurs to unmanaged resources by individuals for their own short term gain. • Shared commons ex’s. - mmons” • Described the source of environmental problems as a conflict between: • Short-term interests of individuals • versus… • Long-term interests of civilization and the Earth itself
A small village consists mostly of farmers that raise and sell sheep at a nearby city. • The only place for the sheep to graze is a shared common area in the center of the village. • Each farmer will graze as many of his sheep as possible
What if the commons was instead divided into sections that was owned by each villager? • When the land is owned, individuals are much more likely to plan and use it for their long-term benefit.
Moral of the Story • The Tragedy of the Commons suggests that, if shared renewable resources are not managed, they will be overused by for short term economic gain. • Renewable resources are not unlimited and must be carefully used to prevent their depletion. “Freedom in the commons brings ruin to all”
Cows in the Pasture • Be honest....Have YOU ever peed in the pool?
Modern examples of Tragedy of the Commons Atmospheric Resources Ocean Resources www.panda.org Norilsk, Russia Source: ecojunk.wordpress.com
What was the lesson to be learned about how we use renewable resources from yesterday’s fishing expedition? • How did this activity tie into Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons”?
Lessons Learned – Let’s Fish • Each person must get a minimum of 6 fish in order to feed family and sell some at market for a profit. • Red fish are prized for having the greatest amount of meat and best test.
Ecological Footprint • Resources use can be measured using the concept of “ecological footprint” (1990’s) Ecological Footprint – measures the environmental effects of an individual or population by consideringthe total amount of land and water required to provide raw materials and to dispose of waste.
Share of Earth’s Ecological Carrying Capacity (%) Per Capita Ecological Footprint (hectares per person) 25% 9.7 United States United States European Union European Union 4.7 19% China China 1.6 18% India India 7% 0.8 Japan Japan 4.8 5% Projected footprint Earth's ecological capacity Number of Earths Ecological footprint Fig. 1-10, p. 15
Resource Sustainability is the Goal of E.S. • Resource use is considered sustainable if it can continue at the same rate into the future. • It is a goal of Environmental Science
#3 Poverty and the Inequality of Wealth and Resources • One billion people – 1 out of 7 on Earth - live on less than $1.00 a day - the official measure of poverty • However, half the world — nearly three billion people — lives on less than two dollars a day. • A shocking 64 individuals now own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 3 billion people. (64 vs 3 billion)
Developing countries • Most poverty is found in developing/underdevelopedcountries. The World Bank defines this as having less than earning $11,905 U.S. dollars. These countries are characterized by lower economic standard of living and less industrialization.
World Bank List of Countries • Most developing nations are located in Asia, Africa, and Latin America (Central/South). • Most developed nations are located in North America, European Union, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, N. Ireland Wales)and Nordic/Scandanavia
The Gap between Developing and Developed Nations in Wealth, Industrialization, Life Expectancy Population Growth and Resource Use Developing Nations Developed Nations Higher life expectancy Have more education Greater income Higher standard of living Industrialized nation Lower population growth Higher consumption rate per person • Lower life expectancy • Have less education • Have less money income • Lowered living standard • Underdeveloped industrial base • Higher population growth rate • Lower consumption rate
Cultural Differences exist in the Consumption of Natural Resources Developing Country Developed Country
Lack of access to Number of people (% of world's population) Adequate sanitation facilities 2.6 billion (38%) Enough fuel for heating and cooking 2 billion (29%) 2 billion (29%) Electricity Clean drinking water 1.1 billion (16%) Adequate health care 1.1 billion (16%) Adequate housing 1 billion (15%) Enough food for good health 0.86 billion (13%) Fig. 1-13, p. 18
1 billion people suffer from hunger 2 to 3.5 billion people have a deficiency of vitamins and minerals
Affluenza "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more."
Affluence Has Harmful and Beneficial Environmental Effects • Harmful environmental impact due to • High levels of consumption • Unnecessary waste of resources • Affluence can provide funding for technologies to reduce • Pollution • Environmental degradation • Resource waste
Poverty Also Has Harmful and Beneficial Environmental Effects • Beneficial environmental impact - Low levels of consumption • Reduced waste from use of resources • Negative environmental impacts - “Resource stripping” necessary to pay off personal and national debts. - Lack of / poor pollution controls
#4 Poor Environmental Accounting • Results from a lack of doing business that includes the full value of a the natural capital to make the product Natural Capital – the “hidden” value of the goods and services that we get from nature.
What are the “Hidden Costs”? • What natural resources are used in making the product – are they renewable or nonrenewable? • How much water was used to make product? and wasn’t available for wildlife? • How many forests were cut down, displacing species, loss of ecological services like oxygen production and the uptake of carbon dioxide?
Poor EnviroSocial Accounting • Were people forced off their land to obtain this resource? • Were people exposed to hazardous chemicals in the process of making or disposing of this product? • Were labor laws, esp. for children, in place to protect workers involved in the production process? • How much water was used to make product? and wasn’t available for agriculture, drinking, cooking, bathing, recreation?
What is the REAL COST to Mother Nature and US??? • What did it cost the environment to make YOUR cell phone? • What did it cost society to make YOUR cell phone? • What’s behind that bite of your banana?
Prices Do Not Include the Value of Natural Capital • Companies do not pay the environmental cost of resource use that they benefit from/rely on • Goods and services do not include the harmful environmental costs • Companies receive tax breaks and subsidies • Economy may be stimulated but there may be a degradation of natural capital (the goods and services we gain from the natural environment)
Emerging View – A Paradigm Shift • Maintaining a healthy environment DOES NOT need to be a hindrance to economic growth • Rather , A healthy economy is dependent on a healthy environment. • Fishing, Tourism esp. Ecotourism, Agriculture
#5 Ecological Ignorance • Ignorance – lack of understanding, crude knowledge • Refers to the failure to understand the effect of human actions on the relationship between the environment and living things. And how our economies, health and recreation are tied to a healthy environment.
What is the connection between your Big Mac and a rainforest destruction?
This is why education is needed to raise • the 3 A’s • Awareness, Appreciation Activism Be the change you want to see in the World!!
We Can Learn to Make Informed Environmental Decisions • Scientific research • Identify problem and multiple solutions • Consider human values