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APES Potluck Party Review. 2012. Producers: Basic Source of All Food. Most producers capture sunlight to produce carbohydrates by photosynthesis:. Photosynthesis: A Closer Look. Chlorophyll molecules in the chloroplasts of plant cells absorb solar energy.

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producers basic source of all food
Producers: Basic Source of All Food
  • Most producers capture sunlight to produce carbohydrates by photosynthesis:
photosynthesis a closer look
Photosynthesis: A Closer Look
  • Chlorophyll molecules in the chloroplasts of plant cells absorb solar energy.
  • This initiates a complex series of chemical reactions in which carbon dioxide and water are converted to sugars and oxygen.

Figure 3-A

producers basic source of all food1
Producers: Basic Source of All Food
  • Chemosynthesis:
    • Some organisms such as deep ocean bacteria draw energy from hydrothermal vents and produce carbohydrates from hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas .
aerobic and anaerobic respiration getting energy for survival
Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration: Getting Energy for Survival
  • Organisms break down carbohydrates and other organic compounds in their cells to obtain the energy they need.
  • This is usually done through aerobic respiration.
    • The opposite of photosynthesis
aerobic and anaerobic respiration getting energy for survival1
Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration: Getting Energy for Survival
  • Anaerobic respiration or fermentation:
    • Some decomposers get energy by breaking down glucose (or other organic compounds) in the absence of oxygen.
    • The end products vary based on the chemical reaction:
      • Methane gas
      • Ethyl alcohol
      • Acetic acid
      • Hydrogen sulfide
productivity of producers the rate is crucial
Productivity of Producers: The Rate Is Crucial
  • Gross primary production (GPP)
    • Rate at which an ecosystem’s producers convert solar energy into chemical energy as biomass.

Figure 3-20

net primary production npp
Net Primary Production (NPP)
  • NPP = GPP – R
    • Rate at which producers use photosynthesis to store energy minus the rate at which they use some of this energy through respiration (R).

Figure 3-21

layers in mature soils
Layers in Mature Soils
  • Infiltration: the downward movement of water through soil.
  • Leaching: dissolving of minerals and organic matter in upper layers carrying them to lower layers.
  • The soil type determines the degree of infiltration and leaching.
some soil properties
Some Soil Properties
  • Soils vary in the size of the particles they contain, the amount of space between these particles, and how rapidly water flows through them.

Figure 3-25

matter cycling in ecosystems
  • Nutrient Cycles: Global Recycling
    • Global Cycles recycle nutrients through the earth’s air, land, water, and living organisms.
    • Nutrients are the elements and compounds that organisms need to live, grow, and reproduce.
    • Biogeochemical cycles move these substances through air, water, soil, rock and living organisms.
water unique properties
Water’ Unique Properties
  • There are strong forces of attraction between molecules of water.
  • Water exists as a liquid over a wide temperature range.
  • Liquid water changes temperature slowly.
  • It takes a large amount of energy for water to evaporate.
  • Liquid water can dissolve a variety of compounds.
  • Water expands when it freezes.
effects of human activities on water cycle
Effects of Human Activities on Water Cycle
  • We alter the water cycle by:
    • Withdrawing large amounts of freshwater.
    • Clearing vegetation and eroding soils.
    • Polluting surface and underground water.
    • Contributing to climate change.
effects of human activities on carbon cycle
Effects of Human Activities on Carbon Cycle
  • We alter the carbon cycle by adding excess CO2 to the atmosphere through:
    • Burning fossil fuels.
    • Clearing vegetation faster than it is replaced.

Figure 3-28

effects of human activities on the nitrogen cycle
Effects of Human Activities on the Nitrogen Cycle
  • We alter the nitrogen cycle by:
    • Adding gases that contribute to acid rain.
    • Adding nitrous oxide to the atmosphere through farming practices which can warm the atmosphere and deplete ozone.
    • Contaminating ground water from nitrate ions in inorganic fertilizers.
    • Releasing nitrogen into the troposphere through deforestation.
effects of human activities on the phosphorous cycle
Effects of Human Activities on the Phosphorous Cycle
  • We remove large amounts of phosphate from the earth to make fertilizer.
  • We reduce phosphorous in tropical soils by clearing forests.
  • We add excess phosphates to aquatic systems from runoff of animal wastes and fertilizers.
the sulfur cycle
The Sulfur Cycle

Figure 3-32

effects of human activities on the sulfur cycle
Effects of Human Activities on the Sulfur Cycle
  • We add sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere by:
    • Burning coal and oil
    • Refining sulfur containing petroleum.
    • Convert sulfur-containing metallic ores into free metals such as copper, lead, and zinc releasing sulfur dioxide into the environment.
the gaia hypothesis is the earth alive
The Gaia Hypothesis: Is the Earth Alive?
  • Some have proposed that the earth’s various forms of life control or at least influence its chemical cycles and other earth-sustaining processes.
    • The strong Gaia hypothesis: life controls the earth’s life-sustaining processes.
    • The weak Gaia hypothesis: life influences the earth’s life-sustaining processes.
geographic information systems gis
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • A GIS organizes, stores, and analyzes complex data collected over broad geographic areas.
  • Allows the simultaneous overlay of many layers of data.

Figure 3-33

core case study blowing in the wind a story of connections
Core Case StudyBlowing in the Wind: A Story of Connections
  • Wind connects most life on earth.
    • Keeps tropics from being unbearably hot.
    • Prevents rest of world from freezing.

Figure 5-1

solar energy and global air circulation distributing heat
Solar Energy and Global Air Circulation: Distributing Heat
  • Global air circulation is affected by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by solar energy, seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation.

Figure 5-3

coriolis effect
Coriolis Effect
  • Global air circulation is affected by the rotation of the earth on its axis.

Figure 5-4

convection currents
Convection Currents
  • Global air circulation is affected by the properties of air water, and land.

Figure 5-5






Heat releasedradiates to space




Cool, dry


Rises, expands, cools

Falls, is compressed, warms


dry air

Hot, wet


Flows toward low pressure,

picks up moisture and heat





Moist surface warmed by sun

Fig. 5-5, p. 103

convection cells
Convection Cells
  • Heat and moisture are distributed over the earth’s surface by vertical currents, which form six giant convection cells at different latitudes.

Figure 5-6


Cell 3 North


dry air


Moist air rises — rain

Polar cap

Cell 2 North

Arctic tundra


coniferous forest


Cool, dry

air falls

Temperate deciduous

forest and grassland



Cell 1 North

Tropical deciduous forest

Moist air rises,

cools, and releases

Moisture as rain


rain forest


Tropical deciduous forest



Cell 1 South

Temperate deciduous

forest and grassland

Cool, dry

air falls


Cell 2 South

Polar cap


dry air


Moist air rises — rain

Cell 3 South

Fig. 5-6, p. 103

ocean currents distributing heat and nutrients
Ocean Currents: Distributing Heat and Nutrients
  • Ocean currents influence climate by distributing heat from place to place and mixing and distributing nutrients.

Figure 5-7

topography and local climate land matters
Topography and Local Climate:Land Matters
  • Interactions between land and oceans and disruptions of airflows by mountains and cities affect local climates.

Figure 5-8


Tropic of



High mountains

Polar ice

Polar grassland (arctic tundra)

Tropic of


Temperate grassland

Tropical grassland (savanna)


Coniferous forest

Temperate deciduous forest

Tropical forest


Fig. 5-9, p. 106







Coniferous forest

Decreasing temperature











Rain forest






Decreasing precipitation

Fig. 5-10, p. 107




ice and snow

Tundra (herbs,

lichens, mosses)








Tundra (herbs,

lichens, mosses)

Polar ice

and snow







Fig. 5-11, p. 108

human impacts on terrestrial biomes
  • Human activities have damaged or disturbed more than half of the world’s terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Humans have had a number of specific harmful effects on the world’s deserts, grasslands, forests, and mountains.
risks and hazards
  • Risk is a measure of the likelihood that you will suffer harm from a hazard.
  • We can suffer from:
    • Biological hazards: from more than 1,400 pathogens.
    • Chemical hazards: in air, water, soil, and food.
    • Physical hazards: such as fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption…
    • Cultural hazards: such as smoking, poor diet, unsafe sex, drugs, unsafe working conditions, and poverty.
biological hazards disease in developed and developing countries
  • Diseases not caused by living organisms cannot spread from one person to another (nontransmissible disease), while those caused by living organisms such as bacteria and viruses can spread from person to person (transmissible or infectious)
ecological medicine and infectious diseases
Ecological Medicine and Infectious Diseases
  • Mostly because of human activities, infectious diseases are moving at increasing rates from one animal species to another (including humans).
  • Ecological (or conservation) medicine is devoted to tracking down these connections between wildlife and humans to determine ways to slow and prevent disease spread.
chemical hazards
  • A toxic chemical can cause temporary or permanent harm or death.
    • Mutagens are chemicals or forms of radiation that cause or increase the frequency of mutations in DNA.
    • Teratogens are chemicals that cause harm or birth defects to a fetus or embryo.
    • Carcinogens are chemicals or types of radiation that can cause or promote cancer.
chemical hazards1
  • A hazardous chemical can harm humans or other animals because it:
    • Is flammable
    • Is explosive
    • An irritant
    • Interferes with oxygen uptake
    • Induce allergic reactions.
effects of chemicals on the immune nervous and endocrine systems
Effects of Chemicals on the Immune, Nervous, and Endocrine Systems
  • Long-term exposure to some chemicals at low doses may disrupt the body’s:
    • Immune system: specialized cells and tissues that protect the body against disease and harmful substances.
    • Nervous system: brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.
    • Endocrine system: complex network of glands that release minute amounts of hormones into the bloodstream.
case study a black day in bhopal india
Case Study: A Black Day in Bhopal, India
  • The world’s worst industrial accident occurred in 1984 at a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India.
    • An explosion at Union Carbide pesticide plant in an underground storage tank released a large quantity of highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas.
    • 15,000-22,000 people died
    • Indian officials claim that simple upgrades could have prevented the tragedy.
toxicology assessing chemical hazards
  • Factors determining the harm caused by exposure to a chemical include:
    • The amount of exposure (dose).
    • The frequency of exposure.
    • The person who is exposed.
    • The effectiveness of the body’s detoxification systems.
    • One’s genetic makeup.
toxicology assessing chemical hazards1
  • Children are more susceptible to the effects of toxic substances because:
    • Children breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food per unit of body weight than adults.
    • They are exposed to toxins when they put their fingers or other objects in their mouths.
    • Children usually have less well-developed immune systems and detoxification processes than adults.
toxicology assessing chemical hazards2
  • Some scientists and health officials say that preliminary but not conclusive evidence that a chemical causes significant harm should spur preventive action (precautionary principle).
  • Manufacturers contend that wide-spread application of the precautionary principle would make it too expensive to introduce new chemicals and technologies.
perceiving risk
Perceiving Risk
  • Most individuals evaluate the relative risk they face based on:
    • Degree of control.
    • Fear of unknown.
    • Whether we voluntarily take the risk.
    • Whether risk is catastrophic.
    • Unfair distribution of risk.
  • Sometimes misleading information, denial, and irrational fears can cloud judgment.
core case study love canal there is no away
Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away”
  • Between 1842-1953, Hooker Chemical sealed multiple chemical wastes into steel drums and dumped them into an old canal excavation (Love Canal).
  • In 1953, the canal was filled and sold to Niagara Falls school board for $1.
  • The company inserted a disclaimer denying liability for the wastes.
core case study love canal there is no away1
Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away”
  • In 1957, Hooker Chemical warned the school not to disturb the site because of the toxic waste.
    • In 1959 an elementary school, playing fields and homes were built disrupting the clay cap covering the wastes.
    • In 1976, residents complained of chemical smells and chemical burns from the site.
core case study love canal there is no away2
Core Case Study: Love Canal — There Is No “Away”
  • It still is a controversy as to how much the chemicals at Love Canal injured or caused disease to the residents.
  • Love Canal sparked creation of the Superfund law, which forced polluters to pay for cleaning up abandoned toxic waste dumps.
wasting resources
  • Solid waste: any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or gas.
    • Municipal solid waste (MSW): produce directly from homes.
    • Industrial solid waste: produced indirectly by industries that supply people with goods and services.
  • Hazardous (toxic) waste: threatens human health or the environment because it is toxic, chemically active, corrosive or flammable.
wasting resources1
  • The United States produces about a third of the world’s solid waste and buries more than half of it in landfills.
    • About 98.5% is industrial solid waste.
    • The remaining 1.5% is MSW.
      • About 55% of U.S. MSW is dumped into landfills, 30% is recycled or composted, and 15% is burned in incinerators.
electronic waste a growing problem
Electronic Waste: A Growing Problem
  • E-waste consists of toxic and hazardous waste such as PVC, lead, mercury, and cadmium.
  • The U.S. produces almost half of the world's e-waste but only recycles about 10% of it.

Figure 22-4

solutions reducing solid waste
Solutions: Reducing Solid Waste
  • Refuse: to buy items that we really don’t need.
  • Reduce: consume less and live a simpler and less stressful life by practicing simplicity.
  • Reuse: rely more on items that can be used over and over.
  • Repurpose: use something for another purpose instead of throwing it away.
  • Recycle: paper, glass, cans, plastics…and buy items made from recycled materials.
  • There is a disagreement over whether to mix urban wastes and send them to centralized resource recovery plants or to sort recyclables for collection and sale to manufacturers as raw materials.
    • To promote separation of wastes, 4,000 communities in the U.S. have implemented pay-as-you-throw or fee-per-bag waste collection systems.
  • Composting biodegradable organic waste mimics nature by recycling plant nutrients to the soil.
  • Recycling paper has a number of environmental (reduction in pollution and deforestation, less energy expenditure) and economic benefits and is easy to do.
  • Recycling many plastics is chemically and economically difficult.
    • Many plastics are hard to isolate from other wastes.
    • Recovering individual plastic resins does not yield much material.
    • The cost of virgin plastic resins in low than recycled resins due to low fossil fuel costs.
    • There are new technologies that are making plastics biodegradable.
burying solid waste
Burying Solid Waste
  • Most of the world’s MSW is buried in landfills that eventually are expected to leak toxic liquids into the soil and underlying aquifers.
    • Open dumps: are fields or holes in the ground where garbage is deposited and sometimes covered with soil. Mostly used in developing countries.
    • Sanitary landfills: solid wastes are spread out in thin layers, compacted and covered daily with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam.
hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste: is any discarded solid or liquid material that is toxic, ignitable, corrosive, or reactive enough to explode or release toxic fumes.
    • The two largest classes of hazardous wastes are organic compounds (e.g. pesticides, PCBs, dioxins) and toxic heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury, arsenic).
hazardous waste regulations in the united states
Hazardous Waste Regulations in the United States
  • Two major federal laws regulate the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the U.S.:
    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
      • Cradle-to-the-grave system to keep track waste.
    • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
      • Commonly known as Superfund program.
hazardous waste regulations in the united states1
Hazardous Waste Regulations in the United States
  • The Superfund law was designed to have polluters pay for cleaning up abandoned hazardous waste sites.
    • Only 70% of the cleanup costs have come from the polluters, the rest comes from a trust fund financed until 1995 by taxes on chemical raw materials and oil.
conversion to less hazardous substances
Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances
  • Physical Methods: using charcoal or resins to separate out harmful chemicals.
  • Chemical Methods: using chemical reactions that can convert hazardous chemicals to less harmful or harmless chemicals.
conversion to less hazardous substances1
Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances
  • Biological Methods:
    • Bioremediation: bacteria or enzymes help destroy toxic and hazardous waste or convert them to more benign substances.
    • Phytoremediation: involves using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter and remove contaminants from polluted soil and water.
conversion to less hazardous substances2
Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances
  • Incineration: heating many types of hazardous waste to high temperatures – up to 2000 °C – in an incinerator can break them down and convert them to less harmful or harmless chemicals.
conversion to less hazardous substances3
Conversion to Less Hazardous Substances
  • Plasma Torch: passing electrical current through gas to generate an electric arc and very high temperatures can create plasma.
    • The plasma process can be carried out in a torch which can decompose liquid or solid hazardous organic material.
long term storage of hazardous waste
Long-Term Storage of Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous waste can be disposed of on or underneath the earth’s surface, but without proper design and care this can pollute the air and water.
    • Deep-well disposal: liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure into dry porous rock far beneath aquifers.
    • Surface impoundments: excavated depressions such as ponds, pits, or lagoons into which liners are placed and liquid hazardous wastes are stored.
long term storage of hazardous waste1
Long-Term Storage of Hazardous Waste
  • Long-Term Retrievable Storage: Some highly toxic materials cannot be detoxified or destroyed. Metal drums are used to stored them in areas that can be inspected and retrieved.
  • Secure Landfills: Sometimes hazardous waste are put into drums and buried in carefully designed and monitored sites.
secure hazardous waste landfill
Secure Hazardous Waste Landfill
  • In the U.S. there are only 23 commercial hazardous waste landfills.

Figure 22-22

case study lead
Case Study: Lead
  • Lead is especially harmful to children and is still used in leaded gasoline and household paints in about 100 countries.

Figure 22-24

case study mercury
Case Study: Mercury
  • Mercury is released into the environment mostly by burning coal and incinerating wastes and can build to high levels in some types of fish.

Figure 22-26







Hg2+ and acids

Hg2+ and acids

Hg and SO2







Human sources

Inorganic mercury

and acids


Inorganic mercury

and acids







Runoff of Hg2+ and acids



Large fish





Small fish





and acids



mercury liquid
















Fig. 22-25, p. 542

achieving a low waste society
  • In the U.S., citizens have kept large numbers of incinerators, landfills, and hazardous waste treatment plants from being built in their local areas.
  • Environmental justice means that everyone is entitled to protection from environmental hazards without discrimination.
global outlook international action to reduce hazardous waste
Global Outlook: International Action to Reduce Hazardous Waste
  • An international treaty calls for phasing out the use of harmful persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
    • POPs are insoluble in water and soluble in fat.
    • Nearly every person on earth has detectable levels of POPs in their blood.
    • The U.S has not ratified this treaty.
making the transition to a low waste society a new vision
Making the Transition to a Low-Waste Society: A New Vision
  • Everything is connected.
  • There is no “away” for the wastes we produce.
  • Dilution is not always the solution to pollution.
  • The best and cheapest way to deal with wastes are reduction and pollution prevention.
core case study a new economic and environmental vision
Core Case Study: A New Economic and Environmental Vision
  • Some components of more environmentally sustainable economic development.

Figure 24-1


Production of energy-efficient fuel-cell cars

Forest conservation

Underground CO2 storage using abandoned oil wells

No-till cultivation

High-speed trains

Deep-sea CO2 storage

Solar-cell fields


Wind farms

Communities of passive solar homes

Recycling plant


Cluster housing development

Water conservation

Recycling, reuse, & composting

Fig. 24-1, p. 569

market economic systems pure free market and capitalistic models
Market Economic Systems: Pure Free Market and Capitalistic Models
  • Supply, demand, and market equilibrium for a good or service in a pure market system.

Figure 24-3

environmentally sustainable economic development copying nature
Environmentally Sustainable Economic Development: Copying Nature
  • Models of ecological economists are built on the following assumptions:
    • Resources are limited.
    • Encourage environmentally beneficial and sustainable forms of development.
    • The harmful environmental and health effects of producing goods and services should be included in market prices.
estimating the value of ecological services and monitoring environmental progress
  • Economists have developed several ways to estimate nonmarket values of the earth’s ecological services based using:
    • Mitigation cost: how much it takes to offset any environmental damage.
    • Willingness to pay: determine how much people are willing to pay to keep the environment in tact (e.g. protect an endangered species).
estimating the optimum levels of pollution control and resource use
Estimating the Optimum Levels of Pollution Control and Resource Use
  • Environmental economists try to determine optimum levels of pollution control and resource use.

Figure 24-6

cost benefit analysis a useful but crude tool
Cost-Benefit Analysis: a Useful but Crude Tool
  • Comparing likely costs and benefits of an environmental action is useful but involves many uncertainties.
    • Cost–benefit analyses involves determining:
      • Who or what might be affected by a particular regulation or project.
      • Projecting potential outcomes.
      • Evaluating alternative actions.
      • Establishing who benefits and who is harmed.
environmental and economic indicators environmental radar
Environmental and Economic Indicators: Environmental Radar
  • We need indicators that reflect changing levels of environmental quality and human health.
    • Gross domestic product (GDP): measures the annual economic value of all goods and services produced in a country without taking harmful effects into consideration.
    • Genuine progress indicator (GPI): Subtracts from the GDP costs that lead to a lower quality of life or deplete / degrade natural resources.
environmental and economic indicators environmental radar1
Environmental and Economic Indicators: Environmental Radar
  • Comparison of the per capita GDP and the GPI in the U.S. between 1950 and 2002.

Figure 24-8

economic tools for improving environmental quality
  • Including external costs in market prices informs consumers about the harmful impact of their purchases the earth’s life-support systems and on human health.
eco labeling informing consumers so they can vote with their wallets
Eco-Labeling: Informing Consumers So They can Vote with Their Wallets
  • Certifying and labeling environmentally beneficial goods and resources extracted by more sustainable methods can help consumers decide what goods and services to buy.

Figure 24-9

subsidy shifting
Subsidy Shifting
  • Taxes on pollution and resource use can move us closer to full-costing pricing.
    • Shifting taxes from wages and profits to pollution and waste (green taxes) helps make this feasible.
  • We can improve environmental quality and human health by replacing environmentally harmful government subsidies with environmentally beneficial ones.
green taxes
Green Taxes
  • Advantages of taxing wages and profits less and pollution and waste more.

Figure 24-11

economic tools for improving environmental quality1
  • Environmental laws and regulations work best if they motivate companies to find innovative ways to control and prevent pollution and reduce resource waste.
  • Governments can set a limit on pollution emissions or use of a resource, give permits to users, and allow them to trade their permits on the marketplace.
green economics selling services instead of things
Green Economics: Selling Services Instead of Things
  • Some businesses can greatly decrease their resource use, pollution, and waste by shifting from selling goods and services to selling the services the goods provide.
    • Carrier has begun shifting selling heating and air conditioning equipment to providing the service itself.
      • It makes higher profits by having the most energy-efficient units.
reducing poverty to improve environmental quality and human well being
  • We can sharply cut poverty by forgiving the international debts of the poorest countries, greatly increasing international aid and small individual loans to help the poor help themselves.
distribution of the world s wealth a widening gap
Distribution of the World’s Wealth: a Widening Gap
  • The global distribution of income shows that most of the world’s income flows up.
  • Each horizontal band is 1/5th of the world’s population

Figure 24-13

eco economies
  • Principles for shifting to more environmentally sustainable economies during this century.

Figure 24-15

jobs profits and the environment new industries and new jobs
Jobs, Profits, and the Environment: New Industries and New Jobs
  • Shifting to more environmentally sustainable economies will create immense profits and huge numbers of jobs.

Figure 24-16

environmental policy
  • Developing environmental policy involves identifying a problem and its causes, coming up with a solution, implementing the solution, and monitoring and adapting the solution as needed.

RecognitionIdentify the problem.

FormulationLook for solutions.

ImplementationImplement solutions.

ControlThings are improving.

Nonpoint-source water pollution

Global warming

Outdoor air pollution

Acid deposition

Urban sprawl

Ozone depletion

Indoor air pollution

Sewage treatment

Nuclear wastes

Municipal solid waste


Biodiversity protection

Drinking water treatment

Mining wastes

Protecting endangered species

Pollution prevention

Groundwater contamination

Point-source water pollution

Toxic wastes

Environmentally harmful subsidies

Pest control

Resource productivity


Soil erosion

Market prices do not include environmentally harmful costs

Some infectious diseases

Aquifer depletion

Environmental justice

Need for integrated environmental management

Sustainable economic development

Fig. 25-2, p. 593

dealing with environmental problems in democracies some difficulties
  • Democracies have difficulty dealing with long-term, interrelated environmental problems.
    • In passing laws, developing budgets, and formulating regulations, elected and appointed officials must deal with pressures from.
principles for making environmental policy decisions some guidelines
Principles for Making Environmental Policy Decisions: Some Guidelines
  • Existing or proposed environmental policies should be guided by several principles:
    • The humanity principle.
    • The reversibility principle.
    • The precautionary principle.
    • The polluter pays principle.
    • The integrative principle.
    • The public participation principle.
    • The human rights principle.
    • The environmental justice principle.
principles for making environmental policy decisions some guidelines1
Principles for Making Environmental Policy Decisions: Some Guidelines
  • Most improvements in environmental quality result from citizens putting pressure on elected officials and individuals developing innovative solutions to environmental problems.
  • Each of us can play a leadership role in establishing and changing environmental policy.
environmental policy in the united states
  • Formulating, legislating, and executing environmental policy in the U.S. is a complex, difficult, and controversial process.
    • Lobbying consists individuals or groups use public pressure, personal contacts, and political action to persuade legislators to vote in their favor.
    • Most environmental bills are evaluate by as many as ten committees in the U.S. House of representatives and Senate.


Council on Environmental Quality

Office of Management and Budget

White House Office

• Environmental policy • Agency coordination • Environmental impact statements

• Budget • Agency coordination and management

• Overall policy • Agency coordination

Dept of Health & Human Services

Environmental Protection Agency

Department of the Interior

Department of Agriculture

Department of Justice

Department of Defense

• Air & water pollution • Noise • Pesticides • Solid waste • Radiation • Toxic substances

• Civil works construction • Dredge & fill permits • Pollution control from defense facilities

• Health

• Endangered species • Energy • Minerals • National parks • Public lands • Fish and wildlife • Water development

• Soil conservation • Forestry

• Environmental litigation

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Department of Commerce

Department of Transportation

Department of State

Department of Labor

• Airplane noise • Mass transit • Oil pollution • Roads

• Oceanic and atmospheric monitoring and research

• Occupational health

• Licensing and regulation of nuclear power

• International environment

• Housing • Urban parks • Urban planning

• Energy policy • Petroleum allocation

Tennessee Valley Authority

Department of Energy

• Electric power generation

Fig. 25-5, p. 597

major environmental laws in the u s
Major Environmental Laws in the U.S.
  • Many of these laws have been amended (weakened or strengthened) since 1969.

Figure 25-8

lawsuits loaded dice
Lawsuits: Loaded Dice
  • Environmental lawsuits are expensive and difficult to win because:
    • Plaintiff must establish they have the legal right to bring the suit to a particular court.
    • Too expensive for most individuals.
    • Public interest law firms many times cannot recover legal fees.
    • Plaintiff must establish that they were harmed.
    • Statutes of limitations.
major types of environmental laws in the u s
Major Types of Environmental Laws in the U.S.
  • U.S. environmental laws set pollution standards, screen for toxic substances, evaluate environmental impacts, encourage resource conservation, and protect various ecosystems and species from harm.
major types of environmental laws in the u s1
Major Types of Environmental Laws in the U.S.
  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires evaluation of the environmental impact of an activity proposed by a federal agency.
    • An environmental impact statement (EIS) must be developed for every major federal project likely to have an important effect on environmental quality.
environmental groups and their opponents
  • Environmental groups monitor environmental activities, work to pass and strengthen environmental laws, and work with corporations to find solutions to environmental problems.
    • Non-government agencies (NGOs) range from grassroots groups to global organizations.
    • NGOs help expose corruption and violation of national and international agreements.
global environmental policy
  • Many analysts believe that environmental security is as important as military and economic security.
    • Some developing nations view the concept of environmental security as an agenda for rich countries to continue their control of the world’s natural resources.


Global Efforts on Environmental Problems

Good News

Bad News

Environmental protection agencies in 115 nations

Most international environmental treaties lack criteria for monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness

Over 500 international environmental treaties and agreements

1992 Rio Earth Summit led to nonbinding agreements without enough funding to implement them

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) created in 1972 to negotiate and monitor international environmental treaties

By 2003 there was little improvement in the major environmental problems discussed at the 1992 Rio summit

1992 Rio Earth Summit adopted key principles for dealing with global environmental problems

2002 Johannesburg Earth Summit failed to provide adequate goals, deadlines, and funding for dealing with global environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and poverty

2002 Johannesburg Earth Summit attempted to implement policies and goals of 1992 Rio summit and find ways to reduce poverty

Fig. 25-10, p. 611

global environmental policy1
  • International environmental organizations:
    • Expand understanding of environmental issues.
    • Gather and evaluate environmental data.
    • Help develop and monitor environmental treaties.
    • Provide funds and loans for sustainable economic development.
    • Help nations develop environmental laws and institutions.


International Environmental Treaties



Take a long time to develop and are weakened by requiring full consensus

Do not require full consensus among regulating parties

Establish procedures for monitoring and enforcement

Poorly monitored and enforced

Lack of funding for monitoring and enforcement

Increase funding for monitoring and enforcement

Treaties are not integrated with one another

Harmonize or integrate existing agreements

Fig. 25-11, p. 611

global environmental policy2
  • Earth summits and international environmental treaties play important roles in dealing with global environmental problems, but most are not effectively monitored or enforced.
  • Making the shift to a more equitable and environmentally secure and sustainable global society is an economic, political, and ethical decision.
environmental worldviews and values
  • Your environmental worldview encompasses:
    • How you think the world works.
    • What you believe your environmental role in the world should be.
    • What you believe is right and wrong environmental behavior.
environmental worldviews and values1
  • Environmental worldviews lie on a continuum.

Figure 26-2

human centered and life centered environmental worldviews
  • The major difference among environmental worldviews is the emphasis they put on the role of humans dealing with environmental problems.
    • Some view that humans are the planet’s most important species and should become managers or stewards of the earth.

Environmental Worldviews

Planetary Management

• We are apart from the rest of

nature and can manage nature to

meet our increasing needs and


• Because of our ingenuity and

technology we will not run out of


• The potential for economic

growth is essentially unlimited.

• Our success depends on how

well we manage the earth's life

support systems mostly for our



• We have an ethical

responsibility to be caring

managers, or stewards,

of the earth.

• We will probably not run out of

resources, but they should not be


• We should encourage

environmentally beneficial forms

of economic growth & discourage

environmentally harmful forms.

• Our success depends on how

well we manage the earth's life

support systems for our benefit

and for the rest of nature.

Environmental Wisdom

• We are a part of and totally

dependent on nature and nature

exists for all species.

• Resources are limited, should

not be wasted, and are not all

for us.

• We should encourage earth

sustaining forms of economic

growth & discourage earth

degrading forms.

• Our success depends on

learning how nature sustains

itself and integrating such lessons

from nature into the ways we

think and act.

Fig. 26-3, p. 617

environmental worldviews an overview
Environmental Worldviews: An Overview
  • Some analysts doubt that we can effectively manage the earth because we do not have enough knowledge to do so.
  • Life-centered and earth-centeredenvironmental worldviews believe that we have an ethical responsibility to prevent degradation of the earth’s ecosystems, biodiversity, and biosphere.
environmental worldviews
Environmental Worldviews
  • Deep ecology (Council of All Beings) calls for us to think more deeply about our obligations toward both human and nonhuman life.
  • Ecofeminist environmental worldview believes that women should be given the same rights that men have in our joint quest to develop more environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.
living more sustainably
  • Some affluent people are voluntarily adopting lifestyles in which they enjoy life more by consuming less.

Figure 26-7



Developing Environmentally Sustainable Societies



Learn from & copy nature

Sustain biodiversity

Eliminate poverty

Do not degrade or deplete the earth's natural capital, and live off the natural income it provides

Develop eco-economies

Build sustainable communities

Take no more than we need

Do not use renewable resources faster than nature can replace them

Do not reduce biodiversity

Use sustainable agriculture

Try not to harm life, air, water, soil

Depend more on locally available renewable energy from the sun, wind, flowing water, and sustainable biomass

Do not change the world's climate

Emphasize pollution prevention and waste reduction

Do not overshoot the earth's carrying capacity

Do not waste matter and energy resources

Help maintain the earth's capacity for self-repair

Recycle, reuse, and compost 60–80% of matter resources

Repair past ecological damage

Maintain a human population size such that needs are met without threatening life support systems

Leave the world in as good a shape as—or better than—we found it

Emphasize ecological restoration

Fig. 26-6, p. 622

living more sustainably1
  • We can help make the world a better place by not falling into mental traps that lead to denial and inaction and by keeping our empowering feelings of hope ahead of any immobilizing feeling of despair.
living more sustainably2
  • The Earth Charter calls for us to respect and care for life and biodiversity and to build more sustainable, just, democratic, and peaceful societies for present and future generations.
  • We need hope, a positive vision of the future, and commitment to making the world a better place to live.