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Environmental Problems and Their Causes. Population, Resources, Environmental Degradation, and Pollution. What is The “Environment”?. Environment - all external conditions and factors (living and non-living) that affects all organisms. What is The “Environment”?.

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Environmental problems and their causes

Environmental Problems and Their Causes

Population, Resources, Environmental Degradation, and Pollution


What is the environment
What is The “Environment”?

  • Environment - all external conditions and factors (living and non-living) that affects all organisms


What is the environment1
What is The “Environment”?

  • Two Major Components of the Environment

    • Biotic - living organisms

    • Abiotic - non-living (chemicals, energy)


What is environmental science
What is “Environmental Science”?

  • Environmental Science - the study of how we and other species interact with one another and with the abiotic environment of matter and energy


Sustainable living
Sustainable Living

  • All life on earth depends on two forms of capital:

    • Solar Capital - energy from sun

    • Earth Capital - air, water, soil wildlife, minerals, natural recycling


Sustainable living1
Sustainable Living

  • The “Environment” is comprised of solar and earth capital

  • Sustainability - the ability of a system to survive for some specified (finite) time


Sustainable living2
Sustainable Living

  • Sustainable Society - a society that manages its economy and population size without depleting earth capital and thereby jeopardizing the prospects of current and future generations of humans and other species


Sustainable living3
Sustainable Living

  • Sustainable Living - living off the income without depleting the capital that supplies the income

    • $1 million capital @ 10% annual interest = $100,000 annual income


Growth and wealth gap
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Linear (Arithmetic) Growth - growth in which a quantity increases by a constant amount per unit of time

    • Example: an automobile accelerates by 1 mph every second


Growth and wealth gap1
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Exponential (Geometric) Growth - growth in which a quantity increases by a fixed percentage of the whole per unit of time

    • Example: an automobile doubles its speed very second (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, …)


Growth and wealth gap2
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Formula for Exponential (Geometric) Growth

    2n

    where n = time


Growth and wealth gap3
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Doubling Time - the time it takes for a quantity growing exponentially to double

    • Rule of 70

    • Doubling Time = 70 ÷ percentage growth rate


Growth and wealth gap4
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Example of Doubling Time

    • Annual global population growth rate = 1.47%

    • 70/1.47 = 48 years

    • Population will double in 48 years


Growth and wealth gap5
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Human Population Growth

    Global Population Time (yrs)

    • 1 billion 1 million

    • 2 billion 130

    • 3 billion 30

    • 4 billion 15

    • 5 billion 12


Growth and wealth gap6
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Environmental Impacts of Exponential Human Population Growth

    • 73% of the habitable area of the earth has been altered by human activities


Growth and wealth gap7
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Economic Growth

    • An increase in the ability of an economy to provide goods and services

    • The increase in the real value of all final goods and services produced by an economy


Growth and wealth gap8
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Gross National Product - market value in current dollars of all goods and services produced by an economy for final use during a year

    • Increasing GNP indicates economic growth


Growth and wealth gap9
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Economic growth achieved by increasing throughput of matter and energy resources used to produced goods and services

  • Increased throughput achieved through population growth and/or increased consumption per person


Growth and wealth gap10
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Per Capita GNP - GNP divided by total population

  • United Nations Classification of World’s Countries

    • Developed (MDCs)

    • Developing (LDCs)


Growth and wealth gap11
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • MDCs

    • 20% world’s population

    • Highly industrialized

    • High per capita GNP (>$4,000)

    • 85% of world’s wealth

    • Consume 88% of world’s natural resources


Growth and wealth gap12
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • MDCs

    • Generate 75% of world’s pollution

    • U.S., Germany, Japan account for > 50% of world’s economic output


Growth and wealth gap13
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • LDCs

    • 80% world’s population

    • Low to moderately industrialized

    • Low to moderate per capita GNP

    • 15 to 20% of world’s wealth

    • Consume 12% of world’s natural resources


Growth and wealth gap14
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • LDCs

    • Account for 9 of every 10 babies born

    • Account for 98% of all infant and childhood deaths

    • 1 million people added every 4 days

    • 35% of population is under age 15


Growth and wealth gap15
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • Development - change from a society that is rural, agricultural, illiterate, and poor with a rapidly growing urban population to one that is mostly urban, industrial, educated, and wealthy


Growth and wealth gap16
Growth and Wealth Gap

  • The Wealth Gap

    • Widening gap since 1960

    • Environmental Impacts

      • High population growth rates

      • Widespread urbanization

      • Resource depletion

      • Famine (~20 million people annually)


Resources and environmental degradation
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Resource - anything we get from our environment to meet our needs and wants

  • Classification of Resources

    • Renewable

    • Potentially Renewable

    • Nonrenewable


Resources and environmental degradation1
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Renewable Resource - a resource that is virtually inexhaustible on a human time scale


Resources and environmental degradation2
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Potentially Renewable Resource - a resource that can be replenished fairly rapidly (hours to decades) through natural processes

    • Sustainable Yield - the highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be used without reducing its available supply


Resources and environmental degradation3
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Potentially Renewable Resource - a resource that can be replenished fairly rapidly (hours to decades) through natural processes

    • Environmental Degradation - depletion or destruction of a potentially renewable resource by using it faster than it is naturally replenished


Sustainable yield
Sustainable Yield

  • The Sustainable Yield “Teeter-Totter”

Use

Renewal



Resources and environmental degradation4
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Nonrenewable Resource - a resource that exists in a fixed amount in various places in the earth’s crust and has the potential for renewal only by geological, physical, and chemical processes taking place over hundreds of millions to billions of years


Resources and environmental degradation5
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Nonrenewable Resource

    • Economical Depletion - occurs when the cost of exploiting the resource exceeds it economic value


Resources and environmental degradation6
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Nonrenewable Resource

    • Options to deal with economical depletion

      • Recycling

      • Reuse

      • Waste less

      • Use less

      • Develop a substitute


Resources and environmental degradation7
Resources and Environmental Degradation

  • Nonrenewable Resource

    • Recycling - collecting and processing a resource into new products

    • Reuse - using a resource over and over in the same form


Pollution
Pollution

  • Pollution - an undesirable change in the characteristics of air, water, soil, food that can adversely affect health, survival, and activities of living organisms


Pollution1
Pollution

  • Sources of Pollution

    • Point Sources

    • Non-point Sources


Pollution2
Pollution

  • Factors Determining the Harmfulness of Pollutants

    • Chemical Nature

    • Concentration

    • Persistence


Pollution3
Pollution

  • Solutions to Pollution

    • Input Pollution Control

      • Pollution prevention strategy based on:

        • Reduce

        • Reuse

        • Recycle


Pollution4
Pollution

  • Solutions to Pollution

    • Output Pollution Control

      • Pollution cleanup strategy

      • Problems:

        • Often a temporary bandage

        • Removes pollutant from one area and transfers it to another area

        • Often too expensive to reduce pollutants to acceptable levels


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