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KEY QUESTIONS • How best do we shift to a culture of permanence, both for ourselves and for the biosphere that sustains us? • Is economic growth possible without growing inequality, worsening social conditions, and a degrading environment? • How do we achieve simultaneous sustainability in our economic and natural systems? • How much is the biosphere worth? • How do we overcome the catch 22 that everyone has the right to reproduce AND maximize their use of common property resources (tragedy of the commons) • How do we improve the quality of life for the billion who live on less than a dollar a day while also curbing unbridled consumption in the developed world? • How do we ethically grapple with a population likely to double in the next 50 years and skyrocketing consumption levels?
Resources • Perpetual • Renewable • Non-renewable Fig. 1-6 p. 9
Ecological Footprint (stop) • Average amount of productive land and shallow sea appropriated by each person for water, housing, energy, food, transportation, commerce, and waste absorption • World Average= 5.8 Acres (2.3 hectares) • 2.5 acres (1 hectare) in developing countries • 3.8 acres (1.5 hectares) in China • 6.2 acres (2.5 hectares) in Mexico • 2.0 acres (0.8 hectares) in Ethiopia • 5.0 acres (2.0 hectares) in Peru/Philippians • 24 acres (9.6 hectares) in United States • 22 acres (8.8 hec) in Canada/New Zealand • 12 acres (4.8 hectares) in Japan • 13.2 acres (5.3 hectares) in England 10X
Components of the Ecological Footprint • Oxygen • Food • Water • Fiber • Energy • Employment • Infrastructure • Waste Disposal • Recreation
Overshooting Carrying Capacity • ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT • World Average= 2.3 hectares per global citizen • Ecological Reality: 2.0 TOTAL with only 1.7 hectares per capita are available for human use. • Our planet currently overshoots capacity by ~20% • And this is a conservative number that assumes biodiversity can be preserved on only 0.3 hec/capita • For every person in the world to reach present US levels of consumption would require 4 more planet earths
Ecological Footprint • The area of the Earth’s productive surface (land and sea) necessary to support a given human lifestyle
Affluenza • Material Possessions • Unsustainable consumption and materialism • Do you NEED it or do you WANT it? • Can I use it secondhand (Reuse)? • Can I borrow it? • An Immigrant’s view
Technology • Can have both positive and negative impacts
Human Impacts • Decreasing biodiversity through habitat destruction • Reducing biodiversity by simplifying ecosystems • Using most of the Earth’s primary productivity • Unintended strengthening of pest species • Elimination of predators • Introduction of non-native species • Overharvesting of renewable resources • Interference with normal chemical cycling and energy flows in ecosystems • Increasing dependency on non-renewable energy from fossil fuels What to do?
Principles to Live By • Our lives, lifestyles, and economies are totally dependent upon the sun and earth • Everything is connected to everything else • We can never do merely one thing • We should reduce and minimize the damage we do to nature • We should use restraint, humility, and cooperation with nature as we alter the biosphere to meet our needs and wants…
Social Economic Social Economic Sustainable Solutions Environmental Environmental What can we do? Decision making in a sustainable society Traditional decision making
Learn from Nature! Solutions Principles of Sustainability HowNature Works Lessonsfor Us Rely mostly on renewable solar energy. Prevent and reduce pollution and recycle and reuse resources. Preserve biodiversity by protecting ecosystem services and preventing premature extinction of species. Reduce births and wasteful resource use to prevent environmental overload and depletion and degradation of resources. Runs on renewable solar energy. Recycles nutrients and wastes. There is little waste in nature. Uses biodiversity to maintain itself and adapt to new environmental conditions. Controls a species population size and resource use by interactions with its environment and other species.
Environmental Worldviews Planetary Management • As the planet’s most important species, we are in charge of the earth. • Because of our ingenuity and technology we will not run out of resources. • 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 benefit Stewardship • We are the planet’s most important species but we have an ethical responsibility to care for the rest of nature. • We will probably not run out of resources, but they should not be wasted. • We should encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth and 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 • Nature exists for all species and we are not in charge of the earth. • Resources are limited, should not be wasted, and are not all for us. • We should encourage earth- sustaining forms of economic growth and discourage earth degrading forms. • Our success depends on learning how the earth sustains itself and integrating such lessons from nature into the ways we think and act
Distribution of Wealth GNP per capita, 1998 Low income (Under $1,000) Middle income ($1,000–$10,000) High income (Above $10,000) Fig. 1.5, p. 9
Fish Population Biology • Population Distributions • Random • Uniform • Clumped • One Method to Measure Fish Populations: • Mark - Recapture: “Something’s Fishy!” http://www.biology.iupui.edu