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Introducing Environmental Science and Stability. Overview. Human Impacts on The Environment Population, Resources and the Environment Environmental Sustainability Environmental Science Assessing Environmental Problems. Theme: Interconnectedness.

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Introducing Environmental Science and Stability


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Introducing Environmental Science and Stability

    2. Overview • Human Impacts on The Environment • Population, Resources and the Environment • Environmental Sustainability • Environmental Science • Assessing Environmental Problems

    3. Theme: Interconnectedness • Study of the Environment and the human interaction with it. • Interdisciplinary Investigations • Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Meteorology, Mathematics, Economics, Politics, History, Ethics, etc. • (1) How does the earth work? • (2) How are we effecting the earth? • (3) How do we deal with current environmental problems?

    4. The two sides • Earth provides 1. solar capital – energy 2. natural capital – all other resources 3. energy Resources • Humans need 1. basic common needs 2. Food, Water, Air, Shelter

    5. The Environment (Earth) • Life has existed on earth for 3.8 billion years • Earth well suited for life • Water covers ¾ of planet • Habitable temperature • Moderate sunlight • Atmosphere provides oxygen and carbon dioxide • Soil provides essential minerals for plants • But humans are altering the planet; not always in positive ways

    6. Human Impacts on Environment- Population • Earth’s Human Population is over 6 billion • Growing exponentially • Expected to add several billion more people in 21st century • Increase will adversely affect living conditions in many areas of the world

    7. Population • Globally, 1 in 4 people lives in extreme poverty • Cannot meet basic need for food, clothing, shelter, health • Difficult to meet population needs without exploiting earth’s resources

    8. Gap Between Rich and Poor (haves versus have nots) • Highly Developed Countries (HDC) • Complex industrialized bases, low population growth, high per capita incomes • Ex: US, Canada, Japan • 1.2 billion people (19% world population) • 85% wealth, 88% resource use, 75% pollution • Less Developed Countries (LDC) • Low level of industrialization, very high fertility rate, high infant mortality rate, low per capita income • Ex: Bangladesh, Mali, Ethiopia • 5 billion people (81% of world population) • 15% wealth, 12% resource use, 25% pollution

    9. World Population Distribution

    10. Increases in Globalization • Process of Global social, economic and environmental change that increases integration of the world • 1950-2002  Global trade 516%, • Technological connection – 1/11 people in world on the internet • Environment – organisms transported around globe, pollutants in environment

    11. Overpopulation • People overpopulation • Too many people in a given geographic area • Problem in many developing nations • Consumption overpopulation • Each individual in a population consumes too large a share of the resources • Problem in many highly developed nations

    12. Types of Natural Resources

    13. Ecological Footprint • The average amount of land, water and ocean required to provide that person with all the resources they consume

    14. Ecological Footprint Comparison

    15. Environmental Impact Affluence per person I = P A T Environmental effect of technologies Number of people IPAT Model • Measures 3 factors that affect environmental impact (I)

    16. We are Polluting our Planet • Pollution = any addition to water air or soil that threatens the health, activities or survival of any organism 1. enter environment naturally - volcanoes 2. anthropogenic sources - automobiles 3. Point vs. Nonpoint sources • How are we minimizing pollution effects?

    17. Endocrine Disrupters • Dozens of widely used industrial and environmental chemicals are known to be endocrine disrupters • E.D.’s mimic or interfere with the actions of the endocrine system (body’s hormones) • Scientific evidence suggests E.D.’s affect humans in the same ways that they affect animals

    18. 1980 DDT spill in Lake Apopka National Center for Environmental Research In 1980 there was large chemical spill of DDT in Lake Apopka Alligators born after the spill have abnormalities in their reproiductive systems. The result: 90% decline in alligator population

    19. Environmental Sustainability • The ability to meet current human need for natural resources without compromising the needs of future generations • Requires understanding: • The effects of our actions on the earth • That earth’s resources are not infinite

    20. Is our Society Sustainable? • No readily accepted view -- Humans are smart enough to deal with what ever problems the degradation of earth may throw at us • We are in serious trouble and on our current course the environment will be destroyed beyond repair in the near future • A clash of worldviews – how we see the world, and ethics – the right and wrong environmental behavior

    21. Planetary Management We’re in charge of nature Resources are unlimited All growth is good Our success depends on our control Environmental Management Nature doesn’t just exist for us Resources are limited Growth may be bad Success depends on acting with env. wisdom The Worldviews

    22. The 2002 World Summit: Adoption of AGENDA 21 (focus on sustainable development)

    23. Potential changes for the Future • Pollution prevention not Clean up • Waste reduction not Disposal • Protecting habitats not Species • Environmental restoration not Degradation • More efficient resource use not increased use • Population stabilization not Growth

    24. Eras of US Environmental History • Tribal = ??? – 1600 • Frontier = 1607 - 1890 • Conservation = 1832 - 1960 • Environmental = 1960 - 2002

    25. The Tribal Era • 5-10 million tribal people • Native Americans were hunter-gatherers, also burned and cleared fields to plant crops • Small populations and Limited Technology • Deep respect for the lands and animals and did not believe in land ownership

    26. The Frontier Era • Frontier Ethic and Imminent Domain • Wilderness should be conquered and brought under human control (savage wilderness) • Transfer of public lands to private interests • Place Native Americans on reservations (4% of US land) • Sell off much of land for cheap interests like mining, ranching, etc

    27. The Conservation Era • Alarm starts at the scope of resource depletion and environmental degradation • 1890’s – Forest Reserve Act, formation of the Sierra Club • Theodore Rosevelt – 1901-9 “The Golden Age of Conservation – National Wildlife Refuge system (Pelican Is. FL), National Park system • FDR – 1930’s – Dams built (electricity, irrigation), Soil conservation act

    28. War and Depression • Republicans allowed public land for business to try and boost economy • Creation of CCC (civilian conservation corps) 2 million unemployed working to • Plant trees • Create/maintain parks • Restore waterways • Build levees and dams • Protect wildlife • Control soil erosion

    29. The Environmental Era • 1962 – Publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson • Beginning of the modern environmental movement GOALS • Curtail pollution • Clean up polluted environments • Protect pristine areas from degradation

    30. 1960’s • The 1960’s brought some devastating environmental problems • Cuyahoga river so polluted it catches fire • 300 die from severe air pollution in New York • Detergents causing some streams to become “bubble baths” • Oil spill in Santa Barbara kills wildlife and pollutes beaches

    31. The Good President Carter – environmental Tripled National Wilderness System Appointed conservationists to EPA Earth Day – April 20, 1970 OPEC oil embargo occurs 1973 Lead poisoning Act – paint out of toys Clean water Act – protects rivers/streams The Bad and the Ugly Love canal – toxic waste tragedy 1970’s

    32. 1980’s • President Reagan – not environmental • Sage brush rebellion – less federal control • Cut funding for renewable energy • Lowered air and water quality standards • Appointed anti environmental people to key posts

    33. 1990’s • Disappointing for Environmentalists • Fighting efforts to weaken the reforms of the 70’s and 80’s • Countering claims that environmental problems were hoaxes • Membership in conservation groups declined • But local environmental interest at schools, colleges and communities has strengthened

    34. 2000’s and beyond Our agenda must include • Water crisis at home and globally • Continued population growth • Continued biodiversity losses • Threats to global climate change • Increase preserved land areas • Halt urban sprawl • Build public support

    35. Tragedy of the Commons • Garrett Hardin (1915-2003) • Solving Environmental Problems is result of struggle between: • Short term welfare • Long term environmental stability and societal welfare • Garrett used Common Pastureland in medieval Europe to illustrate the struggle

    36. Your Challenge This course will not tell you how to think about the environment. Rather it will provide you with the background information necessary to make your own decision about how you will impact the environment in the future.

    37. Environmental Science • An interdisciplinary study of human relationship with other organisms and the earth which includes • Biology • Ecology • Geography • Chemistry • Geology • Physics • Economics • Sociology • Demography • politics

    38. Earth As a System • System • A set of components that interact and function as a whole • Global Earth Systems • Climate, atmosphere, land, coastal zones, ocean • Ecosystem • A natural system consisting of a community of organisms and its physical environment • System approach to environmental science • Helps us understand how human activities effect global environmental parameters

    39. Earth Systems • Most of earth’s systems are in dynamic equilibrium or steady state • Rate of change in one direction equals that in the other • Feedback • Change in 1 part of system leads to change in another • Negative feedback- change triggers a response that counteracts the changed condition • Positive feedback- change triggers a response that intensifies the changing condition

    40. We use the scientific method in order to help understand these systems There are many variations of the scientific method However it usually involves 5 steps

    41. Scientific Method

    42. Controls and Variables in an Experiment • Variable (independent versus dependent) • A factor that influences a process • The variable may be altered in an experiment to see its effect on the outcome (This is the independent variable which is graphed on the X-axis) • The variable that is effected as a direct result of manipulating the independent variable is the dependent variable • Control • The variable is not altered • Allows for comparison between the altered variable test and the unaltered variable test

    43. Inductive and Deductive Reasoning • Inductive Reasoning • Used to discover general principles • Seeks a unifying explanation for all the data available • Ex: • FACT: Gold is a metal heavier than water • FACT: Iron is metal heavier than water • FACT: Silver is a metal heavier than water • CONCLUSION (based on inductive reasoning): All metals are heavier than water • Conclusions reached with inductive reasoning may change with new information

    44. Inductive and Deductive Reasoning • Deductive Reasoning • Proceeds from generalities to specifics • Adds nothing new to knowledge, but makes relationships among data more apparent • Ex: • GENERAL RULE: All birds have wings • SPECIFIC EXAMPLE: Robins are birds • CONCLUSION (based on deductive reasoning): All Robins have wings

    45. Five Stages to Addressing An Environmental Problem • Five steps are idealistic • Real life is rarely so neat • Following Slides are Case Study Using the Five Stages