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Lecture Outlines Chapter 24 Environment: The Science behind the Stories 4th Edition Withgott/Brennan PowerPoint Presentation
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Lecture Outlines Chapter 24 Environment: The Science behind the Stories 4th Edition Withgott/Brennan

Lecture Outlines Chapter 24 Environment: The Science behind the Stories 4th Edition Withgott/Brennan

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Lecture Outlines Chapter 24 Environment: The Science behind the Stories 4th Edition Withgott/Brennan

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  1. Lecture Outlines Chapter 24 Environment:The Science behind the Stories 4th Edition Withgott/Brennan

  2. This lecture will help you understand: • University efforts to promote sustainability • The concept of sustainable development • How environmental protection promotes economic well-being • Approaches to designing sustainable solutions • How time is limited but human potential to solve problems is tremendous

  3. Central Case: De Anza College strives for a sustainable campus • De Anza College (California) is one of the greenest community colleges • Colleges and universities are microcosms of society • They consume resources, pollute, recycle, conserve, etc. • It has the nation’s first LEED-Platinum sustainable building • That teaches about sustainability

  4. Sustainability on campus • Sustainability = living in a way that can be lived far into the future • Conserving resources, protecting ecological processes • Eliminating waste and pollution • Sustainable solution = results in renewable resource use • Natural capital is replenished so resources aren’t depleted while ecosystem services are preserved • Is carbon neutral and emits no toxins • Satisfies the three pillars of sustainability: environmental quality, economic well-being, and social justice

  5. Why strive for campus sustainability? • Campuses are centers of high resource consumption • Their ecological footprint is large • Colleges are traditional, with bureaucratic inertia • Students are often the ones to initiate change • It make students aware of environmental problems • Students who engage in sustainability efforts serve as models for their peers • They also learn and grow

  6. Campus efforts may begin with an audit • An audit of the institution provides baseline information and helps set priorities and goals • Includes energy use, emissions, waste, transportation • Audits identify appliances to replace • Once changes are made, progress is monitored A “Kill-A-Watt” meter measures energy use

  7. Recycling, waste reduction, and composting • The most common campus efforts • Easy to start and maintain • In RecycleMania, schools compete to see who recycles the most • Composting turns waste wood or food into fertilizer for plants • Students collect and donate unwanted items to charity Trash audits show how much trash can be recycled

  8. Green building design is a key • Campus “green” buildings are constructed from sustainable, energy efficient building materials • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards guide the design and certification of construction and renovation of buildings • The movement of “green buildings” continues to grow • The University of Florida has started construction on 18 green buildings since 2003 • Landscaping uses native plants and reclaims irrigation water

  9. De Anza College’s Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies • Has a platinum LEED ranking • Is energy- and water-efficient • Built with recycled, nontoxic, and renewable materials • Is solar-powered • Has outdoor labs • Materials are made from recycled steel, plastic, fly ash The center will save energy, water, and money in the long run

  10. Many campuses are going green • The Adam Joseph Lewis Center at Oberlin College in Ohio used recycled or reused building materials • Energy-efficient lighting, heating, appliances • Solar energy from PV panels and passive solar heating • Bren Hall at the University of Santa Barbara in California uses solar panels, white roofing, recycled materials • It has few toxic substances and conserves water • Many universities have LEED-certified buildings • Landscaping uses drought-tolerant plants and restored wetlands

  11. Two well-known green campus buildings The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College Bren Hall at UC Santa Barbara

  12. Water conservation is important • Rainwater can be used to water plants and recharge aquifers • Indoor water is conserved • Low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads • Fill water bottles with tap water • Universities save millions of dollars and drastically reduce water use Conserving water is a key element of sustainable campuses

  13. Energy efficiency is easy to improve • Eco-reps in dorms give advice on saving energy • One college saved $100,000 in utility costs and cut emissions by 10% in 4 months • Students saved one school $86,000/year by turning down hot water temperatures 5 degrees • Powering down empty buildings saves energy, money, and greenhouse gas emissions • Compact fluorescent bulbs save thousands of dollars

  14. Challenge people to conserve energy • The “Do It in the Dark” competition pitted dorms against one another to reduce energy consumption • This produced a 13% cut in energy consumption

  15. Students are promoting renewable energy • Campuses reduce energy use and emissions by altering their energy source • Switching from fuel oil to carbon-neutral wood chips • Campuses use solar and wind power • PV systems and wind turbines provide emission-free electricity • Institutions buy “green tags” or carbon offsets that subsidize renewable energies • Students vote to increase their fees (they “tax” themselves) to buy renewable energy

  16. The Solar Decathlon In 2009, 20 college teams from around the U.S. competed in Washington, D.C., building solar houses of the student’s own designs

  17. Carbon neutrality is a major goal • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion is a top priority for campus sustainability • Some universities are complying with the Kyoto Protocol • It costs just $10/student/year to comply • Students present administrators with proposals to eliminate carbon emissions • Student pressure has nudged reluctant administrators to set targets to reduce greenhouse emissions • Focus the Nation is a national “teach-in” on solutions to climate change, America’s energy future, etc.

  18. Dining services promote sustainable food • Food services cut down on wasted food • Compost food scraps • Go trayless • Buy organic, locally grown food • Purchase in bulk with less packaging • Some campuses have gardens • Students can grow food used in dining halls • Students volunteer at community gardens

  19. Purchasing decisions wield influence • Campuses can support green initiatives by purchasing: • Recycled paper • Certified sustainable wood • Energy-efficient appliances • Goods with less packaging • Ecolabeled products • Campuses can also switch to nontoxic cleaning supplies and save up to $10,000 a year • Students can work with ground staff to eliminate the use of herbicides and pesticides

  20. Transportation alternatives are many • Many campuses struggle with: • Traffic congestion, parking shortages, commuting delays, • Pollution • Solutions include: • Expanding bus and shuttle systems • Encouraging bicycling, walking, and carpooling • Introducing alternative vehicles to university fleets

  21. Campuses use sustainable transportation Students borrow bicycles from a fleet Campus buses can run on alternative fuels

  22. Campuses are restoring native habitats • Universities have been making an effort to: • Remove invasive species • Restore native plants and communities • Improve habitat for wildlife • Enhance soil and water quality • Create healthier, more attractive surroundings • Restore wetlands

  23. Sustainability efforts include curricular changes • Schools are transforming their curricula and courses • But curriculum offerings did not rise between 2001 and 2008 • The percent of schools requiring at least one environmental course dropped from 8% (2001) to 4% (2008) • Fewer than half of students take even one course on Earth’s natural systems or sustainability • Students are less likely to be environmentally literate • Students in environmental classes will be better qualified for green-collar jobs

  24. Organizations assist campus efforts • Many organizations support campus sustainability • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education • National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program • They provide information on sustainability efforts • The NWF program recognizes the most successful campus sustainability initiatives • It is easier than ever to start sustainability efforts on your own campus

  25. Sustainability and sustainable development • Sustainability efforts on campus parallel efforts in the rest of the world • More people are beginning to appreciate Earth’s limited capacity • They are voicing concerns about our current behaviors • What do people mean by sustainability? • To sustain human institutions and ecological systems in a healthy and functional state • The contributions of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services to human welfare are priceless

  26. Sustainable development aims for a triple bottom line • Sustainability does not mean just protecting the environment from humans • Triple bottom line = the new goal for sustainability • Finding ways to promote social justice, economic well-being, and environmental quality at the same time • This goal is the primary challenge for this century and our species

  27. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals • The Millennium Project and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment determined that: • Environment degradation is a major barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals • Investing in environmental assets and management is vital to relieving poverty, hunger, and disease • Reaching environmental goals requires progress in eradicating poverty • Actions by many people and institutions are showing that sustainability is possible

  28. Environmental protection enhances opportunity • Environmental protection and economic well-being do not conflict • Reducing consumption and waste saves money • New jobs arise as old ones decline • Environmental protection helps the economy • It leads to increased values of property and homes

  29. Conservation maximizes economic value • When external costs and benefits are factored in, the economic value of sustainably managed ecosystems exceeds the value of harvested ecosystems

  30. We are part of our environment • Economic development has clearly diminished biodiversity and decreased habitat • Along with degrading ecological systems • Many believe command-and-control environmental policy poses excessive costs for industry • While restricting the rights of private citizens • It is easy to feel disconnected from nature • When we consider where our things come from, it becomes easier to see how we are part of the environment

  31. A banana split in Tulsa, Denver • Contains ingredients from around the world • Which impacts the environment of many far-away places

  32. Strategies for sustainability • Sustainable solutions to environmental problems are numerous • But challenges confront us: • Being imaginative enough to think of solutions we haven’t tried • Being shrewd and dogged enough to overcome political and economic obstacles • Being able to measure the effect of a change to see if it is truly sustainable

  33. We can rethink our assumptions about growth • Economists and policymakers talk of economic growth as an ultimate goal • Growth is a tool to attain the real goal of maximizing human happiness • We will not have long-term happiness by endlessly expanding our economy • We must incorporate external costs into market prices of goods and services • Green taxes and phasing out harmful substances could encourage sustainability • But political obstacles are considerable

  34. Quality of life does not need intensive consumption • Economic growth is driven by consumption • We believe that more, bigger, and faster is better • The U.S., with 5% of the world’s population, uses 30% of energy and 40% of all resources • Consumption of limited resources cannot continue • Affluenza = affluent people often do not find happiness in material wealth

  35. Money does not buy happiness • To enhance our quality of life: • Improve technology and efficiency in industry • Develop a sustainable manufacturing system • Modify our behavior, attitudes, and lifestyles to minimize consumption

  36. Population growth must cease • Continued human population growth is not sustainable • Technology has expanded the Earth’s carrying capacity • Sooner or later, growth will end, but how? • Through wars, plagues, famine • Or through voluntary means as a result of wealth and education • The demographic transition may help developing countries, as it helped developed countries

  37. Technology can help us • Technology has spurred population increase • The agricultural and industrial revolutions • Advances in medicine and health • Technology magnifies our impact on Earth • The I = PAT equation • Shortsighted uses of technology have created a mess • But wiser use of green technology can help us get out • Developed countries have exported technologies to developing countries • Intensifying environmental impacts there, too

  38. Green technology: the catalytic converter

  39. Industry can mimic natural systems • Environmental systems operate in cycles • They have feedback loops and circular material flows • Output is recycled into input • Human systems are linear • Raw materials are processed, which generates waste • Linear pathways can be transformed into circular ones through recycling • Virtually all products can be recycled, given the right technology • The ultimate vision is to generate no waste

  40. Self-sufficiency vs. globalization • Local self-sufficiency builds sustainable societies • Large multinational corporations are obtaining power over global trade • Promoting consumption • Not environmental protection • But globalization brings communication and learning • It may foster sustainability through entrepreneurship and creativity

  41. We hold our future in our hands “Survival is not negotiable.”

  42. Citizens exert political influence • Democracies offer a compelling route for pursuing sustainability: the power of the vote • We can guide our political leaders to enact policies for sustainability • A person can exercise power by: • Voting, attending public hearings, donating to advocacy groups • Writing letters and making phone calls “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)

  43. Consumers vote with their wallets • We wield influence in the choices we make as consumers • Consumers can buy ecolabeled products to increase sales • Recycled paper, “dolphin-safe” tuna, etc. • Consumers can also promote “green” purchasing at work and school • Buy certified sustainable wood, organic food, energy-efficient appliances, etc. • Employees can voice their preferences in purchasing decisions

  44. We can think in the long term • We must base our decisions on long-term thinking • The best long-term solution is not the best short-term one • This is why we are currently not sustainable • Policymakers act for the short-term good • They want quick results that help them get reelected • But environmental problems are cumulative • They worsen gradually and need long periods to be solved • Costs of solving problems are short term • But benefits are long term

  45. Promoting research and education is vital • We can magnify our influence by educating others and serving as role models through our actions • Environmental science provides information that people can use to make wise decisions about issues • Scientific research and education can help us find sustainable solutions

  46. Precious time • The natural systems we depend on are changing rapidly • Human impacts are intensifying • Deforestation, overfishing, wetland loss, resource extraction, and climate change • Our window of opportunity to turn these trends around is short • We need to find time to implement solutions before we do irreparable harm

  47. We need to reach again for the moon President Kennedy created NASA in response to the prospect of “losing” the space race to the moon Humanity faces a challenge more important than any previous one Achieving sustainability It is larger and more complex than going to the moon Government, industry, and citizens can contribute Human ingenuity is capable – we simply need to rally public resolve and engage governments

  48. We must think of Earth as an island • Earth is, indeed, an island • Islands can be paradise, or they can be destroyed • Some people speak out for conservation and finding ways to live sustainably amid dwindling resources • Others ignore those calls and continue environmental destruction • It would be a tragic folly to let the planet be destroyed

  49. The Earth is an island

  50. Conclusion In any society facing dwindling resources and environmental degradation: There will be those who raise alarms There will be those who ignore them We are gaining detailed knowledge and understanding of our dynamic planet What it offers us and what it can bear The challenge for our society today is to support that science So we may judge false alarms from real problems and distinguish legitimate concerns from thoughtless denial