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Chapt25 lecture Chapt25 lecture Presentation Transcript

  • William P. Cunningham University of Minnesota Mary Ann Cunningham Vassar College Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. *See PowerPoint Image Slides for all figures and tables pre-inserted into PowerPoint without notes. Chapter 25 Lecture Outline *
  • What Then Shall We Do?
  • Outline
    • Environmental Education
      • Environmental Careers
    • How Much is Enough?
      • Green Consumerism
    • Working Together
      • Mainline and Radical Environmental Groups
    • Campus Greening
    • Sustainability is a Global Challenge
    • Millennium Assessment
    What Then Shall We Do?
  • Environmental Education
    • In 1990, Congress passed the National Education Act establishing two goals:
      • Improve understanding among the general public of the natural and built environment and the relationships between humans and their environment
      • Encourage post-secondary students to pursue careers related to the environment
  • Environmental Literacy
    • William Reilly , former EPA administrator, called for environmental literacy in which every citizen is fluent in the principles of ecology and has a working knowledge of the environment.
      • Foster a stewardship ethic
  • Environmental Education
  • Citizen Science
    • Ordinary people join with established scientists to answer real scientific questions
      • Community-based research was pioneered in the Netherlands in when they combined researchers with students and neighborhood groups to work on research projects
      • The Audubon Society sponsors a annual Christmas Bird Count.
      • Earthwatch International and American River Watch are also examples of enlisting the public in scientific research projects.
  • Environmental Careers
    • Trained people in environmental professions, at every level from support staff to managers to educators are essential, and those roles will only increase in importance.
      • World Wildlife Fund estimates 750,000 new jobs in renewable energy in next 10 yrs
      • Environmental law
      • Environmental engineering
      • Environmental education
  • Green Business
    • Can resource conservation and environmental awareness be an advantage in business?
      • Most large companies have an environmental department.
      • Companies are beginning to design with pollution control and waste disposal in mind.
      • Huge market for pollution control technology
  • Environmental Technician Taking Samples
  • How Much Is Enough?
    • Veblen in Theory of the Leisure Class coined the term conspicuous consumption to describe buying things we do not need in order to impress others.
      • The average American now consumes twice as many goods and services as in 1950
        • An average house in the U.S. is now more than twice as big as 50 years ago, even though the typical family has half the number of people.
        • We need the additional space to hold all the stuff we buy.
  • How Much Is Enough?
    • Growing number of people find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle:
      • Work frantically at a job they hate, to buy things they don’t need, so they can save time to work longer hours.
      • Some, however, take a cue from Thoreau and are adopting more simple, less consumptive lifestyles.
  • We Can Reduce Our Environmental Impacts
    • Even small steps can have significant environmental effects:
      • Switching from a diet high in red meat to a vegetarian one can save as much energy as trading in a normal car for a hybrid.
        • It takes only about 2 calories of fossil fuel to grow one calorie of energy in a fruit or vegetable.
        • The ratio is as high as 80 to 1 for cattle grown in confined feeding operations.
  • “Green Washing” Can Confuse Consumers
    • Many terms used in advertising are vague and have little meaning:
      • Nontoxic, biodegradable, recyclable, natural, organic, environmentally friendly
    • Several national programs scientifically analyze the environmental impacts of products.
      • Blue Angel label in Germany
      • Green Seal program in the U.S.
      • The most comprehensive product analysis is called life cycle analysis , as it follows a product through its manufacture, use and disposal.
  • Life Cycle Analysis of Products
  • Limits of Green Consumerism
    • Often, consumers are faced with complicated comparisons and choices.
      • Paper or plastic grocery bags?
        • Both have good and bad points, and represent trade-offs in energy use, pollution production, ability to recycle, etc.
        • If you have both paper and plastic recycling, plastic is probably better because it is easier to recycle and produces less pollution.
          • A better choice may be to take your own cloth bag.
  • Limits of Green Consumerism
    • Focus on doing your best to recycle, buy green products, and be involved.
    • Green consumerism generally can do little about larger issues of global equality, chronic poverty, and oppression in the Third World.
      • There is a danger that an exclusive focus on our own small steps, such as recycling, may divert attention from greater environmental issues.
  • How Can We Work Together?
    • Collective action can magnify the power of individuals. For this reason, many people join environmental or social action groups.
    • Mainline Environmental Groups Include:
      • National Wildlife Federation
      • World Wildlife Fund
      • The Audubon Society
      • The Sierra Club
      • Ducks Unlimited
      • Natural Resources Defense Council
      • The Wilderness Society
  • Growth of Environmental Organizations
  • Mainline Environmental Groups
    • Mass membership, large professional staffs, and long history provide these groups a degree of respectability and influence not found in newer, smaller groups
      • Mainline environmental organizations are often criticized by radical environmentalists for their tendency to compromise and cooperate with the establishment.
      • These groups have local chapters, a good way for you to become involved
  • Mainline Environmental Groups
    • Some groups have limited contact with members and focus instead on land acquisition, litigation and lobbying.
      • Environmental Defense Fund
      • Nature Conservancy
      • National Resources Defense Council
      • Wilderness Society
  • Radical Groups Capture Media Attention
    • Direct Action Groups
      • Earth First!
      • Sea Shepherd
      • Greenpeace
    • Often associated with deep ecology - profoundly biocentric worldview
    • Use creative tactics such as street theater and civil disobedience
    • How far should you go in disobeying rules to change public opinion?
  • Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    • Rapid rise in international NGOs
      • Rio Summit in 1992 had 30,000 representatives of environmental groups attending
      • Carry out public education and consciousness-raising using protest marches and civil disobedience
      • Conservation International does debt for nature swaps
  • Campus Greening
    • Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is largest group with some 5000 chapters.
      • Is there a chapter on your campus?
    • Another important student organizing group is the network of Public Interest Research Groups.
    • You can learn to organize, use media to get your message out.
    • “ Step it Up” campaign about global warming was done via internet.
      • Electronic environmentalism allowed them to organize more than 800 events.
  • Schools Can Be Environmental Leaders
    • Schools can do campus audits to study water and energy use, waste disposal, recycling, paper consumption, etc.
    • New buildings should meet U.S. Green Building Council standards. It does not cost any more to build in an environmentally friendly way.
      • At Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, a kiosk in the dorm shows daily energy use and there are green dorms with natural lighting, clean air and few allergens.
  • Colleges Showing Environmental Leadership
    • Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford and Williams rank at the top for green policies.
    • Berea College in Kentucky got special commendation.
      • Berea’s ecovillage has a student designed house that produces its own electricity and treats waste water in a living system.
      • College has a full time sustainability coordinator
  • Your Campus Can Reduce Energy Usage
    • Your campus can reduce energy use by
      • purchasing fuel efficient vehicles
      • using green building standards
      • purchasing energy from renewable sources
      • buying locally produced foods
  • Sustainability is a Global Challenge
    • Sustainable Development - use renewable resources in harmony with ecological systems
      • Developing countries need access to more-efficient, less-polluting technologies
        • Technology transfer and financial aid
        • Poverty is at the core of many problems.
      • The $350 billion/yr needed is small compared to the $1 trillion/yr spent on wars and military.
      • Need to find compromise between no-growth and unlimited growth
  • A Model For Sustainable Development
  • Millennium Assessment
    • Millennium Assessment done by the U.N. in 2000
      • All of us depend on ecosystems to provide conditions for decent life.
      • We have made unprecedented demands on ecosystems to meet growing demands for food, water, fibers for clothing and energy.
      • These changes improved humans but weakened nature’s ability to purify air and water, protect from disasters.
  • Millennium Assessment in 2000
      • Outstanding problems include the dire state of the world’s fish stocks, the vulnerability of people living in dry regions, and the growing threat of global warming and pollution.
      • Human actions have taken the planet to the edge of a massive wave of extinctions.
      • Loss of ecosystem services is a barrier to reducing poverty, hunger, and disease.
  • Millennium Assessment in 2000
      • Pressures on ecosystems will increase globally unless we change our actions.
      • Conservation is more likely to succeed if local communities are given ownership.
      • Today’s technology can reduce human impact, but it is unlikely to be deployed fully until we stop thinking of ecosystem services as free and limitless.
      • Better protection of natural assets requires coordinated efforts of governments, business, and international institutions.