Sustainability Environmental Science Spring 2010
Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainability  - When human needs are met in such a way that a human population can survive indefi...
“The Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>The main difficulty in solving environmental problems is the conflict between short-t...
Economic Pressures <ul><li>Law of Supply and Demand  – the greater the demand for a limited supply of something, the great...
Population and Consumption <ul><li>Most environmental problems can be traced to two root problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ov...
Overpopulation <ul><li>In severely overpopulated areas forests are stripped bare, topsoil is exhausted, and animals are dr...
Over Consumption <ul><li>In wealthier countries the population is more stable, and there is a high quality of life </li></...
Ecological Footprints <ul><li>An ecological footprint shows the productive area of Earth needed to support one person in a...
<ul><li>What is a sustainable world? </li></ul>
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Sustainability

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Sustainability

  1. 1. Sustainability Environmental Science Spring 2010
  2. 2. Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainability - When human needs are met in such a way that a human population can survive indefinitely </li></ul><ul><li>One of the key goals of environmental science is to achieve sustainability </li></ul>
  3. 3. “The Tragedy of the Commons” <ul><li>The main difficulty in solving environmental problems is the conflict between short-term interests of individuals and long-term welfare of society </li></ul><ul><li>Someone has to take responsibility for maintaining a resource, or it will become overused and depleted. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Economic Pressures <ul><li>Law of Supply and Demand – the greater the demand for a limited supply of something, the greater the worth </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-Benefit Analysis – balances the cost of doing something with the benefits of doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Assessment – determination of the risks of an undesirable outcome </li></ul>
  5. 5. Population and Consumption <ul><li>Most environmental problems can be traced to two root problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overpopulation - The population in the area is growing too fast for the local environment to support. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over consumption - People are using up, wasting, or polluting resources faster than they can be replaced. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Overpopulation <ul><li>In severely overpopulated areas forests are stripped bare, topsoil is exhausted, and animals are driven to extinction. </li></ul><ul><li>Food production, education, and job creation cannot keep up with population growth, so each person gets fewer resources as time goes by. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Over Consumption <ul><li>In wealthier countries the population is more stable, and there is a high quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>However, developed countries consume 75% of the Earth’s resources, but only house 20% of the population. </li></ul><ul><li>The rate of consumption produces more waste and pollution per person </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ecological Footprints <ul><li>An ecological footprint shows the productive area of Earth needed to support one person in a country </li></ul><ul><li>It includes estimates for : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Land used for crops, grazing animals, forest products, housing, waste storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ocean area for harvesting seafood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forest area needed to absorb air pollution </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What is a sustainable world? </li></ul>

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