HEE Chapter 1 "Environmental Interrelationships"


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HEE Chapter 1 "Environmental Interrelationships"

  1. 1. Environmental Interrelationships Chapter 1
  2. 2. The Field of Environmental Science <ul><li>Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, and includes applied and theoretical aspects of human impacts on the world. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A mixture of traditional science, individual and societal values, and political awareness. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems <ul><li>Environment is everything that affects an organism during its lifetime. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems <ul><li>Most social and political decisions are made with respect to political jurisdictions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental problems do not necessarily coincide with artificial boundaries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forest fires in Mexico affecting air quality in Texas. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air pollutants from U.S. causing acid rain in Canada. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems <ul><li>International agencies such as the International Joint Commission have major bearing on environmental quality over broad regions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established in 1909, in part, to protect boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems <ul><li>First worldwide meeting of heads of state directed towards the environment took place at the Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most countries have also signed agreements on sustainable development and biodiversity. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Interrelated Nature Environmental Problems <ul><li>In 1997, representatives from 125 nations met in Kyoto, Japan for the Third Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kyoto protocol is viewed as one of the most important steps to date in environmental protection and diplomatic diplomacy. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. An Ecosystem Approach <ul><li>Ecosystem - Region in which the organisms and the physical environment form an interacting unit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The task of an Environmental Scientist is to recognize and understand natural interactions that take place, and then integrate these with the uses humans must make of the natural world. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Regional Environmental Concerns <ul><li>Most regions tend to focus on specific, local issues that apply directly to them. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In most metropolitan areas, the problem of endangered species is purely historical, as the construction of cities has destroyed previously existing ecosystems. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Regions of North America
  11. 12. Wilderness North <ul><li>Much of Alaska and Northern Canada can be characterized as “wilderness” - areas with minimal human influence. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much of this land is owned by governments, thus governmental policies have a large effect. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Wilderness North <ul><li>These areas have important economic values in their trees, animals, scenery, and other natural resources. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource exploitation involves significant trade-offs as these ecosystems are sensitive to insults and take a long time to repair damage caused by exploitation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Many short-term political and economic decisions have failed to look at long-term environmental implications. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Wilderness North <ul><li>Native peoples in this area are sensitive to changes in land use or government policy that would force changes in traditional ways of life. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasingly sophisticated in negotiations. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Agricultural Middle <ul><li>Middle of North America is dominated by intensive agriculture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Original, natural ecosystems have been replaced by managed agriculture. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Agricultural Middle <ul><li>Tremendous economic value. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly private land - large economic risks. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major non-point pollution source. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil erosion and groundwater contamination. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fertilizers and Pesticides </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Dry West <ul><li>Characterized by areas where rainfall is inadequate for agriculture, but adequate enough to allow livestock production. </li></ul><ul><li>Because much of western U.S. is of low economic value, most is still controlled by the U.S. government. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages use by providing cheap water for livestock and irrigation, cheap grazing fees, and access for industrial development. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Dry West <ul><li>As cities grow, conflict arises between urban dwellers and ranchers and farmers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased demand will result in shortages and resulting trade-off decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low population density areas tend towards wilderness character. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economic livestock vs. wilderness preservation. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Forested West <ul><li>Coastal and mountainous regions of western United States and Canada receive sufficient rainfall to allow coniferous forests to dominate the landscape. </li></ul><ul><li>Government and commercial timber companies own large sections of land. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historically, much of this timber has been sold at a loss. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Forested West <ul><li>In 1993, USFS was directed to stop below-cost timber sales. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timber officials claim access to public land is necessary to remain in business and support the economy; conservationists argue ecological and intangible values outweigh economic values. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Spotted Owl has become a symbol of conflict between logging and preservation. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Great Lakes and Industrial Northeast <ul><li>Great Lakes and Northeast are dominated by large metropolitan complexes with large, complex resource demands. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many older cities have declined, leaving behind abandoned sites and environmental problems. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Great Lakes and Industrial Northeast <ul><li>One of the greatest problems is water contamination from toxic materials. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bioaccumulation in food chain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fish Advisories </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 23. The Diverse South <ul><li>Microcosm of all other regions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extremely rapid population growth in some areas such as coastal regions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pockets of extreme poverty. </li></ul></ul></ul>