The Global Village
• New developments in communications have
made our world smaller, by allowing
information to pass between countries and
people much faster than ever before.
• Modern Transportation has also made our
world smaller by allowing people to move
further and faster than ever before possible
in human history.
The World as a System
• A system can be defined as a set of
elements which interact with each other in
a particular way.
• Global systems generally fall into three
categories: The physical world, the
Biological world and the Economic world.
• Location (a position on the Earth’s surface)
• Place (the Physical and human characteristics that
make a location unique)
• Movement (The varied patterns in the movement of
life forms, ideas, and materials)
• Regions (Basic units of study that define an area
with certain human and physical characteristics)
• Human and physical interaction (The way humans
depend on, adapt to, and modify the Environment)
• Biosphere: the regions of the surface, atmosphere,
and hydrosphere of the earth occupied by living
The Physical World
• The physical elements of the world : Air, wind,
waterways, precipitation, soils etc. If any one of
these elements changes those changes will affect
other aspects of the system.
• Ex. Cutting down trees exposes the soil beneath to
rainfall and wind. The unprotected soil erodes
easily, and erosion leads to changes in river flows
and groundwater levels. Cutting down trees also
leads to desertification and loss of wildlife habitat.
The Global Environment:
• Sustainable development: Economic development that
manages the environment and its resources in a way that
allows future generations to benefit from them.
• Sustainable development occurs on four levels:
At a planetary level, the health of the planet must be preserved
because the human race depends on the earth.
On a global level, the gap between developing and developed
nations is the greatest threat to sustainable development.
On a regional level, we must focus on issues like the
preservation of natural resources and waste disposal.
On a local level, the diversity of the environment around us
must be protected and preserved.
Formally known as the World Commission on Environment and
Development (WCED), the Brundtland Commission's mission
is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development
Types of Resources
• Resources can be divided into two groups: Renewable
• Renewable resources are those which will continue to
supply materials indefinitely as long as the system
that produces them is not disrupted. Forestry,
fisheries and farming are all examples of renewable
• Non-renewable resources are those which cannot be
replaced once they are used up. Most of them are
inorganic, that is ,non-living. Such materials have
been created by nature over millions of years. Fossil
fuels and metal ores are example of a non-renewable
The Distribution of Resources
• The world’s natural resources are very unevenly distributed. Only about
one-fifth of the world’s land area is currently capable of sustaining a high
population density, whether for farming or industry.
• The world’s best agricultural land is located mainly in warm temperate
areas such as the Midwest of North America and along major rivers like
the Nile. Many less developed tropical nations have almost no highly
productive agricultural land and extreme climate change makes for
irregular food production. (They have more arid land than arable land)
• Mineral resources are even less evenly distributed. The Canadian Shield
and the South African plateau are among the richest locations of ore
• About ½ of the world’s coal is located in Russia and the US
• Almost 60% of the word’s petroleum is in the Persian Gulf area.
• The uneven distribution of the world’s resources is the major impetus for
• Global Warming: The earth absorbs the sun’s energy and reemits it as heat. Gases in the earth’s atmosphere then trap
this heat keeping the temp on earth at a level that sustains
life. This is called the Greenhouse effect, the gases that allow
for it include Carbon dioxide (CO2) Methane (CH4) and
• Unfortunately the level of these gases in the atmosphere is
increasing due to human industrial activity. This is causing
the global temperature to rise.
• Ultimately this rise in the Earth’s temp could lead to a rise in
sea levels, which could destroy cities and crop lands.
• Eventually this rise in global temperatures could cause a
warmer global climate, alter growth patterns and cause
deserts to expand and forest cover to decrease.
• The effects of Global Warming. I apologize for the Nickleback.
Air Resources Continued:
• Ozone is a pale blue gas that is present in a thin layer
in the Stratosphere. It is formed when oxygen in the
atmosphere reacts with sunlight.
• Ozone forms a protective shield around the earth. It
filters out ultraviolet radiation (dangerous to living
things) from the sun.
• The Ozone layer is getting thinner and becoming
damaged due to the increase in greenhouse gases in the
• This damage to the Ozone layer is responsible for the
rise in skin cancer in recent years.
• It could also lead to damage in the food chain, as a
significant amount of sea life depends on algae for food
and algae is very sensitive to sunlight
• Algae also produces a significant amount of the World’s
oxygen and we use that all the time.
Image of the largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded (September 2006), over the
• Deforestation is one of the most serious threats to the world’s
forests. It continues at a rate of 170000km2 per year, about 466
km2 each day.
• An old-growth forest is a forest that has attained great age without
significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological
• Although reforestation of temperate forests is increasing in many
countries the quality of these forests is inferior to that of natural
forests, as they do not support the same level of biodiversity as
ecologically complex natural forests do.
• Forests provide habitats for thousands of plant and animal species.
Many of these have yet to be discovered, but they could hold the
key to future scientific and medical breakthroughs.
• Most of the forests in Canada are boreal forests. The boreal region
in Canada covers almost 60% of the country’s land area.
• Rainforest Deforestation: The main sources of deforestation
in the Amazon rainforest are human settlement and
development of the land. In the nine years from 1991 to
2000, the total area of Amazon rainforest cleared rose from
415,000 to 587,000 km²; comparable to the total land area of
Spain, Madagascar or Manitoba.
• Are minor comforts really worth all of this loss?
• Think hard about your answer.
The expansion of deserts as a result of
mismanagement of the land, for example: Clearcutting, over cropping or overgrazing can lead to
• In Yukon, the zone of continuous permafrost
might have moved 100 kilometres northward since
1899. It is thought that permafrost thawing could
speed up global warming by releasing methane and
other hydrocarbons, which are powerful
All forms of life need water survive.
• There are over 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water around the globe.
However 97% of this is held as salt water in the oceans.
• Only 3% of the earth’s water is freshwater, and most of that is in the form
of groundwater or ice.
• Water is distributed unevenly around the world. Some countries, like
Canada are water rich, while other countries like Egypt are poor in water
• Global warming is a threat to water resources as it has impacted on the
ice fields in the Rockies as well as in other regions.
• Much of the accessible freshwater available on the globe is used to
irrigate crops, 98% of Egypt’s water goes to irrigation projects, compared
to only 10% in Canada
• Water quality is a measure of the condition of water compared to the
requirements of any human need or purpose. Humans impact the water
quality through pollution. There are supposed to be standards on the
quality of water that humans can drink yet there are 783 million people
without access to clean drinking water.
Water Resources: Continued
• Much of the world’s fresh water is in the ground. It is called
• Groundwater is stored in Aquifers (a spongy layer of rock that holds on
to water) deposited at the end of the last ice age, about 10 000 years
ago. It is a finite (limited) supply, about one in four Canadians depends
on Groundwater for a domestic water supply.
• When our groundwater runs out we are going to face problems
associated with water shortages, like limited food production and
• To have a reasonable quality of life the average person requires about
80 liters of Water a day.
• In Canada we use 360 liters a day on average making us second only to
the US in water consumption per capita
Global Warming & Canada
• Over the years Canada has hosted many conventions on
environmental problems that have resulted in international
• The Montreal Protocol: The Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for
the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty
designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production
of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone
• Kyoto Protocol: The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an
international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized
countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The UNFCCC is
an environmental treaty with the goal of preventing "dangerous"
human induced interference of the climate system.
Acid Rain: caused by chemicals being released into the air that
then rise high into the atmosphere where they mix with water,
oxygen, and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants. Over
the past few decades, humans have released so many different
chemicals into the air that they have changed the mix of gases in
PH Levels: When the acid rain falls into lakes and rivers they
become acidic (i.e., the pH value goes down) when the water itself
and its surrounding soil cannot buffer the acid rain enough to
neutralize it. In areas where buffering capacity is low, acid rain
releases aluminum from soils into lakes and streams; aluminum is
highly toxic to many species of aquatic organisms.
Genetically Modified Foods: foods produced from organisms that
have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the
methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for
the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control
over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods
such as selective breeding and mutation breeding
The Biological World
• The elements of the biological world include: Trees, birds,
fish, bugs and people. All living organisms are a part of the
• Humans have had a profound affect on the biological cycle, it
is estimated that at least one species of plant or animal
becomes extinct every day somewhere in the world.
• Because the world works on a series of interconnected
systems each change in the composition of any of the systems
can have far reaching affects.
• Going Organic
An Example of affecting the
balance of life
• Frogs’ legs are a delicacy in many
countries, with a greater world
population the demand for frogs’ legs
• Frogs play an important role in the
environment, since they eat mosquitoes
and other bugs which spread malaria or
attack crops. Due to the shortage of
frogs, farmers in countries exporting
frogs’ legs are finding it necessary to
use pesticides, like DDT, to control the
• Pesticides build up in the bodies of
animals, (especially DDT which is
banned in Canada) thus there is a
danger that frog flesh may become
increasingly affected by chemical
chef on the
muppets tries to
make frog's legs.
The Economic World
• The Economic cycle explains the relationship between Producers and
• The Economic cycle has a profound affect on both the physical cycle and
the biological cycle.
• The reasons behind deforestation, desertification and loss of animal habitat
are almost all based on economics.
• Ex. Large portions of the world’s rainforest are being cut down to provide
grazing land for cattle. The cattle is bound for fast food restaurants (mostly
in North America)
• Some of the results of this deforestation are desertification and loss of
• Examine the international declaration of human rights on the next slide and
ask yourself “How does the function of the economic world impact on the
effectiveness of the international declaration of human rights
The Universal; Declaration of Human Rights
Declared at UN General Assembly in 1948
Based on the belief that: all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
Condemns: “barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”
• Declaration States:
Everyone has the right to: life liberty, and security of person
No slavery, abolish slave trade
No torture or cruel inhuman, or degrading treatment
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law
No subjecting to arbitrary arrest or detention
Entitlement to fair and public hearing by an impartial tribunal in the case of
criminal charges against them
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence
First international statement to recognize that all human beings have specific
rights and freedoms
The Canadian Government signed and ratified this declaration
We are bound to it under international law.
Quality of life: Economic
• There is a great amount of economic disparity among the nations of the
• Not all countries enjoy the same standard of living (the quantity and quality
of the products and services available to people.) Or quality of life (not only
the material standard of living, but also social, political and environmental
• Economic development is the process by which the condition of people’s
lives are improved through knowledge and technology. It is a continuous
• In broad terms, high and middle income countries are called the developed
world, while low income countries are called the developing world.
• Only those countries at the extreme ends of the economic spectrum can be
this simply classified, most fall some where in between .
Quality of life: Economic
• Developing Country: a poor agricultural country that is seeking to
become more advanced economically and socially.
• Developed Country: a sovereign state that has a highly
developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure.
• There are different levels of economic development and
opportunity within countries. Sao Paulo, Brazil, is as modern as
any city in Canada, yet most of Brazil lives in extreme poverty.
• The distribution of wealth is uneven within wealthy countries and
regions. Some communities in the Canadian North, for example,
have more in common with a developing country than they do
with cities like Vancouver.
• Even in Canadian cities, subcultures of poverty exist with street
kids and homeless people
Uneven Distribution of Wealth in the
Quality of Life: The Human
• The Human Development index measures the quality
of life, by ranking countries in three important areas:
• A long and healthy life, (Life expectancy)
• Knowledge, (Literacy rates, both male and female)
• A decent standard of living/purchasing power, (Per
Capita GDP, on average how much purchasing power
each citizen has in a year)
• Each year the government sets aside billions of dollars for
short-term humanitarian aid and long-term development
• The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is
responsible for administering these programs
• CIDA donates money in the short term for aid when natural
• CIDA also creates long-term sustainable development in less
developed countries by contributing medical personnel,
farmers teachers and technicians.
Different types of foreign aid
• Canadian aid is distributed in three ways.
• Multilateral aid is funding provided to international
organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO)
• Bilateral aid is aid that is negotiated between Canada and a
• Tied Aid is help that is provided on the understanding that
certain conditions be placed on receiving the funds.
• CIDA also donates money to non-governmental organizations
• One of the stipulations that Canada has placed on aid is that
the countries receiving Canadian aid must uphold democracy
and have a decent human rights record.
The Urban Revolution
• 200 years ago only 5% of the population lived in cities. Now 45% of people live in
an urban environment.
• Part of this shift is the development of Mega cities (cities with populations larger
than 8 million people) In 1950 only 2 cities, (London and New York) were
considered mega cities, by 1995, there were 22.
• Urban migration started as a result of the Industrial revolution.
• In addition to creating jobs the move to an urban environment brought an
increase in services and greater access to the infrastructure of a modern urban
environment (ex. Access to hospitals and schools)
• Greater urbanization also led to greater Urban sprawl,
the loss of wildlife habitats.
which has led to