Bio 105 Chapter 1


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Environmental problems, their

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  • Figure 1.3: T hree principles of sustainability. We derive these three interconnected principles of sustainability from learning how nature has sustained a huge variety of life on the earth for at least 3.5 billion years, despite drastic changes in environmental conditions ( Concept 1-1a ).
  • Figure 1.4: These key natural resources (blue) and natural services (orange) support and sustain the earth’s life and human economies ( Concept 1-1a ).
  • Figure 1.5: Nutrient cycling: This important natural service recycles chemicals needed by organisms from the environment (mostly from soil and water) through those organisms and back to the environment.
  • Figure 1.6: Natural capital degradation. This was once a large area of diverse tropical rain forest in Brazil, but it has now been cleared to grow soybeans. According to ecologist Harold Mooney of Stanford University, conservative estimates suggest that between 1992 and 2008, an area of tropical rain forest larger than the U.S. state of California was destroyed in order to graze cattle and plant crops for food and biofuels .
  • Figure 1.7: Reuse: This child and his family in Katmandu, Nepal, collect beer bottles and sell them for cash to a brewery that will reuse them.
  • Figure 1.8: Recycling: This family is carrying out items for recycling. Scientists estimate that we could recycle and reuse 80–90% of the resources that we now use and thus come closer to mimicking the way nature recycles essentially everything. Recycling is important but it involves dealing with wastes we have produced. Ideally, we should focus more on using less, reusing items, and reducing our unnecessary waste of resources.
  • Figure 2 This map shows high-income, upper-middle income, lower-middle-income, and low-income countries in terms of gross national income (GNI) PPP per capita (U.S. dollars) in 2008. (Data from World Bank and International Monetary Fund)
  • Figure 1.9: These are examples of the degradation of normally renewable natural resources and services in parts of the world, mostly as a result of rising populations and resource use per person.
  • Figure 1.10: This point-source air pollution rises from a pulp mill in New York State (USA).
  • Figure 1.11: The trash in this river came from a large area of land and is an example of nonpoint water pollution .
  • Figure 1.12: Patterns of natural resource consumption: The top photo shows a family of five subsistence farmers with all their possessions. They live in the village of Shingkhey, Bhutan, in the Himalaya Mountains, which are sandwiched between China and India in South Asia. The bottom photo shows a typical U.S. family of four living in Pearland, Texas, with their possessions .
  • Figure 1.12: Patterns of natural resource consumption: The top photo shows a family of five subsistence farmers with all their possessions. They live in the village of Shingkhey, Bhutan, in the Himalaya Mountains, which are sandwiched between China and India in South Asia. The bottom photo shows a typical U.S. family of four living in Pearland, Texas, with their possessions .
  • Figure 1.13: Natural capital use and degradation. These graphs show the total and per capita ecological footprints of selected countries (top). In 2008, humanity’s total, or global, ecological footprint was at least 30% higher than the earth’s biological capacity (bottom) and is projected to be twice the planet’s biological capacity by around 2035. Question: If we are living beyond the earth’s renewable biological capacity, why do you think the human population and per capita resource consumption are still growing rapidly? (Data from Worldwide Fund for Nature, Global Footprint Network, Living Planet Report 2008. See t/ )
  • Figure 7 This map shows the relative risk of tornados across the continental United States. (Data from NOAA)
  • Figure 1.14: Connections: This simple model demonstrates how three factors—number of people, affluence (resource use per person), and technology—affect the environmental impact of populations in less-developed countries (top) and more-developed countries (bottom).
  • Figure 1.15: In this example of a tipping point, you can control the ball as you push it up to the tipping point. Beyond that point, you lose control. Ecological tipping points can threaten all or parts of the earth’s life-support system.
  • Figure 1.16: Technological innovations have led to greater human control over the rest of nature and to an expanding human population.
  • Figure 1.18: Exponential growth: The J-shaped curve represents past exponential world population growth, with projections to 2100 showing possible population stabilization as the J-shaped curve of growth changes to an S-shaped curve. (This figure is not to scale.) (Data from the World Bank and United Nations, 2008; photo L. Yong/UNEP/Peter Arnold, Inc.)
  • Figure 1.19: Extreme poverty: This boy is searching through an open dump in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for items to sell. Many children of poor families who live in makeshift shantytowns in or near such dumps often scavenge most of the day for food and other items to help their families survive.
  • Figure 1.20: These are some of the harmful effects of poverty. Questions: Which two of these effects do you think are the most harmful? Why? (Data from United Nations, World Bank, and World Health Organization)
  • Figure 1.21: Global Outlook: One of every three children younger than age 5, such as this child in Lunda, Angola, suffers from severe malnutrition caused by a lack of calories and protein. According to the World Health Organization, each day at least 16,400 children younger than age 5 die prematurely from malnutrition and from infectious diseases often caused by drinking contaminated water.
  • Figure 1.22: This Hummer H3 sport utility vehicle burns a great deal of fuel compared to other, more efficient vehicles. It therefore adds more pollutants to the atmosphere and, being a very heavy vehicle, does more damage to the roads and land on which it is driven. It also requires more material and energy to build and maintain than most other vehicles on the road. These harmful costs are not included in the price of the vehicle.
  • Figure 1.23: Since 1984, citizens have worked together to make the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the best and most sustainable places to live in the United States.
  • Figure 1.24: Capturing wind power is one of the world’s most rapidly growing and least environmentally harmful ways to produce electricity.
  • Figure 1.25: This young child—like the grandchild of Emily and Michael in our fictional scenario of a possible future ( Core Case study )—is promoting sustainability by preparing to plant a tree. A global program to plant and tend billions of trees each year will help to restore degraded lands, promote biodiversity, and reduce the threat of climate change from atmospheric warming.
  • Bio 105 Chapter 1

    1. 1. MILLER/SPOOLMANLIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT 17TH CHAPTER 1 Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability
    2. 2. Environmental Science Is a Study of Connections in Nature (1)• Environment: • Everything around us • “The environment is everything that isn’t me.“• Environmental science: interdisciplinary science connecting information and ideas from • Natural sciences: ecology, biology, geology, chemistry… • Social sciences: geography, politics, economics • Humanities: ethics, philosophy
    3. 3. Environmental Science Is a Study of Connections in Nature (2)• How nature works• How the environment affects us• How we affect the environment• How to deal with environmental problems• How to live more sustainably
    4. 4. Nature’s Survival Strategies Follow Three Principles of Sustainability1. Reliance on solar energy • The sun provides warmth and fuels photosynthesis2. Biodiversity • Astounding variety and adaptability of natural systems and species3. Chemical cycling • Circulation of chemicals from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment • Also called nutrient cycling
    5. 5. Three Principles of Sustainability
    6. 6. Sustainability Has Certain Key Components• Natural capital: supported by solar capital • Natural resources: useful materials and energy in nature • Natural services: important nature processes such as renewal of air, water, and soil• Humans degrade natural capital• Scientific solutions needed for environmental sustainability
    7. 7. Natural Capital =Natural Resources + Natural Services Fig. 1-4, p. 9
    8. 8. Nutrient Cycling Fig. 1-5, p. 10
    9. 9. Natural Capital Degradation Fig. 1-6, p. 10
    10. 10. Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (1)• Resource • Anything we obtain from the environment to meet our needs • Some directly available for use: sunlight • Some not directly available for use: petroleum• Perpetual resource • Solar energy
    11. 11. Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (2)• Renewable resource • Several days to several hundred years to renew • E.g., forests, grasslands, fresh air, fertile soil• Sustainable yield • Highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource without reducing available supply
    12. 12. Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (3)• Nonrenewable resources • Energy resources • Metallic mineral resources • Nonmetallic mineral resources• Reuse• Recycle
    13. 13. Reuse Fig. 1-7, p. 11
    14. 14. Recycle Fig. 1-8, p. 12
    15. 15. Countries Differ in Levels of Unsustainability (1)• Economic growth: increase in output of a nation’s goods and services• Gross domestic product (GDP): annual market value of all goods and services produced by all businesses, foreign and domestic, operating within a country• Per capita GDP: one measure of economic development
    16. 16. Countries Differ in Levels of Unsustainability (2)• Economic development: using economic growth to raise living standards• More-developed countries: North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, most of Europe• Less-developed countries: most countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America
    17. 17. Countries by Gross National Income per Capita Supplement 8, Fig 2
    18. 18. We Are Living Unsustainably• Environmental degradation: wasting, depleting, and degrading the earth’s natural capital • Happening at an accelerating rate • Also called natural capital degradation
    19. 19. Natural Capital Degradation Fig. 1-9, p. 13
    20. 20. Pollution Comes from a Number of Sources (1)• Sources of pollution • Point sources • E.g., smokestack • Nonpoint sources • E.g., pesticides blown into the air• Main type of pollutants • Biodegradable • Nondegradable• Unwanted effects of pollution
    21. 21. Pollution Comes from a Number of Sources (2)• Pollution cleanup (output pollution control)• Pollution prevention (input pollution control)
    22. 22. Point-Source Air Pollution Fig. 1-10, p. 14
    23. 23. Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Fig. 1-11, p. 14
    24. 24. Overexploiting Shared RenewableResources: Tragedy of the Commons• Three types of property or resource rights • Private property (owned by someone) • Common property (owned by large group, parks) • Open access renewable resources (owned by nobody, atmosphere, groundwater, open ocean)• Tragedy of the commons • Common property and open-access renewable resources degraded from overuse • Solutions? (Laws, convert to private)
    25. 25. Ecological Footprints: A Model of Unsustainable Use of Resources• Ecological footprint: the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a region with indefinite supply of renewable resources, and to absorb and recycle wastes and pollution• Per capita ecological footprint• Unsustainable: footprint is larger than biological capacity for replenishment
    26. 26. Patterns of Natural Resource Consumption Fig. 1-12a, p. 15
    27. 27. Patterns of Natural Resource Consumption Fig. 1-12b, p. 15
    28. 28. Natural Capital Use and Degradation Fig. 1-13, p. 16
    29. 29. Global Human Footprint Map Supplement 8, Fig 7
    30. 30. IPAT is Another Environmental Impact ModelI=PxAxT • I = Environmental impact • P = Population • A = Affluence • T = Technology
    31. 31. IPAT Illustrated Fig. 1-14, p. 17
    32. 32. Natural Systems Have Tipping Points• Ecological tipping point: an often irreversible shift in the behavior of a natural system• Environmental degradation has time delays between our actions now and the deleterious effects later • Long-term climate change • Over-fishing • Species extinction
    33. 33. Tipping Point Fig. 1-15, p. 19
    34. 34. Cultural Changes Have Increased Our Ecological Footprints• 12,000 years ago: hunters and gatherers• Three major cultural events • Agricultural revolution • Industrial-medical revolution • Information-globalization revolution• Current need for a sustainability revolution
    35. 35. Technology Increases Population Fig. 1-16, p. 19
    36. 36. Experts Have Identified Four Basic Causes of Environmental Problems1. Population growth2. Wasteful and unsustainable resource use3. Poverty4. Failure to include the harmful environmental costs of goods and services in market prices
    37. 37. Exponential Growth of Human Population Fig. 1-18, p. 21
    38. 38. Affluence Has Harmful and Beneficial Environmental Effects• Harmful environmental impact due to • High levels of consumption • High levels of pollution • Unnecessary waste of resources• Affluence can provide funding for developing technologies to reduce • Pollution • Environmental degradation • Resource waste
    39. 39. Poverty Has Harmful Environmental and Health Effects• Population growth affected• Malnutrition• Premature death• Limited access to adequate sanitation facilities and clean water
    40. 40. Extreme Poverty Fig. 1-19, p. 22
    41. 41. Harmful Effects of Poverty Fig. 1-20, p. 22
    42. 42. Effects of Malnutrition Fig. 1-21, p. 23
    43. 43. Prices Do Not Include the Value of Natural Capital• Companies do not pay the environmental cost of resource use• Goods and services do not include the harmful environmental costs• Companies receive tax breaks and subsidies• Economy may be stimulated but there may be a degradation of natural capital
    44. 44. Environmentally Unfriendly Hummer Fig. 1-22, p. 24
    45. 45. Different Views about Environmental Problems and Their Solutions• Environmental ethics: what is right and wrong with how we treat the environment• Planetary management worldview • We are separate from and in charge of nature• Stewardship worldview • Manage earth for our benefit with ethical responsibility to be stewards• Environmental wisdom worldview • We are part of nature and must engage in sustainable use
    46. 46. Environmentally Sustainable Societies Protect Natural Capital and Live Off Its Income • Environmentally sustainable society: meets current needs while ensuring that needs of future generations will be met • Live on natural income of natural capital without diminishing the natural capital
    47. 47. We Can Work Together to Solve Environmental Problems• Social capital • Encourages • Openness and communication • Cooperation • Hope • Discourages • Close-mindedness • Polarization • Confrontation and fear
    48. 48. Case Study: The Environmental Transformation of Chattanooga, TN• Environmental success story: example of building their social capital• 1960: most polluted city in the U.S.• 1984: Vision 2000-1,700 citizens came together to identify issues, set goals, and find solutions• 1995: most goals met-lowered emissions, started recycling program, lowered air pollution levels, built new low-income housing, businesses and people have started moving back downtown• 1993: Revision 2000-revitalizing South Chattanooga
    49. 49. Chattanooga, TennesseeI Fig. 1-23, p. 26
    50. 50. Individuals Matter• 5–10% of the population can bring about major social change• We have only 50-100 years to make the change to sustainability before it’s too late• Rely on renewable energy• Protect biodiversity• Reduce waste and pollution
    51. 51. Wind Power Fig. 1-24, p. 27
    52. 52. Planting a Tree Fig. 1-25, p. 27
    53. 53. Three Big Ideas1. We could rely more on renewable energy from the sun, including indirect forms of solar energy such as wind and flowing water, to meet most of our heating and electricity needs.2. We can protect biodiversity by preventing the degradation of the earth’s species, ecosystems, and natural processes, and by restoring areas we have degraded.3. We can help to sustain the earth’s natural chemical cycles by reducing our production of wastes and pollution, not overloading natural systems with harmful chemicals, and not removing natural chemicals faster than those chemical cycles can replace them.