Living in the environment

Interdisciplinary science –
 politics,engineering,economics,ethics
 Connections and interactions
between humans and the rest of
 Validity of data questioned – many
Ability of a specified system to
survive and function over a period
of time
 Our research leads us to believe
that in the face of drastic
environmental changes, there are
three overachiving themes relating
to the long-term sustainability of
life on this planet.
 Meeting
present needs
without preventing future
generations from meeting
Reliance on Solar Energy
Chemical (Nutrient) Cycling
Natural Capital= Natural Resources + Natural
Natural resources- materials and energy in nature
that are essential or useful to humans
 Natural Services- process in nature, such as
purification of air, water and renewal of topsoil.
Degrading of Natural Capital
Resource- Anything
that we can obtain from
the environment to
meet our needs and
Perpetual Resource- The
Renewable- A resource
that takes anywhere
from several days to
several hundred years
to be replenished,
through natural
As long as we don’t
consume if faster than
nature can renew it.
Forest, grasslands, fish
populations, freshwater,
Non-Renewable- A resource that exist in a fixed
quantity, or stock, in the earths curst.
Ex: Coal, oil, salt, sand
Ecological –
Non renewable
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Economic Growth- An increase
in a nation’s output of goods and
Gross National ProductiveMarket value in current dollars
of all goods and services
produced by a country
 Per Capita GNP – GNP/Total
Gross Domestic Product- (GDP)Market value in current dollars
of all goods and services
produced WITHIN a country for
use during a year
1.2 billion (19%)
 Highly industrialized
 85% of world wealth and
 Use 88% of world resources
 Generate 75% of waste
Zealand ,most of Europe
4.9 billion (81%)
 Low to moderate industrialized
 15% of world wealth and income
 Use 12% of world resources
 Asia, Latin America, Africa
Pollution- any presence within the
environment of a chemical or other agent
such as noise or heat at a level that is
harmful to the health, survival, or activities
of humans or other organisms.
Natural – volcanoes
Anthropogenic – human activities (burning of
coal or dumping of chemicals into rivers
and oceans.
Point Source Pollution- pollutants that are single,
identifiable source.
Ex: smokestack from a coal burning powerplant,
drainpipe of a factory, exhaust from an
Non-point Source Pollution- are dispersed and
often difficult to identify.
Ex: Pesticides blown from the land into the air,
runoff of fertilizers, pesticides, and trash from
the land into streams and lakes.
We have tried to deal with pollution in
two very different ways
Pollution Cleanup- involves cleaning
up or diluting pollutants AFTER we
have produced them.
Pollution Prevention- reduces or
eliminates the production of pollution
Three types of property Private
 Common Property (right to certain resources are
held by a large group of individuals. 1/3 of land in
US is owned by all US Citizens and run by the
government. (Parks)
 Open-Access Renewable- owned by no one and
available for use for cheap or mostly free.
 Clean air, open ocean and its fish & ,wildlife species,
Many common-property and open
access and renewable resources
have been degraded.
1968, Biologist Garrett Hardin
(1915-2003) called this degradation
Tragedy of the Commons
Solving Environmental
Problems is result of struggle
Short term welfare
 Long term environmental stability
and societal welfare
In less developed countries , the individual use
of resources and the resulting environmental
impact is low, where as in more developed
countries individuals are more affluent
(wealthy) and consume resources far beyond
their basic needs.
The average amount of land, water and ocean
required to provide that person with all the
resources they consume.
Earth’s Productive Land and Water
28.2 billion
Amount Each Person is Allotted (divide 4.7 acres
Productive Land and Water by Human
Current Global Ecological Footprint of
each person
5.7 acres
Ehrlich and Holdren (Scientist in the 1970’s)
developed a simple model showing how
population size, affluence, beneficial and
harmful effect help to determine environmental
I= PxAxT
I (Impact)= P (population) x A (affluence) x T
 Environmental Degradation
 Population growth
 Wasteful and unsustainable
resource use
 Poverty
 Pollution
Exponential Growth– quantity
increases by a fixed percentage of the
whole in a given time. (ex 2%)
This starts of slow but doubles again
and again and grow to enormous
Rule of 70: 70/ percentage of growth rate=
Doubling Time
Ex: If the growth rate is 3 % what is the doubling
70/3%= 23.3 yrs, it will take that population 23.3
years to double its population
At the current rates of exponential growth, the
human population will reach 8 billion by 2025.
Rapid population
Wasteful use of
Failure to encourage
earth sustaining
Failure to include
overall economic cost
 Maximum
number of
organisms an environment
can support over a specified
period of time
Social, economic and
environmental change that leads
to an increasingly integrated
 economic, information and
Poverty is defined as
people who are unable to
fulfill their basic needs
for adequate food, water,
shelter, health, and
2008 Study- 1/5 people
on this planet live in
extreme poverty. (Live on
less than $1.25 a day)
Those that live in poverty do degrade
potentially renewable forests, soils,
grasslands, etc…they do not have the
luxury of worrying about long term.
But many time the converse is true.
Pollution and environmental
degradation have a severe impact on
the poor and can increase their
Most of the world's desperately poor die prematurely from 4
preventable disease. All of which are made worse by degrading
environmental issues.
Increased susceptibility to normally nonfatal
infectious diseases (diarrhea and measles.)
Lace of clean drinking water
Severe Respiratory disease. (breathing smoke from
open fires, poorly vented stoves, etc)
Planetary Management or
(ANTHROPOCENTRIC-) “we are in charge of
nature, always more to use, all economic growth
is good”
The Stewardship Worldview- holds that we
should manage the earth for our benefits, but
that we have an ethical responsibility to be
caring and responsible managers, or stawards of
the earth.
Earth Wisdom –”nature for all of earth’s species,
not always more to use, make a judgment call
about economic growth
International trade of
goods increased
corporations from 7,000
to 53,000
Phones –from 89 to 850
Passenger kilometers –
from 28 million to
2.6 trillion
Infectious microbes
Hunter gatherers –
12,000 years ago
revolution –
years ago
revolution – 50
years ago
nomadic, living in small bands,
population in balance with food supply
high infant mortality,life expectancy
30-40 yr.
3 energy sources - sun, fire, muscle power
settled communities
 slash and burn cultivation to
fertilize nutrient poor field by
 shifting cultivation
 subsistence farming
Urbanization and agricultural
expansion, cut down forests,
destroyed habitats, soil erosion
and desertification
 birth rate faster than deathpopulation increase
wood used up - coal usage
steam generation
fossil fuel powered farm machineryless farmers needed- moved to cities
The Industrial Societies began many of
the environmental problems we still see
increase in agricultural products
 lower infant mortality
 improved health
 increase in longevity
 net population increase
1903-Theodore Roosevelt, Pelican
Island,Florida to save the Brown
1905- Gifford Pinchot - US Forest
“resources should be saved to be used
for the greatest good, for the greatest
number, for the longest time”
John Muir , Sierra Club
 “fundamental right of
organisms to exist for it’s own
1962- , Rachel Carson “Silent Spring”, threats
of pollution and toxic chemicals
David Brower and Barry Commoner,Paul
Ehrlich,Garret Hardin -relationship between
population growth, resource use,pollution
1963 - air pollution in New York
 Laundry detergent in water
 1969- Cuyahoga in Ohio
 Love Canal , New York
 pollution of Lake Erie
 Extinction -grizzly,bald
eagle,whooping crane,falcon
1972-UN- Human development
1973 - OPEC oil embargo
 Roland and Molina - CFC’s cause
ozone depletion
 Carter creates Superfund to clean
hazardous waste sites(Love Canal)
 Three Mile Island
1981 - Ronald Reagan sagebrush philosophy
 1986-Chernobyl disaster
 1987-Montreal Protocol - fade
out CFC’s
 Exxon Valdez disaster
1991-Persian Gulf war - protect oil
1992 - UN Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil
1994 - UN Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, Egypt.
1995- US Congress,reduce environmental
spending - vetoed by Clinton
1997 - Kyoto- global warming
Clinton protects large areas in
national forests from roads and
logging - designated as national
remove most lands from federal
ownership and turn over to
 great supporter - Ronald
pollution cleanup to prevention
 waste disposal to waste reduction
 species protection to habitat
 increased resource use to