Understanding Our Environment

Unit 1 Day 1—Warm Up Question:
Use a line to separate each day in your “Journal” and
put the date somewhere at the top of each entry near
the edge of the page. Leave space if you are absent
and check the website for the questions. Warm Ups
and Wrap Ups go in your journal, as well as article
reflections and FRQs.
APES Warm Up (do while I check HW):
• Put the following numbers into scientific notation:
• A) 53,368,000
• B) 2,763
• C) 0.00038
• D) 0.00000463
Chapter 01
Lecture Outline
William P. Cunningham
University of Minnesota
Mary Ann Cunningham
Vassar College
Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.
Understanding our Environment
Day 1: Case Study, 1.1 & 1.2
Current Conditions
Day 4: 1.3 & 1.4
Historical Perspectives
A Divided World
Day 5: 1.5-1.7
Sustainable Development
Indigenous People
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Justice
Environmental Racism
Case Study: Renewable Energy in China
What is so special about Rizhao?
Carbon Neutral—a system or process that
doesn’t release more carbon to the
atmosphere than it consumes
 What processes produce and utilize
Carbon Emissions-release of C into the
Per Capita-per person
Subsidies-financial support
Case Study: Renewable Energy in China
1. What factors have allowed Rizhao to
become carbon neutral?
Low equipment costs due to subsidies, low-cost
loans, and mass markets (makes products cheaper)
Better job market—more consumers with money to
spend on “green” technology
Generous government spending for green tech
Fast growing housing construction market in cities—
just as easy to add green tech as conventional tech
to new construction
Low labor & raw material costs
Have the mines for certain metals needed in green
tech, right in China
Case Study: Renewable Energy in China
2. What is occurring in China that makes this
such an important achievement for people
around the world?
China has a highest population in the world
China’s economy is thriving
Citizens in China are taking on a “Westernized”
way of life----what does this mean?
China’s energy consumption is rapidly
China’s traditional source of energy is dirty,
filthy COAL
1.1 What is Environmental Science?
Environment is
defined as:
Conditions that
surround an
organism or
group(s) of
Complex of social or
cultural conditions
that affect an
individual or
4. What is Environmental Science?
Environmental Science is the systematic study of
our environment as well as our proper role in it
Field of E.S. is Interdisciplinary:
- Natural Science
- Social Science
- Humanities
Mission oriented—solve problems, help
Many kinds of knowledge contribute to our
understanding in Environmental Science
What is the current population of humans on
US & World
Population Clocks:
The United Nations projects that the
human population will increase from
the current 6.8 billion to between 8
billion and 10.5 billion in 2050
Text Figure 1.4
What do each of these
graphs illustrate with
respect to human
population growth?
How is this both good
news and bad news?
Unit 1 day 2--Today’s Warm Up:
Solve the following:
(1.9 x 10-3) – (1.5 x 10-4) = ___________
5. What are the 6 Environmental Challenges?
Human Population is just under 7.2 Billion
Climate Change: burning fossil fuels causes
global climate change.
Food: food is inequitably distributed across the
globe and 2/3 of agricultural lands show signs of
Water: may be the most critical resource in the
21st century.
Energy: fossil fuels are limited and cause
pollution, there is a shift to using more renewable
energy resources.
Air Pollution: air quality has worsened
dramatically in many areas.
Biodiversity: species are being lost at a rapid
What are the 8 Signs of Hope?
Progress has been made on many fronts
1. Population & Pollution: Many cities are
more livable today than a century ago due to
human birth rate stabilization and clean
technology use.
2. Health: Incidence of life-threatening
diseases has been reduced in most countries.
3. Spread of Education & Access to Current
Information: Expanding access to
knowledge is essential to progress.
4. Sustainable Resource Use has increased15
What are the 8 Signs of Hope?
5. Habitat Conservation: Tropical forest
destruction has slowed & habitat protection
has improved in some areas.
6. Renewable Energy: Progress is being made
in the transition to renewable energy sources.
7. Standards on Carbon Emissions have been
established as a way to decrease greenhouse
gas production.
8. International Cooperation: helps solve
global environmental problems.
6 & 7--Some Definitions:
Anthropogenic—generated (caused by)
Ecological Footprint--Measure of the demand
on Earth’s ecosystems (resources and
8, 9, & 10.“What do you think?” page 19
What conclusions can be drawn from the
END of Day 1—Stop here
Today’s Wrap Up question (answer in your
If we are going to “fix” the environmental
problems we are facing, most people are
going to have to make some lifestyle
changes. What do you think some of the big
changes will be and do you think you would
be willing to make them?
1.3 Historical Perspective
Over time there were four distinct stages
Pragmatic (Practical) Resource Conservation
Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation
Concern about Health and Ecological Damage
Global Environmental Citizenship
These stages are not mutually exclusive and
parts of each persist today in the
environmental movement.
1. Pragmatic Resource Conservation
George Perkins Marsh - Man and Nature published
in 1864
 Influenced Theodore Roosevelt and his
conservation advisor, Gifford Pinchot.
 Pinchot’s policy was one of
- Pragmatic Utilitarian Conservation
 Use resources “For the greatest good for
the greatest number for the longest time”
 Reflected today in the Multiple Use Policies
2. Ethical and Aesthetic Nature Preservation
John Muir - President Sierra Club
 Nature deserves to exist for its own sake regardless of degree of usefulness to humans.
 Biocentric Preservation – “Why ought man to
value himself more than…the one great unit of
creation”. He opposed Pinchot’s view.
Aldo Leopold –
 A student of Pinchot’s
 Authored “The Land Ethic” – “we abuse land
because we regard it as a commodity belonging
to us”.
3. Modern Environmental Movement
The industrial expansion after WW II added new concerns to
the environmental agenda related to health:
 Rachel Carson – awakened the public to the
environmental threat posed by pesticides in her book
Silent Spring (1962)
 David Brower—introduced the use of litigation, regulatory
intervention, and the use of mass media to environmental
 Barry Commoner—an activist scientist who spoke out
about environmental hazards emphasized the link
between science, technology and society .
 Wangari Maathai-founded the Green Belt Movement in
1997 to organize poor rural African women to restore the
local environment by planting trees, also promoting justice
and equality
Modern Environmental Leaders
4. Global Environmentalism
Modern information technology now allow for
increased international communications. Local and
regional environmental leaders increasingly have a
worldwide impact.
Today’s Global Environmental
Leaders include:
•Wangari Maathai--Kenya
•Yu Xiaogang—China
•Muhammad Yunus—India
•Gro Brundtland--Norway
A Divided World
What are “haves” and “have nots”? What
percentage of the world’s population falls into
each group and which group are Americans
World Bank estimates more than 1.4 billion people live
in extreme poverty earning < $1.25 (U.S.) per day.
About 1/5 of the world’s population lives in countries
with per capita income > $35,000 per year (U.S.). The
other 4/5 lives in middle or low income countries.
Gap between rich and poor continues to increase.
The gap affects many quality of life indicators.
16. Some Quality of Life Indicators
A Divided World
13. Why are the goals “eliminating poverty” and
“protecting our common environment” interlinked?
Poor are often both victims and agents of
environmental degradation. They are trying to
meet their present survival needs at the cost of
long term sustainability.
How is the “cycle of poverty” self-sustaining?
Cycle of poverty continues over generations as
people who are malnourished and ill cannot work
productively and raise healthy children. They are
often unable to participate fully in education and
may lack skills necessary to get out of their
How does the ecological footprint of a US
citizen compare with that of a Chinese citizen?
Ecological Footprint:
Measure of the demand on Earth’s
ecosystems (resources and services)
15. Is There Enough for Everyone?
Wealthy nations consume an inordinate share of
the world’s resources and produce an
unsustainable amount of pollution.
The U.S. makes up 4.6% of the world’s population,
but consumes 25% of all oil production and
generates 50% of all toxic wastes in the world.
If all the residents of China were to match American
consumption, it would take four extra planet Earths
to support them using current technology.
PROBLEM---the standard of living in China is rising
for many
Economic Progress
Over the past 50 years, the world’s Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) increased from $2 trillion to $22
Since WW II, average real income in developing
countries has doubled and life expectancy has
increased by 30%.
BUT AGAINThe worldwide gap between rich and poor has
MDC—More developed country
LDC—Less developed country (“Third World”)
End of 1.4—Stop Here
Today’s Wrap Up Question:
Unit 1 Day 5—Warm Up Question:
Solve the following:
A) (1.36 x 105) – (5.5 x 103)
B) (3.6 x 10-7) – (6.5 x 10-8)
1.5--Sustainable Development
17. What is it and how can we achieve it?
“Meeting the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.” (Brundtland 1987)
 Benefits must be available to all humans, rather
than to a privileged few.
 Economic growth alone is not enough. Political
stability, democracy, and equitable economic
distribution are needed to ensure that all benefit.
Sustainable Development
Many ecologists view continual population growth
as impossible in the long run due to:
 limited nonrenewable resources
 Buildup of wastes.
Others argue that through the use of technology
and social organization, we can manage to meet
our needs and provide for long-term (but not
infinite) growth.
18. Indigenous People
Indigenous (native) people are often the least
powerful, most neglected people in the world.
 At least half the world’s 6,000 distinct languages
are dying.
 Indigenous homelands may harbor vast
percentage of world’s biodiversity.
 Recognizing native land rights and political rights
may often be a solid ecological safeguard as
indigenous people have a rich knowledge of
local habitats, and protecting them would include
protecting their lands.
Biological and Cultural Diversity are
1.6 Environmental Ethics & World Views
Ethics is a branch of philosophy concerned with
what actions are right and wrong.
Environmental ethics deals with our moral
obligations to the world around us.
Worldviews - sets of basic beliefs, images and
understandings that shape how we see the world
around us. Worldviews also determine what
questions are valid to ask.
How we relate to the environment depends largely
on our values and world view.
Who or What has Moral Value?
Moral extensionism - extending moral values to
 Should moral extensionism include granting
some degree of moral value to animals, plants
and the environment?
19. Value - a measure of the worth of something
 Inherent value - intrinsic right to exist or innate
 Instrumental value - items have worth only
because they are of use to or valued by another
Religious Traditions
Ethical and moral values are often rooted in
religious traditions.
Stewardship - taking care of the resources we are
Calls for both environmental stewardship and
human domination over nature can be found in
most world religions.
Increasingly, many churches and religious leaders
today are promoting faith based environmental
stewardship and conservation.
1.7 Environmental Justice
Because of their economic status, minorities in the
US and globally may be subjected to a
disproportionate amount of environmental health
risks in their neighborhoods and work places.
The field of environmental justice combines civil
rights with environmental protection to demand a
safe and healthy environment for everyone.
20. Environmental Racism
Environmental Racism is an inequitable distribution
of environmental hazards based on race.
Such as--placement of low income housing near
environmentally hazardous or degraded areas
Lead poisoning in children as a result of drinking
water from aging plumbing or eating paint chips in
older buildings is an example of this phenomenon.
At all income levels, black children are 2 to 3 times
more likely suffer lead poisoning in the US than are
white children.
City, TX
21. Toxic colonialism
Toxic colonialism is the
practice of targeting poor
communities or communities
of color in developing nations
as waste disposal areas.
For example, Native Americans have been subject
to numerous attempts to set up hazardous waste
sites, landfills or incinerators on their reservations.
The short-term economic incentive of such
attempts can be overwhelming for a poverty
stricken population.
Example—Bhopal, India—Union Carbide
Chemical Leak
22. US Environmental Justice Act 1992
Established to:
Identify areas threatened by high toxic levels
Assess the health effects due to these toxins
Ensure that people living within identified
areas have a voice in clean up efforts
Data Analysis--Working with Graphs p35
What is the independent variable and what is the dependent
What is the lowest and highest value for the dependent variable?
What was the approximate size of our global footprint in 1960? In
2005? How many times larger is it?
Which factor has the greatest impact in 1961? In 2005?
Based on this graph, would you say that your footprint is greater
than your parents? Are you happier or healthier than your parents
were at your age? Why or why not?
Data Analysis-Working with
Graphs p35
•What two different
relationships are shown
on this graph?
•Which line is using the
y axis on the right?
•What can you tell about
the GDP in China, over
the past 10 years?
• What has happened to the pollutant levels as GDP has
• How might the GDP change be responsible for the changes in
the pollutants? How might it not be responsible?
Today’s Wrap Up Question: