final review

Review for the Final
You’ve been a great group… I’m going to miss you.
I showed you one example of a functioning
sustainable society/ group (the Mexican fishing/
whale watching co-op). Here’s another:
 There’s also lots of stuff on YouTube about
sustainable cities in Europe – particularly, Denmark,
Germany, and Sweden.
 Today, we will review for the exam.
 Courtesy
of a former student: Proposals for
cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage
 Woman who has lived trash-free for two
The final is in this building, Room 107, on
Wednesday the 16th from 1 to 4. Be there on
 The exam will be a mix of short answers and
essay questions.
 For the essays especially, the answers will be
evaluated based on how thoroughly you answer
the questions (I will indicate minimum
lengths), on how coherently and wellstructured your answers are, the originality of
your analysis where that is called for and, to a
much less degree, on the quality and legibility
of your hand-writing.
The exam will cover the material from Chapters
12 to 23, even those that were not covered
extensively in class, and to a lesser degree key
concepts from the first couple of weeks.
 Key concepts like: carrying capacity, limits to
growth, ecological footprint, full world,
feedback cycles (positive and negative, and
examples of each), demographic transition.
 Difference between environmental scientists
and environmentalists.
Threats to ocean and freshwater ecology.
 Major users of, and threats to availability of,
fresh water.
The sources of air pollution in different parts of the
world and its effects.
 The nature and sources of climate change, why it is
a major threat, and how it ties in with a system of
feedback loops.
 What caused the ozone layer to thin out.
 Different kinds of fossil fuels, their benefits and
 The concept of peak oil and why it’s a tricky
 Alternative conventional fuels, both fossil and
 Renewable forms of energy, and their strengths and
The nature of the waste stream in Canada and the
U.S. and what can and is being done about it.
 The role of planned obsolescence in promoting
 The negative impacts of plastics on the environment.
 Why cities are both part of the problem of
sustainability and potentially part of the solution.
 Definition and origin of urban sprawl.
 What the movements ‘smart growth’ and ‘new
urbanism’ are about.
 Why moving away from automobile dependence
towards other forms of transportation and mixed
land use is so crucial to making cities more
What ethics has to do with our current ecological
 The difference between anthropocentrism,
biocentrism, and ecocentrism.
 Places in the world where anthropocentrism is
being challenged.
 In what sense is the current economy both circular
and linear?
 The conflict between conventional economic
perspectives and ecological perspectives.
 The notion of (currently) unpriced ecosystem
services and externalities.
 Why Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not necessary
an accurate reflection of social well-being.
What is traditional knowledge?
 Examples of environmental policies.
 Key elements of environmental policies – for
instance, at universities like VIU.
 Different approaches to environmental
 Different strategies for changing institutions
in a more sustainable direction (not limited to
what we discussed in class).
 Different strategies for changing individuals/
households in a more sustainable direction
(not limited to what we discussed in class).
 What are some positive things being done in
different parts of the world (i.e. where is
environmental leadership being shown) to
move us in a more sustainable direction?
Have a great holiday break!