Sustainability Freshman Inquiry Feb. 15, 2010 Jeff Fletcher Logistics PSU Recycles Service Project
HW 3, Data Now Online; make your own pie chart? On Wednesday PSU Recycles coming to mentor sessions If you missed Sundays PSU Recycles ActivitySee me Best time for this Sunday (2/21)? 1:00 pm again? Optional Field Trip on a Friday? Rebuilding Center Due Today
Read Collapse Prologue, Ch. 1 (p. ix - 75) Reading guide on Daily Log Read: Collapse Ch. 2 for Wednesday Read your chapter for next Monday (2/22) (Take Notes!!) On Monday (2/22) we will go to Library (Room 160) Today
Questions about Carbon Footprints (example abstract now in Daily Log) Tragedy of the Commons (prizes!) Wrap up Kolbert Collapse Prologue We Made the Papers CURRENTLY (2/15/2010) Vanguard (2/10/2010)
Review: Is The Temperature Rising? Raft analogy Two questions How far to waterfall? When should we get out of the water? First question scientific; second political Problems: Skepticism and reluctance to claim facts is inherent to scientific research Similar to Evolution: its just a theory Tragedy of the Commons or Prisoners Dilemma
Temperature Rising (continued) Thomas Malthus: gigantic inevitable famine Lily pond after 100 days Need to understand that science is not exact, but sometimes we still need to act The Lessons of Montreal Protocol (1987) in dealing with the Ozone Hole Periodic reviews to adapt to new results Requirements change if evidence changes Consumerism Story of Stuff
Questions Does the video overstate anything? Can you think of alternative ways of addressing these issues? Critique Story of Stuff, The Critique Part 3 of 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgLrZc7cws8 Does it deal with the central argument of a linear throughput on a finite earth Part 4 of 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XeW5ilk-9Y&NR=1
Catastrophe Chapter 9 Last 15 years China economy doubled Spring term will look at alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) How do we help developing countries skip ahead (like cell phones) By example? By assistance? Carbon capture and storage? Catastrophe Chapter 10 Typical reaction of industrysame with Ozone Resist Claim needs global action, so we cant do anything that would
hurt competitiveness (the Tragedy of the Commons argument) Maybe its a good thing or doesnt matter With Ozone easier to get a tan CO2 good for plants With Ozone we may have been lucky, but what about CO2? Already set in motion, longer lag times, harder problem requiring MUCH more change in human behavior Development of Human Society Result of Stable Climate Last 10,000 years (from 8,000 BC to present) Last quote is good description of Tragedy of the
Commons Catastrophe Afterward Hurricane Katrina Power of hurricanes has on average doubled in last 30 years Everything that happened in New Orleans was predicted by experts, but policy makers did not listen The never got out of the raft Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away. Ozymandias (Percy Shelley 1817) New Orleans 9 Ward th Is New Orleans a modern day Collapse? New Frontline program on New Orleans recoveryone familys story http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/katrina/view/ Think about Collapse
The context of the book The thesis of the book The contribution of the book The method of investigation
The power of the results The influence of the paper The applicability of the results Summary of the technical development Details of any examples Collapse Chapter Assignments
Chapter 3: The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands Chapter 4: The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and their Neighbors Chapter 5: The Maya Collapses Chapter 6: The Viking Prelude and Fugues Chapter 7: Norse Greenlands Flowering Chapter 8: Norse Greenlands End Chapter 9: Opposite Paths to Success Chapter 10: Malthus in Africa: Rwandas Genocide Chapter 11: One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories: Dominican Republic and Haiti
Chapter 12: China, Lurching Giant Chapter 13: "Mining" Australia Quiz Discussion 1) In your own words, explain what Diamond means when he uses the term "collapse" Possible Answer Explain what Diamond means when he uses the term "collapse" a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable area, for
an extended time. (p. 3) Quiz Discussion 2) List some of the reasons Diamond gives to support the claim that "any people can fall into the trap of overexploiting environmental resources" (p. 9) Possible Answer List some of the reasons Diamond gives to support the claim that Any people can fall into the trap of overexploiting environmental resources" (p. 9) (p. 9-10) Resources seem inexhaustible at first Signs of resource depletion are hidden in normal (yearly or
decade scale) fluctuations Difficult to get people to exercise constraint on sheared resources (tragedy of the commons) Complexity of eco-systems makes it hard to predict long term consequences of individual actions Quiz Discussion 3) On page 11, Diamond writes, "I dont know of any case in which a societys collapse can be attributed solely to environmental damage: there are always other contributing factors. List the 5 sets of contributing factors that Diamond identifies. 5 point framework
1. Damage that people inadvertently inflict upon the environment. (11) 2. Climate change (12) 3. Hostile neighbors (13) 4. Decreased support by friendly neighbors (14) 5. The societys responses to its own problems [which] depend on its political, economic, and social institutions and on its cultural values. (14)** **Always a significant factor (p. 11) Question Describe a major controversy confronting efforts to understand past collapses.
HINT: Think about Diamonds opinion on the people from these past societies? Were they bad stewards of the land? Were they ideal managers living in harmony with the environment? How do they compare to people today? Possible Answers (p. 8-10)
Managing environmental resources sustainability has always been difficult. Resources initially seem inexhaustibly abundant, signs of incipient depletion become masked by normal fluctuations in resource levels, difficult to get people to agree in exercising restraint (tragedy of the commons), complexity makes consequences hard to predict. Non-literate people had less access to past information. Neither ignorant bad managers who deserved to be exterminated or dispossessed, nor all-knowing conscientious environmentalists who solved
problems that we cant solve today. They were people like us. Question What is ecocide? Diamond groups the processes of past ecocides into 8 categories. List them. Possible Answers What is ecocide?
Unintended ecological suicide (p. 6) large scale mortality or death caused by environmental problems Diamond groups the processes of past ecocides into 8 categories. List them (p. 6). 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
7. 8. Deforestation and habitat destruction, soil problems (erosion, salinization, and soil fertility losses), water management problems, over-hunting, over-fishing, effects of introduced species on native species, human population growth, increased per-capita impact of people.
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