Warm Up to Causes of Environmental Problems We have been raising our awareness about the types of environmental problems that exist at local, regional, national and international levels. What are ROOT CAUSES of these problems are ? Jot down as many as you can think of. Problem - Root Cause Ex. Runny nose, Sore throat bacterial infection
Ex. Car wont run, battery dead broken alternator Causes of Environmental Problems Experts Have Identified Five Basic Causes of Environmental Problems Population growth Unsustainable resource consumption Poverty Not including environmental costs in market prices Lack of knowledge of basic ecological principles
Causes of Environmental Problems 1. Population growth Considered by many to be the biggest threat to the environment. Every minute 200,000 people are added to worlds population. Human population at 7 + billion people may have has already exceeded the Earths carrying capacity for it. Carrying capacity - maximum number of individuals that
an area can indefinitely sustain without depleting /degrading its resources. Slower growth rate is occurring but due to longer life length overall population numbers keep going up 13 12 11 8 7
6 5 4 25 million years 8000 Hunting and gathering
6000 Industrial revolution 3 Black Deaththe Plague 2 1
4000 2000 Time B. C. Billions of people ?
10 9 0 2000 2100 A. D. Agricultural revolution Industrial revolution
Fig. 1-1, p. 5 2 Major Events contributed to population increase 1. Agricultural Revolution Began ~ 10,000 ya transition from huntergatherer to agricultural lifestyle Provided stable food source which improved human health and freed people to move and work in cities. 1950s Green Revolution technological
advances that increased agricultural production 2. Industrial Revolution Began in the early 1700s but really took off in early 1900s Shift from rural, animal-powered farming to an urban society powered by nonrenewable fossil fuel energy sources Improved medical and agricultural technology and sanitation which increased survivorship
Unsustainable Resource Consumption Its not just the number of people on Earth, but how much they consume What is a resource? Anything an organism needs to survive food, shelter, mates, breeding sites, water, air, land Two types of resources: 1. Renewable 2.Nonrenewable
Renewable Resources Resource that is replenished over short periods of time (within our lifetime). Ex. Wood, wildlife, sunlight, wind, water, soil If consumed faster than replaced it can be permanently lost. Nonrenewable Resources Nonrenewable natural resource - Resource that is formed much more slowly than its
used. Ex. Minerals, Gas, Oil, Coal, Renewability Continuum Sustainability Some types of renewable resources may become nonrenewable if they are not used at a sustainable rate In recent years, consumption of natural resources has increased to unsustainable
levels driven by the growth of the largest human population in history Unsustainable Resource use Shrinking of the Aral Sea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzvEW1FHc60 2min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N-_69cWyKo 5 min
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp_mlKJiwxg american T Overexploiting Renewable Resources Tragedy of the Commonsfamous essay written by American ecologist Garrett Hardin Describes the abuse that occurs to unmanaged resources by
individuals for their own short term gain. Shared commons exs. - mmons A small village consists mostly of farmers that raise and sell sheep at a nearby city. The only place for the sheep
to graze is a shared common area in the center of the village. Each farmer will graze as many of his sheep as possible 19 What if the commons was instead divided
into sections that was owned by each villager? When the land is owned, individuals are much more likely to plan and use it for their long-term benefit. 20 Moral of the Story The Tragedy of the Commons suggests that, if
shared renewable resources are not managed, they will be overused by for short term economic gain. Renewable resources are not unlimited and must be carefully used to prevent their depletion. Freedom in the commons brings ruin to all 21 Cows in the Pasture Be honest....Have YOU ever peed in the pool?
Modern examples of Tragedy of the Commons Atmospheric Resources Norilsk, Russia Source: ecojunk.wordpress.com Ocean Resources www.panda.org
23 What was the lesson to be learned about how we use renewable resources from yesterdays fishing expedition? How did this activity tie into Garrett Hardins Tragedy of the Commons?
24 Lessons Learned Lets Fish Each person must get a minimum of 6 fish in order to feed family and sell some at market for a profit. Red fish are prized for having the greatest
amount of meat and best test. 25 Ecological Footprint Resources use can be measured using the concept of ecological footprint (1990s) Ecological Footprint measures the environmental effects of an individual or population by considering the total amount of
land and water required to provide raw materials and to dispose of waste. Share of Earths Ecological Carrying Capacity (%) 25% United States European Union 19%
China India Number of Earths Japan 18% 7% 5%
Earth's ecological capacity Per Capita Ecological Footprint (hectares per person) 9.7 United States European Union
4.7 China India 1.6 0.8 Japan 4.8
Projected footprint Ecological footprint Fig. 1-10, p. 15 Resource Sustainability is the Goal of E.S. Resource use is considered sustainable if it can continue at the same rate into the future.
It is a goal of Environmental Science #3 Poverty and the Inequality of Wealth and Resources One billion people 1 out of 7 on Earth - live on less than $1.00 a day - the official measure of poverty However, half the world nearly three billion people lives on less than two dollars a day. A shocking 64 individuals now own as much wealth as the worlds poorest 3 billion people. (64 vs 3 billion)
Developing countries Most poverty is found in developing/underdeveloped countries. The World Bank defines this as having less than earning $11,905 U.S. dollars. These countries are characterized by lower economic standard of living and less industrialization. World Bank List of Countries Most developing nations are located in
Asia, Africa, and Latin America (Central/South). Most developed nations are located in North America, European Union, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, N. Ireland Wales) and Nordic/Scandanavia The Gap between Developing and Developed Nations in Wealth, Industrialization, Life Expectancy Population Growth and Resource Use Developed Nations
Developing Nations Lower life expectancy Have less education
Have less money income Lowered living standard Underdeveloped industrial base Higher population growth rate Lower consumption rate
Higher life expectancy Have more education Greater income Higher standard of living Industrialized nation Lower population growth Higher consumption rate
per person Cultural Differences exist in the Consumption of Natural Resources Developing Country Developed Country Comparing Developed and Developing Nations
Lack of access to Number of people (% of world's population) Adequate sanitation facilities 2.6 billion (38%)
Enough fuel for heating and cooking 2 billion (29%) Electricity 2 billion (29%) Clean drinking
water 1.1 billion (16%) Adequate health care 1.1 billion (16%) Adequate housing
Enough food for good health 1 billion (15%) 0.86 billion (13%) Fig. 1-13, p. 18 1 billion people suffer from hunger 2 to 3.5 billion people have a deficiency of vitamins and minerals
Yet, some 1.2 billion suffer from obesity Affluenza "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." Affluence Has Harmful and Beneficial Environmental Effects
Harmful environmental impact due to High levels of consumption Unnecessary waste of resources Affluence can provide funding for technologies to reduce Pollution Environmental degradation Resource waste Poverty Also Has Harmful and Beneficial
Environmental Effects Beneficial environmental impact - Low levels of consumption Reduced waste from use of resources Negative environmental impacts - Resource stripping necessary to pay off personal and national debts. - Lack of / poor pollution controls #4 Poor Environmental Accounting
Results from a lack of doing business that includes the full value of a the natural capital to make the product Natural Capital the hidden value of the goods and services that we get from nature. What are the Hidden Costs? What natural resources are used in making the product are they renewable or nonrenewable? How much water was used to make product? and
wasnt available for wildlife? How many forests were cut down, displacing species, loss of ecological services like oxygen production and the uptake of carbon dioxide? Poor EnviroSocial Accounting Were people forced off their land to obtain this resource? Were people exposed to hazardous chemicals in the process of making or disposing of this product? Were labor laws, esp. for children, in place to
protect workers involved in the production process? How much water was used to make product? and wasnt available for agriculture, drinking, cooking, bathing, recreation? What is the REAL COST to Mother Nature and US??? What did it cost the environment to make YOU R cell phone? What did it cost society to make YOUR cell pho
ne? Whats behind that bite of your banana? Prices Do Not Include the Value of Natural Capital Companies do not pay the environmental cost of resource use that they benefit from/rely on 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 (the goods and services we gain from the natural environment) Emerging View A Paradigm Shift Maintaining a healthy environment DOES NOT need to be a hindrance to economic growth Rather , A healthy economy is dependent on a healthy environment. Fishing, Tourism esp. Ecotourism, Agriculture #5 Ecological Ignorance
Ignorance lack of understanding, crude knowledge Refers to the failure to understand the effect of human actions on the relationship between the environment and living things. And how our economies, health and recreation are tied to a healthy environment. What is the connection between your Big Mac and a rainforest destruction?
This is why education is needed to raise the 3 As Awareness, Appreciation Activism Be the change you want to see in the World!! We Can Learn to Make Informed Environmental Decisions Scientific research
Identify problem and multiple solutions Consider human values
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