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Introducing Environmental Science and

Sustainability
1
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Overview of Chapter 1
Human Impacts on The Environment
Population, Resources and the Environment
Sustainability
Environmental Science
Addressing Environmental Problems

2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Environment (Earth)
Life has existed on
earth for 3.8 billion yrs
Earth well suited for life
Water over of planet
Habitable temperature,
moderate sunlight
Atmosphere provides
oxygen and carbon
dioxide
Soil with essential
minerals for plants
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Human Impacts on Environment-
Population
Expected to add
several billion more
people in 21
st

century
Earths Human Population has exceeded
SEVEN billion
Growing exponentially
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Population
1 in 4 people live in
extreme poverty
Cannot meet basic
need for food, clothing,
shelter, health
Difficult to meet
population needs
without exploiting
earths resources
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Gap Between Rich and Poor
Highly Developed Countries (HDC)
Complex industrialized bases, low population
growth, high per capita incomes
Ex: US, Canada, Japan
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Gap Between Rich and Poor
Less Developed Countries (LDC)
Low level of industrialization, very high fertility
rate, high infant mortality rate, low per capita
income
Ex: Bangladesh, Mali, Ethiopia

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Types of Natural Resources
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Consumption
Consumption
Human use of materials and energy
People in HDCs are big consumers
Unsustainable Consumption
Occurs when the level of demand on a countrys
resources damages or depletes the resource
enough to reduce the quality of life for future
generations
Caused by overpopulation and/or
overconsumption
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Ecological Footprint
The average amount of land, water and ocean
required to provide that person with all the
resources they consume
Earths Productive Land and Water 11.4 billion
hectares
Amount Each Person is Allotted (divide
Productive Land & Water by Human Pop.)
1.8 hectares
Current Global Ecological Footprint of each
person
2.7 hectares
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Ecological Footprint
Humans have an ecological overshoot
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Ecological Footprint
Comparison
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IPAT Model
Measures 3 factors that affect environmental
impact (I)
I = P A T
Environmental
Impact
Number
of people
Affluence per
person
Environmental
effect of
technologies
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Environmental Sustainability
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Environmental Sustainability
The ability to meet current human need for
natural resources without compromising the
needs of future generations
Requires
understanding:
The effects of our
actions on the earth
That earths
resources are not
infinite

2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tragedy of the
Commons
Garrett Hardin (19152003)
Solving Environmental Problems is result of
struggle between:
Short term welfare
Long term environmental stability and societal
welfare
Common pool resources
Once-ler Quote: If I dont use it, someone else
will.
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sustainable Development-
Systems Concept
Economic development that meets the needs of
the present generation without compromising
future generations
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Environmental Science
An interdisciplinary study of human
relationship with other organisms and the
earth
Biology
Ecology
Geography
Chemistry
Geology
Physics
Economics
Sociology
Demography
Politics

2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Earth System and
Environmental Science
System
A set of components that interact and function as
a whole
Global Earth Systems
Climate, atmosphere, land, coastal zones, ocean
Ecosystem
A natural system consisting of a community of
organisms and its physical environment
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Earth Systems and
Environmental Science
Negative feedback
Change triggers a
response that
counteracts the
changed condition
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Feedback
Positive feedback
Change triggers a
response that
intensifies the
changing condition
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Scientific Method
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Controls and Variables in Experiment
Variable
A factor that influences a process
The variable may be altered in an experiment to
see its effect on the outcome
Control
The variable is not altered
Allows for comparison between the altered
variable test and the unaltered variable test
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Five Steps to Addressing An
Environmental Problem
Five steps are
idealistic
Case Study: Lake
Washington
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Assessing Environmental Problem
Case Study: Lake Washington
Large, freshwater pond
Suburban sprawl in 1940s
10 new sewage treatment
plants dumped effluent into
lake
Effect = excessive
cyanobacteria growth that
killed off fish and aquatic
life
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Scientific Assessment
Aquatic wildlife assessment done in 1933 was
compared to the 1950 assessment
Hypothesized treated sewage was introducing
high nutrients causing growth of cyanobacteria
Risk Analysis
After analyzing many choices, chose new location
(freshwater) and greater treatment for sewage to
decrease nutrients in effluent
Assessing Environmental Problem
Case Study: Lake Washington
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Public Education/Involvement
Educated public on why changes were necessary
Political Action
Difficult to organize sewage disposal in so many
municipalities
Changes were not made until 1963!
Evaluation
Cyanobacteria slowly decreased until 1975
(gone)
Assessing Environmental Problem
Case Study: Lake Washington
2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Results
Assessing Environmental Problem
Case Study: Lake Washington