You are on page 1of 46

ENVIRONMENTAL

SCIENCE

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Studies
how the Earth works
nour interaction with Earth
nthe methods/procedures we use to
deal with environmental problems
n

Environmental Problems,
Their Causes, and
Sustainability
Chapter 1

Key Concepts
n

Population growth and sustainability

Economic growth and development

Resources and resource use

Pollution

Causes of environmental problems

How can you say that a


SOCIETY is
SUSTAINABLE?

SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Human Wellbeing and Environmental Wellbeing are goals


to be achieved. Economic Wellbeing is a mean to be able
to achieve sustainability and to maintain so over time.

What must be done to achieve a


Sustainable Society?
n

Man must not compromise the needs of


future generations.
Man must live sustainably by eliminating
waste and discontinuing our depletion and
degradation of resources.
Man can overcome these problems with
ingenuity, economic growth, and
technology.

Population Growth

World Population

Black Deaththe Plague

Time
Hunting and
gathering

Agricultural revolution

Industrial
revolution

Billions of people

World Population
n

Human population
growth continues to be
more rapid than the
Earth can support
about 211,000 people
per day.
Exponential growth of
population affects:
Poverty
Extinction
Climate changes

To attain a SUSTAINABLE
SOCIETY

WE NEED ECONOMIC INTERVENTION!

Economic Growth

Economic Growth
n

Economic growth provides


people with the goods and
services needed to sustain
human population growth.

Population (billions)

Human Population Growth

World total
Developing
countries

Developed
countries

Year

Global Outlook
Percentage
of World's

19

Population

Population
growth
Wealth and
income
Resource
use
Pollution
and waste

81
0.1
1.5
85
15
88
12
75
25
Developed countries

Developing countries

Economic Development
Trade-Offs
Economic Development
Good News

Bad News

Global life expectancy


doubled since 1950

Life expectancy 13 years less in


developing countries than in
developed Countries

Infant mortality cut in


half since 1955

Infant mortality rate in developing


countries over 9
times higher than in developed
countries

Food production ahead of population


growth since 1978
Air and water pollution down in most
developed countries since 1970
Number of people living in poverty
dropped 6% since 1990

Harmful environmental effects of


agriculture may limit future food
production
Air and water pollution levels in
most developing countries too high
Half of world's workers trying to
live on less than $2 (U.S.) per day

What is a RESOURCE?

Resources
n

Natural capital/ natural resources are


anything obtained from the
environment to meet our needs :food,
water, air, shelter petroleum, etc.

3 Types of Resources
n

Perpetual - renewed continuously, like solar


energy
Renewable - a resource which is replaced
naturally and can be used again
Nonrenewable - A resource of economic value
that cannot be readily replaced by natural means
on a level equal to its consumption.

What Type of Resource?

Problem with Nonrenewable


Resource
n

The resource is economically


depleted when it costs too much to
obtain what is left.

Solutions for Economically


Depleted Resource
n
n

n
n
n
n

Try to find more of the resource.


Recycle the resource and buy products made
from recycled material, or reuse the resource
in the same form.
Waste less.
Use less.
Try to develop a substitute for the resource.
Wait millions of years for more to be
produced.

Environmental
Degradation

Environmental Degradation

Environmental degradation occurs


when use of resources exceeds rate
of replacement.

Causes of Environmental Degradation


Pollution
n Population Growth
n Illegal Activities
n Industrialization
n

How to Prevent Environmental


Degradation
Limiting access to resources
n Reducing population
n Converting free-access resources to
private ownership
n Making laws & regulations
n

Ecological Footprint

Ecological Footprint

a measure of human demands on


Earth's resources

Ecological Footprint

The per capita ecological footprint is the


biologically productive land and water needed
to supply renewable resources and absorb
waste for each individual.

Ecological Footprint
Country

Per Capita Ecological Footprint


(Hectares per person)

United
States

9.6

The
Netherlands
India

Country

3.8
0.8

Total Ecological Footprint


(Hectares)

United
States
The
Netherlands
India

3 billion
hectares
62 million hectares
880 million
hectares

We need four more planet Earths to meet the consumption levels of the U.S.

Ecological Footprint
Currently, each
persons
ecological
footprint is 20%
greater than can
be sustained
indefinitely.

1.5

Number of Earths

1.2

Earth's
Ecological
Capacity

0.9

0.6

0.3

0
1960

1970

1980

1990
Year

2000

2010

As a result, we
have polluted air
and water, and
we have caused
waste overload,
poorer health,
less biodiversity,
etc.

Pollution

Pollution
n

What is pollution?

Point and nonpoint sources

Unwanted effects of pollution

Pollution
n

Pollutants are chemicals at high


enough levels in the environment
that harm people or other living
organisms.

Point and Nonpoint Sources of


Pollutants
n

Point sources of pollutants are single,


identifiable sources such as automobiles or
industrial plants. These are easier to
identify and control.
Nonpoint sources are dispersed, such as
pesticides in air and water runoff. These
are difficult to identify.

Point-source & Nonpoint-source


of Air Pollution

Unwanted Effects of Pollution


Can disrupt or degrade life-support
systems of any organism.
n Can damage human health, wildlife,
and property.
n Can produce irritations in noise,
smells, tastes, and sights.
n

Solutions to Pollution
n

Pollution prevention (input control)


reduces or eliminates production of
pollutants

Pollution cleanup (output control)


cleans up or dilutes pollutants after they
have been produced

Problems with Pollution


Cleanup
n

It causes a temporary bandage without long-term


pollution control technology.
The pollutant is removed but causes pollution
elsewhere, such as in the process of burning and
burying garbage.
It is expensive to reduce pollution to an
acceptable level. Prevention is less expensive in
the long run.

Environmental &
Resource Problems:
Causes & Connections

Causes of Environmental Problems


Causes of Environmental Problems

Population
growth

Unsustainable
resource use

Poverty

Not including the


environmental costs
of economic goods
and services in their
market prices

Trying to manage and


simplify nature with too
little knowledge about
how it works

Environmental Problems
and Their Causes
Developing Countries

Population (P)

Developed Countries

Consumption per
person
(affluence, A)

Technological
impact per unit of
consumption (T)

Environmental
impact of
population (I)

Some Harmful Results of Poverty


Lack of
access to

Number of people
(% of world's population)

Adequate
sanitation
Enough fuel for
heating and
cooking

Electricity

2.4 billion (37%)

2 billion (31%)

1.6 billion (25%)

Clean drinking
water

1.1 billion (17%)

Adequate
health care

1.1 billion (17%)

Enough food
for good health

1.1 billion (17%)

Malnutrition

Fig. 1-12, p. 15

Sad Facts about Poverty


Poor people
Focus on survival at the expense of forests,
soil, grasslands, and wildlife
n

Live in areas with a greater risk of natural


disasters occurring
n

Work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions for


low wages
n

Sad Facts about Poverty


Poor people
Have reduced life expectancy

Have no government-sponsored health


plans or retirement plans
n

Die from preventable causes (malnutrition,


normally nonfatal infectious diseases, lack of
clean drinking water, and respiratory
problems)
n