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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (47):
1

environmental
science

an interdisciplinary study of how humans inter-
act with the living and nonliving parts of their environment

2

Ecology

the biological science that studies how organisms, or living things, interact with one another and with the environment

3

Organisms

Living things

4

Species

a group of organisms that have a
unique set of characteristics that distinguish them from
all other organisms and, for organisms that reproduce
sexually, can mate and produce fertile offspring.

5

Ecosystem

a set of organisms within a defined area
or volume that interact with one another and with
their environment of nonliving matter and energy

6

Reliance on solar energy

The sun warms the planet and supports photosynthesis

7

Biodiversity

This refers to the astounding variety of organisms, the natural systems in which they exist and interact
(such as deserts, grasslands, forests, and oceans), and the natural services that these organisms and
living systems provide free of charge (such as
renewal of topsoil, pest control, and air and water
purification)

8

Chemical cycling or Nutrient cycling

this circulation of chemicals from the environment (mostly from soil and water) through organisms and back to the environment is necessary for life.

9

Natural Capital

the natural resources and natural services that keep us and other forms of life alive and support our human economies

10

Natural Resources

materials and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans

11

Natural services

processes in nature, such as purification of air and water and renewal of topsoil, which support life and human economies

12

Resource

anything that we can obtain from the environment to meet our needs and wants

13

Perpetual Resource

Solar energy

14

Renewable Resource

A resource that takes anywhere from several days to several hundred years to be replenished through natural processes

15

Sustainable Yield

The highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource indefinitely without reducing its available
supply

16

Nonrenewable Resources

resources that exist in a fixed quantity, or stock, in the earth’s crust

17

Reuse

involves using a resource over and over in the same form

18

Recycling

involves collecting waste materials and processing them into new materials

19

Economic growth

an increase in a nation’s output of goods and services.

20

Gross Domestic Product

the annual market value of all goods and services produced by all businesses, foreign and domestic, operating within a country

21

Per Capita GDP

Changes in a country’s economic growth per person are measured

22

Economic Development

an effort to use economic growth to improve living standards.

23

More developed countries

those with high average income and they include the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries.

24

Less developed countries

All other nations, in which 81% of the world’s people live, mostly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

25

Environmental Degradation or Natural Capital Degradation

we are living unsustainably by wasting, depleting, and degrading the earth’s natural capital at an accelerating rate.

26

Pollution

any presence within the environment of a chemical or other agent such as noise or heat at a level that is harmful to the health, survival, or activities of humans or other organisms.

27

Point Source

are single, identifiable sources

28

Non-Point Source

are dispersed and often difficult to identify.

29

Pollution cleanup or output pollution control

which involves cleaning up or diluting pollutants after we have produced them

30

Pollution prevention or input pollution control

which reduces or eliminates the production of pollutants

31

Affluence

More developed countries or wealth

32

Ecological footprint

the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a particular country or area with an indefinite supply of
renewable resources and to absorb and recycle the
wastes and pollution produced by such resource use.

33

Per capita ecological footprint

the average ecological footprint of an individual in a given country or area

34

Ecological tipping point

which causes an often irreversible shift in the
behavior of a natural system

35

Culture

the whole of a society’s knowledge, beliefs,
technology, and practices, and human cultural changes have had profound effects on the earth

36

Sustainability Revolution

This cultural transformation would involve learn-
ing how to reduce our ecological footprints and to live more sustainably

37

Exponential Growth

occurs when a quantity such as the human population increases at a fixed percentage per unit of time, such as 2% per year

38

Poverty

occurs when people are unable to fulfill their basic needs for adequate food, water, shelter, health,
and education

39

Environmental Worldview

is your set of assumptions and values reflecting how you think the world works and what you think your role in the world should be.

40

Environmental Ethics

which are beliefs about what is right and wrong
with how we treat the environment, are an
important element in our world views

41

Planetary Management Worldview

holds that we are separate from and in charge of nature, that nature exists mainly to meet our needs and increasing wants, and that we can use our ingenuity and technology to manage the earth’s life-support systems, mostly for our benefit, indefinitely.

42

Stewardship Worldview

holds that we can and should manage the earth for our benefit, but that we have an ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers, or stewards, of the earth

43

Environmental Wisdom Worldwide

holds that we are part of, and dependent on, nature and that nature exists for all species, not just for us

44

Environmentally Sustainable Society

one that meets the current and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and
equitable manner without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their basic needs

45

Natural Income

the renewable resources such as plants, animals, and soil provided by the earth’s natural capital

46

Social Capital

Making the shift to more sustainable societies and economies

47

Environment

Everything around us