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Environmentally Sustainable Society

Society that satisfies the basic needs of its people without depleting or degrading its neutral resources and thereby preventing current and future generations of humans and other species from meeting their basic needs.


Environmental Science

An interdisciplinary study that uses information from the physical sciences and social sciences tolerant of how the earth works, how we interact with the earth, and how to deal with these environmental problems.


Planetary Management Worldview

beliefs that (1) we are the plant's most important species; (2) we will not run out of resources because of our ingenuity in developing and finding new ones; (3) the potential for economic growth is essentially limitless; and (4) our success depends on how well we can understand, control, and manage the earth's life support system mostly for our own benefit.


Stewardship Worldview

(1) we are the planet's most important species but we have an ethical responsibility to care for the rest of nature; (2) we will probably not run out of resources but they should not be wasted; (3) we should encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth and discourage environmentally harmful forms of economic growth; and (4) our success depends on how well we can understand, control, and manage and care for the earth's life-support systems for our benefit and for the rest of nature.


Environmental Worldview

How people think the world, works, what they think their role in the world should be, and what they believe is right and wrong environmental behavior (environmental ethics)



Unsustainable addiction to overconsumption and materialism exhibited in the lifestyles of affluent consumers in the Unties States and other developed countries.


Non-point Sources

Large or dispersed land areas such as crop fields, streets, and lawns that discharge pollutants into the environment over a large area.


Point Sources

Single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment. Ex: the smokestack of a power plant or an industrial plant, drainpipe of a meatpacking plant, chimney of a house, or exhaust pipe of an automobile.



An undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of air, water, soil, or food that can adversely affect the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.



Anything obtained from the living and nonliving environment to meet human needs and wants. It can also be applied to other species.



Broad process of global social, economic, and environmental change that leads to an increasingly integrated world.


Perpetual Resource

An essentially inexhaustible resource on a human time scale Ex: solar energy


Environmental degradation

Depletion or destruction of potentially renewable resource such as soil, grassland, forest, or wildlife that is used faster than it is naturally replenished. If such use continues, the resource becomes nonrenewable (on a human time scale) or nonexistent (extinct)


Sustainable yield

Highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be used without reducing its available supply throughout the world or in a particular area.


Renewable Resource

resource that can be replenished rapidly (hours to several decades) through natural processes. Ex: trees in forests, grasses in grasslands, wild animals, fresh surface water in lakes and streams, most groundwater, fresh air, and fertile soil. If such a resource is used faster that it is replenished, it can be depleted and converted into a nonrenewable resource.



Study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with their nonliving environment of matter and energy; study of the structure and functions of nature.



Person who is concerned about the impact of people on environmental quality and believe that some human actions are degrading parts of the earth's life-support systems for humans and many other forms of life.


Economic Growth

Increase in the capacity to provide people with goods and services produced by an economy; an increase in gross domestic product (GDP)


Per capita GDP

Annual gross domestic product (GDP) of a country divided by its total population at midyear. It gives the average slice of the economic pie per person. Used to be called per capita GNP.


Gross domestic product (GDP)

Annual market value of all goods and services produced by all firms and organizations, foreign and domestic, operating within a country.


Which of the following events has increased the impact of humans of the environment? 1.Advances in technology 2.Reduced human population growth 3.Use of tools for hunting

One and Three


As described in this chapter, environmental indicators

can be used to analyze the health of natural systems.


All of the following would be exclusively caused by anthropogenic activities EXCEPT

forest fires.


The population of some endangered animal species have stabilized or increased in numbers after human intervention. An example of a species that is still endangered and needs further assistance to recover is the...

snow leopard


Greenhouse gases

gases in our planets atmosphere that act like a blanket, trapping heat near Earth's surface. Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas.



Caused by human activity


Human Population

The human population is 7.2


What is the difference between Environment, Ecology, and Environmental Science?

Check the index cards


What keeps us alive?

The sun and the Earth's Natural Capital.


What is an Environmentally Sustainable Society?

One that preserves natural capital and lives off its income.


How rapidly is the human population growing?

Pretty Fast


What is the difference between economic growth and economic development?

More stuff and better living standards


What is Globalization?

Being connected


What is a resource?

Things we need or want


What are perpetual and Renewable resources?

Resources that can last


The tragedy of the commons

Degrading free renewable resources


What is our ecological footprint?

Our growing environmental impact.


What are nonrenewable resources?

Resources we can deplete


Where do pollutants come from, and what are their harmful effects?

Threats to health and survival


What can we do about pollution?

Prevention Pays, clean up pollutants in the environment and stop pollutants from entering the environment.


What are key environmental problems and their cause?

The big five, population growth, wasteful resource use, poverty, poor environmental accounting, and ecological ignorance.


What is the relationship between poverty and environmental problems?

Being poor is bad for people and the earth.


What is the relationship between resource consumption and environmental problems?



How can affluence help increase environmental quality?

Affluent countries have more money for improving environmental quality.


How are environmental problems and their causes connected?

Environmental quality is affected by interactions between population size, resource consumption, and technology.


Are things getting better of worse?



How should we live?

The way we view the seriousness of environmental problems and how to solve them depends on our environmental worldview.


What are the greatest environmental problems we face now and in the future?

Poverty and malnutrition, smoking, infectious diseases, water shortages, biodiversity loss, and climate changes are the most serious environmental problems we face.


What is environmentally sustainable economic development?

Rewards environmentally beneficial and sustainable activities and discourages environ-mentally harmful and unsustainable activities.