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1

Environmental Science is...

a means to study and address environmental problems
A multidisciplinary study
The study of the ways in which humans interact with their environments
The study of the whole environment

2

Geography is...

The science that studies the interdependence of geographic areas, natural systems, society and cultural activities all over space

3

Are humans separate or part of the environment?

Humans are part of the ecosphere

4

Ecosphere

inhabited part of the earth
Interactions between all spheres

5

Major Causes of environmental problems

1) Human Population Growth
2) Over consumption of natural resources
3) Pollution

6

Environment

combination of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere and biosphere in which humans, other living species, and non-animate phenomena exist

7

Resource

those components of the environment that humans can use
All components of the environment regardless of their immediate value for people

8

What are the requirements to become a natural resource?

1) Available in useful form
2) Available in sufficient amounts
3) Economically feasible to extract, manipulate, and sell
4) Culturally desired

9

Anthropocentric

value defined relative to human interests, wants, and needs

10

Ecocentric/Biocentric

values aspects of the environments simply because they exist and they have a right to exist

11

Sydney Tar Ponds

results of coking process & steel mill- dumping runoff leaching since late 19th century
347 cancer deaths per 100,000 in compared to 192 national average
Lower life expectancy by 5 years
High rates of birth defects and marriage
Happened because coal had too much sulphur=use more coal to get coke=low grade iron ore=use of more limestone=deterioration of furnace linings=more waste (PAH & PBC)
-overall an accumulation of nasty bi-products

12

Science

systematic attempt to understand the universe, design a hypothesis

13

Assumptions of science

-Observations and analysis
-Generalizations
-what you learned (pattern) can be taken and applied elsewhere
-Generalizations and theories can be tested
-Should be able to be tested by someone else and replicate results

14

2 models of planning and management

Need to plan for the future
1) Sustainable development
2) Sustainable livelihood

15

Sustainable development

meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
CRITIQUE- future is vague use precautionary principle

16

3 pillars of sustainable development

1) Environmental- limited resources
2) Economy- people deserve the best possible standard of living, wealth through economic activity
3) Social- needs of people must be met equally
-economy takes precedence over environment

17

Sustainable Livelihood

ensure basic human needs are met
* LOOK UP IN TEXT BOOK *

18

4 Spheres

1) Atmosphere
2) Bio/Ecosphere (all living things)
3) Hydrosphere (cryosphere, water)
4) Lithosphere (soils, rocks)

19

What did we learn from the Sydney Tar Ponds?

1. If we do not use basic science solutions are hard to find
2. when science is used it must be understood by the people managing
3. Need to involve people that have an interest in the community and that live there

20

Canada by the numbers

20% of wilderness
24% of wetlands
10% of forests
9% of freshwater
-longest coast line in the world

21

Myth of superabundance

have so many resources that we think we do not need to conserve them
ex) Bison=extirpated (extinct in Canada)

22

Consumption of Energy per capita

Canada and the US have the highest energy consumption per capita (North America as well) compared to all other countries and continents

23

Why is Canada so energy intensive

climate=cold
land area=large=lots of transportation
industrial structure= primary commodities require a lot of energy to produce
Urban Structure=low density, urban sprawl, single dwelling families
Worldviews= myth of superabundance, attitude that we do not need to use low energy things

24

Ecological Footprint

measure of human demands on the Earth's Ecosystems relative to planet's ecological capacity
- what you use compared to what is available

25

Canada's Ecological Footprint

1.8 global hectres available
2.7= average footprint
7.01= Canada's footprint
8th highest in the world
Pueto Rico= lowest at 0.04

26

Tragedy of the Commons

-my use takes away from your use
-try and maximize gain
-pasture open to all
-question is how do we control the use?

27

Commons resources

resources for which exclusion is difficult and joint use involves sub tractability
-difficult to control
-my use takes away from your potential use
ex) albalone

28

Managing commons resources

1) Conscience- people watching peer pressure
2) regulations (laws)
3) Mutual coercion- lots of group pressure, have conscience tweaked by a group
4) property rights- private ownership

29

Science-Based Management

Made with full consideration and correct interpretation of all scientific information
-scientific understanding revaled to all interested parties
-decision left to appropriate decision makers with authority

30

Guidelines to Science based management

1. Focus sceince on key issues and communicate in a policy
2. Use scientific information to clarify issues, opinions, and results
3. Clearly and simply communicate key findings to all participants
4) Evaluate if final decision is consistent with scientific information
5) Avoid advocacy of any particular solution

31

3 Questions (management)

1. Was all scientific information addressed
2. Was scientific information correctly interpreted (media)
3. Were risks, impacts, outputs, outcomes considered and shared

32

Carrying Capacity

Maximum population size that a given ecosystem can support for an indefinite period or on a sustainable basis
-what is available in the environment to support species and their offspring

33

Indicator Species

1. well suited for habitat
2. high enough population so we can see them
3. predictable response to change
-helps assess environmental trends
-if problems can help with policy or set priorities

34

Since 1970 35% decrease in ecological health WHY DO THIS NOW?

-declines in population
-finding new marine species every day
-freshwater species=huge drop