Chapter 1 Flashcards Preview

ENV120 > Chapter 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (34):

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


Geography is...

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


Are humans separate or part of the environment?

Humans are part of the ecosphere



inhabited part of the earth
Interactions between all spheres


Major Causes of environmental problems

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



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



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


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



value defined relative to human interests, wants, and needs



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


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



systematic attempt to understand the universe, design a hypothesis


Assumptions of science

-Observations and analysis
-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


2 models of planning and management

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


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


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


Sustainable Livelihood

ensure basic human needs are met


4 Spheres

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


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


Canada by the numbers

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


Myth of superabundance

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


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


Why is Canada so energy intensive

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


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


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


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?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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