Flashcards in Environmental Impacts Deck (39):
What proportion of the earth's biocapacity will be needed by 2040
What proportion of the earth ecosystem have been degraded in the last 50 years?
What is meant by the switch from durables?
- It's the switch from reusable produce to one use and throw away produce
- for convenience
- e.g. milk
In which cases have durables replaces consumables?
- Trend to go back to cloth nappies
- Moon cup
Are consumables or durables better for the environment?
Usually durables because they reduce the amount of waste going to landfill or ending up in the sea
- However does depend- cloth nappies washed in harsh chemicals and high temperatures is bad for the environment
What is a product cycle and whats happening to them?
- The amount of time a product is usable (before it breaks or isn't cool anymore)
- Products designed to fail- iPhone
- Becoming shorter
- Average life cycle is 8 months (New Yorker, 2013)
How is global warming linked to food?
- Deforestation for food production
- Methane from meat production (especially cows)
- Fertiliser increase -> nitrous oxide
- Transportation -> carbon dioxide
What's the trend between meat consumption and wealth?
- As wealth increases so does meat consumption
(Tilman and Clark, 2014)
Why hasn't meat consumption increased with wealth in India?
- Cultural / religious reasons
Why is beef particularly bad?
- cows take up more space (8x more land is used for feeding animals than people)
- beef uses 4x more water than chicken and 10x more than wheat
- US cows eat corn- makes them gassy-> methane
- Fertiliser for cow feed nitrous oxide and algae pools which take oxygen from ocean
What is the trend for beef consumption
- Increasing around the world
- Decreasing in the US
How much greenhouse gases comes from US burgers?
158,000,000 ton of greenhouse gases per year
What are the key environmental costs of deforestation?
- loss of carbon sink
- loss of regulator of the hydrological cycle
Where is meat production least efficient?
- Livestock is underfed, produce little milk and few offspring
- Difficult weather conditions make growing crops a struggle
What proportion of GHG emissions are from agriculture?
- biggest cause within agriculture is land use change and forestry
What is sustainable consumption?
‘Sustainable consumption is the use of goods and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generations’ (OECD 2002)
What are the issues with the current view on sustainable development? (5)
- relies on externalising environmental and social costs
- ignores the the full range of psychological and sociological motivations (e.g. affordability, availability, convenience, etc.)
It pits individual consumers against global corporations and political structures to solve global environmental problems when a collective effort would be more appropriate
It tends to only think about consumer goods, what about institutional consumption (out of reach of consumer pressure)?
The alternative is to move away from the individual account towards the collective, to redefine growth to include wellbeing
What percentage of Europeans say it's important to protect the environment?
What is the value action gap?
- Consumers are aware that there is an environmental issue and want to help but just don't act on it
What are the barriers to behaviour change for consumers? (5)
- Lack of understanding
- High cost
- Short term thinking
- Tragedy of the commons
What is consumer lock in?
- Consumers locked in to a process of unsustainable consumption with little control
- Ordinary every-day consumption is about convenience; habit; practice and responses to social and institutional norms (lifestyle)
How is consumption like a religion?
- Consumption is symbolic
- creates our identities
- Commodities valued for what they represent
- Giving them up is not an option
What is ethical citizenship?
- Changing behaviour for ethical reasons
- Not superficial
- political citizenship across generations and species
What is citizenship thinking?
- about justice and responsibility
- emphasizes the right of both humans and non humans- e.g. right to a habitable environment
- Emphasis on the common good- environmental self sacrifice
What are the problems with ecological citizenship?
- Not everyone around the world has the same values and norms
- Is the citizen the best agent of political agent
- citizenship is more about activity than status
What should ecological citizens do?
- reduce unsustainable actions
- see humanity as collaborative rather than competitive - one earth thinking
What are "citizen- consumers"?
- Fuzes consumption with citizenship
- consumers are agents of change
- points of consumption are sites of power
- places individuals at centre- shift of responsibility from gov. to consumer
What are social practices?
routine-driven, everyday activities situated in time and space and shared by groups of people as part of their everyday life
- underpin how we consume
- to benefit the environment we need to understand why individuals commit to consumption
What are barriers and conflicts to behaviour change? (4)
- New and contested forms of knowledge
- Contested ascriptions of responsibility
- Alternative conceptions of scale
- New sites of practice for activism
What is meant by new and contested forms of knowledge?
- expert vs lay knowledge
- public shown as unknowing
- people may not make the most environmentally friendly decisions because they dont know what the best decisions are
- However, empirical evidence shows acceptance of environmental practices (i.e. recycling, conserving water etc)
What is meant by contested ascriptions of responsibility?
- Theres an unwillingness to accept responsibility for certain issues (climate change)
- challenge of thinking globally and acting locally
- Collective change is needed for environment
- everyone is responsible for their actions
What is meant by alternative conceptions of scale?
- Climate change seen as global- so small changes unlikely to make a difference
- People connect more with local issues and solutions
- people feel like we can't change americans driving their cars so why should i worry about it
What is meant by new sites of practice for activism?
- Climate change is thought about differently in different contexts
- climate change is continuous but people think about it differently in different contexts- e.g. home/ work / holiday
Who are most environmentally conscious in their holiday choices?
- older people
- difficult due to price
- easyjet culture- cheap and easy to fly abroad
What conventions are behind sustainable consumption?
- Being a good parent
- Being healthy
- Being a good consumer
(in that order)
What are the market conventions and the opinion conventions of being a good consumer?
- Market- saving money (not always the most sustainable, i.e. using less energy is cheaper but buying organic is expensive)
- Opinion- buying the one you like- might buy soya milk because you like that it's good for the environment or buy an apple laptop because it looks nice
Is buying local food better for the environment?
- Yes- fewer food miles
- No- there are many variables which impacts ghg emissions of food productions
- For British consumers- buying spanish lettuce is better for the environment than british lettuce because it's grown in heated greenhouses (Edward-Jones, 2010)
- Also can put unnecessary stain on local environment
Name 4 variables which impact ghg emissions of food production?
- soil type
- transportation vehicle
- storage method