GE 100 Exam One (Chapters 1-11) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in GE 100 Exam One (Chapters 1-11) Deck (449)
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1

natural resource

something we get from the environment to meet our biological and economic needs and wants; environmental goods that come from the lithosphere

2

environmental services

natural processes that regulate conditions in the environment in ways that make the planet suitable for life

3

waste assimilation

the ability of the environment to absorb, detoxify, and disperse wastes to make them less harmful

4

pollution

a waste that produces a physical, biological, or chemical change in air, water, soil, or food that potentially is harmful to humans or other living organisms

5

principles of sustainability

1) a sustainable society does not use natural resources or produce wastes faster than they are regenerated or assimilated by the environment
2) a sustainable society must account for highly interconnected relationships with its environment and how these connections can cause decisions to succeed or fail
3) the first two principles of sustainability must be meshed with the ethical and moral principles that govern fairness among nations, between genders, and among current and future generations
4) social incentives must reward those who act in a sustainable way and punish those who act in a non-sustainable manner

6

system

a collection of parts that generates a regular or predictable pattern

7

non-renewable resource

any use diminishes its future availability

8

renewable resource

soil, biodiversity, and forests

9

best first principle

humans use the highest-quality sources of natural resources and environmental services first. As the high-quality sources of a resource are depleted, they are replaced by lower-quality sources. Low-quality sources require more effort to obtain than high-quality resources, therefore depletion makes it harder and harder to obtain resources

10

human development

the process of enlarging the range of people's choices by increasing their opportunities for education, health care, a clean environment, income, employment, and political freedom

11

externality

a cost associated with the production of consumption of a good that is not accounted for in the price of that good and that is borne by others in society

12

subsidy

government-provided goods or services that would otherwise have to be purchased in the market, or special exemptions from standard required payments or regulations

13

environmental performance bond

a sum of money a firm must deposit with a government agency before it is granted a permit for an activity with the potential for significant environmental impact; the bond is set at an amount equal to the best estimate of the worst potential future environmental damages; the bond is returned if the firm demonstrates that the anticipated damages did not and will not occur

14

ecological footprint

equal to all the natural resources and environmental services used to produce your food, clothing, and shelter, as well as the other goods and services you use

15

elements

a substance that cannot be broken down to other substances by ordinary chemical means

16

compounds

specific proportional combinations of two or more elements

17

nutrients

chemical elements that are essential for life

18

macronutrients

nutrients required in large amounts; "macro" describes the fact that organisms need these elements in relatively large amounts

19

trace elements

needed in very small amounts; critical to the health of an organism

20

atoms

units of matter; the smallest units of an element that can combine with other elements in a chemical reaction

21

molecule

an assembly of two or more tightly bound atoms; the package of atoms behaves as a single distinct object

22

subatomic particles

protons, neutrons, electrons

23

protons

positive charge, mass unit of one

24

neutrons

no charge, mass unit of ~one

25

electrons

negative charge, little mass

26

nucleus

protons and neutrons packed tightly at the center of an atom; electrons orbit nucleus at nearly the speed of light

27

atomic number

the number of protons in an atom's nucleus; subscript to the left of the element's symbol

28

atomic mass

the sum of the number of protons plus neutrons in the nucleus of an atom; written as a superscript to the left of the symbol of the element

29

isotopes

elements with the same atomic number but different atomic masses

30

physical change

one in which a substance changes its physical form and appearance but not its chemical composition; cosmetic changes