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Environmental Science Chapter 2
Terms in this set (35)
What were key factors in the near extinction of the American bison from the Great Plains of the United States?
The key factors in the near extinction of the American bison from the Great Plains of the U.S. are that new settlers slaughtered them. While building the railroads, bison hunters provided crews with meat. People shot them for sport, letting the carcasses rot. Hunters shot them for their hides and tongues, leaving the rest to rot. Farmers shot them because they damaged farms. Ranchers killed them for grazing competition. The U.S. army killed many to subdue the Native Americans by cutting off their source of food.
What are hunter-gatherers, and what were their major environmental impacts?
Hunter-gatherers survived by collecting edible wild plant parts, hunting, fishing, and scavenging meat killed by other predators. They lived in small, nomadic, groups. Their environmental impact was small, but they used tools and fire to convert forests into grasslands. They also contributed to the extinction of some large animals, such as the woolly mammoth and the saber-tooth tiger. They altered the distribution of plants as they carried seeds and plants to new areas.
What is the agricultural revolution? What are its major benefits and environmental drawbacks?
The agricultural revolution began in several regions of the world. It involved a gradual move from usually nomadic hunting and gathering groups to settled agricultural communities in which people domesticated wild animals and cultivated wild plants. The benefits were that groups were able to support more people, they were able to accumulate material goods, surplus food could be grown, stored, and sold, and urbanization became more practical. The drawbacks were that it increased deforestation, destruction of natural habitats due to irrigation systems, environmental soil degradation due to erosion, salt build-up, and overgrazing, urbanization created waste and sewage, increasing air and water pollution, as well as spread of disease, increased goods also increased waste and pollution, conflicts increased over land ownership, power, etc., and the survival of wild plants and animals became less important.
What are slash-and burn cultivation and shifting cultivation? Under what conditions can these practices be a sustainable form of agriculture?
Slash-and-burn cultivation was where they prepared land for planting, cut down the trees and burned the underbrush. The ashes fertilized the nutrient-poor soils. Shifting cultivation is where a used spot is depleted of nutrients. They clear a new plot, and give the old plot 10-30 years to become fertile. They can have sustainable cultivation if while a field regenerates, they use it for tree crops, medicines, fuelwood, and other purposes.
What is the industrial revolution? What are its major benefits and environmental drawbacks?
The industrial revolution began in the mid-1700s in England and arrived in the U.S. in the 1800s. It led to a rapid expansion in the production, trade, and distribution of material goods. The benefits are mass production of affordable products, increase in agriculture productivity, lower infant mortality rate, longer life span, decrease in population growth, better health, birth control, and education, methods of controlling pollution, greater average income, and old age security. The drawbacks are all of our resource problems and environmental problems of today came from an industrialized societies.
What is the information and globalization revolution? What are its potential major benefits and environmental drawbacks?
The information and globalization revolution is where new technologies like phones, tv, radios, computers, internet, etc. are available globally. The benefits are that it helps us to understand the earth and other complex systems, it allows us to respond to environmental problems faster, it allows us to monitor the world's natural resources, it enables us to develop computer monitored models and maps, and it can reduce pollution and degradation by replacing materials with data. The drawbacks are that it can cause confusion and a sense of hopelessness when trying to sort out useful environmental information, and it increases environmental degradation and decreases cultural diversity as world homogenizes.
What are the four major eras of environmental history in the United States?
The four major eras of environmental history in the United States are the tribal, frontier, conservation, and environmental eras.
What major events happened during the tribal era of environmental history in North America?
The tribal era of environmental history in North America lasted about 10,000 years, it was occupied by about 5-10 million people, they had a low environmental impact, and they practiced hunting and gathering, they burned and cleared fields, and they planted crops.
What major events happened during the frontier era of environmental history in the United States?
The frontier era was from 1600-1890. Europeans began to come to North America. They began to settle and expand the country. Government owned land was given or sold cheaply to railroads, timber, mining companies, land developers, schools and universities, and homesteaders to encourage westward movement.
What is the frontier environmental worldview? How did it contrast with the environmental worldview of some Native American cultures?
The frontier environmental worldview was the idea that the continent was a wilderness to be conquered by clearing and planting, and with vast resources. It contrasted with the views of the Native Americans because the Native Americans respected the land and did not believe in land ownership.
What were the environmental contributions of Henry David Thoreau?
The environmental contributions of Henry David Thoreau were that he lived at Walden Pond for two years, then wrote Life in the Woods.
What were the environmental contributions of George Perkins Marsh?
The environmental contributions of George Perkins Marsh were that he wrote Man and Nature, which introduced environmental ideas to the government.
What major events happened during the conservation era from 1870 to 1930?
Major environmental events that happened during the conservation era were the Forest Reserve Act, the Sierra Club, the preservationist movement, the National Park System, President power for wildlife refuges, the U.S. Forest Service, the ideas of sustainable yield and multiple use, the Hetch Hetchy Valley controversy, public health improvements, resource removal at low prices, and President Hoover said that federal lands should be given to the states.
What major events happened during the conservation era from 1930 to 1960?
Major environmental events that happened during the conservation era from 1930 to 1960 was national resource conservation, public health improvements, the CCC, low-cost public land, the TVA, building dams, the Soil Conservation Act, and the Soil Erosion Service.
What were the major environmental contributions of John Muir?
John Muir started the Sierra Club and was the leader of the preservationist movement.
What were the major environmental contributions of Theodore Roosevelt?
Theodore Roosevelt started over 16 million acres in wildlife refuges, created national parks, and national forests.
What were the major environmental contributions of Gifford Pinchot?
Gifford Pinchot came up with the ideas of sustainable yield and multiple use. He was also the leader of the preservationist movement.
What were the major environmental contributions of Alice Hamilton?
Alice Hamilton made public health improvements and fixed occupational hazards.
What were the major environmental contributions of Franklin D. Roosevelt?
Franklin D. Roosevelt did the Soil Erosion Act, the CCC, and the TVA.
Distinguish between preservationists and conservationists. Describe the ongoing controversy between these two groups in the environmental community.
Preservationists wanted us to not touch the land at all. Conservationists wanted us to touch it, but to use it wisely. They had a controversy called the Hetch Hetchy Valley controversy, where the conservationists wanted to dam the valley, but the preservationists wanted it to remain. The conservationists won. Today the controversy over the use of public lands still continues.
What is the environmental movement in the United States?
The environmental era began in the 1960s and continues today. It deals with resource conservation including quality of resources rather than just conserving them. People want to curtail pollution and clean-up the polluted environment.
What major environmental events happened in the 1960s?
In the 1960s, Silent Spring was written, there was the Wilderness Act, the science of ecology came out, people became aware to endangered species, U.S. Apollo, and the spaceship-earth environmental worldview.
What major environmental events happened in the 1970s?
In the 1970s Earth Day started, the EPA, ESA, OPEc, BLM, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the department of energy, The Antiquities Act, the Comprehensive Environment Response, and the Compensation and Liability Act.
What major environmental events happened in the 1980s?
In the 1980s was the sagebrush rebellion led by Ronald Reagan. He overturned many environmental laws. After him George Bush promised to be an environmental president, but did not do anything.
What major environmental events happened from 1990 to 2002?
From 1990 to 2002, environmentalists were appointed in the government, SUVs had to have less air pollution, forest health was a priority, the grassroots organizations, and college campuses started to care more about the environment.
What were the major environmental contributions of Rachel Carson?
Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring and informed the people about the dangers of DDT.
What were the major environmental contributions of Jimmy Carter?
Jimmy Carter did the Antiquities Act, the Superfund for CERCLA, and started the Department of Energy.
What were the major environmental contributions of Richard Nixon?
Richard Nixon started the EPA and the ESA.
What is the spaceship-earth environmental worldview?
The spaceship-earth environmental worldview was when the U.S. Apollo took a picture of the earth from space, and it reminded us that we needed to take care of the earth because it is all we have.
What is the sagebrush rebellion?
The sagebrush rebellion was a political campaign against government regulation of lands.
How did Ronald Reagan further the sagebrush rebellion and weaken environmental laws?
Ronald Reagan was an advocate for less federal control. he opposed environmental policies, increased energy, mineral development, and timber cutting. He also cut federal spending on environmental studies, and lowered gas mileage, thus relaxing pollution standards.
Why were the 1990s to 2002 largely disappointing for the environmental movement and encouraging for the anti-environmental movement in the United States?
The environmentalists had to spend too much of their time fighting efforts to discredit the environmental movement and to weaken or eliminate most environmental laws passed during the 1960s and 1970s, and countering claims by anti-environmental groups that major environmental problems like global warming and ozone depletion are hoaxes or not very serious. It was encouraging for the anti-environmentalists because of continuing support from its backers and the 1994 federal election, which gave Republicans a majority in Congress.
What do environmental leaders believe are the five most important environmental issues we face during the 21st century?
1. The threat of climate change and ecosystem and economic disruption from enhanced global warming.
2. Growing water shortages and political conflicts over water supplies in many local and regional areas.
3. Continuing population.
4. Continuing biodiversity loss.
5. Continuing poverty.
What are seven major goals of the U.S. environmental movement during the early 21st century?
1. Focus on the five major problems.
2. Protect an additional 40 million hectares of land in the U.S.
3. End commercial logging in U.S. national forests and use these forests primarily for recreation and conservation.
4. Slow urban sprawl and build more livable and sustainable cities.
5. Build enough public support for these and other environmental issues to counter opposition by the anti-environmental movement.
6. Build a pro-environmental coalition in Congress by electing pro-environmental democrats and republicans to the U.S. Congress.
7. To use the political and economic system to improve environmental quality by phasing our environmentally harmful government subsidies.
What major contributions did Aldo Leopold make to the environmental history of the United States? What is his land ethic?
Aldo Leopold joined the U.S. Forest Service, was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, and helped to found the conservation and environmental movements of the 20th century. He also wrote A Sand County Almanac. His land ethic was a philosophy in which humans as a part of nature have an ethical responsibility to preserve wild nature.
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