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Sustainability Exam Review - Ch. 1-6
Terms in this set (52)
refers to sysystems and processes that are able to operate and persist on their own over long periods of time
a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind
set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole
Characteristics of systems
1. Needs of the whole outway needs of the few parts
2. Interrelationships and interdependence
3. Predetermined goal or goals
Triple Bottom Line
(environment, economics and equity)
British scholar who argued that any population would continue to increase until it reached the carrying capacity of its resources, when various natural controls -- disease, famine, or war -- would cause ecological and social collapse reducing the numbers again. This is known as the Malthusian cycle
naturalist who championed the idea of national parks as a way to save vanishing wilderness and was largely responsible for establishing Yosemite National Park in 1890 and the Sierra Club two years later.
chemist who argued that increasing emission from burning fossil fuels was making the planet warmer and would lead to global climate change
Pickett and White
described ecosystems as dynamic rather than homogeneous stable systems of successional climax communities
Sponsored the Lacy Act of 1900 that made the interstate transport of illegally-killed wildlife a federal offense -- all in response to women's hats that were made with feathers at the time.
U.S. President from 1901 to 1909 who established the first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island in Florida for the protection of brown pelicans. He also used the Atiquties Act to protect the Grand Canyon
the view of nature as a resource to be efficiently managed
the study of relationships and connection in a larger environment
Also known as the food chain. In the food chain, food is metabolized at each trophic level and each plant or animal converts energy from the trophic level below it.
Trophic = Nutrition
Developed the concept of human ecology, in which humans are not separate from nature or managers of nature; they are part of nature and work within it .
Rachel Carson -- Silent Spring
a biologist who cautioned the use of pesticides and wrote about a world without birds due to pesticide use. She informed the everyday citizens on the potential harm pesticides could have on wildlife and even humans
Paul Ehrlich -- The Population Bomb
wrote about the exponential growth of the populations and the effects it would have if things continues as is
conflict in the Middle East led to an Arab Oil embargo and fuel shortage. This led to an interest in both energy conservation and alternatives to fuel fossils
community near Niagara Falls that was built on former waste lands. On parent noticed the health issues of her kids and others that eventually were connected to the toxic waste lands where their homes were built. She put pressure on the federal government and new legislation was passed to clean hazardous waste lands.
US Environmental Legislation of the 1970s
1. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
2. Environmental Protection Act
3. Clean Air Act
4. Water Pollution Control Act
5. Safe Water Drinking Act
6. Energy Policy Act
Birthed largely from citizens of Waren County, NC who protested the the fact that this Black community (among many others) where being used as the dump site for toxic chemicals.
Earthrise and Blue Marble
Two pictures taken by astronauts on the Apollo 8 and Apollo 17
1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment
organized by a union of countries for the first-ever global environmental summit -- "think globally, act locally".
1992 Rio Summit -- Agenda 21
organized by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where the Rio Declaration was formed. The Agenda 21, a blueprint for global partnership striving to build a high quality environment and healthy economy for all, was formed.
measuring human impact and comparing the world's carrying capacity
sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
signed by 43 countries including the U.S. agreeing to phase out a toxic chemical CFC because of its effect on the ozone layer.
Cradle to Cradle
imitation of nature's system in which waste does not exist and where byproducts from one cycle become nutrients of another
State two energy laws in your own words. These laws are usually called the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
1. Energy cannot be created or destroyed
2. Entropy will increase in any system until the system finally comes to a state of thermal equilibrium
Name some processes that remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Plants take carbon dioxide out of the air during photosynthesis
Name some processes that return carbon to the atmosphere.
When plants or animals that consumed the plants die, the originally captured carbon comes apart of the soil. In warm weather some of it raises back to into the air as carbon dioxide.
What is the difference between a food chain and a food web? How are they similar?
What is resilience?
the ability of a system to accommodate disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure.
What is the Gaia theory?
the idea that the planet is a self-regulating system
What maintains the oxygen in the atmosphere at its current level?
Predators are generally less numerous than their prey. How does this relate to the second law of thermodynamics?
A colleague has recently taken a course in ecology and now has just learned about the Gaia theory. The elated colleague tells you we should not be concerned about human-caused damage to natural systems because natural processes always restore the balance of nature. What would you say?
the number of individuals an environment can support without degrading a population's ecosystem
I = P x A x T
- shorthand way of saying that environmental Impact is a product of the size of human Populations, their Affluence or consumption per capital and the Technology that determines the environmental impact on each dollar spent
Exponential vs. Arithmetic population growth
1. Exponential: the quantity increases by a fixed percentage over a given time
2. Arithmetic: occurs when a quantity increases by adding the same number repeatedly
occurs as countries move from one stage of development to the next
the bonus and benefit of birth rates falling that result in higher economic activity and productivity
- low birth/death rates = decrease in elderly care and dependent children
3 positive requirement for stabilizing human potential
education, employment and reproductive health
developed steam engine that could burn coal to generate steam pressure in 1712
Adam Smith -- The Wealth of Nations
division of labor: the idea that dividing tasks into pieces with one worker fulfilling those repetitive pieces would increase productivity
The Club of Rome -- The Limits of Growth
group of industrialist who commissioned MIT systems analysts to study limits to a system. Concluded the planet would reach its limit in 100 yrs
Drivers of the Growth Model
heavy reliance on fossil fuels, acquisitiveness, and globalization
Greek word meaning household. Origin of the word ecology
the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year. Marker of economic progress. Does not factor in well being
index of sustainable economic welfare: basically a GDP that takes into account negative effects on the environment and well being
an occurrence outside of a system
Failed States and their implications for sustainability
countries that have lost their power to govern and thus they create intense poverty and they are unable to focus on caring for the environment
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