Environmental Sci Chapter 1
Terms in this set (40)
E-Sci is an interdisciplinary mixture of individual sciences and social values. On top of that, Political, Scientific and social aspects of human impact on the world.
Anything that affects an organism during its lifetime.
A region in which the organisms and the physical environment form an interacting unit.
Rain / Snow / Heat / Drought / Ice
International Joint Commission - main function - protection of the Boundary Waters from U.S. to Canada. It really had "no teeth" (no fines), but was a good place to start.
THE BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY
Signed in 1909, it provides the principles and mechanisms to help resolve disputes and to prevent future ones, primarily those concerning water quantity and water quality along the boundary between Canada and the United States.
The International Joint Commission or IJC
The International Joint Commission is an independent binational organization established by the United States and Canada under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.
The Commission has responsibilities related to the following treaties and agreements:
*Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909
*Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978, amended 1987
*Air Quality Agreement (1991)
The Commission is implemented in Canada by the Boundary Waters Treaty Act of the Canadian Parliament. Canada funds the IJC with about $4 million annually.
Global - 1st Worldwide Meeting
1992 - Earth Summit - [UN conference on Environmental Development * UNCED)] in Rio de Janeiro.
More than 178 governments adopted three documents related to sustainable development. Identified as:
* the Rio Declaration on Environment
* Development and the Statement of Principles for Sustainable Management of Forests.
1992 Earth Summit - Rio - Topics
* Pollution Control
* Waste Management
* Food Production
* Over Consumption of Water
(How about a canal from Lake MI to PHX)
1971 - Population Conference
How many humans could survive on earth? They said 308 billion. We are currently at 7.1 billion. In 1992 - asked to state how many humans could survive - they declined the challenge.
1997 Kyoto, Japan
3rd Conference of the UN. 125 Nations met. The conference is commonly referred to as the Kyoto Conference on Climate Change. They came up with the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol
Viewed by many as the most important step to date in Environmental Protection and International Diplomacy on how to elevate climate change. It focused on reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
123 of the 125 nations signed and agreed. The USA and Australia were the two who did not.
2009 - Copenhagen Climate Change Conference
2005 - Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
started in 2000 (the Millennium) and completed in 2005. It addressed food production increase at the expense of soil.
Environmental problems are complex and interrelated with issues specific to a given region.
Would be ideal to solving environmental problems. Examples:
* Pacific Northwest Logging - why or should - Detroit have a say in the Pacific NW?
The Wilderness North - Region
Much of Alaska and Northern Canada can be characterized as the "wilderness" - areas with minimal human influence.
* Most of the area is government owned.
* Politics has significant impact!
Wilderness North - Economic value
* Natural resources (minerals, oil)
* trees (renewable resource)
Resource Exploitation Involves
* Destroy area to get resources
* Long time to recover
In the Past - Short Term - Effects Long Term
Many short term - political and economic decisions failed to look at long term environmental implications. Ex:
Alberta - removing the forest to get the tar sand. The soil is completely depleted and nothing will grow.
Politicians are more willing to consider scientific and recreational values of wilderness. Ex:
2007 - Alaska fighting about the mine and now politicians are fighting against it too. It will:
* re-route 3 major rivers
* it is highly toxic
* extract gold and sulfate
Native People - or First Nation People (called in Canada)
Are sensitive to changes in land use that will force changes in their traditional ways of life.
Native Americans - Protecting their Rights
Increasingly sophisticated in negotiating with State, Federal and Provincial governments to protect their rights.
The Agricultural Middle Region
Middle of North America - dominated by intensive agriculture. The original, natural ecosystems have been replaced by managed agriculture.
Was - Buffalo ate the trees and fire cleared the trees. Very fertile land. The fires put a lot of nutrients into the soil and also dust from the Rocky Mountains helped the soil.
Jack Pine - Michigan
Only opens in intense heat from fire.
Tremendous economic value.
* mostly privately owned
* Government cannot easily control what happens on private land, they can ....
* Encourage activities such as "research".
* Grant subsidies (govt pays a farmer to plant - or not to plant).
* Develop markets for products.
Managed Ag Land
Major non-point pollution source. vs a "point" pollution source which gives you an exact "point" where the pollution comes from. Examples:
* Tillage - Air Pollution from dust
Mississippi River - flows right on through. From the Golf of Mexico west of the Mississippi river - is barren.
The Dry West Region
Areas where rainfall is inadequate for agriculture, but adequate for ranching and livestock production.
* Most property owned by US Government.
* Govt encourages - "Low Cost Grazing"
Water in the Dry West
Extremely valuable resource in this region. Conflicts are growing between ranchers and cities over the water.
Dry West - Wilderness Character
Low population density areas have a wilderness character. Conflicts have developed between economic land management for livestock vs wilderness preservation.
Forested West - Pacific Northwest Region
* Conifers forests dominate the Pacific Northwest landscape.
* Government and Commercial Timber Companies own large sections of land.
* Historically, the Govt sold much of this timber for less than it cost them to harvest (at a great loss).
1993 - US Forest Service
Directed them to stop selling the timber for below cost.
* Timber officials claim access to public land is necessary for them to remain in business and provide jobs to local economies.
* Conservationists argue - ecological and intangible values outweigh economic values.
* Scenery - Habitats - Recreation
Great Lakes & Industrial Northeast Region
Dominated by large metropolitan complexes with large complicated resource demands.
Use of Great Lakes and East Coast
Industrial use has resulted in contamination of water with toxic materials. These pollutants BIOACCUMLATES in the food chain.
Recreational Value. Much of NA concentrates around water.
The Diverse South Region
It is a Microcosm (a miniature copy of something, especially when it represents or stands for a larger whole) of all other regions.
The Diverse South - population
Extremely rapid population growth in some areas has led to problems with groundwater, transportation, and regulating the rate of growth.
The Diverse South - Poverty
In some areas encourages state and local government to accept industrial development at the expenses of other values.
The Diverse South - Coastline
Use of the coastline sometimes encourages development in unwise areas. Ex: New Orleans - Hilton on the Barrier Islands (FL &GA).