45 terms

IB Environmental Systems and Societies: Unit 1

Unit 1
Earth-centered worldview places equal value on all living organisms and the ecosystems in which they live, and it demands that we consider nature free of any associations with our own existence.
Human Centered; in sustainable development, this refers to ideas that focus solely on the needs of people without considering the creatures with whom we share the planet or the ecosystems upon which we depend.
believes that technological developments can provide solutions to environmental problems
Soft Ecologist
Emphasises the importance of the small scale - in communities, leisure, work; in participation by individuals in communal improvements and in minority rights. Lack of faith in modern large scale technology, globalisation and growth as a continuing goal.
environmental manager
We have an ethical duty to nature and protect the earth.
- protecting through governmental policies + legislation
- Protect the earth and it'll protect us
the world has infinite resources to benefit humanity, technology can solve all of our problems, wealth will improves, capitalism with minimal intervention, the Earth is a spaceship and we are the crew
Intergovernmental Bodies
Different governments combine to solve one global issue ex: United Nations
any event or situation that evokes a response
An action or change in behavior that occurs as a result of a stimulus.
negative feedback
a sequence of events that will cause an effect that is in the opposite direction to the original stimulus and thereby brings the system back to its equilibrium position.
positive feedback
a sequence of events that will cause a change in the same direction as the stimulus and thereby augments the change, moving the state of the system even further from the equilibrium point.
An assemblage of parts, working together, forming a functional whole.
Many types exist and occur on different scales: cells to people, to cars, to economies to the whole planet.
Reductionist Viewpoint
The parts are greater than the whole
Every part has a function, and it will always work that way
Holistic Viewpoint
Believe in synergy (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts)
You never know how the whole will function, even if you know how each part will function
emergent property
a property which a system has, but which the individual parts do not have on their own.
Element (Component of a System)
measurable things that can be linked together. Example, trees, shrubs, herbs, birds and insects (items we can count, measure or weigh)
Processes (Component of a System)
change elements from one form to another. These may also be called activities, relations, or functions. Example, growth, mortality, decomposition, and disturbances (what happens to the elements, or what the elements do)
The inputs and outputs of a system: represented by arrows in system diagrams.
Processes that may be either transfers (a change in location) or transformations (a change in the chemical nature, a change in state or a change in energy)
The stock held within a system: represented through boxes in system diagrams.
The size of the boxes may be representative of the size/magnitude of the storage.
Open System
Both materials and energy are
exchanged across the boundaries
of the system (most common system)
•Isolated Islands
•A single tree in the Forest
Closed System
Energy is exchanged across the boundaries of the system by matter is not (very rare in nature)

•No natural closed systems exist on Earth but the planet itself can be thought of as an "almost" closed system.
Light energy in large amounts enters the Earth's system and some is eventually returned to space a long wave radiation (heat).
Isolated Systems
Energy and matter are not exchanged across the boundaries of the system (cannot occur in nature)

•These do not exist naturally. Though it is possible to think of the entire Universe as an isolated system if only one exists. The universe is a "vacuum" of everything
Gaia Hypothesis
proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet
Biosphere II
An enclosed self-sustaining ecosystem based on the concept of total recycling; failed due to O2 depletion resulting from overgrowth of microbes
Model type: Physical
Wind tunnel, aquarium, globe, terrarium, model of the solar system
Model type: software
Global warming model, evolution
Model type: mathematical
Model type: Data
Flow Diagram
simplified version of reality

Help us understand how a system works and predict what would happen if something changed
A behavior that causes change in another's behavior.
deep ecologists
An ecocentrist who sees humans as subject to nature not in control of it.
influential individuals
often use media publications to raise issues and start the debate
Independent pressure groups
use awareness campaigns to effect a change
corporate business
a commercial or individual enterprise and the people who constitute it
The institution through which a society makes and enforces its public policies
Chipko Movement
In the 1970s, an organized resistance to the destruction of forests spread throughout India and came to be known as the Chipko movement. The name of the movement comes from the word 'embrace', as the villagers hugged the trees, and prevented the contractors' from felling them.
Rio Earth Summit (1992)
First International conference to address issues concerning all nations such as ocean conditions, loss of biodiversity, climate change (Kyoto Protocol was result of this conference)
Green Revolution
a large increase in crop production in developing countries achieved by the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield crop varieties.
Effects: increase erosion and pollution
Kyoto Protocol
(2005) controlling global warming by setting greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries
Worldviews: Communism
- Natural Resources used for need not excess
- environment is key to means of production
- even distribution
- pollution not allowed
(Environmental manager)
Worldviews: Native American
- communal property
- low impact tech
- spirituality of plants, animals, objects
- live in peaceful existence with nature
- Ecocentric/ Deep Ecologist
Worldviews: Christianity
- plants and animals for human benefit
- use resources on earth but with respect
- Genesis 1:28
- Human and Nature
- Anthropocentric
Worldviews: Buddhism
- Shifted from Humans are privileged for animals to believe humans and animals are equal
- we are dependent on each other
- love and kindness
Worldviews: Capitalism
socio- economic system => production
- owned privately for profit
- growth of Econ over nature
- Anthropocentric/Cornucopian
Worldviews: Islam
- Earth has been given to humans for sustenance
- animal world is equal to human world
- human not dominant
- responsible for environment
- no wastefulness