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APES - CH 1 - Environmental Problems, Their Causes and Sustainability
Terms in this set (52)
the capacity of the earth's natural systems and human cultural systems to survive, flourish, and adapt to changing environmental conditions into the very long-term future.
everything around us.
an interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the living and nonliving parts of their environment.
the biological science that studies how organisms interact with one another and with their environment.
a living thing
a group of organisms with a unique set of characteristics that distinguish them from all other organisms.
a set of organisms within a defined area or volume that interact with one another and with their environment of nonliving things.
a social movement dedicated to protecting the earth's life support system for all forms of life.
three principles of sustainability
reliance on solar energy, biodiversity, and chemical cycling.
the natural resources and natural services that keep us and other forms of life alive and support our human economies.
materials and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans.
a resource that takes anywhere from several days to several hundred years to be replenished through natural processes (air, water, soil, plants, and wind).
resources that exist in a fixed quantity, or stock, in the earth's crust (copper, oil, and coal).
processes in nature, such as purification of air and water and renewal of topsoil, which supports life and human economies.
the upper layer of any soil in which plants can grow.
anything that we can obtain from the environment to meet our needs and wants.
a resource whose supply is continuous.
the highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource indefinitely without reducing its available supply.
involves using a resource over and over in the same form.
involves collecting waste materials and processing them into new materials.
an increase in the nation's output of goods and services.
gross domestic product (GDP)
measures economic growth. The annual market value of all goods and services produced by all businesses, foreign and domestic, operating within a country.
per capita GDP
how changes in a country's economic growth are measured. It is the GDP divided by the total population at midyear.
an effort to use economic growth to improve living standards.
countries with high average income.
middle-income or moderately-developed countries OR low-income least-developed countries.
environmental degradation/natural capital degradation
the process where people live unsustainable by wasting, depleting, and degrading the earth's natural capital at an accelerating rate.
any presence within the environment of a chemical or other agent such as noise or heat at a level that is harmful to the health, survival, or activities of humans or other organisms.
single, indentifiable sources of pollution.
sources of pollution that are dispersed and often difficult to identify.
harmful materials that natural processes can breaks down over time.
harmful chemicals that natural processes cannot break down.
pollution cleanup/output pollution control
involves cleaning up or diluting pollutants after we have produced them.
pollution prevention/ input pollution control
reduces or eliminates the production of pollutants.
tragedy of the commons
"If I do not use this resource, someone else will. The little bit that I use will not matter, and anyway, it's a renewable resource.
the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a particular country or area with an indefinite supply of renewable resources and to absorb and recycle the wastes and pollution produced by such resource use.
per capita ecological footprint
the average ecological footprint of an individual in a given country or area.
ecological tipping point/ threshold level
causes an often irreversible shift in the behavior of a natural system.
the whole of a society's knowledge, beliefs, technology, and practices.
a cultural transformation that would involve learning how to reduce our ecological footprints and to live more sustainably.
occurs when a quantity such as the human population increases at a fixed percentage per unit of time.
occurs when people are unable to fulfill their basic needs for adequate food, water, shelter, health, and education.
your set of assumptions and values reflecting how you think the world works and what you think your role in the world should be.
beliefs about what is right and wrong with how we treat the environment.
planetary management worldview
holds that we are separate and in charge of nature, that nature exists mainly to meet our needs and increasing wants, and that we can use our ingenuity and technology to manage the earths life-support systems, mostly for our benefit, indefinitely.
holds that we can and should manage the earth for our benefit, but that we have an ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers, or stewards, of the earth. It says we should encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth and development and discourage environmentally harmful forms.
environmental wisdom worldview
holds that we are a part of, and dependent on, nature and that nature exists for all species, not just for us. According to this view, our success depends on learning how life on earth sustains itself and integrating such environmental wisdom into the ways we think and act.
environmentally sustainable society
one that meets the current and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their basic needs.
living sustainably on renewable resources provided by the earth's natural capital
making the shift to more sustainable societies and economies.
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