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Arts and Humanities
History of the Environment
EXAM 1 GEOG150 Environment and Society
Terms in this set (65)
the natural environment explains and limits human societies, economies, and abilities.
the last 10,000 years, relatively stable moderate temps and development of complex human society.
humans can reduce their environmental impact and protect nature through creativity and technology.
The 9 environmental limits that define the safe space for humans to thrive in the earth system
when growth becomes less dependent on natural resources. Growth with lower, no, or positive environmental impacts.
The current geological epoch when human activity has become the dominant influence on the earth system
The rapid increase in human activity and impact on the environment since 1950.
disappearance of many large animals such as mammoths, dire wolves, and sabre tooth cats about 12,000 years ago likely as a result of human hunting.
adaption of wild plants and animals for human use around 10,000 years before the present day.
European expansion, control and settlement across the rest of the world from 1492.
transfer of plants, animals, diseases and people between old (europe, africa, asia) and new (americas) worlds from 1492.
the rapid development of industry based on steam power (coal), machines (iron, textile looms, railroads/canals, metals/chemicals) and large scale factories starting around 1750 in England.
A policy that encouraged settlement and land clearing on the frontier. People were given 160 acres of free land if they used it to farm.
Happened during the dust bowl (FDR)
The New Deal Conservation programs were
(1) civilian conservation corps (jobs and environmental)
(2) Soil conservation service which improves, protects, and conserves natural resources (environmental)
(3) Taylor Grazing Act which regulates livestock on public lands (environmental)
period of economic depression and severe drought in the 1930s that combined unemployment and poverty with environmental degradation of soil erosion, dust, and crop failures.
author/explorer who fought for the preservation of nature and wilderness in the Western US, especially Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy valleys and National Parks and founded the Sierra Club (1892).
forester who believed in scientific conservation for sustainable use of resources and became 1st head of US Forest Service in 1905.
key publications/public concern and protest about environmental pollution during the 1960s led to significant expansion of US environmental policy and laws in the 1970s.
biologist/author who wrote the Sea Around Us and Silent Spring which raised alarms about the use of pesticides, especially DDT, and their impact on birds and human health.
Bureau of Land Management
-multiple use-recreation, grazing, mining
-important to local economies and culture
-criticized for overgrazing, cost to public because of low fees, and political conflict
North American Free Trade Agreement
made in 1994 to remove trade barriers between US, Mexico, and Canada by removing tariffs and other protectionist policies.
a manufacturing facility that can import raw materials/components, assemble them, and export products free of customs duties.
located in free trade zones of Mexican border cities to take advantage of the low cost.
the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Colorado River Compact
1922 agreement among seven U.S. states in the basin of the Colorado River in the American Southwest governing the allocation of the water rights to the river's water among the parties of the interstate compact.
Central Arizona Project
A canal network bringing water from the Colorado River to the populous cities of Phoenix and Tucson, AZ.
a national monument that was recently made smaller. It went from 1.3 million acres to about 500,000 acres.
What were the nine planetary boundaries and which have been crossed? What are some criticisms of planetary boundaries idea?
The 9 boundaries are
(2) ocean acidification
(3) ozone depletion (crossed)
(4) phosphorus/nitrogen cycle (crossed)
(5) freshwater use
(7) particle pollution
(8) chemical pollution
(9) biodiversity loss (crossed)
criticisms: catastrophic, pessimistic, lack scientific basis, and suggests collapse
What are some criticisms of ecomodernism?
Not realistic. basically stating we shouldn't break our pace of development and we have technology that can recreate nature so we don't need to care about it.
What changed in terms of environmental impact around 1750 and 1950?
Around 1750 the industrial revolution began which led to a concentration of carbon-dioxide, oxide, and methane. Around 1950 the great acceleration began and there was in increase and fertilizers and pesticides.
What are two earth system trends that have increased steeply since 1950?
domesticated land and biosphere degradation
What are two planetary boundaries that have been exceeded?
Biodiversity loss and the nitrogen cycle
What is an example of a technology that decouples growth from natural resources
agricultural intensification, urbanization, nuclear energy, renewable energy, and aquaculture.
What are three major transformations or changes in the human impact on the environment prior to 1800?
Domestication of certain species, colonialism, and agriculture/irrigation.
What are two sources of information on past environments other than written evidence?
Geological evidence (ice cores, sediments), biological evidence (fossils, pollen, tree rings, genetics) and material/physical human evidence (pots/art, irrigation canals, firepits, settlements)
What are some environmental impacts of colonialism?
widespread change in land use, irrigation, mines, pollution, deforestation, extinction, hunting for fur, and taking of indigenous territory and fields.
What are the main environmental changes that characterize the Anthropocene?
What are two alternative dates and markers and the reasons they are proposed for the beginning of the Anthropocene?
Domestication, climate change, and the nitrogen cycle.
2 alternative dates are 1750 (industrial revolution) and 1950 (great acceleration).
Identify three eras of American environmental history and a person and law or policy associated with each?
(1) Nature and the Frontier--> Homestead Act of 1862: free 160 acres of land if farmed
(2) Conservation in the Progressive Era--> Theodore Roosevelt established the US Forest Service
(3) The Dust Bowl--> President Franklin established Civilian Conservation Corps
(4)Environmental Movement--> Rachel Carson and the creation of National Environmental Policy Act
(5) Reversals and New Risks--> President Reagan and he opened up public lands for ranching, mining, timber, and hunting
What policies encouraged environmental change on the US frontier?
national environmental policy act, clean water act, clean air act.
What people and policies are associated with conservation in the Progressive era?
John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt.
US Forest Service
Why did John Muir and Gifford Pinchot disagree about the Hetch Hetchy dam?
John Muir was to preserve nature and keep people out with Gifford Pinchot wanted to still use the areas just not destroy them.
What are examples of some New Deal conservation programs?
(1) Civilian Conservation Corps
(2) Soil Conservation Service
(3) Taylor Grazing Act
What are three historical examples of how human activity in Arizona altered the environment?
irrigation, hunting/gathering, and domestication.
What events caused the rise of environmental concern in the 1960s?
The use of pesticides, especially DDT. Fertilizer was also being created.
What is an example used by Rachel Carson to illustrate the serious environmental problems of the 1960s?
In her book Silent Spring, she describes what life would be like without any birds and how it affects the environment and other animals.
What are some examples of important US environmental legislation passed in the 1970s?
-National Environmental Policy Act
-Clean Air Act
-Clean Water Act
What are the main government agencies that manage the Federal Lands? Where are the largest areas of Federal Lands?
The National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service. The West Coast has the most Federal lands in the States Alaska, and in Death Valley.
What are examples of the oldest, largest and most popular US National Parks?
oldest: Yellowstone and Yosemite
largest: Wrangell- St. Elias, Alaska, Death Valley
most popular: Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, and Zion, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, and Yellowstone
What are some of the challenges facing the National Parks and solutions to them?
challenges: Budgets and politics, overcrowding, human-wildlife conflict, pollution-air&water&noise, inclusive access, and climate change.
solutions: Ban cars and provide shuttle, higher entrance charges, permits, promote less popular areas of parks.
How does the BLM subsidize ranchers? Why do some people oppose BLM? What are some environmental impacts of overgrazing and other controversies over ranching?
The BLM provides 18,000 permits and leases for grazing on more than 90% of BLM land.
Opposed because it causes overgrazing, the cost to the public because of the low fees, and it has political conflict.
impacts: soil erosion, wildlife impacts, water pollution, invasive grasses.
What are three of the perspectives or views of different people and groups on the establishment or reduction of Bears Ears National Monument?
(1) native american: want the land back because they had it first and know how to protect it and care for it.
(2) government: wants to reduce it because they think the government shouldn't be in charge of so much.
(3) hunters: want it smaller so they can hunt and use motored vehicles in more places.
What are two examples of shared environmental problems on the US-Mexico border?
Water problems and air pollution.
What are two environmental concerns around the border wall?
wildlife, water flows, and fragile soils.
Why was NAFTA opposed for environmental reasons?
-more pollution from agriculture and industry in response to growth, trade, and relocation
-factories would move to mexico seeking weaker environmental regulation
-competition would reduce overall environmental protections
What was done to try and reduce the environmental impact of NAFTA and improve environmental conditions on the border?
BECC and NADBank improved environmental infrastructure.
Which state has the largest areas of national parks and wildlife refuges?
What are the two most important current sources of energy for generating electricity in Arizona?
nuclear power and coal.
What are three examples of environmental injustice in the US?
(1)pesticide exposure of Latino farm workers in California 1960s>
(2)PCB (toxic) waste dumped in a landfill in Warren County, North Carolina, in 1992 exposed a poor and African-American population
(3)disaster impacts on disadvantaged communities
How does Geographical Information Science (GIS) reveal environmental injustice?
They can be used to integrate information on hazards (floods, pollution) with socioeconomic data to show patterns of unequal exposure and vulnerability.
How did Hurricane Katrina reveal environmental injustice?
- low income, elderly, and african american residents were more likely to be affected and killed because they live in low lying areas, did not have transport, did not have money, were scared of looting
- lack of government response blamed on racism
- areas that were evacuated and damaged were gentrified
What are reasons why communities of color and poor populations are more exposed to environmental hazards?
-land is cheaper near polluted and hazardous locations
-people of color and poor populations work in dirty industries and live near them
-white people and better off can afford to leave polluted areas or have the time, money, and power to protect exposure
-people of color have little political power to demand regulation or clean up
What are two examples of international environmental (in)justice?
-rich countries export of waste to poor countries
-unequal responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and unequal impacts of climate change
Which crop(s) were domesticated in the Americas?
Beans, squash, and corn . The "3 sisters"
Which economic sector uses the largest percentage of Arizona's water?
What did Arizona have to give up to other southwestern states to have the Central Arizona Project built?
They are the first state to take cuts to its water allocation in the event of a shortage/drought.
What is one environmentally destructive measure included in the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan?
expansion of groundwater, drilling, maybe cloud seeding.
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