Chapter 1 Notes AP Environmental Science
Terms in this set (41)
Describe what is meant by the phrase "an environmentally sustainable society" as relate to the human population.
The human population must meet the current and future needs in order to be an environmentally sustainable society.
What is the natural capital?
The natural resources and natural services that keep us and other forms of life alive and support our economies.
What are natural resources?
Materials and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans. Often classified as renewable (water, air, soil, plants, and wind) or nonrenewable (copper, oil, coal)
What are natural services?
Functions of nature, such as purification of air and water, which support life and human economies.
What is nutrient cycling?
The circulation of chemicals necessary for life. Dead organic matter --> decomposition --> inorganic matter in soil --> organic matter in plants --> organic matter in animals, repeat
What is solar capital?
Energy from the sun; without it natural capital would collapse
What is natural capital degradation?
Human activities degrade the natural capital by using normally renewable resources faster than nature can renew them.
What is the difference between economic growth and economic development?
While economic growth provides people with more goods and services, economic development has the goal of using economic growth to improve living standards.
Distinguish between developed countries and developing countries.
Developed: 1.2 billion people total, highly industrialized, high per capita GDP PPP, 18% of the population, 85% of the wealth, 75% of pollution/waste
Developing: 5.5 billion people, some middle income moderately developed and others are low income least developed, per capita GDP PPP is steadily declining, 82% of population, 15% of wealth, 25% pollution/waste
What is environmental degradation and give 3 examples of it.
Depletion or destruction of a potentially renewable resource such as soil, grassland, forest, or wildlife that is used faster than it is naturally replenished. If such continues, the resource becomes nonrenewable (on a human time scale) or extinct. Examples: water and air pollution, decreased wildlife habitats/shrinking forests, soil erosion
What is an ecological footprint?
The amount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply the people in a particular country or area with resources and to absorb and recycle the wastes and pollution produced by such resource use.
Explain the difference between the footprint of a developing and developed country.
Developed countries have huge ecological footprints, such as the US (9.7 hectares per person) and the European Union (4.7 hectares per person) In 2003, the US ecological footprint was 12 times larger than low income countries.
What is culture?
Whole of a society's knowledge, beliefs, technology, and practices.
What are the 3 different cultural changes that have occurred?
Agricultural revolution 10,000 - 12,000 years ago; Industrial-medical revolution approx 275 years ago; Information-globalization revolution approx 50 years ago
How have the 3 cultural changes/revolutions led to more environmental degradation?
Allowing the human population to increase because of increased food supplies, longer life spans, increasing our ecological footprints
What is the environmental or sustainability revolution?
Cultural change that includes halting population growth and altering lifestyles, political and economic systems, and the way we treat the environment with the goal of living more sustainably.
Identify 5 basic causes of the environmental problems we face today.
Population growth, wasteful and unsustainable resource use, poverty, failure to include harmful environmental costs of goods and services in their market prices, and insufficient knowledge of how nature works.
What is poverty and in what way do poverty and affluence affect the environment?
When people are unable to meet their basic needs for adequate food, water, shelter, health, and education. The poor deplete forests, soil, grasslands, fisheries, and wildlife in order to meet basic needs. Poverty also affects population growth, because children help get fuel, carry drinking water, care for the old, etc. The affluent have high levels of consumption and unnecessary waste of resources.
Explain the problems we face by not including the harmful environmental costs in the prices of goods and services.
Consumers are not aware of them and can't evaluate the harmful effects on the earth and their own health. Governments give companies subsidies to assist them in using resources to run their businesses, but degrades the natural capital.
What is the planetary management worldview?
Separate from nature, nature exists mainly to meet our needs and increasing wants, and we can manage the earth's life-support systems mostly for our benefit.
What is the stewardship worldview?
We can/should manage the earth for our benefit with ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers of the earth. Encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth and development and discourage the harmful.
What is the environmental wisdom worldview?
Part of and dependent on nature, nature exists for all species. Also encourages earth-sustaining forms of economic growth and development and discourages earth degrading forms. Our success depends on learning how life on earth sustains itself and integrating such environmental wisdom into the ways we think and act.
What is the environment?
Everything around us. It includes all of the living and the nonliving things with which we interact. Also, it includes a complex web of relationships that connect us with one another and with the world we live in.
What is environmental science?
An interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the environment of living and nonliving things.
What is environmentalism?
A social movement dedicated to protecting the earth's life-support systems for us and all other forms of life.
What is Sustainability?
The ability of the earth's various natural systems and human cultural systems and economies to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions indefinitely.
What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?
The annual market value of all goods and services produced by all firms and organizations, foreign and domestic, operating within a country.
What is Per Capita GDP?
GDP divided by the total population at midyear, which is the economic growth of each person.
What is Per Capita GDP PPP?
A measure of the amount of goods and services that a country's average citizen could buy in the United States.
What is a resource?
Anything obtained from the environment to meet our needs and wants.
What is conservation?
The management of natural resources with the goal of minimizing resource waste and sustaining resource supplies for current and future generations.
What is a perpetual resource?
Essentially inexhaustible resource on a human time scale because it is renewed continuously (ex. Solar energy)
What is a renewable resource?
Can be replenished fairly quickly through natural processes as long as it is not used up faster than it is renewed.
What is a sustainable yield?
Highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be used indefinitely without reducing its available supply.
What is a nonrenewable resource?
Exist in a fixed quantity, or stock, in the earth's crust. On a time scale of millions to billions of years, geological processes can renew such resources.
What are point sources?
Single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment. Examples include the smokestack of a power plant or an industrial plant, drainpipe of a meat packing plant, chimney of a house, or an exhaust pipe of an automobile.
What are nonpoint sources?
Broad and diffuse areas, rather than points, from which pollutants enter bodies of surface water or air. Examples include runoffs from chemicals and sediments from cropland, livestock feedlots, logged forests, urban streets, parking lots, lawns, and golf courses.
What is exponential growth?
Growth in which some quantity, such as population size or economic output, increases at a constant rate per unit of time. Example: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, so on
Explain the Tragedy of the Commons. Describe two possible solutions to this "problem"
-Tragedy of the commons: tendency of a shared, limited resource to become depleted because people act from self-interest for short-term gain
-Brought about by ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968
Laws and regulation
Convert common property to private property
ex.herders in Africa
Identify five basic causes of the environmental problems we face today
Population growth,unsustainable resource use, poverty, poor environmental accounting, ecological ignorance
Explain the impact of urbanization on the development of megacities. What effect does this have on the environment?
At least 8 million people. Cities and towns increase in size. commonly located near rivers and coastlines effect:pollution. Most megacities are in developing worlds: 17 Effects:pollution, less land and space