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Unit 3: Global Resource Consumption & Security
Terms in this set (106)
NEXUS-Food, Energy, Water
The complex interactions between food, energy and water. The three all rely on each other and if one fails the others will follow.
1.3 Global Hectares
is the ideal "fair share" of the worlds ressources per person for sustainable resource consumption.
1.8 global hectares
The global hectare (gha) is a measurement unit for quantifying both the ecological footprint of people or activities as well as the biocapacity of the earth or its regions. One global hectare represents the average productivity of all biologically productive areas (measured in hectares) on earth in a given year. 1.3 is our equal land share and 0.5 is our equal ocean share.
1971 Overshoot Year
Also known as the ecological debt day. The year when global rate of consumption surpassed Earth's budget of sustainability. e.g. greenhouse gases are being emitted faster than they can be absorbed by forests and oceans
2019 = 1.7 Earth's
As of 2019, we would need 1.7 Earth's to make our consumption sustainable.
Largest e-waste dump in the world in Accra, Ghana. People living there suffer many health problem from the fumes of the burning coal, and other resources
An Essay on the Principle of Population
Pessimistic essay by Thomas Malthus (1798) that introduced the concept of carrying capacity, as well as of exponential vs linear growth. It argued that human population would outgrow food production, but did not take in technological advancements.
What used to be the 4th largest inland body of salt water found on the plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. However it was depleted due to the two rivers that fed it being diverted to irrigate cotton farming. The surrounding communities that depended on it collapsed. They estimate that it is only 10% of it's original size.
Athabasca Tar Sands
Each year, Canada's investment and production of oil is increasing -> more emissions released into the atmosphere
- located in northeastern Alberta, Canada.
- worlds largest known reservoir of heavy crude oil.
- Imports from Canada make up 19% of US supply (half coming from oil sands)
- 6 mines produce 250,000 barrels of crude oil on a daily basis
- tar sands consist of a mixture of crude bitumen, silica, clay and water
- 200,000 tonnes of water used daily to treat bitumen -> polluting groundwater
- mass deforestation since 1963 to make way for the extraction equipment.
- 20% of Alberta's oil sands are recoverable through open-pit mining.
- extraction: pumping resources from deep underground straight to the surface -> oil leaks into the nearby Athabasca river
- Mutations, tumors and deformed fish species due to the accumulation of toxins in river
- 2009, 500 migrating ducks died due to the high oil content of the water
August 1st Global Overshoot Day
The date on which we will have used up 1 years worth of resources. As a result from August the 2nd we will be using more than 1 planet.
B Corporation certification is a private certification issued to for-profit companies by B Lab. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Basel Convention 1989
A UN passed resolution meant to control the transboundary movement of waste. Is being broken all the time.
The capacity of biologically productive area to produce an on-going amount of renewable resources and to absorb its spillover waste.
Fuels (mainly made from corn) which were thought to be a possible substitute for petrols, but oil is needed to convert the crops into fuels.
Mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source.
Mostly plant material being used for fuel. This can be as basic as wood or straw in a fire but other examples consist of wood pellets or food waste being burnt for energy or heating.
Built in obsolescence
Means 'built to be obsolete'. Companies make sure their products last long enough for us to use a bit, but not too long, so we have to replace them. They do this by using cheap materials, marketing to children, or providing a better more desirable model regularly. An example is the declining batteries of iPhones.
The maximum number of people that can be sustained by the resources available on the earth, without harm to current and future generations. Eg. Something like 10 billion people
The global food system is currently unsustainable as it is responsible for ⅓ of all greenhouse gas emissions, so many studies suggest that avoiding meat and dairy is a simple and effective way to reduce one's impact on the Earth.
China bans import of plastic Jan 1st 2018
China banned the import of plastics on January 1st, 2018. They are already recycling half the worlds plastics.
Chittangong, Bangladesh Shipbreakers
Industry of ship-breaking in Chittagong. Average age of ships they recycle: 35. As the stranded ships are dissembled on the beach (since there are no docks) this causes water contamination in the surrounding waters. The steel from the structure of ships is recycled. Half of Bangladesh's steel comes from the dissembling of ships. The industry employs children.
A system approach for effective cycling of materials and energy. Consists of making, using, and returning. Opposite of linear economy.
Club of Rome
An 'organisation of individuals who share a common concern for the future of humanity and strive to make a difference.' Their mission is to promote understanding of the global challenges facing humanity and to propose solutions through scientific analysis, communication and advocacy."
Non-renewable type of fossil fuel, dug from underground, formed from fossilized plants
A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilize soil.
A form of unrefined petrol that is highly precious resource for many countries. It can provide income for many countries and is traded amongst many countries and is a source of energy (contributes to climate change when burned as a fossil fuel).
Dame Ellen MacArthur
A retired English sailor. She now has launched a foundation that works with business and education to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
A process that extracts mineral components from saline water or another target substance.
Designed for the Dump
A characteristic of the linear economy, whereby products are made with the intention for them to eventually break, be disposed of, and replaced with a brand new product. Eg. mobile phones.
Domestic Smart Meter
An electronic device that records consumption of electric energy and communicates the information to the electricity supplier for monitoring and billing.
Electronic waste which represents at least 5% of the waste industry. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal are also considered e-waste. If recycling is not possible, its burnt. "Designed for the dump." E-Waste in Europe is increasing by 5% a year. E-Waste is now the fastest growing component of the municipal solid waste stream.
Easy to reach oil all gone
The accessible, conventional and cheap sources of oil are depleted; in order to continue exploiting this resource, we must dig deeper and farther afield - this will most likely raise oil prices.
A country which uses less than their fair share of the earths resources
People/companies/countries who consume more than their fair share of the earths resources. Calculated using ecological footprint calculator. Impacts can be reduced by decreasing carbon emissions.
The theoretical measurement of the amount of land and water a population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste under prevailing technology.
Is the amount of water in/used to produce something (clothes, coffee, bacon...) eg. 1 kilo of beef = 15 400 liters of water, in 1 liter bottles with would make a 8 x 40 wall. Useful website : http://thewaterweeat.com/
Energy from Waste
Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery.
Energy Security in the USA
The USA depends heavily on foreign energy sources, such as oil from the Middle East (which influences its foreign policies towards Arabian peninsula countries). For sustainability purposes, the USA must invest in renewable sources from within the country. Reports have indicated that most Americans are in favour of turning to renewables and nuclear, but with the current administration favouring pipelines from Canadian tar sands and oil consumption, this may not be implemented soon.
An optimistic woman that said that technology is the key and has belief in humans to innovate their way out of crisis.
Exporting Polluting Industries
This is when either industries or factories, move to LIC's so the original country is not affected by pollutions. It is equally when industries transport there waste to other countries.
When countries export their waste, mostly to poorer countries as they do not want to deal with them (waste management and recycling is extremely polluting and a source of health hazards).
What most companies don't consider because it would reduce their profit. For example how the precious metals in mobile phones were sourced and mined or the end of life results and impact.
- house huge quantities of livestock or poultry and emphasize high volume and profit with minimal regard for human health, safe food, the environment, or humane treatment of animals
- expanded in 1920's, after the discovery of vitamins A and D. When these vitamins were added to feed the animals they no longer required exercise and sunlight for growth. This allowed animals to be raised indoors -> disease (combated in the 1940's with antibiotics)
Resources which do not replenish themselves, they are in limited quantities. E.g Oil, Coal.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures.
Global Middle Class
Getting bigger (percentage and number wise), due to a growing population and countries becoming more developed. It is a problem because these we don't have enough energy and resources to meet the increasing demand.
A device that transfers heat energy from a source of heat to what is called a heat sink.
A graph drawn (bell curve) which predicts the availability of resources over time. As resources are exploited, the peak grows, and the drop becomes steeper and approaches faster
Hydraulic fracturing (also fracking) is a well stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurised liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of 'fracking fluid' (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine are extracted.
Built on streams or rivers and ranging in size massively. It requires a head of water and a constant flow to turn a turbine that generates electricity. Most commonly they are large dams, these produce enormous amounts of electricity but have an adverse effect on the local wildlife and ecosystem. 50% of Swiss energy and 16% of the worlds is generated this way. Dams also have additional advantage as the reservoirs create tourism opportunities and easier fishing, they can also help mitigate flooding and manage water flow. The damage to fish life and possibility for environmental catastrophe has led some people to adopt the all dams are dirty policy to remove dependency of dams.
Chemical compounds containing hydrogen and carbon. All fossil fuels are hydrocarbons. Coal has the greatest concentration of carbon (dirtiest) and Natural Gas has the least (cleanest).
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
This is a fairly new technology which acts as a power for an electric motor, making it very effective for transport such as cars and trucks. It works by using pressured Hydrogen Gas as a fuel, it is burned with oxygen from the air; and its only product is water vapor.
Process of waste treatment that involves the burning of materials, converting them into ash and heat. Switzerland uses 100% incineration.
An opptinistic economist. He opposed the Mathusiam views and pessimistic world view. He made a bet with Paul Ehrlich and won it. He believed that humans are inventive and creative and will find problems to solutions and he was quite unconcerned about global crises such as global warming.
The Keystone Pipeline System is an oil pipeline system in Canada and the United States. It was commissioned in 2010 and now owned solely by TransCanada Corporation
A freshwater lake in Kenya and possibly the largest flower industry in the region or world.
the disposal of waste material by burying it, especially as a method of filling in and reclaiming excavated pits.
Leave it in the Ground
The idea of leaving the remaining fossil fuels in the ground to reduce further enhancing climate change
Limits to Growth
Theory that the world population will reach a maximum carrying capacity when the world's resources cannot support the number of people.
The longest burning lightbulb in history. It is from California, it is in its 117th year of illumination, had a 1 million hour of illumination in 2015. This shows that lightbulbs today are designed to last shorter than they really can.
Millennium Development Goals. Established by the UN, went from 2000-2015. Eight goals with measurable targets and clear deadlines to improve the world. eg. goal 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every 2 years.
Most energy is actually SOLAR
The bulk of Earth's energy budget is provided by the sun via incoming shortwave radiation. Can be harnessed with solar panels (heat) and photovoltaic cells (electricity).
National Energy Security
It is the ability of a nation to secure sufficient, affordable and consistent energy supplies for its domestic, industrial, transport and military requirements. It means that current and future energy needs have a high probability of being met.
National Food Security
The condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
National water Security
The reliable availability of an adequate quantity and quality of water that is used to support the livelihoods, health and industry of a particular country.
fossil fuel used as a source of energy. Formed deep beneath the earths surface and can be extracted by the process of fracking
It generates heat, which can be used an energy. Very controversial as there is no solution for nuclear waste, which is toxic. Has no carbon emissions. A renewable energy source.
Oil and Gas beneath the Arctic Ocean
The easily accessible oil deposits have mostly already been depleted. Therefore, humans are now forced to extract oil from less accessible locations which is difficult and costly. Due to many anthropogenic factors, global climate change has lead to vast melting occurring in the Arctic Ocean. There are oil deposits below the ice sheet which are now easier to access. So there is a push from counties to claim the Arctic to be able to extract the oil, this will only lead to us creating more problems.
Optimists believe humans will invent/innovate out of all challenging situations (Ester Boserup + Julian Simon). When a crisis arrives we will 'smart' our way out of it and therefore avoid crisis. --> see staircase graph.
Company with a circular economy - you can send jackets or boots back once they're broken and they'll either repair them or send you a new one
follows the original ideas of Thomas Malthus. Paul and the "Club of Rome" have similar ideas to neo-mathusian views. They analyze root problems. Matlhus has a principle which is as long people have food and time, they'll reproduce.
It is the theorized point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it is expected to enter terminal decline
To be pessimistic means you believe evil outweighs the good and that bad things are more likely to happen. In this case, that there is no future for the planet
Industry related to the processing and refining of petrol (top of fractionating column), by adding different chemical compounds to it. This produces many products, ranging from plastics, pharmaceuticals, to pesticides.
Potatoes in the Desert
The growing of potatoes in Egypt using water from a fossil aquifer (meaning it won't be replenished) to irrigate the fields. Good example for Food Energy Water nexus: water->uses water which has a finite amount and most of product is exported meaning it is virtually shipped to other countries. Energy->takes energy to pump the water and export the potatoes. Food->they're food. What's really ridiculous is that the seeds are shipped from Scotland and the peat in which it is exported is imported from Ireland (because they claim it makes the potatoes keep better but it's mostly to make them look like they were grown in soil when they were actually grown in sand).
SDG Goal 1
- decreased greatly since the sustainable and Millennium development goals were released 2015
- lead to a rise in an emerging middle class (people worldwide who have moved out of poverty and who have "discretionary income" (money that is not needed to provide basic needs). This money can be spent on consumer goods, health care and, at the upper end, holidays and cars)
Refers to the process by which a product is taken and manipulated in order to be re used again. Taking waste and turning it into a useable product.
Resource stewardship is: is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. Environmental stewardship refers to responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.
Literally just using something again. This one's pretty self-explanatory.
Rise in the Global Middle Class
As the global middle class grows more resources like washing machines, phones and cars need to be put into production which will limit resources.
Salt for heat storage
A form of thermo-solar energy storage. A field of mirrors directing thermo-solar energy to a cube of salt in the middle which stores the heat to be used later.
Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly: "Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".
Solar Thermal & PV
Solar Thermal is the use of the suns energy to directly heat water for domestic use. Photo-voltaic is the use of the suns energy to be converted to electricity via chemical means, to be used as renewable source of energy
Switzerland Food/Energy/Water security
Switzerland is a very developed country which has a lot of food/energy/water security. It is quickly moving towards renewable energy (closing all its nuclear power stations and investing in renewables), and is considered the 'water tower of Europe'. However, Switzerland is not a perfect country; 50% of food is imported and a lot of virtual water is consumed and transported within goods.
Chemical compounds which are artificially made; manufactured using modified petroleum components rather than whole crude oil. This fuel has fewer impurities and therefore is less damaging if burnt in combustion.
Large home battery system that can power solar panels, electric cars, and provide electricity to some other areas of the home. It hasn't gained much success.
The Population Bomb
A book written by Paul Ehrlich
The Ultimate Resource
The ultimate resource is water. Water is central to the water-food-energy nexus. We use water to grow food and generate energy
Believed that the population multiplies geometrically and food arithmetically; therefore, whenever the food supply increases, population will rapidly grow as well to eliminate the abundance.
Is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power - mainly electricity. Although not yet widely used, tidal power has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power.
Toaster Circular Economy
Designed from 100% recyclable material, product that will last a long time and can be repaired by separation and processing.
UAE Food/Energy/Water security
Due to unsustainable usage of their water reservoirs they are draining their water stores and now having to rely on desalinization for water.
A diet that is only relies on plants and plant based products, there are strictly no animal components such as: dairy, honey, leather, eggs. A vegetarian diet is a diet that has no meat consumption but does include dairy and some animal products like honey or leather or eggs. This diet can be considered more sustainable because a high meat diet requires a lot of resources such as water and grain and contributes to climate change.
The capture of energy of wind waves, for electricity generation, desalination or pumping water. A machine that collects wave power is called a wave energy converter (WEC)
Whale Oil & Billiard Balls
early examples of forced development and invention due to loss of resources. As consequent resources are used up new ideas and alternatives must be found.
A form of renewable energy where turbines are used to harness energy from the wind. Advantages include high energy yields, moderate upkeep costs, and no greenhouse gas emissions.
Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel and are generally made from compacted sawdust and industrial wastes from the milling of lumber, manufacture of wood products, furniture, and construction.
Increase in number or size, at a constantly growing rate. It is one possible result of a reinforcing feedback loop that makes a population or system grow (escalate) by increasingly higher amounts.
Malthusian view of how a value increases by a constant; for example, the development (through time) of food production
Tragedy of the Commons
describe a situation in a shared resource where individuals act independently according to their self and not to the common good of all users
"Take-Make-Dispose" mentality. Human created. Most of our consumption today is through a linear economy, meaning very little reuse or repair and major design flaws. Opposite of circular economy.
Take, Make, Dispose
This is the process of the linear economy. The more that we take and make we will run out of resources, and the more that we dispose we will run out of areas to store this trash.
Rent a bike then send it back when you have grown out of it / it needs repairing or maintaining https://www.islabikes.co.uk/
fair phones where you can replace them piece by piece to fix them to cater to your needs and not have to replace the whole thing
Return and Renew
Principle of the circular economy, where goods that need to be repaired can be brought back to the company to be fixed. For instance, leased Phillips lightbulbs that have been broken can be brought back to the company to be repaired for free. Instead of being thrown away, the lightbulb can remain in use.
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