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GEOG Final Exam Study Guide

by: SophieSol

GEOG Final Exam Study Guide GEOG 1003

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Here is my study guide for GEOG's final exam. There are some highlighted components that are especially important to pay attention to, and bolded information and words that are key. Good Luck!
Society and Environment
Rain, D
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This 27 page Study Guide was uploaded by SophieSol on Sunday December 13, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to GEOG 1003 at George Washington University taught by Rain, D in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 124 views. For similar materials see Society and Environment in Geography at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 12/13/15
GEOG Final Exam Study Guide For this unit: read Stewart Brand’s “Rethinking Extinction” and Chapter 9 in textbook  He argues that we are over-hyping the issue of extinction Biodiversity  Basics o Defined as the variation of plants, animals and other life forms within an ecosystem/biome/earth o Used to measure how healthy a given ecosystem may be since the wildlife and plants of a healthy ecosystem tend to be more diverse than those of an unhealthy ecosystem o Term originated with Raymond Dasmann in 1968 and was then popularized in 1980 by someone else  Knowledge of species variation is important o You don’t want to eat a poisonous mushroom! o We have taxonomy to know what is safe and what is not  matter of life and death  Malaria  Eradicated from Europe because people did tests in laboratory to figure out that “mosquito” is an umbrella term for many insects, and there was only one particular one that causes malaria o They really like clean water, so it is hard to get the disease in slums or places that are super dirty because they are bad places for the mosquito to breed  Species = the pivotal unit for biodiversity, a population whose members are able to interbreed freely under natural conditions o Hybrids are not species, and each biological species is a closed gene pool  Pigeons o Not as many as there used to be o Carry a lot of disease o You can breed them to be different colors, good for genetic experiments o Darwin kept and bred pigeons  origin of species  Good for experimenting: breed quickly, eggs hatch quickly, babies fly the nest quickly  He found that he could breed them with almost an unlimited amount of characteristics  Genetic basics: o Genotype: genetic makeup of a cell, organism, or individual o Phenotype: the composite of observable traits o Genotype + environment = phenotype GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Variation is introduced through random mutation and different success of specific characteristics expressed via genes o Example of the peppered moths and how they go from light to dark  Species Basis for Biodiversity o Origin of Species: Charles Darwin  Certain hereditary types within a species survive at at the expense of others and in doing so transform the makeup of the entire species across generations  Random mutations create new features which may confer advantages in reproductive success o Adaptive radiation  Biomass o Mass of living biological organisms in a given area or ecosystem at a given time  Can refer to species biomass (mass of one or more species) o About 15% of earth’s total biomass is composed of ants. Another 17% is taken up by termites  The combined weight of ants exceeds that of humans  Misconceptions o Species have always gone extinct so we do not need to worry about a few plants or animals disappearing  It is the rate of extinctions that is the concern, even though extinction is a natural process (we have accelerated the natural process) o Losing a species does not affect humans  Plants and phytoplankton produce our breathable air  We need decomposers to make soil so we can grow food  Phytoplankton affect clouds, which affects our weather and climate o Evolution will replace any missing species  True, but it takes a super long time: it could take 30million years for nature to heal itself from human effects on biological heritage  It can take thousands of years for a species to adapt to new environment o All species have been discovered  Definitely not…  There was a new species of frog discovered in 2012 in Central Park o There is nothing I can do to protect the Earth’s biodiversity  Habitat loss is the number one cause of extinction…  REMEMBER: GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Ecosystems form the infrastructure of the natural world o Humans are the mind of the biosphere  Causes of Biodiversity o Jared Diamond calls these the “Evil Quartet”  Habitat destruction  Overkill  Introduced species  Secondary extinctions o E.O. Wilson calls these the “HIPPO”  Habitat destruction  Invasive species  Pollution  Human over-Population  Over-harvesting  Distribution of Diversity o Asia has a lot of dense settlements o Biodiversity indirectly correlates with human habitation (where humans are not, biodiversity is very prevalent) o Latitudinal Diversity Gradient  23 degrees north and south = tropics, this is where there is most diversity  170,000 of 250,000 known species are here  Rainforests are “wet deserts” with thin soil Mass Extinctions (5)  End of the Ordovician period 450 million years ago o 60% of all genera were exterminated  Late Devonian period 360 million years ago  End-Permian mass extinction o Mother of all extinction events o 80-95% of all species went extinct  Triassic: 80% of land quadrupeds went extinct  Cretaceous: no large land animals survived o Dinosaur one o Aka K-T extinction o 65 million years ago o in the early Cretaceous period there was Pangaea, and the earth was one big continent breaking up  A bolide came (a huge meteor that hits) and crashed in the gulf of Mexico  Extinctions were naturally occurring… does knowledge of them mean anything to us? Woolly mammoths  Not around anymore but they left remnants  What happened? GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o People came along  There was overkill in north America and Europe  Archaeological evidence documents disappearance of many large animal species  20,000-20,000 years ago  Megafauna  More than 2/3rds of large animals became extinct  When humans immigrated, we found the animals and domesticated/hunted them  Ie. Flightless birds- hard for them to get away Today  “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert o explaining how we have looked at extinctions over time o Amphibians are the most threatened, their extinction rate is 45,000 times higher than the background rate o 1/3 of corals o 1/3 of mollusks o 1/3 sharks and rays o ¼ mammals o 1/5 reptiles o 1/6 birds  The problem is Habitat Loss o Destruction, fragmentation, degradation of habitat  Oil and gas development, i.e. Building roads o When an ecosystem has been dramatically changed by human activities it may no longer be able to provide the food, water, cover, and places to raise young o Solution?  Create habitats!  Put out birdseed, water  Biophilic Cities by Timothy Beatley, Foreword by E.O. Wilson o Humans are hard-wired to need connection with nature and other life forms o There is a complex of learning rules developed over thousands of ears of evolution and human-environment interaction  Accomodating Nature as a Design Specification o Role of parkland as commons versus “hardscapes” o Humans need for nature to overcome “denatured childhoods”  Richard louv— Nature Deficit Disorder  Kids spend about 7.5 hours on a screen daily o “risky play”  ie. Building fires, bike hikes, etc  it is an endangered human behavior GEOG Final Exam Study Guide For paper: page numbers, double spaced, 8 pages text. No title page but have a title  Anthromes o Anthropogenic biomes, aka anthromes or human biomes  Terrestrial biosphere in its contemporary, human-altered form using global ecosystem units defined by global patterns of sustained direct human interaction with ecosystems o Near China and India: very heavy human influences (as seen on map)  Endangered Species Act (ESA) o Came about in 1973 o During a time when there was a big consensus of environmental issues, signed into law by President Nixon o Administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration o History  Near extinction of bison  Disappearance of passenger pigeon  WWII and creation of chemicals, based on petroleum derived compounds that were found to be toxic at different levels  Idea of silent spraying as a result of die-off of bird populations as a result of DDT o Listing Process  5 criteria  Means that the ES in question must be threatened in some way  Over-utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific use  Species is declining due to disease  Inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms  Other natural or manmade factors affecting continued existence o Strengths and Weaknesses  Positive results  As of Sept. 2012 o 56 species have been delisted  means that its numbers are big enough to not be considered an endangered species (unless it is delisted because it went extinct…)  Successes GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Bald eagle o Whooping crane o Peregrine falcon o Gray wolf o Gray whale o Grizzly bear o California’s southern sea otter o Red wolf  Some people argue that the recovery of DDT- threatened species like the bald eagle, brown pelican, and peregrine falcon should be attributed to the ban on DDT in 1972 instead of the ESA  Criticisms  The success rate of only 1% is not very good. There are over 2,000 endangered species and only 28 delisted due to recovery  Proves there needs to be serious reform in methods to help endangered animals and plants  Encourages preemptive habitat destruction by landowners who fear losing the use of their land because of the presence of an endangered species— “shoot, shovel, and shut-up”  Perverse incentives o A forest owner who, in response to ESA listing of the red-cockaded woodpecker, increased harvesting and shortened the age at which he harvests his trees to ensure that they do not become old enough to become suitable habitat o These economists believe that finding a way to reduce such perverse incentives would lead to more effective protection of endangered species  Biosphere/Geosphere/Sociosphere o Biocides  Ecosystem Effects  Biocide is a chemical substance or microorganism that can deter or exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means  Biocides are commonly used in medicine, agriculture  Biocidal substances and products are employed as anti-fouling agents o Chlorine is a biocide for water treatment and disinfectant in swimming pools GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Many biocidal products pose significant risk to human health and welfare  Great care is required when handling biocides and appropriate protective clothing/equipment should be used  Connection between biocides and antibiotic resistance?  Also adverse effects on the natural environment  Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species  Runoff can carry pesticides into aquatic environments while wind can carry them to other fields, grazing areas, human settlements, and undeveloped areas which can potentially affect other species  Effects on Amphibians  Amphibian populations have declined across the world which are thought to be due to pesticides  Pesticides mixtures seem to have a cumulative toxic effect on frogs  WHY ARE AMPHIBIANS PARTCULARLY VULNERABLE TO PESTICIDES? o THEY HAVE MORE PERMEABLE SKIN WITH POORS AND THEY CAN ABSORB IT MORE EASILY  Tadpoles from ponds with pesticides take longer to metamorphose and this decreases their ability to catch prey/avoid predators  Atrazine can turn male frogs into hermaphrodites which decreases their ability to reproduce  Effect on People  Sandra Steingraber o “Living Downstream: o She is a cancer survivor from a farming community  Problem with pesticides  Water contamination  Poster child for effect of biocides in agro- communities  Pollinators o Effects on pollinators  Relied on by plants and crops  We think of honey bees as pollinators but there are many more, even ants GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Agencies such as EPA are working to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide risks through regulatory actions, voluntary changes to pesticide use by registrants and research programs aimed at increasing understanding of factors associated with declining pollinator health  Pollination is necessary to produce fruits and seeds  A world without pollinators would be a world without fruit o Colony Collapse Disorder Listen to NPR piece from the first ppt from unit 3  Trailer, A Fierce Green Fire o About actions of environmentalists o Environmental Movements vs. Science  Environmentalism = a social movement that seeks to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education to protect natural resources and ecosystems (term coined in 1922)  Has advanced and has hurt environmental protections o Alternative view  Humans have interacted with the environment over time and space  Resources have been conceptualized  Access to the commons, wilderness, and home have been regulated through institutions  The idea of a frontier o Defined traditionally as a boundary or the edge of a region of settled area o Usage in North American history  Where it is, what happens, all about “looking west and teaming with resources”  This mindset guided people through the 19 century o The era of US Frontier expansion  Lasted 300 years from the arrival of European settlers to th the end of the 19 Century  Think about the roles of some of the early US heroes in science (Franklin) and exploration (Washington, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark)  First president was a surveyor  War debt  need to sell off land for development and settlement  Enter US Land Survey o Carved up land to give away with various technologies  Gunter’s chain GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  22 yards long, 66 feet  80 chains for 1 mile  measuring an area 10 chains by 10 chains by 10 chains = 10 acres of land within this area o one acre could be worked on by a team of oxen in one day  10 chains = 1 furlong  480 chains = 1 township  The Sextant  Used to measure directions and to check position against sun and polestar  Use with a compass and axmen  Insert peg o Created a system of private land  Follows same rules of laying out property lines  Sectioned off, gets sold or given  Beginning with Ohio: set aside for Revolutionary War vets  Pre-1900 perceptions of the environment  Abundant unclaimed resources of land  Inexhaustible resources  Need to use and profit from the new land immediately o Termed the “myth of superabundance”  is this really a myth???  Attitude was one of unlimited potential: there was always more land, more animals, more resources o Optimism carries consequences though  Manifest Destiny (1840s)  Mission to extend the “boundaries of freedom” to others by imparting our idealism and belief in democratic institutions to those who were capable of self government  Excluded those people who were perceived as being incapable of self-government, such as Naïve American people and those of non-European origin  Instruments: o Conestoga wagon (1800s), pulled by horses, owned by one family GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Transformation of resources followed the expansion of the frontier and the exploration and acquisition of new territory  Accumulation and distribution of public lands o I.e. Gadsden, in the west o Parts of these lands became important conservation areas  By 1850 80% of US territory was federally owned, taken from Indians  Between 1850 and 1900, half of federal land given to railroads, timber companies, mining prospectors, and universities, homesteaders, developers  All driven by perception that resources are unlimited and need to come up with a way to “give them away”  Resource policies (major acts)  Homestead act: 160 free acres to homesteaders if they improve the land to create a homestead, meaning they cleared lands  land rushes (1862)  Timber culture act: gave 640 acres if 40were planted in forest, promoted and supported cattle barons (1873)  Desert Land act: gave 640 acres if irrigated within 3 acres, led land barons to make claims along rivers and near water holes (1877)  Expansion was accelerated  Development of transportation networks, like canals and railroads o When railroads came along, everything changed  Concept of time (when train would come)  Idea of local time, when every town had their own idea of what time it was o Population growth o Change in technology o Exports and consumption growth  The era was one of tremendous ecological transformation and degradation of previous state  Specific changes in land use  Timber Cutting GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Eastern US had been covered with trees, used for shipbuilding, building construction, clearing land for agriculture o Idea of “timber famine” o Fall line sawmills (where logs could no longer be floated in rivers) from Maine to Carolinas, a major industry of the time o Rail Fuel: 1860, railroads used 3 million cords of wood. Rail companies were given timber lands along their routes to supply their needs  Fisheries o Grand banks off Newfoundland: 10 million tons of cod fished off in 1700 o Whaling was a huge activity o Consequent creation of ports and shipbuilding facilities  Hunting and trapping o Fur trade (beaver and fox) led to first whites into Indian country of the Rockies and Canada, and great struggles over prime trapping regions, later led to co-opting of Indians o Bison Hunting President Grant vetoed an effort to protect the buffalo in 1875 o Passenger pigeon as an example of extinction  Agriculture o Problems associated with overuse of soil o Tobacco in Maryland and Virginia: nitrogen and potassium gone after 4 years, which led to erosion and more land cleared, then degraded o PA Germans brought in by William Penn understood that organic material was necessary and rotated crops o Great Plains homesteaders tore up prairie grasslands and exposed the soil to wind erosion, which led to severe erosion during droughts  Belief of rain coming with such practices, but the opposite happened o Southwest cattle grazing—overrgazing led to arroyo creation and facilitated the Dust Bowl of the 1930s  Mining: coals, metals, oil o 1800- coal used for fuel and iron industry GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Early iron furnaces used wood and charcoal, heavy impacts in PA anthracite region o Open pits and drag lines o Erosion and water pollution o Story of Pittsburg o Early environmental efforts  New thinking about resources came from a Vermont Congressman and diplomat  George Perkins Marsh, wrote Man and Nature  George Perkins Marsh o 3 things to know o He designed the Washington monument  Frederick Jackson Turner o Limited options, shaped who we are as Americans and how we shape the world  Era of US frontier expansion o Closing of it  Conservationism/preservationism o Conservative: Roosevelt  Antiquities act and repremation act o Pinchot was the first person to get a forestry degree o Hetch Hetchy valley again  Roosevelt and Pinchot wanted to build a dam, Muir was against it  1920s and 30s o Industrial Poisons in the US  First book to explore dangers of pollution  New Deal Era o Creation of social security, many things, right after/during great depression o Tennessee Valley Authority  In charge of a lot of coal plantations  The Dust Bowl o Grapes of Wrath  1940s and 50s o “in-between era”  steel and aluminum  50s: suburbanization  Minamata, japan o Fertilizer company named Nippon Chisso  People started dying and having neurological problems  Epilepsy-type symptoms  It was mercury poisoning GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  In 1959, local fishermen attacked the factory but it still ran for another 10 years  60s-80s o air and water pollution o London smog, NYC, o Oil spill in Santa Barbara o Cuyahoga river kept lighting on fire  Silent Spring, Rachel Carson o Pesticide pollution and birds  Essentially talks about DDT and its impact on the environment, got DDT banned by EPA in 1972  Radiation o During cold war- a lot of nuclear tests, and therefore a lot of waste  Rocky flats in CO, now closed  Push for more parks and wilderness protection  Notable technologies of the 20 century o Automobile o Nuclear power  Failures discussed o Chainsaws  Could sell more wood, aided deforestation  Roosevelt o Sick kid o Went to Harvard, pushed himself very hard o First president to drive in a car, fly in an airplane, go in a submarine o First speech to congress: about breaking up trusts o His placard:  Nature:  There is delight in the hardy life of the open  There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm  The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value  Conservation means development as much as it does protection o Youngest man to ever hold presidency  Social trends behind the environmental movement o Increased affluence = can now afford to be concerned about environmental quality GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Baby boomers, civil rights, women’s movement, antiwar, counterculture, consumer rights, etc o Many of these group elements also cared about the environment: social mobilization and protest o Crystallized in 1970 with widespread protests and “teach-ins” about the environment – earth day: April 22, 1970 celebrated at over 1500 colleges o Led to growth of the science of ecology  Kids learned about systems and this type of information for the first time  Political response (legislation) o 1964 Wilderness Protection Act— “to preserve areas where Man is merely a visitor” o 1970 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)  set up the environmental protection agency  required environmental impact assessments for federal projects o 1972 Clean Air Act— set standards for air quality o 1973 Water Pollution Control Act— water should be fishable and swimmable o 1973 Endangered Species Act— listed and prohibited habitat destruction or hunting. Stopped trade in endangered species and plants o 1976 resource conservation and recovery act— attempt to trace hazardous waste from manufacture to use. Since WWII, hazardous wastes (from manufacturing) grew from 4 million to 260 million metric tons in 1980 o comprehensive environmental response, compensation and liability act of 1980- created the superfund in response to hazardous waste problems o by the end of the 1970s, the US had the best environmental legislation in the world. Real changes in air and water quality observed  Reagan-Bush era (1980s) o Slowing and reversing environmental legislation o Concern about impacts of environmental protection on industry and the economy o Opposition to government regulations o Slowed implementation of the superfund o Relaxed clean air standards o Clean air act not renewed until the HW Bush Presidency o Weak enforcement of environmental legislation o Dan Quayle’s Council on Economic Competitiveness  Idea that if it costs businesses something then we need to look at a different way of going about it GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o EPA budgets cut o Federal lands opened to mining, lumber, and grazing o Extensive use of cost-benefit analysis  Not a bad thing, but a tool  Controversial appointments garnering strong opposition from environmental groups o Anne Gorsuch (EPA) o James Watt (Secretary of the interior) o These appointments led to increases in environmental group memberships to ½ million o The Sagebush Rebellion- western based movement to privatize federal land or give it to states to control. Advocates making more land open for development o Wise-use movement- similar to sagebrush but more subtle message echoing Pinchot’s utilitarian philosophy  Clinton era (1992-2000) o Gore was more of an environmentalist than Clinton  Earth in the Balance (1993  Talked about climate change o Centrist in policy including environmental policy: reversal of strands taken at 1992 Rio Conference o Appointments: Bruce Babbitt (interior), Carol Browner (EPA) o Administration tended to ignore environmental issues when they interfered with business (NAFTA, Forest policy, etc) o Consensus sought to get back intractable issues such as those surrounding endangered species in the Pacific Northwest or overfishing in New England  Lobster industry had a similar story  GW Bush era (2001-2008) o Clinton-era environmental regulations “iced” in 2001 unless OMB could show that benefits outweighed costs  These included a call for less arsenic in drinking water, a ban on snowmobiles in national parks, controls for raw sewage overflow, stronger energy-efficient standards, protections against commercial logging… o In 2001 treasury secretary Paul O’Neil exhorted the president to take a strong stand on global warming. “Energy and the environment are in many ways the same problem, wrote O’Neil. “These subjects must be considered together.” He left in December 2001 o The natural resources defense council cites hundreds of instances  “The New Environmentalism” GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Gail Norton: “at the heart of the new environmentalism is a recognition that we have in many ways reached the limits of what we can do through government regulation and mandates”  Clear skies proposal cuts power-plant emission levels  Euphemism for rolling back safeguards?  Clear skies was defeated in the Senate in March 2005  The Obama Era (2009-present) o Still too early to say if he is an environmentalist  Environmental report card show mixed reviews  EPA under assault in Congress  2010 disintegration of climate cap-and-trade legislation in Congress  a spokesman for Greenpeace called Obama’s performance “mediocre at best,” citing a lack of leadership on passing an energy and climate bill. “instead we saw compromise early and often, and we really didn’t’ see the president stepping up in the House and making sure there was a strong bill”  the league of conservation voters likewise criticized Obama for his decision on the energy and climate bill  “the Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe” said Kate geller  on the other hand, groups praised his work on raising fuel economy standards  “he’s been pushing back at the polluters’ allies in congress” “if you look at the interior appropriations bill that the house put out and the white house response, we think this is head and shoulders from past administrations”  Energy (DOE)’s $16.8 billion investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for energy efficiency o Or was he an environmentalist? o The man behind president Obama’s new environmental push  The new focus has cheered environmentalists and many liberals but has unnerved some centrist Democrats— particularly in the Senate—who face tough reelection fights this fall in republican-leaning states hostile to environmental regulations. And congressional republicans say John Podesta symbolizes a radical approach to environmental issues by the administration that will cost jobs Living with Environmental Risks  LULUs and NIMBY o LULU – locally unwanted land use  Ie. tanneries, slaughterhouses, incinerators, power plants, dumps GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o NIMBY— “Not in My Back Yard”  Is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them  Environmental Justice (EJ) o A response to Love Canal  Concerned mostly white people  Look up brief history  Near Buffalo, branches off of Niagara River  Hooker Chemical Company began to use it as a chemical waste dump  Kidney disease, miscarriages, etc. reported as result  Officials were not helpful, individuals affected were known as “hysterical housewives”  In 1981 there was a second state of emergency declared and remaining families were relocated  1980 = change in administration o what we attribute EJ to o Order signed o Lisa Perez Jackson: EPA Administrator from 2009-12  1 African American and 4 woman to lead EPA  Toxic Release Inventory program o Tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment  Risk o The potential for realization of unwanted, adverse consequences to human life, health, property, or environment o Estimation of risk is based on the expected value of the conditional probability of the event occurring times the consequence of the event given that it has occurred  Probability: statistical estimates of likelihood of occurrence  Consequence: impacts on people or ecosystems  RISK = PROBABILITY x CONSEQUENCES o Motor vehicle accidents are the highest hazard risk (219 deaths per 1 million)  Decrease exposure to reduce risk o More likely to die from flu from leukemia o Issue of perception  People think that nuclear power plants are much more dangerous than they actually are, because of perception. If they live right next to one, it seems more dangerous  Risk assessment o The estimation of the probability and severity of harm arising from various activities GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Professional risk assessors= engineers, ecologists… o Measure it based on past occurrence  I.e. Road accidents, epidemiology of disease  Assumptions: historic experience must have precedent: not a new technology, large population exposed to risk  Problems with historical risk assessment: inadequacy of data, conditions change with new technology, difficulty in isolating cause and effect o Measure it through lab experiments  Use of animals in controlled lab conditions  Large doses for short periods of time  LD50 = lethal dose that will kill half of the experimental group  Problems: ethics of experimentation, comparison of animals to humans, extrapolation from high doses in small population to low doses in large populations o Evaluation  Comparison to natural background risk level in general environment  For example, the risk for cancers in US population is much higher from radon than nuclear power plants o Radon is a naturally occurring element  Radiation that comes from ground  Comparison to other risks  Alterative technology: coal and nuclear power both provide electricity but coal has higher routine risk of death but nuclear power has a higher accident risk  Compare risk to benefits: X-rays can cause cancer but they also help prevent disease. The question is, are those who bear the risk the ones who reap the benefits?  X-rays or getting dental surgeries?  Voluntary vs. involuntary risk  People are 1000 times more likely to accept risks that are voluntary than those imposed upon them  Risk perception o The subjective judgment that people make about the characteristics and severity of a risk o Few precepts  Events that can be more easily brought to mind or imagined  Ie planes crashing  People will often start with one piece of known information and then adjust it to create an estimate of an unknown risk but the adjustment will usually not be big enough GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  People are risk averse with respect to gains, preferring a sure thing over a gamble with a higher expected utility but which presents a gamble  People will be risk-seeking about losses, preferring to hope for the chance of losing nothing rather than taking a sure loss  People prefer to move from uncertainty to certainty over making a similar gain in certainty that does not lead to full certainty  Ie. Getting a shot for yellow fever even though you could still get it o Another key finding was that the experts are not necessarily any better at estimating probabilities than lay people o Risk of terrorism  More people died on Texas highways in 2001 than were killed in international terrorist attacks  Americans are 40 times as likely to die in highway accidents as to be killed by terrorists  Locating vulnerabilities spatially o Riskiest place on earth?  Look at natural disasters (related to location)  Look at risk of death  How resilient are we? o Look at preparedness o It is “cultural” how resilient we are Environmental Economics  Eco = oikos o An oikos is the ancient Greek equivalent of a household, house or family  Oikos vs Polis in Greek tragedy o Oikos is the root of the prefix eco—  Economics  Ecology o Gary Becker (University of Chicago) o Think of one’s house  “Green Economics” = predating environmental economics o Ecological economics is a subfield of economics that aims to address the interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems o 1972 Limits to Growth Donella Meadows used systems thinking to predict imminent resource scarcity. Led an MIT group that studied this GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Figured out that we are going to run out of things very quickly and that we should be scared, but did not realize that there would be a lot of resource substitution  i.e. copper has diminished… we use PVC and copper isn’t as important  Deflated negativity of statement o 1973: Small is Beautiful EF Schumacher proposed an economics “as if people mattered,” arguing that the modern economy is unsustainable o 1977: Steady-State Economics Herman Daly  Economy can remain stable during growth  Environmental economics o Defined as the use of economic principles and calculi to make decisions about use and regulation of the environment o In our system, the fundamental characteristics of economic decisions are related to monetary evaluation (financial measures) o These financial measures might relate to improvements in personal and national conditions, as measured by:  Increases in income  Comparisons between alternatives in terms of financial benefits (like pesticides in agriculture)  Environmental impacts in financial costs o Key concepts  Natural capital  The stock of natural ecosystems that yields a flow of ecosystem goods or services into the future o What exists in the environment that has value to us in terms of ecosystems  I.e. A forest; stock of trees provides benefits in terms of a future, comes in flow o Is money, but not the type you put in a bank  Ecosystem services  Benefits arising from the ecological functions of healthy ecosystems  The important benefits for human beings (and other organisms) that arise from a healthy functioning environment like production of oxygen, soil genesis, and water detoxification  4 categories o Provisioning Services GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Operate like factories to maintain supply of natural products like food and water o Regulatory Services  Keep natural world running smoothly  Filtering pollutants to maintain the air and water quality  Serve as natural controls o Supporting Services  Maintain provisioning and regulatory services  I.e. photosynthesis, provision of habitat, soil formation o Cultural Services  Intangible benefits obtained from contact with nature  You go for a walk in the forest and feel spiritually renewed…  Hiking  Fishing  Full cost accounting  More than just looking at market value, includes all possible costs and benefits arising from a project including non-monetized ones  Triple bottom line  Consider environmental, economic and social impacts  Sustainable development  A philosophy of development that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present but into the indefinite future  Easier to look at cost than at benefits  What is the total value of ecosystem services provided?  Numbers will be all over the place…  Robert Costanza did a study in 1997 and estimated that the ecosystem services worldwide are worth about $33 trillion a year ($44 trillion in 2007’s dollars), twice as much as the global GNP of around $18 trillion (24$ trillion in today’s money) o In 2013 he came up with a revision for up to $145 trillion, many times the size of the global GNP GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Millennium ecosystem assessment found that about 60% of 24 ecosystem services examined were being degraded or used unsustainably  “every year we lose $3-5 trillion dollars’ worth of natural capital. o This is about the amount of $$ that we lost in the financial crisis in 2008-9 o Costanza thinks most of this is due to land use alone  Institutionalizing Ecosystem Services within international development  World bank has done a lot o Cost-benefit analysis  Colombia  Norway is paying Indonesia $1 billion to preserve rainforest for carbon storage o Vietnam invests $1.1 million in mangroves  Natural Capital (NatCap) o Gretchen Daily  A leader in guiding decision makers on payments for ecosystem services is the NatCap project  Has created software called InVEST  It can take existing data on various ecosystem services and provide one consistent platform for assessing all of them together to determine the optimal uses of that land o Ie. “trade-off curves” can reveal how much timber can be harvested before causing major profit loss to hydropower, flood damage, or loss of biodiversity  Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) o An assessment of possible positive or negative impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment, including all environmental, social and economic aspects o Defined as “the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical o Used from 1960s and involved a technical evaluation as part of an objective decision making process o In 1969 it was made legislation in the US in NEPA  Since then it has evolved and has been used worldwide o LCA (lifecycle analysis) is used for identifying and measuring the impact of industrial products on the environment o At the end of the project, an EIA should be followed up by an audit comparing actual impacts to those that were predicted  Scientific: check accuracy of predictions GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  Management: assess success of mitigation in reducing impacts o After EIA, precautionary principle and polluter pays principle are applied o Criticisms  Too narrow spatial and temporal scope  No procedure has been specified for determining a system boundary for the assessment  System boundary refers to the spatial and temporal boundary of the proposal’s effects  Determined by applicant and lead assessor but in practice most EIAs address the direct on-site effects alone  Indirect effects occur from development  Considered much bigger than direct effects of project  Broadening the scope of EIA can also benefit the conservation of threatened species  Instead of concentrating on the direct effects of a proposed project on its local environment some EIAs use a landscape approach which focused on much broader relationships between the entire population of a species in question  As a result an alternative that would cause the least amount of negative effects to the population of that species as a whole rather than the local subpopulation, can be identified and recommended by EIA FINAL EXAM QUESTION: What is the affect of climate change going to be on your hometowns? What will they be like 100 years from today?  Response to climate change  Chapter 12 in the book: last chapter for exam  Stewart Brand, rethinking extinction o Likes provoking people Class Notes  Evaluation and regulation o What is the value of a human life?  9/11 questions this  Externalities— or external costs o Portion of costs of producing a product or service that are passed onto society at large, not included in price of product  I.e. cost of health care for cancer not included in price of cigarettes  cost of toxic waste cleanup not included in chemical prices GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Economic activities like agriculture or transportation produce pollution which imposes a cost to society at large like health care or environmental cleanup o Example: tires  Tire disposal fees  Pile of tires= good breeding environment for mosquitos o  West Nile, malaria, etc.  Attaching these costs to costs of tire disposal would make the fee quite costly  External costs and GDP o GDP = gross domestic product  The market value of all goods and services by the economy of a given region in a given year  Really is just a proxy measure of national well-being  Don’t take into account the external costs of pollution or depletion of non-renewable resources  If there is a bad chemical spill, you are counting the chemicals that didn’t’ spill from industrial times and then also what did  Environmental cleanup and health costs (disamenities) are considered  High GDP values do not reflect well-being of a country if they are a result of environmental degradation  Herman Daly: stop counting the consumption of natural capital as income  Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) o A tool used by economists in environmental decision-making that compares expected costs to expected benefits associated with a project, activity, or government policy  Came into use in the 1890s with the idea that different kinds of government programs’ benefits outweighed costs  Examples: use of pesticides, pollution control, dams  How do costs of dams measure to benefits?  Before a decision is made, the costs are compared to the benefits  Ie. cost of a dam would include construction, loss of wildlife habitat and farmland o Many dams are deconditioned (can’t be maintained, etc.)  Benefits = less flooding, irrigation, cheaper electricity, recreational opportunities  Both must be calculated over the lifetime of the project GEOG Final Exam Study Guide  CBA of farmland?  Benefits= production amounts  Dead pool: o In dams, so much silt that it could cause an earthquake o Challenges: valuing health, life, and beauty  Both optimal pollution level and cost-benefit analysis sometimes require that we place a monetary value on things like health, biodiversity, and beauty  Cost of a loss of a fishery, human life, scenic view?  Value placed on a human life has varied from $0 to several million dollars: may be based on life insurance estimates, legal settlements, and earning power  o Clean Air Act  Stricter regulations to protect health and environment  $1.4 billion cost to benefit of $110 billion depending on how life, health, and ecosystems are valued  one way to estimate values is willingness to pay o how much people are prepared to pay for environmental protection or health  ie. WTP for deer hunting is the cost of a license o problems: depends on income, easy to answer until you really have to pay o Distribution of costs and benefits in space and time is unequal  Not equally distributed in space  Some people and places benefit from a service o Ie. with a dam: electricity and flood control  Others are displaced and experience loss of land or recreation  Not equally distributed in time  Present generation gets benefits while future generations pay costs (example of nuclear waste) o Discount rates  Benefits are much harder to assess than costs, especially over time  If costs and benefits are calculated into the future, discount rates are used to estimate future benefits, today  Proper discount rate should represent the opportunity cost of what else could be done with the same investment  Cost of not doing an alternative  PV: present value  Environmental Law GEOG Final Exam Study Guide o Need to look at Federal  state  local levels o Important method of regulating the human use of the environment— courts, Congress, executive (rulings and proclamations) o Statutory law: laws passed by legislatures/congress  Implemented by, for example, EPA, DNR (executive branches)  Lay out the legal responsibilities to the environment  Common Law o Based on past legal dcisions by the courts, precedents of basic principles and rules- often determined by lawsuits and court rulings  Can sue for an injunction- force cleanup, cease operations, enforce a statute  Can sue for damages – loss of health, income, etc  Can sue government to force the enforcement of statutory laws  Sue for injunction (most common) o Need STANDING  In nature, no lawers, so you must have legal standing  Can say “I suffer from this particular thing and it’s not fair”  Must show damage to person or property  Case of Mineral King Valley: Sierra club sued to stop a Disney ski development  Supreme court ruled against it, but William O. Douglas stated that people should have the right to represent the interests of the environment  MK Valley became Sequoia National Park  Justice Douglass saved the Canal as well  Class Action lawsuits o Much time, money and evidence are needed to bring a lawsuit o Now many private and public interest environmental law bodies file class action lawsuits on behalf of groups  Examples  Environment defense fund  Natural resources defense council  Past question: Tiger woods killed a tree by crashing into it: o Replacement costs  Be an Advocate for the Environment o Represent your “client” in court  Louisiana wetlands  Forests: management for paper industry  Waterways: polluted by CAFOs GEOG Final Exam Study Guide


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