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How to reduce population growth?

How to reduce population growth?


School: University of Washington
Department: Program On The Environment
Course: Environmental Foundations
Professor: Elizabeth wheat
Term: Summer 2015
Cost: 50
Name: Cumulative Review of Envir 100
Description: This document is an in-depth overview of the entire quarter of Environmental Studies 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations, jointly taught by Dr. Elizabeth Wheat and Dr. Tim Billo. This covers everything that was on the study guide for the final exam, but it is also weighted for the second half of the quarter. If you would like to get a head start in your knowledge, or would like a succinct guide for
Uploaded: 12/17/2015
50 Pages 219 Views 1 Unlocks

Envir 100:  Final Exam  Review

How to reduce population growth?

Good luck...

Environmental Impact= Population * Affluence * Technology I=PAT

How to make our impact decrease→ can use technology to divide the equation,  instead of multiply (green tech, energy efficiency, cleaning up our mess, trap  pollution with carbon capture, developing renewable energy, HFC alternatives…)

Consumption is the manifestation of affluence


Largest=US, India, and China Highest pop density=Asian countries  Highest growth rate=Africa and Saudi Arabia We also discuss several other topics like What is the earliest surviving islamic sanctuary?


Growth rate of world=birth rate-death rate  

Growth rate of nation=(birth+immigration)- (death rate + emigration)

How to reduce population growth  Population of the world is still growing, but at a slower rate

What are the patterns of the anthropocene?

1. Education for young women→ direct correlation between increased edu and  decreased fertility rates (# of children a woman has) We also discuss several other topics like Who is gergor mendel?

2. Family planning services and health care

3. Improving living conditions of an area

4. Access to birth control

It is a whole lot easier to manage and provide resources to communities rather than telling  parents that they can’t have so many children

Population Growth Curve

Why does it look like this?

Why do we need environmental law?

Don't forget about the age old question of Differentiate weather and climate.

Vaccines (disease didn’t limit our  

carrying capacity)

Better living conditions and  

overall health

99% of the next 1 billion people will  

live in developing countries→ need  

to plan for this

Planetary Boundaries

Defines the safe operating space for humanity with respect to the earth system Pushing the Boundary

1. Climate change (350pp million/volume or change in radiative forcing of 1W/m2) 2. Rate of Biodiversity loss (10 species/million/yr extinct)

3. Nitrogen cycle (35 million tons/yr of nitrogen removed from air for human use) Still okay for…

1. Phosphorus cycle (11 million tons/yr)

2. Stratospheric ozone depletion ( [276] dobson units)

3. Ocean Acidification (2.75 global mean saturation state)

4. Global freshwater use (4000 km3/yr consumed)

5. Change in land use (15% of global land cover converted to croplands) 6. Atmospheric aerosol loading  

7. Chemical pollution

Planetary Boundaries Key Ideas

All of the listed factors are interconnected, so if one is pushed over the limit, others  will also be threatened

As long as the thresholds are not crossed, we can continue to pursue long term  economic and social developmentDon't forget about the age old question of What are the treatments for eating disorders?


A new geologic era (1800-today) where natural forces and human forces have become  intertwined, so much so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other

Patterns of the Anthropocene

● increased scale and speed of global change

● increased interconnectedness and complexity

● increased population and consumption

● increased urbanization and fossil fuel consumption

● era of mass transport (globalization) and scientific revolutions ● increased wealth and economic disparity

Don’t forget about the Great Acceleration: period after WWII in 1950 with an  explosion of human innovations, but mass amounts of pollutionIf you want to learn more check out What are the four main macromolecules?

CHANS: Coupled Human and Natural Systems Where human systems overlap and interact with natural systems

Feedback Loops (Positive and Negative)

Regime Shifts and Tipping Points: 1. large, abrupt, persistent changes in the structure and function of  a system; the new norm (climate change) 2. transition between regimes...what happens that leads to  large shifts

Emergent Properties: unique properties not belonging to exclusively human or natural systems, but  emerging from the interactions between them (urban wildlife)

Legacy Effects and Time Lags: cumulative impacts of past interactions on current and future  conditions

Resilience and Vulnerability: 1. capacity of a system to withstand and adapt to change 2.  susceptibility to harm

Levels of Diversity

Biodiversity: all variations in all types of organisms on Earth We also discuss several other topics like How do i enforce this court ordered judgment?

Ecosystem Diversity: the variety of different ecosystems in a broader landscape;  why habitat conservation is so important

Species Diversity: morphological, biological, and phylogenetic species concepts  (*see next slide for details)

Genetic Diversity: DNA of each individual is different from the other, as a result of  nature or nurture

3 Species Concepts

Morphological: are differents species based off of what they look like; simple, but  often there are minute differences that can’t be distinguished just based on outer appearances  (think of mosquitos--all look the same but different--or domesticated dogs--all look different  but are the same species)

Biological: a population whose members are able to interbreed freely under natural  conditions and locations, and produce fertile offspring; can’t be applied to asexual  organisms or those whose ranges don’t overlap; can be applied to species that look similar  morphologically

Phylogenetic: one species under the biological species concept, but many distinct  genetic populations (West coast salmon); unique adaptations to local conditions; could be  on their way to becoming diverging species

Species Concepts Illustrated

Quantifying Diversity

SPECIES RICHNESS: the # of species  per unit area


individuals per species


abundance of each species; how close  in numbers each species in an  

environment is to others

There is more resilience in the system  

with the most amount of genetic  

diversity, and relative evenness of  


Biodiversity Principles

I. We have identified only a small number of Earth’s organisms, but we do know that insects rule  diversity

A. 10-50 million species, but we’ve only identified 1.75 million; insects are over half of the world’s species; viruses  and bacteria might make up a significant chunk too

II. Plants rule biomass

III. Biodiversity is richest near the equator

IV. Biodiversity is not evenly distributed within latitude

V. Biodiversity is critical to ecosystem function and human well being and survival A. ecosystem services: provisions (basic needs), regulation (natural balance), cultural (religion and identity), support  (nutrient cycling); worth more than $125 trillion/yr

B. keystone species

VI. Extinction is a natural process

VII. 6th mass extinction is different! → losing species at 1000-10,000x the normal rate VIII. Some species are more vulnerable to extinction than others (endemic species--live in one area--and  specialist vs. generalist species)

The HIPPO that ate Biodiversity H→ Habitat Loss

I→ Invasive Species

P→ Population growth

P→ Pollution

O→ Overexploitation

Now can include CLIMATE CHANGE as  

something that threatens biodiversity at  

every level

Climate Change: Intro  

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) → summarize climate change  science, come up with mitigation proposals, advice for adaptation to a changing  world

Climate: a generalization of weather over time

Direct correlation between increase carbon concentrations, increased temperature,  and rising sea levels

Paleo Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM): amount of carbon in the atmosphere was  higher than it is today; characterized by mass extinctions and high global  temperatures; key comparison→ happened over 20,000 yrs, but we are seeing similar  global temperature changes over 200 yrs...

Climate Change: How it occurs

Milankovitch Cycles: the earth changes orbit every 30,000 years to be closer to the sun;  correspond to ice age cycles

Albedo: the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected back into space; want a high albedo effect,  which can happen with increased ice or cloud cover; can cause positive or negative feedback loops

Greenhouse Effect: where infrared energy is trapped in the lower atmosphere because of  increased greenhouse gas concentrations; need GHGs like water, methane, and carbon for a  habitable earth

As of 2013, it is extremely likely (95% chance) that more than half of the observed  increases in global temperatures were caused by anthropogenic increases in GHG  concentrations

Keeling Curve

Seasonal variations in  carbon concentrations  (more photosynthesis in  summer, less in winter)

Steady increase in  

atmospheric carbon  

since 1960

Climate Change: Effects

Temperature changes will be the largest near the poles→ leads to melting of sea ice, melting of  permafrost, increased sea levels

Global warming will have to biggest negative effects on species in the tropics→ more specialists,  species adapted to narrow temp variations, complex species co-dependencies (fig trees and fig  wasps)

Our current biological reserves will not accommodate for range shifts→ species expected to go 51- 100m higher in elevation, and go 51-100 km toward the poles as the earth heats up; reserves  are currently small and flat

Other: Increased heat, drought, and fire intensity→ burn trees, which are carbon reserves;  Phenological mismatch→ temperature queues of creatures; Pest resilience→ bark beetles don’ t die in the winter; ocean acidification increases; environmental justice issue with human  displacement and unequal consequences

Ocean Acidification

There has been a .1 increase in  

acidity, from 8.2 to 8.1 pH, since  

the 1800s → this is in fact a 30%  

increase in H+ ions in the water  

because pH is a logarithmic scale

16% decrease in carbonate ions

Decreased pH=decreased  


Communities change in structure,  

become dominated by generalists  

instead of specialists

Climate Ethics

Triple Inequality: responsibility, vulnerability, capacity to adapt Per capita emission rights→ who has the right to have more or less? Trading? Carbon Markets→ what if we put a price tag on carbon? $5-100/ton

Intergenerational Ethics→ If you know a problem exists, then you have an  obligation to do something about it

When you put a frog in hot water, it jumps out...but when you heat up the water slowly, it  doesn’t realize it is in danger→ why we are not alarmed by global warming

Puget Sound Pollution

Point vs. Nonpoint source pollution

Bioaccumulation: where toxic substances, like pesticides and organic chemicals  (PCBs--factories-- and PBDEs--fire resistant clothing), accumulate in the living  tissues of an organism throughout its life  

Biomagnification: accumulation of toxins up a food chain, so those at the top have  the most concentrated toxins in their body

Carbon Cycle

Natural intake of carbon through  photosynthesis (on land and ocean)  and outtake through respiration and  ocean; natural ocean-atmosphere  balancing act  

We alter this balance with land use  changes of agriculture and  

deforestation, and through the burning  of fossil fuels

The ocean overcompensates, and CO2 reacts with water to add to the  

problem of ocean acidification

Nitrogen Cycle

Both lightning and bacteria can  fix N2 into usable forms for life

Haber Bosch process: nitrogen  fixation that turns atmospheric  nitrogen into ammonia in  


We have changed the carbon cycle  by 13%, but the nitrogen cycle by  108%

Phosphorus Cycle

Human activities lead  

to eutrophication:  

excessive richness of  

nutrients in bodies of  

water, which lead to  

dense plant and animal  

life, and then anoxic,  

oxygen poor waters,  

and then mass death  

and phytotoxicity

Environmental Law

Why do we need this? Because no man is an island--everything we do affects the  world around us

We create laws to foresee problems (because we are predictable creatures) and to  provide warnings about consequences

Envir law is about sharing a collective resource that no one person owns; harm to  the environmental will inadvertently cause harm to people

Established to protect the shared resources of the planet from overexploitation/abuse and  to protect human health

Major US Envir Legislation

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969: requires industry to file environmental  statements

Clean Air Act of 1970: regulates air pollution from stationary and mobile sources

Clean Water Act of 1972: have to get a permit for point source pollution;  agriculture exempted

Endangered Species Act of 1973: primarily protect endangered species through  habitat preservation; success story of DDT bans and Bald Eagles

Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972: bans the export, import, and sale of  marine mammals or their parts; sanctions against violators

Sources of nonrenewable energy, & their implications & issues An industrialized world is a mechanized world. A mechanized word requires energy.

Coal→ began with coal powered steam engines in 1852, now used to power electricity, 19.7% of US energy,  40% of world’s energy, very high EROEI; obtained from mining; potential for “clean coal”  

Oil→ 1890 creation of the internal combustion engine; 1973 energy crisis, now less dependence on Middle  East than ever before; 36% energy in US--mainly transportation; future and current oil will come from  fracking, horizontal drilling, and deepwater horizons; peak oil?  

Natural Gas→ burns efficiently, good for cities; leaks easily to become a GHG; 26% of US energy use;  obtained in the US through fracking (pumps chemicals into ground to extract fossil fuels from cracks in  rocks--water pollution)

Nuclear→ splitting the nucleus of uranium cores through nuclear fission to produce heat that boils water;  pros-- uranium ore is abundant, concentrated for a small amount, and clean...dependable energy despite  weather...technology costs as much as that of oil production; cons--vulnerable to natural disasters, no  disposal plant for radioactive waste

Coal: Biggest Producers & Consumers Producers: China for three decades (70%+), US (steady 20%), India, Australia

Consumers: China (consumes as much as all the rest of the world combined), US,  India, Japan

Coal accounts for 40% of the world’s energy, and 39% of GHG emissions

“Clean Coal” → scrubbers, carbon capture systems (this however decreases EROEI,  so frowned upon economically), carbon tax

Per-capita Energy Consumption

Of the top 10 highest populations  

in the world, the US is the top  

energy consumer

Canada rates as worse in per-capita  

energy consumption

Canada, Iceland, and Norway  

all have high energy availability for  

all their people, and also need to  

heat their homes because they are  

at higher latitudes; also depends on  

what type of energy is being used  


Energy Numbers

Highest energy consuming countries: China, USA

Highest per-capita energy consumers: Canada, USA, Iceland Fastest growth in energy consumption countries: China, developing countries

American Energy

US sectors consuming energy, including largest: Transportation (28%), Industrial  (21%), Residential and Commercial (11%), and Electricity (48%)

US energy sources, now and in the future: Petroleum (36%), Natural Gas (26%), Coal  (20%), Renewable Energy (9%), Nuclear (8%)  

FUTURE: Renewables will hopefully take up a bigger slice of the pie, with  hydroelectric composing of 35% of renewable energy, and wind, solar, and biofuel  will all increase; petroleum use will flatten out, and then decrease with increased  renewable alternatives; coal will not be needed to power electricity

Systems view of energy consumption

Systems analysis of the bigger picture of where our energy is going...not just sectors like  industrial, residential, transportation, electricity, etc. → valuable to tackling the bigger  categories by figuring out what is really going on

Transportation: air is 6x less efficient than trucks, and barges are even better HOWEVER in systems view, we can break down transport, and discover, that  44% of the energy goes into packaging; only a small slice of the pie goes towards  people driving around in cars, and a significant slice is of provisioning of goods and  food

Trends in oil production, US, world, reasons, implications

US is currently the world's leading petroleum producer, primarily because of  fracking

We should be leading in the fight against climate change, and that includes not  allowing more dirty oil to be drilled--Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

Connected to the metaphoric Alberta Tar Sands→ promoted dirty coal, low EROEI,  ridiculously high temps required for refineries, waste sludges, river water required,  habitat loss, loss of indigenous populations, high refining costs

Pipeline would have made this process easier and less expensive

Why Obama said a big fat NO→ extracting more dirty oil does not make our  economy secure, this would discredit our role as world leaders, already struck a deal  to pursue renewables and oil at the same time, cash for clunkers makes cars go twice  as far, we need to combat climate change NOW

WA Energy Sources

#1 producer of hydroelectric energy! → we are a net exporter of energy 31/50 in consumption

21/50 in production

We primarily get our energy from hydroelectric, wind farms, and nuclear power Onshore wind and hydropower could each make up ⅓ of our power source

Renewable Energy Types, with Pros and Cons

SOLAR: pros→ most energy produced on days when most energy is needed, clean, domestic; cons→ dependent on sun exposure, costly for now with a long payback period, toxic materials in solar panels

HYDROELECTRIC: pros→ immense amount of power from renewable resource, no shipping costs; cons→ flood an entire area to build dams

WIND: pros→ clean, free, and non depletable resource, US has the largest potential to harness wind energy,  each turbine could supply for 400+ hrs; cons→ birds and bats killed in turbines, loud and ugly  

BIOFUEL: pros→ has the potential to be carbon neutral (using new carbon rather than old carbon), use  municipal waste; cons→ not as energy efficient as petroleum, can corrode engines, have to be careful in  production to not cause a negative impact to the native land


Rules of sustainable biofuel

1. never displace biodiversity

2. use municipal waste/residue

3. capture as much carbon as possible

4. don’t use agricultural land for biofuels

Ideal biofuels: hydrocarbon based (energy release from breaking C-H bonds, so  want more), biomass fuel, derived from waste


“Whereas industrialism is a way of thought based on capital and technology, agrarianism  is a way of thought based on the land” → is both a culture and an economy

Wendell Berry and The Whole Horse→ half of the horse inspires industry (the power  in the legs) while the other half that feeds that is neglected (the mouth)

Difference between global and industrialized econ (with a producer to consumer  gap) and a local agrarian econ (with responsible land use and a closing of the gap)

Ways to measure the sustainability of the food system

Scale of farm, Economics/markets, Soil, Water, Seed diversity, Plant diversity, Agricultural methods, Farm  workers → think about cheap produce...can’t actually do that unless you exploit the land and the  workers on it

Michigan State University→ came up with a way to have the same yield as conventional farms with  small amounts of fertilizer and winter cover crops

NITROGEN: human activities account for more than half the nitrogen fixed per year; we fix nitrogen  in factories, despite natural solutions, because it is faster than nature

Mark Shepard→ permaculture, sustainable and self-sufficient, understanding natural biome, cover  crops on off season adds organic matter to soil (that’s the #1 thing you can do to increase the  resilience of the system), farmer natural selection, rethink pesticides, drip irrigation with keyline  slopes→ 2% increase in soil organic matter is 100% increase in water storage...bring carbon levels  down to pre-industrial levels if adopted globally

Food Sovereignty

Quantity (access to food) v. Quality (choice of access to healthy food) Difference between food security and sovereignty

Sovereignty takes security a bit further, and gives communities the chance to  choose where their food is coming from, and enabling them to gather that food-- reflects culture, health, and local food

Green Revolution

Period from the 1950s-70s where innovations were pursued for better farming Ultimate aim→ higher densities of crops and higher yield

Bred corn to be skinnier so that you could pack them together...requires more  fertilizer

New fertilizers, application of pesticides

Result: dramatic increase in productivity, credited with saving over a billion lives GR does NOT include genetic engineering

Food Desert

The lack of access to fresh food, defined as 1 mile from produce in cities and 10 miles from  produce in the country, because of a lack of transport or as an issue of social justice

The Farm Bill, which subsidizes mass production of corn that is turned into corn  syrup, is the same bill that also has provisions for food stamps→ evident that this is  an issue of social justice

A lack of access to fresh food causes people to buy refined foods, which directly  correlates to obesity trends; when we split up obesity by race, black communities are  farther away from fresh organic produce, and are disproportionately obese

How we treat our soil is directly related to how we treat ourselves

Ecosystem Service

Conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems, and the spaces that make  them up, sustain and fulfill human life

Worth $125 trillion/yr!!!

Loss of ecosystem services→ $4.3-20.2 trillion/yr because of land use changes

Biodiversity is the key to preserving ecosystem functioning→ think about functional  groups, which puts the focus less on the # of species, but rather what specific role to  they play in an ecosystem

How do you farm and preserve ecosystem function? Identify the local functional  groups, grow in three dimensions, attend to organic matter, integrate animals

Carbon Tax

Pros: Saliency--because it is noticeable, as compared to natural price fluctuations, a  permanent tax becomes a public debate and alters behavior immensely; allows  renewables to make gains over coal and natural gas for electricity; more progressive  tax system; funds Working Families Rebate

Cons: Will this be effective for the long run in reducing transportation?

Strategy for Implementation: grassroots movement to get it on the ballot in the  2016 election, where there will be a disproportionate turnout of liberal 18-34 yr  olds; revenue neutral tax swaps/tax shifting (fund Working Families Rebate,  manufacturer compensation, sales tax shift); money doesn’t go toward renewables,  but rather smarter taxing; start at $25/ton

Endangered Species

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) → define  endangered species, regulate trade, and place trade sanctions on violators

● umbrella regime for many mini regimes of state interests ● unusual N-S alliances (due to import-export relationship) ● veto coalitions

● Appendix levels

● politics and economics determine action, not ethics

● role of science in hard population data

● specific genetic populations protected

● protection varies with species

● black markets arise

International Definitions

Treaty→ strongest agreement that is ratified by law making authorities (the Senate  for the US)

Convention→ gathering of international representatives to come up with an  agreement on a protocol to take action

Protocol→ international agreement before or after a convention, outlining details  for action

Paris Talks

If we take a business as usual approach, will yield catastrophic and irreversible changes Kyoto Protocol of 1997→ only included industrialized countries, and US not a part of it

Copenhagen Conference of 2009→ biggest emitters agreed to limit emissions, but no legally  binding treaty

Paris→ EU will cut emissions by 40%, US by 26-28%, China peak by 2030 Pledges will hold the world at 2.7-3 degrees C of global warming

Human Development Index--Happiness Studies!

Human Behavior Examples

Social Norms

Personal Norms

Injunctive Norm

Choice Architecture (esp. to discourage selfishness)

Boomerang Effect

Tragedy of the Commons: people behave in ways that benefit the individual in the  short run, but harm the whole of society in the long run; we take and take because  we are selfish, short-sighted creatures, until there is nothing left

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