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Intro to Environmental Science 001

by: Sadie Shelton

Intro to Environmental Science 001 ENSC 001

Marketplace > University of Vermont > Environmental Science > ENSC 001 > Intro to Environmental Science 001
Sadie Shelton

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About this Document

Week 4 hybrid and class notes
Intro Environmental Sci
Nicholas P. Perdrial
Class Notes
ENSC 001, ENSC 1, 001, ensc, environmental, Science, intro, week 4, notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sadie Shelton on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENSC 001 at University of Vermont taught by Nicholas P. Perdrial in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Intro Environmental Sci in Environmental Science at University of Vermont.


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Date Created: 02/11/16
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Hybrid Class 3 ENSC 001 Love Canal Disaster - Toxic waste dumped in an old canal and then buried • Waste leaked into ground water and basements - Children were born with birth defects - Miscarriages were more likely - People were more likely to have cancer - 88 identified chemicals • 11 caused cancer - Only a few families were evacuated - Eventually the residents were evacuated - In 2011, chemicals were found 1/2 mile away from the waste site • Leakage or left over? The EPA: Revolutionizing Environmental Regulation - Established by Nixon in 1970 - Rise of pollution in 1960s - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962 was attacked by chemical companies - 1968 — Cuyahoga River catching fire in Ohio - Political and corporate leaders had varying support of environmental protection - First Earth day in 1970, April 22 - Nixon used environmental movement as political maneuver • Appointed an administrator to EPA who did not know anything about environmental law - He made sure however that his new laws had “teeth” and were followed 1 Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Sustainability definition: scientific & simple - Brundtland Def: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs - Colbert: • Nothing is created or destroyed - Sustainability: the capacity of our human society to continue indefinitely within these natural cycles - Everything has a tendency to disperse and lose its structure over time - Photosynthesis uses the energy from the sun to reorganize matter - Left to their own devices, natural cycles are well balances 4 Root Causes of Unsustainability 1. Relatively large flow of materials from earth’s crust —> mining heavy metals, extracting oil 2. Accumulation of substances created by society —> large quantities of CO2, chemical compound which take a long time to degrade 3. Physically inhibit nature’s ability to run cycles —> chopping trees faster than they can grow, parking lots Barriers to people meeting their basic needs worldwide 4. 2 Wednesday, February 10, 2016 Sustainability Plan: How might Einstein Solve our Problems? - Most common planning is forecasting — using info from the past to plan for the future • What if we need to change direction? - Forecasting is good to build on successes, understand problems and building resilience - Forecasting is bad in complex systems and not enough to plan - Better to plan from the future — backcasting • Agree even in large groups on what the principles of success are • No time and resources wasted on short then decisions • No argument on the details of what a sustainable society looks like in the end • We don't reproduce in the future problems that we have today • Adjust our strategy, step-by-step as new technologies and inventions appear 4 Principles to Win the Sustainability ‘Game’ - In a sustainable society, nature in not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust • Can’t grow society around these materials - In a sustainable society, nature in not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of substances produced by society 3 Wednesday, February 10, 2016 • Must use materials that nature can cope with and at a capable rate - In a sustainable society, nature in not subject to systematically increasing degradation by physical means • Cannot destroy nature at a higher rate than the earth can regenerate - In a sustainable society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs • We cannot use supplies that create ongoing barriers for some people to meet their needs 4 Thursday, February 11, 2016 Lecture 4: Application — Environmental Protection and Sustainability ENSC 001 Environmental Scientists - Develop solutions to our problems - New laws - Sustainability Goal of all environmental scientists is to help develop a more sustainable environmental protection strategy Case Study - Actors: • Government • Affected people • Rest of humanity 1


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