GRG 304E Week 1 Notes
GRG 304E Week 1 Notes GRG 304E
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cassidy Schap on Sunday September 27, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to GRG 304E at University of Texas at Austin taught by Thoralf Meyer in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Environmental Science: changing world in Geography at University of Texas at Austin.
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Date Created: 09/27/15
Lecture 03 0 Sustainability the ability to meet current needs without compromising the abilities of future generations 0 Environment will function inde nitely Based on the understand of effect of our action earth s resources are nite impacts of consumption shared responsibility between all of us to come up with a way to live sustainably Some people argue that we should leave the developing world out of it but 80 of the population lives there we need to nd a way to live sustainably Problems using nonrenewable resources as if they are renewable using renewable resources faster than nature can replenish them polluting the environment beyond capacity unchecked population growth without regards to Earth s nite resources and ability to deal with waste 0 Issue with trying to nd a way to distribute resources in a sustainable way we have enough food to feed the whole world but we cantdon t get it to all of the places it is needed 0 Too much pollution too fast the environment can lter it out in small doses but with too much at one time it becomes a problem that cant be dealt with naturally Waste has become a problem that is very dif cult to handle from sewage to food to trash 0 Sustainable development economic growth that meets the needs of the present wo hindering the future 0 Must meet the needs of the poor on a global scale 0 Can only occur within the limits of the natural environment 0 Cannot sustain everyone at the current levels of western consumption 0 People living in the developingundeveloped world generally desire a western lifestyle want the things that we have 0 To achieve sustainability the western world would have to cut down 0 Different places require different methods of achieving sustainability Sustainable consumption people use their share of resources to meet their needs must improve the quality of life for the poor minimize the use of resources voluntary simplicity Resources are not distributed equally across the globe HUGE problem o If the country cant get resources form their own country it has to be imported expensive and not easy What is an acceptable maxmin standard across the world No one can agree on this too dif cult to come up with a de nition that ts across the board Voluntary simplicity requires a behavioral change by purchasing less Accumulation of stuff does not equal happiness Values and character de ne a person not what they own HOWEVER in a shallow society social standing often comes from economical standing plus people want to own more things Not popular with politicians and consumers can be much harder to get people to vote for them if they advocate for spending cuts Environmental ethics considers the moral basis of environmental responsibility Considers the rights of people living today and of future generations Critical because our actions affect the environment NOW which effects the environment in the future butter y effect The implementation of sustainable concepts depends on the way that different people see the world Worldviews personal perspectives based on values help us make sense of the world what is right and wrong lead to behaviors and lifestyles The way that you are raised strongly effects the way you see the world The area that you live also affects it what you need changes based on the way of life in the place that you live Two different extremes western worldview and deep ecology worldview Western is human centered Expansionist frontier attitude conquer and exploit nature Human superiority over nature Use of nat resourcesunrestricted Unrestricted economic growth Deep ecology is biocentric Spiritual respect for life Humans and other species are equal Requires radical shift from modern thinking Appreciates quality of life more than a higher standard of living Instrumental value vs intrinsic value 5 recommendations for sustainable living by Lester R Brown 2006 1 Eliminate poverty and stabilize human population 0 raising the standard of living of the world s poor OO 0 universal education of children elimination of illiteracy improving the status of women the birthrate for uneducated women is statistically higher further improve the ability of medical services stick within the carrying capacity the maximum number of people that can be sustained by a given environment 0 2 Protect and restore Earth s resources 0 O O O forests unsustainable logging and burning are making them a nonrenewable resource biodiversity the number and the variety of organisms and types of organisms economic services food medicine energy building and clothing materials ecosystem services services provided for free by the environment ie protection of watersheds agricultural lands 0 3 Provide adequate food for all people on a global scale 0 00000000 00 people lack access to the food they need to live healthily live in chronic hunger and malnutrition 800 million people worldwide many children mostly rural areas in developing countries improving agriculture is the highest priority last 50 years production kept up with population growth high environmental cost need to increase productivity in the same amount of land could be done using multicropping using the land in all seasons conservation tillage keeping topsoil in place GMOs Better quipped to deal with drought pests unfavorable conditions 0 4 Mitigate the effects of climate change 0 O O 0 enhanced greenhouse effect additional warming produced by increased levels of gases that absorb infrared radiation C02 methane water vapor larger molecules that trap longwave radiation and re ect it When a wave hits a molecule 3 things generally happen transmitted re ected or scattered Ocean is the biggest sink of C02 so the concentration increases there Creates carbonic acid in the water change the pH of the water Harms corals and other calcium based lifeforms Changes in ocean food web dynamics increased exUncUons O 0 When climate changes ecosystems shift upward lf forests move into tundra areas the albedo of the area changes affecting the warming 0 5 Design sustainable cities 0 000000 00 50 of world s people live in cities in US 80 urbanization people moving from rural areas to cities need to build cities around people not cars less congestion pollution space for parking urban transportation is generally very inefficient better options are to walk bike take a train bus railcar etc water resources need to be used more efficiently recycling waste water for other uses watering plants etc water puri cation of sewage before release Lecture 02 Environmental challenges in the 21st century 9313 0 Changes show in an area when humans are using it use images not photographs Flooding in Botswana causes a surplus of mosquitos carrying malaria People who have hiv are weakened already die from it 0 Will talk about poverty consumption in general global issues 0 Dist bt dev countrynot dev country 0 What is the problem Emotionally involved often not backed up with facts 0 term paper back it up with REAL SCIENTIFIC FACTS 0 main problem is that there is only one planet we have to conserve it bc things are very limited 0 approx 45 bil years old humans appeared in Africa about 195k yrs ago 0 tech allows people to live better lives 0 population has always expanded and grown earth provides raw materials and energy for life 0 humans are the most signi cant factors in climate change 0 72 billion people overpopulation consumption of nat resources transdestroying natural envhabitats eradicating unique species 0 human induced climate change C02 0 most people live in the NE corner of the us that s where the most resources are used that s where the heaviest environmental impact is 0 human pop was fairly stable until mod medicine indust revolution etc poverty people are unable to meet their basic needs as far as food clothing shelter education amphealthy 0 1 in 4 people live in extreme poverty less than 2day 33 bil people 0 associated with short life exp bad health services illiteracy little access to safe waterfood pop growth projected 77 bil106 bil people dep on fertility rate current fertility rate is 26 children per woman may stabilize by the end of the 21st century quality of life depends on being able to produce wnough food in a sustainable manner OOOO aka wo destroying the bio communities that support life on our planet gap between the rich and the poor both countries and people highly dev countries rich HDCs complex industrial bases low pop growth high per capita income 18 of world s population US Canada japan most of Europe Poor countries 82 of worlds population Moderately dev countries MDCs Medium levels of industry lower per capita income little edu or health care Mexico turkey south Africa Thailand china india Less dev countries LCDs Low indust high pop growth high infant mortality rate very low incomes agriculture based cheap unskilled labor Bangladesh mali Ethiopia aos 2 types of resources renewable and nonrenewable non limited supply minerals amp fossil fuels once they are gone they are gone doesnt matter if we will ever reach the limit they are still limited renewablevirtually unlimited solar power water soil forests replenished over short periods days to decades easy to overexploit but then they can become nonrenewable dev countries rapid pop growth natural resources are depleted for survival many env problems lie in dev countries bc they need the energy so much IE deserti cation air pollution trash malnutrition Developed countries slower pop growth but much higher rate of consumption Rapid pop growth can cause resources to be over exploited Econo growth tied to nat resource exploit Choice between short term and long term Overpopulation if the demand on a country s resources results in damage to the environment they need more than they can get 2 ways people overpopulation consumption is high bc there are too many people even if ind consumption is low consumption overpopulation consumption is high because each individual consumes too much even if the pop is relatively low ecological footprints the amount of land fresh water and ocean required on a continuous basis to supply a person with food wood energy water housing clothing transportation and waste disposal earth has 114 bil ha 282 bil acres of productive land and water each person has about 16 ha39 acres to live off of dispose of waste eat etc footprint of avg American is 94 ha 233 acres if whole world was like that we would need 4 earthsbrings us back to WE ONLY HAVE ONE IPAT equation I P x A x T l environmental impact P population A af uence per person T technology used to get resources Ultimate goal is to make consumption sustainable To focus on sustainability Stabilize human pop prevent pollution where possible restore degraded env protect ecosystems use resources efficiently educate children and adults prevent and reduce waste eradicate hunger and poverty
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