Bio 1110 Chapter 1
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Date Created: 04/03/16
Environmental Interrelationships Outline 1.1 The Nature of Environmental Science 1.2 Emerging Global Issues 1.3 Human Well-Being and the Environment The Nature of Environmental Science Environmental science is interdisciplinary, and includes scientific and social aspects of human impact on the world. • It is a mixture of traditional science, individual and societal values, and political awareness. 1 The Nature of Environmental Science Environment is everything that affects an organism during its lifetime. Environmental science Interrelatedness Is a Core Concept Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe. John Muir http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/ Interrelatedness Is a Core Concept Charles Darwin proposed that seed production in red clover was related to the number of cats in the area. 2 Interrelatedness Is a Core Concept The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park has resulted in many changes. 31 wolves were introduced in 1995. In 1996 there were about 320 wolves. Interrelatedness Is a Core Concept The wolves have caused water flow changes in the park, increases in willow and aspen trees, as well as songbirds, foxes, certain rodents, hawks, and owls. Coyote and elk have declined. An Ecosystem Approach An ecosystem is a region in which the organisms and the physical environment form an interacting unit. 3 Emerging Global Issues Environmental change threatens people’s health, physical security, material needs, and social cohesion. Environmental Governance Development strategies need to maintain the ecosystem needs on which long-term development goals depend. • Hurricane Katrina in 2005 demonstrated the link between destruction of coastal wetlands and vulnerability to storms. Environmental Governance Most social and political decisions are made with respect to political jurisdictions, but environmental problems do not necessarily coincide with these artificial human made political boundaries. • Air pollution generated in China affects air quality in western coastal states in the United States and in British Columbia, Canada. • Air pollution generated in Juarez, Mexico, causes problems in the neighboring city of EI Paso, Texas 4 Environmental Governance Eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and hundreds of local jurisdictions impact environmental decisions in the Great Lakes on pollution, exotic species, fishing, and land use. Human Well-Being and the Environment The end point of development is human well- being. Human well-being and the quality of the environment are strongly interrelated. • Environmental changes have impacts on human wellbeing. Defining Human Well-Being Resources people have, such as money and other assets. The environment is seen only as a means to promote economic growth. How people feel about their lives, including the cultural importance that environment has for life satisfaction. What people are able to be and to do. This multidimensional view focuses on what the environment allows individuals to be and to do. 5 Project Get Outdoors Nature deficit disorder http://www.mnprojectgo.com/ Project GO was developed in response to Richard Louv’s 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods; Saving Our Children from Nature- Deficit Disorder”. http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/ Defining Human Well-Being Ecosystem services include • Provisioning services: food, water • Regulating services: flood control, disease control • Cultural services: spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits • Supporting services: nutrient cycling The world’s poorest people depend primarily on environmental goods and services for their livelihoods. Karst Topography 6 Karst Topography Environment and Health The World Health Organization estimates that 13 million deaths worldwide could be prevented every year by environmental improvement. • Cancer • Malaria • Coronary Heart Disease • Diarrhea Environment and Health Urban air pollution affects health in almost every region of the world. 7 Environment and Security Security means having stable and reliable access to resources and the ability to be secure from natural and human disasters. Scarcity of water or other resources can lead to armed conflicts. Environment and Globalization Globalization of trade has led to the spread of exotic species. • Zebra Mussel in North Americ • Emerald Ash Borer • Buckthorn • Earthworms • Pheasants http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/index.html Environment and Globalization In 1997, representatives from 125 nations met in Kyoto, Japan for the Third Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. • The Kyoto Protocol is viewed as one of the most important steps to date in environmental protection and international diplomacy. 8 Environment and Globalization Montreal Protocol 1987 • http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/ Environment and Globalization The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was completed in 2005. • As the human population grows, it puts pressure on the natural ecosystems of the world. • Most ecosystems are being negatively affected. • Food production has increased at the expense of soil loss due to erosion, conversion of natural ecosystems to managed systems, and overconsumption of water. Energy and the Environment Threat of inadequate and insecure supplies of energy at affordable prices. • Hydraulic fracturing 9 Energy and the Environment Energy and the Environment http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ lands_minerals/silicasand.html 10 Energy and the Environment Global increases in carbon dioxide emissions are primarily due to fossil fuel use. • Fossil fuels met 82% of the world’s energy demand in 2010. 10 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Environment 1. Reduce driving 2. Save electricity 3. Recycle 4. Conserve water 5. Safely dispose of hazardous waste 10 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Environment 6. Eat locally 7. Donate reusable items 8. Buy in bulk 9. Learn how to avoid the use of insect repellants 10. Be an informed and active citizen 11