LEAPES Summer Assignment- Outline
Chapter 1: Introducing Environmental Science and Sustainability
I. Human Impacts on the Environment
A. Life has existed on Earth for about 3.8 billion years.
1. About 800,000 years ago, humans appeared in Africa.
B. Humans are altering the Earth and not always in a good way. 1. We are transforming forests, prairies, and deserts and consuming large amounts of Earth’s finite resources such as rich topsoil, clean water, and breathable air. 2. Global warming is increasingly becoming a larger and larger problem. C. Increasing Human Numbers
1. There are over 6 billion people on the Earth.
2. Almost 400 cities worldwide have a population of at least 1 million. 3. There are 16 megacities with populations greater than 10 million currently. 4. Overpopulation is becoming a very big concern because no one knows how many people Earth can hold. The quality of life is decreasing because feeding the world population is destroying the planet. D. The Gap Between Rich and Poor Countries
1. Highly developed countries (HDCs- United States, Canada, Japan, and most of Europe) are countries that have complex industrialized bases, low rates of population growth and high per capita incomes. 2. About 80% of the world population lives in poor countries a. Poor countries fall into two subcategories: moderately developed countries (Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand) and less developed (LDCs- Bangladesh, Mali, Ethiopia, Laos). b. Relative to highly developed countries, LDCs have low levels of industrializations, high fertility rate, high infant mortality rate and very low per capita income. II. Population, Resources, and the Environment
A. Types of Resources
1. Nonrenewable resources, include minerals (aluminum, tin, and copper) and fossil fuels, are in limited supply and are depleted by use 2. Renewable resources (include trees, fishes, fertile agricultural soil and fresh water) are replaced by nature rapidly on a scale from days to decades. They can be used forever as long as they are not overexploited in the short term. B. Resource Consumption
1. Consumption is the human use of materials and energy. It is an economic and social act, providing the consumer with a sense of identity and status among peers. 2. People in highly developed countries use of resources is out of proportion to their numbers. A child in a highly developed country causes a greater impact on the environment and on resource depletion than 12 or more children born in a developing country. C. People Overpopulation and Consumption Overpopulation
1. A country is overpopulated if the level of demand on its resources base results in damage to the environment. 2. Two ways of overpopulation: people overpopulation (LDCs) and consumption overpopulation (HDCs) 3. An ecological footprint is an average amount of productive land, fresh water, and ocean required on a continuous basis to supply that person food, wood, energy, water, housing, transportation, and waste disposal. a. The Earth has 11.4 billion hectares. Divided by the world population, each person would have 1.9 hectares. Currently, the ecological footprint is 2.3 hectares, which means that we are in an ecological deficit. There are only short-term results because the long-term results are disastrous. D. The IPAT Model
1. Shows the mathematical relationship between environmental impacts and the forces driving them: I = P x A x T a. Three most important factors in determining environmental impact (I) are: the number of people (P), the affluence per person (A), and the environmental effects of the technologies used to obtain and consume the resources (T) b. The three factors are always changing in relation to each other 2. The equation helps identify what we do not know or understand about consumption and its environmental impact. III. Environmental Sustainability
A. Environmental sustainability is the ability to meet humanity’s current needs without compromising the...
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