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MILLER/SPOOLMAN
ESSENTIALS OF ECOLOGY
6TH
Core Case Study: A Vision of a More Sustainable World in 2060
• Sustainability: the capacity of the earth’s natural systems and human cultural systems to survive, flourish, and adapt into the very long‐term future
CHAPTER 1
Environmental Problems,
Their Causes, and
Sustainability
Environmental Science Is a Study of Connections in Nature (1)
• Environment:
• Everything around us
• “The environment is everything that isn’t me.“
• Environmental science: interdisciplinary science connecting information and ideas from
• Natural sciences: ecology, biology, geology, chemistry…
• Social sciences: geography, politics, economics
• Humanities: ethics, philosophy
Fig. 1-1a, p. 5
Environmental Science Is a Study of Connections in Nature (2)
Nature’s Survival Strategies Follow Three Principles of Sustainability
• How nature works
1. Reliance on solar energy
• How the environment affects us
2. Biodiversity
•
•
• How we affect the environment
• How to deal with environmental problems
• How to live more sustainably
The sun provides warmth and fuels photosynthesis
Astounding variety and adaptability of natural Astounding
variety and adaptability of natural
systems and species
3. Chemical cycling
•
•
Circulation of chemicals from the environment to organisms and then back to the environment
Also called nutrient cycling
1
From Simple Cell to Homo Sapiens
Solar Energy
First simple cells appear (about 3.5 billion years ago)
First multicellular life
appears (about 1
billion years ago)
First major land plants
appear (about 475
million years ago)
Dinosaurs disappear
(about 65 million
years ago)
Homo sapiens arrives
(about 200,000 years ago)
Chemical Cycling
Fig. 1-2, p. 7
• Natural capital: supported by solar capital
Natural Capital = Natural Resources + Natural Services
Air
• Natural resources: useful materials and energy in nature
• Natural services: important nature processes such as renewal of air, water, and soil
Renewable
energy (sun,
wind, water
flows)
Air purification
Climate control
UV protection
(ozone layer)
Life
(biodiversity)
Population
P
l ti
control
Water
• Humans degrade natural capital
Water purification
Pest
control
Waste treatment
• Scientific solutions needed for environmental sustainability
Fig. 1-3, p. 8
Natural Capital
Solar
energy
Sustainability Has Certain Key Components
Biodiversity
Soil
Nonrenewable
minerals
(iron, sand)
Soil renewal
Land
Food production
Nutrient
recycling
Nonrenewable
energy
(fossil fuels)
Natural resources
Natural services
Nutrient Cycling
Fig. 1-4, p. 9
Natural Capital Degradation
Fig. 1-5, p. 10
Fig. 1-6, p. 10
2
Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (1)
• Resource
Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (2)
• Renewable resource
• Anything we obtain from the environment to meet our needs
• Some directly available for use: sunlight
• Some not directly available for use: petroleum
• Several days to several hundred years to renew
• E.g., forests, grasslands, fresh air, fertile soil
• Sustainable yield
• Highest rate at which we can use a renewable resource without reducing available supply
• Perpetual resource
• Solar energy
Some Sources Are Renewable and Some Are Not (3)
Reuse
• Nonrenewable resources
• Energy resources
• Metallic mineral resources
• Nonmetallic mineral resources
• Reuse
• Recycle
Fig. 1-7, p. 11
Recycle
Countries by Gross National Income per Capita
Fig. 1-8, p. 12
Supplement 8, Fig 2
3
1‐2 How Are Our Ecological Footprints Affecting the Earth?
• Concept 1‐2 As our ecological footprints grow, we are depleting and degrading more of the earth’s natural capital.
Natural Capital Degradation
Degradation of Normally Renewable Natural Resources
Climate
change
Shrinking
forests
Decreased
wildlife
habitats
Air pollution
Soil erosion
Species
extinction
Water
pollution
Aquifer
depletion
Declining
ocean fisheries
Fig. 1-9, p. 13
Pollution Comes from a Number of Sources (1)
• Sources of pollution
Pollution Comes from a Number of Sources (2)
• Pollution cleanup (output pollution control)
• Point sources
• E.g., smokestack (chimney; vent)
• Pollution prevention (input pollution control)
• Nonpoint sources
• E.g., pesticides blown into the air
• Main type of pollutants
• Biodegradable
• Nondegradable
• Unwanted effects of pollution
Point‐Source Air Pollution
Nonpoint Source Water Pollution
Fig. 1-10, p. 14
Fig. 1-11, p. 14
4
Patterns of Natural Resource Consumption
Ecological Footprints: A Model of Unsustainable Use of Resources
• Ecological footprint: the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide the people in a region with indefinite supply of renewable resources, and to absorb and recycle wastes and pollution
• Per capita ecological footprint
• Unsustainable: footprint is larger than biological capacity for replenishment
Fig. 1-12a, p. 15
Patterns of Natural Resource Consumption
Total Ecological Footprint (million
hectares) and Share of Global
Biological Capacity (%)
United
2,810 (25%)
States
2,160 (19%) European Union
United States
European Union
China
India
Japan
Per Capita Ecological
Footprint (hectares per
person)
China
2,050 (18%)
780 (7%)
India
9.7
4.7
1.6
0.8
Japan
540 (5%)
4.8
Number of Earths
s
2.5
Unsustainable living
2.0
1.5
Projected footprint
1.0
Ecological
footprint
0.5
0
1961
1970
1980
1990
Sustainable living
2000
2010
2020
2030
2040
2050
Year
Fig. 1-12b, p. 15
Global Human Footprint Map
Fig. 1-13, p. 16
IPAT is Another Environmental Impact Model
I = P x A x T
•
•
•
•
I = Environmental impact
P = Population
P
= Population
A = Affluence
T = Technology
Supplement 8, Fig 7
5
Case Study: China’s New Affluent Consumers
Less-Developed Countries
• Leading consumer of various foods and goods
• Wheat, rice, and meat
• Coal, fertilizers, steel, and cement
Population (P)
Consumption
per person
(affluence, A)
Technological
impact per unit of
consumption (T)
Environmental
impact of
population (I)
• Second largest consumer of oil
Second largest consumer of oil
• Two‐thirds of the most polluted cities are in China
• Projections for next decade
• Largest consumer and producer of cars
More-Developed Countries
Fig. 1-14, p. 17
Cultural Changes Have Increased Our Ecological Footprints
• 12,000 years ago: hunters and gatherers
• Three major cultural events
Tipping
point
• Agricultural revolution
Agricultural revolution
• Industrial‐medical revolution
• Information‐globalization revolution
• Current need for a sustainability revolution
Fig. 1-15, p. 19
Experts Have Identified Four Basic Causes of Environmental Problems
1. Population growth
Human population
Information-globalization
revolution
2. Wasteful and unsustainable resource use
3. Poverty
Industrial-medical revolution
Agricultural revolution
12,500 yrs ago
275 yrs ago
50 yrs ago Present
4. Failure to include the harmful environmental costs of goods and services in market prices
Time (not to scale)
Fig. 1-16, p. 19
6
13
12
11
10
9
8
Causes of Environmental Problems
7
6
5
4
Population
growth
Unsustainable
resource use
Poverty
3
Industrial revolution
Excluding
environmental costs
from market prices
2
Black Death—the Plague
2–5 million
years
8000
6000
Hunting and
gathering
4000
2000
Time
B. C.
1
2000
0
2100
A. D.
Agricultural revolution
Industrial
revolution
Fig. 1-17, p. 20
Affluence Has Harmful and Beneficial Environmental Effects
• Harmful environmental impact due to
Billions of people
?
Fig. 1-18, p. 21
Poverty Has Harmful Environmental and Health Effects
• Population growth affected
• High levels of consumption
• High levels of pollution
• Unnecessary waste of resources
• Malnutrition • Premature death
• Affluence can provide funding for developing technologies to reduce • Pollution
• Environmental degradation
• Resource waste
• Limited access to adequate sanitation facilities and clean water
Lack of
access to
Extreme Poverty
Adequate
sanitation facilities
Fig. 1-19, p. 22
Number of people
(% of world's population)
2.6 billion (38%)
Enough fuel for
heating and cooking
2 billion (29%)
Electricity
2 billion (29%)
Clean
drinking water
1.1 billion (16%)
Adequate
health care
1.1 billion (16%)
Adequate
housing
1 billion (15%)
Enough food for
good health
1 billion (15%)
Fig. 1-20, p. 22
7
Effects of Malnutrition
Prices Do Not Include the Value of Natural Capital
• Companies do not pay the environmental cost of resource use
Goods and services do not include the harmful and services do not include the harmful
• Goods
environmental costs
• Companies receive tax breaks and subsidies
• Economy may be stimulated but there may be a degradation of natural capital
Fig. 1-21, p. 23
Environmentally Unfriendly Hummer
Case Study: The Environmental Transformation of Chattanooga, TN
• Environmental success story: example of building their social capital
• 1960: most polluted city in the U.S.
• 1984: Vision 2000
• 1995: most goals met
• 1993: Revision 2000
Fig. 1-22, p. 24
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Wind Power
I
One of the best and most sustainable places to live in the US
Fig. 1-23, p. 26
Fig. 1-24, p. 27
8
Planting a Tree
Fig. 1-25, p. 27
9