Science and the Environment An Introduction to Environmental Science Ch. 1 Section 1.1 UNDERSTANDING OUR ENVIRONMENT What is Environmental Science? The study of human interactions with the environment • The key goal of Environmental Science is to achieve sustainability –Human needs are met in such a way the population can last indefinitely How can science help us understand and solve environmental problems? Goals of Environmental Science • To understand and solve environmental problems – study interactions between people and the environment •Use of natural resources •How we alter our env. Fields of study involved in Environmental Science • Biology – ZOOLOGY, BOTANY, MICROBIOLOGY, ECOLOGY • EARTH SCIENCE – GEOLOGY, PALEONTOLOGY, CLIMATOLOGY, HYDROLOGY • PHYSICS – ENGINEERING • CHEMISTRY – BIOCHEM., GEOCHEM • SOCIAL SCIENCES – GEOGRAPHY, ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY Is environmental change a new problem? How have past civilizations changed their environments? • Hunter-gathers – HUNTED ANIMALS TO EXTINCTION – DESTROYED HABITAT • Agricultural Revolution – Overworked soil – Increased pressure on local env. • Industrial Revolution – Increased use of fossil fuels Affect of population growth • Need more food • Need more space The Earth is a closed system What does this mean? Main Environmental Problems • Resource depletion –Renewable vs nonrenewable • Pollution • Loss of Biodiversity Section 1.2 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY Economics and the Environment What influences how we use our natural resources? • Supply and Demand – States that the greater the demand for a limited supply of something the more the product is worth – Costs and Benefits • maintaining a healthy environment and Fixing environmental problems costs $$$ • Ex. Do we pay more a product that is environmentally friendly or buy the cheaper product without environmental safeguards? –Risk Assessment •Cost of any action is the risk of an undesirable action Developed vs Developing Countries Actions by other countries affect our environment Developed countries- higher average income, slower pop. Growth, strong economy (US, Canada, Japan) vs. Developing countries – lower incomes, high pop rates (Brazil, China, India) • Different consumption patterns affect the environment differently Which one causes greater harm to the environment? Population and Consumption Almost all environmental problems are caused by - population increase •Local Population Pressures – local resources cannot support a growing population • Consumption Trends – As a country develops they consume more resources • Developed nations use 75% of the world’s resources – Creates wastes and pollution • Ecological Footprints – The area of the earth’s productive surface, both land and sea, that it takes to support a person’s or a population's lifestyle Ecological footprints include: • Natural resources needed from the environment • Space for infrastructure • Recreation • Waste disposal • What is your footprint? • video What impact does the food we eat have on the environment?? • Raise your hand if you have eaten a cheeseburger in the last week. Read Hamburger, Fries, and a cola Circle or highlight the following as you read: • Resources required to produce the meal • Impacts to the environment and people • Cheeseburger footprint Environment Science in Context • Environmental problems are complex • Rights of individuals and property owners with the needs of society-is there a balance? • People are passionate on either side • Be open to different view points • The KEY is achieving sustainability!!