* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
Where is the Environment? What is an Ecosystem? • A community of different species interacting with one another and with the abiotic environment Abiotic = non-living Biotic = living Community = groups of populations Population = group of organisms Organism = living thing Linkages: Humans are Part of Ecosystems • Our Intelligence distinguishes us from other species, but we basically play the same role as other species within ecosystems • clean air, water and soil • continuing supply of plant and animal products to consume for energy But…we can do things like this • There is only one species that has the ability to alter ecosystems and landscapes on a scale similar to humans… The world’s largest beaver dam is in Wood Buffalo National Park – 850 m long • We use resources faster than the biosphere can renew them Biosphere the part of the Earth inhabited by plants and animals (all communities on Earth) • We need to sustain environmental resources so they will be available in the future • We need to realize that we are a part of the environment. We need it, it doesn’t need us. • The use of one environmental resource always affects the status of another resource or ecosystem either immediately of in the longer term The Human-Environment Connection Disposal of Waste? Resources for Energy Clean Air Resources for Shelter Human Needs Soil for crops Clean water Major Causes of Environmental Problems The Big Three And HIPPO (1) – enviro damage occurs simply because there are so many people on Earth - the last 150 years has seen a dramatic increase in population - ~7.2 billion people on the planet today! - ~ 9 billion by 2050 - There is competition between people for water, land and food - ~ 110 000 die each day by starvation Which is more important, the survival of people alive today, or the conservation of the environment for people alive in the future? (2) A resource is anything useful, that serves our needs and is available at a price we are willing to pay… are there free resources? Types of Resources: i) Renewable – eg. Forest,lobsters. They are replaced by environmental processes - as long as they are not used too quickly they will meet our needs into the future ii) Non-renewable: there is a limit to their supply. eg. Fossil fuels iii) Flow Resources:ones that must be used where they are eg. Solar, wind, water - 20% of the worlds population consumes 80% of the worlds resources - Canada is one of the biggest energy consuming country on Earth WHY? • But there are less dramatic but longer – term releases of toxic chemical, sewage, carcinogens, pesticides, nuclear contamination, acid rain… all harm oceans, lake, rivers, soil and atmosphere • They cause: dead fish, vanishing species, beach closures, dying lakes, forests, birth defects, nervous system problems, and cancer Pollutant any substance that adversely affects the physical, chemical or biological quality of the Earth’s environment There are different perspectives on the future of our world. Five commonly held visions of the future are presented below. • 1. Business as usual: There is nothing new under the sun. The world has problems, always did and always will. We will always have challenges but nothing that we can’t work through. • 2. Deepening crisis: Our world is in deep trouble. It might be because of a nuclear war, a major famine, a breakdown of law and order, or an environmental crisis. Life will never be the same again. • 3. Governmental intervention: Authoritarian leadership is required to save our society. • Our government needs strict control to prevent population growth and to stop pollution. • 4. Technological innovation: Science and technology have improved nutrition. Consequently, humans are living longer. Investing more in scientific research and technological development will solve our current problems. • 5. Sustainable society: It is necessary to rethink our mechanistic and fragmented view of the world. A more holistic and ecological perspective is required so that a more humane and sustainable society is possible.