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Introduction to Environmental Science

From "Environment" - The Science Behind the Stories - by Withgott - Environment, natural resources, interdisciplinary nature of environmental science.

Jeanne Schumacher

on 7 April 2011

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Transcript of Introduction to Environmental Science

Introduction to
Science Our
Earth Our environment
is the sum total
of our surroundings includes all living and nonliving things around us with which we interact Environmental Science explores
interactions between humans
and the world around us. how the natural world works, how our environment affects us and how we affect our environment. Natural Resources are
vital to our survival natural resources -
various substances and energy sources we need to survive
renewable natural resources-
natural resources replenished over short periods of time nonrenewable natural resources
in finite supply
formed much more slowly Human Population growth has shaped our resource use Two Pheneomena increased population
Agricultural revolution - 10,000
grow crops, become sedentary, live longer
Industrial Revolution - mid 1700's
shift from rural to urban powered by fossil fuels
Thomas Malthus -
Essay on the Principle of Population -1798
argued that if limits on births were not implemented, people would outgrow available food supply until starvation, war, disease took over. Resource Consumption
Exerts Social and
Environmental impact Environmental Science
Can Help up Avoid
Mistakes Made in Past Environmental Footprint
total area of land, water needed to produce resources a person uses
includes disposal of waste Tragedy of Commons
resources open to unregulated exploitation will be depleted
example - lobster pots Estimated -
humanity depleting 30% of planet's resources faster than they are being replenished Easter Island
once supported 6,000-30,000 people
overused resources to build statues
destroyed itself in downward spiral of starvation and conflict Nature of
Science Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary pursuit Natural sciences
study of natural world
Social Science
human interactions and institutions Impacts
political science
astmospheric science
People Vary in their
Perception of
Environmental Problems Environmental Science
is not the same as
Environmentalism A person's age, gender, class, race, nationality, employment and educational background affects if environmental condition is a "problem" social movement dedicated to protecting the natural world Sustainability
and the
Future of
our World Population and Consumption
drive Environmental Impact We face challanges in
agriculture, pollution
and biodiversity cumulative number and diversity of living things Our Energy Choices will
influence our future
immensely Sustainability is a
goal for the future we add 200,000
people per day
to this planet primary challenge
how to live within our planet's means
We must:
conserve Earth's natural capital
develop solutions for long term
maintaining fully functioning ecological systems
Full transcript