Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

102 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Complex Envionmental Problem
Acid Rain
Photochemical Smog
Global Warming
Urban Sprawl
Land/Soil Degradation
Polluted Watersheds
Declining Forest Quality
Biodiversity Loss
How do we operationalize enviornmental problems?
Define Public Policy
whatever government choose to do or not to do (including government inaction)
Define Enviornmental Policy
laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning enviornmental issues
Neoclassical Economics Paradigm
markets allocate values:
-free & functioning market allocate resources in the most eonomically valued way
- producers & consumers respond to changes in relative prices, incomes, and external constraints
- IF market signals reach individuals AND market prices include all the social costs/benefits of individual actions, reponses to problems witll be rapid and efficent
Define market failures
a circumstance in which the pursuit of private interest does not lead to an efficent use of society's res
Citation Machine -- The Landmark Projectources
Market Failures Occur
when the basic assumption of the idealized competitive economy are violated, interfering with the efficency in production or consumption

* many enviornmental problems can be understood as market problems and failures
Types of Market Failures
Public Goods
Natural Monopolies
Information Asymmetries
Exclusion (Feasible)/ Alternative USe
Private goods
Ex: bread, shoes, cars, books, haircuts
Exclusion (Feasible) / Joint Use
Toll Goods
ex: theaters, night clubs, toll roads, pay phones, cable tv
Exclusion (infeasible) / Alternative Use
Common-Pool Resources
ex: fish from the ocean, crude oil extracted from an oil pool, trees harvested from a forest
Exclusion (infeasible) / Joint Use
Public Goods
ex: peace and security of a community, national defense; air pollution control, fire protection, weather forecasts
Define Externality
a value(positive/negative) resulting from any action (whether related to production or cosumption) that affects someone who didn't consent to it through participation in voluntary exchange
Define Natural Monopoly
when a single firm can produce the output at a lower cost than any other market arrangement including competition
Define Information Asymmetry
Relates to the degree of assymmerty in the information relevant parties have about any good
Government Failures
*Our individual choices are expressed through participation in markets and other voluntary exchanges

*Collective choice is expressed through governmental structures
*Even collective choice can fail to promote desired social values
Direct Democracy
-No method of voting is fair and cosistent (paradox of voting)
-Majority views dominate because we can't vote on every public policy issue
Representitive Government
-Organized & mobilized special interests cause ineffiencies due to rent seeking behavior
-Geographically powerful constituiences can lead to inefficent pork-barrel type allocations
-Short electoral cycles mean that constitutents may excessively discount costs and benefits that do not occur in the short run
-Reliance on the media, invoking precedents, and posturing can lead to restricted agendas and distorted perceptions of cost
What are the sources of governmen failure?
Direct Democracy
Representitive Democracy
Bureaucratic Supply
Bureaucratic Supply
-Public agencies don't face the rigor of the market, yet suvive anyway
-Hard to value the output of government agencies
-Agencies often inefficent due to lack of competition, inflexibility, use of organization resources
-Decentrilized systems make implementing policies challenging
-Inequitable distribution of public goods
General Classes of Policy Solutions
Market Mechanisms
Market Mechanisms
Free Markets (legalize, deregulate, privitaze))
Facilitate Markets (allocate property rights, create new marketable goods)
Stimulate Market (auctions)
Subsidies (matching grants, business and personal tax deductions and credits)
Taxes (output taxes, tariffs, commodity taxes, and user fees)
General classes of Policy Solutions
-Nonmarket Supply
-Insurance and Cushions
Policy Solution for Public Goods
Non-market supply
Policy Solution for Externalities
Rules Incentives
Policy Solution for Natural monopolies
Rules/non-market supply
Policy Solution for Infomation Asymmetries
Policy Solution for Direct Democracy
Policy solution for Representitive Democracy
Market mechanisms
Policy solution for Bureaucratic Supply
Market Mechanisms
Policy solution for decentrilization
Define collection action
arises when the efforts of two or more individuals are needed to accomplish an outcome
-arises when individuals join together to work for a collective good
-the study examines the factors that motivate individuals to coordinate their activites to better their collective well-being
Free Rider Problem
Whenever one person can not be excluded from the benefits that others provide, each person is motivated not to contribute to the joint effort, but to free ride on the efforts of other
*can lead to a tragedy of the common
Free Rider Hope
-we don't need to be so rigid as to accept that we can only solve free rider problems by fully privatizing or centralizing natural resources
-by changing the rules or constraints that people face the capablities of individuals involved in dilemas can be resolved and tragedies avoided
Acheiving Sustainable CPR Systems
-Clearly defined boundaries
-Congruence between appropriate and provision rules and local conditions
-Graduated Sanctions
-Conflict resolution mechanisms
-Minimal recognition of rights to organize
-Nested enterprises
Define deforestation
the conversion (usually long term/permanet) of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy bewlow a 10% threshold
Primary Forest
is a forest that has never been logged and has developed following natural distubances and under natural processes regardless of its age
Seconday Forests
forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant human or natural disturbance; they differ from primary forests in forest composition and/or canopy structure
Frontier Forests
large, ecologically intact, and relatively undisturbed forests that support the natural range of species and forest functions
Forest Plantations
established by planting or/and seeding trees in the process of afforestation or reforestation; usually the trees are all the same age and species
Clear Cut
a term that is used to describe removing all trees from an area at once
Why are forests important?
-they provide forest products for human use and consumption
-forests provide essential ecosystem services
-forests play a critical role in the carbon cycle
-they are most importnat source of biodiversity
Ecosystem Services
-Forests influence climate
-Protect the top soil and important soil nutrients
-Forests habor tremendous biological diveristy, and have the potential to provide us with new crop varieties and medicines
Carbon Sequestration
Tropical deforestation contributes to as much as 90% pf the current net release of biotic carbon dixode in the atmosphere
-As forests grow they store carbon
-whether forests are a source of carbon or a carbon sink is matter of some debate in the global warming community
4 countries that contain more than half of the world's tropical forests
Democratic Republic of Congo
Boreal Forests
are rapidly being destroyed, are largely due to commercial logging
Ecosystems Services
-stabilize landscapes, protect soils from erosion, and help soils retain moisture and store and cycle nutruients
-serve as buffers against pests and disease
-control/regulate the quanity and quality of water flows through watersheds
-moderate flooding and store water against drought in downstream teritories
-moderate climate @ local and regional levels by regulating rainfall
-shape the sunlightn reflectively of the earth the "albedo" effect
Define Carbon Sequestrition
the process through which carbon dixode (CO2) from the atmosphere is absorbed by trees, plants and crops through photosynthesis
Define Carbon Storage
the process by which carbon is held or stored in biomass including tree trunks, branches, foilage, roots and soil
What mitigates global warming?
carbon sequestrion and carbon storage sow the rate of co2 accumulating in the atomosphere
Define carbon sink
refers to forests, croplands, and frazing lands, and their ability to sequester carbon
Mechanisms for preserving biodiversity
-Preserving nature in place
-Gene banks and conservatories
-Bioprospecting (paying researchers to search for/locate organisms to use in pharmacuticals)
-International Treaties
Anthropgenic Causes of Decling Biodiversity
-Greatest threat is the destruction and fragmentation of habitats
-Modern agriculture
-Global Warming
Define Biodiversity
the totality of genes,species, and ecosystems in a regior or in the world
Define Keystone Species
a species whose loss from an ecosystem would cause a greater than average change in other species populations or ecosystems processes
Define Protected Area
A legally established land or water area under either public/private ownership that is regulated and managed to acheive specific conservation objectives
Define Intellectual Property Right (IPR)
a right enabling an inventor to exclude imitators from the market for a limited time
Biological Diversity on Three Levels
-Species Diversity
-Genetic Diversity
-Community Diversity
Define Biodiversity Conservation
the management of human interactions with genes,species,and ecosystems so as to provide the maximum benefit to the present generation while maintaining their potential to meet the needs and goals of future generations
What is threatened/in danger of immediate extinction
30% amphibians
42% world's turtle species
26* repitles
20% bird species
Define Land Use
the way in which land is used, especially in farming and city planning
* Includes deforestation, road construction, agricultural ancroachment, dam building, irrigation, coastal zone degradation, wetland modification, mining, the concentration or expansion of urban enviornments
Why study land use change
*It is human induces
* Impacts our health
* Impacts sustainable development in the short/long run
* Scientific processed underlying land use change to design policy mechanisms to mitiate the negative effects of land use change
What drives global land use chagne?
Technology of Land Use Change
* Improved crop varities
* Improved insect/diasease control
* Agricultural productivity has more than doubled
* Larger farm equipment and increased use of irrigation has favored regions with large, level fields
Malthus' Core Principle
-Food Is necessary for human existance
-Human population tends to grow at a rate that exceeds the capacity of the earth to provide food
-the need for population growth and food must be equalized
-since humans tend not to limit their population size voluntarily preventitve cheks are required
Neo-Malthusain Perspective
-there are limit to the number of people the earth can support
-birth control and famly planning are essential componetnt of saving the envionment
Boserup's Argument
-Human ingenuity and science help us to save off the Malthusian Trap
-Increased crowding creates and inncentive to innovate
Define City
urban area that is differntiated from a town, village, or hamlet by size, population density, important, or legal status
Define Urban
related to the (any) city
Define Urbanization
the development and expansion of urban areas
Define Urban Sprawl
the expansive, rapid, and sometimes reckless, growth of a greater metropolitan area, traditionally suburbs over a large area
Define Suburbs
describes the ring of prosperous rural communities beyond the suburbs that, due to availabilty via the new high-speed limited access highways are domitory communites for an urban area
Define gentification
is the process whereby a low rent neighborhood is transformed into a high rent neighborhood through redevelopment, usually in conjuction with charging demographics and an influx of wealthier residents
Define Rural Areas
sparsely settled places away from the influence of large cities and towns
Define slum
is an area of a city that in inhabitated by the very poor where the houses are dirty and in bad condition, slums are generaly overcrowded
Define Peri-urban
charcterized by low density housing and road development on the periphery of urban areas, still retaining small areas of rural land within networks of suburban building
Define Shanty Towns or Informal Settlements
comprised of housing units that are iregular and of low-cost
What causes Sprawl?
-Rent gradient
-Demographic Change
-Growing Affluence
-Government Services and Attitudes
-Racial Discrimination/Segregation
-HOld outs
-Land Assembly Costs
-Federal Income Tax Policy
-Land use Regulation
New Urban Development Means
-residential housing
-shopping areas and associated parking
-office parks
-schools, hospitals, churches
-public service plants
Enviornmental Consequences of Sprawl
-increas air pollution
-declining water quality
-increased complexities of mamanging municipal solid waste
-conversion of agricultural land,parks,open space
Urban Heat Islans
urban areas can be 6-8 degrees F hotter than its surronding area because dark surfaces absorb more heat from the sun, and less vegetation that would provide shade and the cool air
Chesapeake Bay Estuary
threatened by spread of pavement within its 64,000 square-mile watershed
Urban Sprawl/Land Conversion contributes too
fragmentation of natural habitats
How to decrease sprawl
-enacting growth boundaries,parks,open space protection
-planning for and directing transportation dollars to promote public transportion
-reversing government programs and tax policies that help create sprawl
What causes urbanization in LDCs
-Rural Poverty
-Better access to basic social services including health and education
-Dynamic urban economic growth
-Civil unrest in the hinterlands
-Market forces and government policies that draw people to urban areas
-High population growth rates
Define Soil
formed from mineral's dervied from the breakup and weathing or rocks combined with deposits of organic material dervied from wastes and the dead decaying remains of plants and animals
Define Soil Erosion
the deplacment of soilds by the agents of wind,water,ice,movement in response to gravity, or living organisms
Define Land Degradation
a human induced process which negatively affects the capacity of land to function effectively within an ecosystem
Define Land Degradation
human induced or natural process which negatively affects the capacity of land to function effecively within an ecosystem
Define Desertification
land degradation occuring in arid, semiarid, an dry sub humid areas of the world
Define Genetically Modified Oganisms (GMO)
an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there
Anthropegenic Land Degradation
-Land clearing/deforestation
-Agricultural delpetion soil nutreients
-Urban Conversion
How to sustain increases in food production
-Promotion of soil conservation techniques
-Inceased capital and technical intensity of agriculture
Genetic Manipulation of Crops
-More drough resistant
-Salt Tolerant
-Resistant to genetic pests
-Early Maturing
Issues with biotechnology
Define Watershed
the area of land that drains into lake or river
Define Ground Water
water found below the surface where holes, cracks and spaces between rocks and soil are filled with water
Define Surface Water
Natural and artificial accumulations of water on the land surface
Features of Watershed
Geographic Boundary
Soil Type
Common Watershed Managment Issues
-Land use change and zong regulations
-Loss of Wetlands
-Pesticide Use
-Septic Systems
-Livestock Odor