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154 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What have many nations come to realize? (Lecture notes)
An increase in population and an expanding economic base is not in the best interest of the planet.
What is the name of the program that Holland (The Netherlands) started?
What is the purpose of the plan? (What does it propose to do?)
The “Green Plan” calls on industries to reduce toxic emissions drastically and pollutants voluntarily.
Life cycle management – responsible for its disposal of the product.
Reduced Energy use – Increased energy efficiency.
Government aid in finance & research.
Public Awareness
What are some of the key ideas of the plan?
Each company has to come up with their own plan.
You are fined if you don't meet your goals.
In the U.S., the EPA has started 2 small programs. What are they?
Toxic Wast Reduction
Energy Reduction – Green Lights, tax credits.
What is the state of Oregon doing?
Developing programs to monitor social , economic, and environmental conditions over time to see if things are improving or deteriorating. Example: Monitoring teen pregnancy, air pollution , commuting time on highways.
What has brought about all of the above changes in attitude?
Brought about by a growing recognition that the current paths many nations are following are not sustainable.
What does "Root Cause" mean?
Fundamental driving forces.
What 2 root causes does the author think are most important?
Continuing growth in both economic output and population.
Define “Environmental Science”
A branch of science that seeks to understand the many ways that we affect our environment and the many ways that a we can address these issues.Environmental science is the study of interactions among physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment.
What does “Multidisciplinary Approach” mean?
A multidisciplinary approach involves different sciences working together in order to understand the issues and solutions of a particular problem.
Define Science?
Comes from the Latin word scientia, which means “to know or to discern”. Refers to a body of knowledge derived from observation, measurement, study, and experimentation – and the process of accumulating such knowledge.
Define Ecology?
The study of living organisms and the web of relationships that binds all of us together in a nature.
Define Ecosystem?
System composed of living things (animals, plants, microorganisms) and the interrelated physical and chemical environment.
Tentative explanations, educated guess.
Inductive reasoning?
occurs any time a person uses facts and observations (specifics) to arrive at general rules or hypotheses.
Deductive reasoning
General facts so one arrives at a specific conclusion.
Be able to describe “The Scientific Method” by listing, in order, the various steps involved in the process.
Gather Data, information
Working Hypotheses “Attempt to explain”
Test Hypotheses “Experiments
Publish in a “Scientific Journal”
What is a “Control Group”?
The control group is the same as the Experimental Group except that it is not exposed to what is being experimented with.
What is an “Independent Variable”?
The dependent variable is a variable you are trying to predict. Any variable that you are using to make those predictions is an independent variable.
What is “Epidemiology”?
Is the study of epidemics caused by infectious disease organisms.
How do we study the effects of chemical exposure on humans? (Key Concept-p7)
by comparing carefully selected groups of individuals exposed at work or at home to individuals of the same sex and age who were not exposed.
What is a “Scientific Theory”?
Explanations that account for many different facts, observations, and hypotheses that are known to be true time and time again. (Broad Spectrum).
How does it differ from a “Law”?
Law is similar to a “Scientific Theory” but it is more of a (Narrow Spectrum).
How does science, as exemplified by Ecology, influence the formulation of human values?
Because scientists are not always as objective as one might hope. They can be found to argue both sides of controversial issues. They may look at the same data and come away with markedly different conclusions because their biases. Just as human values affect scientific interpretation of data, science can also affect public values. A good understanding of ecological science, for instance, can help reshape human values concerning nature and our part in the natural world. Our value shaping role of science rests in its ability to help us see hidden connections that we were not aware of previously.
What is “Critical Thinking”?
Critical thinking is an acquired skill that helps us analyze issues and discern the validity of experimental results and assertions.
What are the 2 major cultural revolutions the author describes?
Agricultural, Industrial
Describe what happened in the Agricultural Revolution and when?
Agricultural (started around 10,000 BC) Progressive shift from hunting and gathering to self sufficiency level farming to a system of highly mechanized farming.
Describe what happened in the 2nd and when.
Industrial (started in the late 1700's in England and 1800's in the United States) Shift from manufacturing goods by hand to machine manufacturing powered by coal – and later by other fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas.
How does the Author define: "Sustainable Development"
Meeting our needs while protecting the environment.
What are "Pollution Control Devices" and "End of Pipe Controls"?
Are devices placed in factories and power plants to remove air pollutants from smokestacks.
What is the problem with these devices?
They in turn produced vast amounts of waste that had to be disposed of. These only attack the system of pollution problem and not the “Root Cause”. In time it was found that the efforts were not enough to make a difference.
The author writes about the 4 stages in the evolution of concerns for environmental protection. List some of the ideas he discusses for each of these stages.
1st Local local/regional/national (focuses on a limited number of problems such as water and air pollution. Efforts really only treat the systems and not the root causes).
2nd International boundaries / countries (End-of-pipe controls have slowed the rate of environmental destruction, but they have not stopped it. We're even finding that reductions in pollution from automobiles, power plants, and factories are being offset by increases in population size and economic activity).
3rd Have to attack the root causes (Solutions that address what many observers believe are the root causes of the environmental crisis: population growth, inefficiency in resource use, heavy dependence on fossil fuels and a “Throw Away” mentality).
4th Take into consideration the products you buy and how the affect the environment (Involves integrating environmental protection into every decision we make on a day to day basis. Incorporating a philosophy of “Sustainable Development”:Improve our lifestyle without harming the environment.
How does the WCED define Sustainable Development?
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
What did Al Gore have to say about sustainable development?
“There something called unsustainable development. Sustainable development is a way of improving or advancing our culture in a way that can be maintained over the long haul.”
What did former president Theodore Roosevelt have to say?
“To waste our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it (so) as to increase its usefulness, will [undermine the prospects] of our children.”
Sustainable Development Seeks solutions that will satisfy what 3 societal systems? (Triple ...)
Social, Economic, Environmental.
What are the 10 principles of Sustainable Development?
2)Biophysical Limits
3)Living within limits
5)Intergenerational Equity
6)Intragenerational Equity
7)Ecological Justice
10)Addressing the Root Causes
Physical Infrastructure?
The physical things needed in society to live, like roadways, bridges, etc.
Biological Infrastructure?
The things needed in society on a day to day basis to live. Like food, air.
Regenerated in a reasonable period of time.
Takes to long to regenerate in a reasonable period of time.
How many fisheries have been diminished in the North Atlantic by “Over-fishing”?
More than 25.
Define: "Carrying Capacity"
How many members of this species can the ecosystem support indefinitely.
What does the term “Intergenerational Equity” mean and imply?
Leaving resources for future generations.
What does "Intragenerational Equity" mean and imply?
Fairness for other societies on this planet.
What does the idea of "Ecological Justice" mean and imply?
The earth is the rightful property of all species. Not just humans.
What are “Smokestack Scrubbers”? What is a major problem resulting from their use?
Short term solution for environmental protection. It addresses the problem of pollution and hazardous waste too late, after it is produced, at the end of the pipe. It becomes a social, economic and environmental liability.
What does the author consider to be the differences between the terms "Growth" and “Development” as he uses them?
Growth (BAD): Expansion of human economic activity. One measure of economic growth is the consumption of resources such as energy.
Development (GOOD): It is measured by a betterment in both the quality of our lives and the condition of the environment.
What 6 things can you do to help us become a more Sustainable Society?
Consesrvation of energy, Water, Recycling, Renewable Resources, Restoration,Populatioin Stabilization.
What are Human Systems? Name some.
Human Systems: Those systems that society needs. (ie.) Transportation, Energy productions, Waste Disposal.
Why are human systems presently unsustainable? (Give 3 reasons)
(1)They produce levels of pollution that exceed the local, regional, and even global capacity to absorb and render them harmless.
(2)They deplete finite nonrenewable resources.
(3)They use renewable resources such as forests faster than they can naturally regenerate.
What are the 2 challenges we must meet in order to create a sustainable future?
First challenge is to modify or retrofit what already exists.
Second challenge occurs when building anew.
What are the 2 sources of energy for the author's home?
Solar and Wind.
What are the author's "thermal mass walls" made of?
What is the author's carpet made from?
Plastic Pop Bottles.
Learn the 7 key operating principles needed for sustainable development.
(1)Stabilize our population
(2)Better manage how we grow
(3)Use resources much more efficiently
(4)Clean, renewable energy supplies.
(5)Manufacture a large portion of our goods with recycled materials.
(6)Restore natural systems.
(7)Manage resources sustainably
What is one of the most important skills of critical thinkers?
One of the most important skills of critical thinkers is to be able to uncover bias or preconceived notions that we and others have.
The author lists 5 various opinions people may have as to the causes of current environmental problems. What are these 5?
Corporations whose concern for the environment ranks below their interest in making money
Corrupt governmental officials
Overconsumption and Waste
Modern environmentally destructive technology.
If the truth be known, the current environmental crisis , also called the **Crisis** of **Unsustainability** is the result of (list the many factors)?
Corporate policies.
What are the 4 hypotheses that some have put forth as possible Root Causes of our “Crisis of Unsustainability”?
Religious Roots
Cultural Roots: Democracy, Industrialization, Frontierism
Biological and Evolutionary Roots
Psychological and Economic Roots
Lynn White Philosophy?
RELIGION - The roots of our environment are crisis are largely religions. The most important influence on science and technology at this the time was Christianity's view in the BIBLE of human dominance over nature. “Humans are the most important”.
Rene Dubos & Gagriel Fackre Philosophy?
Counter attacked Lynn White. Pointed out that in both ancient Eastern and Western civilizations, environmental destruction was already occurring.
Even before any of the modern religions where on the planet, humans where already destroying the planet.
Lewis Moncrief Philosophy?
Attributes the environmental crisis to two dominant forces:
Democracy & Industrial revolution.
The spread of democracy and industrialization resulted in a more equitable distributions of wealth among the human population and , rising affluence and consumption. Pollution and environmental decay followed.
is a way of life that is based on an assumption of plenty.
Biological Imperialism?
Tendancy for populations of organisms to grow in response of available resources.
List and explain some examples of Biological Imperialism?
The vine known as kudzu, which grows rampant in south eastern united states, smother farm fields, forest and abandoned building.
Water hyacinth, an ornamental privately collected aquatic plant, that escaped from the pond where it grew. After entering the warm, nutrient-rich waterways of Florida, it spread throughout the network of canals and rivers of the state.
What is one of biological imperialism major causes today?
Human Technology
Who are the "Superior Colonizers"?
What example does the author use to illustrate possible early human transgressions here in North America?
The extinction of many species of mammals
Over the years, many technologies help us to ...................(complete statement)
overcome natural forces that might otherwise have controlled human population expansion
What psychological idea do Ehrlich and Ornstein promote?
That the human nervous system is “designed” by evolution to respond to immediate physical danger. They argue, that the human nervous system today is rather ill equipped to respond to trends that threaten our long-term future.
Name 2 other psychological ideas the author mentions.
Denial, Obsession with economic growth.
For what reasons, other than need, do people purchase material things?
Greed, need to belong, to make themselves feel better. We just want things.
Advertisers tell us: Success is measured........; we need to conform, to belong, by.
What is meant by "The Tragedy of the Commons"?
Where he discusses the consequences of Greed. The commons fell into ruin as the users became caught in a blind cycle of greed. It also dates back to the days of ancient Greece, when Aristotle recognized that property shared freely by many people often received the least care.
What happened in the "Fertile Crescent"?
History , however, shows that early civilizations paid dearly for their disregard. Early civilizations in the Middle East toppled forests and carelessly overgrazed their rangeland. The skeletons of buildings from ancient cities still stand in deserts that were the once-rich forests and grasslands of the Fertile Crescent.
Why study section 3.2 on "Leverage Points"? (Key Concepts)
Understanding the root causes of the environmental crisis helps us understand key leverage points that can be addressed to help put society back onto a sustainable course. Places where actions would prove most effective.
Hazardous wastes and pollution are a sign of.............?and environmental problems are........?
Building a sustainable society will require .....?
Define the term "Ethics".
The system of values of a person, religion, group, or even a nation determines how it acts.
What are the three tenets of the "Frontier Ethic"?
1st - The Earth has an unlimited supply of resources. These are for the exclusive use of humans.
2nd -Humans are apart from nature and immune to its laws.
3rd - Human success derives from control of nature.
1st Tenet of Unsustainable Ethics
The view of the Earth as an unlimited supply of resources exclusive for humans only started out when human numbers where small and did appear never ending. With increase in economic activity and overpopulation thru the last 200 years this has drastically changed. Ocean wildlife has depleated, most of the Rain forest has been destroyed along with countless species of plants and animals.
2nd Tenet of Unsustainable Ethics
A huge portion of the oxygen we breathe each year is replenished by plants. All of the food we eat comes from plants, soil, water and air. To think of ourselves outside of the realm of nature is foolish.
3rd Tenet of Unsustainable Ethics
Industrial nations view nature as a force that must be conquered and controlled. It has become clear to many that our acts of conquest have not come without a cost.
What are "Ecological Backlashes"?
Present day Environmental problems caused by previous human activity.
What are some of the Impacts of Frontier Thinking?
Affects our attitude about environmental problems.
Affects the manner which we try to solve these problems.
Affects our personal choices in the things we purchase, where we work, how we play.
What do most people base their buying decisions on?
On what they can afford.
How do sustainable societies satisfy their needs?
A sustainable society does not merely prevent destruction; it also seeks ways to enhance natural systems.
Conserve natural resources
Recycles materials
Relies on renewable resources
Eliminates pollution (or reduces it)
Controls population growth
Define Sustainable Ethics?
The Earth has a limited supply of resources, and they're not all for us
Humans are a part of nature, subject to its laws
Success stems from efforts to cooperate with the forces of nature.
Consists of a community of organisms and all of the interactions between them and their physical environment.
In what 7 ways are human systems dependent upon nature?
1. Like all species, humans depend on the soil, air, water, sun, plants,clothes we wear, food we eat and host of living organisms to survive.
Define Ecology as given in this chapter.
Ecology: The study of living organisms and the web of relationships that binds all of us together in a nature.
Nonliving components of the environment.
What is one of the most misused words in the English language?
What is the definition of a Biome?
Very large land regions characterized first by its climate and a particular group of plants and animals adapted to it.
How many biomes are there in North America?
Some of the Biomes are
:Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Forest, Desert.
Tundra Biome?
ABIOTIC: Permafrost Soil, Windy, Snow.
BIOTIC: Grasses and Mosses.
Taiga Biome?
ABIOTIC: Sunlight, Rain.
BIOTIC: Evergreen trees, bears
Temperate Forest Biome?
ABIOTIC: Sunlight, Rain.
BIOTIC: Broad-leaved trees, foxes
ABIOTIC: Major heat, sunlight.
BIOTIC:Cacti, rattlesnakes,
What are "Aquatic Life Zones”?
Acquatic equivalent of biomes, each has a distinct environment and characteristic plant and animal life.
What are the 4 major marine aquatic life zones?
1)Coral reef: Greatest bio-diversity. 2nd to the Tropical Rain forest.
2) Estuaries: At the mouths of rivers.Wetlands.
3) Deep Ocean: Equivalent to the spatial desert.
4) Continental Shelf: Land drop off in the ocean
What are ecosystems as described in this chapter?
The biosphere is a chemical, physical, and biological system that encompasses the entire surface of the planet. Therefore, the biosphere is often called a GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM.
What do the terms Abiotic and Biotic mean?
Abiotic: NonLiving environment.
Biotic: Living organisms
What are some of the abiotic components of an ecosystem?
They are the physical and chemical factors necessary for life. Sunlight, precipitation, temperature, and nutrients. Conditions vary during the day and often shift from one season to the next.
Range of tolerance?
The range of conditions to which an organism is adapted.
Zone of intolerance?
Where life for that organism is not possible.
Endangered species?
In danger of extinction.
Limiting factor?
The one Abiotic factor that is in short supply for that species. Tends to regulate population size.
What is a common limiting factor in lakes?
Dissolved phosphate.
What can happen if phospate increases too much?
Phosphate is needed by plants and algae for growth. So it keeps it in balance. If it increases then over growth occurs. Algae often form dense surface mats blocking sunlight.
What is the most common limiting factor on land?
What are some of the Biotic components of an ecosystem?
Consist of numerous organisms, including bacteria, plants, fungi, and animals.
Group of similar looking organisms, such that they can reproduce with each other and ALSO their offspring can reproduce similar to their parents.
All members within a given species in a region.
All different species that live in that region.
Where is the home of a specific species.
Ecological niche?
How the organism fits into the ecosystem. How it lives.
What is meant by the "competitive exclusion principle”?
No two species can occupy the same niche.
What species is the best competitor?
How does this affect other species and ultimately ourselves?
Humans alter the ABIOTIC components. (ie) water with phospate. Also BIOTIC components by cutting down trees.
As the human population grows, as our demand for food and resources climbs, and as our technological prowess increases, our competitive advantage will only increase, but the effect may not be advantageous to humans in the long run.
How many species are becoming extinct each day?
40 to 100 species a day.
What are the 3 ways an organism can obtain food?
1) Photosynthesis - plants
2) Absorption of the environement - fungi, mushrooms.
3) To ingest food [to eat] - animals
Self Feeders. Autotrohps. Organism such as Plants and Algae.
Organisms that are able to make their own food (in the form of sugars) by using the energy of the Sun. Producers on the food chain. [Self Feeders]
Eat other organisms.
Are a mixture of Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores.
An organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. A heterotroph is known as a consumer in the food chain.
Organisms that only feed on plants.
Organisms that feed on other animals.
Organisms that feed on a mixed diet of Plants and Animals.
Detritivores or Decomposers:
Organisms that feed on animal waste or the remains of plants and animals.
What is a food chain?
Sequence of organisms each one eating the one before it.
What are two types of food chains described in text?
Grazer and Decomposer.
What is a food web?
Food webs present multiple options of eating for an organism.
Why should we be concerned about the 'hole in the ozone layer'?
The ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, and protects people from cancer, it also protects photoplankton in the world's oceans.
What is recycled and what is not recycled in a Food Web?
Energy flows unidirectionally and nutrients flow cyclically.
What is Decomposition?
What does it accomplish?
*When a plant or animal dies, bacteria and fungi devour its organic remains.
*Although some microorganisms absorb many nutrients released during this process, some nutrients escape and enter the soil and water for reuse.
What are Trophic levels?
Organisms in a food chain according to their position. Their feeding level.
What is Biomass?
Total Dry weight of living material in an ecosystem.
On the average, how much biomass (or energy) gets transferred from a lower tropic level to the next higher one?
On the average 10. According to the 10% rule.
Why, if we don't limit population, will most humans have to become vegetarians?
It is far less efficient to feed corn and other grains to cattle and other livestock that are slaughtered for human consumption. It requires less grain production than a non-vegetarian diet.
What are Nutrients?
Can you think of some?
*All ions (charged atoms) and molecules used by living organisms.
*Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Oxygen, Hydrogen.
What is a Nutrient cycle?
Nutrients flow from the environment through food webs and are then released back into the environment.
What are its two phases of the Nutrient Cycle?
Environmental and Organismic phase.
Carbon Cycle:
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by plants and passed through the food chain. It is released back into the environment as a result of decomposition of the waste and dead remains of plants, animals, an other organisms. It is also released by cellular energy production and the combustion of organic materials such as coal , oil, gasoline, and wood.
What does Nitrogen fixation mean?
The conversion of nitrogen to ammonia.
How is it accomplished?
The roots of plants have small swellings called root nodules.
- Inside the root nodules are bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia.
- Ammonia is also produced by bacteria called Cyanobacteria in the soil.
- Once ammonia is produced, other soil bacteria convert it to nitrite and then to nitrate.
- Nitrates are incorporated by plants and used to make amino acids and nucleic acids.
- All consumers ultimately receive the nitrogen they require from
In what ways do humans alter the carbon cycles?
The widespread combustion of fossil fuels (which releases carbon dioxide) and rampant deforestation (which reduces carbon dioxide uptake) have overloaded the cycle with carbon dioxide.
In what ways do humans alter the nitrogen cycles?
Applying excess nitrogen containing fertilizer on farmland, much of which ends up in waterways
- Disposing of nitrogen-rich municipal sewage in waterways
- Raising cattle in feelots adjacent to waterways
- Burning fossil fuels, which release a class of chemicals known as nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere
Evolve from pre-existing life forms.
Cell Theory?
All life comes from cells and pre-existing cells.
Something you can keep doing generation after generation.
To keep up or keep going.
Fixed Amount.
Cannot keep going.