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11 Cards in this Set

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aesthetic justification
An argument for the conservation of nature on the grounds that nature is beautiful and that beauty is important and valuable to people.
carrying capacity
The maximum abundance of a population or species that can be maintained by a habitat or ecosystem without degrading the ability of that habitat or ecosystem to maintain that abundance in the future.
ecological justification
An argument for the conservation of nature on the grounds that a species, an ecological community, an ecosystem, or Earth's biosphere provides specific functions necessary to the persistence of our life or of benefit to life. The ability of trees in forests to remove carbon dioxide produced in burning fossil fuels is such a public benefit and an argument for maintaining large areas of forests.
Gaia hypothesis
The Gaia hypothesis states that the surface environment of Earth, with respect to such factors as the atmospheric composition of reactive gases (for example, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and methane), the acidity-alkalinity of waters, and the surface temperature, are actively regulated by the sensing, growth, metabolism and other activities of the biota. Interaction between the physical and biological system on Earth's surface has led to a planetwide physiology that began more than 3 billion years ago and the evolution of which can be detected in the fossil record.
megacities
Urban areas with at least 8 million inhabitants
moral justification
An argument for the conservation of nature on the grounds that aspects of the environment have a right to exist, independent of human desires, and that it is our moral obligation to allow them to continue or to help them persist
precauthionary principle
The idea that in spite of the fact that full scientific certainty is often not available to prove cause and effect, we should still take cost-effective precautions to solve environmental problems when there exists a threat of potential serious and/or irreversible environmental damage.
sustainability
Management of natural resources and the environment with the goals of allowing the harvest of resources to remain at or above some specified level, and the ecosystem to retain its functions and structure.
sustainable ecosystem
An ecosystem that is subject to some human use, but at a level that leads to no loss of species or of necessary ecosystem functions.
sustainable resource harvest
An amount of a resource that can be harvested at regular intervals indefinitely.
utilitarian justification
An argument for the conservation of nature on the grounds that the environment, an ecosystem, habitat, or species, provides individuals with direct economic benefit or is directly necessary to their survival