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GEOG 205 Lecture Notes - William Cronon, Guardians Of The Universe, James Lovelock

Course Code
GEOG 205
Gail Chmura

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January 16th, 2013: What are the Major Global Challenges?
Thomas Maltus (February 13th 1776 December 23 1834) populations grow
exponentially but power to support them doesn’t
o positive checks: things that increase mortality rates hunger, disease, war
o preventative checks: things that decrease fertility rates abortion, birth
control, postponement of marriage, celibacy
o fertility rates: the average number of children a woman is expected to have
based on where they are in the world
o getting to the next billion in population very fast took 123 years to get
from 1 to 2 billion; took 13 years to get from 6 billion to 7 billion
o Canada, US & China have low fertility rates
NA has low rates due to immigration
China has low rates due to the one child rule
o factors influencing population growth
stage 1 non-industrial country where birth & death rates high;
with industrialization, birth rates high & death rates drop
stage 2 high population growth; standard of living increases, more
education & more family planning
stage 3 birth rates drop toward death rates; zero or negative
growth becomes normal; few children in families with resources
devoted to care
o population rates are increasing in third world countries
o 80% of humanity lives on 10$/day
o sustainability: development which meets needs of current generations
without compromising ability of future generations to meet their own needs
critique: Robert M. Solow argues it isn’t a specific obligation, it is a
general one we have an intergenerational vs. intragenerational
o major environmental challenges
biodiversity birds declined 71% between 1980 & 2002
deforestation 80% of original forest has been
water 70% industrial wastes dumped untreated into waters in
developing countries
air pollution 2.4 million people die/year from direct causes of air
o year of the city = 2008 50% of people living in urban areas
o projected that most cities with 10 million people in 2025 will be in
Asia/Rome & 70% of world population living in urban centres
William Cronon divide between urban dwellers & impacts of major
environmental problems
o energy consumption increasing over time
humans always lived a rural lifestyle (agriculture, hunting)
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