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GEO702 Lecture 1.docx

3 Pages

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GEO 702
Amina Jamal

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GEO702- Lecture 1 Technology & Contemporary Environment  Both resources and environment are function of technology  Constructive o Technology has denied or forestalled the original Malthusian vision of population growth outrunning food production o With technology, the problem of typhoid in many regions of the world have been solved.  Destructive o Economic, technological and scientific development are accompanied by ever larger risks for the environment. o Pollution: degradation of the environment as a result of some type of contamination.  Acute- release of highly toxic substances over a long period of time. e.g. SARS/H1N1  Chronic- slow discharge of less toxic substances over a long period of time. Sometimes the impact will not be felt for years. e.g growth of algae (water becomes depleted of oxygen – fish die)  Persistent- pollutants that remain in the environment for a long time. e.g Chernobyl  Disturbance: physical disruption of the environment. Excess disruption of resources. e.g global warming, excessive logging  Carrying capacity: the number of people or biological units that the Earth can support. Question: is there a limit to which human population and other organisms can be sustained by biophysical resources?  Waste assimilation capacity: the ability to receive, biodegrade, neutralize & dissipate(spread out) decontaminate without affects on environment. Carrying Capacity: Technology & Trade  Does technology and trade expand ecological carrying capacity?  Appropriated carrying capacity o Stock resources – limited in supply takes million years to form. E.g fossil fuels, uranium, copper. o Flow resources – can be sustained depleted or obsolete. These resources recover slowly E.g forest, atmosphere, water, soil. o Perpetual - continuous/everlasting resources. eg sun, ocean, wind  Ecological Footprint: the total area land/water require to produce the resources used and to assimilated the wasted produce.  William Rees and Mathis Wackernagle Tragedy of the Commons Garrett Hardin  Picture a pasture land open all  As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain  What is the benefit of adding one more animal o 1. Positive Component – profit, more milk and meat o 2. Negative Component – over grazing leads to depletion of grass.  It
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