ENVS 1000U Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Industrial Revolution, Commodification, Habitat Destruction
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Figure 1.1 from Without and Brennan (2008)
Introduction to Environmental Science – Identifying Problems
What is the “Environment”?
The sum total of our surroundings
Consists of both:
Common use of term separates humans from rest of nature
Humans interact with their Environment
Humans exist within the environment – part of the natural world
Humans depend on a properly functioning planet for our survival
Humans have modified our environment
Human actions have brought beneficial changes (longer life spans, etc.)
Other human actions have brought undesirable change (environmental problems)
Humans interactions with our environment are important
NEED TO UNDERSTAND THESE INTERACTIONS TO DEVISE SUSTAINABLE
SOLUTIONS TO CURRENT PROBLEMS
IMPACT 1: Human Population Growth has affected Resource Availability
Human population has increased to >7 billion
Agricultural and industrial revolutions drove growth
Medical – technological revolutions led to longer healthier lives – produced more
How has population growth impacted the environment?
IMPACT 2: Excessive Consumption reduces Resource Availability
Human population growth exacerbates environmental problems
Consumption of resources has risen faster than population growth
oLife has become better
oRising consumption amplifies demands made on environment
How long until crucial resources run out?
Natural Resources are Vital to our Survival
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