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Lecture 22

ENVS 1000U Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Triple Bottom Line, Demographic Transition


School
UOIT
Department
Environmental-Science
Course Code
ENVS 1000U
Professor
Mary Olaveson
Lecture
22

Page:
of 3
Lecture 22
Sustainable Solutions
What is Sustainability?
Achieving Sustainability starts Wherever You Are Today
oEfforts on university and college campuses parallel efforts in the rest of the world
oMore people starting to appreciate earth’s limited resources
oMore people voicing concerns about our current behaviors
oMore people realizing contributions of biodiversity and ecosystem goods/services
to human welfare are Priceless!
Sustainable Development Aims for a New Bottom Line
oSustainability does not mean just protecting the environment from humans
oTriple Bottom Line = “new goal” for sustainability
ofinding ways to promote
social justice (people)
environmental quality (planet)
economic well-being (profit)
How can we make Changes?
Economic growth in developed countries is driven by consumption
Belief that more is better and that the economy must ‘grow’
Consumption of limited resources cannot continue
otaking place in a tiny slice of time in long course of history
Population Growth must Cease
oContinued human population growth in developing countries is not sustainable
oTechnology has expanded the Earth’s carrying capacity
sooner or later, growth will end, but how?
oDemographic transition may help developing countries, as it helped developed
countries
Human Systems should Mimic Natural Systems
oEarth’s environmental systems operate in cycles
feedback loops and circular material flows
output is recycled into input
oHuman systems are linear
raw materials are processed, which generates waste
oVirtually all products can be recycled, given right technology
ultimate vision - to generate no waste
Need to Think in the Long Term
oshort-term plans appeal to many policy makers
offer immediate results to help them get re-elected
ounfortunately environmental problems can be resolved only by long-term periods
costs of addressing problems are short term
benefits are long term
obusinesses may act according to either short or long term
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Lecture 22
a business committed to long-term operations has an incentive to sustain
environmental quality
Citizens must Exert Political Influence
odemocracies offer a compelling route for pursuing sustainability: the power of the
vote
guide political leaders to enact policies for sustainability
operson can exercise power by:
voting
attending public hearings
donating to advocacy groups
writing letters and making phone calls
Consumers Vote with Their Wallets
owe have influence in the choices we make as consumers
oconsumers can buy eco-labeled products
promote “green” purchasing at work and school
Vital to Promote Research and Education
onothing will succeed if public is not aware of the importance
oindividual actions have little impact, unless many others do the same thing
oindividuals can influence others by educating them and serving as role models
Think of Earth as an Island
oEarth is an island
islands can be paradise, or can be destroyed
osome people speak out for conservation and finding ways to live sustainably amid
dwindling resources
others ignore those calls, continuing environmental destruction
otragic folly to let planet Earth be destroyed
What are the Challenges?
in any society facing
odwindling resources
oenvironmental degradation
osome will raise alarms
osome will ignore warnings
challenge for our society today is to support the science so that we may
ocritically judge false alarms from real problems
odistinguish legitimate concerns from thoughtless denial
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com