EESA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Dependent And Independent Variables, Biocapacity, Biome

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Published on 25 Sep 2016
EESA01H3 F- Lecture 1 - Introduction
Room AC 223: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Class Experiment:
1.) The class began with the professor laying out beads on a table.
2.) He explained that each bead was a potential bonus percent for our final exam. He then
proceeded to tell the audience that there was the possibility of taking more than one
bead from the table.
3.) He then told the class to come for the beads, causing them all to disappear in seconds.
The bonus points were fake, as the professor simply wanted to prove a point regarding the
“Tragedy of the Commons”.
“Tragedy of the Commons”: is when users of a resource are tempted to increase their use of
a resource until it’s gone.
People are greedy and our unregulated exploitation of resources is what leads to
resource depletion.
The concept was proposed by Garrett Hardin (1968).
Rapa Nui (Easter Island): Example for the “Tragedy of the Commons”.
Textbook - Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, Third Canadian Edition (3rd Edition)
Page 8.
Empirical evidence was drawn using drilled cores deep in lake segments, which found
samples of palm tree pollen.
Led to the inference that the island was once deeply forested.
Research concluded that desperation for forest resources and cropland led to the
deforestation of the entire island.
The removal of trees leads to the erosion of soil, detected in the accumulation of
sediment at the bottom of the lack.
Soil erosion can lead to lowered crop yields and eventual starvation.
The downfall of an entire civilization can be at least partly attributed to the “Tragedy of the
What is Environmental Science?:
“Environmental science is the study of how the natural world works, how our environment
affects us, and how we affect our environment.” (“The Science Behind the Stories”, Page 5)
It is an interdisciplinary science.
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