In Class Lecture Notes

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31 Oct 2010
L01 - Major global issues
- Global climate change: carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere, overall increase in
the world/global temperature
- Loss of global biodiversity: things we are doing to affect habitat, organisms. Genetically
modified foods and agriculture, mutations in the environment as a consequence of
environmental degradation - wildlife, people, biolife
- Ozone layer depletion: O3; what blocks out UVD radiation
- Natural disasters: occurrence of severe weather
- Global pollutant dispersal: mercury moves around in the environment (atmospheric
- Water security: regional, rain, freshwater resources (strains)
- Alberta oil sands: energy
- National economic dependency on natural resources: oil, forestry, minerals drive our
economy - how to make it something we can continue to do or make changes
Toronto issues
Waterfront development:
Smog: pollution on top of the city affecting climate conditions
Tragedy of commons
- Carrying capacity
- Open up resource - high likelihood for users to pull up resources for as long as they can
as MUCH as they can Æ how our environment works, policies, consequences
psychological urge to grab as much/quickly as they can
- Leaving nothing left rather than to use slowly
- Unregulated
- Sustainability
- Solutions? Government regulation (permits, quota), co-op agreements (self regulate
over a long period of time)
e.g. Rapa Nui - used every resource possible to survive on the island without any regards
for sustainability or perpetuity
- nothing can be completely right - onlyright” until it is proven wrong
- No Absolute Truth in science, “a natural phenomenon that has been proven to occur
invariably whenever certain conditions are met.”
- Manipulative/natural experiment
- Environmental science - biology, chemistry, atmospheric science, oceanography,
geology, geography, anthropology archeology, sociology, history, political science,
engineering, economics, ethics, ecology
- Ecological footprint - quantitative measure for a person to live the way they do
African/southern countries - do not have the ability/resources to live the way we do
Cornucopian - do whatever we want to do, and humans will come up with a way to fix it
Cassandras - nothing we can do
- in between
Practical solutions Æ require money Æ might work temporarily but not long term
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