EESA01 – LECTURE 2
Environmental Scien)sts and Environmentalists
• My grandmother always calls me an “environmentalist”. She is only
parally correct. Distinction between environmentalists are activist kind of type
that are hugely biased in their views its useful because there’s another entirely
biased wing of society for which things needs to be balanced out. Environmental
scientist- needs to be unbiased, can’t explain any kind of study hoping or thinking
that it would happen. They need to open and open that may not, but not
necessarily hypothesize about.
• The basis of science is to NOT approach a problem from a biased view (i.e., to
• Many environmentalists are not objec)ve.
• This does not mean that environmental scien)sts cannot be environmentalists,
just that they are not necessarily so.
“Tragedy of the Commons”
• Concept proposed by GarreU Hardin (Ecologist from UCSB) in 1968.
• Unregulated exploita)on leads to resource deple)on. – relatively rapid.in a
relative sense depletion.
• Resource users are tempted to increase use un)l the resource as much as they
can in relation to the technology they have to do so, often times drastic opposition
to what they see happening in front of their face. Regardless of the fact that all the
resources that were taken away they wont care but they want to get as much as
they can for themselves. Is this STILL the basis for ongoing environmental
issues? Can we do anything about it – oil sands – something related to the
tragedy of the common? – not really. For the most part the state for the oil is taken
out is a function of technology, and how quickly it can be refined not because of
govt regulation, it comes in in terms of exploitation. Expect that resources will go
Rapa Nui actual name of thethsland (Easter Island) – there’s some European kind of
exploration in the 18 century, they found the massive statue which is a mystery
and how they could get there and people essentially living in squalor or cave and
no vegetation or trees in the Island where resources could have been used. The
real reason is landscape wasn’t like that forever. There’s some studies that shows
the lake had dusts, dirt, pollen that falls in the water that settels down and falls on
it continuously- if its slightly deep lake, the waves don’t mass up too much of the
bottom. Lake sediments pull them and out and see whats in there – theirs iceotops,
pollen analysis and see what was probably there before, its pretty robust
technique. – erosion issues, There was a thriving civilization before, these
massive trees they could have make resources if they had labours to do so, back
when they had them without these regulation and exploitation of these resources specifically the expoitation of palm trees – regardless of that being grown for a
long time and completely over used it thus they couldn’t make resources, couldn’t
build anything and ate same types of food.
• Pay close attention to “The Science Behind the Story” on page 12 of your text.
• Downfall of a whole civilization at least par)ally attributable to “Tragedy of the
The Base Cause of Environmental Degradation- population growth most consumption is
gone from non renewable energy. – too stupid to realize whats going on. Thee’s lots of
resource extraction going on + climate change – a lot of people seems to be paralyzed to
do much about it. THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THAT WE FACE TODAY ARE
DUE TO A COMBINATION OF WORLD POPULATION GROWTH AND
CONSUMPTION (SPECIFICALLY, ENERGY) FAR ABOVE WHAT CAN EASILY
BE REPLACED AND...A GENERAL IGNORANCE TO RECOGNIZE THIS.
Contextualiza)on of Impact: The Ecological Footprint
How to put a quantity on how much we’re overusing resources is this ides of
ecological footprint. – taking all of a person’s need on average – how far they
drive car, how much they eat, how they heat up their house- all those resources
that a lifestyle is using overall. – estimation of the Canadian lifestyle ecological footprint. Hecter is a 100 meter. Avg 6000 meters of land per person. Some of the
less developed countries – largely these things come down to lifestyle, less
money, less access to resources tend to have small ecological footprint. If you
take all the ecological footprint of everyone and add it all together you could see
that quite a long time ago we past the point where ecological footprint was
smaller than the land area. Now we’re at a point where the amount of resources
we need to continue the lifestyle as a globe is beyond the area we have on earth.
The main reason is we’re using resources that aren’t to be used by us but should
be used by future generation. – its not sustainable [has to be smaller footprint
compared to the size of earth]
Our Future: Cornucopians vs. Cassandras
Cornucopia: has a lot to do whow we use
resources in present. If when we’re on a
trend of using more than we should be, but
we’ll figure out ways in the future and be
fine. horn of plenty – Human ingenuity will
see us through our environmental problems
via new technologies and the such.
Cassandra: mythical princess of Troy who
prophesized about dire future scenarios– All is
lost because of our impact on the
environment. They show the depressive way
of thinking about things and think that we’re screwed.
On to today’s main topic:
Popula)on and Environmental Consequences
Comprehension Objec)ves for Today’s Lecture
• The scope of human popula)on growth
• The history of human popula)on
• Fundamentals of demography
• The demographic transi)on
• Factors that affect popula)on growth
• The effect of popula)on, affluence and technology
environment • The current effects of disease in controlling popula)on
• 1974: Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren – conceptual model, semiquantative equation.
Brings together all possible things that could affect the environment.
• Total impact (I) on environment is a result of the interaction between population (P),
affluence (A), technology (T), and sensitivity (S): Increasing population is a positive
number. Decreasing population – decreasing impact. More money – greater impact in the
Environment. Two different ways. 1 could decrease the impact by clean water tech and
that would allow for quicker renewable process + increase impact by producing tech that
are better at extracting oils, machines that are able to produce more crops on larger area.
If tech could decrease the impact, so the number wouldn’t be negative, if you put one negative number you have less than 1- something in between 0 and 1. Population 10,
affluence 5, sensitivity- 2, tech – 0.5 overall impact would be down.
• Impact is largely POLLUTION, RESOURCE or both.
The First Humans Oldest known homonid (human-‐ like) fossils:
– Ethiopia: 4.1 My. bp
Lucy Australopithecus afarensis
- ~7 My. bp? - “Toumaï”
• The number of years it takes, given a specific rate of increase,
for a number (such as popula)on) to double.- relatively accurately
tD = ln(2) *100 divided by growthrate(%) = 70 divided by
1979 China growth rate = 2.8% (popl’n at )me: 1B)
Current global growth rate = 1.2% (now: ~6.9B)- over 7B – double that population for 58
Current Canada growth rate (natural and net immigration together) = 0.9% (now: 33.5M
Global Population Growth) The assumption is that growth rate is stable for a long time
because if that changes, doubling rate would also change.