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Lecture 2

EESA10H3 Lecture 2: EESA10 2

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Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

1. a. 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 Population (Thousands) 200 0 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 Year Figure 1. Botswana’s population growth and future projections from 1950 to 2050. b. The graph shows that there was a general increase in population from the years 1950 to about 2000, where the population peaked and stabilized to just over 1 600 000 people from the years 2000 to 2005. The population has already begun to decline in 2010, and is predicted to continue decreasing to about 1 400 000 people by 2050 - a decrease of approximately 200 000 people in 50 years. c. Individuals infected with AIDS are impacted socially in countries such as Botswana. There are similar social effects within families, than there are among individuals within the general population. Infected individuals typically do not discuss the disease with anyone. This is because of shame, the fear of being cut off from the rest of the population, and for the maintenance of various social aspects of their lives, such keeping a job. With this regard, those infected feel very isolated and alone, and feel they must endure this illness alone. This adds emotional strain which makes dealing with the issue worse. Medical treatments are expensive and families do not have enough money to keep up with medical bills and burials for other family members who have died of aids. Furthermore, increased deaths means less individuals for subsistence agriculture. School drop out rates are increasing because more people are needed to work on farms. Parents dying results in less knowledge is being passed on to subsequent generations regarding successful agricultural practices. Dying parents also increases the number of orphans and thus having an impact on the social and economical structure of the country. Furthermore, an environmental impact associated with AIDS stems from the previously mentioned issue of the loss of labour, coupled with the decreasing salary earners, this drives people to rely on natural resources in order to survive. This includes practices such as hunting, fishing, and charcoal making. This results in a greater amount of consumption of natural resources per household (these include firewood and medicinal plants). References: Barany, M., Holding-Anyonge, C., Kayambazinthu D. and Sitoe A. 2005. Firewood, food and medicine: Interactions between forests, vulnerability and rural responses to HIV/AIDS. Proceedings from the IFPRI Conference: HIV/AIDS and Food and Nutrition Security, April 14-16, 2005. Durban, South Africa Rompel MU, Gronemeyer R, Rakelmann GA. 2002. The social impact of AIDS on families in Botswana and Namibia. Int Conf AIDS 14 pp. 7-12. d. It is important that developed countries try to lessen the impact of AIDS in Africa by providing both preventative measures and coping strategies. Preventative measures can include education on safe sex as well as safely treating patients in medical centers to prevent contamination of blood, as well as providing free condoms to help decrease the spread of the disease. Coping strategies can be physical, in terms of free medication to help prolong the lives of infected individuals, as well as social, in that centers can be set up to help infected individuals cope with the social and physiological stresses that they are experiencing. 2. The Precautionary Principle in Environmental Science, in my opinion, should be implemented world wide. The Earth systems are extremely complex, and often it is very difficult to predict the long term impacts of a new action. Environmental Scientists study these highly complex and somewhat poorly understood systems and are faced with demands from governments and businesses to allow economic growth while at the same time protecting the environment from potential detrimental impacts. These potential impacts are not really predicted by organizations who implement the new changes for several reasons. Primarily, profit is what drives businesses, and so, the sooner an in-demand product or service can be introduced to the market place, the greater the revenues of the business. This unfortunately runs the risk of potentially unknown long term effects of a product or service on the environment, which can cost more in terms of environmental damage in the future, than the short term monetary benefits gained by the business. In other words, it’s a trade off of short term gain for potential long term pain. This is complicated and there exists many past examples of severe detrimental environmental impacts, resulting from a product that was beneficial in the short term but severely damaged the environment. Moreover, with the progression of climate change, the importance researching potential short and long term environmental impacts is increasing. An example is ch
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