Env 200 Lec # 4

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Jacob Hirsh

Env 200 January 17 , 2013 Lecture #4 Economic Growth vs Steady State Economy  Is it the economy vs the environment?  Economics usually wins  Recognition that economic growth has limits We’re always aiming for growth, GDP  Aims for stable or mildly fluctuating levels in population and consumption of energy and materials Shouldn’t aim for constant growth  Aim for birth rates = death rates  Saving/Investment equals depreciation Sustainable Consumption  We should use goods/services only for our basic needs  Minimize the use of resources to preserve them for future generations  Eliminate consumption overpopulation  Requires major lifestyle changes  Success is equated with material possessions http://www.storyofstuff.com Watch video  Are we really happy with our material possessions? Voluntary Simplicity  How should you live?  Local food movement instead of buying expensive exotic foods  Material wealth not required for happiness  Values and character important  More important than material goods  How can you make changes? Does this sound sustainable?  Nonrenewable resources being rapidly depleted  Many renewable resources being used in a nonrenewable way Ex: Timber, water  Environment being polluted  Human population increasing (majority of people want a better lifestyle) Tragedy of the Commons  Coined by Garrett Hardin in 1968  Commons: available to everyone but no single individual has responsibility  Tragedy: Short-term individual welfare trumps long term environmental sustainability  As long as it doesn’t bother me, it’s okay. Global Environmental issues  Global warming  Deforestation  Threatened oceans  Ozone depletion Population Ecology  Branch of biology  Study of populations  Individuals of a particular species  How they respond to environment  -_____?? How populations change  Global scale: dependent on two things  Birth rate (b)  Death Rate (d)  Growth Rate (r)  R= B-D  Local populations  Dispersal  Immigration (i)  Emigration (e) Growth rate= (birth rate + immigration rate) – (death rate + emigration rate) Maximum Population Growth  Biotic potential: maximum rate at which populations can increase Assuming unlimited resources  Determined by life history characteristics Ex: Age of reproduction, number of offspring you can reproduce, lifespan  Large organisms have the smallest biotic potentials  Microorganisms have the largest biotic potentials Exponential Population growth  Optimal conditions  Reproductive rate  “J-Shaped” Curve  Very hard to stop bacterial from growing Environmental Resistance  Unfavourable environmental conditions  Eventually prevent reproduction at biotic potential Ex: Not enough food, waste accumulation, temperatures  Environment often controls population size Carrying Capacity 
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