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GS101 Week 7 Lecture 2.docx

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Global Studies
Timothy Clark

GlobalStudies Week 7, Lecture 2 The Globalization of the Environment Malthusian Trap: idea that human beings can’t increase population and standard of living at the same time The limits of growth, the basic limits, increase agriculture it will be eaten away from population growth Malthus wrong about British growth, 1800’s population and standard of living both increasing WHY?? ‘Great Escape’: Global Population and per capita energy consumption To escape people were tapping into new sources of energy (fossil fuels, and coal, etc.) Fossil Fuel enabled people to escape Malthusian Trap Fossil Fuels: energy deposits from dead organisms Role of Fossil Fuels Humans shifted from biomass to fossil fuels Uses of fossil fuels include: electricity, transportation, petrochemical industry (16% of petroleum used for petrochemicals) Ecological crisis=energy crisis  Humans represent 0.5% of global biomass yet estimates of human appropriation of terrestrial NPP range from 20% to 40% (facilitated by growth of fossil fuels) Outcomes of use of Fossil Fuels, and Energy use  species extinction—6 great species extinction in planetary history, prior changes caused by natural events this one is caused by humans  Natural rate of extinction: 1-5 Species per year (estimated 30 000 species lost per year)  Some of these species are keystone species and net primary productivity—entire ecosystem will collapse Overfishing  80-85% of worlds fisheries and overexploited, large ocean fish now 10% of pre-industrial levels, 30% of global fisheries have already collapsed, if continues world fisheries could all COLLAPSE BY 2050  Effects: food security (1 billion rely upon fish protein); declining stocks costs US$50 Billion Year; ecosystem collapse Deforestation  half world’s forests are gone and just over 20%% of original old growth, forests remain  Major Drivers: cattle ranching, agriculture infrastructure (roads), and logging and other
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