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GEOG 1220
Richard Kuhn

Documentaries End of the line Flight of the BIRD Fuel Text readings Chapter 1 (6-10) Natural resources: various substances/energy sources we need to survive, can be viewed as continuum from most to least renewable Renewable natural resources: aka RNR, natural resources replenished over short periods of time, some are inexhaustible/perpetual, some can become non-renewable if rate of use is higher than renewal rate, ie sunlight/wind Renewable Resources: aka stock/flow resources or RR, can be harvested by rules living resources, regen rate limited by rates of physical processes, ie groundwater/soil Resource management: to balance rate of withdrawal from stock/rate of renewal or regen, used to balance resource use with its preservation Stock: harvestable portion of resource, if taken faster than replenished it will eventually deplete, Non-renewable natural resources: aka NRNR, finite supply/depletable, formed much slower then use, mineral mined, minerals require conservation/reuse/recycle, some resources truly non-renewable/can only be used once, ie fossil fuels/mineral deposits Minerals: civ depends on many, mined NRNR but can be part of conserve/recuse/recycle Pop growth: paleolithic, agriculture, industrial rev, medical-tech rev, each increased resource availability/increased carrying capacity Paleolithic: aka Old Stone Age, 2.5 million YA, early humans gain fire use/start shaping stone tools to mod environment Agriculture rev: aka Neolithic period, transition from nomadic forager to agriculture, 10000-12000 YA, Industrial rev: began mid-1700s, transition from rural human/animal powered to urban fossil fuel powered, quality of life environmental degradation rose, modern society roots in concerns over industrial rev conditions Medical-tech rev: ongoing, communication tech/better medical practice/green rev, IPAT: total impact on environment (I) represented as product of pop (P)/affluence (A)/tech (T) or I=P×A×T, affluence means level of consumption Carrying capacity: measure of ability of a system to support life, quantified in terms of # of people that can be sustained by bio productivity of given area, when exceeded either pop will decline/collapse or system altered/damaged/depleted Tragedy of the commons: Garret Hardin, each individual withdraws whatever benefits available from common property ASAP until resource overused/depleted, private ownership/co-op/gov regulations can help but are imperfect, opposes laissez faire, Ecological footprint: wackernagel/rees, tool to express environmental impact of individual/pop, inverse of carrying capacity, calculated by area of land/water required to give raw materials they use/to absorb or recycle waste created, looks at direct/indirect impact, footprint of average Canadian is 7.6 hectares, calculations vary wildly because how components defined which can become poltical, opposite of carrying capacity Bio-capacity: capacity terrestrial or aquatic system to be bio productive/absorb waste, humans exceed bio- capacity of earth by 39% Survival/failure: Jared Diamond, 5 crit factors to determine survival of a civ: climate change/hostile neighbours/trade partners/environmental problems/social response to environmental problems Chapter 10 (294-304) Overfishing history: people start it centuries or millennia ago, accelerated in colonialism, intensified more in 20thC, decimating a species has led to disastrous ecological consequences like eutrophication or plant disease, ie Northwest Atlantic fishery collapse or near extinction of many whale species Factory fishing: using new tech/bigger boats/fossil fuels to catch absurd amounts, ie driftnetting/longlinning/trawling Driftnetting: huge nets drift with current to catch schools of fish, mass By-Catch kills dolphins/seals/sea turtles/many non-target fish, due to By-Catch it’s banned/restricted by many nations/creation of dolphins safe tuna label Longlining: extremely long line with baited hooks spaced along, mostly for tuna/swordfish, By-Catch kills turtles/sharks/albatrosses Trawling: dragging massive cone nets through water, weights/floats keep it open, for pelagic fish, bottom- trawling goes on continental shelf for ground fish/scallops, By-Catch kills entire communities/ecosystems, weighted nets leave path of destruction on floor especially in reefs, likened to strip mining/clear cutting By-Catch: accidental capture of animals, accounts for death of thousands of marine life Industrial trawling: especially in Grand Banks/Georges Bank after its creation in 1960s/a spree of mass fishing many fish stocks collapsed entirely Myer/Worm findings: catch rates drop post 90% of large body fish/sharks eliminated with pop stabilizing at 10% of former levels meaning modern oceans have 1/10 of large bodied animals they used to Hiding pop decline: stocks depleting but global catch remains stable over last 20 years, explained by: fish fleets traveling father to reach less fished areas, fishing in deeper waters, more time spent fishing, more nets/lines set out, improved tech helps get to/find fish much better, data supplied to international monitors may be falsified Age/size decrease: as fishing increase size/age of fish decreases, Fishing down the food chain: as a fish becomes too rare to be profitable fleets shift to species in greater abundance, shift to fish of lower trophic level Aquaculture: aka farm fisheries, 30% of world fish production, includes freshwater fish/shellfish/marine plants, pros, cons Pros: improves food security, reduces pressure on natural fish stocks, reduce By-Catch, provides employment, much less fossil fuels use then vessels, energy efficient Cons: dense concentration increase disease chance increase antibiotic use/expense, if they escape they can spread disease/outcompete natives or opposite can happen, food sometimes made of wild fish, can lead to changes in some coastal ecosystems such as natural barriers like trees Consumer choice: they have purchasing power but not enough info which some non-profits hope to solve, whaling it became unsustainable but 1986 moratorium banned it saving several species from extinction but japan still does it In science: 2006 study, predicted global fishery collapse by 2048, systems with less species/genetic diversity show less primary/secondary production/less able to be disturbed, when biodiversity reduced so were fish/shellfish nurseries, biodiversity loss correlated with reduced filtering/detox, Max sustainable yield: to allow max harvest of particular pop while keeping fish available for future Ecosystem-based Management: to change fishery management shift focus from individual species to view of marine resources as part of ecological system, set aside parts of ocean to function without human interference Marine protected area: aka MPA, hundreds created along dev countries coasts, most allow fishing/resource extraction, Marine Reserves: because MPA don’t work, to preserve entire ecosystem intact without human interference/improve fish stocks, fish would proliferate outside reserves to be fished, benefits all, opposition by fisherman is fierce/sometimes violent, protected size generally suggested at 20-50% Inside Reserve benefits: creates long term/rapid increase in abundance/diversity/productivity, decrease morality/habitat destruction, lessen likelihood of extinction Outside Reserve benefits: fish proliferate past reserve borders, allow larvae of species in reserve to seed seas outside reserve Chapter 9 (242-276) Importance of water/hydrologic cycle: humans dependent on drinkable water/functioning hydrological cycle vital to maintain ecosystems/our civ Groundwater: Fresh water distribution: of all water 1% is readily available for our use (surface), water availability varies in space/time and regions vary greatly in amounts possessed, Surface fresh water distribution 1% has organisms, 1% rivers, 8% atmospheric water vapour, 38% soil moisture, 52% lakes Major freshwater ecosystem types: rivers/streams/wetlands/lakes/ponds River: Stream: Wetland: Lake: Pond: Water use: agriculture/industry/residential, globally 70% agriculture, Altering freshwater systems: dams, diversion, pump Dams: most rivers dammed many bringing benefits/costs but increasingly people want them removed Diversion: we divert water with canals/irrigation ditches/attempt to control floods with dikes/levees Pump: we pump water from aquifers/surface water bodies sometimes unsustainably Water supply problems: extraction, unequal distribution, Extraction: water tables dropping globally from unsustainable ground water extraction, surface water extraction caused rivers to run dry/water bodies to shrink Unequal distribution: amid shrinking supplies may heighten political tension over water in future Fresh water depletion solutions: expanding supply, decreasing demand Expanding supply: solutions like desalination worth pursuing but not to exclusion of finding ways to decrease demand Decreasing demand: solutions like tech approaches/consumer products that increase efficiency in agriculture/home Water quality problems: pollutants, water pollution comes from point sources/non-point sources, scientist monitors use biological chemicals/physical indicators, ground water pollution can be more persistent than surface water pollution, Pollutants: water pollutants include excessive nutrients/microbial pathogens/toxic chemicals/sediments/thermal pollution Point sources: Water pollution solutions: legislation/regulation improved water quality in developed countries recently, preventing water pollution better than mitigation Waste water treatment: septic systems, city treatment, artificial wetlands Septic systems: used in rural areas City treatment: waste water treated physically/bio/chem in series of steps at municipal waste water treatment facility Artificial wetlands: enhance waste water treatment while restoring habitat for wildlife Chapter 8 (212-238) Tree functional process: trees have same basic requirement as other plants (sun/water/nutrients/air/good temp), function as link between biogeochemical cycles of atmosphere/hydrosphere/biosphere/geosphere Forest Biome types: 30% of earths land covered by forest (Canada has lots), 3 main sets (northern or boreal forests/temperate forests/tropical forests), Canada forests: North dominated by coniferous boreal forests, west characterized by subalpine/montane/coastal forest types, east by temperate deciduous, central prairies by more open woodland/grassland ecosystems Forests part to play: forests give habitat/support biodiversity, forests contribute ecosystem services that are of great value to people/including protection of soils/moderation of climate system/hydrologic cycle/carbon store/oxygen cycling, forests provide us economically important timber/wide variety of non-timber forest products like fruit/nuts/honey/rubber Deforestation history: forests cleared since start of human civ for many reasons, developed nations deforested much of their land during process of settlement/farming/ industrialization, farming contributes greatly /impacts greatly landscapes/ecosystems globally Current deforestation: taking place most rapidly in developing nations, driven by proximate factors such as logging/pest infestation/by root factors that are largely economic or political Major methods of timber harvest: harvesting methods for timber include clear cutting/even aged techniques/selection strategies that maintain uneven-aged stands that more closely resemble nature, can be sustainable if principle of max sustainable harvest maintained, cert of sustainable forest products allows consumer choice in marketplace to influence forestry techniques principle of max sustainable harvest: Forest management fundamentals: focus, implement, fire policy, organizations role Focus: increasingly on extraction of forest products/sustaining ecological systems that make resource available, Implement: ecosystem-based /adaptive management, Fire policy: politically controversial but we must address impacts of centuries of fire suppression, Organizations role: Canadian forest service/park Canada/Canadian wildlife service/environment Canada all play role in managing Canada’s forests federally, agriculture/agri-foods Canada ocersee management of rangeland, UN food/agriculture organization monitors status of worlds forests Chapter 5 (106-132) Soil science fundamentals: composition, communities, formation Soil composition: complex system consisting of mineral fragments with varying proportions of organic matter with rest of space used by soil water/gasses Communities: diverse biotic communities in soil include living/dead microorganisms/larger organisms like earthworms or other invertebrate/burrowing mammals/ amphibians/reptiles Formation: begins with breakdown of parent rock by physical/chem/bio weathering, climate/organisms/relief/parent material/time influence soil formation Soil properties: soil properties consist of distinct horizons that form as result of weathering combined with leaching, soil can be categorized by properties like colour (composition)/texture/structure/acidity Soils role in biogeochemical cycling: materials move from soil particles to soil solutions/back again by processes like cation exchange, Nitrogen cycle: soils crucial part, hosting free living/symbiotic microorganisms that mediate nitrogen fixation/nitrification/dentrification, soils represent Carbon cycle: soil represents largest terrestrial reservoir for carbon in active carbon cycle Cation exchange: Soils importance in farming: crucial to provide nutrients for plant growth/thus support of earth life, successful agriculture/secure food supply require healthy soil, soil pro, soil properties affect/may limit potential for plant growth/agriculture in any given location Consequences of soil erosion/degradation: as human pop grows pressures from farming/other activities degrading earths soils/were losing topsoil from productive cropland at unsustainable rate, mechanisms of soil loss, causes of soil degradation, desertification, Over-irrigation, over-application Mechanisms of soil loss: splash/sheet/rill/gully erosion by water/deflation/abrasion by wind Causes of soil degradation: over grazing/overt-tilling/careless forestry/practices Desertification: affects large portion of worlds soils, especially in arid regions Over-irrigation: can cause salinization/water logging which lower crop yields/are difficult to mitigate Fertilizer over-application: can cause pollution problems that affect ecosystem/human health Dust bowl: in NA/similar events elsewhere encouraged scientists/farmers to dev ways of better protecting/conserving top soil Erosion protection: techniques like crop rotation/contour farming/intercropping/terracing/shelterbelts/reduced tillage can help protect from soil erosion Soil degradation solutions: global govs devising innovative policies/programs to deal with problems of soil degradation 108-110 Parent material: base geo material in given location from which soil is formed, determines starting composition of soil Bedrock: continuous mass of solid rock that makes up earth crust Physical weathering: aka mechanical weathering, breaks rocks down without triggering chem change in parent material, usually temp/wind/rain/ice main causes Chem weathering: when water or other substances chemically interact with parent material Bio weathering: when living things break down parent material by physical or chem means Humus: dark spongy/crumbly mass of material made of complex organic compounds, created by partial decomposition of organic matter Peat: characteristic of northern climates because cool temp/saturation by surface water slow decay process allowing great thickness of organic material to accumulate Erosion: movement of particles from one location to another Sediment: when soil or regolith transported by wind/water/ice 116-132 Soil degradation: damage to or loss of soil, most caused by forest removal/poorly managed cropland agriculture/overgrazing livestock Deposition: arrival of eroded material at its new location Desertification: loss of more than 10% productivity due to erosion/soil compaction/forest removal/overgrazing/drought/salinization/climate change/depletion of water sources/ect Erosion control practices: crop rotation, intercropping/agroforestry, contour farming/terracing, shelterbelts, reduced tillage Schem contribute to soil contamination Irrigation can cause long term soil problems Grazing practices can contribute to soil degradation Possible page 124-127 Chapter 15 (445-474) environmental ethics/economics: value and choice Cultural/world view influence on choice: persons culture strongly influence their world view, such factors as religion/political ideology are especially influential Western environmental ethics: our society ethical concerns expanding to ethically consider more entities, most valued, ethics, environmental justice movement Most valued: anthropocentrism values humans most, biocentrism values all life, ecocentrism values eco systems, Ethics: preservation/conservation ethic guided branches of environmental movement during past century Preservation ethic: preserving natural systems intact Conservation ethic: promoting responsible long term use of resources Environmental justice movement: seeking equal treatment for people of all race/income, recent outgrowth of environmental ethics Economic theory/environment: classical economic theory, neoclassical economic theory, basics, environmental implications Classical: proposes individuals acting for own economic self-interest can benefit society as whole, view has provided philosophical basis for free market capitalism Neoclassical: focus on consumer behaviour/supply and demand as forces that drive economic activity, several assumptions of it contribute to environmental impact Neoclassical assumptions: resources infinite or sustainable, long term effects should discounted, costs/benefits internal, growth good Basics: Environmental implications: Economics: study of how people decide to use scarce resources to provide goods/services in face of demand for it Economy: social system that converts resources into goods, and services Goods: material commodities manufactured for/bought by individuals/businesses Services: work done for other as form of business Economies: oldest is subsistence economy, 2nd is capitalist market economy, centrally planned economies, mixed economies Subsistence: most of human pop, meet most or all daily needs directly from nature/do not purchase or trade for most of life’s necessities Capitalist market: buyers/sellers interact to determine which goods/services to make/how much/how to distribute/how to produce, Centrally planned economies: often contrasted with capitalist market, gov determine in top down manner how to allocate resources Mixed: all capitalist markets today, gov intervene to: eliminate unfair advantage by monopoly/provide social services/give safety nets/manage commonly owned resources/mitigate environmental damage Economic growth: Economic health: Sustainability: Conventional economic theory: promoted never-ending economic growth with little regard to possible environment impact, agriculture/industry/business give wages/products to households which return labour/payment for products Environment economics: conventional economy now has recycling both ways, ecosystem services go to economy/back, natural resources go to economy/waste acceptance comes out which goes back to resources by natural recycling Ecosystem services: environmental systems naturally support economies with essential service like purifying air/water cycle/pollination/recycling, sustain life Economic growth: not necessarily required for overall economic health, Steady state economy: in long-term some economists think it’s necessary to be sustainable Environmental economists: advocate reform economic practice to promote sustainability, key approach to identify external costs/assign value to nonmonetary items/ find new approaches to measuring growth/attempt to make market prices reflect real costs/benefits Ecological economists: support environmental economist efforts/others, many support developing steady state economy Natural resource accountability: Consumer choice: consumer choice in marketplace can help drive businesses/corporations to pursue sustainability goals Lectures Environmental management Functional definition of resources: perspectives can change, Pop: increasing rapidly, level out in 2050, most people in china then india, Pop pyramid: in dev countries pop decreasing/less dev countries base absurdly wide/increasing slowly so pop increase is slowing Demographic transition: pre industrial, transitional, industrial, post industrial, happens everywhere dev/industrialization happens Pre industrial: birth/death rate very high, death rate waves up/below birth rate Transitional: death rate declines due to increased food production/improved medical care Industrial: birth rate declines due to increased opportunities for women/access to birth control Post-industrial: birth rate/death rate low, birth rate unstable/goes in waves on death rate Infant mortality: decreasing with time Fertility rate: aka FR, # of live kid’s women bears during childbearing years (15-44) Carrying Capacity: aka CC, max pop of species given habitat can support over given period of time, know capacity for ecosystem important tool to plan because it gives info on when services of ecosystem are exceeded/leading to possible collapse/total or partial loos of system services, graph, constraints, cultural CC, arguments Graph: with time pop overshoots c
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