Geog2210 Final Notes 12/12/2011
Textbook: Draper and Reed, pp. 2 15
Be sure you know the
Scientist’s warning : Earth’s resources are not finite
Human beings and natural world are on a collision course.
humans have to come to grips with the fact earth is a limited resource.
great change, to avoid vast human misery.
The areas they suggest we need to address:
control environmental damage, reduce pollutants emitted
manage resources more effectively, flow resourcesfisheres
improvements in sexual equality – inequality gives rise to increase in population and environmental
Draper and Reed (2005)
“the complex and interrelated root causes of environmental problems” as:
human population growth;
over (and inequitable) consumption of resources; and
pollution. ‘I = PAT’ formula, "Impact of Population Growth", it suggests that:
Affluence (i.e. consumption per person)
Technology (i.e. damage per unit of consumption)
Scientists are right, at some point soon, we must seek to understand humility.
Explain and give examples;
Natural resources: desirable, usable part of environment.
Stock: nonrenewable, (oil, coal). Recyclable (metals)
Flow: renewable(fish,trees; key is rate of extraction relative to rate of regeneration. Perpetualnever ending
(wind, water, solar energy)
Hazards: Condition or process of the natural environment which are harmful to humans.
Environmental impact: a change in biophysical conditions, attributable to specific human actions
(not necessarily good or bad)
Biophysical: the branch of biology that applies the methods of physics to the study of biological structures
Physics: the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.
Biology: Study of living organisms From the text,
natural capital: a different term for natural resources, not only includes water, timber and oil and gas
that are used to produce manufactured goods, but also the soil and clean air and water that secure our
quality of life and support economic activities such as agriculture, forestry, tourism, and recreation.
produced capital: (built capital) refers to the machinery, equipment, infrastructure, investment
financing, and other items that are used to produce goods and services for business and consumers.
human capital: refers to the human resources, talents, and skills that are applied productively to
advance the economy and improve society.
all essential for our economic system to operate effectively. 12/12/2011
From the Ridley and Low reading, understand what they say about self interest and
cooperation and its relevance to the course
topic. (on notes part of courselink) As well, be sure you understand the concepts of structure
Explain the Prisoner’s dilemma and its relevance to environmental
prisoner's dilemma : a paradoxical case in which individually rational behavior leads to collectively
two people suspected of committing a serious crime are apprehended committing a lesser crime, and
placed in separate holding cells ie 30 computers are stolen from the Hutt lab, and 10 bikes are stolen from
the racks on campus.
• police do now know who committed the serious crime, and so ask each one to implicate the other
• each offered a deal: implicate your accomplice and you get off free, while the other gets 10 years;
implicate one another, each will get 8 years; stay silent and you will be convicted of the lesser crime and get
2 years each
typical outcome (single iteration)
• both implicated (i.e. 8 years each) • worst collective outcome; (“individually rational strategies result in a
collectively irrational outcome”)
It collectively would have been the best choice to both stay quiet and get 2 years each.
"the tragedy of the commons" – why common land tended to suffer from overgrazing, and why every sea
fishery suffers from overfishing. It is because the benefits that each extra cow (or netful of fish) brings are
reaped by its owner, but the costs of the extra strain it puts on the grass (or on fish stocks) are shared
among all the users of what is held in common. In economic jargon, the costs are externalized. Individually
rational behavior deteriorates into collective ruin.
In environmental studies, the PD is evident in crises such as global climate change. All countries will benefit
from a stable climate, but any single country is often hesitant to curb CO 2emissions. The immediate benefit
to an individual country to maintain current behavior is perceived to be greater than the eventual benefit to
all countries if behavior was changed, therefore explaining the current impasse concerning climate change.
The first great flaw in the lesson of the Prisoner's Dilemma is that, in real life, we very seldom play a
single round of the game; in reality, we play this game on a daily basis many times over. And what are the
typical results for multiple iteration versions of the Prisoner's Dilemma? Cooperation! Tit for tat behavior.
Evidence in nature – Function of self interest in the long term. 12/12/2011
Female bat will regurgitate food for bat who hasn’t found any she believes another bat would do that for
A second flaw , in the interpretation of its typical outcome, is the tendency to think of human behaviour
as reflective of our pure or inherent human nature. Is it even possible to talk about our 'human nature' as if
we were all autonomous, liberated individuals, free of any and all outside influences? I say no. From our
very earliest days as children, it is evident that we are exposed to certain messages and influences, which
undoubtedly alter our behaviour. In other words, if we want to understand the environmental behaviour of
Canadians, it is not enough to know our 'pure' human nature ; we need to understand
numerous behavioural influences that are present in Canadian societies. To me, these are the true 'root
causes' of environmental degradation.
Structure and Agency:
The question over the primacy of either structure or agency in human behavior is a central debate in
the social sciences. In this context,
"Structure", by contrast, refers to the recurrent patterned arrangements which influence or limit the
choices and opportunities available. Power dynamic of teacher and student as example.
"Agency" refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
Associated Readings: White 1967; Capra 1982; Gowdy 1997; Dryzek 2005; Lasn 1999; and Klein
Our decisionmaking is inevitably influenced by a number of powerful structures;
Economics, Politics, Culture= perceptions, views and use of the biophysical environment and vice
Worldviews are “sets of commonly shared values, ideas, and images concerning the nature of reality
and the role of humanity within it”
Origins of the Western World View
Judeochristian Legacy: society not as deeply Christian, put Christian values and perspective
continue to be a part of secular societies worldview highly dominant by Christian views. Also, depiction of
nature and wilderness as being chaotic, a place that requires human effort. Also, Christian great chain of
being hierarchy nature/humans –human superiority over nature . However, also has pointed to stewardship
of nature in the bible. –God put Adam in the Garden of Eden to manage and protect it.
man must devide and conquer land must be tammed
The Scientific Revolution the enlightenment, is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th
centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry
transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science.
Focused more on how the world works, instead of god being the reason
1500s earth was at centre of universe.
No law of gravity, everything occurred because of gods purposes
Priests were scientists of the day
Two key developments important to the worldvie;
1. Development of scientific(empirical) method 12/12/2011
2. New mechanistic metaphor for nature.
living organism to a mechanism – a clockwork. Magnetic force.
particles and matter
John Locke called this a natural right, he thought land that was not claimed or used was ‘worthless’ ;
political theory which adheres that a citizen becomes part of society with specific essential rights,
which are ridged and which are protected from government denial of these rights, was a right that
was important to the development of the western world.
Textbook: Draper and Reed, pp. 438 477; and 140 195 12/12/2011
From chapter 11, be able to discuss the societal and economic benefits and environmental
challenges of different energy sources, the
section starting on page 445 to page 463.
You should focus on fossil fuel use and climate change. You should know the
responses to atmospheric changes
(focusing on climate change). This includes EnviroFocus 5 on climate change and Canada’s
Arctic. (p180, 'Responses to Atmospheric Change'. In particular, you should read through the beginning
part 'International Action', 'Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions', 'The Kyoto Protocol on Climate
Change' and then EnviroFocus 5 on pages 186187.)
Canada is the 3 highest user of energy.
Mainly industry and transportation.
Canada is also a huge producer of energy!
oil sands increasing, conventional oil decreasing.
An unconventional supply: the tar/oil sands (a.k.a. ‘bituminous sands’)
combination of clay, water, and bitumen
surface mined; bitumen then removed by steam, and chemically treated to produce synthetic crude oil
• located underground, above most reserves of crude oil; gaseous hydrocarbon mixture of methane with
small amounts of propane and butane
• accidental discoveries in Nova Scotia (1920s) and New Brunswick (1859); sour gas field developed near
Port Colborne, Ontario in 1866
• by 2000, natural gas represented 30% of Canada’s total primary energy production
located mainly on outskirts of Canada
• most abundant fossil fuel in the world
• burned to generate 20% of Canada’s electricity (45% of global electricity production
• Canada currently has 24 operating mines • coal industry employs 73,000 people in Canada • 75% of
world’s steel is produced from coal energy
‘International Action'; international effort is needed to control greenhouse gas emissions, to
protect the ozone layer, to reduce acidic deposition and to deal with other pollutants. 12/12/2011
'Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions'; 1992 Earth summit, Canada signed the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), called for nations to stabilize greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere stabilize emissons.
depend more on renewable resources, carbon taxes.
'The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change' ;countries who had signed the UNFCCC, came
together in 1997 in Japan to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
countries were required to reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gasses by 5.2% by 200812
no mechanism to deal with noncompliance.
when it was signed, countries changed the % to reflect their current emissons. Canadas was set at 6%
reduction below our 1990 levels.
2006, Harper introduced Canada’s Clean Air A