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Midterm Lecture Notes Week 1-5.docx

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GEOG 2210
Ben Bradshaw

E+R MIDTERM NOTES WEEK 1 – Tues Jan 10 and Thurs 11 - What is enviro o OBJECTIVE: biophysical world that surround and supports us (and plants/animals) o SUBJECTIVE: objects and systems/processes that link/change them - Society – humans and their systems of culture/politics/economic exchange - Impossible to separate humans + enviro – humans depend on enviro o Enviro always fundamentally social - Earths ability to absorb waste is finite ways to sustain o Control enviro change o Manage resources efficiently o Stabilize popn – gender equality (of women have more rights will have less popn) o Reduce/eliminate poverty Human – Enviro Interactions 1) Natural Resources – desirable/usable parts of enviro - Types o Stock:  Non-renewable (oil)  Recyclable (metals) o Flow  Perpetual (solar energy)  Renewable (fish, trees) – key is rate of extraction compared to rate of regeneration- can become stock resource - Influences on demand: human wants, enviro perceptions, resource prices, rules/regulations 2) Natural Hazards – condition/process of biophysical enviro harmful to humans - Types o Geophysical: climate/meteorological, geologic/geomorphic o Biological: floral, faunal - Human actions can cause (or at least exacerbate), live in hazard prone areas, tech can alter adaptability - EX. Concentration of poor people in hazardous areas, coastal devt reduced natural coastal defences 3) Enviro Impact - Change in biophysical conditions attributable to human action - Can be manifest in: resource depletion, pollution, enviro restructuring WEEK 2 Jan 17 Tuesday Population – As a Cause of Enviro Degradation 1 E+R MIDTERM NOTES Hardin’s “Living on a lifeboat”: war, famine etc. curve popn in developing world – if reduce these premature deaths, popn and the enviro impacts will increase - Enviro impacts associated w lack of devt is initial issue that can be overcome, to maintain devt here other areas must remain underdeveloped Malthus: An Essay on the Principal of Popn: popn grows faster than earth’s resources can sustain them – popn grows exponentially WHEREAS resources grow linearly - Welfare programs seen as misguided b/c facilitated popn growth among the poor What is causing a decrease in our popn growth? - Demographic Transition model o High death rates/lack of social security= women have more children  In wealthier countries children cost more than they bring in o When those problems solved= decrease in children they have  Women’s empowerment and increase in edu/literacy = slowing popn growth o Fertility rates typically deliberate and driven by financial considerations - Where popn densities increasethreat to the enviro Neo-Malthusians: popn factor w greatest impact on enviro but the effects of popn mediated by diff in lifestyles - Ehrlich& Holden I=PAT EnviroImpact = Popn size X A ffluence (ex. consumption per person) X T echnology (ex. damage per unit of consumption) - Complications: devt eventually lessons impacts (ex. forest cover), local carrying capacity matters Popn Growth and Innovation: popn can be seen as a resource rather than a problem - More ppl = more ppl working to solve problems - More ppl = greater demand in relation to supply therefore increasing prices which attracts suppliers Jan 19 Thursday Markets – As a Cause of Enviro Degradation The “Economic Problem” - Resources finite, humans infinite so must decide what/how to produce and how to distribute - Solving the economic problem o 1) traditional division of labour along kinship lines; taught via socialization o 2)command/planned – division of labour established via planning from above/coercion, therefore requires knowledge of needs/demands o 3) markets The Market System 2 E+R MIDTERM NOTES - Market system solves economic problem by allocating scarce resources based on ration self-interested individuals (said Adam Smith) o That is, micro order (what and how much to produce of this and that) is established as per price theory Price Theory - Many ways to determine price, but in Western World prices a function of ppls willingness to supply a g/s and ppls willingness to demand a g/s Market response Model – Consistent w Price Theory - Resource scarcity = rise in prices - Rising costs cause  decrease in demand facilitated by substitution, higher efficiency use or recycling o Increase in supply, facilitated by expanding resource identification and extraction - Decrease in demand and increase in supply = less scarcity and lower prices The Bet - Ehrlich: prices of 5 metals increase over 10 yrs b/c scarcity VS Simon: price decrease b/c of innovation  Simon won Peak Oil? Oil increase demand over time (“peak oil” thesis) - Catastrophe?: no b/c less car driving/improved fuel economy, increased exploration, new tech Implications of the Market System (& Price Theory) for the Enviro 1) Problems of scale and substitutability o Scale  Markets should impart sufficient value to usable parts of enviro especially when scarce o Sustainability  Reflected in low market prices for even internationally scarce resources 2) Undervaluation of enviro goods o Markets determine price but not value (diff things) – valuable aspects of natural world treated as worthless 3) Narrow focus on efficiency & production of externalities (this and next two focused on later) 4) Promotion of constant economic growth 5) Co-opting of govt WEEK 3 Jan 24 Tuesday Institutions and “The Commons” Tragedy of the Commons – Garrett Hardin  Shared resource which can result in the benefit for 1 person as opposed to negative results for everyone else 3 E+R MIDTERM NOTES Prisoner’s Dilemma: 2 ppl suspected of crime both quiet = short sentence for both, both squeal= long for both, tell and other silent= none for you long for other - Hardin’s Solutions: privatize resources, devt of regulations and enforcement State as Enviro Steward - Enviro pressure on state in 60s = “crisis of legitimacy” - In some areas state manages much land, only institution strong enough to enforce rules, is (usually) neutral - Post 1933 Corporate-Welfare State o Tied to Great Depression o Two sides  1) corporate: facilitate economic growth (ex. infrastructure)  2) welfare: ensure a reasonable standard of living and maintain aggregate demands (ex. pensions) - State responds: laws, enviro bureaucracy, edu, taxes, international treaties Command and Control Regulation - Set standards mandating polluters to perform to a certain level: failure to do so is punishable - Commands o Ambient standards: regulates amount of a pollutant allowed to be present in surrounding enviro o Performance Standards: regulates level of pollution allowed o Tech/construction standards: require polluters to use certain tech/practices - Controls o Assistance: provide guidance to enable pollution control o Licences/approvals: denial of a licence to operate until pollution controlled o Administrative orders: govt-issued directives to control public discharges o Prosecution: conviction of uncooperative polluter w possibiliti
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