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Environmental Science
Carl Mitchell

Chapter One: An Introduction to Environmental Science OUR ISLAND, EARTH Our environment is more than just our surroundings: Environment the sum total of our surroundings, including all of the living and non living things with which we interact o Biotic living things (animals, plants, etc) o Abiotic non living things (oceans, continents, etc) o Includes structures, urban centres, living space humans created, etc o Includes complex webs of scientific, ethical, political, economic, social relationships and institutions o Humans exist within the environment and are a part of the interactions that characterize it Environmental Canada the department of the federal government that is mandated to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, to conserve our renewable resources, and protect our water resources International relations, politics, ethics, business management, economics, social equity, engineering, law enforcement all play a role in managing and protecting environment Environmental science explores interactions between humans and the physical and biological world: Humans depend greatly on environment for air, water, food, etc Many actions have enriched our lives but at the same time have damaged the natural systems that sustain us Also poses risks to human life and threaten our ability to build a society that will survive in long term Environmental science the study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us, and how we affect our environment www.notesolution.comNatural resources are vital to our survival: Natural resources any of the various substances and energy sources we need in order to survive Renewable natural resources a natural resource that is virtually unlimited or that is replenished by the environment over relatively short periods of hours to weeks to years o Some are perpetually renewed such as sunlight o Others renew more slowly and become non-renewable if we use them at a rate that exceeds the rate at which they are renewed or replenished (ex: plants) Resource management strategic decision making about who should extract resources and in what ways, so that resources are used wisely and not wasted o Basic premise of renewable resource management is to BALANCE rate of withdrawal from stock with rate of renewal or regeneration Stock the harvestable portion of a resource o Stock can be depleted if harvested at faster rate than it can be replenished Stock-and-flow resources renewable natural resources, whose effective management depends upon balancing the rate of withdrawal from the stock with the rate of renewal or replenishment of the stock Non-renewable natural resource a natural resource that is in limited supply and is formed much more slowly than we use it o Management of non-renewable resources demands on reuse, conservation, etc Human population growth has shaped our resource use: Four periods of societal change appear to have triggered remarkable increases in population size increasing environmental impacts o 1) Paleolithic Period (or Old Stone Age) www.notesolution.com
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