GEOG030 Class Notes (Exam 1).docx

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Pennsylvania State University
GEOG 030
Petra Tschakert

Geography 30 Most Pressing Environmental Issues • Climate change o IPPC- establish what we know about climate change • Water crisis • Energy demand • Biodiversity • Pollution • Feeding the World Climate Change, The Kyoto Protocol, and Post-2012 • Carbon sources- where CO2 comes from • Carbon sinks-where CO2 goes • Kyoto Protocol o 2 countries did not ever ratify it- US and Kazakhstan o There was a heavy emergence of political concern in the mid 1980s  IPPC established  UN GeneralAssembly took up climate change  IPPC FirstAssessment Report  Negotiations opened on framework convention  UNFCCC adopted in New York and opened for signature in Rio  UNFCCC came into force (50 ratifications)  Start of Conference of the Parties (annual COP)  IPCC second assessment report  Third  Fourth (receivced Nobel Prize for Peace) o Countries that should reduce:  US  Australia  Canada  Japan  EU o Low income/under-developed countries are exempt from being required to reduce their emissions o Objective of the UNFCCC  Ultimate objective: stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at safe levels  Levels were not quantified THEN • All countries: general commitment  Annex I Parties = Industrialized countries (OECD + “economies in transition”) • Have to reduce • Main polluters ▯ more responsibility  Annex II Parties = all remaining countries (most developing countries) o Kyoto Protocol  Adopted at COP – (Conference of the Parties)  International agreement, linked to the UNFCCC  Set of new, stronger, more complex rules • Annex I Parties: o Legally binding targets for reduction of GHG emissions o Collective reduction by at least 5% o Each country’s emissions levels = mean 2008-2012 o Expires 2012 o Why hasn’t the US signed on?  Scientific uncertainty around climate change  Developing countries are “free riders” (China, Japan)  Crippling the economy o The hockey stick…? Food, Genetic Engineering, and Suicide Genes • History o Breeding to improve crop quality and yields o 1960s: International Rice Research Institiute in Philippines managed to breed new strains of rice (doubled yields) ▯ Green Revolution- hybrid seeds o 1972: Paul Berg (Stanford) discovered how to join together DNA from two different organisms, creating the first recombinant DNA molecule ▯ Genetic Revolution • The safety and ethics were questioned. • Also, if they could increase this… could there be new, highly profitable markets? • In 1981, Monsanto (producing herbicides in farming) own biotech division • In 1983, 1 genetically modified plant – a tobacco plant resistant to antibiotic kanamycin • 1994- 1 commercially available GM food on the US market (flavor saver) o Serious concerns about the safety of this in Europe o Protests from Orgs (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth) o EU legislation to clearly label GM (modified) food • Genetic Engineering- a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living orgs o Genes - The segments of DNA which have been associated with specific features or functions of an organism o Genetic engineers can build vectors with incorporated…..? o Ex. Frost resistant tomato plant by adding gene from a cold-water fish o Pros:  tackle diseases by incorporating that into food  You can preserve crops in harsh temperatures  Mass produce during all seasons  If applied to developing countries, it could increase their agriculture and feed more  Make virtually anything  Scientific advancement  Limits pesticides/herbicides etc.  Makes food last longer – better quality  Preservation for shipping  More jobs in science fields o Cons:  “runner genes” – wind spreads genes to other fields and you don’t know what is where  super bugs – ('resistant' to the antibiotic to which they have been exposed, which means the antibiotic can't kill the bacteria or stop them from multiplying)  terminator crops- build in gene that terminates itself after one harvest – cant save seeds to use for next year ▯ farmers have to buy seeds again  Less natural  Vulnerability to disease (from animals like fish)  Hidden affects to your body – long term?  Create new allergies  Big companies do this ▯ small markets out of business  Unpredictable consequences • GE Food and FoodAid o In 2002,  14 million people at the risk of starvation in SAfrica  Us offered 540,000 tons of GM grain  They rejected it because it was GM – they would only accept it if it was milled before distribution (fear of cross-breeding) • IfAfrican food is not GM free – risk of losing EU market • Fear of terminator seeds (no replanting) • Multi-Billion DollarAgrobusiness o 4 big producers  Monsanto (US/St. Louis)  Aventis (France)  Syngento (Switzerland)  Du Point (US/DE) HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other Killers • Thomas Malthus – British man who reflected the linkage between food production and population o Thought food supply would increase linearly, but the food needed would grow exponentially o Food supply would not be sufficient o Pestilence, famine, and war keep it “in check” though. • HIV/AIDS in Senegal o 1% infections o Registration of commercial sex workers o Monthly health checks and awareness programs o Safe sex discussed in school  Fables teaching children about HIV/AIDS • HIV/AIDS in SouthernAfrica o 12 million HIV/AIDS orphans in SAfrica o By 2010, 20 million children without parents o Large scale mining there attracts guys who are away from their families, drink, and turn to prostitutes ▯ cause of HIV/AIDS there o Youth in rural areas  Reduction in knowledge transfer with respect to traditional agriculture  Farmer Field and Life Schools o “neglected” diseases of the developing world (ex. Malaria and tuberculosis) – kill about 3 million people/year and debilitate millions more – research by Mary Moran  not particularly interesting markets for big pharmaceutical firms • Malaria o Most deaths are inAfrica south of the Sahara o Plasmodium is the most dangerous of the 4 human malaria parasites o Mosquito is most widespread there and is hard to control o Roll Back Malaria Campaign  Started in 1998  Goal: cut malaria deaths into half by 2010  Resistance to (cheap) chloroquine medicine – not effective  New combo drugs (with plant extract artemisinin) is 1-20 times more expensive  $600 million/year international funds available  Campaign not aggressive enough  Campaign eventually failed o AnAmerican Hero – Paul Farmer  Book about him - “Mountains Beyond Mountains”  Work in Haiti (and also Russia, Peru, Rwanda)  Doctor and anthropologist  Tried to construct clinics in Haiti so that people can have the best medical treatment possible because it’s a human right • Founded Partners in Health with Jim Yong Kim o First non economist ever as head of the world bank (regulates tons of flows of money and grants) Geography and Human Ecology Key Terms • Chain of effects • Sustainable development • Neo-Malthusian view • IPAT (impact on the environment) • Environmental worldviews • Feedback and carrying capacity • Ecology- science of relationships between living organisms and their environment • Human ecology- science of relationships between people and their environment • Social Systems: o Knowledge o Technology o Population o Social Organization o Values • Ecosystems: o Plants o Air o Water o Soil o Human-built structures o Micro organisms o Animals • Ecosystems provide services to social systems called ecosystem services o Ex. Produce clean air, provide crops, absorb C02, break down waste • Chain of Effects: o Ex. Commercial fishing and destruction of marine animals  Nets used caught and drowned seals/dolphins  Alternative: long line fishing … but the hooks started killing sea birds  Fixed problem with long line fishing using weights so the hooks weren’t so close to surface and wouldn’t kill birds o Ex. Deforestation in India  Trees are cut, erosion occurs  Refer to circles on attached sheet • Sustainable Development- ability meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs o The three E’s: Environment, Equity, and Economy o Neo-Malthusian View  More people ▯ greater environmental impact  More wealthy people ▯ even greater environmental impact  More wealthy people with advanced technology ▯ even greater environmental impact still o IPAT (impact on the environment = Population xAffluence (Wealthy People) x Technology  Ex. Impact of one average US citizen = 35x that of a citizen in India and 100x that of a citizen in Rwanda o Intensity of demands on ecosystems = Population x Level of consumption x Technology • Environmental Worldviews o Planetary Management Worldview  We are in charge of nature  There is always more resources (unlimited) o Stewardship:  We are important, but have ethical responsibilities  Resources are available but could be scarce  Encourage environmentally beneficial form of economic growth  Success depends on how well we ______ o Environmental wisdom worldview:  Success depends on understanding, controlling, and managing the Earth’s life-support systems for our use.  We adapt our needs to the environment  There is not always more (limited resources)  Economic growth and tech can be both good and bad depending on how much, when, and where  Success depends on understanding the Earth’s life-support systems and how they adapt to change, and incorporating this knowledge into ways we think and act • Feedback and Carrying Capacity o Worldviews and Management  Planetary Management Worldview • We are in charge of nature; there is always more (unlimited resources)  Stewardship Worldview • We are important, but have ethical responsibilities; resources are available, but could be scarce  Environmental Wisdom Worldview • We adapt our needs to the environment; there is not always more (limited resources) o Cause, Effect, and Feedback  Ex. War against Syria ▯ end to chemical weapon program • War against Syria ▯ Destabilization of Syrian Society ▯ more chaos ▯ ??  Feedback: a system response (change in one part of the system serves as an input leading to changes in other parts of the system) • Positive feedback: one change leads to change in another part of the system o Change triggers other change o Does NOT mean its good change o Ex. Population growth (reproduction ▯ more who will reproduce) o Ex. USA increases missiles, so Russia does too, then USA did again, and so on.  Then, Reagan and Gorbachev met and agreed to decrease each of their missiles… STILL POSITIVE b/c each of their change led to more change o Exponential Growth  Ex. Coqui frogs • Moved from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, too. Hawaii does not want them so they are using citric acid to get rid of them. • Negative feedback- one change blocks other change; leads to stabilization o Ex. It is hot outside ▯ we feel hot ▯ we sweat (keeps body temperature stable - homeostasis) o Ex. Deer Population in a forest  They keep having offspring as long as there is enough food… not enough food ▯ death (carrying capacity) o Carrying capacity- the maximum population that can be supported by an ecosystem without threatening the ability of that ecosystem to support future populations  Ex. How many deer can the forest carry/support? o Sometimes natural regulation does not work. o Overshoot ▯ CRASH ▯ die-off  Overshoot – rapid population growth • Ex. Reindeer on St. Matthew Island (population increase b/c there weren’t predators on the island)... They died off  Die-off – not enough resources  Need both positive and negative feedback… both are essential for survival • Positive feedback provides the capacity to change if necessa
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