GEOG 204 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Ecological Footprint, Tidal Power, Homeostasis

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9 Feb 2016
Chapter 2: The Human Environment
1. Distinguish between the 4 classifications of resources.
Physical environment:
1) Continuous resources: which to all intents and purposes will never run out (solar, wind, tidal energy)
2) Renewable resources: which can naturally regenerate so long as their capacity for so doing is not
irreversibly damaged, perhaps by natural catastrophe or human activity (e.g plants, animals, clean water,
3) Non-renewable resources: which are available in specific places and only in finite quantities because
although they are renewable, the rate at which they ar regenerated is extremely slow on the timescale of the
human perspective (e.g fossil fuels and other minerals, some groundwaters)
Human environment:
4) Extrinsic resources: which include all aspects of the human species, all of which are renewable (e.g people,
their skills, abilities and institutions)
2. Resources are simply ____cultural____ appraisal of the material world.
3. All environmental issues result from?
Result of a mismatch between extrinsic resources and natural resources: they stem from people deliberately or
inadvertently misusing or abusing the natural environment. The reasons for such inappropriate uses are to be
found within the nature of human activity.
4. What are the 5 drivers underlying environmental issues?
1) Demographic
2) Sociopolitical
3) Economic
4) Scientific and technological
5) Cultural and religious
5. What aspect of the world’s population is widely recognized as one of the most clear cut drivers behind the
impact on the environment.
Growth in the global human population
6. As population grows we use more _____resources___ and create more ____waste__.
7. What is the “Malthusian perspective”?
Population growth would eventually outstrip food production and lead to famine, conflict and human
misery for the poor as a consequence.
8. When did the human population reach the first billion population?
9. What are the two most significant changes in human history?
Agricultural Revolution of the late Neolithic period and the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth
10. Why are cities of such concern?
In most cases, urban areas have much higher population densities than rural areas, and the consumption of
resources per person in urban areas is greater than that of their rural counterparts. The high level of
resources used by city dwellers has been fuelled by extending their resource flows or ecological footprint.
11. How is the growth of our economies fueled?
Fuelled by the use of resources and there are numerous cases of degradation that has occurred in
consequence, such as deforestation, pollution of atmosphere, and the loss of biodiversity.
12. Who are disproportionately responsible for environmental issues? Why?
The wealthiest few nations are disproportionately responsible for environmental issues, but at the other end
of the spectrum the poorest are also accused of a responsibility that is greater than their numbers warrant.
The factors driving these disproportionate impacts are very different, however. The impact of the wealthy is
driven by their intense resource use, many say their overconsumption of resources. The poor, on the other
hand, may degrade the environment because they have no other option.
13. Distinguish between the reasons for environmental degradation on the part of the rich and the poor.
Look at previous question’s answer. The difference in economic power is also manifested in political
power: the wealthy generally have more influence over environmental governance decisions than the poor,
although when marginalized people are pushed to the edge of environmental destruction, they may become
active in forcing political changes.
14. What are the two perspectives on the relationship between technology and population growth?
One view sees technological developments as a spur to population growth, agricultural innovations
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