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Chapter 1, 4, others

ENVS 195 Chapter 1, 4, others: ENVS195_Notes_Part1

Environmental Studies
Course Code
Erin Joakim
1, 4, others

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Ecological Footprint (p.31, Box. 1.5)
-The land and sea base required to provide one’s needs,
oincluding all energy and material requirements, and disposing of waste
-the area of land and sea throughout the world required to produce the amount of food,
energy, and other materials the citizens use
othe Canadian average was 7.25 hectares per capita, third highest world rankings;
highest and lowest was found in Ontario
highest in York-Durham
ofuel consumption generated by the sprawling car-dependent
suburban developments
lowest in Sudbury
oinnovative programs related to using local energy sources such as
wind, sun and geothermal
oglobally, humans are consuming the natural resources of 1.5 planets
Environment, Resources and Society
includes the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere in which
humans, other living species, and non-animate phenomena exist
oenvironmental components
the ecosphere (the outer layer) consists of three main layers that combine to
produce the conditions necessary for life in the ecosphere
oouter layer of the Earth’s mantle and the crust
ocontains rocks, minerals, and soils that provide the nutrients
ocontains all the water on Earth
owater in a frozen state is referred to as the cryosphere
innermost layer
contains water vapour and the air
contains the main body of ozone that blocks out most
of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun
50 km above the Earth’s surface
the habitat or home humans and others depend to survive
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a social creation as well as the physical environment that includes human beings
is not just objects, but a reflection of
belief systems
Shape how we think about nature and how we use it = society
the sum of the inventions, institutions, and relationships created and reproduced by human
beings across particular places and times
Nature and society are interrelated
Nature is both a physical realm and a social creation
if nature is a social creation, it is important to:
understand the social ideas of nature present in society today
the history of those ideas
Perspectives on Nature
Three ways religion/culture impacts perspectives
Shapes beliefs about the natural world and its importance
Rituals may impact the way in which resources are used
oi.e. Jewish dietary laws
Ethical systems may impact the way in which resources are used
oi.e. distribution of resources
Specific components of the environment, such as forests, wildlife, oceans, rivers and lakes,
minerals and petroleum
Anthropocentric View
ovalue is defined relative to human interests, wants, and needs
e.g. coal and copper were not considered resources until humans understood
how they could be used, and had the technology to access and utilize them
Ecocentric or Biocentric View
oresources are seen as having value independent of human wants and needs
e.g. grizzly bears have intrinsic value regardless of their immediate value to
being aware of such viewpoints helps us to understand the positions that individuals or
groups take with regard to what is appropriate action
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The Global Picture:
Planetary Boundaries
the biggest factors influencing the processes regarding to our society, resource use and
the impacts on the environment are:
Energy consumption increases as population increases
4.3 people are born every second worldwide, 80 million per year
Under current replacement-level fertility levels, the UN predicts over 10 billion
people by 2100
impact the environment by:
increasing need for resources
producing more waste
increasing concentration of pollutants
decreasing capacity of ecosystems to respond; paralyses their ability to
recycle wastes when coping with exceeding amounts
Poverty & Environment
extraction of resources
lack of options for management of resources
lack of investment assets
population density
Is the connection between poverty and environmental degradation a myth?
Non-renewable resource use
Renewable resource use
Waste generation
Greenhouse gas emissions
Not all of Earth's human populations have the same impact on the life support
the richest 20% are responsible for more than 75% of global consumption; the
poorest consume less than 2%
the wealthiest countries use 25 times more energy per capita than the poorest
Canadians are among the top per capita consumers of energy in the world
Gross National Product (GNP) is an index used by economists to compare the
market value of all goods and services produced in an economy in one year and
is a measure of economic success
Global GNP rose by $47 trillion in the past twenty years, but 85% of this wealth is
retained by the top 20% wealthiest people
the inequalities among people have grown as a result of increased wealth over
the past 20 years
Consumption estimation of 1 Canadian = 6 Chinese or 12 Indians or 40 Somalians
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