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Chapter 1

ENV100Y5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Carrying Capacity, Industrial Revolution, Environmentalism

Course Code
Barbara Murck

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Chapter 1 – Textbook Notes Continued..
(8) Resource Consumption exerts social and environmental impacts
Population growth affects resource use and availability.
Industrial revolution enhanced the materials affluence of many of the world’s
people, raising standards of living by raising consumption.
oLed to an increase in population, and increased pressures on
Total impact (I) = Product of Population (P) x Affluence (A) x Technology (T)
oThe IPAT model shows that impact is a function now only for population
but also for affluence (“level of consumption”) and technology.
oIncrease in population has impacts on global environment.
Carrying capacity – measure of the ability of a system to support life.
When the carrying capacity of the land is exceeded that’s when there are too
many individuals for the system to support. One of the 2 will happen:
o1. Population of that species will decline or collapse.
o2. The system itself will be altered, damaged, or depleted.
o“The Tragedy of the Commons” – Hardin based his argument on the
scenario of a public pasture or commons that is opened to unregulated
grazing. Argued each person who puts animals to gaze on the commons
will be motivated by selfish interests to increase the # of his/her animals in
the pasture. Bc no single persons owns the pasture.
oTragedy of the Commons: Each individual withdraws whatever benefits
are available from the common property as quick as possible, until the
resource becomes overused and depleted.
Ecological Footprint (1990s)
Is a tool that can be used to express the environmental impact of an individual or
a pop. It’s calculated in terms of the area of land/water required to provide the
raw materials that person/pop. Consumes, and to observe or recycle the wastes
It’s the inverse of carrying capacity. Measure of the land to sustain the individual,
rather than the number of individuals that can be sustained by an area of land.
39% more resources than are available. We are exceeding the biocapacity
Global Footprint network working toward standardizing ecological footprint.
Environmental Science can help us avoid mistakes made in the past (10)
Many great civilizations have collapsed after depleting resources and damaging
the environment
Diamond determined 5 factors that determine survival:
1. Climate change
2. Hostile neighbours
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