chapter notes

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31 Oct 2010
Chapter 6
x Despite steady growth rate, popn will still increase by greater increments
x Rule of 70 [70 / annual percentage growth rate = years it would take for popn to double]
x Thomas Malthus unless popn was limited by laws/social controls people would devastate
themselves & reduce pop’n
x Neo-Malthusian (Paul Ehrlich) warned popn growth would have disastrous effects on env &
humans widespread famine
x Technological innovations, improved sanitation, better medical care, increased agricultural
output, drop in infant mortality Æ popn growth [Malthus/Ehrlichs theories did not include
these factors]
x Humans “save themselves withtechnological fix but too dependent ?
x If resource availability & popn growth at par future: less space to live in, food to eat, material
wealth than today
x Popn growth = poverty more than wealth, increases a countrys economic/political/military
x Incentives for having children
x Environmental degradation & scarcity Æ migrantism, refugeeism, armed conflict
x Increased popn = more people, more space used/natural resources used/waste
x Increased affluence = + env impact from greater per capita resource consumption (usually +
wealth as well)
x Changes in technology = in/decrease human impact on env as it enhances our abilities to
perform tasks
x Add S (sensitivity factor): how sensitive a given environment is to human pressures
I = P x A x T x S
x Impact = pollution or resource consumption
Demography: application of population ecology principles to the study of statistical change in human
x Carrying capacity limits in order for sustainability
x Kept increasing carrying capacity with technology to overcome natural limits
Agricultural Revolution: transition from hunter-gatherer Æ agricultural way of life crops, domestic
animals, settlements
Industrial Revolution: rural Æurban society powered by fossil fuels improved sanitation/medical
Medical-Technological Revolution: developments in medicine/sanitation/pharmaceuticals;
communication technologies; Green Revolution
Demographers: study population size, density, distribution, age structure, sex ratio, birth/death rates,
Population size: absolute number of individuals
x Popns environmental impact = density, distribution, composition, affluence, technology, level of
consumption, et al
Population density: # of people per unit of land area
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