EESA10 Chapter 1.docx

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Environmental Science
Silvija Stefanovic

CHAPTER 1 Environmental crisis  Humans are altering the operations of the earth’s atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere which is the environmental crisis. Land surface has been transformed, carbon dioxide in the air has increased by 30% since industrial revolution, atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by humans than natural sources, more than half the fresh water is used by humans and ¼ of bird species are extinct.  The health and reproductive success of amphibians are damaged by interactions between an increase in UV light (due to thinning of the stratospheric ozone), toxic chemicals, infections caused by virulent fungi and bacteria. This also indicates environmental threats to human health  Driving forces of environmental crisis: population growth and industrialization  Industrialization has outgrown the growth in population: increase in industrial production, use of fossil fuels, manufacturing, and number of automobiles.  Human activity doubled the concentration of methane and produced long lived ozone destroying chlorofluorocarbons into the stratosphere  Emissions of sulfur and nitrogen led to acid rain  Ecosystem health: - Recognizes that humans are participants in complex ecosystems and their potential for health is propotional to the health function of the ecosystem - takes into account health services the natural environment provides such as soil production, pollination, water cleaning, etc - ecosystem health stance is a non-anthropocentric, holistic worldview shared by biological scientists  In the anthropocentric world: humans are important species and have dominion over nature  Bill McKibben names our era as “special moment in history”  Since not many humans are engaged in the topic of saving the planet, the government gives less concern towards this  Earth is warming and greenhouse gases are part of the cause (carbon dioxide) Health and environment  Environmental change threatens traditional public health science  Health effects of global change are often indirect and difficult to assess and quality of evidence for the diseases caused by environmental change varies widely. Example: malaria is increasing and but there is no relation to climate change. And, UV light increases skin cancer and cataract formation but studies of UV light in different areas has not happened  Global change relies of computer models to help them assess future problems but governments are not interested to invest in such technology and resources  Interactions between poverty, population growth and environmental degradation hinder sustain
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