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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - environmental studies notes.docx

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Environmental Studies
Robert Mc Leman

Chapter 1:  Environment is everything that affects a living organism  Ecology is a biological science that studies the relationships between living organisms and their environment  Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study that uses information from the physical sciences and social sciences to learn how the earth works, how e interact with the earth, and how to deal with environmental problems  Environmentalism is a social movement dedicated to protecting the earth’s life support systems for us and other species  All life and economies depend on energy from the sun (solar capital) and the earth’s resources and ecological services (natural capital)  Solar energy includes direct sunlight and indirect forms of renewable solar energy such as wind power, hydropower (energy from flowing water) and biomass (direct solar energy converted to chemical energy and stored in biological sources of energy such as wood)  Natural capital/natural resources includes the planet’s air, water, soil, wildlife, forest, rangeland, fishery, mineral, energy resources, and the processes of natural purification, recycling and pest control  Biological incomes are renewable supplies of resources like wood, fish, grassland for grazing, and underground drinking water  Carrying capacity refers to the maximum number of organisms that can be maintained in an area without degrading the environment  Sustainability refers to the ability of a system to survive for an extended period of time  Environmentally sustainable society meets the needs of its people without comprising the ability of fut
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