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APES Unit One

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Sustainability (definition)
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Capacity of the earth’s natural systems and human cultural systems to survive, flourish, and adapt to changing environmental conditions into the very long-term future
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3 principles of sustainability
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(A) solar energy (B) biodiversity (C) Chemical (or Nutrient) cycling
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Biodiversity (definition)
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the variety and adaptability of organisms and the natural systems that they interact with and the services they provide
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Chemical (nutrient) cycling (definition)
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Circulation of chemicals/nutrients from the environment through organisms and back to the environment (example: water cycle)
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“To live sustainability” (definition)
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Living off the interest of the world without depleting its natural resources
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Principles of sustainability
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(1) Natural Capital (2) Human Activities degrade natural capital (3) Solutions
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Natural Capital (definition)
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Natural resources/services that keep us alive and support our economies
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Environment (definition)
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everything around us in which we interact with the world (Includes living and nonliving things such as air, water and energy)
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Environmental Science (definition)
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interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the living and nonliving parts of our environment
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Ecology (definition)
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Biological Study of how organisms interact with one another and environment
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Goals of Environmental Science
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(1) Learn how nature works (2) How we Interact with Nature (3) Ways to deal with environmental Problems
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Species (definition)
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Group of Organisms with a unique set of characteristics that distinguish them from all other organisms
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Ecosystem (definition)
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set of organisms within a defined area/volume that interact with one another and with their environment
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Natural Resources (definition and types)
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Materials and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans. Renewable, Perpetual, and Nonrenewable
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Renewable Resources (definition)
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a resource that can be replenished as long as we don’t use it up too fast
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Sustainability yield (definition)
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Highest Rate at which we can use it without depleting it
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Perpetual Resources (definition)
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continual supply that we can use and will last forever, no matter how much we use it (ex. Sun energy)
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Nonrenewable resources (definition)
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Resources that exist in fixed quantities or stock in the earths crust (coal, aluminum, salts)
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Natural Services (definition)
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Processes that occur naturally in nature that support life and human economies (examples: purification of air, renewal of top soil)
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Reuse (definition)
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using a resource over and over again in the same form
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Recycle (definition)
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involves collecting and processing resources into new materials
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Economic Growth (definition)
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the increase (or decrease) in a nations output of goods and services
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GDP (definition)
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Measure of a countries economic growth based on the annual market value of all goods and services produced by all businesses, foreign or domestic, operating within a country
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Per Capita GDP (definition)
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Economic change per person where it is divided by total population
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Economic Classifications (what the UN uses)
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(1) More developed (75% of world pollution and uses the most resources) (2) Moderately developed (81% of world. Countries = on rise like China or India) (3) Least Developed (Super low income aka Haiti or Nigeria)
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Environmental degradation (definition)
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Unsustainable living by wasting, depleting and degrading the earths natural capital at an accelerating rate
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Pollution (definition)
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Presence within the environment of a chemical or other agent that is harmful to the health survival, activities of humans, or other organisms. Can enter naturally (volcanoes), or from human activities (dumping of chemicals, burning of coal)
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Pollution (Where it comes from and definitions of the types of pollution)
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(A) Point Source-single, identifiable source (B) Non-Point Source- Dispersed and often difficult to identify where the pollution came from
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Pollution (Types and Definitions)
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(a) Biodegradable- harmful pollutants that can break down over time naturally (paper) (b) Non-biodegradable- harmful pollutants that cannot break down or are toxic (lead, Mercury)
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Ways to clean up Pollution
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(a) Pollution Clean up (b) Pollution Prevention (Stops input of pollutants)
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Problems with Pollution Clean up Approach
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(A) Its only temporary (B) Clean up causes pollution somewhere else (We can collect garbage but it has to be dumped somewhere else)
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Tragedy of the Commons
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situation in which people acting individually and in their own interest use up commonly available but limited resources, creating disaster for the entire community
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Stopping Tragedy of the Commons
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(A) Use the resource at a rate that is sustainable by regulating it (B) Convert the open access resource to private
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Ecological Footprint (Definition)
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amount of biologically productive land and water needed to provide people in a country with an indefinite supple of renewable resources
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Ecological Footprint (Factors)
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(A) Affluence (B) Population (C) Technology
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Affluence (Definition)
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wealth of nations (typically more developed, consuming large amounts of resources far beyond their basic needs have a higher affluence rate)
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Population (in context with ecological footprint)
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The higher the population, the more you need to produce = larger footprint (However, this means it is a smaller PER CAPITA footprint. Biggest factor in Less developed Countries b/c over-populous poor will try and stay alive no matter what the environmental impacts are)
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Technology (in context with ecological footprint)
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The amount of technology that either helps or harms the environment (Polluting factories, power plants, pollution control, turbines from wind and solar energy)
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Ecological Deficit (Definition and US/Worlds current deficit)
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When a countries footprint is larger than its biological capacity to replenish its renewable resources and absorb its waste (Now, the US will need 5 more planet earths for the rest of the world to meet the same standard of living. Globally, current rate is 1.3 earths)
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IPAT Model
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Model of what your countries total ecological footprint would be based on Population, Affluence, and technology
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Tipping Point (definition)
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the sustainability threshold level of an environment before it becomes irreversibly destroyed
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Tipping Point (3 current types)
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(A) Overfishing (B) Premature extinction from over hunting (C) Climate Change
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Culture (definition)
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Whole of a society’s beliefs, knowledge, technology, and practices
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Ancient Humans (how did we live?)
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12,000 years ago, we were hunter gathers and nomadic (then came the agricultural revolution)
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Agricultural Revolution
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10,000 years ago, when human beings first domesticated plants and animals and on longer relied entirely on hunting and gathering.
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Industrial Revolution
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275 years ago, people invent large scale production of goods for factories that run on fossil fuels (Also increase crop production/medical advances = more population)
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Information/Globalization Revolution (definition and results)
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About 50 years ago, new technology and resources on a global scale can be used. This results in more resource usage and expanding our footprints
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Environmental Problems (are caused by these factors)
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(A) Human Population (B) Affluence (C) Poverty (D) Prices don’t include value of natural capital (F) People have differing view points
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Affluenza
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the addiction to buying too much stuff in the hopes that it makes you happy
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(Pro’s and Con’s to) Affluence
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(Good) Better education, more concern for enviromental quality, Cleaner environment (Bad) Resource depletion, high consumption lifestyles that destroy the Earth
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Poverty (definition)
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The Inability to fulfill basic needs for food, water, shelter, health and education. (1.4 billion are in extreme poverty like this)
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Poverty (why it affects the environment)
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Inability to care or worry about the environmental consequences of their actions (they have to find food to eat the next day). Poverty is prevalent in big populations so their resource use builds up over time
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Environments impact on Poverty
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(A) Pollution increase their poverty (B) die of malnution from preventable health issues (like malaria) (C) limited access to clean drinking water
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Prices Don’t include value of Natural Capital (definition)
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When Companies (or individuals) use resources but don’t pay for the harmful environmental costs that goes into making the goods (The thesis of capitalism prevents them from including that cost in their prices)
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Prices Don’t include value of Natural Capital (how to solve)
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Shift to environmentally sustaining subsidies and to tax pollution (Currently, Government subsidies are contributing to this because the government is paying companies to hire people and not pay for the environmental impact they are creating)
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Environmental Worldviews (Types)
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(A) Planetary management (B) Stewardship (C) Environmental Wisdom
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Planetary Management Worldview (definition)
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We are separate and in charge of nature to fit our needs and to use tech for our benefit only
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Stewardship Worldview (definition)
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We should manage the world for our benefit but we have an ethical responsibility to be caring and responsible managers of the earth
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Environmental Wisdom Worldview (definition)
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We are part of and dependent on nature and it exists for all species, not just us. Success depends on how well we sustain the earth
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Environmentally Sustainable Society (definition)
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One that meets current and future basic resource needs of its people without hurting future generations by just living off of the Natural Capital’s interest (For example, put 10 bucks in a bank that pays 100% interest, just use the 10 bucks in interest and leave the original 10 bucks as natural capital)
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Natural income (definition)
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The renewable resources provided by the earth’s natural capital without depleting or degrading the natural capital to sustain the human population.
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Social Capital (definition)
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the ability to get people with different views to talk and work together to solve environmental problems in our society using trade-off solutions
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Frontier Environmental worldview (definition and who used it?)
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Colonists settling in North America used this world view because they thought resources were infinite.
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Frontier Era (1607-1890)
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European settlers cleared forests and displaced Native Americans for crop land and timber companies when they first came to North America
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Early Conservationists Era (1832-1870)
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Citizens (such as Thoreau and Marsh) became alarmed about the resource depletion in the US,
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Perkins Marsh
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Marsh helped them realize that the resources weren’t inexhaustible and how rise and fall of nations were linked to misuse of resources
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John Muir
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A nature preservationist and activist that wanted to save land with the government for parks for hiking and camping (didn’t get enacted until Teddy Roosevelt was in power)
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Preservationist vs. Conservationist
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Conservationist (by Roosevelt) believed all public lands should be managed wisely to provide resource. Preservationist wanted wildernesses to be left untouched
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CCC
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Civilian Conservation Corp that Roosevelt set up to stop the great depression and putpeople back to work
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Rachel Carson
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Environmentalist that published “Silent Spring” which documented the use of DDT and started the environmental Movement
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Space-earth Environmental Worldview (definition and what caused it?)
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going to the moon on Apollo 8 and it is the idea that the earth is our space ship and that we should take care of it becuase its the only one that we have. The famous picture is called Earth Rise
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Earth Day
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created in 1970 on April 20th.
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Reagan’s effect on the Environment
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Renewable tax credits were slashed because of his campaign and we lost a lot of the lead in environmental industry