Envir 100

Gaia theory
Earth is a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet
Energy return on investment
how much you put in compared to how much you get out
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
Renewable crops that are grown to produce fuel. Alternatives to oil
Thinking like a plent
Knowing that you are a part of the planet and your actions affect everything. Coincides with Gaian theory
World Trade Organization. Intergovernmental body with signatory countries that have bounded themselves to the organization rules
World food crisis (2007-8)
On the edge of the cash economy
Urbanization – people are no longer growing their own food
Drought and food
the transformation of goods and services, as well as ideas or other entities that normally may not be considered goods, into a commodity
Convention of the International Trade of Endangered Species. The treaty combats over-exploitation of wild animals and plants by delineating threatened species, establishing rules regarding their trade, and imposing trade sanctions against violators
Endangered Species Act
Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation”
Marine Mammal Protection Act
The first act of Congress to call specifically for an ecosystem approach to natural resource management and conservation. It was signed into law on October 21, 1972 by President Richard Nixon. It prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States.
Whaling moratorium
Ban on commercial whaling in 1986
African elephants
Listed under CITES. All trade is illegal
Big leaf mahogany
Listed under CITES. Some trade is legal
Embodied energy
the idea that if you make something, a lot of energy has to go into making it. Everything we build requires energy
Fair trade
Works on bringing power back into small-scale producers
Convention on Biological Diversity
An international legally binding treaty. The convention has three main goals:
1. Conservation of biodiversity
2. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
3. Sustainable use of its components
It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development
Megadiverse countries
17 countries, all tropical, and they host the majority of biodiversity
The habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant
Positive feedback
The enhancement or amplification of an effect by its own influence on the process that gives rise to it
Negative feedback
The diminution or counteraction of an effect by its own influence on the process giving rise to it
A community whose inhabitants seek to live according to ecological principles
Growth to a global or worldwide scale
Ontology of interdependence
The idea that the world is mechanistic and we can break it down and figure it is in contrast with this one because the world is interdependent and we are all connected
Impact = population, affluence, technology. Measure of impact on the environment
A substance that has a molecular structure built up chiefly or completely from a large number of similar units bonded together
Ocean acidification
a decline in ocean pH due to CO2 increase
Peak oil
The phenomenon whereby global oil supplies will peak, then decline, with extraction growing increasingly costly.
Food/oil connection
in order to produce food, you need oil. the idea that oil is necessary throughout the agricultural process
American way of life
Consume to comfort ourselves and assume it’s our right.
accumulation of toxins in the body tissue of organisms over their lifetime
The magnification of toxins throughout the foodweb
Habit loss, invasive species, pollution, population, and over-harvesting of wild species. Leads to biodiversity loss
an informal geological chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact
genetic diversity
the level of biodiversity, refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary
Species diversity
an index that incorporates the number of species in an area and also their relative abundance. it is a more comprehensive value than species richness
ecosystem diversity
refers to the diversity of a place at the level of ecosystems. differs from biodiversity in the it can also refer to the variety of ecosystems present in a biosphere, the variety of species and ecological processes that occur in different physical settings
species abundance
total abundance referring to a specific species
species evenness
spatial term used to define how frequent a species is found
species richness
talking about total diversity, how many species of a number of animals are there
ecosystem service
defined as the goods and services that ecosystems provide that benefit people. Examples: water and air filtration, pollination, trees acting as a carbon sink, etc.
food desert
area where people have limited options in their food choices
food sovereignty
the idea that people should be able to choose what they eat
genetic modification
modifying the genes of the organism – can be done through traditional plant breeding
genetic engineering
combining DNA from two species that would be unlikely to be combined through traditional breeding methods
per capita energy consumption
how much energy one person consumes
New agrarianism
new movement, the idea is getting people closer to land. Increasing connection between producers and consumers
ecological citizenship
from narrow to wide self-interest. some of your pharmaceuticals come from hotspots. the illusion of independence. sacrifice goes underground
thinking locally and getting your products locally and if you buy local you create local jobs
transition towns
a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction and economic instability
Chlorfluorocarbons. ozone depleting gases
Multilateral Ozone Fund
main objective is to assist developing country parties to the Montreal Protocol whole annual per capita consumption and production of ozone depleting substances is less than .3kg to comply with the control measures of the Protocol.
Montreal Protocol
an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion
Kyoto protocol
an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
Framework Convention on Climate Change
an international environmental treaty negotiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, informally known as the Earth Summit in 1992. The objective of the treaty is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”
Chico Mendes
Fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indgineous peoples.
Wangari Maathai
founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights
precautionary principle
under threat to human health or environment, precautions should be taken even without full scientific proof of causality
Shadow Ecology
to asses the total environmental impact of one country on resource management in another country or area. Aspects of a shadow ecology include government aid and loans; corporate practices, investment, and technology transfers; and trade factors such as consumption, export and consumer prices, and trade factors
Triune brain
the idea that we have three brains in one and three sets of processes going on at once and we don’t make decisions in the best of humanity.
supreme power or authority. the authority of a state to govern itself or another state
food sovereignty
having the ability to choose and decide what you’re going to eat
renewable energy
energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished such as sunlight,wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat
the idea of global compression, the world is getting smaller and more connected
eco footprint
a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems
triple inequality
responsibility to climate change, vulnerability to climate change, and low capacity to adapt to climate change. Asymmetry in resources between north and south and affects the capacity to adapt which makes the countries more vulnerable.
proposals to deliberately manipulate the earth’s climate to counteract the effects of global warming from GHGs emissions
per capita emissions rights
an equitable framework that could potentially facilitate a transfer of wealth from the Global North to the Global South
postmaterialist theory
affluence is the primary driver of environmental consciousness