Environmental Studies

What are the three components of the Decision-Making Process?
Assessment, Cost, and consequences of risks
The probability that a condition or action will lead to an injury, damage, or loss.
A mathematical statement about how likely it is that something will happen.
What are the three types of risks and economics?

Risk assessment


Risk management


Risk tolerance

The available supply of something that can be used.
Natural Resources
structures and processes that humans can use for their own purposes, but cannot create.
Renewable Resources
resources that can be formed or regenerated by natural processes.
Nonrenewable resources
resources that aren’t replaced by natural processes, or the rate of replacement is so slow as to be ineffective.
the amount of a good or service people are willing to sell at a given price.
the amount of a good or service that consumers are willing and able to buy at a given price.
a good or service’s monetary value
What are the environmental costs of resource exploitation?
air and water pollution, plant and animal extinctions, depletion of a source and loss of scenic quality.
Why so serious?
Because I dance with the devil in the pale moon light.
What are the three layers of the earth?




Name the four levels o atmosphere from lowest to highest.





What atmosphere level contains ozone?
Carbon monoxide
a poisonous gas that’s produced when organic materials such as gasoline, coal, wood, and trash are burned with insufficient oxygen.
particulate matter
minute (10 microns or smaller) solid particles and liquid droplets dispersed into the atmosphere.
Sulfur Dioxide
a compound of sulfur and oxygen that is produced when sulfur-containing fossil fuels are burned.
Nitrogen Dioxide
Nitrogen-containing compounds found in fossil fuels.
What is an ozone molecule made of?
three oxygen atoms bonded together.
What are the 5 primary air pollutants released into the atmosphere and their sources?

Carbon Monoxide – car engines

Nitrogen Dioxide – burning of fossil fuel

Sulfur Dioxide – Power plants

Volatile Organic Compounds – car engines, solvents, and fires

Particulate Matter – agricultural activities, construction sites, etc.

What is the difference between possibility and probability?
Possibility is something that could occur and isn’t exact, while probability specifically defines an event that could occur in mathematical terms
What is risk assessment?
the use of facts and assumptions to estimate the probability of harm to human health or the environment that may result from particular management decisions
What is risk management?
is a decision-making process that involves weighing policy alternatives and selecting the most appropriate regulatory action
What are the 5 components of a risk management plan?

1. evaluating the scientific information regarding various kinds of risks

2.  deciding how much risk is acceptable

3.  deciding whether risks should be given the highest priority

4.  deciding where the greatest benefit would be realized by spending limited funds

5.deciding how the plan will be enforced and monitored

What is the study of economics?
the study of how people choose to use resources to produce goods and services and how these goods and services are distributed to the public
What is the supply/demand curve?
as people want an item more, the cost can be raised and supply must be increased.  as people stop wanting the product, the cost goes down to attract more purchasers, and supply decreases because not as many people want it. 
What are environmental costs?
damage done to the environment as resources are exploited.  Examples are air pollution, water pollution, plant and animal extinctions.
What are Deferred costs
environmental costs that are paid at a later date.  Example would be when dams were build to get new water, but later habitats for birds and fish were hurt.
What are external costs?
expenses monetary or otherwise borne by someone other than the individuals or groups who use a source.  Example would be logging removes so many trees that runoff destroys streams and causes mudslide.  The public has to pay for the logging company’s mistake
What a pollution costs?
include things such as private or public expenditures to correct pollution once it’s occured.
What are pollution-prevention costs (P2)?
costs paid by government or private companies to prevent, either partially or entirely, pollution that would otherwise result from some production or consumption activity.  Example would be the cost incurred by local govt to treat its sewage before it enters a river. 
What is cost benefit analysis?
a formal math method of figuring out the costs and benefits of a resource or solutions to a problem and deciding which is the most effective.  Example of pizza – cost:  Makes you sleepy has lots of calories, benefits: tastes good and is cheap
What are the steps of a cost-benefit analysis?

1.  Identify the project you’re evaluating

2. Think about all of the good and bad consequences in the present and future to society

3. Figure out the costs and benefits of the consequences

4. Figure out the net benefits… total benefit minus total cost


What is the difference between economics and ecology?

Economics doesn’t always think about ecosystems, just more about what people need. 


Also ecosystems change over lots of times, whereas economics change frequently.


      Finally, economics is measured by money, whereas ecological systems are measured in physical units such as how much rain fell last week.

What is the “tragedy of the commons”?
the idea that the ecosphere is one big “commons” with lots of resources like air and water.  each country tries to take as much from the “commons” as possible without thinking about the other countries. 
What is green economics?
The idea that producing things that are good for the environment (like electric cars) will create jobs and not only help the environment, but also help the economy
What is a subsidy?

A gift from the government to individuals or companies for purchasing environmentally friendly things. 


Example:  Cash for clunkers.  This program gave people money for turning in their polluting car, so they could buy a car that’s better for the environment.

What are brownfields?
buildings and land that hae been abandoned because they have been contaminated and the cost of cleaning up the site is high
What are the 5 types of market-based instruments?

1.; Information programs

2.; Tradable emissions permits

3.; Emissions fees and taxes

4.; Deposit-refund programs

5. Performance bonds

What are information programs?

provide people with information about the environmental consequences of their purchases


Example: the pesticide they’re purchasing is bad for the environment and should not be used near streams

What are tradable emissions permits?
give companies the right to make a certain amount of pollution
What are emissions fees and taxes?
fines for producing pollution or harming the environment
What are deposit-refund programs?

a charge on a price or product that gets returned for recycling it


Example:  In california, if you return your soda bottle you get 10 cents

What are performance bonds?

Fees that are collected to make sure the environment is protected


Example would be a company wants to cut down the rainforest and they will need to replant trees.  So before they can cut it down, they have to give a payment for the trees they’ll replant

What is life cycle analysis?
the process of assessing the environmental affects associated with production, use, reuse of a product over its entire useful life
What is extended product responsibility?
the concept that the producer of a product is a responsible for all of the negative effects of the production and disposal of a product when its useful life is over
What are the green marketing principles?

Consumer Value Positioning (design products to perform as well as the usuals)


Calibration of consumer knowledge;(educate consumers with messages that connect the good things about the product with being good people for buying)


Credibility of product claims (unpretentionous, meaningful and qualified statements about the product)

What is sustainable development?
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What are the 5 characteristics of sustainability?

1.; renewability; (never going to run out)


2. substitution (switching to renewable resources from nonrenewable resources)


3. interdependence (not harming other communities)


4. adaptability (community that can take advantage of new opportunities)


5. institutional committment (adopting laws to make sustainable)

What are debt-for-nature exchanges?
innovative mechanism for addressing the debt issue while encouraging the investment in conservation
What are the steps of debt-for-nature exhanges?

1.; Conservation organization buys the debt at a discount


2.; creditor only receives partial payment of the loan


3.; the debtor country has the debt removed and is relieved of paying interest


4.; in exchange, the conservation organization makes the debtor country spend money on good environmental programs

What are the six criteria air pollutants and their sources?

Carbon Monoxide – car engines

Particulate Matter – anything that kicks up dust

sulfur dioxide – power plants

nitrogen dioxide – burning fossil fuels

lead – metal smelters and battery manufacturers

ozone – when 3 oxygen atoms bond together

What are three health effects of air pollution?
Damage to the lungs, damage to the skin, and death.
Why is air pollution a problem in urban areas?
Urban areas are near industrial areas and have a lot of cars.
What is photochemical smog and what causes it?

Photochemical smog – a mixture of ozone and aldehydes.

It happens when nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds with sunlight in a warm environment.

What conditions favor incineration over landfills?
When cities are unable to dispose of their trash locally in a landfill.
What are four concerns associated with incineration?

1 Their cost

2 pollutants and chemicals that can cause birth defects are released into the air

3 makes the ash toxic

4 hard to dispose of ash

Distinguish between acute and chronic toxicity.
Acute toxicity creates health effects immediately, while chronic toxicity tends to be more long-term.
Name the three branches of government and their responsibilities.

Legislative – enacts the law

Judiciary – interprets the law

Executive – enforces the law

Give examples of some international environmental conventions and treaties.
Antarctic Conservation Act, International Environmental Protection Act, Clean Air Act