Environmental Studies

Environmental Justice
combines civil rights with environmental protection to demand a safe, healthy, life-giving environment for everyone.
Sustainable development
reduces soil degradation; reduces disease and accidents, saving the state money; increases social and economic stability of states and families; and it increases the amount of available resources.
Sustainable development
Meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.
John Muir
Argued only government control could save California’s finest Sequoia groves from the ravages of fools.
John Muir
Interconnectedness. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
John Muir
Preservationist. Organized the Sierra Club in 1890.

Moral, aesthetic preservation. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,…

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“behind nature, throughout nature, spirit is present.” Early critic of rampant economic development.
Henry David Thoreau
“truth in nature and wilderness over the deceits of urban civilization.

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” “protect all from the vandalism of a few.” Walden

Aldo Leoppold
Served in US Forest Service. Pioneered the field of game management. Regulated hunting used to maintain proper balance of wildlife.
Rachel Carson
Outlined dangers of pesticides in Silent Spring, 1962.
Wangari Maathai
Global environmentalist.

“We often blame the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, even governments…”

Gilford Pinchot
Pragmatic resource conservation.

Conservationist. Forest management. “The earth and its resources belong of right to its people.”

Environmental Science
An interdisciplinary area of study that includes both applied and theoretical aspects of human impact on the world.
A group of interacting species along with their environment.
cultural relativism
The view that right and wrong are to be determined from within a particular society or culture.

Ethical theory stating human life is the most important aspect of this existance; everything around is a resource for humans.
cost benefit analysis
A model that helps to predict when it pays to act.
ecological services
sequestration of carbon by forests; filtration of water through the hydrological cycle; soil erosion control by wild grasses.
cellular respiration
conversion of C6H12O6(sugar) and oxygen to CO2, water, and energy
conversion of CO2, water, and solar energy (through chlorophyll) to C6H12O6 (sugar) and oxygen
ASTM International
American Society for Testing and Materials sets international standards for products.

“ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.”

EPA’s Design for the Environment program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment.
negligible risk
Point at which there is little or no significant health or environmental risk.
risk assessment
The use of facts and assumptions to estimate the probability of harm to human health or the environment that may result from exposures to specific pollutants, toxic agents, or management decisions.
Naturally occurring substances that can be utilized by people but may not be economic.
amount of a good or service available to be purchased
amount of a product that consumers are willing and able to buy at various prices
substance with measurable mass and volume
atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons
atom/s which have gained or lost an electron
natural selection
which individuals in a species select more effectively, results in characteristic changes within a species.
competitive exclusion principle
No two species will occupy the same niche and compete for the same resources for long.

total role an organism plays in its ecosystem
where an organism lives
organism group that can breed and produce offspring capable of reproduction
tiny particles of organic material that result from feces or decomposition
detrital food chain
decomposers convert detritus into useful resources for larger organisms, who excrete and die, producing resources for detritus decomposers.
human well being
1) resources people have2) how people feel about their lives3) what people are able to be and do
major causes of death from environmental factors
cancer, malaria, heart disease, diarrhea, pollution, emerging diseases
Earth Summit
Rio, 1992, Agenda 21: policy statements on sustainable development; Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests. UN monitors progress.
all environmental responsibility is derived from human interests alone
all forms of life have a right to exist; some recognize hierarchy
environment deserves direct moral consideration, as opposed to focusing mostly on species
development approach
earth exists to provide resources
preservationist approach
nature should be left alone
conservationist approach
compromise between development and preservationist approach
external costs
costs external to a corperation, such as to the environment or public
natural capitalism
business can expand and take care of environment
industrial ecology
forces industry to account for where waste is going
triple bottom line
ethical criteria for business success: financial, social, environmental; people, planet, profit.
drinkable water
99% is saline or frozen, 1% is potentially drinkable.

ecological footprint
area of the earth’s productive land and water required to supply the resources that an individual demands, as well as to absorb the wastes that the individual produces
environmental ethics
investigates justifications for different cultural positions on the environment
probability that an action will lead to injury, damage, or loss
environmental risk assessment
use of facts and assumptions to determine the probability of harm to people or the environment from management decisions
risk management
decision-making process that involves weighing policy alternatives and selecting the most appropriate regulatory action by integrating the results of risk assessment with engineering data and with social, economic, and political concerns
risk management
1) evaluate risk data2) how much risk is acceptable?3) prioritize risks4) assign limited funds to greatest benefit5) decide upon monitoring and enforcement
negligible risk
no significant risk
environmental economics
study of how people choose to use resources to produce goods and services and how the same are distributed to the public
strip mining
75K km^2 or 30K mi^2 of land disturbed in the US
any addition of matter or energy that degrades the environment for humans and other organisms
decomposer organisms can break these types of materials down into simple chemicals, like water and CO2.
pollution costs
private or public expenditures to correct pollution damage
pollution prevention costs
incurred in the private sector or by government to prevent, either entirely or partially
Oil Pollution Act of 1990
Bans vessels with a history of oil leaks from entering Prince William Sound. Companies must have a plan in place in the event of a future spill.

Earth Summit
1992. Rio. Sustainable development.

Kyoto Summit of 1997
Kyoto Protocol, reduce greenhouse gases. UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Market based instruments
Information programs, tradeable emissions permits, emissions fees and taxes, deposit-funded programs, performance bonds.
Information programs
provide consumers with information about environmental consequences.
Tradable emissions permits
permit companies to emit specified quantities of pollutants
Emissions fees and taxes
provide incentives for environmental improvement by making the reverse expensive.
Deposit-refund programs
surcharge on a product that is refunded when the product is returned for reuse or recycling
Performance bonds
fees collected to ensure proper care is taken to protect environmental resources
life cycle analysis
assess environmental effects of production, use, reuse, and disposal of a product.

extended product responsibility
producer is responsible for all of the negative effects involved in its product
Environmental Justice Movement
Warren County, NC, Sept, 1982, organized non-violoent protest to dumping PCB-laced soils in a predominantly non-white community.
risk-based corrective action (RCBA)
protect environmental resources by assigning value based on risk. for corrective action strategies that categorize sites according to risk and move all sites toward completion using appropriate levels of action and oversight. The ASTM standard is a good example of a framework for implementing a RBCA strategy.
group of environmentalists, investors, and companies, formed the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES)1989. Set of 10 environmental standards called CERES principles
CERES principles
1. protect biosphere2. sustainable use of natural resources3.

reduce and dispose of waste safely4. conserve energy5. minimize environmental risks through safe tech6. reduce use, manufacture, and sale of env.

damaging products7. restore env. damage8. inform public of health, safety, or env. conditions9.

consider env. policy in management decisions10. report annual audit results to public

risk assessment
use of facts and assumptions to estimate the probability of harm to human health or the environment that may result from particular management decisions
three leading causes of death
heart disease, cancer, respiratory
natural resource types
renewable, non-renewable. renewable, non-renewable
resource types (overall)
labor (human), capital (financial), land (ecological)
tragedy of the commons
Running on empty, and don’t care..

. In economics, the tragedy of the commons is the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self-interest, despite their understanding that depleting the common resource is contrary to the group’s long-term best interests

shows cause and effect
an event that occurs repeatably probably has the same cause each time
what one person perceives can be perceived by others
rules of nature
same fundamental rules apply regardless of time and location
superfund law (1980)
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Taxed industry. Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.
H20 + C02 + energy = C6H1206 + 3 O2
periodic table
position shows energy level and electron configuration
abiotic factor
Energy, non-living matter, physical habitat characteristics
roles of organisms in ecosystems
producers, consumers, decomposers
changes over time in genes and displayed characteristics
production of new species from previously existing
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration and Protection Plan
provides a framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades.