First Midterm

How large is the “ecological footprint” of the average resident of the U.S. compared to that of other people in the world?
The average ecological footprint for a resident of the Unites States is 5 Earths. This is relatively higher than residents of most other countries.
What is ecological overshoot?
Humanity’s annual demand on the natural world has exceeded what the Earth can renew in a year.
What is the current extent of ecological overshoot?
The ecological overshoot is growing and it currently would take 1.5 years to replenish the Earth of the resources consumed in one year.
What is IPAT?
IPAT is an environmental equation that describes how human impact on the environment equals the product of population affluence and technology. I=Impact on environment. P= population A= affluence T= technology
What is our current understanding of the size, dynamics and future of the human population?
The population will begin to level out as resources become scarcer and will eventually begin to decline.
Natural Capital
Natural resources and natural services that are supported by solar capital, or energy from the sun
What is Annie Leonard’s argument in “The Story of Stuff”?
Leonard argument is that we are running out of resources and we overconsume. Many products are built with the idea of planned obsolescence, buying something that will quickly be outdated. Buying more will not make us happy. The less we consume the less we will have to produce. Humanity has overshot the carrying capacity of the planet.
How does poverty contribute to environmental degradation?
Poverty contributes to environmental degradation because many poor people care solely about survival. When someone cares primarily about survival they will use all the resources that they can causing these resources to be overused. Poor people may also contaminate water by using it as a dumping site.
What environmental dangers are of greatest concern to the world’s poor?
Natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes are of great concern to the world’s poor. Also overcrowding of the poor may lead to fires and diseases.
What is the “tragedy of the commons”?
The tragedy of the commons is that indivually, everyone wants to use as many resources as possible to benefit their own self-interests, however, by using the maximum number of resources possible it will harm the group due to the fact that all the resources will be depleted.
What is the “survivalist” discourse?
Survivalists believe that the Earth has a limited amount of resources and depleting these resource will lead to disaster. They also believe that an unregulated market will lead to environmental limits
What is the “Promethean” discourse?
Prometheans believe that human ingenuity is not limited and anytime humans encounter a problem they will use their own innovation to solve it.
What is the Brundtland definition of “sustainable development”?
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs
What does it mean to “live within the doughnut”, according to Kate Raworth?
Living in the doughnut means living in such a way that human needs are satisfied while living within our environmental threshold and not overusing resources.
What were the key features of the response to industrialization expressed by writers like Wordsworth, Ruskin and Thoreau?
The writers’ response to industrialization were that man does not need to consume more than he needs
What are the key elements of the philosophy of “conservationism” as exemplified by Gifford Pinchot and his counterparts elsewhere in the world?
The key elements of conservation is that conservation means development, prevention of waste and that the natural resources must be developed and preserved for the benefit of many and not merely for the profit of a few. Nature= Resource. Anrthropocentric
What are the key elements of the philospophy of “preservationism” as exemplified by John Muir.
The key elements of preservationism are in biocentric beliefs, that nature is the wilderness and to preserve something is to leave it alone all together. Nature is spiritual and should be honored.
What was the conflict over Hetch Hetchy, and why was it important?
The conflict over Hetch Hetchy was that the government wanted to place a dam in the valley of Hetch Hetchy while the preservationists did not want the dam. The preservationists argued that the land was considered a national park and had the right to be preserved. It was importnat because it was considered a battle between conservationists and preservationists.
What is the difference between “anthropocentrism” and “biocentrism”?
Anthropocentrism is the view that the universe is centered around humans. Biocentrism is a view in which all organisms are viewed equally valuable and humanity is not the center of the universe.
What was Leopold’s philosophy?
Leopold’s philosophy was known as the Land Ethic. Leopold’s philosophy was that every part of the ecosystem has a right to exist and that every part of the ecosystem is connected. By removing one part of the ecosystem, it will in turn affect the rest of the ecosystem also.
What did Rachel Carson argue in Silent Spring, and why was this work so influential?
Rachel Carson argued that by using harmful chemicals such as pesticides, we are harming the Earth and ourselves. This work was so influential because it made the human population aware of the effect of man-made chemicals and how the chemicals may cause health problems in their future children. She also explained how the chemicals are ingested by humans through the food we eat. The animals and crops we eat are affected by eating other animals who were directly affected by the chemicals