Definition of Enviorment

The circumstances or conditions that surround an organism or group of organisms as well as the complex of social or cultural conditions that affect an individual or community.


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Definition of Sustainability 

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs


Essentials for a Healthy, Productive life

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Clean water
  • Sanitation
  • Education
  • Medical Care


What makes up the Natural World

Plants, animals, soils, air, and water


What makes of the Built World

Social institutions and artifacts that we create using technology, science, culture, and political organization


Define Enviormental Science

How society responds to enviormental crises and oppertunities


What is the biggest problem facing Enviormental Science 

It is not in indentifying remedies but in making them socially, economically, and politically acceptable.


What are some persistant challenges we face?

  • Climate change
  • Hunger
  • Clean Water
  • Energy Resources 


How many people live in acute poverty?

1.4 billion (1/5 the population) live on less than $1 a day 


How many people in the world are considered to be living in poverty?



How does poverty relate to protecting the enviorment?

The worlds poorest people are both the victims and the agents of enviormental degradation 


They are forced to meet short term survival needs at the cost of long term sustainability 


The united states (5% of the worlds population) consumes how much commercially traded commodities such as oil?



How much Industrial waste does the United States produce?

1/4 to 1/2
What are the three demensions of sustainability?

  • Enviormental 
  • Institutional
  • Socio- Economic 

Define aspects of the enviorment as it pertains to Sustainability

  • The resources of earth are finite 
    • Nature, Natural Resources, Climate and Engery


What is the role of economic in sustainability?

Insustutional Dimension

  • Creates norms, rules, and practices that guide and bound human behavior
    • Formal: Laws, policies, regulations
    • Practices, beliefs, social networks 
      • May challenge formal institution 


Define Socio-Economic

Peoples standard of living

  • Cultures with more money have more destructive lifestyles
  • People in poverty have higher illness, less education, and struggle to find food and shelter. They are forced to meet short term survival needs at the cost of long term sustainability. 
  • Poor people are both victims and agents
  • Everyone should be able to meet the standard of living without cost to the enviorment 

What  is the result of all three demensions working together


  • Social-Enviorment: Enviormental justice, Responsible tourism, Respectable DNR
  • Enviormental Economics:Green economy, Population control, Enviormental policy
  • Social Industrius:Health management, workers rights, health care

Forms of Capital 

  • Natural->Fish
  • social->Relationships
  • financial ->Cash
  • human ->Skills
  • built->Schools


Ecological Economic 

How humans interact with their ecological life support system 


In nature one species waste is anothers food so no waste is produced, Our economy needs to recycle materials and use engery differently in order to sustain. 


makes natural capital a key consideration

Explain the 4 system conditions required to become a sustainable society

  1. Stop the increasing removal of substances (fossil fuels, heavy metals) from the earth
  2. Stop increasing the concentration of substances (Plastics) being produced 
  3. Stop the physical degradation of nature (deforesting)
  4. Stop conditions that undermine a persons capacity to meet their needs (unsafe work enviorment)


Explain human dimenesions

study of people and natural resources
Explain cognitive heirarchy

Value –>Beliefs –> Attitudes/Norms –> Behavior



goes from trancend situations that are fewer in number to numerous, faster to change, specific to situation 

Define Value
Judgement of what is important in a social interaction
Egotistic and effects on enviorment

Social power, wealth, power, influence


Consider the costs/benefits for self

Altruistic and impact on enviorment

Equality, peace, social justice, helpful


Consider cost/benefit of other people


Respecting the earth, unity with nature


considers cost/benefits of ecosystem 


an expectation 

ex) freedom 


standards of appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a cultural context. Norms are functional because they reduce the number of choices people have to make about how to behave


can also be attitudes 


subconsous actions done out of habit
Why is social science important
if we can alter attitudes and norms we can change behavior
Enviormental Ethics
philosophy that guide actions about the enviorment
people with interest or position in a conflict
what you want
how you want to go about getting what you want

Ownership, can sell, rent, destroy


prevent others from doing these things

Property regimes

state/gov owned


privately owned


publicly owned 

ex)community garden 

what kind of goods are not easily excludible

Public goods (the common)

ex) the sunset, knowledge, air


The common pool resources

ex)fisheries, oil reserves

What kind of goods are subtractable

The common pool resources


Private goods 

ex) cattle 

What goods are easily excludable

Toll/club goods

ex)day care 


Private goods

how to calculate risk
probability of harm x probability of exposure



  • Create immunilogical response from something that isnt harmful 



  • attack nerve cells (neurons) disrupting or altering is actions 
      • ex) DDT, annesthetics 



  • Impact DNA 
    • (can lead to birth defects or tumors)
      • ex) UV rays, no safe thresholds, extremely risky 



  • Impact embryo growth
    • (usually) only risk to females
      • ex)alcohol 



  • Uncontrolled replication of cells
      • ex)smoking


Endocrine Hormone Disrupters

  • Impact sex hormones
      • ex) male bass laying eggs


What are 4 critical factors that impact the risk of toxins 

  1. Solubility
    • Water soluable flow in and out of cells, fat soluable are stored in lipid molecules making them hard to secrete 
  2. Exposure
    • What is the medium (eaten? drank?), timing (child vs adult), Gended
  1. Movement in organisms
    • Bioaccumulation: magnification
    • Biomagnification:
  1. Persistance