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IB ESS REVISION (EXAM) NOTES

TOPIC 1: Systems and Models


Systems: an assemblage of parts and their relationship forming a functioning
entirety or whole
o Open systems: exchanges matter and energy
o Closed systems: exchanges only energy
o Isolated systems: neither matter nor energy and is theoretical
Laws of thermodynamics
o 1st: energy is neither created nor destroyed, only changes forms
o 2nd: the entropy of a closed system increases; when energy is transformed into
work, some energy is always lost as waste heat
Equilibrium
oSteady-state: in open systems, continuous inputs and outputs of energy and
matter, system as a whole remains in a constant state, no long term changes.
o Static: no change over time; when the state of equilibrium is distributed, the
system adapts a new equilibrium; cant occur in living systems
o Stable: the system returns to the same equilibrium after disturbances
o Unstable: system returns to a new equilibrium after disturbances
Feedback
o Positive: results in a further decrease of output and the system is destabilized
and pushed into a new state of equilibrium
o Negative: tends to neutralize or counteract any deviation from an equilibrium
and tends to stabilize systems
Transfers and transformations
o Transfers:
- The movement of material through living organisms
- Movement of material in non-living process
- The movement of energy
o Transformations
- Matter to matter
- Energy to energy
- Matter to energy
- Energy to matter
The Gaia model
o Views earth as a living organism
o The earth has a disease

TOPIC 2: Ecosystems
Definitions:

Biotic factors: living components

Abiotic factors: non-living physical and chemical components

Species: a particular type of organism


Population: a group of individuals of the same species living in the same area
at the same time

Habitat: the environment where a species normally lives

Ecological niche: how an organism makes a living

Community: a group of populations living and interacting with each other in a


common habitat

Ecosystem: a community of independent organisms (biotic factors) and the


physical environment (abiotic factors) which they inhabit

Biome: a collection of ecosystems sharing common climatic conditions

Respiration: a process of breaking down food in order to release energy

Photosynthesis: a process of producers making their own food (glucose) and


producing oxygen from water and carbon dioxide

Biomass: the living mass of an organism or organisms but sometimes refers


to dry mass

Gross Productivity: the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit
time

o GPP: by producers

o GSP: by consumers

Net Productivity: the total gain in energy or biomass per unit area per unit
time after allowing for losses to respiration

o NPP: by producers

o NSP: by consumers
Biomes:

climate

latitude (distance from equator)

altitude (height above sea level)

wind and water currents

P/E ratio (precipitation over evaporation ratio)

latent heat: heat that is either taken in or produced when water changes from
state to state
Different Biomes:

Tropical Rainforest hot and wet areas with broadleaved ever green
forest. Within 50 north or south of the equator. High rainfall and high temperature,
high insolation as near equator. There are amazingly high levels of biodiversity,
many species and many individuals of specie. There are very large evergreen
trees, small shrubs, orchids.
It is estimated that tropical rainforest produces 40% of NPP of terrestrial
ecosystems. But the problems it has, are that 50% of human population live near
the equator, so they damage the biome, they are exploited for human economical
needs.

Desert dry areas which are usually hot in the day and cold in the night,
there are tropical, temperate and cold deserts. It covers 20-30% of earths surface,
about 300 of north or south of the equator. Water is limited in the deserts. There
are few species and very low biodiversity, there are only the ones who adapted to
the conditions. Soil can be rich, because the nutrients are not washed away from
the water. NPP is low because the amount of plants and animals are limited,
because of the water. Desertification is the human activity.

Temperate Grassland fairly flat areas, that are covered with grass, they
are located 400 600 from the equator, either north or south. The net productivity
is not very high, because its only grass that grows on the land, nothing else. And
with that the animals that are growing are small size as well. Humans use grass
lands for the crops.

Temperate Forest - mild climate and deciduous forest. Located 400 600
north or south of the equator, it has 4 seasons, there also are fewer species than
tropical rainforest, it has the second highest NPP after the tropical rainforest. Much
of the temperate forests, have been cleared because of human activities.

Arctic Tundra Tree less plain with permafrost, cold and very low
precipitation, dark nights. It is 10% of lands surface, it is located on the arctic cap.
Water is limiting but the fire can stop the climax community forming. There are no
trees but there Is a thick mat, covered by mosses and grasses. It has very low
biodiversity, and soil is poor. With that the NPP is very low, humans use it for
mining.
Ecosystem Structure:
Food chains and trophic levels

food chain: shows a flow of energy from one organism to the next

food web: shows a complex network of interrelated food chains

trophic level: a position that an organism or a group of organisms in a


community occupies in a food chain

producers or autotrophs: which manufacture their own food from inorganic


substances

consumers or heterotrophs: which feed on autotrophs or other heterotrophs


to obtain energy

decomposers: consumers that obtain energy from dead organisms


detritivores: consumers that derive their food from detritus or decomposing
organic material
Ecological pyramids

o pyramid of numbers: shows the number of organisms at each trophic level


in a food chain
advantages:

o easy method of giving an overview

o good for comparing changes in population numbers over

different times

disadvantages:

o all organisms included regardless of their size

o numbers can be too great to represent accurately

o pyramid of biomass: contains the biomass at each trophic level


advantages:

overcomes the problems of pyramids of numbers

disadvantages:

only uses samples from populations, so its impossible to


measure biomass exactly

organisms must be killed to measure dry mass

o pyramid of productivity: contains the flow of energy through each trophic


level; shows the energy being generated and available as food to the next trophic
level during a fixed period of time
advantages:

shows the actual energy transferred and allows for rate of

production
o

disadvantages:

very difficult and complex to collect energy data as the rate of


biomass production over time is required

o bioaccumulation and biomagnification


bioaccumulation: increase in concentration in one organism over
time

biomagnification: increase in concentration with the increase in


trophic levels

o trophic efficiency: only 10% of the energy is transferred to the next, so the
trophic efficiency=10%
Population Interactions

A population is a group of organisms of the same species living in the same


area at the same time and capable of interbreeding.
Population density is the average number of individuals in a stated area.
Competition

Competition between members of the same species is Intraspecific competition.

Individuals of the different species, competeting for the same resource is


called Inter-specific competition.

The other outcome is that one species may totally outcompete the other,
this is the principle of Competitive exclusion.
Predation happens when one animal, the predator, eats another animal, the prey.
Herbivory is defined as an animal eating green plant.
Parasitism - is a relationship between two species in which one species lives in or
on another gaining its food from it.
Mutualism - s a relationship between two or more species in which both or all
benefit and none suffer.
Succession

Succession is the change in species composition in an ecosystem over time

It may occur on bare ground where soul formation starts the process or
where no soil has already formed, or where the vegetation has been removed.

Early in succession, GPP and respiration are low and so NPP is high as
biomass accumulates.

To see the stages of primary succession go to page 266. Table 14.1

Primary succession involves the colonization of newly created land by


organisms.
See Fig. 14.1 on page 266.

Primary succession starts on dry land is called a xerosere. A succession in


water is a hydrosere.
See Fig. 14.2 on page 267

Succession progresses in stages from pioneer species, that are adapted to


live in limiting environments, to stable developed community. This final community
is termed a climax community.
To see the secondary succession process in time, go to page 268 and find Fig. 14.3

Secondary succession occurs on souls that are already developed and ready
to accept seeds carried in by the wind. Also there are often dormant seeds left in
the soil from previous community. This shortens the number of seral stages the
community goes through.
Changes occurring during a succession (refer to Fig. 14.4 on page 268)

the size of organisms increases

energy flow becomes more complex

soil depth, humus, water-holding capacity, mineral content and cycling


increase

Biodiversity increases and then falls as the climax community is reached

NPP and GPP rise and then fall

Production: respiration ratio falls


Species diversity in successions

Early stages of succession: few species

Species diversity increases with the succession

Increase continues until a balance is reached between possibilities for new


species to establish, existing species to expand their range and local extinction

TOPIC 3: Human Population, Carrying Capacity and


Resource Use
Population dynamics
Exponential growth or geometric growth
When the population is growing, and there are no limiting factors slowing the
growth.
Density-dependent limiting factors (biotic factors when effects depend on
the population density)
Negative feedback mechanism- lead to stability of the population
Internal factors act within species
1. Limited food supply lead to intraspecific competition
2. Lack of suitable territory
3. Survival of the fittest
External factors act between different species (predation and disease)
1. Predation pray animals increase, predators increase -> pray decreases and the
predators decrease
2. Disease at high populations spreads fast
S-curves
The visual picture of the curves
Start with exponential growth
Then the growth slows down
Finally constant size
Other facts:
Consistent with carrying capacity of the environment
Environmental resistance
Density-independent limiting factors (abiotic factors when effects do not
depend on the population density)
Climate
Weather
Volcanic eruptions
Floods
J- curves
Boom and bust population grows exponentially and suddenly collapses
The collapse is referred to as overshoot
The sudden collapse usually caused by abiotic factors
The J-curves usually occur in:
1. Microbes
2. Invertebrates
3. Fish
4. Small mammals
K-and r-selected species

K-selected species

Long life
Slower growth
Late maturity
Fewer large offspring
High parental care and protection
High investment in individual offspring
Adapted to stable environment
Later stages of succession
Niche specialists
Predators
Regulated mainly by internal factors
Higher trophic level
Trees, albatrosses, humans

r-selected species

Short life
Rapid growth
Early maturity
Many small offspring
Little parental care or protection
Little investment in individual offspring
Adapted to unstable environment
Pioneers, colonizers
Niche generalists
Prey
Regulated mainly by external factors
Lower trophic level
Examples: annual plants, flour beetles, bacteria

K-and r-selected species are extremes of a continuum. Many species are


mixture of both characteristics.
Demographics study of the dynamics of the population change.
Human Development Index measure:
1. Life expectancy
2. Well being
3. Standards of living
4. GDP
MEDC- industrialized nations with high GDPs.
LEDC- less industrialized nations with lower GDP
Population growth effects on the environment
More people- more recourses- more waste- greater impact
Factors that affect population size:
Crude birth rate number of births per thousand individuals in population per
year
Crude death rate the number of deaths per thousand individuals in a

population per year.


Immigration
Emigration
Natural increase rate (crude birth rate crude death rate) / 10, which,
gives the natural increase rate as a percentage. It excludes the effects of
migration.
Total fertility rate the average number of children each woman has over her
lifetime.
Fertility rate the number of births per thousand women of childbearing age. In
reality, replacement fertility ranges from 2.03 in MEDCs to 2.16 in LEDCs
because of infant and childhood mortality.
(Fertility is sometimes considered a synonym for the birth rate)
Human population growth
Demography is the study of the statistical characteristics of human populations,
e.g. total size, age and sex composition ad changes over time with variations in
birth and death rates.
Carrying capacity the maximum number of a species or load that can be
sustainably supported by a given environment, without destroying the stock
Populations remain stable when birth rate = death rate
The size of the population is depended on the wealth of the population
Demand for and the exchange of the resources effects the size
All of the above differs in MEDCs and LEDCs
Population growth and food shortages
There are two main theories relating to population growth and food supply, from
Malthus and Boserup
Malthusian theory
Thomas Malthus English clergyman and economist (1766 to 1834)
Published an essay on the principle of population in 1798
Claimed that food supply was the main limit to population growth
Believed that human population increases geometrically, whereas food supplies
grows arithmetically, and as a result, there are much more humans than food
supplies
Limitations of Malthusian theory
Too simplistic
Shortage of food is just one possible explanation for the slowing in population
growth
It is only poor who go hungry
Globalization is something Malthus could not have expected
Boserup theory
Ester Boserup, a Danish economist (1965)
Increase in population would stimulate technologists to increase food production
Rise in population will increase the demand for food and so act as an incentive to
change agrarian technology and produce more food

Belief that necessity is the mother of invention


Limitations of Boserups theory

Too simplistic view


Like Malthus, his idea is based on the assumption of a closed community.
Emigration and immigration are not considered
Overpopulation can lead to unsuitable faming

Family sizes
Appears that decision to have children is not correlated with GNP of a country nor
personal wealth:
High infant and childhood mortality
Security in old age
Children are an economic asset in agricultural societies
Status of women
Unavailability of contraception
The ways to reduce the family size are to:

Provide education
Improve health
Provide contraception
Increase family income
Improve resource management

Population Pyramids
These pyramids show how many individuals are alive in different age groups (fiveyear cohorts) in a country for any given year. They also show the frequency of
males and females. In the pyramids, population numbers are on the x-axis and the
age groups on the y-axis.
The shapes of the pyramids are following:
Expanding (stage 1) high birth rates; rapid fall in each upward age group due
to high death rates; short life expectancy.
Expanding (stage 2) high birth rates; fall in death rates as more living to
middle age; slightly longer life expectancy.
Stationary (stage 3) declining birth rate; low death rate more people living to
old age.
Contracting (stage 4) low birth rate; low death rate; higher dependency ratio;
longer life expectancy.
Demographic transition model:
Demographic transition model describes the pattern of decline in mortality and
fertility (natality) of a country as a result of social and economic development.
This model can be described as a five-stage population model, which can be linked

to the stages of the sigmoid growth curve.


The stages are:
Pre- industrial society:
High birth rate due to no birth control;
High infant mortality rates;
Cultural factors encouraging large families.
High death rates due to disease, famine, poor hygiene and a little medicine.
LEDC:
Death rate drops as sanitation and food improve,
Disease is reduced so lifespan increases.
Birth rate is still high so population expands rapidly
Child mortality falls due to improved medicine.
Wealthier LEDC:
Birth rats fall due to access to contraception.
Improved health care, education and emancipation of women.
Population begins to level off and desire for material goods and low infant death
rates mean that people have smaller families.
MEDC:
Low birth rates
Low death rates
Industrialized countries
Stable population sizes
MEDC:
Population may not be replaces as fertility rate is low.
Problems of aging workforce.
Food Resources
Undernourishment, malnourishment Lack of essential nutrients like proteins,
vitamins, minerals.
Agriculture
Types of farming systems
Subsistence farming the provision of food by farmers for their own families or the
local community
Cash cropping- growing the food for the market
Commercial farming- large, profit- making scale maximizing yields per hectare.
(monoculture)
One type of crop or animal is produced.
Extensive farming more land with lower density of stocking or planting and lower
inputs and corresponding outputs.
Intensive farming using the land more intensively with high levels of input and
output per unit area.
Pastoral farming raising animals on a land which is not suitable for crops.
Arable farming is sowing crops on good soils to eat directly or to feed to animals

Mixed farming has both animals and crops and is a system in itself where animals
waster is used to fertilize the crops and improve soil structure.
Farmings energy budget
A system with inputs, outputs, storages and flows = marketable product sold by
weight
Energy balance in farming = fuel, labor, any other energy, soil, sow the seed,
harvest the crop, prepare and package, transport, energy cost of dealing with
waster products.
Grain equivalent the quantity of wheat grain that would have to be used to
produce one kg of that product.
Rice Production in Borneo

Traditional, extensive rice production in Indonesian Borneo


- Low inputs of energy and chemicals, high labor intensity and a low productivity.
- No fertilizers and pesticides used
- Rice yield is only output (no pollution)

Intensive rice production in California


-

high inputs of energy and chemicals, low labor intensity and a high productivity
diesel and petrol
fertilizers (N, P) Pesticides (insecticides and herbicides)
More energy input than output
More pollution

Fisheries industrial hunting


According to FAO more than 70% of the worlds fisheries are fully exploited, in
decline or seriously depleted.
The global fish catch is in decline even though technology has improved.
Demand is high and rising but fisherman cannot find or catch enough fish because
they are no longer there
The tragedy of the commons - Tension between the common good and the needs
of the individual and how they can be in conflict.
Exploitation of the oceans is the tragedy of the commons
The Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland were once among the richest
fishing grounds on Earth. Since 1400s its been depleted by various countries.
The United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) international
agreement written over decades that attempts to define the rights and
responsibilities of nations with respect to the seas and marine resources.

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY)


Sustainable Yield increase in natural capital
Sustainable yield of the aquifer is the amount that can be taken each year without
permanently decreasing the amount of water stored.
SY = annual growth and recruitment annual death and immigration
Harvesting MSY leads to population decline and thus loss of resource base and an
unsustainable industry or fishery.
Optimal Sustainable Yield (PSY) half the carrying capacity. Safety margin than
MSY ut still may have an impact on population size with other environmental
impacts.
Resources- Natural Capital
Natural Capital - Natural resources, services that support life, natural processes.
The Goods and services that are not manufactured but have value to humans.

Natural Income (yield, harvest, services) Yield from the natural capital.
Renewable Resources living resources that can replace or restock themselves.
(Alternative energy resources)
Non-renewable resources- exist in finite amounts on Earth and are not renewed or
replaced after they have been used or depleted. (Minerals and fossil fuels)
Replenishable Resources replaceable but take long period of time.
(Groundwater)
Sustainability living within the means of nature, on the interest or sustainable
natural income generated by natural capital.

Tragedy of commons- many individuals who are acting in their own self-interest
to harvest a resource may destroy the long-term future of that resource so there is
none for anyone.
Resource Values

Economic marketable goods and services

Ecological- life-support services

Scientific/technological - applications

Intrinsic aesthetic, cultural, spiritual


Urbanization the drifts from the countryside to urban life. Urbanization might
eventually encroach on or degrade natural habitats of the cities.
Globalization- Every society on Earth is connected and unified into a single

functioning entity. (Global trade) Globalization often leads to westernization.


Globalization has facilitated the process of global agreements on global issues.
Human Carrying Capacity Maximum number or load of individuals that an
environment can sustainably carry or support.
Ecocentric - reduce the use of non-renewable resources and minimize their use of
renewable ones.
Technocentric human carrying capacity can be expanded continuously through
technological innovation and development.
Conventional Economists trade and technology increase the carrying capacity.
Ecological Economists technological innovation can only increase the efficiency
with which natural capital is used.
Reuse- object is used more than once. (Drink bottles, second hand cars)
Recycling objects material is used again to manufacture a new product.
(Aluminium)
Remanufacturing objects material is used to make a new objects of the same
type. (Plastic bottles)
Absolute Reductions use fewer resources (energy, paper)
Ecological footprint area of land that would be required to sustainably provide all
of a particular populations resources and assimilate all its wastes.
Population dynamics
Exponential growth or geometric growth
When the population is growing, and there are no limiting factors slowing the
growth.
Density-dependent limiting factors (biotic factors when effects depend on
the population density)
Negative feedback mechanism- lead to stability of the population
Internal factors act within species
1. Limited food supply lead to intraspecific competition
2. Lack of suitable territory
3. Survival of the fittest
External factors act between different species (predation and disease)
1. Predation pray animals increase, predators increase -> pray decreases and the
predators decrease
2. Disease at high populations spreads fast
S-curves
The visual picture of the curves
Start with exponential growth
Then the growth slows down
Finally constant size
Other facts:
Consistent with carrying capacity of the environment
Environmental resistance
Density-independent limiting factors (abiotic factors when effects do not
depend on the population density)
Climate

Weather
Volcanic eruptions
Floods
J- curves
Boom and bust population grows exponentially and suddenly collapses
The collapse is referred to as overshoot
The sudden collapse usually caused by abiotic factors
The J-curves usually occur in:
1. Microbes
2. Invertebrates
3. Fish
4. Small mammals
K-and r-selected species
K-selected species

Long life
Slower growth
Late maturity
Fewer large offspring
High parental care and protection
High investment in individual offspring
Adapted to stable environment
Later stages of succession
Niche specialists
Predators
Regulated mainly by internal factors
Higher trophic level
Trees, albatrosses, humans

r-selected species

Short life
Rapid growth
Early maturity
Many small offspring
Little parental care or protection
Little investment in individual offspring
Adapted to unstable environment
Pioneers, colonizers
Niche generalists
Prey
Regulated mainly by external factors
Lower trophic level
Examples: annual plants, flour beetles, bacteria

K-and r-selected species are extremes of a continuum. Many species are


mixture of both characteristics.
Demographics study of the dynamics of the population change.
Human Development Index measure:
1. Life expectancy

2. Well being
3. Standards of living
4. GDP
MEDC- industrialized nations with high GDPs.
LEDC- less industrialized nations with lower GDP
Population growth effects on the environment
More people- more recourses- more waste- greater impact
Factors that affect population size:
Crude birth rate number of births per thousand individuals in population per
year
Crude death rate the number of deaths per thousand individuals in a
population per year.
Immigration
Emigration
Natural increase rate (crude birth rate crude death rate) / 10, which,
gives the natural increase rate as a percentage. It excludes the effects of
migration.
Total fertility rate the average number of children each woman has over her
lifetime.
Fertility rate the number of births per thousand women of childbearing age. In
reality, replacement fertility ranges from 2.03 in MEDCs to 2.16 in LEDCs
because of infant and childhood mortality.
(Fertility is sometimes considered a synonym for the birth rate)
Human population growth
Demography is the study of the statistical characteristics of human populations,
e.g. total size, age and sex composition ad changes over time with variations in
birth and death rates.
Carrying capacity the maximum number of a species or load that can be
sustainably supported by a given environment, without destroying the stock
Populations remain stable when birth rate = death rate
The size of the population is depended on the wealth of the population
Demand for and the exchange of the resources effects the size
All of the above differs in MEDCs and LEDCs
Population growth and food shortages
There are two main theories relating to population growth and food supply, from
Malthus and Boserup
Malthusian theory
Thomas Malthus English clergyman and economist (1766 to 1834)
Published an essay on the principle of population in 1798
Claimed that food supply was the main limit to population growth
Believed that human population increases geometrically, whereas food supplies
grows arithmetically, and as a result, there are much more humans than food
supplies

Limitations of Malthusian theory


Too simplistic
Shortage of food is just one possible explanation for the slowing in population
growth
It is only poor who go hungry
Globalization is something Malthus could not have expected
Boserup theory
Ester Boserup, a Danish economist (1965)
Increase in population would stimulate technologists to increase food production
Rise in population will increase the demand for food and so act as an incentive to
change agrarian technology and produce more food
Belief that necessity is the mother of invention
Limitations of Boserups theory

Too simplistic view


Like Malthus, his idea is based on the assumption of a closed community.
Emigration and immigration are not considered
Overpopulation can lead to unsuitable faming

Family sizes
Appears that decision to have children is not correlated with GNP of a country nor
personal wealth:
High infant and childhood mortality
Security in old age
Children are an economic asset in agricultural societies
Status of women
Unavailability of contraception
The ways to reduce the family size are to:

Provide education
Improve health
Provide contraception
Increase family income
Improve resource management

Population Pyramids
These pyramids show how many individuals are alive in different age groups (fiveyear cohorts) in a country for any given year. They also show the frequency of
males and females. In the pyramids, population numbers are on the x-axis and the
age groups on the y-axis.
The shapes of the pyramids are following:
Expanding (stage 1) high birth rates; rapid fall in each upward age group due
to high death rates; short life expectancy.
Expanding (stage 2) high birth rates; fall in death rates as more living to

middle age; slightly longer life expectancy.


Stationary (stage 3) declining birth rate; low death rate more people living to
old age.
Contracting (stage 4) low birth rate; low death rate; higher dependency ratio;
longer life expectancy.
Demographic transition model:
Demographic transition model describes the pattern of decline in mortality and
fertility (natality) of a country as a result of social and economic development.
This model can be described as a five-stage population model, which can be linked
to the stages of the sigmoid growth curve.
The stages are:
Pre- industrial society:
High birth rate due to no birth control;
High infant mortality rates;
Cultural factors encouraging large families.
High death rates due to disease, famine, poor hygiene and a little medicine.
LEDC:
Death rate drops as sanitation and food improve,
Disease is reduced so lifespan increases.
Birth rate is still high so population expands rapidly
Child mortality falls due to improved medicine.
Wealthier LEDC:
Birth rats fall due to access to contraception.
Improved health care, education and emancipation of women.
Population begins to level off and desire for material goods and low infant death
rates mean that people have smaller families.
MEDC:
Low birth rates
Low death rates
Industrialized countries
Stable population sizes
MEDC:
Population may not be replaces as fertility rate is low.
Problems of aging workforce.
Energy Resources
Source sun.
Fossil fuels are sources of stored energy from the sun
Oil is the economys largest source at the moment, supplying 37% of all the
energy we use.
Coal is the next largest, supplying 25%
Natural gas supplying 23%
How much longer for fossil fuels?
The common estimates include:
Oil 50 years
Natural gas 70 years

Coal - 250 years


Will eventually run out, as they are non-renewable energy sources.
Depends on:
Our rate of use
Technologies
Efficiency of humans
How successful humans are at finding new sources
How successful humans are at finding and extracting more.
If the wealth of humans increase
The population of humans
Demand increase or decrease
Evaluation of energy sources and their advantages and disadvantages
Non-renewable
Coal (fossil fuel)
From
Fossilized plants laid down in the carboniferous period
Mined from seams of coal which are in strata between other types of rock
May be open cast mined (large pits) or by tunnels underground.
Burnt to provide heat directly or electricity by burning to turbines in power
stations.
Advantages
Plentiful supply
Easy to transport and solid
Needs no processing
Relatively cheap to mine and convert to energy by burning
Up to 250 years of coal left
Disadvantages
Non-renewable energy source
Cannot be replaced once used (same for oil and gas)
Burning releases carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas
Some coals contain up to 10% sulfur.
Burning sulfur forms sulfur dioxide which causes acid deposition
Particles of soot from burning coal produce smog and lung disease.
Coal mines leave degraded land and pollution.
Lower heat of combustion than other fossil fuels (less energy released per unit
mass)
Oil (fossil fuel)
From
Fossilized plants and micro-organisms that are compressed to a liquid and found
in porous rocks
Crude oil is refined by fractional distillation to give a variety of products from
lighter jet fuels and petrol to heavier diesel and bitumen.
Extracted by oil wells.
Many oil fields are under the oceans so extraction is dangerous
Pipes are drilled down to the oil-bearing rocks to pump the oil out.

Most of the world economy runs on oil either burnt directly in transport and
industry or to generate electricity
Advantages
High heat of combustion
Many uses
Once found is relatively cheap to mine
Easily converted into energy
Disadvantages
Only a limited supply
May run out in 20-50 years
Gives off carbon dioxide when burned
Oil spill danger from tanker accidents.
Risk of terrorism in attacking oil pipes
Greenhouse gas effect
Natural gas (fossil fuel)
From
Methane gas and other hydrocarbons trapped between seams of rock
Extracted by drilling like crude oil
Often found with crude oil
Used directly in homes for domestic heating and cooking
Advantages
Highest heat of combustion
Lot of energy gained from it
Ready- made fuel
Relatively cheap form of energy
Cleaner fuel than coal and oil
Disadvantages
Only limited supply of gas but more than oil
About 70 years left (according to current usage)
Gives off carbon dioxide but only half as much per unit of energy produced as
coal
Nuclear fission
From
Uranium is the raw material. This is a radioactive and is split in nuclear reactors
by bombarding it with neutrons
As it splits into plutonium and other elements, massive amounts of energy are
also released
Uranium is mined
Australia has the most known reserves
Canada exports the most
Other countries have smaller amounts
About 80 years worth left to mine at current rates
Could be extracted from sea water
Advantages

Raw materials are relatively cheap once the reactor is built and can last quite a
long time
Small mass of radioactive material produces a huge amount of energy
No carbon dioxide released nor other pollutants (unless there are accidents)
Disadvantages
Extraction costs high.
Nuclear reactors are expensive to build and run
Nuclear waste is still radioactive and highly toxic
Big question of what to do with it
Needs storage for 1000s of years
May be stored in mine shafts or under the sea
Accidental leakage of radiation can be devastating.
Accidents are rare but worst nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine was
in 1986
Risk of uranium and plutonium being used to make nuclear weapons
Renewable
Hydroelectric power (HEP)
From
Energy harnessed from the movement of water through rivers, lakes and dams to
power turbines to generate electricity
Pumped-storage reservoirs power turbines
Advantages
High quality energy output compared with low quality energy input
Creates water reserves as well as energy supplies.
Reservoirs used for recreation, amenity
Safety record is good.
Disadvantages
Costly to build
Can cause the flooding of surrounding communities
Dams have major ecological impacts on local hydrology
Silting of dams
Downstream lack of water
Risk of flooding if dam bursts
Biogas
From
Decaying organic plant or animal waste are used to produce methane in biogas
generators or burnt directly as dung/plant material
More processing can give oils which can be used as fuel in vehicles instead of
diesel fuel = biofuels
Advantages
Cheap
Available
If the crops are replanted, biogas can be a long-term, sustainable energy source
Disadvantages
May be replacing food crops on a finite crop land and lead to starvation

When burnt, it still gives off atmospheric pollutants, including greenhouse gases.
If crops are not replanted, biomass is a non-renewable resource.
Wood
From
Felling or copping trees.
Burnt to generate heat and light
Advantages
Cheap
Available
If the crops are replanted, biogas can be a long-term, sustainable energy source
Disadvantages
Low heat of combustion
Not much energy released for its mass
When burnt, it gives off atmospheric pollutants, including greenhouse gases
If trees are not replanted wood is a non-renewable resource.
High cost of transportation as high volume.
Solar photo volcanic cells
From
Conversion of solar radiation into electricity via chemical energy
Advantages
Infinite energy supply
Safe
Low quality energy converted to high.
Disadvantages
Manufacture and implementation of solar panels can be costly.
Need sunshine, do now work in the dark
Solar-passive
From
Using buildings or panels to capture and store heat
Advantages
Minimal cost if properly designed.
Wind
From:
Can be found singly, but usually many together in wind farms
Advantages
Clean energy and supply once turbines made
Little maintenance required
Disadvantages
Need the wind to blow

Often windy sites not near highly populated areas


Manufacture and implementation of wind farms can be costly
Noise pollution
Some local people object to on-shore wind farms, arguing that it spoils
countryside
Question of whether birds are killed or migration routes disturbed by turbines
Tidal
From:
The movement of sea water in and out drives turbines
A tidal barrage is built across estuaries, forcing water through gaps
In future underwater turbines may be possible out at sea and without dam
Advantages
Should be ideal for an isolated country such as the UK
Potential to generate a lot of energy this way
Tidal barrage can double as bridge, and help prevent flooding
Disadvantages
Very costly
Few estuaries are suitable
Opposed by some environmental groups as having a negative impact on wildlife
May reduce tidal flow and impede flow of sewage out to sea
Wave
From
The movement of sea water in and out of cavity on the shore compresses trapped
air, driving a turbine
Advantages
Should be ideal for an island country
These are more likely to be small local operations
Can be done on a national scale
Disadvantages
Construction can be costly
May be opposed by local or environmental groups.
Storms may damage them
Geothermal
From
It is possible to use the heat inside the Earth in volcanic regions.
Cold water is pumped into the Earth and comes out as steam
Steam can be used for heating or to power turbines creating electricity.
Advantages
Infinite energy supply
Is used successfully in some countries, such as New Zealand.
Disadvantages
Can be expensive to set up

Only works in areas of volcanic activity


Geothermal activity might calm down, leaving power station redundant
Dangerous underground gases have to be disposed carefully
Nuclear fusion energy can be released by the fusion of two nuclei of light
elements

TOPIC 4: Biodiversity and Conservation


Background and Mass Extinctions

background extinction rate- natural extinction rate for species


E. O. Wilson- a biologist at Harvard, thinks that the current rate of extinction
is 1000 times the background rate and is caused by human activities

hotspots- areas where species are more vulnerable to extinction

Biologists thing: we are the sixth mass extinction called the Holocene
extinction event
To see all 6 mass extinctions refer to the Table on page 95
The Sixth Mass Extinction

far greater than any in the past

already wiped out many large mammal and flightless bird species

humans alter the landscape on an unprecedented scale

previous mass extinctions were due to physical (abiotic) causes over long
time spans

current mass extinction is caused by humans (biotic causes) and is


accelerating

humans:

o transform the environment

o overexploit other species

o introduce alien species

o pollute the environment

Worldwide Fund for Nature produces periodic report called the Living Planet
Report

o measures trends in the Earths biological diversity

two phases to the sixth mass extinction


o 1. when modern humans spread over the Earth about 100 000 years

o
ago

o 2. when humans became farmers 10 000 years ago

o
Hotspots

some regions have more biodiversity than others


in hotspots there are unusually high numbers of endemic species- those only
found in that place

tend to be nearer the tropics and are often tropical forests

tend to have large densities of human habituation nearby


Keystone Species

species that have a bigger effect on their environment than others

act as keystone in an arch, holding the arch together

their disappearance can have an impact far greater than and not
proportional to their numbers or biomass
o could destroy the ecosystem or imbalance it greatly
Example: elephants in the African savanna act as engineers, removing trees,
after which grasses can grow
Types of Diversity

Biodiversity- the numbers of species of different animals and plants in


different places
o can be considered at three levels:

Genetic diversity- the range of genetic material present in a


species or a population

Species diversity- the number of different species within a


given area or habitat

Habitat diversity- the number of different habitats per unit area


that a particular ecosystem or biome contains

Simpsons diversity index- measure species diversity in an area

o Simpsons reciprocal index- in which 1 is the lowest diversity

where N = the total number of organisms of all species and n


= the total number of organisms of a particular species
How New Species Form

Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution which is outlined in The


Origin of Species, published in 1859

The theory is summarized bellow


o Speciation- when species are formed by gradual change over a long
time

o when populations of the same species become separated, they


cannot interbreed and may start to diverge if the environments they inhabit
change

o separation may have geographical or reproductive causes; humans


speed up speciation by artificial selection of plants and animals and by genetic
engineering

o over time the population gradually changes= natural selection

o the survival of the fittest


Physical Barriers (examples of species and speciation)

o Large flightless birds (e.g. emu, ostrich, rhea, cassowary) only found
in Africa, Australia, South America

o cichlid fish in the lakes of East Africa, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika,
Lake Malawi

o Llamas and camels (llamas in South America and camels in Africa


and central Asia)

Land bridges: allow species to invade new areas

Continental drift: the movement of tectonic plates

Plate tectonics: the study of the movement of plates (continental drift)

Plates may either slide past each other, diverge, or converge


Factors that help to maintain the biodiversity

complexity of the ecosystem

stage of succession

(lack of) limiting factors

inertia
Factors that lead to loss of biodiversity

Natural hazards

loss of habitat

fragmentation of habitat

pollution

overexploitation

introducing non-native (exotic species)

spread of disease

modern agricultural practices


What makes a species prone to extinction?

narrow geographical range

small population size of reclining numbers

low population densities and large territories

few populations of the species

a large body

low reproductive potential

seasonal migrants

poor dispersers

specialized feeders or niche requirements

hunted for food or sport

minimum viable population size: that is needed for a species to survive in


the wild is a figure that scientists and conservationists consider
Species Examples (recovered, extinct, endangered)

Recovered Species
o Australian saltwater crocodile

18 out of 23 were once endangered

listed as protected species in Australia in 1971

overexploited for skin (leather), meat and body parts through


illegal hunting, poaching and smuggling
restored through ranching and closed-cycle farming
o Golden lion tamarin (GLT) recovered or not?

small monkey

endemic to Atlantic coastal rainforests of Brazil

omnivores

only 2% of their native habitat is left

poachers earn US$20 000 for skin

captive breeding program

some re-introduced to the wild but with only 30% of success

their future uncertain

Extinct Species
o Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger)

life expectancy of 12-14 years

habitat: open forests and grassland

competed with dingoes on the mainland of Australia

hunted by farmers whose stock of sheep was the species prey

hunting, poisoning, and trapping

shooting parties organized for tourists entertainment

last one has been killed in 1930

now introduced dogs have taken over the ecological role of the
thylacine

o Dodo

large flightless bird endemic to the island of Mauritius

ground-nesting bird

1505 Portuguese sailors ate dodo as a source of fresh meat

new species introduced that ate dodo

humans killed the birds for sport

destruction of habitat

extinct by 1681

fauna impoverished by its loss

became an icon due to its apparent stupidity

Endangered species
o Rafflesia

tropical parasitic plant in the forests of South-East Asia

single sexed

pollination must be carried out when the plant in bloom

vulnerable because they need specific conditions to survive

deforestation and logging destroy their habitat

now there are Rafflesia sanctuaries

TOPIC 5: Pollution Management


Pollution: the addition of substances to the biosphere by human activity, at a rate
greater than could be rendered harmless by the env-t
- Major sources of pollution (table on p. 277)
Combustion of fossil fuels
Domestic waste
Industrial waste
Agricultural waste

- Point source pollution


the release of pollutants from a single, clearly identifiable site(e.g factory
chimney, waste disposal pipe)
easier to locate easier to manage
- Non-point source pollution: the release of pollutants from numerous, widely
dispersed origins (e.g. vehicles, chemical spreads on fields)
Difficult to locate
General restrictions could be put to control it
Detection and monitoring of pollution
Indicator species: species that are only found if the conditions are either polluted
or unpolluted
- Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
The measure of the amount of dissolved oxygen required to break down the
organic material in a given volume of water through aerobic biological activity
Indirect pollution measurement
Higher BOD more pollution
- Biotic index
A 1 to 10 scale
Gives a measure of the quality of an ecosystem by the presence and abundance
of the species living in it
Indirect method
Used at the same time as BOD measurements
- Three-level model of pollution management
a model for reducing the impact of pollutants
replace, regulate, restore model
Refer to figure 15.3 on page 282
Pollution management strategies (refer to case study on p282-283)
- Domestic Waste (Solid domestic waste or municipal solid waste)
Makes up about 5% of total waste
3kg of solid waste per capita in USA
solid waste production has risen from 300kg per year in 1985 to 500
Strategies to minimize waste
- Recycling
Collecting and separating waste materials and processing them for reuse
E.g. aluminum cans
o Only 5% of energy needed to recycle it
o Can be recycled indefinitely
- Disposal of waste: Landfill
Waste buried in a suitable site
Lined with special plastic liner to prevent leachate (liquid waste) from seeping out
Produced methane could be used to generate electricity
- Disposal of waste: Incinerators

Burning of waste at high temperatures


Heat produced is used (heat-to-energy incineration)
Smaller land area used than in landfill
Ash from incinerators could be used in road building
Expensive

- Disposal of waste: organic waste


Could be composted or put into anaerobic digesters
Produced methane could be used as fuel
Eutrophication
The addition of excess nutrients to a freshwater ecosystem
Could be a natural process
Usually nitrates and phosphates from: detergents, fertilizers, sewage etc.
- The process of eutrophication
Fertilizers wash into a river or lake
High levels of phosphate allow faster algae growth
Algal blooms block the sunlight
More algae more food for zooplanktonmore food for fishless zooplankton
Algae die and are decomposed
Not enough oxygen in waterfood chains collapseorganisms die
Dead organic material forms sediments on the river bed and turbidity increases
A clear blue lake is left
Reduces biodiversity in slow-moving water bodies, temporary reduction in
biodiversity in fast-moving waters
- Eutrophication management strategies (refer to table 15.4 on p. 287)
- Impacts of eutrophication
Bad smell
Rivers/lakes covered by green algal scum and duckweed
Anaerobic water (oxygen-deficient)
Loss of biodiversity and shortened food chains
Death of higher plants
Death of aerobic organisms invertebrates, fish and amphibians
Increased turbidity
Introduction to ozone
Found in stratosphere, where it blocks UV radiation, and troposphere
- Depletion of stratospheric ozone
The ozone layer
o Reactive gas mostly found between 20 and 40km altitude
o Made from oxygen (O2)
o UV radiation is absorbed in its formation and destruction
o The ozone layer absorbs more than 99% of UVC radiation
Damaging effects of UV radiation
o Mutation
o Damage to photosynthetic organisms
o Damage to consumers of photosynthetic organisms

- The action of ozone depleting substances


Liming lakes: adding powdered limestone raises the pH but the effects are shortlived
Reducing emissions: reducing combustion of fossil fuels
o Precombustion: removing sulfur from the fuel before combustion
o end of pipe measures

TOPIC 6: The Issue of Global Warming


The greenhouse effect is a normal process which is necessary for the maintenance
of the Earths surface temperature. The effect is caused by gases in the
atmosphere reducing heat losses by radiation back into space. They trap heat
energy that is reflected from the Earths surface, and reradiate some back into
space some back to Earth.
Greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation radiated from the Earths surface and
pass this heat to other atmospheric gases. Incoming solar radiation is made up of
visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared heat. About 45% of incoming light is
absorbed, scattered or reflected by the atmosphere and clouds before it reaches
the Earths surface. Of the 55% that reaches the surface 4% is reflected and 51%
is absorbed, which is used for photosynthesis, heating the ground and seas, and
evaporation. It is then released back into the environment as longer wavelength
infrared energy (heat energy). Therefore if we had no greenhouse gases this
energy would be lost to space.
As humans increase emissions of some greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect is
enhanced. Most scientists believe that this is what is causing global warming and
climate change. See Pg 136 Fig. 7.1 and 7.2. Human activities (anthropogenic
activities) are increasing the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) include not only carbon dioxide but also water vapour,
methane, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). CFCs are chemicals made by humans
which destroy the ozone layer when they reach the stratosphere, but acts as GHGs
in the troposphere. Water vapour has the largest effect in trapping heat energy
(about 36-66% of greenhouse effect). Most GHGs are there through natural
processes but it is the increase, which is caused by anthropogenic activities which
is of concern.
CFCs have a very high global warming potential (GWP) higher than carbon dioxide,
which means it contributes the most per molecule to the greenhouse effect and
therefore global warming. Methane is also increasing by about 1% per year due to
human activities (about 60% comes from human and 15% from cattle). Methane
can be used as a source of energy and many developed countries capture and pipe
methane to be used to generate electricity of for heat. Carbon circulates through
the atmosphere and is found in four main storages: the soil; living things
(biomass); the oceans; and the atmosphere. Carbon sinks are stores of carbon
found in soil, biomass, and oceans. The biggest contributor of carbon to the
atmosphere is through the burning of fossil fuels. The amount of carbon on the
planet is finite and is called the carbon budget. Human activity has disrupted the
balance of the global carbon cycle, through increased combustion, land use
changes, and deforestation.

Changes in the climate can be seen in a variety of ways: changed temperatures


and or rainfall patterns, more severe storms, ice sheet thinning or thickening, and
sea level rises.

There are five ways that the climate can change overtime due to conditions on
Earth and GHG levels changing: the more damage we do the more change will
occur; there may be a buffering action in which climate change does not follow in a
linear way (it is resistant to change); climate change may respond slowly at first
but then accelerate until it reaches a new equilibrium; climate may not respond
but then tip over the threshold and change rapidly until a new, much higher
equilibrium is reached; in addition to the threshold change it may get struck at the
new equilibrium even if factors causing the change cease to exist.
Effects on oceans and sea levels: Sea levels are rising due to increased
temperatures causing water to expand and ice to melt which then runs off into the
seas. The Greenland and Antartic ice sheets are thinning, and, this and the thermal
expansion of the seas will mean that sea levels will rise even more. An increase of
between 1.5 and 4.5C could mean a sea level rise of 15-95cm (IPCC data). If there
is a threshold and this is exceeded then sea levels could rise by metres. This could
be disastrous for low-lying countries like the Maldives, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the
Netherlands. The oceans absorb carbon dioxide and this makes them slightly
acidic. They have become more acidic by 0,1 pH as they have absorbed about half
the carbon produced by anthropogenic activities. This will obviously affect marine
life. As they warm they absorb less carbon dioxide which is a problem.
Effects on polar ice caps: Melting of land ice on Antarctica and Greenland will
cause sea levels to rise as it flows into the sea. Glaciers are melting causing
increased volumes of water. The Greenland ice sheet could melt completely and
slow down or even stop the North Atlantic Drift (NAD) current by diluting the salt
water. If the NAD current and the Gulf Stream slow or even shut down, the climate
of the UK and Scandinavia would be much colder
The melting of the Artic could open up trade routes and allow for exploitation of
undersea minerals and fossil fuel reserves. Methane clathrate is a form of ice
under the Artic ocean floor that traps methane. If it were to melt and reach the
surface, the release of methane might trigger a rapid increase in temperatures.
Effects on food production: Warmer temperature should increase the rate of
biochemical reactions so photosynthesis should increase. But respiration will also
increase therefore there may be no increase in NPP. In Europe the crop growing
season has expanded. If biomes shift away from the equator, there will be winners
and losers. It depends on the fertility of soils as well. For example if production
shifts northwards from the Ukraine with its rich black soils to Siberia with its

thinner, less fertile soils, NPP will decrease. In seas, a small increase in
temperature can kill plankton, the basis of many marine food webs.
Effects on biodiversity and ecosystems: Melting of tundra permafrost would
also release methane which is trapped in the frozen soils. Animals can move to
cooler regions plants can not. The distribution of plants can shift as they disperse
seeds which germinate and grow in more favourable habitats. But this happens
very slowly and could be too slow to stop them from becoming extinct. Species in
alpine or tundra regions have no where to go, neither up nor towards higher
latitudes. Polar species could become extinct in the wild. Birds and butterflies have
already shifted their ranges to higher latitudes. Plants are breaking their winter
dormancy earlier. Loss of glaciers decrease the salinity of marine waters and
changes to ocean currents alter habitats. If droughts increase wildfires are more
likely to wipe out other species. An increase in temperatures of fresh and salt
water may kill sensitive species, and national parks and reserves could find their
animals dying. Pine forests in British Columbia (Canada), are being devastated by
pine beetle, which is not being killed off by previously cold winters which have
become milder.
Effects on human health: malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever could spread
to higher latitudes. In a wetter climate fungal diseases will increase. In a drier
climate dust increases leading to asthma and chest infections. Warmer
temperatures in higher latitudes would reduce the number of people dying from
the cold each year and reduce heating bills for households.
Effects on human migration: If people can not grow food or find water, they will
move to regions where they can. Global migration of millions of environmental
refugees is quite possible and this would have implications for nation states,
services and economic and security policies. The IPCC estimates that a 150 million
refugees from climate change in 2050.
Effects on national economies: Some economies would suffer if water supplies
decrease or drought occurs. This could open up new resources such as tar sands in
Canada and Siberia, which have been frozen under permafrost. If rivers dont
freeze hydroelectric power generation will be possible at higher latitudes.
Agricultural production may increase in higher latitudes but fall in the tropics.
Carbon dioxide is responsible for two-thirds of anthropogenic greenhouse effect.
China is probably the most prolific emitter having overtaken the U.S.A. According
to the Earth Policy Institute, carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning was 8.38 Gt
(109 tonnes)of carbon in 2006, 20% above the 2000 level and running at an
increase per year of about 3.1 %.
Strategies to alleviate climate change
There are three strategies that we can adopt on this issue: do nothing; wait and
see; or take precautions now. Science can not give us 100% certainty on the issue
of global warming nor predict with total accuracy what will happen. What it can do

is collect data and provide evidence. How that evidence is interpreted and
extrapolated will depend on individual viewpoints, scientific consensus, economics
and politics.
Sceptics of the validity of global warming and climate change and, its human
cause, may adopt a do nothing approach due to there consideration of it as a
non-threat. In addition to this they say that global warming is a good thing and
technology can manage its effects.

The wait and see approach is risky as it is a long slow process to move the
global economy away from fossil fuel usage. It could be an unnecessary disruption
of national economies. It is possible however that we will reach the tipping point
when our actions will have little effect as positive feedback mechanisms change
the climate to a new equilibrium, which could be 8 degrees warmer than it is now.

The precautionary strategy is the majority choice, which focuses on acting


now in case. Even if we found out that fossil fuel burning is not the cause of global
warming we know that these fuels will run out and it makes sense to clean up the
Earth and find alternative fuel sources now before we run out. What we are seeing
in current national policies and international targets, are precautions (carbon
emission reduction, carbon-offset, lifestyle changes) against increased climate
change. These precautions can be divided into three categories: international
commitments (Kyoto); national actions; and personal lifestyle changes.

Kyoto Protocol
1997: signed by some 160 nations at the third United Nation Framework
Convention on Climate Change conference (UNFCCC).
The protocol calls for the first ever legally binding commitments to reduce carbon
dioxide and 5 other greenhouse gas emissions to 2.2 % below 1990 levels before
2012. The US signed but has not ratified the protocol.
2004: The Kyoto Protocol is still ineffective. For the protocol to be effective at least
55 countries have to ratify (fully adopt the commitments) and there must be
enough developed countries who together are accountable for more than 55% of
emissions according to 1990 levels. However the percentage of developed
countries is only 37.5%.
2005: Kyoto Protocol goes into effect. Signed by major industrial nations except
US. Worked to slow emissions accelerates in Japan, Western Europe, US regional
governments and corporations.

TOPIC 7: Environmental Value Systems

Environmental philosophies
o Ecocentric: life-centered, respects rights of the nature and the dependence of
humans on nature
o Technocentric/Anthropocentric: human-centered, humans are not dependent on
nature, but nature is there to benefit the human kind
Technocentric worldviews
o Cornucopians: people who see the world having infinite resources to benefit
humanity. Believe that the env-tal problems could be solved with technologies,
improving our living standards
o Env-tal managers(stewardship): believe that we have an ethical duty to protect
the nature. Support limited limiting resource exploitation. Believe that if we look
after the planet, it looks after us

Nurturing vs. intervening or manipulative approaches= environmental vs.


technocentric worldviews
Ecocentric worldviews
o Biocentric: all life has an inherent value, not just for humans. Some philosophies
believe that humans arent any more important than other species.
o Soft technologists: believe in small-scale local community action and emphasize
the role of individuals making a difference
o Deep ecologies: put more value on nature than humanity. Believe in biorights
universal rights of all species and ecosystems; advocate strong policy and
population change
Various environmental worldviews
o Communism and capitalism in Germany
- disregarding value of the environment and exploiting resources
o Native American
- Use low impact technologies and respect nature
- Polytheistic religion believes that animals and plants have a spirituality
o Modern Western
- view earth as a resource for humanity.
- Ecofeminists
argue that it is the rise of male-dominated species that has led to our view of
nature as a foe
o Buddhisms view
- believe that we are all dependent on each other and preaches that all being are
equal
- believe that all living organisms share the conditions of birth, old age, suffering
and death