Chapter 1 Answers

Edit this page with your answers to Chapter 1.

1. Earth Capital is the same as our natural capital. Our natural capital is the earth’s natural materials and processes that sustain life on the earth and our economies. Mainly, they are our renewable resources. Living off principle means to live off of our earth capital. By using this, we diminish our earth’s resources and eventually run out. Living off of principle is not sustainable in the long run. Living off of interest is living off of the excess capital our renewable resources provide us with, without depleting the natural capital we have. This is using the capital slow enough to allow it to renew itself. A sustainable society is a society that can meet the current needs of its population for food, clean water, clean air, shelter, and other basic resources without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
2. An exponential growth curve is a growth pattern in which the size of a population is in the form of ax (multiplies by the same number each year). A linear growth model is a model describing the size of a population that increases by the same amount each year. Over the course of human history, the doubling time has increased, but the world’s population is still increasing rapidly.
3. Developed countries have high average per capita GDP and are highly industrialized. Developing countries are characterized by low per capita GDP and are less industrialized (middle income, moderately developed, and low income countries).
4. Nonrenewable resources – Exist in a fixed amount on a human time scale. (oil)
Perpetual resources – Renewed continuously on human time scale. (solar energy)
Potentially renewable resources – A resource that is renewable if it is not used faster than it can be replenished. (lumber, fertile soil)
Reuse – Take a resource and reuse it. (a glass bottle can be washed and reused)
Recycle – Take a resource and turn it into something new. (scrap aluminum into aluminum cans.
Point source pollution – Pollution coming from an easily identifiable source (smoke stack).
Non-point source pollution – Dispersed pollution from sources that are hard to identify (pesticides sprayed into air or fertilizer runoff).
Degradable – potentially polluting chemical that is broken down completely or reduce to acceptable levels by natural processes.
Slowly Degradable – Material that is slowly broken down into simpler chemicals by natural processes over long periods of time.
Non-degradable – Material that is not broken down by natural processes
5. Biological Diversity – It is comprised of species diversity, ecological diversity, genetic diversity and functional diversity. Species diversity is the number of species present in different habitats. Genetic diversity is the variety of genetic material within a species or population. Ecological diversity is the variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems found in an area or on earth. Functional diversity is the biological and chemical processes such as energy flow and matter recycling needed for the survival of species, communities, and ecosystems. Humans have decreased the earth’s biological diversity greatly. The tragedy of the commons refers to the attitude that people have towards free-access resources. When everyone thinks “I’m just one person, using this resource won’t have an impact,” eventually there is a major impact. This is illustrated by the Easter Island example, where eventually the poorly managed tree supplies ran out and the civilization turned cannibalistic as a result of the lack of available food. The Tragedy of the Commons is the depletion or degradation of a potentially renewable resource to which people have free and unmanaged access.
6. Sustainable Yield – Highest rate at which a potentially renewable resource can be consumed without depleting its capital. Environmental degradation occurs when people consume resources at a rate above their sustainable yield.
7. Pollution Prevention is when we reduce pollution by taking actions before it has occurred and preventing a pollutant from forming. Pollution cleanup is when pollutants are removed or reduced in level from the environment after they have been produced (sewage treatment plants). Not as good as pollution prevention because it is just a temporary solution. 5 root causes of environmental problems: 1. Population growth. 2. Wasteful resource use. 3. Poverty. 4. Poor environmental accounting. 5. Ecological ignorance.
8. I=PAT our environmental impact is directly correlated to population size, affluence, and the affects of technology.
9. They were small groups of nomadic people who hunted and gathered to support themselves. The survived by hunting wild game and gathering wild plants and fishing. They lived in small groups of fewer than 50 people, who worked together to get enough food to survive. They survived through earth wisdom—having expert knowledge of their natural surroundings. They had 3 energy sources: sunlight, fire, and muscle power. They could have contributed to the e3xtrinction of large animals, and they carried plant seeds and roots, altering the plant dist5ribution and the types of animals that fed on them.
10. The human race started out as Hunter Gatherers 60,000-12,000 years ago. They contributed to the extinction of large animals, and redistributed plants. Between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago there was the Agricultural Revolution- people started to destroy forests and turned them into fields. They changed the landscape and affected plant and animal species. The Industrial-Medical Revolution began 275 years ago. It multiplied per capita energy consumption and the power of humans to shape the earth to their will and to fuel economic growth. There became more dependence on fossil fuels. Production, commerce, trade, and distribution of goods all expanded rapidly.
Jarrett Antone - period 5
Chapter 1
1. Earth Capital: The natural resources and natural services that keep us and other species alive and support our economies.
Sustainable Society: a society that meets the current needs of its people for food, clean water, clean air, shelter, and other basic resources without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Living off of capital means that one spending more than the interest of their wealth. Living off of interest means that one is only spending interest without depleting the capital. Humans are currently living off the capital, wasting resources that future generations will not have.

2. Exponential Growth: a quantity increases at a constant rate per unit of time. (starts off slowly then rapidly increases) Linear Growth: a quantity increases at a constant unit per unit of time. Over human history, the length of the doubling time has become shorter and shorter. (population is growing faster)

3. Developed Countries: Include US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and countries of Europe. Most are highly industrialized and have high average per capita CDP.
Developing Countries: Include Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Some are middle-income, moderately developed countries and others are low-income countries.

4. Nonrenewable Resources: Nonrenewable Resources can be economically depleted to the point where it costs too much to obtain what is left. Perpetual Resources: Resources that are renewed continuously on the human time scale (solar energy, winds, flowing water) Potentially Renewable Resources: can be replenished fairly rapidly on a human time scale (hours to several decades) through natural processes as long as it is not used up faster than it is replaced. (forests, grasslands, wild animals, fresh water, fresh air, and fertile soil) Reuse: using a resource over and over in the same form. (ex. Glass bottles can be collected, washed, and refilled many times.) Recycling: involves collecting waste materials, processing them into new materials, and selling these new products. Point Sources: of pollutants are single, identifiable sources. (ex. Smokestack, exhaust pipe etc) Nonpoint Sources: of pollutants are dispersed and often difficult to identify. (ex. Pesticides sprayed into air, runoff from fertilizer etc) Degradable, slowly degradable, and nondegradable pollutants: self explanatory (time they take to dissolve/become harmless)

5. Biological Diversity: Variety of different species (species diversity), genetic variability among individuals within a species (genetic diversity), variety of ecosystems (ecological diversity), and functions such as energy flow and matter cycling needed for the survival of species and biological communities (functional diversity)
“Tragedy of the Commons”: the degradation of renewable free-access resources. “If I do not use this resource, someone else will. The little but I use or pollute is not enough to matter, and such resources are renewable.”

6. Sustainable Yield: The highest rate at which a renewable resource can be used indefinitely without reducing its available supply. Environmental degradation will not occur if people use resources at their sustainable yields.

7. Pollution Prevention: Reduces or eliminates the production of pollutants. (most effective) Pollution Cleanup: cleaning up or diluting pollutants after they have been produced.
5 root causes of environmental problems: Population growth, wasteful resource use, poverty, poor environmental accounting, and ecological ignorance.

8. Human population → Resource Use→ Technology→ Pollution→ Environmental Degradation

9. Hunter gatherer societies moved as needed to find enough food for survival. They depended of nature for food without machinery, and did not deplete or cultivate it. Therefore, they did not have negative effects on the environment.

10. 3 Major Cultural Changes: Agricultural Revolution (began 10,000-20,000 years ago) The Industrial-medical revolution (began about 275 years ago) Information-globalization revolution (began about 50 years ago)
These major cultural changes have significantly increased our impact on the environment. (increased technology that alters planet, allowed expansion of human pop, increased resource use)

~Christine Donaldson (period 5)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License