Essay on Environmental Geosciences Notes 2

Submitted By Lauren-Boyles
Words: 985
Pages: 4

Environmental Geosciences Notes 2

Geosciences Networking Event September 10
The Corner Bar and Grill
401 University Dr.
7-8:30 pm

Cadillac Desert – Book

If the Chesapeake Bay is America’s Estuary, then it’s largest tributary, the Susquehanna River, could arguably be called America’s River. But we certainly don’t treat it as a national treasure: this once magnificent watercourse is an ecological disaster -> thanks to 4 hydroelectric dams built along it’s lower reaches between 1904 and 1931.
In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm and for the first time united the representatives of multiple governments in discussion relating to the state of the global environment. This conference le directly to the creation of government environmental agencies and the UN Environment Program (UNEP).
1990’s to Present
Environmentalism grows in the US but many recognize the economic cost of being “green”; political factions debate issues worldwide
Global warming is supported by scientific evidence (IPCC, reports 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to IPCC and Al Gore), but is still hotly debated
Developing countries have less money to protect the environment and still face numerous environmental issues.
Nature 415, 23 (3 January 2002)
Geology of Mankind
For the past 3 centuries, the effects of humans on the global environment have escalated. Because of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, global climate may depart significantly from natural behavior for many millennia to come. It seems appropriate to assign the term “Anthropocene”
The Future?
Green consumers
Energy efficiency
New technology
International cooperation
Growing population
Poverty
Increasing standard of living
Two issues of particular concern – the widespread extinction of plant and animal species (loss of biodiversity) and the warming of Earth’s atmosphere
What is Sustainable Development?
Development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs
Parameters of Sustainable Development
Economic
Maintaining a sustainable population
Maintaining productivity and profitability of environment and natural resources
Ecological
Adopting environmental management weapons in policy and decision making
Protecting the environment and conserving natural resources
Technological
Promoting proper management of wastes and residuals
Adopting environmental-friendly technologies
Political
Empowering the people
Maintaining place and order
Socio-Cultural
Promoting resource access and upholding property rights
Promoting environmental awareness, including environmental ethics and supporting environmental management action
Institutional
Improving institutional capacity/capability to manage sustainable development
Agenda 21
A non-binding, voluntary implemented plan of action by the United Nations with regard to sustainable development (1992)
Creating Sustainable Solutions
The intersection of different socio-political and scientific areas
Environmental protection is the key to it’s success
There are conditions for sustainable development that fall in the Social, Environmental, or Economic categories
Sustainable Actions
Idea has changed over time
Environmental resources seen as endless 150 years ago
Now resources are limited and need management
Earth’s forest resources appeared to be inexhaustible, and wildlife was abundant
Conflict for Resources
1950’s 152 million people in the world
Now?
Land of Many Uses
Medicine Bow National Forest
Policies address conflicts over:
Commercial interests
Clean water
Conservation of species
Goal: Maintain human well-being
Basic needs
Food, shelter
The world is changing
The environment is under constant change
Environmental/Ecological Principles of SD
Dependence: humans are dependent on a clean, healthy environment for many goods and services vital to our personal and economic well-being
Biophysical limits: Earth’s ability to supply resources and absorb wastes from…