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How Environment Affects Humans? Essay Sample

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How Environment Affects Humans? Essay Sample

Environmental Science is the study of how the natural world and how the environment affects humans (and vice versa)
– Interdisciplinary (natural v. social sciences)
– Experiments, data, etc.
Environmentalism is a social movement that tries to protect the natural world from human changes
– Promoting change in behavior
– Can be radical
Natural resources are substances and energy source needed for survival 1. Renewable resources can be replinished
a. Sunlight, wind, timber, water, soil
2. Nonrenewable resources are unavailable after depletion
a. Oil, coal, natural gas

Ecosystem services arise from the normal functioning of natural services – Regulating climate
– Purifying air and water
– Cycle nutrients
Agricultural Revolution is the shift around 10,000 years ago from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural way of life in which people began to grow their own crops and raise domesticated animals

Industrial Revolution is the shift in the mid 1700’s from rural life, animal powered agriculture, and manufacturing by craftsman to an urban society powered by fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil

Ecological footprint is the cumulative amount of land and water required to provide the raw materials a person or population consumes and to dispose or recycle the waste that is produced
Sustainability is a guiding principle of environmental science that requires us to live in such a way as to maintain Earth’s systems and its natural resources for the foreseeable future
Capital is the starting resources of a country
Natural Capital is a country’s starting natural resources

Human Capital is the people and productivity of a country
Biodiversity is the variety of life across all levels of biological organization (including the diversity of species, their genes, their populations, and their communities) “Triple Bottom Line” is an approach to sustainability that attempts to meet environmental, economic, and social goals simultaneously

Environmental ethics are the application of ethical standards to relationships between human and nonhuman entities
– Hard to resolve; it depends on the person’s ethical standards and domain of ethical concern
Instrumental (Utilitarian) Value is valuing something for its pragmatic benefit by using it
Intrinsic (Inherent) Value is valuing something for its own sake because it has a right to exist
Stakeholders are people or organizations who have an interest or role to play in a situation
Environmental Justice is the fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental policy and practice, regardless of their income, race, or ethnicity Conservationism (Sustainability) means using a resource carefully in order to have it last

– Gifford Pinchot
Preservationism means leaving a resource/ecosystem untouched – John Muir
Transcendentalism is the appreciation of the environment
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
– Henry David Thoreau
– Walt Whitman
Aldo Leopold believed in land ethic
– Look into what you’re doing with the environment
– All parts of the ecosystem have value because they have roles to play Rachel Carson was an environmental activist
– Wrote Silent Spring about DDT poisoning
Malthus believed that population growth is checked by the environment through food, plagues, etc.

Economics studies how people use resources to provide goods and services in the face of demand
– Adam Smith: economy markets control selves through competition Goods are manufactured materials that are bought
Services are work done for others as a form of business
Cost-benefit analysis is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project, decision or governmental policy
– Can be controversial
– Not all costs and benefits can be identified or defined
External costs (externalities) are the costs or benefits involving people other than the buyer or seller
Affluenza means the accumulation of goods can’t make you happy – More prevalent in developed countries

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized goods and services produced within a country in a given period
Nonmarket values are benefits that the market cannot or will not put a monetary value on
– Ecosystem services
– Aesthetic value
– Spiritual value
– Education/Scientific
Policy a rule or guideline that directs individual, organizational or societal behavior – NAFTA
– Embargo
– Regulations
– Granting permits
– Taxes
– Fines
– Subsidies

Incentives policies that reward good behavior of positive changes Penalties are punishments for unwanted behavior or resistance to change – Lawsuits
– Revoking permits
– Fines
– embargos

Subsidies are money from the government to offset the cost of something Permit trading means allowing those people who emit less to sell their excess permits to those who emit more than the set amount

Command and Control Response is when the government sets out rules that dictate how companies will change
– Specific emission reduction % or technology
Market-Driven Response is when the government sets out goals, but allows companies flexibility in how they achieve goals
– Choosing technology, trading permits
Carrots
Incentives, rewards
Reward good behavior or positive changes
(usually above bare minimum)
Examples: Tax breaks, grants, subsidies

Sticks
Disincentives, punishments
Punish unwanted behavior or resistance to
change
Examples: fines, lawsuits, revoking of
licenses/permits

Ecolabeling is putting the environmental impact on label
Greenwashing is making something seem environmental because of demand North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace

World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs
European Union (EU) is an economic and political union or confederation of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe
World Trade Organization (WTO) is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade
Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government.

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