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Unit Environment:

Unit Environment:. Intro: http://www.unep.org/gc/gc23/UNEPLAST.html David Suzuki-Test Tube Clip: http://testtube.nfb.ca/#/testtube Story of stuff: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ http://breathingearth.net/. Why care about the environment?.

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Unit Environment:

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  1. Unit Environment: Intro: http://www.unep.org/gc/gc23/UNEPLAST.html David Suzuki-Test Tube Clip: http://testtube.nfb.ca/#/testtube Story of stuff: http://www.storyofstuff.com/ http://breathingearth.net/

  2. Why care about the environment? • “a great change in our stewardship (care of) the earth and the life on it is required, if the vast human misery is to be our avoided” • More storms, droughts, destruction of natural resources (economicgreater taxes) • Up north a war could be fought! • Some countries including US, Russia, Denmark, and Norway see the potential for economic wealth from oil and natural gas deposits in the Arctic seabed and shipping lanes through an ice-free Northwest Passage

  3. Population and Resources • 80 million babies born every year • Mostly in developing world, so less impact • 20% of population consume 85% world’s resources • 20% is in Industrialized western countries • If small fraction of developing world lived like developed world, Earth would quickly be overwhelmed with pollution and waste • Earth’s carrying capacity is being lost! http://www.royalsaskmuseum.ca/gallery/life_sciences/footprint_mx_2005.swf Your footprint! http://www-popexpo.ined.fr/eMain.html

  4. Feeding a growing population • 1500 litres of water produce 1 kg of wheat, while 500 litres for 1 kg of potatoes • More MEAT more DAIRY-1000 litres of water to make 1 litre of milk, and nearly 16000 for 1 kg of beef. • Added to this are the costs of deforestation to create grazing land, energy use to ship food, and depletion of resources.

  5. Maintaining economic growth without compromising the environment. • Focus of the 1987 Bruntland Commission (aka: UN Commission on the State of the Environment). • Called on developed world to reduce consumption & live sustainability • Called on developing world to reduce population growth • Canadians look to gov’t to take action, but gov’t and international actions have failed • 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil produced statement of action called Agenda 21 • Intended to encourage development of sustainable world economy • Over 10 years later, little progress has been made First Nations Approach • Environmental stewardship (sustainable management) • In the Squamish Lil’wat teach “that we should keep in mind seven genera rations ahead of us in everything we do, to ensure that we care for future generations as well as present.” Sustainability

  6. Issue #1:Species Extinction • Definition: When a species is threatened to extinction. • Causes: Habitat loss, deforestation, pollution, over-hunting, not being able to adapt to environmental changes. • Global Effects: We lose an important part of the food chain/web, other species are affected. • Human Health Effects: The food chain will be effected, and humans are at the top of the food chain. There could be an increase of pests or an outbreak of diseases, loss of medical cures. 1) Genetic Resources (loss of genes) 2) Potentially useful in the future (medicine) 3) Loss may threaten stability of ecosystems 4) Aesthetic value (beauty – and species have a value in themselves regardless of any human use) • Areas of Focus: The food chain/food web/ecosystems. • Possible Solutions: Selective logging, recycling instead of polluting the environment or proper disposal, and to not over hunt or hunt endangered species. Breeding programs, wildlife protection programs, strict laws against hunting endangered animals. Problem is political, cultural, economic and ecological • International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) • Prevent commercial trade of endangered species • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)=advises government how to protect species • Captive breeding programs • Protecting African’s Animals = Elephant and rhinoceros parts are being protected by trade bans in the EU, US, and Japan • Rhino horn is medicinal and in North Yemen it is a status symbol=leads to poaching=>Kenya has ordered to kill poachers on sight, and they have tried to dehorn the rhinos

  7. Issue #2-Water: The Indispensable Resource • Intro=Animation on Water-see cd • Value of fresh water underrated • 3% of world’s water is fresh water • Is enough to supply the world, but distribution is unequal. • 78% of that locked in ice caps and glaciers • Remainder is underground (ground water) • Great Lakes = 18% world’s surface fresh water • Developed nations known for water waste and pollution

  8. Lake Erie • Shallowest of Great Lakes • By 1960s & 1970s became very polluted -June 22, 1969, Cuyahoga River that feeds Lake Erie caught on fire • NOT THE FIRST TIME! 1936 blow torch spark ignited debris & oil floating on surface. Several other fires also occurred, but June 1969 caught international attention. • Time Mag: “Cuyahoga oozes rather than flows” and “a person does not drown but decays” • Sparked Clean Water Act and number of other USA-Canada agreements. Pollution persists, though fires less common.

  9. In fact most of our fresh water is locked underground in AQUIFERS • Problems: • Can be hard to access • Can get polluted • Can become depleted from overuse • Groundwater supply threatened by: • Increasing population • Diversions of surface supply (agriculture) • 40% world’s harvests come from irrigation • USA, China & India facing reduced g.w. supplies • These three nations produce ½ the world’s food • Last ½ 20th C, amount of irrigated land more than doubled (over 250 million hectares) • Farmers had better technologies to access groundwater • Access water in “Aquifers” Abusing Groundwater

  10. Ogallala Aquifer - USA • One of the largest aquifers in the world, but is depleting quickly from agriculture (greatest user of freshwater!) • Aquifer is also heavily used for golf courses • In 50 years, reduced by 50% • US gov’t allows “groundwater depletion” as tax write off for farmers…so much for conservation! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQRvN6MUajE

  11. Water supply is cheap and reliable • Once depleted, takes long time to recharge • North China Plain where most China’s food produced, water table falling 1.5 m per year • India’s water tables falling 1-3 m per year and could reduce India’s harvest by 25%, making India more dependent on imported grain Aquifers

  12. Lakes, Rivers & Coastal Waters • Disposal for sewage & agricultural + industrial waste • Tanker accidents • Municipal waste water=human waste, detergents & solvents • Farmers = herbicides & pesticides • Industry=oil refinery, pulp mill & chemical factory waste http://www.brainpop.com/science/earthsystem/watersupply/preview.weml http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9rse9eUaDY&feature=related Abusing Surface Water

  13. Eutrophication and biomagnification • Eutrophication-the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen • Biomagnification-the accumulation of a substance (as a pesticide) in a living organism and builds up as you move up the food chain http://coseenow.net/blog/2008/11/eutrophication-animation/ • http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/pae/environmentalscience/enger8e/animations/bioaccumulation.mov

  14. Solutions! • Current technology can = sustainable water management • Micro-dams • More efficient rainwater harvesting • Reclaimed/recycled water • De-salinated seawater • Low energy sprinkler systems • Drip irrigation directing water to roots • High efficiency/low flow toilets • Taxes or user rates to encourage water conservation

  15. Change Is in the Air: Issue 3: Air Pollution The Ozone Layer • Ozone layer =thin layer 15-50 Km above surface of Earth • O3=only gas that can block UV rays from sun • UV rays can cause skin cancer • Damages plant and animal species (plankton) • Penetrates up to 20 m into ocean • Depletion most evident at N & S Poles, esp in Spring • 60% depleted above Antarctica • Why there? Higher levels of chlorine found there will react to destroy the Ozone! http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/ozone.htm http://www.brainpop.com/science/earthsystem/ozonelayer/

  16. Chemicals, esp. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) cause 80% of damage • Widely used since 1930s • Coolants for fridges & air conditioners • In foams, solvents & aerosol spray cans • UN Environmental Program (UNEP) working to phase out use of ozone depleting chemicals • Montreal Protocol (1987) all industrial nations agree to cut use of CFCs by 2000 • Amount of chemicals released increasing • Only complete elimination of CFCs & recapture of those in the atmosphere will halt damage to the Ozone Layer • Simple phasing out of CFCs = 100 yrs to reach 1980’s atmospheric condition http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/information/video/ozzy.htm#english http://www.ozonelayer.noaa.gov/science/ozhole.htm Ozone Depletion

  17. Issue #4 • Gases trap heat energy from sun similar to a greenhouse • Natural factors (volcanoes, meteor impacts) have caused climate change in past • Since industrial Rev. burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) = more CO2 in atmosphere • Causes rise in temperature 1-3 degrees by 2050 (slight changes=profound impact) Global Warming http://www.brainpop.com/science/ourfragileenvironment/globalwarming/

  18. Known: • Causes increase in heat waves and violence of storms • Melts glaciers in Polar regions causing rise in sea level Suspected: • Diseases extend range due to warmer temp • Earlier arrival of Spring in some regions • Shifting plant & animal ranges • Coral reefs losing colours as algae fail to adapt to warmer water temps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpu7IZcdzXE and Animation-see cd http://www.unep.org/wed/2007/english/melting_ice.swf ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J1ydwbO320&feature=related EPA kids animation: http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/animations.html Global Warming in pictures: http://www.msnbc.com/modules/interactive.aspx?type=ss&launch=16913964,3032493&pg=1 Impact

  19. Problems • Arctic sea ice shrinking & seasonal melt = weeks earlier than in past • Polar bears starving, need ice to hunt seals • Bears’ birth rate & av. Weight has fallen • Arctic communities face sinking shorelines as permafrost melts • Survival rate of BC’s spawning salmon 1/3rd what it was in 1990 • Warmer water temps deplete phytoplankton salmon eat, less growth, smaller fish can’t survive swim upstream • Ripple effect in ocean food chain if salmon stocks reduced • Winter recreation areas economically impacted by warmer winters • Freak weather systems & devastating storms more likely • More droughts and forest fires • Permafrost (soil up North) melts and releases methane gas much more potent than CO2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVpQnpWS2wU • Arctic Sovereignty-potential wars fought over oil rich area as Northwest Passage melts Benefits • Tree line could be extended further north and higher up mountains • Longer growing seasons could benefit farmers • Possibly offset by droughts Canada

  20. More Consequences associated with climate change ON FORESTS • Loss of carbon sink-Death releases more CO2 • Pine Beetle spread ON AGRICUTLURE (SEE LEFT) ON WATER • Melt of Glaciers-HIMALAYAS • LESS PRODUCTIVITY • Contamination/bacterial growth • Rising Sea Levels • More floods

  21. The Kyoto Protocol Solution • Kyoto Protocol • Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% of our 1990 levels by 2012 • Countries not meeting reduction targets could buy credits from others that were below allotted levels (developing nations could benefit greatly) • Canada among top emitters of greenhouse gases, and despite Kyoto our levels are increasing • 1990s fossil fuel industry campaigned vs. Kyoto standards: too costly in $$ and jobs • While Federal gov’t signed, Prov gov’t must regulate industries • 2000: Ontario listed as NA’s 2nd worst polluter = not taking Kyoto or global warming seriously-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9tCenQh3Rw&feature=related

  22. Bali, 2007 • New agreement to replace Kyoto • One group wanted to stick with Kyoto to reduce 25-40 by 2020 • Second group, included Canada, Japan, Russian and many APEC supported flexible goals for each nation (criticized as too soft!)

  23. Copenhagen 2009 • Developing nations like China and India blame developed countries for Climate Change. • Claim that they should not be restricted because they need to be stronger economically to reduce poverty • A few developed countries did agree to cut GHG, but no targets set! It was not unanimously accepted therefore did not pass! • The Maldives a developing nation claims: that if they (a poor developing nation) can become carbon neutral, any country can do it especially developed (where they have technology, but no political will)

  24. Approaches on limiting GHG emmission

  25. Issue #4– Acid Rain • Acid Rain is caused by emissions from cars – but mostly factories • The gasses like sulphur oxide and nitric oxide mix with rain and fall as “poison rain”

  26. Effects of Acid Rain • Forests, plants, and lakes become highly ACIDIC – high PH reading • Building become destroyed • Water becomes toxic http://goanimate.com/videos/02VLWVlKPrKY http://www.absorblearning.com/media/item.action?quick=vd

  27. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9owddp0wQ&feature=related Renewable/Non-Renewable Resources • Renewable – Water, wood, wind power, solar power, geothermal energy • Non-renewable – Fossil fuels, coal, oil, gas, nuclear power-Burning causes some of the issues we saw earlier: CO2Global Warming NOX/SOXAcid Rain CFCs-Ozone Layer Depletion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBTnVoEIb98 

  28. Where does our energy come from for…? • Electric light • Mobile phones • Power for your mp3 • TV • Hot Water

  29. To generate electricity… • You need an energy source, e.g. coal • This is burnt to produce heat or steam • The heat or steam then drives a turbine • The turbine then can drive a generator • The generator then produces electricity • The electricity is then transported in cables to where it is needed

  30. Non-Renewable Resources: COAL What is it? • Formed underground from decaying plant material How much left in the world? • About 200 years Advantages? • Plenty left • Mining is getting more efficient Disadvantages? • Pollution: CO2 emissions (linked to global warming), SO2 (linked to acid rain) • Heavy & bulky to transport

  31. Non-Renewable Resources: OIL What is it? • Formed underground from decaying animal and plant material How much left in the world? • About 40 years! Advantages? • Quite easy to transport • Efficient in producing energy • Less pollution than coal Disadvantages? • Not much left • Pollution: air and danger of water pollution through spills

  32. Gulf of Mexico- Fragile • BP is losing 480 million dollars in oil every day from the spill • They are not expecting to have solved the spill before the end of August • They are being investigated for criminal charges

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