Berg4e lecture PPT ch01 final

welcome again to environmental science we’ll start off talking about some of the challenges that we as humans face living here on planet earth the human population is going to continue to increase into the future exactly how far it goes or where it stops is anyone’s guess but there’s no doubt that we as humans on this planet have substantially transformed the landscape that we live in we’ve been able to make it habitable for ourselves we’ve invented air conditioning so we can live in really hot climates and we’ve developed very efficient ways of heating homes to live in cold climates we as humans have the impact on this planet much greater than any other species that has ever been here we have the ability to destroy their habitats the meaning animals or alter the habitats that have led to a lot of animals and plants going extinct on this planet we also can have a huge impact on processes like nitrogen water carbon cycling that we’ll talk about in later chapters which relates to the challenges that we’re facing now with our climate change just as an example of our impact on the planet as of 2009 there were a total of over 5,000 566 species worldwide that were classified as being endangered and although species come and go extinction is natural the amount of extinction that we’ve caused since we’ve been a bigger impact on this planet clearly is greater than the natural background rate of extinction currently our population is over 7 billion and its projected that by the 21st century as we continue into the 21st century that there will be 7 billion more people added globally about one in four people live in poverty which means that they don’t earn much money and bottom line is they’re not really able to meet their basic needs for food shelter water clean drinking water and good nutrition for example over three billion people live in poverty and poverty is associated with illiteracy poor nutrition which then creates this downward spiral that leads to very short life expectancies human fertility rate varies of course across the world from a relatively small number of 1.7 in highly developed countries to over four and a half in the less developed countries but basically this means is that in the United States a fertility rate of 1.7 is replacement basically to people making about two babies on average whereas it’s substantially higher than that a developed countries hire hired highly developed countries also have more complex industrialized bases we have a lot of ways of developing our economy and this results in relatively low population growth rates and higher per person incomes later in the book when we get to the chapter on humans we’ll talk a little more detail about that and the differences between more and less developed countries will also talk more about the role of consumption which is the amount of materials and energy that we use and this basically still relates back to our Earth’s natural resources whether it’s something like coal or natural gas or wood or clean water highly developed countries are only about 18% of the world’s population highly developed countries being United States Canada Japan parts of Europe Australia so we’re only about one out of every five people on the planet so that means about 82 percent of the world’s population are live in less developed countries like Mexico although they’re more of a transition society turkey much of India much of China much of South America and much of Africa in these less or moderately developed countries key thing really to look at is this graph on on this slide that for a long long time the human population was relatively low and that probably means that that was what the Earth’s carrying capacity was in other words that many people was just the right amount to be provided all the stuff we need by the

earth but then you notice as we get into the mid or later 1800’s our population has been growing dramatically and again we’ll talk about some of the reasons that’s why that’s happened so even though we as highly developed countries are only about 20% of the world’s population the problem is that we consume far more research resources than those people in the less developed countries so it’s the people problem isn’t exactly how many people are on the planet it’s really more about how much resource we use and again unfortunately it’s the non-renewable types of resources that we built our societies on fossil fuels like coal and oil natural gas and even though there are huge amounts of these materials they still are only finite in supply meaning there’s there’s a lot of it but there’s only so much and it’s millions of years to actually make that stuff we’re using it much much much quicker than it can ever be rebuilt and so the challenge is again using non-renewable resources like we do today is going to cause problems that we’ll talk more about as we go through the class the reoccurring theme also in this class is going to be about how we need to switch from using non-renewable resources like petroleum products with more dependence on renewable resources like our trees our solar energy our wind power maintaining our soil and water so it can provide all the things we need for our survival because these things have the potential to be replaced in a short amount of time trees grow back after you harvest them you can let sail recover just put it aside and rest it for a little while if we need to we can manage our water we can utilize our sun’s energy to make energy for us that we can use to heat our homes cool our homes and power our automobiles so again a big theme in this class is the idea that we need to get away from using fossil fuels and we need to start using more and more renewable resources and again we’ll talk more about that near the end of the class so as a rule developing countries again the countries that are maybe in the process of becoming more industrialized generally tend to export their resources to develop countries because we as developed countries have probably already used a lot of our own resources and we have the money to buy resources from other countries so then as this population consumes more resources that means it’s going to cause more damage to the environment then if there were a smaller population of people so again it’s not about how many people are necessarily on the planet it’s about how much resources they consume and consumption is based on economic status you know the more money you have the more stuff you can buy and the better you feel about yourself and the higher place you live in within the within your social status so it can be cultural it can be economic it can be social but consumption really drives the problems we face on this planet one child living in a highly developed country such as the United States Japan etc environmental impact on on are much greater than twenty children a developing country so again one child in the United States has a greater impact on the environment than 20 children in any of our developing countries again because of the stuff we by the way our food is packaged all those things play into it highly developed nations again represent only about 20% of the population again the actual number is 18 but we generate 75% of pollution and waste and we consume way more than half of the world’s resources again eighty-six percent of the aluminum in the world is used by the 20% people living in the developed countries 76 percent of the timber 61 percent of the meat forty-two percent of the freshwater are consumed by the 20% of the world’s population who live in our developed countries certainly there are a lot of things that we in the developed countries do to try and be more more wise use of our resources

green roofs and cities where they are partially or maybe even completely covered with vegetation having that vegetation there allows for you know some of the air to be processed and cleaned it deflects some of the heat that otherwise the cities would gather up which affect how much pollution is created so again all those things are good and we have the money in the developed countries to use technology it’s just a matter of applying it across the board not just little bits here and there to make an impact worldwide it needs to be far more abundant that we do these kinds of things so again the environmental benefits of having green roofs in cities is is the reduction of heating in the winter and cooling in the summer it helps filter some of the pollutants out of the rainwater absorb some of the water that would otherwise just go into the sewer system and it can even provide a little bit of habitat for a wildlife in an area where otherwise there would be virtually no habitat as an example Chicago has the largest total area of green roofs of any US city and I don’t know what the percentage is off top of my head check the book for that but again it’s not Universal we’re not doing this in every city in the United States and certainly not every city in the world so notice as you go through the book there will be these environment environmental issues so make sure you make sure you read through those also things like environmental impacts one way that we’ve decided is is a good easy number to illustrate just how much of an impact individuals can have on the planet and how much country’s how much of an impact countries can have on the planet is this idea of an ecological footprint which is defined as the amount of land and water that’s needed to provide all of the energy the housing the fuel for our automobiles and all the other resources that we need to survive the allotted global footprint is about 4.3 acres so again if you take all the dry land on the planet and divide it by the number of people on the planet each of us would get about four acres of land to live on the average global footprint though is six point seven acres which obviously is more than four point three so basically what that saying is that to meet our lifestyle the way that we choose to live we would need more space than the earth has for us and again keep in mind not every acre of land on the earth is equal there are parts of the earth that are very dry and provide no ability to support life or very much life or areas that are far too cold to support life so basically the question is that how many earths do we need to support the current level of consumption that we that we have chosen to to live with and it tends to be about one and a half give or take again in developed countries like the United States it can be two or three or four Earth’s just depending on your particular lifestyle there’s a link on the Moodle page regarding ecological footprints I’d really recommend that you go there and take the little quiz that it provides for you it’ll ask you things like you know how often do you drive by yourself in a car how often do you fly how big is your home how many people live in your home and it’ll give you an estimate of how many Earth’s we would need if everybody on the planet used resources like you do again the global average is still that we need more land that we have on this earth if we’re going to continue to support the level of life that we have now again developing countries have much smaller individual footprints because of their large populations our overall footprint is high but each individual growing their own food burning local wood for their heat don’t have as huge of an impact individually on the earth as say a country like France or the United States again notice on this graph the per capita ecological footprint is about

one hectare per person in India but it’s almost 10 hectares per person in the United States so again it’s it’s a it’s a basically a mathematical model that’s used to assess the human impact on the environment which deals with the number of people the affluence of the society in other words how much money and how much consumption is is done in that society also the technology that’s used to obtain and consume those resources again developed countries like the US have the technology gee we have the money in the affluence and we choose to consume a lot of resources but with that said the problem that we face in the environment isn’t just the United States or it’s not just that there are too many people in India or China it’s about developing a sustainable level of consumption globally so it’s about the developed countries consuming less resources and it’s about to developing countries moving through a transition phase and being able to use better technology to use resources that don’t damage the environment as much again for example switching from burning coal which is the primary energy source in countries like China because it’s the cheapest energy source and moving towards things like solar and wind power which we haven’t in the United States even done fully yet very small percentage of our energy is generated with renewable sources of energy so we’ve got a long ways to go so we’re gonna revisit the word sustainability throughout the class and basically again sustainability is the ability for humans to meet our current needs without compromising the ability to meet our future needs so we’re not gonna use all the resources today and leave our children or our great-great-great grandchildren with fewer resources and this idea is based on on a variety of things that we have to take into account very important is our effects on the environment humans impacts on the environment we have to come to realize and I and we just haven’t yet that the earth’s resources are finite meaning they’re not infinitely available the resources can run out there’s a lot of petroleum under the Earth’s surface there’s a lot of natural gas there’s a lot of coal but it’s not an infinite supply it will run out it may run out in 20 years or it may not run out for a thousand years but it will run out we also have to understand the impacts of how we consume these resources on the environment and develop a shared responsibility too often we haven’t learned from our past mistakes when we first settled this country we came from a place Europe mostly where people had lived there for a very long time and a lot of the natural resources had been used up we didn’t have very many forests left back there for example and so when we landed on the North American continent and saw wildlife everywhere trees as far as you could see fertile soil we just kept using it and if it got exhausted someplace we just go somewhere else because there are always more trees over the next hill well it seems like we sort of learned that wasn’t the case eventually but then we thought well yeah but it won’t happen with water we’ll just you know find clean water over the next hill if this water is bad or if we use it up and so we’ve done that over and over again and still haven’t learned the the true meaning of being sustainable I mean we’re much better off than we were as far as our thoughts on that but we still get kind of stuck in our own little world think about us and not really think about how we individuals in the United States impact the world with how we consume and use resources there’ll also be sections in the book called environmental insights and this one talks about the role of oil consumption and basically how the amount of consumption that is increased from again about a half of a billion tonnes of oil in 1950 to well over four billion tons of oil in the 2000 above the year 2000 and how that level of increase just isn’t sustainable in the long run there’s no way we can continue to demand more and more and more oil

because it will run out eventually so again it’s always the combination of the number of people but again not just how many people but how we use the resources an ever-increasing amount of food and in potable water that will be needed for all of these people that are going to continue to to be born on this planet and then dealing with the waste that we generate how do we get this waste away and and take care of it in a you know environmentally friendly way and we’ll talk more about that later in the semester and how we need to rely on the renewable energy sources as opposed to the way it is now where we rely more and more on the non renewable sources of energy and raw materials again iron aluminium gold silver those kinds of things that basically again is an unsustainable level of demand that we’re putting on our resources when these resources run out again nobody really knows but we do know for sure that they will run out at some point in the future so we should be looking at alternatives now not the day before the last drop of oil gets pumped out of the ground climate change is a huge issue and it’s been so freaked for some time now and there always is going to be natural variation in climate we can look back at ice cores from the Arctic and basically relate the amount of carbon dioxide to the ambient temperature of the globe at that time and we can go back tens of thousands of years and find times when it was hotter than it is now and when it was colder than it is now so that’s certainly normal that climate has varied over the planet the challenge is to get people to understand that it’s not that the climate is changing today it’s how quickly it’s changing there’s no doubt in my mind and looking at the scientific evidence that humans have had a greater impact on the climate than we have ever had in the past and more importantly the changes are occurring quicker than they ever have naturally in the past the amount of co2 that we release by burning fossil fuels which accumulate in the atmosphere and cause the greenhouse effect that we’ll talk about later the industrial processes that we use today that generate pollutants and toxins again all of this is based on the amount of fossil fuels we consume from coal to natural gas to petroleum then you throw in the deforestation that’s occurring around the world again places like the United States we plant more trees than we cut down but there are a lot of places in the world where that isn’t the case they’re cutting those trees down to sell them to us and they’re not really worried about replanting them just like we weren’t a hundred years ago and then all of the land-use change anytime we take the native land and pave it over or start growing you know crops on it or building homes on it it changes the ability of the earth to kind of fix itself when there are problems so all of these things that we’re doing to the planet are definitely affecting the overall climate the graph up top shows how the levels of that misfortune dioxide have increased dramatically going back to the 1950s and 60s and again it’s not that it’s going up because that has happened before it’s how quickly it’s rising we’re having dramatic changes in decades that we would have seen in the past would have taken thousands of years so again it’s it’s about how quickly we are making these things happen on the planet deforestation around the world is out of control in those less developed countries millions of hectares of forest are loss which then results in loss of biodiversity if the plants are gone then the then the animals can’t survive there either so if we destroy forests to harvest them we’re destroying habitat for the plants and the animals also which then decreases biodiversity and we know that a more bio diverse habitat is more stable if we lose the stability of the environment then we just have these continuing problems that maybe will get so bad that we won’t have a way to fix them by deforesting areas you also release some carbon dioxide that can

contribute to the climate change not only does it affect global climates but certainly it’s gonna affect local climates it could be hotter they could be cooler they could be drier they could be wetter so it’s not all about just it getting hotter and drier some areas on the planet will get cooler and wetter but that could be just as bad if you think about it hotter and drier might mean that you won’t be able to grow the types of food that we grow to sustain ourselves but the same could happen if it’s cooler and wetter certain plants just might not be able to grow if it’s too short of a growing season or it doesn’t get hot enough in the summer we have a whole chapter devoted to our oceans and how important they are to life on the planet they cover about two-thirds of the planet they are home to about half of the world’s biodiversity fish for example but all the other things that live in the ocean oceans are important to us for climate regulation but more directly they’re important to us for a source of food everybody on this planet depends to some degree on commercial fish or seafood that we get from the ocean and over 70% of the world’s commercial fisheries are being depleted to the point where they may not be able to continue to provide us with food specific examples of things like tuna some of the cod species particularly in the Atlantic Ocean and again all of the other things locally that that people depend on like salmon shark swordfish those kinds of things are all being affected dramatically by overfishing combined with the pollutants that we continue to dump in the ocean coral reefs worldwide are being threatened by human activities where they develop diseases like black band disease or just being baked literally in the Sun where they then die off and affect the whole ecosystem that they live in so primarily with our oceans we’re looking at stresses like overfishing pollution the effects that greater co2 emissions are going to have as the global climates change again somehow to drier some wetter cooler but those kinds of changes still can have an impact on the ocean and again we’ll talk more about that and one of the other really huge ones is just the amount of development that occurs on the coastlines people like to live like to vacation on the coastlines and so as those areas continue to get developed what’s going to be the negative side effect well if you clear a coastline to build a resort and a nice sandy beach you’re destroying the habitats that once was there that provided a lot of different species of plants and animals with a place to live and thrive so again it’s just another example of decreasing the biologic diversity another global concern is this process of desert a’f ocation where through a combination of things like climate change over grazing animals which can result in the loss of vegetation if the vegetation isn’t growing in the soil then the soil can move and then basically that causes this decline in biodiversity so you can literally go from an area that was once productive where there were cattle or native animals that would Grey’s to an area that virtually is a desert it may not be a sandy desert like the image on the inset here which would be examples of areas in Asia and northern Africa that literally are deserts but it could be anywhere on the planet even with with good topsoil if we over graze it and then we have drought like we’re in right now that can lead to damaging the environment it can certainly recover but it may not recover for decades another issue that’s right up there with climate change is the depletion of the ozone layer especially around the polar icecaps I can see the image that shows where the polar ice cap was back in the 1950s and then as of the year 2000 and where it’s projected to be in the next 40 or so years again the general trend over the last 50 or so years is that it

has been shrinking it’s been melting at a very quick rate much quicker than any time in our history that we’re aware of and even though we’ve fixed some of the reasons for it to be happening like that we’ve banned chlorinated floral carbons that were in things like hairspray in the past the ozone layer is still thinning and it’s allowing more UV radiation to escape through the the atmosphere UV is a deadly type of radiation currently our atmosphere filters out most of it so we get a little bit of it on this planet that we need for sustaining our life but when it starts becoming too much it can start causing skin cancer it can start just causing death of it’s like nuking plants or animals the cells die and that could lead to the actual plant or animal dying from it so again we’ve fixed some of the things that have caused ozone depletion but like all the other problems on the planet they didn’t happen overnight and so they can’t be fixed overnight the Earth’s is gonna take time to heal if you break leg or or get a major cut it doesn’t go away in a day or two it takes time the earth takes time to heal when it’s been affected so with all that doom and gloom it’s kind of get back to the to the overall perspective of this class it’s called environmental science so probably we ought to know what environmental science is if we’re going to talk about it for the next 17 weeks or so your book defines it as an interdisciplinary study of our relationship with other living things on the planet and our relationship with the nonliving things on the planet or the physical environment the key about environmental science is that it’s it’s a combination of a lot of different studies it is biology which which is about the you know studying the plants and animals and that kind of thing but it also has to do with geology studying the Earth’s formations and rocks geography chemistry economics we make a lot of our environmental decisions based on economics and in politics and law as well as the environment itself we also have to take into account ethics making ethical judgments and ethical decisions about the things we are doing to the planet keep in mind that ecology is a fundamental or basic tool of environmental science I am a biologist I have my background as in wildlife like I mentioned in the introductory slide show and in a perfect world I would want all of our environmental decisions to be based on what’s right for the environment should we do this based on is it okay for the environment will it hurt the environment will it benefit the environment that would be a perfect world but the reality is because a lot of our environment provides us with income politics and economics play a role we might not make the best environmental decision in lieu of making a good political decision the politically correct thing to do or the economically best opportunity for us using our resources but again the foundation is still ecology and biology and chemistry but we also again have to take into account all of those other things so when we look at making a decision about the environment we try to take into account a variety of different things not just the scientific perspective although I still argue that the scientific perspective should be the foundation and we go from there our goals within environmental science are to establish these general principles that are based on how the world works and how the world functions which of course that has to be based on science and then we also try to identify and understand and solve the problems that we as humans have created and we should focus on trying to solve these problems based on our scientific knowledge and following the scientific process again that that is the foundation but in reality politics and economics have a role as well the reason I keep going

back to the fact that we should base our decisions on science and is that there is a process involved in science and it’s important that we follow it and even all of you that aren’t maybe interested in a career in a science type field just as a person living on the planet you really need to understand how science works so that when you hear something on TV or you read something in a magazine or you see something on the internet you can try to objectively look at it and determine a scientific value of that information so in order to make a good judgment you have to understand the process so science is a body of knowledge that we build on we we build basic knowledge and then build a little more on that and then build a little more on that and this involves us collecting data and then trying to interpret that data objectively and just what does the data tell us so we use this scientific method to understand the principles that govern the operation of the natural world let’s go back to this this process of science and building on our knowledge I always like to use the analogy of building a house so first is the foundation of the house right could be a wood foundation I guess it could be a dirt foundation if you’re in a less developed country it could be concrete or it could be some other material we can’t build a house without first building a foundation and then we have to build the framework of the house the walls the two by fours that make the walls and then we have to put a roof over it and and put siding on it and insulate it and then we build all the little details on the inside like the doorknobs and the cupboards and the handles on the cupboards and the flooring on the inside there are times when we build knowledge scientifically we build our foundation we put the walls up we get a roof on it and then all of a sudden through further investigation we realize that the foundation isn’t quite right so you might have to tear that house back down to the foundation and rebuild the foundation and then start building on that foundation again that’s exactly what science is like we learn our mistakes we build on our knowledge and sometimes we have to go backwards and fix things that we found out later just weren’t quite right so basically the scientific method involves this process of basically making an observation so we’re starting with step one at the top of this figure we make an observation we noticed something we we ask a question and we don’t know the answer to it why is this happening in the environment decades ago we might have asked the question why does it seem like some places on the planet are getting hotter and drier than they used to be or why are the coral reefs bleaching and dying out what’s causing that well I don’t know but let’s follow the scientific process and try and figure that out so once we have this unanswered question then our goal is to develop a hypothesis which is basically an educated guess our best guess of what’s happening then we make predictions based on that hypothesis so why are the coral reefs bleaching out well maybe it’s because there’s a disease in those coral reefs so that would be our hypothesis it’s a disease that’s killing the coral reefs so then we would make a prediction that we would look for a disease and if that disease is present and the coral reefs that are dying out but it’s not present in the coral reefs that are healthy then that could be the reason so to test that we design an experiment that specifically tests that hypothesis of ours we collect the data we analyze it we try and interpret it to understand what it means in other words we’re trying to reach a conclusion and basically that conclusion is going to be is it is our hypothesis true or not true is a disease present in coral reefs that are dying and that disease is not present in the coral reefs that are healthy then it might be that our hypothesis was correct that it’s a disease killing the coral reefs but notice at this point now about looking at our hypothesis whether or not it’s true or false

now there’s feedback if our hypothesis turns out to be true that doesn’t mean we stop and say great we solved the problem let’s move on it actually means that we go back and do some more testing we look at other coral reefs we go to other places on the planet and do the same test we keep trying to verify the hypothesis approving the hypothesis once doesn’t matter it only matters if you can prove it over and over and over again then it becomes a foundation that we can start building on only after we have approved it many many many times if we don’t prove our hypothesis we reject it we might go back earlier then and revise our hypothesis rewrite it look for a different explanation and start all over again we then basically once we’ve retested learn from our data then we need to share that knowledge with other scientists who might also be interested in testing the hypothesis but maybe in a different way than we did they maybe they had different observations than we did and yeah our science was good we followed the process but maybe by tweaking the hypothesis or looking for a different answer we might learn more about that process so again the key thing about the scientific method is it follows a step-by-step process only good science will follow this process and then the other key thing is that we don’t just do it once and say great we retest and retest over and over for decades maybe hundreds or thousands of years and only when we’ve continually proven our can we then say this is a good foundation and we can start building the rest of the house on this foundation now so kind of how does this relate to you well again with all of the information that that all of us are exposed to on television and all the media resources especially the internet it’s important for us to weed out the good and the bad stuff how do you do that well look at the information they’re providing and ask yourself did this follow the scientific method do they have a hypothesis did they test that hypothesis collecting data did they analyze it do their conclusions make sense based on the data and you know how many times did they redo this experiment how many samples did they collect all of those are questions that each of us should ask about any science we read before we formulate our own opinion so to summarize them the hypotheses that that are generated in science are based on what we believe to be true and very importantly they’re based on prior scientific work either work we did or work that we’ve read in journals that somebody else did we also need to hold it to just one variable at a time we don’t want to test if a coral reef is dying because of diseases and warmer water and more sunlight and a bunch of other things all at the same time we want to focus on one variable at one time other people might test other variables we might test other variables over time but for a given experiment it needs to be held to one variable and also a very important part of science is is having control groups one example you’ve probably seen or heard on TV the the drug commercials out there and talking about how much the drugs help what they typically do in a drug study to see how efficient or effective it is is they’ll have 20 people that are given the drug so maybe you have 20 people that have a certain type of cancer and you give them the drug that you think is going to help but you also need to have 20 people who also have that same cancer who are not getting the drug they’re just getting a placebo something that should have no benefit to them with respect to helping cure their cancer so the people getting the placebo would be the control group and you would expect they aren’t benefited by that placebo so if that drug really has a positive benefit it would show up in the people that are getting the actual drug

all science needs to be based on having control groups 20 people for a total of 40 people is not a very good sample size it typically should be something and maybe the hundreds but we’ll talk more about that later again look for research that has control groups because that means it was done following the scientific method and then again after we’ve tested and tested and and our hypothesis has been supported by the data then we might develop what’s called a theory like the theory of evolution scientists have been studying that for a long time and based on the data that’s been collected the explanation of natural selection seems to be the best one so far and so then at some point that theory is really what becomes the foundation that we build on to learn more and more about those different things it’s also very important to realize that science is constantly evolving like I said if we believe we have a good foundation now and we start building a house on it but then realize eventually there’s evidence that shows that maybe our foundation isn’t good then we we as scientists need to step backwards and that may change the conclusions that we come to the bottom line is that it’s it’s the goal of science to explain nature why and how things happen in nature and in this class specifically it relates to then how can we use that information to address the environmental problems that we have been causing on this planet again using a scientific objective approach the ideal approach to handling these environmental problems is by systematically addressing each of the problems doing scientific assessment and again you can kind of follow this little flow chart in your book doing risk analysis sort of looking at the potential you know ups and downsides of things involve the public so they’re aware of what’s going on that way they’re supportive of you or or not but making sure that public understands what’s going on is it’s crucial to being successful in trying to fix problems but also then of course realizing political issues come into play the politicians are the ones that ultimately make the rules and laws and regulations we elect them though keep that in mind politicians that don’t support the types of things we believe are important can get on you know get get not re-elected and then we choose somebody that we believe is going to do the right thing for us so politics are certainly a huge consideration in this process and then looking at the long term management of these issues it’s not again about solving the problem today and tomorrow making sure we have fuel to power our cars and 5-years environmental problems are our things that need to be addressed in the terms of decades hundreds of years thousands of years and again that scale is pretty difficult for most people to really appreciate but that’s why we have to be thinking about it we always come back to there are lots of technologies we can utilize to solve our problems there are things that are necessary evils like landfills one of the big challenges is that we’ve got this idea of not in my backyard yeah it’s great we should do solar power we should have more wind energy just don’t put them anywhere that I can see them I don’t want to have to look at a bunch of windmills I don’t want to have to look at you know a sanitary landfill in my backyard we have places like Yucca Mountain in Nevada that is the primary storage site for nuclear waste it’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere so nobody has to notice it or no one has to worry that they’re too close to it but that’s not always feasible we can’t generate energy only in the places where people don’t live because where does where’s the energy needed it’s needed where we live so we have to kind of come up with this philosophy as humans that we need to to get away from this idea of not in my backyard it has to be in everybody’s backyard to a degree these things have to be addressed we have to have solar and wind energy scattered around the country in places where it

works we can’t just put the landfills 200 miles out of a town because then how much is it gonna cost to get it there our trash pickup is gonna go up in price double triple just because we have to truck it so far away and again we’ll talk more about this in upcoming chapters the chapter one ends talking about a case study the New Orleans New Orleans disaster related to Katrina back in August of 2005 lots of damage to the to the natural landscape because of things that we did New Orleans is is under the ocean level it’s surrounded by a big levee as you probably all know we were artificially kind of main that city and when we had the hurricane and the levee broke and the city’s flooded and all the sediment that that got poured in there all the development that was done just to build the city draining wetlands and the fact that the city is slowly sinking because it’s not built on bedrock just all kinds of those problems occur on the world we are very good at modifying the environment to fit our needs and if all things are in perfect condition then maybe that’s okay when the environment sort of starts fighting back there can be catastrophic issues that occur oceans rising because of the polar ice caps melting a lot of people in the world live close to the ocean if the ocean level rises a few feet and we lose millions of acres of land people have to move where do they go do they just move inland where there are already people living so again we’ll address all of these questions as we continue into the next chapters