Chapter 1 Summary

Chapter 1
Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability

Summary
1. All life depends on energy from the sun, solar capital, and the resources and ecological services of the earth, natural capital, to survive. An environmentally sustainable society provides for the current needs of its people without undermining (侵蝕…基礎)the ability of future generations to do the same.

2. The world’s population is growing about 1.2% per year, which adds about 77 million people per year. Economic growth increases a country’s capacity to provide goods and services to its people. Economic development uses economic growth to improve standards of living(生活水準). Globalization is a process of increasingly interconnecting(相互關連) people through social, economic, and environmental global changes.

3. The earth’s main resources are perpetual resources(持久性長流資源) like solar energy, renewable resources (更新資源)like forests and fresh water, and nonrenewable resources(不可更新資源) like oil and gas. The resources can be depleted(用盡) or degraded(退化) by overuse, by waste, by pollution, and by man’s increasing “ecological footprint(生態足跡).”

4. The principle(主要的) types of pollution are air, water, soil, and food pollutants. We can prevent pollution or clean up pollution. Prevention is far preferable(更好) because cleaning up pollution often causes additional pollutants in another part of the environment.

5. The basic causes of today’s environmental problems are population growth, wasteful use of resources, the tragedy of the commons, poverty, poor environment accounting, and ecological ignorance(漠視生態). They are interconnected because of political and economic practices that are not equitable for various populations, in resource consumption and in technological applications.

6. The world’s current course is not sustainable. Environmental sustainable development encourages environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth and discourages environmentally harmful growth.
Last modified: Sunday, 4 October 2009, 1:17 AM