Human Population Growth and Demographics

Human Population Growth and Demographics

 

The purpose of this assignment is to see the different opinions between the two views (Cornucopians and Cassandras).

Current human population:

The human population is now so large and is growing rapidly.  In the next few years human population is going to be twice bigger than it is now, that means, earth could not support so many population and the problems are going to be many and without solutions.

Causes of increased human population:

Some causes of increased human population are:

  • This explosive growth came about because death rates fell faster than birth rates.
  • A rise in average life expectancy has also contributed to the surge in human numbers.
  • Fertility is the key to population growth over the long term (in order to maintain a stable population size, a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 us needed).

Cornucopian’s and Cassandra’s views:

“Cornucopian is a worldview that we will find ways to make earth’s natural resources meet all of our needs indefinitely and that human ingenuity will see us through any difficulty.” (Brennan Scott, Withgott Jay pg.  200)

“Cassandra is a worldview that predicts doom and disaster as a result of our environmental impacts.” (Brennan Scott, Withgott Jay pg.  154)

From Our point of view:

Of course there is a problem, considering the fact that the earth’s population has raised dramatically in the last years.  Elaborating on that we would say that the existing problem has nothing to do with the space, the earth is huge and it can hold more people than we believe, the actual problem is that if new generations have the same behavior as the previous ones then the problem is the that the earth is going to be destroyed and along with that, mankind.  Other than that we know that those who hold the reins are not going to allow overpopulation (i.e. diseases-cancer (they won’t give the medicine out), HIV).

Paul Ehrlich and the IPAT equation:

“Paul Erlich is a biologist and author of the best-selling book The Population Bomb. Since the release of this book in 1968, Ehrlich has been one of the most frequently cited “experts” on environmental issues by the media, despite the fact that his predictions on the fate of the planet, more often than not, have been wrong. In The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted that hundreds of millions of people would die of starvation during the 1970s because the earth’s inhabitants would multiply at a faster rate than world’s ability to supply food.” (http://www.nationalcenter.org/dos7111.htm)

IPAT:

IPAT model, it is a variation of a formula proposed in 1974 by Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren.  The IPAT model represents how our total impact (I) on the environment results from the interaction among population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T).

I=P x A x T

USA:

The population of United States is approximately 311,320,823.  A big number of population but is a country that is increasing in technology.

China:

The population of China is more than 1,4 billion.  China has the biggest population The current affluent size in china is approximately 2,9 million and is going to rise until to 2015.  China except the problem of the overpopulation we must say that they are increasing day by day their technology which is something important.

Greece:

The population of Greece is approximately 10,964,020 million people. Greece is a country that it has a number of population which is normal but it has problems for example in technology which in nowadays is something important, is not decreasing but also is not increasing.


Predictions by Paul Erlich:

“The battle to feed all of humanity is over.  In the 1970’s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.  At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate, although many lives could be saved through dramatic programs to “stretch” the carrying capacity of the earth by increasing food production.  But these programs will only provide a stay of execution unless they are accompanied by determined and successful efforts at population control.  Population control is the conscious regulation of the numbers of human beings to meet the needs, not just of individual families, but of society as a whole.

Nothing could be more misleading to our children than our present affluent society.  They will inherit a totally different world, a world in which the standards, politics, and economics of the 1960’s are dead.  As the most powerful nation in the world today, and its largest consumer, the United States cannot stand isolated.  We are today involved in the events leading to famine; tomorrow we may be destroyed by its consequences.” (For further information about the issue visit the following site:  http://brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/91)

Hans Rosling:

“Hans Rosling is professor of international health at Karolinska Institute (KI), the medical university in Stockholm, Sweden.  During the last 20 years he performed field surveys investigating outbreaks of konzo in famine threaten remote rural areas in five African countries. The causes were traced to a combination of malnutrition and the dietary cyanide from inadequately processed bitter cassava roots that due to hunger were consume without. His research started with analysis of links between poverty, hunger, gender relations and health in small scale farming systems. It now deals with links between health and absolute poverty at both micro and macro level.” (http://www.oecd.org/speaker/0,3438,en_21571361_31834434_33614811_1_1_1_1,00.html)

Impressions from the speech of Hans Rosling:

The truth is that we have been impressed from all the speech, it was very interesting how many things we can understand from a diagram.  One thing that impressed us it was in the very beginning of the speech who speaks about the western world and developing world the long life in small family and it refers to the western world and the short life in large families and he refers to the developing worlds.

My partner is Michael

 

References:

http://www.nationalcenter.org/dos7111.htm

http://brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/91

 

 http://www.oecd.org/speaker/0,3438,en_21571361_31834434_33614811_1_1_1_1,00.html

 

Withgott, J & Brennan, S.  (2010) Environment: The science behind the stories. Fourth ed.  San Francisco: Pearson ed

Michael

Elli


Introducing Ecological Footprint in its Depth~!

The purpose of this assignment is, as the title says, to find and understand some parts of the ecological footprint that we didn’t think before, in other words to understand it to its full depth! (In my point of view at least)

Definition of Ecological Footprint: Represents the total area of biologically productive land and water neede to produce the resources and dispose of the waste for a given person ofr population. The footprint of an average citizen of an affluent nation is much larger that the physical are in which th perosn lives day to day!

 

 “Yield factor : A factor that accounts for differences between countries in productivity of a given land type. Each country and each year has yield factors for cropland, grazing land, forest, and fisheries. For example, in 2005, German cropland was 2.3 times more productive than world average cropland. The German cropland yield factor of 2.3, multiplied by the cropland equivalence factor of 2.6 converts German cropland hectares into global hectares: one hectare of cropland is equal to 6.0 gha. ”

Grow our own Food should be reconsidered :Food produced at distant places is something that harms our Ecological Footprint. In other words, imagine an amount of food that is being produced in Greece and it has to be delivered in America, first of all there is a big chance of this food to lose it’s good quality, in result of that we need to produce more food; besides that the amount of gasoline that is going to be spent in order all this food to be delivered there is huge.

Assuming that you are an American (not all of us are in this class), you live in New York City (2009 population estimate 8,363,710), and that the average American eats 1 kg (2 pounds) of food per day, calculate the food transportation costs for each category in the table below (U.S. 2009 population estimates 307,006,550).

Questions

  1. What specific challenges to environmental sustainability are imposed by a food production and distribution system that relies on long-range transportation to bring food to market?

 

“What is Environmental Sustainability?

Environmental sustainability is the ability of the environment to function indefinitely without declining from stresses caused by anthropogenic activities. In simpler terms, a sustainable environment is capable of meeting humanity’s present needs without compromising the wellbeing of future generations. Certain human behaviors are leading to a less reliable environment for future generations. In their rigorous quest for energy, humans are consuming natural resources inefficiently and impacting environmental systems negatively.”

First of all when we are talking about long-range transportation we mean that in any case the food must be transported in highly secured environment in order not to get the food spoiled.

Furthermore, it is not just the danger of food spoiling but also the amount of gas and oil those means of transportation need to distribute all this food! Therefore we must be aware that even though importing/transporting food is something good (meeting cultures, etc) but on the other hand there are a couple of disadvantages  that have bad consequences for the environment!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Local Food

2.   A study by Pirog and Benjamin (2003) noted that locally produced food in theU.S.traveled only 80 kilometers (appx 50miles) or so to the market, thus saving 96% of the transportation costs. Locally grown foods may be fresher and cause less environmental impact as they are brought to market, but what are the disadvantages to you as a consumer in relying on local food production? Do you think the advantages outweigh those disadvantages?

When you consume local food is of course much healthier, but some disadvantages are that you cannot produce the amount of food to satisfy all the needs of the citizens plus when you just grow your own food and you don’t import you don’t have the right variety of important food, that is needed in a man’s diet.  Also  when you import, you can never be sure about the quality of the food. For instance, in Europe everything that is being imported is controlled from the European Union, but still you can never be sure of what you consume!

To sum up, even though the advantages and disadvantages of local food, what characterizes globalization is trading between nations therefore obviously the advantages do not outweigh the disadvantages.

The Issue of Gasoline Price

3.  What happened to the gasoline prices recently? How would future increases in the price of gas affect your answers to the preceding questions?

Gasoline price along with all prices are going up nowadays, everything in the market works like a chain if a price of certain basic product increases then most likely most prices we increase as well; hence all the numbers I mentioned before will change. If you think about it is logical, if the price of gasoline rises then people won’t spend that much money on food therefore food prices will fall, following this logic everything in the market place changes.(and maybe will keep increasing)

4. If you are an American, how do you think these figures apply to other countries or your country? Where do you base your assumptions?

Using this site: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_home_page.html what we absorb is the following….

Refernces:

1) http://www.suite101.com/content/environmental-sustainability-a301993

2) http://www.google.com/books?hl=el&lr=&id=N__ujKDfXq8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=factors+of+ecological+footprint&ots=3AP83tinwX&sig=TqyvFokkwBWSra-qg7OV9CZfOi0#v=onepage&q=factors%20of%20ecological%20footprint&f=false (the picutre)

 3) http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/glossary/#yieldfactor


Midterm

The reason of this assignment is to do a review of all chapters we did up until now in the course, and to refresh our ecological knowledge!

Chapter 2

In this chapter we learn about the procedure of photosynthesis, about different types of energy.

1)   Define the term energy:

2)   Proteins consist of long chains of organic molecules called :

  • nucleic acids
  • genes
  • organic compaounds
  • amino acids

3)   Photosynthesis produces food for plants and animals:

  •   True
  •   False

4)   Some organisms use the sun’s radiation directly to produce their own food. Such organisms are called:

  • autotrophs
  • primary producer
  • heterotrophs
  • A and B

5)   According to above, those organisms turn light energy from the sun into chemical energy in a process called:

  • cellular respiration
  • chemosynthesis
  • plate tectonics
  • photosynthesis

6)   Rock that form when magma or lava cools is called:

  • rock cycle
  • igneous rock
  • metamorphic rock
  • sedimentary rock

7)

Match the answer to the picture: kinetic energy, increase in entropy, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, potential energy

8)

Say what is the above process and say a few words about it

9) Landslides are severe and often sudden manifestation at the more general phenomenon of:

  •  tsunami
  • earthquake
  •  mass wasting
  •  volcano

10) Atoms and element are NOT chemical building blocks:

TRUE

FALSE

Chapter 3

In this chapter we learn about biodiversity  and biological diversity, what is ecology in general, about population and the different types of population.

1)   The process by which inherited characteristics that enhance survival and reproduction are passed on more frequently to future generations that those that do not, thus altering the genetic makeup of populations through time is called:

  • mutations
  • adaptation
  • natural selection
  • none of the above

2) The Sixth mass extinction is being caused by humans:

TRUE

FALSE

3) The process by which new species are generated is called:

  • a. artificial selection
  • b. speciation
  • c. evolution
  • d. habitat selection

4) Number of individuals in a population                         a) age distribution

per units are:

The spatial arrangement                                                 b) birth and death rates

of organisms in an area

A population’s proportion of                                            c) population density

males and females which can

influence whether the population

will increase or decrease over time                                       d) sex ratio

The relative numbers of organisms

of each ago within a population

The preceding factors that can influence

the rates at which individuals

within a population are born and die

5) A population’s growth is being restrained by limiting factors:

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

6)   The study of interaction s among organisms and between organisms and their environments is called:

  • population
  • biology
  • ecology
  • ecosystem ecology

7)   Large animals (elephants, giraffes) with low biotic potential produce relatively few offspring during their lifetimes. Such species are said to be :

  • k-selected
  • r-selected
  • specialists
  • generalist

8)   What is ecotourism?

9)   Discuss in a paragraph the term evolution and it’s importance to all of Earth’s species and especially man-kind.

10)                  A species _________ reflects its use of resources and its functional role in a community

  • habitat use
  • niche
  • habitat selection
  • immigration

Chapter 1

In this chapter we learn about environmental science, the importance of natural resources and how we define the ecological footprint.

  1. The use of resources in a manner that satisfies our current needs but does not compromise the future availability of resources called?
  • Triple bottom line
  • Manipulative experiment
  • Sustainable development
  • Interdisciplinary

2.   The social movement which protecting the natural world and by extension people from undesirable changes is called?

  • Cassandras
  • Environmentalism
  • Environmental science
  • None of the above

3.   Scientific method is:

  • Research that proceed a more targeted and structured manner
  • Research in which scientists gather basic information about materials
  • Technique for testing ideas
  • None of the above

4.   ———- is the challenge of, a guiding principle of modern environmental science.

  • Sustainability
  • Natural capital
  • Paradigm
  • Theory

5.   What an ecological footprint represents?

  • Expresses environmental impact
  • The average of an affluent nation
  • The total area of biologically productive land and water needed to produce the resources and dispose of the waste for given person or population
  • All of the above

6.   Environmental science is especially broad because it encompasses not only the natural sciences but also   the social sciences.

  • True
  • False

7.    People who predict doom and disaster have been called cornucopian.

  • True
  • False

8.   Which of the following five resources belong to the Renewable natural resources and nonrenewable?

Renewable Nonrenewable
   
   
   
   
   

 

  • Sunlight
  • Coal
  • Wind energy
  • Copper
  • Fresh water

 

9.   Explain the diagram and discuss briefly each step.

10. “Human impact on earth:  the ecological footprint”

Use the video below about the ecological footprint and develop a paragraph in order to give your solutions for a better world.

Chapter 6

In this chapter we talk about environmental ethics, about culture, worldview and economy.

Multiple choice questions:

  1. Which of the following are assumptions of neoclassical economics?
  • Resources are infinite or substitutable
  • Costs and benefits are internal
  • Long-term effects are discounted
  • Growth is good
  • All of the above

2.   Neoclassical economics are:

  • Examining the psychological factors underlying consumer choices
  • The amount of a product offered for sale at a given price
  • The amount of a product people will buy at a given price if free to do so
  • None of the above

3.   Costs or benefits that effect people other than the buyer or seller are known as?

  • External cost
  • Economic growth
  • Externalities
  • None of the above

4.   What is the capitalist market economy?

  • People get their daily needs directly from nature
  • Government interne to some extent
  • The government determines how to allocate
  • None of the above

5.   Contingent valuation it measures:

  • How much people are willing to pay to protect or restore a resource
  • Measure’s people’s expressed preferences
  • Measure’s people’s revealed preferences
  • All of the above

True false questions:

6.   Subsistence economy is a survival economy, in which people meet most or all of their daily needs directly from nature and do not purchase or trade for most of life’s necessities.

  • True
  • False

7.   An ethicist who maintains that there exist objective notions of right or wrong that hold across cultures and situations called Universalist.

  • True
  • False

8.   Matching question

Genuine progress indicator A value that is not usually included in the price of a good or service
relativists A technique that uses surveys to determine how much people would be willing to pay to protect a resource or to restore it after damage has been done
Environmental justice advocate An ethicist who maintains that ethics do and should vary with social context
Contingent valuation For costs such as environmental degradation and social upheaval.
Nonmarket values The fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental policy and practice regardless of their income

Essay questions:

9.   Discuss and analyze briefly the three terms (ecocentric, biocentric, anthropocentric) and in which of the three categories you belong and why?

10. Define the concept of environmental justice.  Give an example that exists in your city.

Chapter 4

In this chapter we discuss about characteristics of keystone species, biomes, we explain the restoration ecology.

Multiple choice questions:

  1. The relationship in which organism is harmed and the other is unaffected called:
  • Pollination
  • Commensalism
  • Amensalism
  • Symbiosis

2.  A species that has strong or wide-reaching impact far out of proportion to its abundance is called:

  • Food web
  • Keystone species
  • Herbirory
  • Trophic cascade

3.  Species that arrive first and colonize the new substrate are referred to as:

  • Invasive species
  • Secondary succession
  • Pioneer species
  • None of the above

4.  The study of the historical conditions of ecological communities as they existed before humans called:

  • Restoration ecology
  • Ecological restoration
  • Keystone species
  • All of the above

5.  A major region complex of similar communities a large scale ecological unit recognized primarily by its dominant plant type and vegetation structure and referred as:

  • Resistance
  • Resilience
  • Biome
  • None of the above

True false questions

6.  A community is not an assemblage of populations of organisms living in the same area at the same time

  • True
  • False

7.   Mutualism is a relationship in which two or more species benefit from interaction with one another.

  • True
  • False

8. Matching question

Character displacement Is a relationship in which one organism depends on another
Species coexistence The species that may continue live side by side
Parasitism Competing species come to diverge in physical characteristics because of the evolution of traits
Competitive exclusion The process by which individuals of one species, hunt, capture, kill and consume individuals of another species
Predation If one species is a very effective competitor, it may exclude another species from resource use entirely.

Essay questions

9.  Discuss the ten terrestrial biomes.

10.  Analyze the energy passes among trophic levels.

Citation:

 Withgott, Jay, and Scott R. Brennan. Environment: the Science behind the Stories.San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.



Assignment~4

Moving to Mars would not be a bad idea after all. 

Ecological Footprint (EF): The cumulative amount of land and water required providing the raw materials a person or population consumes and to dispose of or recycle the waste that is produced.

Overshoot: The amount by which humanity has surpassed Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for our species.

Carrying Capacity: The maximum population size that a given environment can sustain.

 

Analyzing the Ecological Footprint of the 4Continents.

Bangladesh: It is clear that the EF of this country is small because the country itself is small, therefore they don’t meet the requirement to have a big EF number.

Through some research I’ve done I found the following information about Bangladesh:

“Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with its people crammed into a delta of rivers that empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Poverty is deep and widespread; almost half of the population live on less than one dollar a day. However, Bangladesh has reduced population growth and improved health and education

The major employer is agriculture, but it is unable to meet the demand for jobs. Thus many Bangladeshis – in common with citizens from other countries in the region – seek work abroad, sometimes illegally. The country is trying to diversify its economy, with industrial development a priority. Overseas investors have pumped money into manufacturing and the energy sector.

 Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries

Onshore and offshore gas reserves hold out some chance of future prosperity. There has been a debate about whether the reserves should be kept for domestic use or exported. Some international energy companies are involved in the gas sector.

Formerly East Pakistan, Bangladesh came into being only in 1971, when the two parts of Pakistan split after a bitter war which drew in neighbouring India.

Bangladesh spent 15 years under military rule and, although democracy was restored in 1990, the political scene remains volatile.

Analysts say the antagonism between the Awami League, which governed until July 2001, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party reflects personal animosity between their leaders rather than substantial ideological differences.

Political tensions have spilled over into violence; hundreds of people have been killed in recent years. Attacks have targeted opposition rallies and public gatherings. Senior opposition figures have also been targeted.

Concern has grown about religious extremism in the traditionally moderate and tolerant country, which found apparent form in a string of bomb attacks in August 2005. The government, which long denied that it had a problem with militants, has outlawed two fringe Islamic organisations.

Bangladesh has been criticised for its human rights record, with particular concern about assaults on women and allegations that police use torture against those in custody.

The low-lying country is vulnerable to flooding and cyclones and it stands to be badly affected by predicted rises in sea levels.” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1160598.stm)

Following the same logic, the same goes for Australia. There is a large population in Australia which has a lot of needs therefore it’s going to use too many resources.

“Australia’s ecological footprint

Australia has one of the world’s largest ecological footprints per capita, requiring 6.6 global hectares per person.[3] Over 50% of Australia’s footprint is due to greenhouse gas emissions, with the average household emitting around 14 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.[4]

 

If all countries consumed the resources that we Australian’s do, it would take the biocapacity of three Earths to support their lifestyle.” (http://www.wwf.org.au/footprint/)

As for the United Arab Emirates it is well known that their land is rich in oil. More than the half of Earth’s population takes its oil from the United Arab Emirates.

For further information visit the following site: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,243926,00.html

Comparing GDP with EF:

Definition of GDP: “Gross Domestic Product is the total monetary value of final goods and services produced in a country each year. The GDP sums all economic activity, whether good or bad and does not account for benefits such as volunteerism or for external costs such as environmental degradation and social upheaval. “ (Withgott/Brennan, 156)

Therefore, taking “Table 1” as an example along with the theory above we can say that the bigger a country’s GDP, the more a country is exploiting its resources.

My Ecological Footprint:

My EF is 3.11. Unfortunately that is rather a big number in comparison to Greece’s EF which is 5.4 especially if we compared it with Bangladesh’s EF which is a very small number. But in case the EF depends on how big a country is and the amount of its resources; furthermore Greece’s GDP is much bigger than Bangladesh’s hence it’s logical to have a bigger personal EF compared to Bangladesh. On the other hand, my personal EF is much smaller than the one from the United Arab Emirates because again their GDP is much bigger than here in Greece, the same goes for Australia.

If everyone on the planet lived like my lifestyle we would need approximately three more Earths!

  (Exactly like Australia)

 

The Chart above compares my ecological footprint with the countries footprint so according to that I can tell that the 1st category of EF (carbon) the country’s average is higher by 6.3 than mine, in the 2nd category (food) my footprint is higher by 4.2 than Greece’s, in the 3rd category (housing) my EF is higher by 1.3 – not much of difference – and in the last category (good and services) again my EF is higher by 4.6 than Greece’s average. We can see that in some parts the country’s EF is higher than mine and some other mine is higher.

CONCLUSION

To sum up, all the above information shows what exactly is going on around the world in terms of Ecological Footprint, GDP and resources. Therefore what we obtain how big a country is and how it’s using its resources; we make comparisons with one country to another and we find the differences between them again in terms of EF and GDP. Finally I computed my personal EF and with that I can estimate whether it’s good or bad for the environment~!

CITATION:

Book: Withgott, Jay, and Scott Brennan. Environment-the Science behind the Stories. Fourth ed. San Francisco: PEARSON, 2011. Print.

Pictures:

1)   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/country_profiles/1160598.stm

 2)  http://www.wwf.org.au/footprint/ 

3) http://www.myfootprint.org/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRZmGHkqQbU&feature=related


Assignment~2

The first thing we have to do is to define the word “worldview”: “A worldview reflects beliefs about the meaning, operation and essence of the world. What influences a person’s worldview is his/her culture combined with personal experience.” (Withgott – Brenna, 139)

We can see that after a certain decade the world took a different course, things are changing by the year, that begun because of our indifference for our environment. More factories every year equals to more air pollution, if we don’t realize what our actions cause to the universe then things will become much worse!

The sensibility that someone has towards the environment is not some kind of a gift, is something that we learn by experience, from family, school, friends. That kind of sensibility emanates from the way we’ve been raised, from our culture, and from our personal experience! In more details, we can see that the way people see the world differs from one culture to another; for example Germans are much more sensitive to the environment than Greeks. In other words, Greeks are not that sensitive with the environment, for instance if we visit a normal Greek park we can find to many trashes everywhere, fortunately things are becoming much better as time passes, but whether we like it or not this is a Greek’s nature. In my point of view my culture has nothing to do with my personal experience. Even though my culture doesn’t follow the rules of environmentalism, the way I’ve been raised is very close to what environmentalism is advocating. I really care about the environment; of course I’m not acting crazy, recycling everything and going to every environmental meeting there is. I’m just following the very basic rules of environmentalism!

I think I’m more of an “ecocentric” person; Ecocentrism: “The perspective of Ecocentrism judges actions in terms of their benefit to harm to the integrity of whole ecological systems, which consist of living and non-living elements and the relationships among them” (Withgott – Brennan, 142)

Moving on to the other side of the story, “anthropocentric” people play the most negative role to the environment, Anthropocentrism: “People who have a human-centered view of our relationship with the environment.” (Withgott – Brennan, 142

The biggest part of environmental pollution is based on anthropocentrism! If people continue not caring about the environment, then the environment will stop caring about them as well; and whether we like it or not at the end of the day the environment is in charge here not us!

This is an example of what is happening to the world:

To sum up, I watched a documentary once that was about the results of our actions on our planet; in other words it was showing what is going to happen if we keep doing those awful things we are doing to it, and in the end the narrator said something really shocking but true! He said, “People always that our actions are destroying the environment, and that we are harming the environment; but if we think about it is not the environment that is in trouble here, it’s us because whatever happens (ice age, tsunamis…), we are the ones that are going to be lost, after some thousands of years Earth will fine again”.

It’s going to be exactly how it used to be when we didn’t interfere, before the industrial revolution, but the only thing missing is going to be us~!

Citation:

Withgott, Jay, and Scott Brennan. Environment-the Science behind the Stories. Fourth ed. San Francisco: PEARSON, 2011. Print.

Pictures:

http://fojailnohel.wordpress.com/category/air-pollution/

 


Assignment ~1

(1)

A brief background:

My name is Michael, I’m studying management at the American College of Thessaloniki, for three years now…! The purpose of my blog is to add all my work there plus to communicate with other students that own a blog and exchange ideas!

I live in Panorama:

An interesting topic:

A really interested topic would be to discuss whether the melt of ice is real or not. There are rumors that that huge amount of ice which melts every year is because there some people causing it to happen, because it serves political interests!

Important environmental issue of 2010:

I don’t know if this is included to the environmental issues, but I heard about the environment last year was NASA’s Alien DNA discovery in Californian Lake, scientists couldn’t believe what they have found; of course these are shocking news about man kind because up until now we didn’t have proof about the existence of alien form of life.

Place of origin:

Near to Panorama there is the well known mountain “Χορτιάτης” – “Hortiatis”. I think that is the only physical topography I know and unfortunately I don’t know any details about it!

Thessaloniki: (a city with a huge environmental problem)

Thessaloniki is listed as one of top cities in the world with the largest percentage of pollutants.

Comments for the place I live at: Panorama used to be a place full of trees, it was a peaceful place and in the old days people used to organize trips to Panorama (it was the countryside of Thessaloniki); but nowadays more people move to Panorama every year because the want a big house to the countryside therefore every year we have less trees in Panorama being left by all those new houses being built everywhere. Hence, year after year Panorama is losing its natural beauty, so where I would to move maybe for a lifetime is a place with lots of “green” and warm weather throughout the year (like Miami). Greece could be a very beautiful country but we Greeks don’t know how to exploit what the country offers us!

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Definition of the terms: Environmental Scientist vs. Ecologist vs. Environmentalist:

The term “Environmentalist” belongs to the “social movement called “Environmentalism” which is dedicated to protecting the natural world”. On the other hand and environmental scientist “pursue the knowledge about the workings of the environment and our interactions with it” (Withgott- Brennan, 9)

In more details, Environmental Science:

1)     “can help us avoid past mistakes

2)     is an interdisciplinary pursuit

3)     scientists test ideas by critically examining evidence” (Withgott-Brennan, 6,8,10)

Meanwhile, the term “ecologist” means, “a biologist who studies the relation between organisms and their environment” (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

Furthermore, those three terms that we are dealing with have some commons and some differences with one-another, for example an environmental scientist has many similarities with an ecologist because both are seeking for answers that have to do with environment by using the “scientific method”. Both of these professions are included in circle of the environmental science:

On the other hand an environmentalist is a more general term, it has nothing to do with science, is an ideological movement formed by a group of people that want to express themselves in terms of environmental interest.

Moving on, when it comes to my point of view I wouldn’t be called an environmental scientist nor an ecologist because I have a different  major as an academic student but other than that I would be interested in joining the movement of “environmentalism”; because whatever helps to the improvement of the world I want to be part of it!

To sum up, if we combine those three terms we have a perfect group of people with perfect environmental awareness, and I use the word combine because by being an environmental scientist or an ecologist it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an environmentalist~!

First of all, whenever it is needed to do a research of scientific interest, we are going to have to use the scientific method, which is: “a technique for testing ideas with observations. There is nothing mysterious or intimidating about the scientific method, it is merely a formalized version of the way any of us might naturally use logic to resolve a question.” (Withgott- Brennan, 10-11)

A scientific method should be followed by the steps bellow:

(Withgott- Brennan, 11)

If we follow the above then we can end up having a perfect conclusion about any environmental question that we have!

Moving on, as a plant ecologist I have found, after a trip in central Greece that there is an absence of trees in a large geographic area. In order to understand this I need to do some research of what may have caused the absence of trees. Therefore after some short research I have found that periodic fires may prevent tree seedlings from becoming established in grassland. But this is not a suitable hypothesis because it hasn’t reached all the steps of the scientific method; it went up until a certain level. Furthermore, what I did was to observe the situation, and then I asked myself, why this happened and what would have caused it, after that I did the hypothesis but the case is not closed, to finish that I need predict, test and make an experiment and check the results. What I would do to test that hypothesis is to plant a tree seedling and see if the grassland is still “alive “.

To sum up, what we observe from the above is that by following the scientific method you end up having an infallible answer of an environmental question~!

Work cited:

Theory Source:

Withgott, Jay, and Scott Brennan. Environment-the Science behind the Stories. Fourth ed. San Francisco: PEARSON, 2011. Print.

Images Source:

1)     http://www.hotelpanorama.gr/gr/area.htm

2)     http://www.trivago.gr/%CE%B8%CE%B5%CF%83%CF%83%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%AF%CE%BA%CE%B7-31408/%CF%86%CF%8D%CF%83%CE%B7/%CF%87%CE%BF%CF%81%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%AC%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-1060528

3)     http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Alien-DNA-NASA-Mono-Lake-Bacteria,news-9183.html