Identify countries on a map Costa Rica India Panama Nicaragua Guatemala Indonesia Rwanda Philippines China Themes in Geography Location: absolute and relative Place: characteristics that give it meaning Human/Environments Interaction Movement Regions: A collection of places The “silence” of nature and the various ways to intepret the silence/Big ideas of the 20th century Religion Natural sciences Economic valuation Moral sentiments Ignoring it altogether Big ideas Big ideas of the 20th century Religion McNeill: early 20th century religions dominated ideas (negligible environmental impacts) Natural sciences Western science strived to unlock the secrets of nature Quest for economic growth Economists ignored nature (atleast until 1970) With “the overarching priority of economic growth was easily the most important idea of the 20th century” (McNeill) Politcal ideas Nationalsm Helped: pride in beauty of country Hurt: wars/competition Communism= extreme nationalism? Characteristics of a “big idea” Mold behavior of millions Fit with times. Emerge in a place “lock-in” = once successful, ideas become entrenched in social and political systems and become difficult to dislodge even if they are now costly Move and spread Negative effects of a “big idea” Security anxiety War Imperialism search for resources environmental exploitation Decolonization need for economic growth Democratization Choices on how to treat the environment Preservation Leaving nature completely untouched Purpose: ecosystem preservation Economic Purpose: none Conservation “responsible exploitation” or controlled usage Purpose: thinking about long term effects Economic purpose: we can still use these resources, just selectively Exploitation Dam a river, cut down a tree, find every useful thing in nature and use it for mainly economic purposes Evironmental awareness since 1960 1960: “Modern environmental movement” Pollution build-up, first appearance of effects (smog) Fears of resource exhaustion Economic success provoked its antithesis New scientifc evidence and new champions 1970s First Earth Day (Gaylord Nelson) Nixon signs national environmental policy act and later creates the EPA (evironmental protection agency) wich consolidated efforts into 1 agency 1980s/90s “rollback Reagan” (81-89) Decreased EPA funding by 30% Appointed positions with business friendly folk-no interest in the environment Hostility toward environment created backlash Poorer countries build on previous grassroots efforts and establish environmental agencies Usually led by women, esp peasants New efforts at internation cooperation and the emergence of the North-South divide US antagonized the divide: said US lifestlyle was not going to change Closed minded to environmental impact improvement 20th century as a whole Few citizens/leaders/rulers considered environmental impacts of our behavior Even with environmental consciousness on the rise, “big ideas” are hard to change/replace Economic growth since 1500 vs. growth in the average income of individuals Economic expansion was driven by world population growth, more productive technologies, and organization The world economy has grown 120-fold since 1500, whereas the average income has grown 9-fold The world’s economy in the late 20th century was about 120 times larger than that of 1500 GDP in 1500: 100, GDP in 1992: 11,664 The average Mozambican today has an income well under half the global average of 1500 Energy usage in the 1900s compared to all prior human history Humans in the 20th century used 10 times as much energy in the thousand years before 1900 In the 100 centuries before, people only used about two thirds as much energy as in the 20th century In the 1990s, citizens used about 20 “energy slaves” Meaning 20 human equivalents working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Evolution vs. niche construction vs. cultural evolution Niche construction: certain species are prone to create living spaces in particular environments Examples include: earthworms, lemon ants Cultural evolution: “Cultural change was for the first time substituted for biological evolution as a means of adapting an organism to new habitats in a widening range that eventually came to include the whole earth” (Sears, 1957) Culture, major cultural developments in human history Culture is a human phenomena not the result of a specific genetic programming The use of symbols to classify experiences and the ability to act imaginatively and creatively The pattern of human belief, knowledge and behavior developed from the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning Shared attitudes, beliefs, values, practices that characterize a group Major cultural developments of the past 2-3 my Hunting and gathering (500,000-10,000 ya) Low population, limited technology, low impacts Sticks and animal bones likely, stone tools progressedgreater exploitation of plants and animals First major influence in the environment=fire! Maybe 1.4 mya (strong evidence says 400,000 ya) Cultivators, Keepers, Metal Workers (10,000 ya) Cultivation of plants Domestication (genetic alteration) of plants/animals = feeding more people with less space Developed all over the world Led to emergence of early towns Mining ores and smelting metals further exploitation of plants/animals Agricultural technology Irrigation! Animals traction and the plow (~5000 ya) Cart Animal milk Sedimentary agriculture deliberate transformation of environment simplified ecosystems Today 4 crops dominate: wheat, rice, maize, potatoes Industrialization and urbanization Large cities of the past would have had considerable impacts on the environments Most agree that the impacts of the past 200 years have been more extensive Evolving impact of humans I=PAT I=amount of pressure/impact on the environment P=population A-affluence (demands on resource per person) T=technological impacts Ecology The study of all processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms and the interactions between living things and their environment Ecologists Ask questions and study multiple scales Study specific parts of the ecosystem and the connections within an ecosystem to better understand the whole Species Individuals that are like one another and distinct from other groups of individuals Can produce fertile offspring Most specific category in the system to classify biological life Life domain kingdom phylum class order family genus species Population A species living together in a particular area Example: species=gray wolf, population=gray wolves in Yellowstone Communities Grouping populations make up an area’s biota/biotic community Example: all vegetation, animals, reptiles, microscopic creatures in an area Often interdependent Ecosystems An interactive complex of communities and the abiotic (non-living) environment within a particular area Example: forest, wetland No distinct boundary (many species will inhabit 2 or more) Landscapes A cluster of interacting ecosystems Example: a forest, an open meadow and a nearby river Biomes A large area of the earth’s surface with the same climate and similar vegetation Example: grasslands=geographic regions that can be predicted by their rainfall patterns and temperature Biosphere Atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere Movement of organisms to a new place- intentional and unintentional Characteristics of a place help make an organism what it is Chemical, physical, biological factors Require certain resources from that place to live Also, they have a “range of tolerance” Span of conditions in which they can grow and reproduce It is often difficult to find success in another place Interaction: competition, neutralism (benefit from each other), commensalism (1 organism benefits, the other isn’t harmed) “Bioinvasion” : “When one creature somehow establishes itself in a new place, thrives, and upsets previous balances” (McNeill, 252) Intentional Introductions Plants: wheat, maize, potato, rice, banana, barley, etc Animals: pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, horses, poultry Unintentional Introductions American chestnut: had fungus Brazilian fire ant in Southern US Gypsy moth in eastern US Ecological Release When an organism leaves behind constraints on its population growth that it had at home Disease, predators, competitors, etc. Can happen in the wild, or with help of human culture No predators present, less/no disease pressure Humans treating livestock disease, killing predators, etc Michael Pollan Who’s using who? = “The Botany of Desire” Many intentional intro’d and purposefully maintained populations of intro’d plants and animals are not able to survive without human attention Many intro’d plants/animals were brought over out of curiosity or for decorative manner The “perfect” neighborhood “ecological release” = leave behind disease, predators, competition and population growth almost out of check European Rabbit Eurasion milfoil :clogs up lakes, reproduces vegetatively Overal, invasive species may be 1 of the prime causes of loss of biodiversity competition, predation, hybridization Soil formation Climate, biota, topography, parent material, time Weathering of rocks and minerals Physical Temperature fluctuation Abrasion by water, ice and wind Plants and animals (minor influence) Biochemical Chemical reactions on particle surface area Example: water molecules bond to a mineral or exchanges a mineral cation for a hydrogen proton, carrying that ion away Biological processes produce organic acids that react with soil minerals Convert primary minerals into secondary minerals and release plant nutrient elements in soluble forms Soil structure and biodiversity Home to the majority of the Earth’s inhabitants On a microscopic scale, extremely diverse conditions/habitats Biodiversity: more species in the soil than on it The soils as a genetic resource: penicillin, beer yeasts, yogurt Soil nutrient cycles Soil erosion In the 20th century humanity has increased soil erosion to 2-3 times natural rates Nowadays, people induce 60-80% of soil erosion Erases productive potential of many soils and fills waterways and water bodies Water Erosion factors Rainfall Soil erodibility Slope length Slope gradients (%steepness) Vegetative cover and management Practices used for erosion control (terraces, contouring, etc) Wind erosion plays a small factor in the erosion of our soils “Soil loss is negligence, not necessity” (McNeill) Factors contributing to the dustbowl High temperature Drought Soil erosion Lack of ground cover Three Pulses of Soil Erosion First pulse was in the Middle East, India and China and was a result of agriculture emersion from the river valleys and it spread over forest lands 2000 BC-1000 AD Second pulse was during the frontier expansion of Europe and the integration of world agricultural markets Started after 1492 and last until 1650-1700ish Third surge of soil erosion started in 1950 and is still rolling around at its peak Factors compensating for soil loss and keeping productivity increasing Fertilizer, irrigation, genetic engineering Despite soil degradation, agricultural productivity has skyrocketed Yield increases from fertilizers are leveling off Will require large amounts of energy and water to maintain Acidification of souls Ammonia based fertilizers are oxidized by micro-organisms and soils are acidified Doesn’t make up for loss of organic matter Salinization ~69% of fresh water is used for irrigation When water evaporates and leaves the salts that were in it in the soil to accumulate at its surface Green Revolution Featured new high yielding strains of staple crops Dwarf wheat and rice Borlaug saw this as mankind’s best hope to feed rapidly growing populations Promoted income equality among farmers Replaced simpler systems with more complex ones Created social and economic linkages Successes of modern agriculture Agricultural production has kept up with population growth “half the world’s population goes to bed at every night after consuming grain descended from one of the high yield varieties developed by Dr. Borlaug and his colleagues…”(Gillis) “Agribusiness” Horizontal integration: expansion at one stage of the food system Example: the boiler industry is controlled 45% by 4 companies (Tyson, GoldKist, Purdue Farms, ConAgra) Vertical integration: 2+ in the food system are controlled by 1 firm Today, the largest food firm in the US is Phillip Morris which claims $.10 for every $1 spent on food in the US US economy has benefitted – exports skyrocketed % disposable income spent on food 1933: 25% 1950s: 20% 1970s: 15.1% 1980s: 11.7% 2000s: 9.9% Industrialization and capitalists: cost of labor is much cheaper Failures of Modern Agriculture As the # of farms in the US declined, the average size increased Most of rural America has been abandoned Average American farmer is over 56 ¾ of the human diet depends upon 4 crops: wheat, maize, potato, rice Too dependent upon these crops Punjab, India abandoned their agricultural ways and adopted American ways (lots of irrigation + $$!) Farmers are in debt Have to drill deep for waterwater level lowers 3 feet per year 3x as much fertilizer required ruining the soil Green revolution of Punjab= unprofitable, unsustainable Loans are needed for everything Killing the future of farming Solution: India needs a new Green Revolution Most farmers money is spent on equipment, water, etc= DEBT “want amidst plenty”: we have failed to eliminate hunger and malnutrition Food desert: an area with little or no access to food needed to maintain a healthy diet Food security: reliable access to nutritious food Majority of hungry people are in Asia and the Pacific (~75%) Exploited labor force Exploitation of ethnic minorities throughout agricultural history Native Americans, African American slaves 1869, Chinese laborers 1890-1910, Japanese laborers 1906-1919, Pilipino laborers 1930s, dust bowl brought Oakies to California 1951, Bracero program exploited Mexicans Health impacts of pesticides Farm workers are at most risk of pesticide poisoning Easily absorbed through skin, breathing, ingestion Can cause acute and long term problems (nausea, vomiting, cancer, sterility, birth defects) Today, most pesticides are less persistent in the environment but more acutely toxic Alternatives Organic farming movement “sustainable” agriculture Local agriculture: farmer’s market GMOs New crops offer new potential Fair trade Farm worker movements Lack of diversity in human diet Diversity in Rainforests Three levels in a forest canopy provides for lots of diversity within the rainforest Different soils Amounts of sunlight vary Rainforests are the soul habitat of half the species on this planet Six key factors to rainforest function Biodiversity: fragile/stable, clumping Pollination: synchronizing flowering, rare species cluster, selfing Herbivory: defenses/adaptations, defenses: structural, chemical, mutualistic Seed dispersal: saturation, overproduction, fruitseeds are dispersed through stool Gap dynamics and disturbance: resiliency Soils: acidic controls what you can grow, contains nutrientsnot for long Productivity Rain forests produce 20% of our oxygen 20-40% of pharmaceuticals come from rainforests Basically, they are the most productive places on our planet Primary productivity: production of organic compounds from CO2 (photosynthesis) Resilience/Tipping Points Fire: nutrient release into soil, regrowth by remnant roots and seeds, invasions from neighboring ecosystems, rapid restoration of energy flow and nutrient cycling, successional dynamics Diminishing resilience: overgrowth/development, soil degradation Global Distribution of Rain Forests The largest being the Amazon which is located in South America (Brazil and Peru) The great clearance of tropical rainforests Started around 1960 Destruction percentages Brazil 33% Africa 50% Indonesia 40% Borneo/Sumatra 70% Philippines 45% Vandermeer and Perfecto’s 6 stages of rainforest degradation Visionary Capitalist: goes looking for an investment when times are bad Land Acquisition: bribes, tax breaks, etc Import Labor: foreign labor = cheap Boom-Bust, fire labor Unemployed homestead for subsistence Only place to get land in the forest Political Economy Developed in the 18th century as a way to study states (or politics) Not to be confused with the term economics Contemporary political economy: interrogating the modern world order Why are some countries ahead of others? Natural resources at their disposal Geographical reasons Education/other social reasons Colonialism Infrastructure: once you get the ball rolling you can build-up economic stability Enclave productions The production of a product without integrating with the local economy or involving local people Articulated economies Owner pays worker, who buys from the owner (cycle for economic growth Uses integration Disarticulated economies Workers are not paid enough to consume product. Product is shipped out. Workers live semi-subsistently. Dependency theory: one country’s success depends on another one’s downfall Economic growth vs. economic development Growth: rise in GDP from 1 year to the next Development: increase in infrastructure. Increase in quality of life (social and technological) Rainforest conservation: direct or indirect Direct: creating a national park Indirect: integrating land use throughout the area Political ecology: the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes Political ecology according to Vandermeer/Perfecto emphasizes basic security emphasizes land management of lands between the protected areas (landscape sale) Implies willingness to search for connection Leads to other definitions of development Ex. Sustainable, ecological, community Organizes people to oppose ecologically and socially damaging development Major drivers of rainforest destruction in Indonesia Illegal logging Selective logging and clear-cutting Outside and inside concessions and protected areas Involved local forest-dependent people and organized crime rings Enables other illegal forest activities like poaching and wild-life trafficking Breakfast of Biodiversity What causes rainforest destruction? There is a web of causality. No single component of which is truly the cause What is the model for the future? A planned mosaic based on ecological and egalitarian principles Land use is used for a mosaic of reasons based on soil quality and the needs of the people rather than economic and political reasons In attempt to reorder the web of causality and reverse deforestation What is the political action plan? Intensify the struggle for social justice Planned and Associated biodiversity Planned biodiversity: a plot of land that is planned out uses pesticides and allows only certain or no predators in Associated biodiversity: Bees that live in trees or those that pollinate plants are examples of associated biodiversity. This is more like just allowing nature to occur.