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수리수문학 Intro

Living in an exponential age

Sang Soo Lee

Yonsei University
Living in an Exponential Age
The major causes of our environmental problems are…
1) population growth,
2) wasteful resource use,
3) poverty,
4) failure to appreciate the earth’s natural capital, and
5) pollution.

(Environ. Sci.; Miller, 2006)
Living in an Exponential Age
1) Population growth
ꞏ Between 1950 and 2013, world
population increased from 2.5 to
7.1 billion. Currently, it’s growing
exponentially at ~1.2% per year.

Developing Economic growth


countries → more goods and services

vs.

Developed Economic development


countries → Improving living standards

(Environ. Sci.; Miller, 2006)
Living in an Exponential Age
2) Waste resource use
ꞏ Per capita ecological footprint
is a measure of the biologically
productive areas of the earth
required to produce
resources required per
person.

ꞏ Total ecological footprint


exceeds the earth’s ecological
capacity to replenish its
renewable resources and
absorb waste by about 21%.

We need 1.21 planet earths now!!!


(Hong Nguyen, 2003; Living Planet Report, 2011)
Living in an Exponential Age (Clean Water, 2013; Environ. Sci.; Miller, 2006)

3) Poverty
ꞏ Poverty has a number of harmful
health and environmental effects:
1) causes premature deaths and
preventable health problems,
2) tends to increase birth rates
because the poor have more
children to help them grow food
or work and to take care of them
in their old age, and
3) pushes poor people to use
renewable resources
unsustainably to survive.
⇒ No worry about environmental quality or sustainability!!!
Living in an Exponential Age
4) Failure to appreciate the earth’s natural capital
ꞏ Sustainability requires a focus on preserving natural capital
-the natural resources and natural services- that support all
life and economies.

1) “…the ability of the earth’s various systems,


including human cultural systems and economies,
to survive and adapt to changing environmental
conditions”
2) “…means living off such biological income without
depleting or degrading the natural capital that
provides this income”
(Environ. Sci.; Miller, 2006)
Living in an Exponential Age
4) Failure to appreciate the earth’s natural capital
ꞏ Sustainability requires a focus on preserving natural capital
-the natural resources and natural services- that support all
life and economies.

Natural resources Natural services


ꞏ air ꞏ air/water purification
ꞏ water ꞏ soil renewal
ꞏ soil
ꞏ land
+ ꞏ nutrient recycling
ꞏ food production
ꞏ life (biodiversity) ꞏ waste treatment
ꞏ re/non-renewable E ꞏ climate control
(Pearce, 1993)
Living in an Exponential Age
4) Failure to appreciate the earth’s natural capital
ꞏ Sustainability requires a focus on preserving natural capital
-the natural resources and natural services- that support all
life and economies.

ꞏ To economists, capital is wealth used to sustain a business


and to generate more wealth. For example, suppose you
invest $10,000 of capital and get a 10% return on your
money. In one year you will get $1,000 in income from
interest and increase your wealth to $11,000.

ꞏ By analogy, the renewable resources that make up part of the


earth’s natural capital can provide us with renewable
biological income continually as long as we do not use
these resources faster than they are renewed by nature.
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution
ꞏ “…any addition to air, water, soil, or food that threatens
the health, survival, or activities of humans or their living
organisms”
ꞏ Pollutants can enter the environment; 1) naturally (for
example, volcanic eruptions) or 2) through human
(anthropogenic) activities (for example, burning coal).

ꞏ Classification of pollutant sources:


1) Point source (single, identifiable sources)
- smokestack of a coal-burning power plant, drainpipe of a factory,
exhaust pipe of an automobile etc.
2) Nonpoint source (dispersed, often difficult to identify sources)
- runoff of fertilizers and pesticides into streams and lakes etc.
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution
ꞏ Pollutants have unwanted effects:
1) disrupt or degrade life-support systems for all organisms,
2) damage wildlife, human health, and property, and
3) create irritations such as noise and unpleasant smells,
tastes, and sights.
ꞏ Three types of pollution:
Water pollution Air pollution Waste production
• sediment • global climate change • solid waste
• nutrient overload • O3 depletion • hazardous waste
• toxic chemicals • urban air pollution
• infectious agents • acid deposition
• O2 depletion • in/outdoor pollutants
• oil spills • noise
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - water pollution
ꞏ “…any chemical, biological, or physical change in water
quality that harms living organisms or makes water
unsuitable for desired uses”
ꞏ Water pollutants
1) Infectious agents from human/animal wastes
Ex. bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic worms
→ disease

2) Oxygen-demanding wastes from sewage, animal feedlots, paper


mills, food byproducts
Ex. organic waste such as animal manure and plant debris that
can be decomposed by aerobic (oxygen-requiring) bacteria
→ water quality degradation due to reduction of dissolved
oxygen by bacteria
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - water pollution
ꞏ Water pollutants (cont.)
3) In/organic chemicals from surface runoff, industrial effluents
Ex. water-soluble acids, toxic metals (Pb, As, Se), oil, gasoline
→ not suitable for drinking/irrigation, causing skin cancer,
damaging nervous system, harmful to aquatics

4) Plant nutrients from sewage, manure, agricultural fertilizers


Ex. water-soluble compounds containing NO3–, PO43–, NH4+ ions
→ eutrophication, “blue baby syndrome” due to excessive nitrate

5) Sediment from land erosion, landslide


Ex. soil, silt
→ causing turbid water, disrupting aquatic food webs
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - air pollution
ꞏ “…the presence of chemicals in
atmosphere in concentrations high
enough to harm organisms and
materials and to alter climate”
(Asia Society, 2012)
1) Primary pollutants: emitted directly in a potentially harmful form
Ex. CO, CO2, SO2, NO, NO2, most hydrocarbons & suspended particles
2) Secondary pollutants: some
of primary pollutants react
with one another or with the
basic components of air to
form new pollutants
Ex. SO3, HNO3, H2SO4, H2O2,
O3, most NO3- & SO42- salts
(Korean Ministry of Environment, 2013)
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - air pollution
Photochemical smog Industrial smog Acid deposition

VOCs + NOx + ht + sn SOx + H2SO4 + particulate SOx + NOx + particulate


Brown color Gray color Acidic chemicals
All modern cities with China, India, Ukraine, In most parts of the world,
sunny, warm, dry, many eastern European with coal-burning
vehicles countries facilities & vehicles
(Environ. Sci.; Miller, 2006)
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - waste production
ꞏ “…any unwanted or discarded material. In nature, there is
no waste production because the wastes of one organism
become nutrients for other organisms”
ꞏ Estimated 12 billion tons of
solid waste produced each year
in the US.
ꞏ Developed countries produce
>90% of the world’s hazardous
wastes, and most such wastes
(USEPA and US Bureau of Mines, 2013)
are not regulated.
1) contains one or more of 39 toxic, carcinogenic, or mutagenic
compounds at levels that exceed estimated limits,
2) catches fire easily (gasoline, paints, and solvents), and
3) is reactive or unstable (acid, bases etc.).
Living in an Exponential Age
5) Pollution - waste production
ꞏ Producing less waste:
1) Waste management (a high-waste approach) that views waste
production as a mostly unavoidable product of economic growth.
2) Waste reduction (a low-waste approach) that recognizes there is
no “away.”
Primary pollution Secondary pollution Waste management
and waste prevention and waste prevention
• change process to avoid • reuse products • treat waste to reduce
harmful chemicals • repair products toxicity
• buy different products • recycle • incinerate waste
• use less harmful products • compost • bury waste in landfills
• reduce packaging and • buy reusable and • release waste into
materials recyclable products environment for disposal
• make products that last or dilution
longer, recyclable,
reusable, or easy to repair
Living in an Exponential Age
Short conclusion
ꞏ Major components and interactions within and between…

Air
Population
(atmosphere)

Soil and
Water
rocks Economics Technology
(hydrosphere)
(lithosphere)

Life
Politics
(biosphere)

Earth’s life-support system Human sociocultural system


(culture-sphere)