1. Science is an attempt to discover order in nature and then use that
knowledge to describe,
explain, and predict what happens in nature.
2. Scientists don’t establish absolute proof or truth. Scientific
laws, hypotheses, and theories are
based on statistical probabilities, not on certainties, and they are
constantly being tested and
3. Individuals matter; history shows that the most important changes
come from the bottom up,
not the top down.
4. We should think globally and act locally (principle of change).
5. Matter cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from
one form to another.
Everything we think we have thrown away is still with us in one form or
another; there is no
6. Everything is connected to and intermingled with everything else; we
are all in this together; we
need to understand these connections and discover those that are most
important for sustaining life
on the earth. (concept of interdependence or connectedness)
7. Pollution prevention and waste reduction are the best and cheapest
ways to help sustain the
earth. The best way to reduce pollution and waste is to not produce so
much (principle of pollution
prevention and waste reduction).
8. We are part--not apart from--nature. The earth does not belong to
us; we belong to the earth.
9. Life on Earth depends on (1) the one-way flow of high-quality energy
from the sun through
Earth’s life-support systems and eventually back into space as
low-quality heat; and (2) the
recycling of vital chemicals by a combination of biological,
geological, and chemical processes.
10. Reducing resource consumption and waste production is the most
important priority, followed by
reusing items, recycling key mineral resources, and buying recycled
items (the three Rs of Earth
11. The market price of a product should include all estimated present
and future costs of any
pollution, environmental degradation, or other harmful effects
connected with it that are passed on
to society, the environment, and future generations (concept of
12. In nature we can never do just one thing: everything we do creates
effects that are often
unpredictable (first law of human ecology).
13 .Earth’s life-support systems can take much stress and abuse, but
there are limits.
14. Every species has a specific role to play in nature
15. All species eventually become extinct by disappearing or by
evolving into one or more new
species in response to environmental changes brought about by natural
processes or by human
16. Over billions of years, changes in environmental conditions have
led to development of a variety
of species (species diversity), genetic variety of species (genetic
diversity), and natural systems
(ecosystem diversity) through a mixture of extinction and formation of
new species (concept of
17. Every species should have a right to live, or at least to struggle
to live, simply because it exists.
18. Most resources are limited and should not be wasted; there is not
always more, and it is not all
19. The best way to protect species and individuals of species is to
protect the ecosystems in which
20. Average precipitation and temperature are the major factors
determining whether a particular
land area is a desert, grassland, or forest (climate-biome principle).
21. As environmental conditions change, the number and types of species
present in a particular
area change and, if not disturbed, can often form more complex
communities (concept of ecological
22. When we alter nature to meet our needs or wants, we should choose
the method that does the
least possible harm to us and other living things.
23. We can learn a lot about how nature works, but nature is so
incredibly complex and dynamic
that such knowledge will always be quite limited.
24. Renewable resources should be used no faster than they’re
replenished by natural processes
(concept of sustainable yield).
25. Anticipating and preventing problems are cheaper and more effective
than reacting to and trying
to cure them; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
26. We should try to understand and work with the rest of nature to
sustain the ecological integrity,
biodiversity, and adaptability of Earth’s life-support systems for us
and other species.
27. Each species and each individual organism can tolerate only a
certain range of environmental
conditions. (range-of-tolerance concept).
28. Our survival, life quality, and economies are totally dependent on
the sun and the earth; Earth
can get along without us, but we can’t get along without the earth
(principle of Earth Capital).
29. Living off renewable solar energy and renewable matter resources is
a sustainable human
lifestyle; using renewable matter resources faster than they are
replenished and living off non-
renewable matter and energy resources degrade and deplete Earth capital
and are ultimately an
30. We should change Earth-degrading and Earth-depleting manufacturing
processes, products, and
businesses into Earth-sustaining ones by using economic incentives and
31. We should leave wild things in the wild unless their survival
depends on human protection.
32. Energy cannot be created or destroyed: it can only be changed from
one form to another. We
can't get energy for nothing: in terms of energy quantity it takes
energy to get energy (first law of
energy or thermodynamics or law of conservation of energy).
33. We should not inflict unnecessary suffering or pain on any animal
we raise or hunt for food or
use for scientific or other purposes.
34. High-quality energy should not be used to do something that can be
done with lower-quality
energy: we don’t need to use a chain saw to cut butter (principle of
35. To much or too little of a physical or chemical factor can limit or
prevent the growth of a
population in a particular place (limiting factor principle).
36. Increases in population, resource use, or both can eventually
overwhelm attempts to control
pollution and manage wastes.
37. Organized and concentrated matter is high-quality
matter that can usually be
converted into useful resources at an affordable cost; disorganized and
dispersed matter is low-
quality matter that often cost too much to convert to a useful resource
(concept of matter quality).
43. The size, growth rate, age structure, and distribution for a
population of a species are controlled
by its interactions with other species and with its nonliving
environment (concept of population
44. No population can keep growing indefinitely (concept of caring
45. All your needs can be met, by simply wanting less!
(Mainly taken from: Environmental Science, Sixth Edition, G. Tyler