AP Environmental Science Chapter 20 Vocab

Evironmental Sustainability

the ability maintain the qualities that are valued in the physical environment


trying to live in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction nature and your personal environment


the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

a metric indicator of the health of a nation's economy by incorporating environmental and social factors that are not measured by GDP

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year

Kuznets Curve

the graphing of the theory that as an economy develops, the market forces first increase and then decrease economic inequality. First proposed by Simon Kuznets in the 1950s and 1960s

Technology Transfer

the transfer of new technology from the originator to a secondary user, especially from developed to less developed countries in an attempt to boost their economies


new technology develops in such a way that it makes the older technology unnecessary or obsolete; developing nations can take advantage of expensive research and experience of developed nations without going through similar steps


the practice of loaning small amounts of money to people who intend to start a small business in less developed countries in less developed countries

Natural Capital

the world's stock of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things

Human Capital

the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or country

Manufactured Capital

material goods and infrastructure owned, leased, or controlled by an organization that contribute to production or service provision but do not become in its output

Market Failure

the situation where the quantity of a product demanded by consumers does not equate to the quantity supplied by suppliers

Environmental Economics

a distinct branch of economics that acknowledges the value of the both the environment economic activity and makes choices based on those values

Ecological Economics

a growing trans-disciplinary field that aims to improve and expand economic theory to integrate the earth's natural systems, human values, and human health and well-being


a tool used to determine the impact of human activities on an environmental system by assigning an economic value to an ecosystem or its ecosystem services

Cradle-To-Cradle System

a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems that models human industry on nature's processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms

Economic Worldview

treating economics as the priority in a view of the world


regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence especially as opposed to God or animals


the management or care of something


all environmental ethics that "extend the status of moral object from human beings to all living things in nature.


a philosophy or perspective that places intrinsic value on all living organisms and their natural environmental regardless of their perceived usefulness or importance to human beings

Precautionary Principle

the principle that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted

United Nations (UN)

an international organization formed in 1945 to increase political and economic cooperation among member countries

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

an international organization established in 1972 to catalyze and coordinate activities to increase scientific understanding of environmental change and develop environmental management tools

The World Bank

an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs

World Health Organization (WHO)

a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

the United Nations' global development network that advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life


a non-governmental environmental organization devoted to environmental activism founded in 1971

International Union for Conservation of Nature

the world's main authority on the conservation status of species founded in France in October 1948

World Wide Fund for Nature

an international organization established in 1961 to raise funds for projects including the conservation of endangered species or of valuable habitats

Friends of the Earth International

an international pressure group established in 1971 to campaign for a better awareness of and response to environmental problems

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

an agency of the United States federal government created in 1970 whose mission it is to protect human and environmental health

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

a federal organization part of the Department of Labor that ensures safe and healthy working conditions for Americans by enforcing standards and providing workplace safety training

Department of Energy

a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety to ensure effective use of the nation's energy resources

Human Development Index (HDI)

a tool developed by the United Nations to measure and rank countries' levels of social and economic development based on life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling, and gross national income per capita

Human Poverty Index (HPI)

an indication of the standard of living in a country, developed by the United Nations to complement the HDI assessing three elements of deprivation in a country: longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living

Environmental Policy Cycle


Command-and-Control Approach

regulations focus on preventing environmental problems by specifying how a company will manage a pollution-generating process

Incentive-Based Approach

working towards preventing environmental problems by providing inducements to encourage polluting entities to reduce pollution

Green Tax

excise taxes on environmental pollutants or on goods whose use produces such pollutants

Triple Bottom Line

an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental or ecological, and financial used to evaluate the performance of a business in a broader perspective to create greater business value

Environmental Equity

the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental policies and laws to ensure that no group or community is made to bear a disproportionate share of the harmful effects of pollution or environmental hazards because it lacks economic or pol

Environmental Justice

the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies