Argumentative environment

Currently, a controversy is swirling over the issues raised by the despoiling of the world’s natural environment. Poet Stanley Kunitz in “The War Against the Trees” depicts a man watching his neighbor, “who sold his lawn to standard oil” (Kunitz 122), laugh as bulldozers ruin the natural beauty of the grounds with its “forsythia-forays and hydrangea-raids” (Kunitz 123). As industry wages war not just against flowers and shrubbery, but also against the town’s pleasant past.

Kunitz’s speaker is angry that this war “against the great-grandfathers of the town” (Kunitz 123) is destroying these ancestors’ attempt to preserve nature, not allow “the green world” (Kunitz 123) to be turned into a “death-foxed page” (Kunitz 123) of barrenness. Some pro-environmentalists, like Sioux medicine man John (Fire) Lame Deer, claim that the damage industrialized society has done to nature is both immense and nearly criminal , the result of greed.

Lame Deer complains that the white men “have not only despoiled the earth, the rocks, the minerals, all of which they call dead’ but which are very much alive; they have even changed the animals, which are a part of us, part of the Great Spirit, changed them in a horrible way, so no one can recognize them” (Erodes 209). On the other hand, conservatives frequently label environmentalists as extremists who despise almost all of capitalism’s practices regarding ecology.

That is, some extremist defenders of the profit motive name call, terming environmentalists “vandals” (Huber2 1) who prefer “forests over jobs” (Huber2 1) that the industrial age provides. Clearly, the issue has been politicized. Nonetheless, no one can deny that the earth, while not on the brink of annihilation, has been polluted and our air contaminated by the inroads created by the mechanized era. Furthermore, no caring person should recommend a “do-nothing” policy regarding the preservation of our environment which we ourselves are in the process of ruining.

The answer to the ecological dilemma is to assess realistically the extent of the damage and work to create a sensible, practical solution to the problem of our eroding environment through cooperative efforts. It is hard to doubt that human beings are wasting or eroding the earth which we all live on. Not only have the industrial nations altered their natural settings by overbuilding dams, destroying rain forests, and driving species out of their natural habitats to die or mutate, but they have pushed the earth close to the limits of its resources.

Lame Deer charges that because certain animals like coyotes, if left alive, “could lose some man a few cents,” (Erodes 212) our fauna are being depleted. We have also divorced ourselves from the healing power of nature and from our innate ” love for all that has been placed on this earth’ ” (Erodes 214) such as vegetation, the waters, the air, and all animals– except homo sapiens, whom out of self-interest we favor. Anyone living in Dallas or coastal areas of Louisiana last summer will find it hard to forget the “smaze” that choked us.

Blowing in from dry regions to the South, such as Mexico, the smoke came from widespread fires caused by aridity and by flammable industrial materials. Consequently, if anyone mocks those who claim our earth is decaying, these doubters should have just taken a whiff of the “smazed” air and then listened to his or her own coughing. We need to preserve not just the beauty of our few remaining wildernesses, but biodiversity, human and animal health, and the very survival of our planet as we know it now.

Most environmentalists and other analysts date widespread concern over ecological balance and conservationism to the appearance of Rachel Carson’s landmark book published in 1962, Silent Spring. From its publication on, “Nature became more than something that existed at a distance from most of human settlement, and nonhuman species were suddenly not the only species at direct risk from human impositions on the natural world. Pollution and human health, shifted to the center of concern, were seen as inseparable from conservation concerns” (Paehlke 261).

Carson indicted human beings for unleashing a “chain of evil” (Carson 324) in the form of pollution: “In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals and the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation are changing the very nature of the world the very nature of its life” (Carson 324) with a “barrage of poisons” (Carson 325). On the NBC Today show on December 4, 1998, scientists reported on a Danish study showing the likelihood that certain pesticides, which remain in the body for decades, significantly increase a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer.

With the visible increase in pollution of the air and water by CO2 emissions and by toxic chemical waste, most alert people have become aware of the long term ill consequences of a reckless technology about to run amuck. With the energy crisis strike in 1973, when the OPEC nations withheld oil from the west, the general public began to realize that there is a third dimension besides pollution and health attached “to environmental/conservation concerns: sustainability- the sustainability of resources, the sustainability of ecological systems, and the sustainability of both industrial economies and human societies” (Paehlke 261).

In short, these “current environmental crises make a systematic, scientific understanding of ecological principles especially important” (Cunningham 248). By 1998, knowledgeable people must be familiar with the assault on the earth and its living creatures resulting from industrial abuse. However, the pragmatic issue of protecting ourselves from ecological disintegration unfortunately has degenerated into a heated political argument, when instead of squabbling and hurling charges, people should collaborate and work out reasonable solutions to our environmental crisis.

Unfortunately, environmentalism has become a set of ideas that many refuse to accept as wholesome or valid: “One way of grasping its meaning is to see environmentalism as a political ideology, in some ways not unlike the classic political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, and socialism. Ideologies carry and convey a set of social values and seek to alter the societal and political agenda through the expression and interpretation of those values” (Paehlke 260). Some critics of environmentalism object on political, ideological grounds to the movement, insisting it is intent on undermining capitalism.

Since the West probably is still haunted by the ghosts of the Cold War and communism, many of its citizens feel threatened by a perceived attack on mechanization and industrialization from enthusiastic ecologists. Instead of seeing interest in saving rivers, the redwoods, and grey wolves as a subversive attack on the sacred principles of the free marked, private property, and the capitalist’s pursuit of property, conservatives ought to forget politics and support intelligent efforts to clean up chemical wastes, the waters of the earth, and the very air we breathe.

Partisanship should not taint programs to save the environment, and cooperation should be the key word. The existence of charges and countercharges by both sides of the political spectrum have succeeded only in muddling the vital issue of environmentalism and in sparking emotionalism on a crucial problem requiring rational, dispassionate thought for its solution. The extreme right is mistaken when it attacks environmentalism as one of the “intellectual-led movements” (Sowell 1) that are best called moral melodramas’ that “[turn] practical tasks into holy causes and Promethean undertakings” (Sowell 1).

Downgrading intellectuals as melodramatic a term connoting foolish, unjustified exaggeration the ultraconservatives criticize intelligent environmentalists as people who “cannot rely on the mundane” (Sowell 1). Again in his column in Forbes, Thomas Sowell uses a word, conjure, with a negative connotation: when one hears it, one thinks of sorcerers or just ordinary people afflicted by an overactive imagination no one to be taken seriously.

Over a year later than Sowell’s essay came out, the same periodical, Forbes, printed another anti-environmentalist article whose very title employs three emotionally-loaded words, “Green Alchemy: misbegotten environmentalists. ” The word green suggests the political radicals in Europe who advocate extreme measures to preserve the earth as well as the ecological organization Greenpeace, which the author, Peter Huber, ridicules. Then, alchemy refers to quacks in the Middle Ages who deceived people that they could turn any metal into gold as a greedy hoax.

Within Huber’s article, the author lumps environmentalists with other irrational people “of alchemical temperament conspiracy theorists, occultists, central planners. ” (Huber1 2) These unbalanced environmentalist, Huber contends, see free markets as wicked and capitalists as vile in an exaggerated attempt to discredit those who are genuinely interested in saving our health and our planet. This type of hot-headed rhetoric and unnecessary name calling impedes most collaborative programs that intend to benefit the environment and thereby help our children and grandchildren live in a wholesome atmosphere.

With the future of the planet at stake, it is detrimental to the safety of all its organisms to have ranting and raving replace constructive action. In spite of all the thunder on the right and warning signals on the left, one point is clear: we must guard our earth or decline with it. No reasonable person wants the world to time travel back to the Paleolithic Age or even the Neanderthal Age by shutting down industries and trying to survive all species and every tree around the globe. Yet, it is immoral not to be concerned about passing on a legacy of a doomed earth to future generations.

Logically, the best approach is the moderate one that begins at local and state levels and even involves the federal government in a wholesome, effective campaign to pull together our battered planet. Certainly, the federal government and private individuals will come up the funding to undertake a massive clean-up of the environment if only they could debate the question of “how” rather than “Why should we do it? ” The answer to the latter question should be clear: to halt the horrifying possibility that one day, sooner or later, the earth will be unable to support many living species.

The environmental problems

Today, we are more concerned with our environment than ever before. Similarly, it is my belief that we are more knowledgeable about our earth’s environment than did previous generations. I do not believe it would be an understatement to say that the planet earth is in serious jeopardy–from the shrinking rain forests, to the polluting of the oceans and land, to the ozone layer problem. Nevertheless, for purposes of this discussion, it is my intent to focus on pesticides as one particularly rampant source of environmental problems.

I particularly favor this subject, because I know that we as Americans can do much to prevent the deleterious impact which pesticides are having upon our environment. This is not some abstract notion that many people have regarding the ozone layer. For example, in one’s own backyard or garden, there is much one can do in this respect. Opposition by environmentalists to pesticide use in general and to certain groups of compounds in particular has grown in recent years, based on the contention that pesticides present a threat to the environment and to health.

First aroused by the book “Silent Spring” (1952) by Rachel Carson, the anti-pesticide movement has had a substantial influence both in the U. S. Congress and in several state legislatures. As a result, severely restrictive legislation has banned the use of many pesticides and restricted use of several others. Also, costly and complicated legislation requirements have been imposed on new compounds. Pesticide legislation has significantly hampered research and development in the field.

The average cost and lead-time needed to recover, research and market a new pesticide has increased from $2 million dollars and four years in the 1950’s to nearly $20 million dollars and ten years in the 1970’s. In recent years, more new pesticides have been banned than have had continued effective use, and there has been a reduction in the number of chemistry companies producing pesticides since the restrictions took effect. Environmentalists, scientists, and workers in the pesticide industry have also contented that some pesticide compounds are hazardous to human health.

Workers in factories that produce some of these compounds have, in the process of bringing legal suits against some manufacturers, received financial compensation for illnesses allegedly caused by exposure to these chemicals. Agricultural workers have also brought suits, claiming that they have suffered physical damage as a result of pesticide exposure. Some pesticide chemicals — recently DBCP, which effects the production of sperm– have had their manufacturing severely restricted. Long range potential dangers of pesticides in the body are also beginning to concern experts.

In 1989, controversy arose over safe pesticide levels for children. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that the U. S. food supplies were safe, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) produced a study claiming that the safety standards used by the EPA were based on adult diet and physiologies. Some other problems have been attracting public attention. Certain pesticides are lethal to bees, and it is estimated that heavy pesticide use, especially in areas that depend on bees to pollinate crops, have caused substantial reduction in local hive populations.

Finally, it has been suggested that the build up of non-degradable pesticides in the soil and in food chain may be more hazardous, in the long run, than these immediate problems. At this point, however, even the claims made against DDT — which was banned in the United States because of its supposed deleterious effects and its bioconcentration in the food chain — are still denied by many experts. (Baker, pp. 11-13) Frankly, I am more concerned about the solutions than I am with the causes.

Clearly exposure to limits of pesticides in food, and in particular, produce, needs to be given further attention. It was not so long ago when President Clinton and Al Gore first took office, and they both voiced their commitment to the environment. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables, especially throughout the United States and in particular, California, are exposed to heavy concentrations of pesticides, which inevitably ends up in the food chain, and as well things which people themselves ingest.

It seems as if every where you look, there they are: stirring about in your kitchen, hanging in the hallway, and confronted again and again with the sight of nature’s nastiest, we grab the nearest can of bug-me-no-more and blast the little pests into oblivion. You certainly wouldn’t be the first to do so — or the last: pesticides are a weapon of choice for most bug-hating Americans; as a nation, we are the world’s largest user of pesticides, consuming 2 billion pounds each year — half of world wide usage.

In fact, we may be a little too zealous in our spraying frenzy. The next time you reach for the bug juice, you may want to consider this: “Pesticides are poisons; they are produced as a toxic chemical to kill,” says Jay Flednan, executive director of the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP). “The question is whether those chemicals are posing hazards to human health and the environment. ” (Wiltz, p. 24) The author indicates that there exist other non-toxic methods one can use in order to get rid of all the pests in your home.

For example, window screens, fly traps, and fly swatters, are items that one can try as an alternative to pesticides. Carefully vacuuming your home and combing your pet with a flea comb may solve your flea problem. Most of these common sense items can be purchased at a hardware store. Another question that is often asked has to do with our drinking water. There exists a direct connection between our drinking water and pesticides. The company or municipal authority that supplies it is required by federal law to give you an analysis and disclosure regarding any violation of health standards.

But even if you can trust the company, the report will not tell you what happens in the water in the dank recesses of your plumbing system. If you are dissatisfied with your municipal water supply, you can always buy bottled water. But it is not always free of contaminants either (even Perrier had that little problem with the chemical benzene). Look for a seal of approval from NSF International an Ann Arbor, Michigan, company that certifies bottled water as safe. Unfortunately, NSF does not analyze all brands. Another option is to buy one of the many filters or other water purifying devices on the market.

Be sure to choose one that specifically removes the toxins turning up in your water. Carbon filters, for example, are good at purging organic compounds such as pesticides and solvents, but they will not remove minerals or most heavy materials, and one of the more elaborate devices, a distiller, is excellent at taking away heavy metals but is not effective against chloroform and benzene. In hopes of possibly reducing the amount of pesticides that are used, the idea of “making” a crop have preferable characteristics has lead to a new breed of farming.

Scientists have been talking about producing better foods through genetic engineering ever since the technology first became available, more than 20 years ago. By mixing and matching bits of DNA — cutting a gene from one kind of organism and placing it into another — they hope to make new, improved plants and animals. Over the years they have put corn’s genes in rice, trout genes in catfish, chicken genes in potatoes, even firefly genes in tobacco (yielding a plant that actually glowed in the dark). A few years ago, the Department of Agriculture researchers tried to produce leaner pork by splicing a human gene into a pig embryo.

What they got was a cross-eyed poker with crippling arthritis and a strangely wrinkled face. Now, after decade of biotech setbacks and controversy, consumers finally have something they can sink their teeth into. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorsed the most genetically altered food to be sold to consumers — a tomato called the Flavr Savr and billed as offering “Summer time taste” all year long. The biotech industry immediately hailed the government’s decision as the break through it had been waiting for.

The gene splicers have shown no shortage of imagination. Products in the pipeline include chickens that grow faster on less feed, snap peas that stay sweeter longer, bell peppers with fewer seeds and longer shelf life, pineapples that ripen more uniformly, squash and cucumbers that need less water, corn that requires fewer pesticides and herbicides, and grains that have more protein, vegetables oils that are low in saturated fat, coffee beans that have less caffeine, french fries that absorb less cooking oil, and kidney beans that don’t cause flatulence.

Elmer, De Witt, p. A7) Many consumers have not reacted with great enthusiasm, particularly regarding another innovation of recent, and that is radiated food. There are many on one side of the fence who feel that this will give the consumer an advantage in terms of a longer shelf life; while the consumers are automatically frightened of the very idea of eating something which has been radiated. This new breed of genetic farming is still far from being perfect, but in the future it may greatly reduce the dependence of pesticides.

It is my opinion that you, the schools, the entire community, and myself can do much in the way of reversing the damage that pesticides have caused, and through our example, the same may be implemented throughout the rest of the United States. Think carefully before doing something that has just become a habit, and understand the many consequences that may result. As history has shown, chemicals can be a wonderful life saving tool (medicines), or when used carelessly, a damaging blow to the already suffering environment (pesticides).

Business and the environment

The relationship between corporations and the environment is a tumultuous one. Corporations have abused and violated the environment for generations. These actions have now become unacceptable in our present society. There is growing concern for our natural resources; the world’s forests, waterways, and air are noticeably tainted. In the last twenty years, the U. S. has become more vigilant in recognizing and passing acts to attempt to regulate and purify our environment. Between 1938 and 1986, twelve acts regarding business and the environment have been passed. The Food and Drug Administration established the first act in 1938.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed to regulate food and drug additives. The Delaney Clause in 1958 added the prohibition of the sale of foods containing human or animal carcinogens to the original act. The Wilderness Act of 1964 outlawed the development of wilderness areas and gave new procedures for the appointment of new protected areas. In 1969, the National Environment Policy Act created a nation wide environmental policy and the Council on Environmental Quality. A year later, the first legislation passed for the Clean Air Act. It was relegislated in 1977 and again in 1990.

This act established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control the enforcement of air quality standards. In 1972, both the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act were passed. They were relegislated in 1988; and 1977, 1981, and 1987 respectively. FIFRA requires the registration of every pesticide, certification and preconsumer testing. The Clean Water Act established standards for wastewater treatment, sludge management, and set discharge limitation and water quality standards. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects animals that are threatened or endangered.

Relegislated in 1984, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 standardized the manufacturing, transportation, storage, treatment and dumping of solid and hazardous waste. Also passed in 1976 was the Toxic Substances Control Act, which delegates the EPA control over the assessment of risks involved in chemicals and recordkeeping. 1980 saw the passing of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act, which brought liability upon the owners, transporters and sources of hazardous waste, and established the Superfund to help with cleanup costs.

The Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act requires companies to publicly disclose all chemical and toxic hazards in their operations. 1 These acts have often left companies feeling as though their hands were tied. The Clean Air Act by 1989 managed to reduce air pollution to two thirds of the 1970’s level. The Act achieves this through the use of permits to regulate the construction and production of major sources of pollution. The act specifies that a major source is one that emits 100 tons or more per year. This means that a factory can be built that emits 90 tons of pollution per year with out a permit.

A permit is also necessary if you want to increase an existing factory that emits 100 tons by 25 tons. This act has its shortcomings. For example, a university wants to expand its heating plant. The administration has two options either modify the existing plant or build a new plant. The university’s heating plant emits 100 tons of pollution, this means that they will need a permit. The modification would normally be more cost effective because it is a smaller job and would not take as much time to accomplish. The practicality of the situation would force the building of a new heating plant that is to be smaller than 100 tons of pollution.

The reason for this is the delay, cost and uncertainty of the permitting process, which would drive the over all cost up. It is probable that the modification of the single plant would ultimately produce less pollution that the two separate plants. 2 The SARA, or Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act passed by the government as an addendum to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act specifies that companies make public details of their storage and handling techniques. All firms manufacturing 300 specific chemicals must abide by this.

Firms with ten or more full time workers must painstakingly report must report all chemicals released routinely. The quantity of the specific chemicals released into water, soil, and air, along with a listing of waste treatment efficiency must be made available to the surrounding community. It is difficult for companies to cite specific waste treatment facilities, for not many true ones exist. The public demands total removal of hazardous wastes and at the same time that the goods be produced with the same efficiency and quality. 3

The Clean Water Act is a system of minimum national standards for the discharge of toxins and hazardous waste into the environment. The rules given call for complicated technical decisions to be made by businesses. The fact that a company must comply with all new standards within a year causes for much loss and payment of fines. These acts do have negative effects upon businesses. However, corporations are finding advantages to environmentally sound procedures. Not only are environmentally friendly policies popular with consumers, but they can also save businesses a great deal of money.

As the acts and their socially conscious agenda become more assimilated into the business world, business is working to gain advantage and minimize disadvantages. Many case studies support this idea. Corporations have discovered that they can often use environmental friendly programs and products to produce more profits. An excellent example of this is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company. The company began by making all natural ice cream on a very small scale in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

Natural food held great appeal in Vermont, even before it held nation-wide popularity. Soon, their product became extremely popular. Ben and Jerry’s all natural products provided the first benefits of environmental-friendly policies for the company. Later, when two large manufacturing facilities were built in Waterbury and St. Albans Vermont, they decided to treat the waste created form their processing with a prototype solar aquatic treatment system. Like a wetland, the system combines solar energy with plants, algae and microbes to break down wastewater.

Three “green teams” strive to ensure compliance with their priorities of managing their waste, conserving energy, practicing sustainability, finding renewable energy sources and forming environmentally positive community programs. Besides these positive actions, which attract many customers, other environmentally correct actions save Ben and Jerry’s money. Instead of sending massive amounts of waste to the landfill, the company implemented procedures that minimize waste and reduce cost simultaneously. Cardboard waste is baled and sold or recycled, which saves the company $17,400 annually.

Office employees must follow a recycling program to save energy, cost and trees. $235,000 a year is saved in recycling or reusing plastic buckets. As much as $250,000 a year will be saved from new energy saving devices incorporated by the company. There are environmentally positive aspects in every part of the company which prove Ben and Jerry’s to be unhypocritical, for the environmentally friendly image they sell their products. Since their total sales were $97 million in 1991, it seems that this philosophy works and brings about a large customer base. 4

Other companies have found profit through environmentally safe Merck & Co. , a worldwide health product corporation for animals and humans, and specialty chemicals balances profit and responsibility even in the face of SARA. To maintain an inner accordance, Merck runs its operations with the same regard for health and well being that its products have. Merck has declared, “… our commitment is to conduct our business worldwide in a manner that will protect the environment as well as the health and safety of our employees and the public. “5 Merck made formal its environmental commitment in 1990.

In 1990, the company published a statement giving its environmental policies and goals. The progress toward these objectives was charted through periodic reports in a set five-year period. The objectives set by Merck were specific. The minimization of chemicals released into the atmosphere, in turn harming people, animals, the ozone layer, and causing acid rain and the greenhouse effect was one goal. Research to find new ways to minimize waste and conserve resources was a priority. Reduction of waste generation and self-sufficient waste treatment and disposal were another goal.

Energy and resource conservation practices were to be utilized in its research, manufacturing and office facilities. Lastly, resource conservation was to be promoted through innovative product design and recyclable materials. 6 Merck, like all chemical producers, was directly confronted with SARA. Though the company is not forced to reduce emissions, its operation procedures go far above SARA suggestions and Clean Air Act regulations. Voluntarily, the company made a commitment to the EPA to follow these higher standards. Merck specifically vowed to reduce carcinogen air emissions by 90% at the end of 1991.

Also, these air emissions were to be eradicated by 1993. Finally, Merck would reduce releases of corporate chemicals by around 90% of all direct releases and material transfers for off site disposal by the end of 1995. Merck had reduced all its worldwide releases of toxic chemicals by 50% from 1987 figures by the end of 1992. 7 The goals focusing on toxic waste processing and reductions were to be achieved through a strategic plan at division and plant levels. Divisions, plants and salaried employees directly or indirectly involved with manufacturing were to implement personal goals to help Merck achieve their overall goals.

The eight plants under Merck’s manufacturing division, along with the two manufacturing vice-presidents, were each accountable for the reduction and better management of waste in the plants. A central environmental resource staff coordinated and supported the effort. SOurce reduction was the biggest priority, followed by recovery/recycling/reuse, and waste management. Most of Merck’s waste is non toxic. The toxic minority consists of primarily ethyl alcohol, acetone and methyl alcohol, used in manufacturing processes.

The waste stream is boiled, the purified vapors condensed, and the liquid recollected. 90% is recovered for reuse. The remaining 10% is toxic waste. 8 Packaging components have experienced reduction in the interest of landfill space and resource conservation. Cotton wadding in drug bottles has been eliminated in the US. In Europe, there has been a 10% reduction in aluminum and foil waste. A conversion in Europe to standard blister packaging and high volume carton printing reduces waste and saves money. 9 New and more efficient equipment helps to reduce Merck’s waste management problems.

By standardizing and improving production, Merck is less likely to encounter problems with the FDA for making drug production changes. Approval for production changes is extremely time and cost consuming. Yield and product quality standards are on the same level as environmental standards. Merck, “takes responsibility for the total life cycle of materials we use and products we manufacture. “10 Merck keeps lines of communication open with the public concerning its environmental policies. By working with the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Responsible Care Program, Merck provides information to the public through a 1-800 number.

The number is linked directly to Merck, where questions regarding Merck plants are answered. Emergency response systems are in place at factories, and for Merck transports. Literature regarding operations and safety procedures are distributed by Merck to keep the public informed. 11 Merck’s environmental commitment extends to its corporate headquarters. Environmental preservation of woodland and wetlands upon the site was the priority. The 900,000 square foot hexagon-shaped building and the 700,000 square foot underground parking garage made a minimal effect upon the land.

Awards and recognition were in order for this achievement. Kevin Roche, an architect known for designs that blend into the environment, was chosen for the project. The hexagon building surrounds five acres of forest, roads go over the land, and trees were moved rather than destroyed. They were nurtured in a nursery for as long as three years and then returned to the landscape. Energy saving features were utilized in the main building. All paper waste, the principal waste product, is recycled. 2. 8 tons of waste are produced per day, of which 8 tons are recyclable. 12

Merck has made an agreement with the Costa Rican Instituto Nacional de Biodivarsidad (INBio) to grant a million dollars to catalog the immensely diverse life found in Costa Rico. In exchange, Merck is granted the rights to any new medicines found. If a new medicine is found, the royalties will surpass the cost of the failure of the project. The diversity of Costa Rico is thought by scientists to contain more biodiversity then any other planet on earth. Many unknown animals and plants exist in Costa Rico and have yet to be discovered. Merck is training local people to take samples and perform extractions.

INBio will analyze the samples. Merck will evaluate samples for agricultural and pharmaceutical applications. This mutual beneficent relationship will aid both the environment and Merck. 13 By improving their product, cutting their costs, and improving their public image, Merck has made a profit from environmental friendliness. The envirometal centered policy has opened up new markets and gained a competitive advantage. This compliance is expensive, but seems well worth the expenditure for the return. The EPA also has developed incentives in recent years for environmental policy compliance.

The Green Lights program gives companies EPA support to drive down lighting usage, which accounts for over 20% of overall electrical costs. Software, financing information, lighting product consumer reporting is provided free of charge. Public recognition is given through public service ads, news articles, marketing materials, broadcast specials and videotapes. Computer manufacturers who install automatic “power down” on their computers join the Energy Star program endorsed by the EPA. Consumers and businesses look specifically for this symbol in many cases, causing a gain for the computer manufacturer.

Variable Speed Drives for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems save 40% or more efficiency. The EPA has formed a special group buy to make them more affordable. Payback is within three years. Plans are on the board to endorse other “green” technologies this way. Refrigerators that are produced and function 30-50% more energy efficient then 1993 standards will receive a rebate. These are just a few incentives the EPA is providing. 14 Government and business have often debated over policies and laws. In the case of laws governing business practices and their effects on the environment, this holds true.

The balance between being environmentally safe and still producing the quality and quantities needed is delicate. However, today’s market makes environmental friendliness sellable, and the procedures involved often save businesses a considerable amount of money. Ben and Jerry’s have utilized the market for environmentally aware products and combined it with their company philosophy. Merck has utilized the same business strategy and found ways to surpass SARA and other environmental acts. These businesses prove that being environmentally responsible is not only morally correct, but also profitable.

Endangered Species

Endangered species are living things whose population is so reduced that they are threatened with extinction. Thousands of species are included in this category. The International Union for the Conservation of nature and Natural Resources publishes a list of threatened mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and (many people dont consider them) plants. Millions of years before humans, extinction of living things was linked to geological and climate, the effects of which were translated into major alternation of the environment.

Environmental change is still the primary cause of the extinction of animals, but now the changes are greatly accelerated by humans activity. Clearing land for farms and towns, lumbering, mining, building dams, and draining wetlands all alter the environments so extensively that ecosystems may be completely destroyed. With a burgeoning human population requiring food, shelter, and clothing and constantly demanding more energy-using devices, the temperation to exploit land for human use without regard for consequences is great.

Frequently, several forms of environmental change are responsible for the disappearance of species. For example, as tropical forests are cut down, primates have progressively smaller feeding and living spaces. They also become more accessible to hunters, who kill monkeys for food and trap many primates for sale as pets, research animals, and zoo specimens. Some animal species may move into human communities when their own are destroyed.

Extermination of marauding monkeys, roaming tigers, or foraging deer is easy to justify by people whose livelihood is threatened. Pollution is another form of environments change. Forty species of birds in the United States, including peregrine hawk, bald eagle, pelicans, and roseate terns, lay thin-shelled as a result of ingesting degradation products of and some other chlorination hydrocarbon insecticides that make their way into the food chain.

Species of salamanders in New England are dying out because the ponds in which they breed and the moist soil in which they must live are watered by acid rain (water that combines with pollutants in the air to form acid, sulfuric acid, and other corrosive compounds. Industrial waste dumped in the Mediterranean have so depleted the oxygen supply that some species of bacteria that decompose sewage have been wiped out and the nutrient cycles disturbed. Even the ocean environment has been altered by dumping.

Many species have been exterminated or endangered as a result of humans killing the individuals for food. The Hawaiian state bird, the none (a type of goose), is almost as easy to catch a the legendary do do and nearly met the same fate. The 22 finds of clams and 30 kinds of fish imperiled in the United States are probably all endangered by varying combinations of naturally changing environments, pollution, and over-harvesting. Whale species are on the endangered list.

Whaling is often justified as supplying a source of protein for protein-poor populations. Actually, whales supply only 1% of the protein needs of any countries, such as Japan, that is actively engaged in whaling. In the soviet Union, whaling meat is used to feed animals that are raised for their pelts, such as sable and mink. Thus, the wearer of a ranch-raised Russian sable coat may have indirectly contributed to the ultimate disappearance of the great whales.

Many species have been hunted to the point of extinction for their fur, hides or feathers. These include the big cats, alligators, kimonos, quetzel birds, eastern gray kangaroos, egrets, and bids of paradise. Many people and groups have taken measure to stop the killing of endangered species. Whether the species were killed deliberately, or if by accident (in a oil pill) these groups are trying to stop the killing. In conclusion I just want every one to know that endagered species can be as big as a blue whale or as small as a tiny little ant.

Creating an Environmental Ethics

Traditionally, Western views of environment ethics has been unclear and for the most part unnecessary. We used earths resources without thinking about consequence. This nonchalant use aided in the Wests ability to influence the world through technological advances. In the past, limited travel and slow communication systems had limited our view to a local one. If pollution or to much urbanization occurred the solution was to move. Industrialization has changed things. With science advancing so quickly, the population exploding, and our environment actually being truly affected on a global scale.

Within our lifetime, we can see changes in the environment. No longer do we have wild frontiers, an abundance of land for anyones taking. We can see our resources do have limits for example we can deplete our fossil fuels. We need to formulate a comprehensible environmental ethic in desperation. The morality of preserving nature comes more out of a practical need than from a purely philosophical reason. We have come to time when destruction we can inflict is harsher and faster than the earth can recover.

Although it should fit in seamlessly with all of our moral views, the environment is rather new territory and may be set aside form the rest. In making a code, we need to define environment, establish a basis of what we value as intrinsically good and bad, choose a principles of obligation and distribution, and see if it can be applied to real world situations. When using such a broad term as environmental ethics, it is necessary define what that entails. Environment, in this paper, deals strictly with natural habitats and ecosystems.

We will not make a distinction between animals, plants, and rocks, but instead group all of them together. This notion is not at all an original one, and is called a Land Ethic by Aldo Leopold. Everything in nature lives in a symbiosis so complicated that we cannot disassociate a living thing from its habitat. Humans have the ability to alter their surroundings and disrupt the balance of nature to a point where an equilibrium may never be reached. So in the definition of nature, human element have no part of it. We will assume that we act as an outside force onto a habitat.

Although our actions towards the environment, especially within the past 150 year, may not have been favorable, nevertheless the historical and global attitudes toward nature has always been one of reverence. The proof of this reverence can be seen through religion. It can also be inferred from our interests in science and the fact throughout history there have always been advocates for the preservation of nature. These notions are not limited to a section of the world, but have independent roots in many cultures and societies world wide.

One place to start are in cosmology sagas. Many of them have a common thread of being highly naturalistic and emphasizing the miracle of all life. The Enuma Elish, an ancient tale from Mesopotamia, describes the forming of the world from pure water. These peoples most revered gods and goddesses were ones of land and abundance. Although this can be explained away by many critics as simply there dependence on an agrarian society, it does show an initial reverence for nature and its wealth as well as its destructive powers. A basis for much of Western world is the Old Testament.

In Genesis, the garden of Eden is paradise where all things live in harmony even man is naked, his most primitive state. This natural state beginning stages of life all believe in the purity of nature and changes to it through mans hand. Beyond mythology, we have religion. Jainism which grew out of Hindu ideals reveres nature and believe all living things deserve our respect especially other animals. One of its fundamental rules is to try not to harm any animal for any reason. On the other side of the world we see many Native American religions based on sacredness of nature.

In addition, we have the naturalists. All throughout history we have people writing about the virtues of nature. Japan had poets who were exalted for writing haiku about the natural world. Aristotle wrote about the perfect forms found in nature. And recently, we had people like John Muir who described scenes of awesome beauty. So what is it about nature that we value so highly? It is hard to pinpoint natures intrinsic value. One definite part of value is the aesthetics. Nature is beautiful. Most people agree to this statement.

We covet gardens around our houses and build parks in our cities to keep them from becoming too sterile. Houses and apartments with views are considered status symbols. People swarm to National Parks yearly. We value the natural resources. A market value is given to these resources ranging from fossil fuels to food. Our survival depends on theses resources. Even items that are not on the market like the air we breathe. Scientists have shown a dramatic increase of the number of asthmatics in urban areas where the air is very polluted. One of our most basic things we value is our own lives.

To find the method of distribution, we have to define the relationship between nature and humans. The options are that we are equals, nature controls us, or we control nature. Although we do not have complete control over our surroundings, it is undeniable that we so have a certain powers over nature. We can call it human nature to dominate our surroundings and to adapt the surroundings to fit our needs instead of adapting ourselves to our surroundings. Nature throw in the occasional disaster like flood, earthquake, tornado, but we even have ways of limiting those affects too.

As caretakers, we must try to do what is best for the environment. If we go on the basis of productivity how would we judge it since the environment does not have any substantive product. We may harvest resources from it, but that is not because the earth is working for us. The ideal method of distribution is a middle ground between basing it on need and equality. We ought to treat each type of ecosystem as equal to each other while understanding that there maintenance depend on different things. For now keeping the earth as diverse as possible should be a goal.

Even though our relationship between us and nature may be an authoritarian one, our relationship with other humans are not. So when choosing an obligation of behavior we need to present a code that is inclusive of all and places the burden of caretakers on everyone. This sharing is the only practical method of truly making a difference and sustaining it. Moral obligation can be a powerful tool in persuading the public. No classical method can sustain the need for practicing environmental ethics. Deontology cannot work because in a global society, humans will not be able to agree on the deos part.

The Social Contract Theory is involves relations between humans and not about the world around us. Utilitarianism is not ideal on its own, since saving the environment has no real utility and may not always bring us happiness. And last but not least, Kantian principles are simply not practical to impose on a large population, using that kind of moral autonomy would cause chaos and the metal gymnastic to get universal maxims is too complicated. We need to take positive aspects of each method and meld them into an obligation that has practical use with the general public.

Deontology is singular in purpose and in this case we say preservation of the environment is good with the proof lying in scientific evidence. Our duties to protect the environment comes through our agreement to the Social Contract theory. We sacrifice some our freedoms in order to help the environment. This side of the methodology will arise the legislation of environmental policy. The utility of protection is the long term hope of self-preservation and that we maintain researching to so that we can better predict the effects of our actions.

Although Kantian reasoning is often obtuse, in self examination and honest communication of options it can be a source of fresh ideas and a greater sense of worth and participation to the individual. Our new composite obligation is practical. When approaching a problem first realize your duty to the greater good of the environment. results are important, not just good intention because there is a clear defined goal of environmental protection. Practical application of this morality is largely dependent on convincing the public at large to think environmentally.

Like any process it will take longer to adapt. Human welfare versus environmental concerns If we consider ourselves masters of nature, how will we make decisions when both parties are in conflict? It would at first seem to be logical that all human concerns are prioritized over environmental concerns. Yet just because we have more power to affect change does not mean that morally we are obligated to put all our needs above the needs of the environment. Let us assume that human suffering is intrinsically bad. So if chopping down the rain forest to provide farmland to feed people is sticky situation.

One major conflict in making these decisions is weighing short term benefits versus long term benefits. Most of the time humans suffering is a rather immediate situation in which we look for immediate solutions. However, effects of harming the environment is normally a long term problem. It requires planning to avoid foreseeable situations. In this example, proper population control would have been avoided. Look for alternative solutions like different methods of agriculture like hydroponics which may take more work and money. Even if no options are available, we must NOT follow our natural tendency to alleviate human suffering.

This idea sounds cruel and immoral, but it is not. We need to draw a line and make our responsibilities to the environment absolute. If we make exceptions, more than the slippery slope argument comes into play. We will then take away any incentive for planning because we will always have a safety net. Truly, if protecting the environment is essential for our long term survival the measures we take have to be drastic. The environmental ethics established may be faulty in philosophical reasoning, but it is ideal for practical use.

Its ideal of prioritizing environmental concerns leaves clear guidelines for both bureaucrats and a citizen alike. In defining the environment before we mentioned that we view environmental concerns with humans as external factors. This is not accurate. When evaluating a situation, it is essential to take human force into account but the goal we are shooting for is a habitat minus humans. But why? Are we setting ourselves to fail from ever reaching our goals? The answer is loaded in that it is both yes and no. The notion that in reaching something beyond our means we can achieve something livable while constantly striving for improvement.

Flooding Report Essay

Thousands of years ago before people built towns and planted crops, rivers cut deep canyons and molded the continents. Often these rivers overflowed their banks and flooded the surrounding areas, depositing mineral rich silt and soil in the surrounding plains and valleys. Because of the way floods enrich soil some of the first cities were built along rivers. The most important ones grew along the Indus River in Pakistan; the Nile in Egypt; the Yellow River in China; and the Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East. These rivers floodplains are called the cradles of civilization.

Even though floods happen everywhere, there are only four types of floods. River floods occur along rivers and usually happen because of heavy rain over a large area. This can also be caused by melting snow and ice jams and can last for weeks. In most parts of the world dams and levees help keep rivers from flooding by blocking off water and storing it in lakes and reservoirs. Sometimes a dam will break causing another kind of flood. Dam failure floods happen when dams or other manmade structures are neglected, poorly designed, or damaged.

These floods are very dangerous because a huge amount of water is released suddenly and with no warning. Flash floods happen when a large amount of rain falls very quickly. Flash floods generally occur in mountainous areas and are so deadly because they happen with little or no warning. Coastal floods occur along the shores of oceans and seas and are often caused by hurricanes and strong storms. Earthquakes that happen under the ocean or on a coast also cause them the winds produced by these winds whip up huge ocean waves that are together known as a storm surge.

These earthquakes cause tsunamis, which are huge waves. Tsunamis travel long distances across the ocean before reaching land where they flood the coasts, drown people, and smash buildings. (Dennis Fradin) Volcano eruptions can also cause tsunamis like in 1883 when Krakatoa erupted killing 37,000 people making it the worst tsunami in history. China is the largest and most populated country on the earth. It is also where the worst flood in history occurred. In 1887 the Yellow River toped its seventy-foot-tall levees and flooded eleven cities and hundreds of surrounding villages.

This flood became the deadliest flood ever by killing at least 900,000 people. Thousands of square miles of farmland was covered in water that sometimes stood twenty feet deep over farm houses. It took two years for this much water to recede. With crops washed away there was little to eat; it is not known how many starved to death. In 1889 Johnstown Pennsylvania flooded. Fourteen miles away from Johnstown the Little Conemaugh River had been dammed to form Lake Conemaugh. The dam was owned by a country club and was known to be in poor condition. The members sailed and fished on the lake but did little to repair the dam.

May 30, 1889 was Memorial Day and it rained hard. The river and lake rose quickly and the next day the water topped the dam and spilled over the top. By three in the afternoon the dam had broken. The water smashed through several towns including Johnstown killing over 2,200 people. Flooding also causes other natural disasters. (Michael Burgan &Robin Doak) The heavy rains that often cause flooding can also cause mudslides that destroy anything in their path. Floods can destroy crops causing famine or taint water supplies and cause an outbreak of disease. But not all flooding is bad.

Every year the Amazon River in Brazil floods its banks. The forests fill with water and the land animals head for higher ground. Anyone who lives in the Amazon River basin builds their homes on high ground or on stilts. Even family gardens are planted in raised beds several feet of the ground to keep them safe from the rising water. The flooded forests are foraged by fish who disburse the seeds of the trees and other plants. ( Goulding, Smith, & Mahar) Floods can be very deadly and cause millions of dollars of damage every year. But a flood is only dangerous if your in front of it.

Why Should We Save Resources

Saving resources will help to decrease pressure on the natural environment, ensuring that habitats, landscapes and species are conserved. It will also delay the running out of these essential resources as well as reducing the need for transporting them. The data strongly support the hypothesis that countries with more unequal distribution of factor income redistribute more in favor of the poor – even when the analysis controls for older people’s share in total population (that is, for pension transfers).

But the evidence on the median voter hypothesis is inconclusive even if middle-income groups gain more (or lose less) through redistribution in countries where initial (factor) income distribution is more unequal. Twenty percent of the world’s population (we often hear) consumes more than 80 percent of the earth’s resources, while the other 80 percent consume less than 20 percent. Critics of globalization never tire of reminding us of this injustice. Far less often do we hear a proper analysis of the reason for this state of affairs.

The critics make it sound as though the poor are poor because the rich re rich, as if the richest 20 percent had somehow stolen those resources from the other 80 percent. That is wrong. The affluent world has grown fastest since losing its colonies. And the regions the imperialist countries subjugated grew faster after becoming colonies than they had previously. Several of the world’s richest countries — such as Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries — never had any colonies of importance. Others, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore, were colonies themselves.

On the other hand, several of the world’s least developed ountries — Afghanistan, Liberia, and Nepal, for example — have never been colonies. The main reason for that 20 percent consuming 80 percent of the resources is that they produce 80 percent of resources. The 80 percent consume only 20 percent because they produce only 20 percent of resources. It is this latter problem we ought to tackle. The problem is that many people are poor, not that certain people are rich. Critics of capitalism point out that per capita GDP is more than 30 times greater in the world’s 20 richest countries than in the 20 poorest.

The critics are right to say that this inequality is due to capitalism — but not for the reasons they think. The difference is due to certain countries having taken the path of capitalism, resulting in fantastic prosperity for their inhabitants, while those choosing to impede ownership, trade, and production have lagged behind. Factors such as climate and natural disasters are not unimportant, but most of the gap can still be put down to certain countries having opted for liberalization and others for control.

The 20 economically most liberal countries in the world have a per apita GDP about 29 times greater than the 20 economically least liberal. If, then, we are serious about closing the North-South divide, we should hope with all our hearts that the South will also gain access to a free economy and open markets. Developing countries that have had openness in recent decades have not only grown faster than other developing countries — they have grown faster than the affluent countries too. The world’s inequality is due to capitalism.

Not to capitalism making certain groups poor, but to its making its practitioners wealthy. The neven distribution of wealth in the world is due to the uneven distribution of capitalism. Trade and investment flows in the past two decades have come to be more and more evenly distributed among the economies that are relatively open to the rest of the world. It is the really closed economies that, for obvious reasons, are not getting investments and trade. A quarter of direct international investments between 1988 and 1998 went to developing countries.

Since the beginning of the 1980s, investment flows from industrialized to developing countries have isen from $10 billion to $200 billion a year. If we look only at capital flows to the developing world, we find that 85 percent of direct investment there goes to a mere 10 countries, often the most liberalizing. But because those investments have been growing by 12 percent annually in the past three decades, tremendous increases also accrue for countries not included in the top 10. The affluent countries accounted for 80 percent of world GDP in 1975, a share that has fallen to 70 percent today.

As has already been mentioned, poor countries that opted for economic liberalization and ree trade have had faster growth than the affluent countries in recent decades. Free trade and economic liberalism, it seems, are a way for developing countries not only to get richer, but also, possibly, to catch up with the wealthier countries. As U. N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said at a conference held in February 2000, soon after the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization: “The main losers in today’s very unequal world are not those who are too much exposed to globalization. They are those who have been left out. “

Smog a large environmental problem

The beautiful mountain ranges surrounding the Los Angeles region make a magnificent view, but unfortunately the smog problem in Los Angeles prevents everyone from enjoying this. Smog is a large environmental problem that needs to be concentrated on to find solutions. The media, which includes television, newspaper, magazines, and organizations, is delivering messages to inform the public concerning smog, but are these messages expressing the true environmental issues about smog? In the present day world, the media does not adequately explain any environmental issue.

Obviously, the medias main objective is to get the best story; and sometimes the media would do anything to achieve that goal, even if it means to alter the truth and perception. Although the truth is Los Angeles has always been known for its severe smog problem, the media has recently began to hype this problem to the extent of positioning it as disastrous, because the media is constantly on the look out for dramatic news stories. The smog problem in Los Angeles has been portrayed as being disastrous as the media dramatizes the harmful health effects of smog.

The severity of health effects depends on the smogs intensity and the amount of smog exposure. For susceptible people with asthma or other lung disorder, any weak level of smog could affect their health. As for healthy individuals, a medium level of smog will be enough to affect them. Smog reduces normal lung function on an individual by inflaming the walls of the lung, and therefore causing chest pains and coughs. This description of smog would be a true news story for the media to cover, but based on todays media standard, this would not be considered a story.

From the medias view, a story is any dramatizing, heart-pounding, or shocking news that would grab the publics attention. By warning people to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities when there is a smog alert is more of an exciting story than simply stating the facts about smog. Reporting of an increase in hospital visits for lung disorder caused by smog is also a story that is worth covering. The media greatly publicizes stories about smog causing harmful health effects on children.

Children are a symbol of innocence, so a story about them being threatened by smog is unfortunately more of an exciting story than one about children protected from the harmful effects of smog. Recently, the media reported on a big study of 3,600 Southland school kids who had wheezing attacks that are related to nitrogen dioxide found in smog (Cone B1). Smog is now seen as life threatening as it was blamed for the death of a 14 year-old brother of Maggie Perales, a Bell Gardens resident, who died from cancer.

The brother attended Suva Elementary School in the city of Bell Gardens that is next to chrome-plating plants emitting high level of toxic chemicals into the air (Cone B1). It is this constant exposure to these chemicals that have caused the cancer found in Peraless brother. There are many more identical stories about children dying from highly toxic chemicals found in smog, because they either live or attend school near polluting factories. Such a death-related story only personifies smog to be like a murderer as it contaminate our communities and kill our children as Maggie Perales reacted upon the smogs deadly force.

The media has hyped the smog problem by distorting peoples view about smog according to Dr. John Peters, Professor of Preventing Medicine at USC School of Medicine. He said, Ive heard people say that living in L. A. is like smoking a pack a dayclearly, thats nonsense. Whether its like smoking one cigarette a day, half a cigarette a day, a tenth a daywe dont know. That misconception is an example of how the media has hyped the smog problem made by displaying dramatic news stories that alters a persons perception on smog.

As our society has grown to hate cigarettes through campaigns, lawsuits, and those bulletin boards ridiculing cigarettes, Los Angeles is also on the same kind of path dealing with smog. The hatred towards cigarettes is a result of the media constantly delivering messages saying how cigarettes are killers, and how the cigarette companies have no sympathy for the cigarette-related deaths. This same trend is now seen with smog as being a killer, causing the deaths of innocent children.

As a result, it is now a war to fight the smog problem in Los Angeles. Agencies and businesses willing to contribute to programs to help fight the smog war is the kind of story the media wants. The hyped-up media coverage on smog has influenced agencies and businesses to get involve with the fight, because they know that their name of the agency or business will be on the news. The South Coast Air Quality Management District holds annual Clean Air Awards to reward agencies and businesses in their work to fight this problem.

Companies like Costco Wholesale, GTE, and Long Beach Bike Station received big awards in this years Clean Air Award in their contribution in helping to clean the air. A large collaboration of 29 different companies has started a program called Quick Charge L. A. , a $3. 5 million project that will be installing 200 charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the entire city. The media recognized that such stories about funded programs like Quick Charge is a story to show that there are people willing to fight for better air.

In the early fall of 1999, the exciting news about Los Angeles being no longer the Smog Capital of the U. S. has changed what the media has been covering about smog. The media, with all of its hyped stories, has made smog so disastrous that this exciting news was seen as a huge victory for Los Angeles. There was so much media attention on this story that the media began dramatizing how all the hard work and efforts into air quality control have paid off. The way the media presented the news to the public was as if Los Angeles had won the smog war, and Los Angeles no longer has to worry about it.

This was another example of a misconception the media plays on the public, what the media left out was the fact that Los Angeles could very easily become the smoggiest city in the nation. Houston became the nations smoggiest city, only because it had the most stage 1 alerts this year, which was only one more than Los Angeles. Los Angeles still has the very potential to win back its unfortunate title as Smog Capital of the U. S. Even though this city has the toughest anti-smog rules in the world, it was the mild weather this year that was most responsible for the better air quality.

Weather is critical to smog formation, and its conditions can easily vary so much that it takes years to confirm air quality trends. The weather may easily heat up next year, and Los Angeles would once again win back its unfortunate title. According to Bryan Lambeth, a meteorologist with the Texas National Resource Conservation Commission, we arent yet ready to declare a winner and a loser in the smog wars. Tim Carmicheal, executive director of the Los Angeles-based environment group Coalition for Clear Air, believes that even though Houston has won the title, the air in Los Angeles is still bad.

Houston has the title, because it had the most Stage 1 smog alerts in the country, but if you look at the number of days we violate the standards, we still have the worst air in the country. Its still harmful to our health to breathe the air for many, many days this year. The city should be proud that the smog problem is alleviating, but what Carmicheal was trying to say is that this victory should be a motivation to improve the air quality and prevent future severe smog problems. Not only is smog a health disaster according to the media, it is also an economical disaster for businesses causing air pollution.

Because the media has hyped the smog problem, communities and environmental groups have largely emerged to demonstrate against industries and refineries. Business groups are worried about the economic impact of possibly reducing the use of refineries to meet the demands of protestors with their tougher anti-smog regulations. If the new anti-smog rules are passed, companies owning large fleets of diesel trucks will be forced to newly equip their fleets with engines that run on alternative fuel other than diesel.

The use of diesel fuel has been the cause of cancer in Los Angeles and contributes a large part of smog formation. The Air Quality Management District has already spent $25 million on replacing just 800 diesel trucks with cleaner engines to relieve some of the environmental pressures of smog from diesel trucks, however those companies will be paying a much higher amount for converting their trucks to better engines if the new plans pass.

The new anti-smog regulations are still in debate as business groups arguing that the laws are strict enough for smog control, while the environmental groups and communities are fighting for cleaner air. The perception and the outright creation of the smog disaster that the media has played a role in have stirred up contemporary environmentalism based on individualism and self-gratification. Smog is an environmental concern for Los Angeles, and it is good to hear that there is a rise in numbers of environmental organizations and environmentally aware communities demonstrating and protesting to solve this disastrous smog issue.

At the same time, there was also a rise in dramatic smog stories presented by the media to hype the smog issue to the extent as being disastrous and a war enemy. It seems most likely that all aspects on contemporary environmentalism ranging from agencies to communities were started knowing that they will be on the 7 oclock news report on NBC. Contemporary environmentalism is nothing but a selfish act by individuals or groups of individuals taking advantage of what the media has to offer, which is public exposure.

The media is always on the constant look out for potential smog stories to make the fight against smog a huge issue. By hyping the smog problems to the extent as being disastrous, the media builds up dramatic news stories that appeal to the public. It has become to a point where these dramatic news stories have motivated the society of Los Angeles to fight against smog, not because this society wants cleaner air, but it wants media attention.

Person and Environment

Humans possess a repertoire of unique gifts which enable them to shape the environment. The most prominent gifts associated with man include adaptation, which is furthermore broken into sub-categories, the conquering of fire, and the ability to foresee thoughts of the future. All of these capabilities of man have had a significant effect on the environment. These main gifts correlated with man are the basis to our physical and cultural evolution. Man is a singular creature which maintains a unique set of gifts for shaping the environment.

The most significant of these gifts, adaptation, covers a broad area of topics. Stereoscopic vision, opposable thumbs, the formation of language, and the ability to walk upright all are branched off of this. These components of adaptation are all of great importance to mans set of unique gifts. Man has the ability to adapt to certain environments and conditions. If the weather became cold man would not just sit around and freeze, but rather build a fire, cover up in animal skins, and retreat to the caves.

By doing this man is changing the surroundings and conditions to adequately supply his needs. Without this gift humans would not have survived; nature would have conquered and nnihilated them. As man evolved and became more human-like, three major biological developments took place which set man above animal. Stereoscopic vision, opposable thumbs, and the ability to walk upright were the most significant evolutionary advancements which put man atop animal. These three gifts also added to the ability to shape the environment.

Stereoscopic vision involves taking two pictures, one from each eye, and forming them into a three dimensional viewing area. This advancement to man gave humans several environmental advantages over the animals. Stereoscopic vision allows man to see ore in depth images. This proved useful in hunting, walking, and other simple concepts. This major evolutionary change has had a great effect on the environment and its surroundings. Opposable thumbs made life much easier for early humans. The opposable thumbs allowed man to grip with a powerful hold, which led to the development and use of early tools.

They also aided in hunting, because spears, rocks, and axes were easily able to be thrown. By using this technique of hunting less injury occurred, which prolonged the life of humans. As cultural advancements followed, the opposable thumb proved quite useful in he building of fire and shelter. The environment was affected greatly by this because tools, fire, and hunting were able to be used where they were not before. The ability to walk upright held a definite edge over animals and the environment. As man began to walk upright, everything became easier.

He could see farther into the distance, and know when danger was near, and man had more versatile movements, which aided in hunting. The environment was easily shaped by upright walking because now had the ability to do more activities, such as seeing danger and fleeing to safety, where as before he would have been killed. Language is also another gift which man possesses. Language was developed through hunting because it was needed for communication. It was also used to express feelings and distress. Language allowed man to communicate when danger was near, and man escaped some danger because of this.

Another significant gift man acquired was the conquering of fire. Fire was brought upon by natural reasons, such as volcanoes and lightning. Humans used fire for warmth, protection, cooking, and a light source. Cooked meat contained more proteins than raw meat, and these proteins caused the brain to grow, thus speeding up ans evolutionary process. Cooked meat was also easier to chew, so the jaw became smaller and language slowly developed. Fire helped man outlast natures coldest weather, and it also prolonged their life by protecting them from animals.

The last of mans major gifts was the ability to foresee thoughts of the future. Man anticipated the future by drawing pictures of the hunt on the cave walls. He foresaw the domestication and herding of animals, as the Lapps did with the Reindeer, and man saw the use of rocks for tools and expanded on that. This type of reasoning and thinking was unique to humans, and through it an greatly changed the environment; either through subtle ways, as with tools, or in the upmost way, as with the domestication and herding of animals.

Since the beginnings of time humans have used a set of unique gifts to shape and configure the landscape and environment which surrounds them. These gifts, adaptation, the conquering of fire, and the ability to foresee thoughts of future, were essential to man and allowed him to shape the environment. These gifts were the basis to our cultural and physical evolution, and they provided a sturdy base for the beginning of man.

Soil washing is generally considered a media transfer technology

Typical environmental problems involve contaminated soil, sludge, surface water, and groundwater, usually containing widely distributed contaminants such as heavy metals, organics and their byproducts/decomposition products, and low-level radioactive materials. To develop an effective treatment for a contact-contaminated soil or other waste, it is necessary to understand its physical and chemical characteristics, including the distribution of the contaminants. Soil washing process can be defined as a water-based process for scrubbing soils ex situ to remove contaminants. The process removes contaminants from soils in one of two ways:

The concept involves literally washing the contaminates from the soil using specially designed equipment. 1. By dissolving or suspending them in the wash solution (which can be sustained by chemical manipulation of pH for a period of time). 2. By concentrating them into a smaller volume of soil through particle size separation, gravity separation, and attrition scrubbing (similar to those techniques used in sand and gravel operations). A novel soil washing process that is called Electrod Assisted Soil Washing (EASW) technology has been invented and demonstrated by Harry W. Parker, and the graduate student Ramesh Krishnan.

These persons are working in the continued development of this process. EASW process technology is assigned to Toxic Environment Control Systems, Lubbock, Texas. This firm supplied the funding for the invention and development of the process over the past five years. Advantage of the EASW Soil Washing Technology and Theory of Operation Soil washing is frequently the most cost effective means of remediating soils contaminated with organics, or heavy metals.

Commercial soil washing technologies are frequently ineffective on silts and clays due to their small particle sizes, and hence large specific surfaces. The EASW process causes boiling to be initiated on the surface of the particles. The violence of boiling being nucleated on particle surfaces directly dislodges contaminants from the particle surface. Such violent scrubbing of very small clay and silt particles can not be achieved by intense external mixing and shearing as practiced with other soil washing technologies.

Intense mechanical shearing is not successful in washing small particles because the small particles move within the water film surrounding them during the mixing and shearing. In contrast, the EASW process initiates violent boiling on the particle’s surface directly. Removal and destruction of a chlorinated hydrocarbon, pentachlorophenol. Boiling is nucleated on the particle surface by superheating the liquid water surrounding the particles. Superheating is achieved by the flow of electric current through the soil slurry being washed.

The local intensity of energy release is increased by the geometry of electrodes and insulating orifices employed in the EASW soil washing apparatus. One such geometry that has been tested for continuous EASW soil washing is shown in Figure 1. The diameter of the central insulating orifice can be varied as desired to control the local intensity of energy release in its vicinity. The electrodes are connected to commercial 60Hz power via transformers. The present apparatus allows up to 400 volts to be applied across the electrodes. The process is self-regulating.

When steam is present in the orifice the electrical resistance increases and the power input decreases. A patent (3) has been granted for this unique soil washing technology. Integration of EASW process into conventional soil washing processes The EASW unit is easily integrated into a conventional soil washing flowsheet as shown in Figure 2. The feed to the unit can either be whole soil, or just the contaminated fines stream from an existing soil washing process. Feeding only the contaminated fines stream would significantly reduce the required size of the EASW processing facility.

First the soil to be treated is mixed with recycled water, plus any make-up chemicals required to adjust the pH and electrical conductivity. The soil slurry then flows through the EASW unit where it efficiently scrubbed by the mechanism described in the previous paragraphs. The resulting steam is condensed and volatile contaminants separated. The soil slurry continues to a separator unit where free water is separated from the slurry. A centrifuge was used in the laboratory investigation, but a settler may be desirable for large scale operations. The soil is then rinsed with water.

This rinsing should be accomplished in a counter-flow mode so that the soil leaving the rinse unit only contains uncontaminated rinse water. The contaminated water stream is treated to remove the bulk of the contaminants. A variety of options are available to treat the contaminated water. These include decanting of oil phases, biological treatment to destroy organics, precipitation of soluble materials, etc. The resulting recycle water does not have to be treated to discharge standards. The water treatment process just has to be adequate to prevent excessive build-up of contaminants in the process streams.

It has been found based on their research experiment that the cost of commercial electric power for the EASW process would be about $15 per ton of soil. This price is based on experimental data and confirmed with heat-balance calculations. The amount of electrical energy might be further reduced by efforts to conserve energy and to optimize the apparatus. The incremental capital investment is estimated as 10 to 20 percent over that for conventional soil washing. (2) On this basis the EASW would be the least costly remediation technology for soils which can not be washed with existing processes.

A computer simulation of the EASW soil is being developed. This simulation will map theoretical voltage and current distributions within the apparatus shown in Figure 1. These data will then be used to calculate local power release rates and temperatures in the apparatus. This computer simulation is needed to optimize the electrode and orifice geometry and to plan for higher capacity soil washing units. In the future, the cost of soil washing by this technology will be much cheaper than today by optimization using computer simulations.

Geography Colorado River

Geographers can tell you that the one thing that most rivers and their adjacent flood plains in the world have in common is that they have rich histories associated with human settlement and development. This especially true in arid regions which are very dependent upon water. Two excellent examples are the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates rivers which show use the relationship between rivers and concentrations of people. However, the Colorado River is not such a good example along most segments of its course. There is no continuous transportation system that parallels the rivers course, and settlements are clustered.

The rugged terrain and entrenched river channels are the major reasons for sparse human settlement. We ask ourselves, did the Colorado River help or hinder settlement in the Western United States? As settlers began to move westward, the Southwest was considered to be a place to avoid. Few considered it a place to traverse, to spread Christianity, and a possible source of furs or mineral wealth. Finding a reliable or accessible water source, and timber for building was difficult to find. There was a lack of land that could be irrigated easily. By the turn of the century, most present day cities and towns were lready established.

Trails, roads, and railroads linked several areas with neighboring regions. Although the Colorado River drainage system was still not integrated. In the mid 1900’s many dams had been built to harness and use the water. A new phase of development occurred at the end of the second World War. There was a large emphasis on recreation, tourism, and environmental preservation. The terrain of the Colorado River is very unique. It consists of Wet Upper Slopes, Irregular Transition Plains and Hills, Deep Canyonlands, and the Dry Lower Plains. Wet Upper Slopes: Consist of numerous streams that feed into the

Colorado River from stream cut canyons, small flat floored valleys often occupied by alpine lakes and adjacent steep walled mountain peaks. These areas are heavily forested and contain swiftly flowing streams, rapids, and waterfalls. These areas have little commercial value except as watershed, wildlife habitat, forest land, and destinations for hikers, fishermen, and mountaineers. Irregular Transition Plains and Hills: These areas are favorable for traditional economic development. It consists of river valleys with adequate flat land to support farms and ranches.

Due to the rolling hills, low plateaus, nd mountain slopes, livestock grazing is common. The largest cities of the whole drainage system are found here. Deep Canyonlands: Definitely the most spectacular and least developed area along the Colorado River. These deep gorges are primarily covered by horizontal layers of sedimentary rocks, of which sand stone is the most abundant. The Grand Canyon does not only display spectacular beauty, but numerous other features such as mesas, buttes, spires, balancing rocks, natural arches and bridges, sand dunes, massive sandstone walls, and pottholed cliffs.

Dry Lower Plains: These consist of the arid desert areas. These areas encounter hot summers and mild winters. Early settlement was limited because most of the land next to the river was not well suited for irrigation agriculture. The area is characterized by limited flat land, poor soils, poor drainage, and too hot of conditions for most traditional crops. The Colorado River was first navigated by John Wesley Powell, in his 1869 exploration through the Marble and Grand Canyons. The Colorado River begins high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The water begins from melting snow and rain, and is then supplemented by the Gunnison, Green, San Juan, Little Colorado, Virgin, and Gila Rivers. Before any dams were built, the Colorado River carried 380,000 million tons of silt to the Sea of Cortez. Along it’s path, it carves out the Marble, Grand, Black, Boulder, and Topok Canyons. The Grand Canyon being the most popular, which is visited by numerous tourists every year, plays a large role in western tourism. The Grand Canyon is in fact one of the World’s Seven Wonders. The Colorado Basin covers 240,000 square miles of drainage area.

At certain points along the river, it turns into a raging, muddy, rapid covered mass of water. Unlike other rivers, the Colorado River doesn’t meet the ocean in a grand way, but rather in a small trickle. Almost all of the water that passes down the river is spoken for. It passes through seven Western States, travels 1,700 miles, and descends more than 14,000 feet before emptying into the sea, with more silt and salinity than any river in North America. A river not used for commerce, or any degree of navigation other than recreational, and virtually ignored until the turn of the century.

The Colorado River is the most fought over, litigated, and legislated river in the United States. The upper Colorado passes through mountainous, less populated country. It has seen fewer problems that the lower Colorado. The lower Colorado, which passes through canyons and arid desert, serves a more populated area. It has been a large source of arguments for the state of California and surrounding areas since the early 1900’s. The first project on the Colorado River was the Alamo River Project near Yuma, Arizona. Sediment from the upper river was transported and deposited down river.

It raised the river bed so the river was higher than the surrounding land, making water easy to divert for irrigation. The Alamo Canal diverted water from the Colorado River to the Alamo River, and traveled 60 iles through Mexico across the Mexicali desert to the Salton Sink, a depression in the Imperial Valley. For this, Mexico received the right to take half the water from the canal, the rest went to the Imperial Valley. Although it may have seemed like an easy way to divert the water, the Alamo Canal was no match for the untamed Colorado River.

In 1905 a series of floods breached the intake and flooded the Imperial Valley, settling in the Salton Sea. After tremendous amounts of manpower and money, the river was returned to its original path. This disaster alarmed the landowners of the valley. The Imperial Irrigation District of Southern California was the largest single user of Colorado River water. They campaigned for an All-American Canal. One that would divert the river above the Mexican border and leave the Mexicali desert with what they didn’t use.

This was met with much opposition from the largest landowner in the Mexican desert, a syndicate of wealthy Los Angeles businessmen, headed by Harry Chandler of the Los Angeles Times. The Imperial Valley landowners received support from the City of Los Angeles. The city was growing rapidly and the need for future electric power was a major concern. Water experts advocated a dam on the Colorado. Without this dam, the All-American Canal would be in danger of breaching and flooding. The two forces combined to work for a Dam in Boulder Canyon on the Colorado River.

In Salt Lake City in January 1919, representatives from the seven states that have tributaries emptying into the Colorado River met. “The water should first be captured and used while it is young, for then it can be recaptured as it returns from the performance of its duties and thus be used over and over again “. (1) On Nov. 24, 1922, the seven states signed the Colorado River Compact. This pact divided the waters into 2 basin areas, separated at Lee’s Ferry, at the head of the Grand Canyon. The Upper states included Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Lower states included Arizona, California and Nevada.

Each area received 7. 5 million acre feet of water, with the lower basin getting an extra 1 million acre feet annually from its tributaries. The allocation of river water was based on an annual flow at Lee’s Ferry of 16. 5 million acre feet. This was later found to be inaccurate and did not take into account the rivers dry years. A more accurate flow is 13. 5 million acre feet per year. In ddition, any water given to Mexico by international treaty would be supplied first from the surplus above the total of 16 million acre feet, and if this was not sufficient, the deficiency would be shared equally by the two basins.

The consensus was that the river and its tributaries were American (244,000 sq. miles) originating in the United States, very little of the Colorado River was in Mexico (2,000 sq. miles), and therefore they deserved very little. Herbert Hoover stated, “We do not believe they (Mexicans) ever had any rights. ” The Indian tribes along the river were treated the same way. Hoover inserted what as called the ‘Wild Indian Article’, “nothing in this compact shall be construed as affecting the obligations of the United States of America to Indian tribes. (2)

It’s obvious that the native Mexicans and Indians were being deprived of what originally belonged to them. The attitude of Herbert Hoover left the local peoples with a taste of resentment. The Colorado River Pact did not apportion water to individual states. Arizona would not ratify the pact, feeling that California was taking all the water given to the lower basin. Arizona contributed 3 major rivers, about 2 to 3 million acre feet, to the Colorado. California farmers would be the largest single users of the water, but would contribute nothing. California finally agreed to some concessions.

All the waters of the Gila River in Arizona would go to Arizona, and be exempted from the Mexican Treaty. California also agreed to apportion 0. 3 million acre feet of water to Nevada, 4. 4 million acre feet and 1/2 of the surplus to California, 2. 8 million acre feet to Arizona and the other 1/2 of the surplus. Arizona was still not satisfied. The argument went on for years, with Congress finally passing the Boulder Canyon Act in 1928 without Arizona’s ratification. The Boulder Canyon Act of 1928 authorized the construction of a hydro- electric plant at Black Canyon.

The cost to be off-set by the selling of electric power over a total of 50 years. All power privileges at the dam were to be controlled by private interest. The Metropolitan Water District controlled 36%, City of LA 19%, Arizona 18%, and Nevada 18%. The act also included the construction of the All-American Canal, starting at Laguna Dam and crossing 75 miles of Imperial Valley to the Salton Sea. Arizona’s share of the water made it possible for large population increases in Phoenix and Tucson, two desert regions that would not be able to xist with out the Colorado River.

Population increases in Phoenix and Tucson were using much of the state’s water. Arizona wanted more water from the Colorado River, they continued to fight California for it. In 1930 Arizona filed what was to be many lawsuits against the State of California for more water rights. It wasn’t until Arizona was granted electricity from Hoover Dam, and given assurances for the Central Arizona Project, that Arizona ratified the 1922 Colorado River Compact, 22 years later. Nevada, the one state that has no major river, was largely unpopulated at this time and remained unconcerned about the ater allocation.

During this time, The Federal Bureau of Reclamation built Davis Dam, 66 miles below Hoover Dam to further regulate flows and provide storage. Parker Dam, below Davis was built in 1934 to facilitate the 242 mile long Colorado River Aqueduct. This was another of Metropolitan Water District’s projects to transport water to Los Angeles. With Hoover and Parker, California could receive 5. 6 million acre feet from the Colorado River. Mexico saw its share of the river water drying up with the control of the water at Hoover Dam.

In 1944 the United States, wanting to continue a good elationship with her neighbor, signed an agreement with Mexico giving them 1. 5 million acre feet per year, with nothing said about the quality of the water. Mexico water, due to return irrigation water from United States fields and evaporation was increasingly saline. Additional water to flush the salts was tried, but the condition worsened. By 1955, the Mexicali Valley was a leading cotton producing region. By 1960, growing salinity of river water hurt the cotton crop along with the decline in cotton prices.

Mexico and the United States argued over the quality of water, and due to the administration’s “Good Neighbor Policy”, the United States acquiesced, and in 1973 signed a water agreement with Mexico. United States reduced salt by releasing more water upstream, the quality of water arriving at Morelos Dam was to be equal in quality to water behind Imperial Dam. The silt was to be removed by the giant desilting works at Imperial Dam, and then the water was returned to the river above Morelos Dam at the Imperial Irrigation District Pilot Knob power drop.

This policy promised Mexico that salinity levels would be no more than 115 parts per million. It also obligated the United States to assume all costs necessary o meet the salinity levels. As a result, the United States agreed to upstream salt control projects in Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, and a 260 Million dollar desalination plant in Yuma, Arizona. The desalination plant reclaims more than 70 million gallons of drainage water a day from the Welton-Mohawk irrigation project. Fifty miles from the Mexican border is Laguna Salada, the end of the Colorado River.

An unlined canal carries the water 50 miles and then empties it onto the flat plain of sand and silt where the Sea of Cortez washes the last drops into the gulf. The Mexican water irrigates soil for 14,000 farmers and upplies drinking water for the Mexicali Valley. A 76 mile aqueduct provides water for Tijuana, Mexico. It was not until 1964 that Arizona finally got their share of the water with the passage of the Central Arizona Project. The Central Arizona Project was the culmination of years of litigation.

The 3. million dollar project pumps water from Lake Havasu, 824 feet up and over the Buckskin Mountains through a 7 mile tunnel along a concrete aqueduct 333 miles to the cities of Phoenix and Tucson. The Central Arizona Project was built by the Bureau of Reclamation and finished in 1991. In 1963 in Arizona vs. California, the Supreme Court allocated 900,000 acre feet of Colorado River water to 5 Indian tribes along the river, and 79,000 acre feet for federal lands. This gives them sufficient water to meet needs of reservation.

Recently the tribes have reasoned that farm lands were omitted from the original estimate and that they want more water rights. If tribes receive more water, this could mean less water for the lower basin. Opponents argue that the Navajo Tribe bargained away some rights for other developments, such as the huge coal burning power plant on Lake Powell. The Federal Governments outlook is, “why give the tribes more water? They gave away their rights, and the Federal government does not have the money for water irrigation projects that would benefit so few people.

There is another side to the Indian issue, “first in time, first in right”. this means that the Indians were there first, before the laws, so therefore the Indians have first right to the water. This would put a totally different slant on distribution of Colorado River water, but most people feel that this issue would be tied up in litigation for years, and because of the benefits of so few, the Indians would likely lose. Citizens groups have become more vocal in the management of the lower Colorado River Basin. The river water has historically been given to agricultural uses.

In recent times, urban sprawl has infringed on the agriculture, 80% of the Colorado river water is still used for crops, but scarcity and expensive water is limiting the agriculture. The Imperial Valley Irrigation district wastes about 15% of its water. Conservation has led to the lining of canals with cement. This had brought about charges that it prevents seepage from filling ground water aquifers. Water experts fear that depleting local water supplies will empty underground reservoirs, so they want more water rom the Colorado. Maintaining stream flow of tributaries is necessary for preserving habitat and underground aquifers.

Infrared satellite photos which pick up plant growth as red, show the area of the Colorado Delta in Mexico, the Mexicali, and San Louis Valley as desolate, with few pale red patches, but the area of the canals in the Imperial Valley show vibrant red. The growing population explosion in the southwest have given the municipalities a loud voice in the fight for more water, but most of the laws still favor agriculture. Agriculture produces economic advantages, government subsidies and facilities. The Clean Water Act sets effluent standards for water coming from ‘point sources’ (pipes and ditches), but agricultural return flow is exempt.

In 1980, the State of Arizona passed the most stringent water management program. This law discourages farmers from using Central Arizona Project (CAP) water to increase production of heavy water user crops such as cotton, rice and citrus, by having growers cut back on ground water use equal to their use of CAP water. The farmers can also sell their water rights to developers and local water systems. The City of Tucson is perhaps the most water conscience city in America. They have mandatory conservation, all golf courses and city parks use reclaimed water, or water that has been recycled.

They ban outdoor fountains and utilize low flow toilets and showers. The city has cut their water consumption 25% since 1974. Sadly, most of the west has not practiced water conservation. The recent six year drought in Southern California, when many of the cities were required to conserve water, and some even had water patrols to cite people for wasting water, forced people to conserve water or face stiff penalties. For years California had ‘borrowed’ water from the upper basin and sed Arizona and New Mexico’s unused portion of lower basin water.

The water supply of the lower Colorado Rive Basin had, for the first time, used up its entire share of river water. This meant severe conservation of water. By 1990, after heavy rains in Arizona, California was again using other states water. People went back to their old habits of wasting precious water. Many people felt that because conservationists are always crying about water shortages, they have cried wolf too often, they don ‘t believe there is a water shortage, that it is only an excuse for raising water rates. On April 1, 1994, California State water officials said that California is again in a drought.

Many people will ignore this in view of recent heavy rains. People have to understand that the water is only transported to Southern California. If there is no rain or snow in Colorado (or the Sierra’s in California’s case) it can result in water shortages. A threat of water allocation is a threat to a person or a communities way of life. New growth actually encourages more water consumption. New houses mean more dish washers, washing machines and backyard pools. This is not the way to manage water. A conscientious effort must be made by government, and esidents to share the water equally and conserve water equally.

In 1980 legislature authorized the transfer of water rights, or water marketing. Some people believed this would lead to an open market, the price of the water would reflect the cost of developing and distributing the water. The highest bidder would receive the water. In theory, the more the water costs, the more people would conserve. But agriculture is heavily subsidized and therefore prices can fluctuate. Commercial and residential users would be subject to high water rates, with the wealthy being able to afford most of the water. This is an nfair and unjust system.

A marketing system that is fair and responsible, one that mandates conservation, should be enacted. Water needs to be dispersed equally. The 1922 compact, while good in its time, is antiquated by today’s standards and usage. “The politics of the Colorado River Basin is nothing more than a fabric of promise, incurred at different times, under different conditions and often for different purposes’. (3) The Colorado River could in the future be augmented by other water. Some have suggested connecting the Columbia River to the Colorado by way of pumps, siphons and canals.

These plans re very costly and unless water becomes scarce, this is not a reality. Some California coastal cities have made plans for alternate water in times of shortage. Ocean water desalination plants are in the planning stages or under construction. This method of water augmentation is also very costly. Water is a social good, a public trust, should communities be able to decide independently about water use? The seven states of the Colorado River Basin should follow the advice of Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and form a commission, along with representatives of the Federal Government with input from the Colorado

River Indian Tribes, to regulate, manage, control, enforce and educate the public and private sectors regarding the Colorado River Water. Too many agencies, too many private water companies all add to the confusion of the water rights of the Colorado River. Water banks need to be set up. Lake Mead is designated as a water bank for storage if all parties agree to this, but with the history of regulations regarding Colorado River water, there will most likely be a long and drawn out battle over this idea. Only the fear of no water or a severe drought seems to move passage on laws regarding the water.

People come to the Colorado River to play and enjoy the water. “Six national parks and recreation areas along the Colorado’s shores support a multi-million dollar recreation industry of boating, hiking, fishing and white water rafting”. (4). Recreation has become a huge part of the Colorado River System. This has brought loud cries from the conservationists. In 1991 the Arizona stretch of the Colorado River was named the most endangered river of 1991 by American Rivers, a conservation group. Many of the fish and wildlife have disappeared. Special areas have been designated as wildlife protection areas.

Smoke City: A Story Of Redemption

The 21st century is an age of environmental awareness. We have commissions and agencies that measure our pollution in minutiae level parts per million. There is study after study of the affects of not only elemental health pollution, but also mental health pollution. Although there is no doubt of the importance of this era of hyper-awareness of this movement, it is a new phenomena in the spectrum of history. In the United States, a vanguard in environmental awareness has only seriously started legislating pollution controls for the protection of its citizens in the past thirty years.

Many detractors, even today, feel that it is a loosing battle and that regulation of pollution control is indirect conflict with the industrial machine that is the backbone of the United States economy. However, there is one example of a region of this country that demonstrates not only the successful combination of environmental control and business, but this relationship was started forty years before the nations first pollution regulations were drafted to Congress.

Pittsburgh’s story is one of suffering and redemption that no city, no community no region can claim to be more tragic and hopeful in its fight against pollution. A city founded in a river valley rich with resources; central access by water, rail and road; and integral to the key to the creation of a nation; Pittsburgh knew days when no vegetation grew from the soil and the sky was permanent midnight twenty four hours a day. That was life in the monikered “Smoke City” until citizens and businesses took fate into their own hands and cleaned themselves up.

Their struggle endured hardship and death, but the residents of Pittsburgh found themselves after two hundred years of darkness living in one of the cleanest major cities in the country. Before Europeans traveled the Monongahela to the confluence of the “Three Rivers” of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, Pittsburgh was a sparsely populated area even by the Native Americans. At best it was a rendezvous point for trade, claimed by no one due to the difficulty in traversing through large waterways and steep hills.

For colonists, the trek over the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains was enough to make the Pittsburgh region almost unreachable. On November 23, 1753, an officer of the Virginia MilitiaMajor George Washingtonsent to give warning to Britain’s enemy, the French forces, on the Ohio river a warning as a precursor to the French & Indian War- noted in his journal the confluence of the major rivers. “This location is extremely well suited for a fort as it has absolute command of the rivers and all its terrain.

He built Fort Prince George, which was lost to the French within the year and renamed Fort Duquesne. The location of the fort was so remote and difficult to attack that it was largely ignored throughout the war. Three years later, George Washington made his attempt to reclaim the fort and the garrison was so confident of the geography of the fort that they had let the wood dry rot. Rather than risking musket fire burning the garrison to the ground, the French surrendered and abandoned the fort.

It was then renamed Fort Pitt. It was in these modest beginnings that we already see the development and assumption of the power of the locality and the lack of gratitude and care given to the land that offered so much getting nothing in return. With the birth of Pittsburgh, the city, was also the origin of its smoky heritage. As early as 1753, coal was the recognized as the most readily available and best heating source in the area. The region had an almost limitless supply of coal.

The voluminous clouds of blackness were seen as advertisements of the new city’s industrious population in the 18th century. The geographic design on the confluence and high south hills kept the smoke gathered over the city. Between 1780-1830 new settlers carved arable farm land from the surrounding forest and hills to become a self-sufficient community from the rest of the country, but agriculturally the Allegheny region was not a thriving as the central plains of Pennsylvania or the flat lands of Virginia.

The city’s growth was fed by its coal, iron, zinc, and oil and expedited by its major waterways giving easy access from the Mississippi to the Potomac. The city stood as an antithesis to the pastoral values of most of the frontier. One visitor noted in 1829, “After two weeks through white clear, cheerful-looking villages to come all at once upon dirty streets dark houses and filth enveloped in an atmosphere of smoke and soot which blighted everything in sight, was not a pleasant transition. ”

The early 1800s saw no relief from smoke, as the pig iron foundries, rolling mills, coke furnaces, blast furnaces and hot ovens took over the landscape of the city, country and region. The concept of a new industrial aesthetic even spawned an artistic movement as popular as the pastoral art of the Hudson Valley school, creating a Mon Valley school of art showing the romance of steel complexes and starry nights above the glowing furnaces. The growth of the nation also grew the demand on goods, which Pittsburgh had in endless supply. The chief commodity was still coal.

Environmental Problems

In today’s environment Palm Beach County alone faces many environmental problems, which can turn disastrous if not taken care of. Included in these problems are air pollution, water contamination, and urban explosion. Air pollution is a major factor threatening our health and our environment. Due to the pollutants that circulate in the air, many people can come into contact with cancer causing gases. Atmospheric contaminants are derived from human practices, such as gas from automobiles, factories, and even chimneys.

Pollutants do not only cause damage to our health, but they cause damage to the health of plants and animals as well. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide cause damage to leaves of crop plants and trees when they enter leaf pores. Exposure of leaves to air pollutants can also break down the waxy coating that helps prevent excessive water loss and damage from diseases, pests, drought, and frost. Water pollution is another problem our county faces. There are many causes for water pollution but two general categories exist: direct and indirect contaminant sources.

Direct sources include effluent outfalls from factories, waste treatment plants etc. , which emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. Although these practices are regulated, this doesn’t mean that pollutants can’t be found in these waters. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rainwater. Soils and groundwater contain the residue of human agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc. ) and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. The effects of water pollution are varied and can be severe.

They include poisonous drinking water, poisonous food animals, unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects. These effects are harmful to everyone either directly or indirectly. It seems as if everywhere you look you either see construction, or a sign confirming construction will soon be present in that particular area. Urban explosion has played a big role in Palm Beach County’s environmental problems. Construction of so many new restaurants and stores has lured many new residents to Palm Beach County.

This urban sprout has slowly deteriorated the natural habitat in many areas where entire forests have been cut down in order to make room for homes and new resident areas. The fast population growth has put additional pressure on water quality as well as air quality. In summary, it seems as if our environmental problems are all around us and usually oblivious to most people. The major ones that I’ve noticed in Palm Beach County are: air pollution, water contamination, and urban explosion. If these problems continue growing in the form that they are, there will be serious consequences for us all.

Arguementative Environment Essay

Currently, a controversy is swirling over the issues raised by the despoiling of the world’s natural environment. Poet Stanley Kunitz in “The War Against the Trees” depicts a man watching his neighbor, “who sold his lawn to standard oil” (Kunitz 122), laugh as bulldozers ruin the natural beauty of the grounds with its “forsythia-forays and hydrangea-raids” (Kunitz 123). As industry wages war not just against flowers and shrubbery, but also against the town’s pleasant past.

Kunitz’s speaker is angry that this war “against the great-grandfathers of the town” (Kunitz 123) is destroying these ancestors’ attempt to preserve nature, not allow “the green world” (Kunitz 123) to be turned into a “death-foxed page” (Kunitz 123) of barrenness. Some pro-environmentalists, like Sioux medicine man John (Fire) Lame Deer, claim that the damage industrialized society has done to nature is both immense and nearly criminal , the result of greed.

Lame Deer complains that the white men “have not only despoiled the earth, the rocks, the minerals, all of which they call dead’ but which are very much alive; they have even changed the animals, which are a part of us, part of the Great Spirit, changed them in a horrible way, so no one can recognize them” (Erodes 209). On the other hand, conservatives frequently label environmentalists as extremists who despise almost all of capitalism’s practices regarding ecology.

That is, some extremist defenders of the profit motive name call, terming environmentalists “vandals” (Huber2 1) who prefer “forests over jobs” (Huber2 1) that the industrial age provides. Clearly, the issue has been politicized. Nonetheless, no one can deny that the earth, while not on the brink of annihilation, has been polluted and our air contaminated by the inroads created by the mechanized era. Furthermore, no caring person should recommend a “do-nothing” policy regarding the preservation of our environment which we ourselves are in the process of ruining.

The answer to the ecological dilemma is to assess realistically the extent of the damage and work to create a sensible, practical solution to the problem of our eroding environment through cooperative efforts. It is hard to doubt that human beings are wasting or eroding the earth which we all live on. Not only have the industrial nations altered their natural settings by overbuilding dams, destroying rain forests, and driving species out of their natural habitats to die or mutate, but they have pushed the earth close to the limits of its resources.

Lame Deer charges that because certain animals like coyotes, if left alive, “could lose some man a few cents,” (Erodes 212) our fauna are being depleted. We have also divorced ourselves from the healing power of nature and from our innate ” love for all that has been placed on this earth’ ” (Erodes 214) such as vegetation, the waters, the air, and all animals– except homo sapiens, whom out of self-interest we favor. Anyone living in Dallas or coastal areas of Louisiana last summer will find it hard to forget the “smaze” that choked us.

Blowing in from dry regions to the South, such as Mexico, the smoke came from widespread fires caused by aridity and by flammable industrial materials. Consequently, if anyone mocks those who claim our earth is decaying, these doubters should have just taken a whiff of the “smazed” air and then listened to his or her own coughing. We need to preserve not just the beauty of our few remaining wildernesses, but biodiversity, human and animal health, and the very survival of our planet as we know it now.

Most environmentalists and other analysts date widespread concern over ecological balance and conservationism to the appearance of Rachel Carson’s landmark book published in 1962, Silent Spring. From its publication on, “Nature became more than something that existed at a distance from most of human settlement, and nonhuman species were suddenly not the only species at direct risk from human impositions on the natural world. Pollution and human health, shifted to the center of concern, were seen as inseparable from conservation concerns” (Paehlke 261).

Carson indicted human beings for unleashing a “chain of evil” (Carson 324) in the form of pollution: “In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals and the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation are changing the very nature of the world the very nature of its life” (Carson 324) with a “barrage of poisons” (Carson 325). On the NBC Today show on December 4, 1998, scientists reported on a Danish study showing the likelihood that certain pesticides, which remain in the body for decades, significantly increase a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer.

With the visible increase in pollution of the air and water by CO2 emissions and by toxic chemical waste, most alert people have become aware of the long term ill consequences of a reckless technology about to run amuck. With the energy crisis strike in 1973, when the OPEC nations withheld oil from the west, the general public began to realize that there is a third dimension besides pollution and health attached “to environmental/conservation concerns: sustainability- the sustainability of resources, the sustainability of ecological systems, and the sustainability of both industrial economies and human societies” (Paehlke 261).

In short, these “current environmental crises make a systematic, scientific understanding of ecological principles especially important” (Cunningham 248). By 1998, knowledgeable people must be familiar with the assault on the earth and its living creatures resulting from industrial abuse. However, the pragmatic issue of protecting ourselves from ecological disintegration unfortunately has degenerated into a heated political argument, when instead of squabbling and hurling charges, people should collaborate and work out reasonable solutions to our environmental crisis.

Unfortunately, environmentalism has become a set of ideas that many refuse to accept as wholesome or valid: “One way of grasping its meaning is to see environmentalism as a political ideology, in some ways not unlike the classic political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, and socialism. Ideologies carry and convey a set of social values and seek to alter the societal and political agenda through the expression and interpretation of those values” (Paehlke 260). Some critics of environmentalism object on political, ideological grounds to the movement, insisting it is intent on undermining capitalism.

Since the West probably is still haunted by the ghosts of the Cold War and communism, many of its citizens feel threatened by a perceived attack on mechanization and industrialization from enthusiastic ecologists. Instead of seeing interest in saving rivers, the redwoods, and grey wolves as a subversive attack on the sacred principles of the free marked, private property, and the capitalist’s pursuit of property, conservatives ought to forget politics and support intelligent efforts to clean up chemical wastes, the waters of the earth, and the very air we breathe.

Partisanship should not taint programs to save the environment, and cooperation should be the key word. The existence of charges and countercharges by both sides of the political spectrum have succeeded only in muddling the vital issue of environmentalism and in sparking emotionalism on a crucial problem requiring rational, dispassionate thought for its solution. The extreme right is mistaken when it attacks environmentalism as one of the “intellectual-led movements” (Sowell 1) that are best called moral melodramas’ that “[turn] practical tasks into holy causes and Promethean undertakings” (Sowell 1).

Downgrading intellectuals as melodramatic a term connoting foolish, unjustified exaggeration the ultraconservatives criticize intelligent environmentalists as people who “cannot rely on the mundane” (Sowell 1). Again in his column in Forbes, Thomas Sowell uses a word, conjure, with a negative connotation: when one hears it, one thinks of sorcerers or just ordinary people afflicted by an overactive imagination no one to be taken seriously.

Over a year later than Sowell’s essay came out, the same periodical, Forbes, printed another anti-environmentalist article whose very title employs three emotionally-loaded words, “Green Alchemy: misbegotten environmentalists. ” The word green suggests the political radicals in Europe who advocate extreme measures to preserve the earth as well as the ecological organization Greenpeace, which the author, Peter Huber, ridicules. Then, alchemy refers to quacks in the Middle Ages who deceived people that they could turn any metal into gold as a greedy hoax.

Within Huber’s article, the author lumps environmentalists with other irrational people “of alchemical temperament conspiracy theorists, occultists, central planners. ” (Huber1 2) These unbalanced environmentalist, Huber contends, see free markets as wicked and capitalists as vile in an exaggerated attempt to discredit those who are genuinely interested in saving our health and our planet. This type of hot-headed rhetoric and unnecessary name calling impedes most collaborative programs that intend to benefit the environment and thereby help our children and grandchildren live in a wholesome atmosphere.

With the future of the planet at stake, it is detrimental to the safety of all its organisms to have ranting and raving replace constructive action. In spite of all the thunder on the right and warning signals on the left, one point is clear: we must guard our earth or decline with it. No reasonable person wants the world to time travel back to the Paleolithic Age or even the Neanderthal Age by shutting down industries and trying to survive all species and every tree around the globe. Yet, it is immoral not to be concerned about passing on a legacy of a doomed earth to future generations.

Logically, the best approach is the moderate one that begins at local and state levels and even involves the federal government in a wholesome, effective campaign to pull together our battered planet. Certainly, the federal government and private individuals will come up the funding to undertake a massive clean-up of the environment if only they could debate the question of “how” rather than “Why should we do it? ” The answer to the latter question should be clear: to halt the horrifying possibility that one day, sooner or later, the earth will be unable to support many living species.

The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect, in environmental science, is a popular term for the effect that certain variable constituents of the Earth’s lower atmosphere have on surface temperatures. These gases–water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4)–keep ground temperatures at a global average of about 15 degrees C (60 degrees F). Without them the average would be below the freezing point of H20. The gases have this effect because as incoming solar radiation strikes the surface, the surface gives off infrared radiation, or heat, hat the gases trap and keep near ground level.

The effect is comparable to the way in which a greenhouse traps heat, hence the term. Environmental scientists are concerned that changes in the variable contents of the atmosphere (particularly changes caused by human activities) could cause the Earth’s surface to warm up to a dangerous degree. Even a limited rise in average surface temperature might lead to at least partial melting of the polar ice caps and hence a major rise in sea level, along with other severe environmental agitation.

An example of a runaway greenhouse effect is Earth’s near-twin planetary neighbor Venus. Because of Venus’s thick CO2 atmosphere, the planet’s cloud-covered surface is hot enough to melt lead. Water vapor is an important “greenhouse” gas. It is a major reason why humid regions experience less cooling at night than do dry regions. However, variations in the atmosphere’s CO2 content are what have played a major role in past climatic changes. In recent decades there has been a global increase in atmospheric CO2, largely as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.

If the many other determinants of the Earth’s present global climate remain more or less constant, the CO2 increase should raise the average temperature at the Earth’s surface. As the atmosphere warmed, the amount of H2O would probably also increase, because warm air can contain more H2O than can cooler air. This process might go on indefinitely. On the other hand, reverse processes could develop such as increased cloud cover and increased absorption of CO2 by phytoplankton in the ocean. These would act as natural feedbacks, lowering temperatures.

In fact, a great deal remains unknown about the cycling of carbon through the environment, and in particular about the role of oceans in this atmospheric carbon cycle. Many further uncertainties exist in greenhouse-effect studies because the temperature records being used tend to represent the warmer urban areas rather than the global environment. Beyond that, the effects of CH4, natural trace gases, and industrial pollutants–indeed, the complex interactions of all of these climate controls working together–are only beginning to be nderstood by workers in the environmental sciences.

Despite such uncertainties, numerous scientists have maintained that the rise in global temperatures in the 1980s and early 1990s is a result of the greenhouse effect. A report issued in 1990 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), prepared by 170 scientists worldwide, further warned that the effect could continue to increase markedly. Most major Western industrial nations have pledged to stabilize or reduce their CO2 emissions during the 1990s. The U. S. ledge thus far concerns only chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

CFCs attack the ozone layer and contribute thereby to the greenhouse effect, because the ozone layer protects the growth of ocean phytoplankton. would probably also increase, because warm air can contain more water than can cooler air. This process might go on indefinitely. On the other hand, reverse processes could develop such as increased cloud cover and increased absorption of CO2 by phytoplankton in the ocean. These would act as natural feedbacks, lowering temperatures.

Can Natural Step promote sustainability in Organisations

There are three examples where companies have used The Natural Step and the outcomes prove whether it promotes sustainability. The examples shown are Stena Metall AB, an industrial recycling, trading and shipping company. The second example is Scandic Hotels and example three is Interface, a manufacturer of commercial floor covering. The Natural Step is a non- profit environmental education organisation with sight of the socially and ecologically sustainable society. Karl Henrik Robert, a cancer doctor in Sweden, discovered Natural Step in 1989.

He noticed an increase in childhood leukaemia cases and seen and understood an association between human illnesses and toxins. The approach for The Natural Step is to develop their framework, and put it to use in companies and other organisations. They intend to support it, plus Work towards becoming role models in the domain of sustainable development. Internet. The Natural Step promotes sustainability, and to define sustainability this is when materials are used in continuous cycles, reliable sources of energy is used continuously, and qualities of being human is sustainable.

It is important that organisations and companies move in this direction, as the human population is around six billion. Humans carelessness has caused life-supporting systems such as croplands, wetlands, the ozone layer, forestry, fisheries and groundwater to decline, and companies that close their eyes to environmental reality are likely to hit the wall. In todays society, visible forms of molecular garbage, waste and visible waste is producing and accumulating in the air. What happens is societal demand increases, and room to meet those demands decreases, in other words there is no where to store the resources.

More people are coming in to the world, resources are required to facilitate and there are increased pressures on the capacity of the ecosphere to absorb waste. If we do not create a sustainable society eventually, our businesses will hit the wall. The only option is the restoration of cyclical processes, where wastes become new resources for society or nature. However, if humans realise that the ecosystem has limits, and they work towards the four systems conditions, this could be avoided and chances of a sustainable future might be possible.

In knowing what the framework contains, you also need to keep in mind the four systems conditions that guide companies and organisations in the direction of a sustainable future. Dr. Karl Henrik derived them. The Natural Step concepts and methodology shows the discipline of sustainability in the basic laws of thermodynamics. The purpose of the four systems conditions is to find a framework for discussing sustainable human activities through non-overlapping first order principles. To come up with the principles, research was on human activities, and how they could destroy or deteriorate the ecological system that we depend on.

In a sustainable society, this would not happen. Internet The four systems conditions do not tell the company what to do, it provides the first order principles that must be met for sustainability. The framework where this sustainability can take place are derived through the four system conditions which are as follows: i. Substances from the Earths crust must not systematically increase in nature. ii. Substances produced by society must not systematically increase in nature. iii. The physical basis for the productivity and the diversity of nature most not be systematically diminished, and v.

We must be fair and efficient when meeting human needs. The first order principles four system conditions give companies an idea on how to move towards sustainability. Internet Natural Step provides a route map for any organisation wishing to get to grips with sustainable development. A new area for Natural Step is their involvement with Air BP, Scandic Hotels, Nike Europe, Co-operative Bank, DuPont, Carillion, HP Bulmer, Interface, Microsystems, Tarmac, Wessex Water, Ikea and Yorkshire Water. There are several more companies working with The Natural Step.

Internet Companies working with The Natural Step, seminars and workshops are held to educate staff within your organisation, about the meaning of sustainability and ways to achieve this. The Natural Step workshops prove effective at achieving a shared and new awareness of the principles, which are required in attempt at a sustainable future. Internet For most companies, life is not as simple as it used to be. Businesses get more pressure from government and consumers, because they want them to be more environmentally and socially responsible.

They must make decisions about their future development, in relation to social, economic and environmental impacts of every choice. All businesses must deal with the environment in a way that leads to a sustainable future in not doing so may lead to them not having a future. Internet We need to meet human needs without diminishing the Earths capacity to provide for the needs of future generations. Few people will disagree that sustainability is a good idea, although most find it difficult as it has complex implications.

The problems of social and the environment will not be solved unless we rethink how we interact with the environment, like the for example how the following companies have put these issues into effect. Internet Companies such as the three discussed further down have integrated the environment in to their business reality by using The Natural Step framework. The companies recognise that the economy and the environment are linked and natures limits help profitability while improving their chances of growing in a competitive world.

The costs of resources and environmental legislation such as the resource Management Act, require environmentally sustainable business decisions. In addition, to The Natural step more and more companies are upgrading their environmental Management Systems to conform to International Standards. Such as the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in Europe or the ISO 14001 Environmental system standard. The creation is by the International Standards organisation. Business customers are increasingly requiring that suppliers become certified according to one of the internationally recognised standards.

They need a guide and that guide could be The Natural Step. Businesses are becoming 1S0 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. Book The Natural Step for business. ISO 14001 standard is implemented to achieve excellence by reducing waste, while the ISO 9001 standard is implemented to reduce waste by achieving excellence. ISO 14001 will change the way we do business. Its main clauses are as follows: General requirements, Environmental policy, and Planning, Implementation and operation, checking and corrective action and management review. The environmental policy gives direction to reduce environment degradation.

Management review is similar to the 1SO 9000 system. Benefits arising from implementation are improvements in bottom line, increased profits, operations, marketing, regulatory, compliance and social, being capable to identify opportunities for improvement, waste reduction, waste reused, recycled or eliminated. Internet The three examples discussed, where the companies are working with The Natural Step to move in the direction of a sustainable future are Stena Metall AB, Scandic Hotels, and Interface. Stena Metall AB is an industrial recycling, trading and shipping company. They recycle scrap metal, i. e. rapped cars, appliances, other steel and collects, process and sells waste paper, etc. Environmental issues are part of their day to day responsibilities.

Recycling and environmental service Company in Stena Metall Group are becoming certified to 1SO 14001. In 1996/1997 they were 1S0 14001 certified and registered according to EMAS (European Unions Ordinance on environmental processing and environmental audits). They were also certified to 1S0 9002. Their goal is for all their companies to be 1S0 14001 certified. Stena Gotthard Atervinning, are one of Stena Mettal’s Group, they are one of the first division to implement TNS.

Natural Step motivates the companies on environmental aspects. Competition is increasing in marketing for recycling and environmental services as organisations and businesses are effected by environmental demands. When the company were looking into environmental training, they decided upon TNS as they found the four systems conditions to be an easy training model and they could easily link them to their daily behaviour. The TNS framework was used for their environmental training internally, and applied to their business operations.

When using the four systems conditions they found they had zero waste. Waste Management today is a vital link to a sustainable society, for waste and recycling companies to be successful, they must be environmentally responsible and safe. In Stenna Metalls annual Reports, they devote two pages to their environmental approach. In addition, in 1996/1997 gross revenues amounted to SEK 292. 8m, which was a 40% increase compared with 1995/1996. Internet Another company Scandic Hotels AB had losses between 1990 and 1992, CEO, Roland Nilson was brought in to improve the company.

He realised that the way forward for the hotel would be to introduce new values towards caring for their guests, workers, shareholders, the community where it was situated, and the natural environment. He realised concern for the earth, and impact of business on natural world was important to many people. He needed to educate management and employees on environmental issues and bring environment issues into practice. He researched environmental values and came to the decision that TNS had credibility in both environmental and business circles.

The CEO met with Dr. Karl Henrik Robert and was impressed with his approach. Dr Karl Henrik Robert give a presentation to introduce TNS and they proceeded with TNS as their environmental, educational program. After their training in TNS, employees made suggestions and some were implemented after meetings on topics. TNS is part of the way Scandic Hotels do business now and in the future. When introducing TNS they produced an environmental guide that contained a description of the Environmental Dialogue process involving visions for 2000, environmental goals, policy and their recent activities.

It also covers principles behind TNS framework and including human activities into natures cycle and the four systems conditions. In meetings they looked at ways in which they could make environmental improvements in Scandic Hotels, they also drew up a program to suggest ways they can reduce their impact on environment through their environmental networker. They came up with, ideas to be carried out and implemented ideas that need further investigation, and ideas that need investment. The program has been produced, and given to employees and guests in the hotel. More than 1500 measures through environmental dialogue have been implemented.

Scandic hotels have reduced their environmental impact by introducing a 97 percent recyclable room, where 1000 rooms produce 60 tons less plastic waste (a reduction of 70 percent), 10 tons less metal waste (50 percent reduction). Scandic saved 40 tons of soap in one year by changing to liquid soap dispensers, reduced fuel and water consumption by using more efficient washing machines and increased its market share due to positive public response to its activities. In addition, they have introduced in typical areas 25 percent light sockets filled with low energy bulbs.

They have made bicycles available for guests and workers to lessen the impact on environment. Any Eco-efficiency and cost saving initiates are resulted in higher profits for the company. This was popular with customers, but not only, that it also contributes to a healthier environment. In relation to 1996, annual cost for energy and water has been reduced by almost 12million SEK (US $1. 4m) Ecological Sustainability is not a cost to the company, it helps profit margins considerably and a competitive advantage. In 1996/1998, their goal was to reduce energy and water consumption by 20% and unsorted waste by 20%.

Their average in this period of energy consumption was reduced by 12 percent per night and water consumption by 12 percent per guest per night, and waste was reduced by 28 percent. Environmental sustainability is a competitive issue, by introducing TNS into their strategy and practices. They continue to win customer and market share from their competitors. The Natural Step is Scandic Hotel’s best team building program they have ever discovered. Internet, and brochure on Natural Step. Interface is a manufacturer of commercial floor covering, there is four manufacturing sites in the UK.

They are committed to becoming sustainable and work with The Natural Step in the USA as well as in the UK, Australia, and throughout Europe. Interface put together a learning and development programme for the company, to encourage people to take responsibilities, make suggestions and take risks with new ways of doing things. The objective of this project was to give training to staff, including those on the shop floor, to learn what sustainability means for Interface and also to contribute to the company becoming sustainable and eventually, restorative.

Interface worked with TNS to create a two day training course, a group were trained and then they went on to facilitate the course to their colleagues, and over 2,500 people have taken a Natural Step within Interface. Employees are ready to contribute to exciting new ideas, including onsite renewable energy generation, accounting for sustainability, and the search for new, less toxic chemicals to use in production. Reductions in waste to landfill have been achieved, an increase of use of post-consumer recycled materials, existing facilities have been redeveloped, reusing much of the material from the old buildings.

In addition, the latest technology has been used for energy saving. Ray Anderson calculated that the company is responsible for 1. 2 billion pounds of petroleum extracted from the crust of the earth each year. One third is used for the materials in carpet, and two thirds is the energy it takes to make carpet. Over 250million pounds of carpet is produced each year from the United States. With an average life of 15 years, most of this material goes to landfills. Their vision is to eventually make all carpet from recycled materials and to use renewable energy resources.

If this strategy succeeds, the indicator will approach zero Since their journey toward sustainability they have watched their sales rise. Interface has also developed one of the worlds first sustainable reports, which says one of their goals is to become the worlds first sustainable enterprise. Interface in recent years with a turnover increasing from $802m in 1995 to $1. 135 billion in 1997. Ray Anderson, chairman and founder of the company says that after attending training in TNS he understands the urgency of redesigning their products. Also he had realised how wonderful the world was but only now realises what a mess we have made of it.

TNS has made him aware of waste streaming not just at home but also at work, his dream is to be committed to leading the way to sustainability. Brochure on Natural step The Natural step organisations have been launched in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. Japan and South Africa are now in the process of establishing Natural Step organisations. The Natural Step framework is considered by Ikea, Scandic Hotels, Interface and Collins Pine to provide the best available organising structure for understanding sustainability.

The Natural Step is relatively young and their impacts and results have not been evaluated or widely communicated. Book The Natural Step, by Brian Nattrass & Mary Altomare. A large part of destruction is mainly due to business activities or through products and services that they provide. Though in my opinion it no longer matters who is to blame, all that matters is, that responsibility is taken towards the direction of sustainability for our society. The Natural step provides the vision that guides a company toward sustainability.

The Significance Of Plastics

Many individuals today have civilized bodies and barbarous souls. Many are blind to the real sights of this world and deaf to its voice. However, no matter how ignorant one may be, he or she cannot disregard the significance of plastics in his or her life. Although they were not recognized as such, many materials used centuries ago for clothing and elements of construction, were natural polymers based on starch and cellulose. Then, ever since Alexander Parkes concocted the first man-made plastic in 1862, people utilized plastics in verythingautomobiles, homes, entertainment, clothes, and even medicine.

In addition to its many uses in everyday products, plastics can perform functions at a cost lower than other materials, and perhaps more efficiently too. Where would humanity be without the use of plastics? Although there is no way that anybody can deny the fact that plastics enhance everybodys lives, many are unaware how important plastics are to the society. While some people may argue that the invention of computers is the most important development in the last 2,000 years, plastics allow the manufacture of computers to occur.

The more obvious use of plastics is Tupperware, which makes mothers happy all over the world by making the preservation of leftovers more convenient. Along with satisfying the adults, plastics bring smiles to the younger generations with Barbie dolls, footballs, Frisbees, and Hula Hoops. Then, in order to assure that the little girls and boys are playing without the risk of hurting themselves, producers gave rise to safeguards such as helmets and kneepads. Furthermore, in the fashion industry, the discovery of nylon in 1920s created a big craze.

Instead of animal hair in toothbrushes and silk stockings, chemists replaced them with nylon; this caused American women to storm department stores across the country to purchase this latest in womens hosiery. From the first moment a man opens his eyes in the morning to laying his head down on the pillow at night, he is constantly surrounded by the wonderful world of plastics. Besides ameliorating the quality of many lives, the widespread use of plastics also became one of the major contributors to the economy. For instance, in United States, or the largest consumer and producer of the plastics in the world, hipments of plastics totaled $274. billion in 1996.

Also, due to plastics light weight and durability, consumers can purchase economy-size products, inducing cheaper shipping-and-handling fee and yet extremely convenient. Moreover, in plastics industry accounted for 1. 3 million jobs, helping every family to expand their employment opportunities. Less people would have to sleep on the streets; with the steady increase in the past two and a half decades, the plastics industry grants those in poverty another chance to pick themselves off the streets and start new lives.

A lot of people believe that plastics are hazardous to the environment. However, it is not the material that is dangerous to natureit is the people that utilize them. Many will be surprised to hear that plastics are derived from natural resources, and in addition, because plastics are so efficient, their function often conserves other resources. As a result, plastics create less pollution and employ fewer substantially poisonous ingredients. Moreover, plastics toughness permits many products to be reused over and over again, and therefore decreasing the quantity of trash disposed.

Similarly, plastics recycling program grants access to communities to collect plastics products. Therefore, plastics are only precarious to the environment if the users recklessly dump them in the garbage can or throwing it on the streets instead of reusing them. Other than commonplace uses of plastics, most people does not obtain the knowledge that plastics aid in such matters as preserving the great historical remains. A polymer coating protect the Statue of Liberty and other famous monuments worldwide. Another use of plastic that is not usually known would be billiard balls.

Before plastics, hundreds and thousands of elephants were killed for their ivory to make billiard balls. Instead of slaughtering the innocent animals and purchasing the billiard balls for an enormous amount of price, plastics allow people to play with plastic billiard balls with equal amusement. Furthermore, beginning with the dawn of the space age in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I into orbit to the Hubble Telescope at the end of 1999, plastic has permitted man to travel the far reaches of space, fulfilling the scientists dreams.

Without plastics to onstruct vehicles and other equipment that the astronauts need to survive, space exploration would be confined to the use of a land-based telescope. Plastics will definitely be a huge part of the next generations and the far future. Can anybody live without plastics? Probably, but their lives would be quite miserable. Plastics are components of numerous amount of products in society nowadays, and their unique characteristics make them advantageous and easy to use. Furthermore, plastics save time and money, along with the earth’s resources and therefore, improving the lives of people everywhere.

Ecotourism in the world

Ecotourism in the world has been quite big over the years, but has grown in population in the more recent years. There are many different definitions to what ecotourism really is and even if it should be hyphenated because of the history behind it. With or without the use of the hyphen in the word ecotourism, has often resulted in use of the term being little more than a marketing tactic to give businesses and apparent green edge on the competition (Ross, 1999).

Ecotourism has been defined in several ways. First, ecotourism, according to The Ecotourism Society, is a purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the culture and the natural history of the environment; taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem; producing economic opportunities that make the conservation of the natural resources beneficial to the local people (Ross, 1999).

A second definition by The World Conservation Unions Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas, defines ecotourism as an environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations (Ross, 1999). Many of the definitions of the word have the same basic meaning.

When compared to mass tourism, ecotourism not only stresses the appropriate use of all resources, but also emphasizes community development to meet the economic, social, and cultural needs of the community (Khan, pg. 988). Mass tourism on the other hand creates initiatives in Third World countries that are directed towards satisfying the needs of the tourists (Khan, pg. 988). Ecotourism development is most likely to be at a smaller scale, locally owned, with low import leakage and a higher proportion of profits remaining in the local economy.

Mass tourism has the potential to degrade the environment, ecotourism promotes the conservation and preservation of the ecosystem, so as not to disrupt the flora and fauna, wildlife, and habitat (Khan, pg. 989-990). Ecotourism is a big problem in several countries throughout the world. With trying to preserve the natural environment of areas, and the growing industry of mass tourism and ecotourism, countries, such as South Africa, have grown to try to adapt to ecotourim travel and mass tourism travel. Destination South Africa has become one of todays most popular destinations for ecotourism travel and travel in general.

It has many things to offer to visitors who are looking to tour and travel nature based areas that are protected by the government. Ecotourists travel all over South Africa for all different reasons. Some go to South Africa to hunt big game, some travel they’re just for the experience. Geographic Location South Africa is on the southern most tip of the continent, with the Indian Ocean on its eastern and southern coasts and the South Atlantic Ocean on its western coast (World Book, pg. 608). It is made up of four provinces, which include Natal, Orange Free State, Cape Province, and Transvaal.

South Africa is relatively undeveloped, but growing (Loon, 2001). It is also the richest and most highly developed country in Africa (World Book, 608). Population The population in South Africa includes blacks, whites, colored, and Asians. These four categories are what each individual living in South Africa has to fit into. The estimated population in South Africa was 34,944,000 in the year 1988 (World Book, 608). In a more recent survey, the population for South Africa has now bumped up to 43,647,658 in the year 2002 (www. Encarta. msn). You can plainly see the population growth in just twelve years.

That is thirty-six persons per square kilometer (www. Encarta. msn). The blacks, or Africans, make up about seventy three percent of the population in South Africa and are further divided into subgroups according to their traditional ethnic divisions (World Book, 608). The whites make up about fifteen percent and are split up into two subgroups which are Afrikaners, and Afrikaans, who are either Dutch, German, British, and French descent who all speak English (World Book, 608). The colored people make up about nine percent and are mixed of black, white, and Southeast Asian descent.

Last, are the Asians who make up about three percent of South Africas population (World Book, 608). Language South Africa has two main languages, Afrikaans and English. The Afrikaans language was developed by the Dutch, but includes other words from European languages and from Asian and African languages. (www. library. think quest. org) About ninety percent of the colored people in South Africa speak Afrikaans, and the rest speak English (World Book, 613). In the 1994 constitution, the government added another nine languages to the South African vocabulary.

They include: Zulu, Xhosa, Sesotho sa Leboa, Tswana, Sesotho, Tsonga, Venda, Ndebele, and si Siwati (www. Encarta. msn). This includes ninety eight percent of the South Africans speaking all of these eleven languages. Religion There are a couple of different religions in South Africa that the people there practice. The number one religion is Christian. Ninety-two percent of the South African population makes up the Christians, while two percent make up Hindus and another two percent make up the Muslims (www. Encarta. msn). The Hindus are of mainly Indian descent, and the Muslims are of Indian and colored descent.

Out of all the Christian churches, four thousand out of those African independent churches claim eight and a half million adherents (www. Encarta. msn). Recreation Recreation is a major role in most South Africans lives. Sports play a major role in schools in South Africa. Rugby is the number one sport played by Afrikaners (www. Encarta. msn). South Africa even hosted and won the 1995 rugby world championships. Another popular sport in South Africa is cricket. Mainly the English speakers play this. Some other popular sports are swimming, water sports, tennis and golf, especially in the white communities (www.

Government The government in South Africa is a parliament. It became a republic in 1961 and the constitution the office of president as head of state (www. Encarta. msn). In 1984 however, a new constitution was made and included a trilateral parliament of white, colored, and Asian houses, but excluded the black majority all together (www. Encarta. msn). The parliament consists of two houses, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (www. Encarta. msn). Economy South Africas economy has many things to offer.

It is a middle-income, developing country with an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the ten largest in the world and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region (www. photius. com). The thirty- percent unemployment and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially the problems of poverty and lack of economic empowerment amount the disadvantaged groups (www. photius. com).

The labor force in South Africa is fifteen million who are economically active, and by occupation are services-thirty five percent, agriculture-thirty percent, industry-twenty percent, mining-nine percent, and other-six percent (www. photius. com). These are just some of the examples of the economy in South Africa. Some important economic sectors in South Africa are new investment in labor-intensive projects, expansion of basic infrastructure services, subsidies to promote economic efficiency, and integration into the global economy (www. photius. com). Ecotourism/Tourism Industry

Tourism has been a big part of South Africa for some time. Just in the year 2000 alone, African tourists got up to 2. 6 billion (Loon, 2001). In tourism alone, 4. 7 percent of the gross domestic product (1995) is what the South African tourism industry contributes (www. library. think quest. org). The industry employs about five hundred and fifty thousand people, meaning that one in twenty five jobs are linked to tourism in South Africa (www. library. think quest. org). The overall compound growth rate of the tourism industry has been over seventeen percent, which is exceptional even at an international level (Loon, 2001).

The activities that fall under ecotourism are nature photography, bird watching, botanical studies, snorkeling, hiking, mountain climbing, and hunting. Most of the people who travel to South Africa to participate in one of these activities are ecotourists and mass tourists. Game and nature reserves remain the most popular category of destinations for international tourists coming to South Africa (www. tourism. org). Hunting big game is a very big recreation sport for tourists visiting South Africa. They allow hunting on private game land and selective trophy hunting in a few game reserves.

Professional hunters, which must accompany tourist hunters, negotiate a fee for the desired animal directly with the owner or manager of the land on which the animal is found (Baker, 1997). For example, the Mpakeni people near the southwest corner of Kruger National Park sell the right to hunt buffalo for R20000 each and use the revenue for community projects such as schools (Cadogan, 1995). South Africa is the ideal place to see animals in their natural environment and to see Africas Big Five, which include large game animals (www. library. think quest. org). Tourism Infrastructure/Visitors/Volume

Most of the travel coming to South Africa is international travelers from around the world. There are many flights from many European capitals to Johannesburg. Malaysia and Qantas Airways provide flights from Asia and Australia (www. new Africa. com). South Africa Airways, etc cover the regional routes. Information about hotels, resorts, transportation and airlines is readily available on Internet. Types of visitors include middle class and affluent that come to hunt or view the animals or scenery for holidays, business, or work. These tourists come from Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

In 1999 the greatest number of ecotourism arrivals were 4,367 from Africa, 1,027 from Europe, 245 from North America and 185 from Asia. (4) Tourism Attractions There are several major tourist attractions in South Africa. They include some natural, some historic, and some cultural. Kruger National Park is one of the biggest attractions that South Africa has. It is actually the fifth most important tourist attraction in South Africa (www. tourism. org). This park is internationally know for the wildlife management, it offers a variety of amphibians, reptiles, birds and one hundred forty seven mammal species including the Big Five (www. oafrica. com).

The Kruger National Park offers a park safari that includes a five-day, four night mobile, camping safari where tourists can see big game and interesting sites. Another major tourist attraction is the marine and coastal National Parks. One is the Tsitsikamma, which is a narrow coastal plain bounded by cliffs with quiet tidal pools, deep gorges, and evergreen forests. The West Coast is in the Langebaan lagoon and is a watersport paradise, and also home to 256 bird species (www. ecoafrica. com). The wilderness of South Africa is in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains.

This region includes lakes, rivers, lagoons, forests, beaches, and the sea (www. ecoafrica. com). Another is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is made up of rust red sand dunes, thousands of antelope, birds of prey, desert lions, and shy leopards (www. ecoafrica. com). The Karoo National Park is the largest natural ecosystem in South Africa and fossils that date back 310 million years ago (www. ecoafrica. com). Impact of Ecotourism In the western societies of Canada, the United States and Australia, travels to experience nature are well known. During the late 1800’s Parks were opened at Yellowstone, Banff and Niagara Falls.

Africa started opening parks in 1925 called game reserves to set aside natural areas for protection and recreation. (1) With a higher demand for nature-based tourism along with the media presenting quality nature programs, people looked to travel to areas like Africa. This was the beginning of ecotourism growth. Africa is a very successful ecotourism destination. Tourists want to travel there to discover and learn about wild natural environments. This wilderness travel involves a feeling of primitive travel in natural environments that is not disturbed too much by humans.

Additionally, adventure travel in Africa seems to be a tourist’s personal accomplishment with the thrill of dominating a dangerous environment. These people are interested in experiencing, learning and photographing wild nature within natural settings. This can easily be found in Africa. Kenya and Tanzania are well-documented examples of successful ecotourism in Africa. In the early 1950’s with only a thousand tourists, Tanzania’s tourism increased to 350,000 in 1995 and Kenya to 865,000 in l994.

The earnings in these countries from ecotourism sometimes exceed those of agriculture, they’re other important export. ) Kenya and South Africa have been successful leaders in ecotourism success because they national legislation, policy planning and site management. Therefore, their ecotourism is working successfully. However, not all ecotourism has been successful. Paul Eagles(1) identified five factors inhibiting Africa’s development efforts: negative market image, lack of foreign exchange for capital development, lack of trained personnel for tourism, and weak planning and management of areas. (1) Positive Effects of Ecotourism

The positive effects of ecotourism include a better economy for the people of Africa. The exchange rate gives the tourist a good value compared to key competitors. More money is brought into the country for more jobs. The government feels that ecotourism will bring hope to millions who suffer from disease, to malnourished children and homeless people. Secondly they feel that Africa needs a broader, sustainable development for a better economy and ecotourism is a good way to do it. (2) Another positive effect of ecotourism is that the Strategic Framework for Tourism Development has been founded.

It emphasizes values of socio-economic benefits for all participants and communities, community involvement in decision-making and responsibility, and sustainability. This requires balanced management of tourism resources. Additionally, ecotourism brings about a growing awareness of environmental responsibility among people of the country. Local communities are being involved in this through planning and impact studies. Publicity is given to mining projects in ecologically sensitive areas. The people of Africa are becoming more educated and learning conservation and careful management of scarce resources. )

Other groups that ecotourism has helped are urban dwellers and international businesses. Negative Effects of Ecotourism Tourist use has the potential to degrade environmental quality through overuse, trial erosion, road damage, wildlife harassment, sewage runoff, and poaching. Hunting or poaching could lead to more extinction of the some animals. Another problem would be housing settlements for tourists near the parks that may scare the animals so they leave their habitat. Or likewise, letting tourists drive off main roads causing animals to be scared away.

Large tour groups could cause negative effects, as the organizers could not handle them. With the development of game parks in Africa, restriction of access to resources for some groups of locals has been negative. It seems that local peasants are able to gain the least from the natural or economic resources of the parks. Additionally, if an underdeveloped country did not have great organization and sufficient funds for the establishment, protection and management of their sites, this would cause the environment to run down. Recommendations Recommendations for improving the negative impact of ecotourism are numerous.

An ecotourism industry can not survive if the quality of the natural environment is degraded. The public and private sectors need to cooperate. The public sector must protect resources and determine acceptable uses and levels of use. Security of the environment is the government’s responsibility. Visitor centers also need to be established to give visitors information. Governments need to follow closely the infrastructure to keep up roads, airports, rail lines, electricity and sanitation. Also they need to have security and enforcement, monitor impacts, and limit change if it is not in the best interest of the environment.

Last of all the public sector needs to be involved in conflict resolution. The African government needs to be extremely involved in the management of the natural environment to avoid negative impacts. With inadequate financial resources for management the results will be overuse, environmental damage and ultimately the loss of ecotourism’s potential. The African government needs tax-based budgets to fund resource management. To have a totally successful system of ecotourism, Africa needs to work with the private sector to provide services and consumer products.

These people will provide accommodation, food, transportation, media, guides, clothes, souvenirs, equipment and advertising. This group needs to respond to consumer demands and develop specialized products as needed. In Africa, a poorer country, private operators provide information, but they rely on the public sector for resource protection, infrastructure and security. Likewise the public sector needs to rely on the private sector for handling day-to-day activities of the visitors in Africa. The ecotourism will be more organized and hopefully avoid the negative effects if these two groups work together.

The private sector could also earn more money by printing guidebooks and having the safari vehicles both made in Africa to bring more money to the economy. (1) The situation can be further improved by the public and private sectors working together to form data bases on Internet, along with information available in park publications and guidebooks. By providing this information, travelers will be well educated before arriving and Africa well have fewer chances of negative problems. Conclusion Africa has the potential to continue nature-based tourism growth, as people throughout the world are interested in seeing their natural environment.

They are on the right track in protecting the wildlife and ecological resources. In game reserves they allow hunting and in national parks resource extraction in not allowed. They are looking at building tourist housing away from the large wildlife populations so the animals do not abandon their habitat. All of these attractions make South Africa and its national parks an ecotourism destination. They all preserve the natural artifacts such as the animals, and land structure in the region so visitors who appreciate these kinds of things can see the beautiful attractions.

Study of Environmental Issues Associated with Industrialization

Although our industrial ways seem to be a very progressive step into the future, there are many flaws to the way many things are today. Things have definitely changed over the past century, as we can currently do things much more efficiently then before. The cost of this efficiency may seem inexpensive in many ways, however we do not realize that the cost of these new technologies do not just include money, time and labour, but it also costs us our well being as well as the beauty and comfort of our own home, earth.

Ozone depletion, climate change as well as the direct effects of chemicals from industrial missions and fuel combustion are a great threat to our planet and if nothing is done to resolve this problem soon, the results may be disastrous. There is a layer of chemicals twenty kilometers up in the stratosphere called the ozone layer. This layer protects the inhabitants of earth by reflecting much of the suns harmful ultra violet (UV) rays. Without this layer above us, many living things including humans could not survive. The ozone layer is currently depleting and the reason for this is believed to be caused by a few things.

Deforestation, fertilizer use and fuel combustion are minor ontributors to this problem while chemicals such as chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide and hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) are the major contributors to the deterioration of the ozone layer. These chemicals have industrial halocarbons that break up into chlorine and bromine in the upper stratosphere when they react with the sun’s rays. Chlorine eats up the ozone layer while bromine acts as a catalyst and speeds up the process.

Often found in Antarctica, there are frozen chemical clouds in the upper stratosphere called polar stratospheric clouds. These polar stratospheric clouds destroy the ozone layer at a much faster pace then the industrial halocarbons. The depletion of the ozone layer is a great threat to mankind and all other living things on earth because without this layer of chemicals, we will be exposed to excess UV rays. This excess exposure can lead to many things such as malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, damage to eyes by means such as snow blindness and cataracts, which is the clouding of the eye that can eventually lead to blindness.

Above all this, excessive UV xposure can lead to symptoms similar to AIDS as prolonged exposure could weaken the human immune system. As far as plants and animals go, plants may die or may not be as healthy as a result of too much UV exposure and animals will suffer similar symptoms as humans. So if the ozone layer that we depend very much on is destroyed, it could be concluded that we as inhabitants of the world are also destroyed. It is believed but not yet proven that we are altering the world climate by releasing chemicals into the atmosphere by a process called “global warming” or the “greenhouse effect”.

Some of the chemicals that are believed to ontribute to the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide, halogen gases and CFCs. These chemicals cause the climate of the world to increase by trapping the suns heat in the atmosphere and can last anywhere from one decade to one century. Although chemicals released by man only account for one third of the greenhouse effect, it is our contribution to this problem that will set the world off balance.

It seems now that by the year 2100, carbon dioxide will double, causing global temperatures to rise to anywhere in between one point five to four point five degrees Celsius. Many people may wonder why global warming is such a problem as humans can easily adapt to their environment. If this global warming causes global temperatures to rise, we as humans will be able to cope with this change, however plants and animals may not be able to adapt to this change and as a result they may die and become extinct, resulting in a break in the food chain.

The ocean levels will also continue to rise as they have been at a pace of two to eight centimeters a decade for several more decades. In fact, if Antarctica melts slightly the ocean level can rise up to sixty meters. As the global temperatures rise, the world will become drier and therefore there will be more droughts, and heat waves possibly causing more fires and again producing more CO2 and further contributing to the problem. Ocean temperatures, currents and fish habitats will also change with the climate of the world.

Chemicals however, are not only believed to heat up the world in the process of global warming, chemicals are also the probable cause of an unexplained coolness in some parts of the world. Sulfur dioxide is a chemical that reflects sunlight and because it reflects sunlight it is assumed that ulfur dioxide cools specific areas of the earth that should be warmer. Chemicals cause a lot of indirect damage to all living things on earth, however, it is possible and most frequent that chemicals endanger the lives of living things directly. Unintentionally inhaling chemicals is one way these chemicals can harm us directly.

Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, binds to the blood’s hemoglobin and prevents the necessary oxygen from reaching tissues. When inhaled, carbon monoxide can also dull mental acuity. A deadly chemical cloud at ground level called smog also endangers the health of living things. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions combine to form ozone at ground level. When the sun reacts with this ozone layer at ground level, it produces smog. Every year the ozone layer at ground level has increased by one percent.

As carbon dioxide emissions increase throughout the world, some plants may benefit from this increase and so this excess carbon dioxide may act as a fertilizer, but to other plants, too much carbon dioxide may be a bad thing, causing the plant to die and possibly become extinct. The St. Claire River is now known as “Chemical Valley” because of an accident that had occurred there several years ago. An industrial company near the river had spilled sixty different chemicals mixed together into the river. This accident had sterilized the river and had effected much of the agriculture around it.

The Great Lakes is another example of the direct effect of chemicals on living things. There are chemicals in our body today that there not present back in the early 90’s, the polluted Great Lakes that we locals depend on, are believed to be the cause. Animals reproducing near the great akes and that rely on the great lakes are more frequently unsuccessful then before, female birds are growing crossed bills, males are either immune to this or die in the shell, fish are being feminized because the do not have secondary sex steroids which chemicals from the pulp and paper industry are believed to be responsible for.

For humans, the sperm count in men has decreased fifty percent in the last fifty years, breast cancer has become an epidemic, males experience genetile disorders and children have problems learning. Chemicals released into the atmosphere by industry, vehicles, fertilizer use, etc. an harm plant, animal and even human health, so therefore if this problem is not resolved quickly, the world we live in now could soon turn into a world of chaos.

If a species of any animal becomes extinct the food chain will collapse, if any species of plants become extinct the food chain again will collapse and if that species of plants is used for any type of medication, the people who depend on that medication may also die. There are some organizations in the world that are trying to turn things around, however there are not enough people to support these groups. The general public doesn’t seem to care much bout this problem or is not yet aware of this issue.

Even the government of Canada doesn’t not want to take action against pollution more then likely because of budget limitations. It was concluded by Dr. Gordon McBean that “Humans have already radically altered the composition of the atmosphere and hence it’s radiative properties. In other words, we have quite unintentionally started a long-term, global-scale geophysical experiment with the life-support system of this planet – an experiment that we do not control and, as yet, poorly understand. That, in itself, is cause for concern. “

Pesticides and Their Harmful Affects

There are many important issues in the world regarding the environment and it’s affects on the average person. Though, the one that hits closest to home, worldwide, is the trust that individuals have in the food that they consume. Yet pesticides are still found daily in foods all around the world. Pesticides are toxins that are used by produce growers universally to control pests that can destroy crops. These toxins are being ingested by humans in the forms of fruits and vegetables that have remaining toxins on them.

How safe are these toxins to humans and what is being done o safeguard the environment as well as the health of individuals? Does the average person consume harmful amounts of poison at every meal? If the levels are unsafe, why is this problem continuing to get a blind eye from the people who are supposed to protect society? These questions when asked only lead to more questions. Until things are done to change the systems of pesticide usage universally, society can never be sure as to the long term effects on our environment and what they are eating or giving to the future of our world, the children.

In some oreign countries pesticides are used more frequently with legislative control than in the United States. In Mexico and South America, for example, many of the pesticides that the United States and Europe have banned, wind up being used on a majority of their produce crops. The largest problem with this is that Europe and the United States import from South America for produce all of the time. What good does it do to ban harmful agricultural chemicals to be used on domestically grown crops if crops in other countries are grown with these same harmful chemicals, and are then allowed to be imported?

Mexico and South America are the leading suppliers of produce for the earth’s population because their climate is very conducive to year around crops. Unfortunately those countries are also known for their large amount of insects of all varieties. These insects are steadily becoming more and more immune to toxins that are sprayed on crops. More than five hundred insects, one hundred and fifty plant diseases and two hundred and seventy weeds are now resistant to pesticides. Results are that U. S. growers as well, are steadily forced to apply more and stronger toxins.

As the amount and the strength of the toxin increases, the immunity of the targeted insects to these toxins also increases. Total U. S. crop losses from insect damage has nearly doubled since 1945. Insecticide use during this same time has increased tenfold. This war will go on being waged until the game plan is changed. The produce export trade in some cities and countries constitutes the majority of their economy and they will protect the resulting income at all costs. These places have very little legislation to control chemical usage, and follow up on almost none of its effects.

Officials do not care how it affects consumers, being adults or children. Even their own agricultural worker’s health is of no concern. These officials only care about producing crops and exporting them with as little overhead as possible. The bottom line is, always has been, and always will be money. In Villa Juarez, Mexico, many children who work in the produce fields are coming down with mysterious illnesses and some people in this region put the blame directly on those children’s contact with the chemical acephate and other pesticides that are used in that area.

The use of acephate is llegal in the United States, but is perfectly legal in Mexico. Doctors in Juarez are treating unusually high amounts of cancer and also fifty to eighty cases of chemical poisoning per week in their agricultural workers. This continues to happen because the government and the growers do not take these illnesses seriously; the workers are expendable. Growers in Culcan Valley, Mexico use chemicals to increase production of produce sold in the U. S. every winter. Unfortunately, studies that were preformed by the Government Accounting office in Mexico showed that at least six pesticides that are illegal in the U. S. were still on the produce when it was exported.

Moving on to South America, in Chile there are no clear guidelines governing the use of agricultural chemicals on produce crops. In the city of Rancaga, a large fruit growing region, a study was done to check the risks that rural workers face, and what they found was astounding. Dr. Maria Mella found that there is an alarming amount of sterility and birth defects due to exposure to chemical pesticides in agricultural workers. Congenial deformities were five times higher, and multiple deformities were a shocking four times higher than normal in this part f South America.

These studies were conducted by the Women’s Institute and were based on ten thousand infants born in this region. Dr. Mella insists that these chemicals cause deformities in infants, sterility in workers, and induced miscarriages. Horribly, she approximates that up to sixty percent of pesticides used on wheat in South America are still present on the bread when it is consumed. Seeing how harmful pesticides can be to the workers who create the produce, one must wonder how much it can affect the consumer, maybe it depends on the strength and the harmfulness of the chemicals.

In Chile, many pesticides are derived from Thalidomide, a sleeping pill used in the 1950’s, but it was removed from the United States when it was found to be responsible for severe deformities in infants, infants born without limbs. Other pesticides that are used in Chile are parathon, paraquat, and lindane. They have already been banned in most other countries. Chile is among the countries with the weakest and least restrictive legislation on the control of pesticides. They also use products like pentachlophenal, which is a highly toxic fungicide used on their crops.

It usually ends up seeping into ground water, which in turn is consumed by individuals and attacks the central nervous system. We import strawberries and grapes from Chile every day in America that probably contains one or more of these harmful chemicals. We also import a great percentage of our bananas from Costa Rica. The banana industry runs the government there because banana exportation is the major economic income for Costa Rica and they donate much of their efforts to keeping up the banana crops.

In Costa Rica, banana production accounts for five percent of the land, twenty percent of their export evenues, and a whopping thirty-five percent of their pesticide business. Workers start applying toxins early in the production of bananas because they are susceptible to insects. They apply about thirty kilograms of active pesticides per acre, per year and they spray fungicide up to forty times per year. This is ten times higher than the normal amount used on produce. The Worldwide Health Organization says that the pesticides used in South America are the most dangerous in the world.

Growers use chemicals like fenamifos, etoprop, and paraquat, all of which are banned or are being reviewed. Exposure of workers to these chemicals has caused blindness, sterility and even death. The growers use such high amounts of chemicals because worm infestation is high in fledging bananas. Therefore, workers tie bags of pesticides directly on young banana bunches, but when the wind blows, the bags are swept into streams and rivers. It is the people of Costa Rica who pay a high price for bananas. Many well-known names in the banana business grow their bananas in Costa Rica.

Chiquita, Dole, and Del Monte are just a few, for example, that have fields there. They claim that they are concerned for the health of the onsumers and workers, but they have actually done very little to change the way pesticides are being handled and tested. The Costa Rican regulatory service is responsible for checking up on banana growers, but the head of the department has admitted that he has never visited a banana plantation because he has no funding for vehicles. What kind of dummy organization is this?

The only checks that are being conducted are randomly done when they are exporting the bananas. There has never been a case when the bananas entering the United States, were checked, did not exceed the limits of pesticide residue. Growers are more concerned with how their bananas look that if they are harmful to the consumer. This leads to the question, why does the United States allow the produce into its supermarkets? Who is getting paid? Over half of the U. S. House of Representatives has agreed to sign a new bill that will weaken the federal laws regarding high-risk pesticides in foods and water.

Maybe this is because these same representatives have been traced to thirteen million dollars donated to them in the name of campaign contributions. Who contributed this money? The pesticide industry contributed most of the thirteen million, nd they have steadily filled the pockets of our trusted representatives for sometime. But what about Americans, they spend ten percent of their incomes and food for their families, but for what? To be poisoned? The Food and Drug Administration and the USDA share responsibility for checking the levels of toxins in the U. S. foods, but the toxins are still being allowed to exceed the U. S. definitions of safety for adults, but not for children.

The toxins that are included in these guidelines derive from an unlikely source. Not only are the pesticides that we are using harming produce, the fertilizers as well are just as harmful. Farmers think they are helping there are plants, but instead they are really creating toxic foods. Pollution industries send millions of pounds of toxic waste, which include lead, dioxin and arsenic. These are wastes, which would otherwise be subject to rigorous, and hazardous waste disposal laws are sold to fertilizer and pesticide companies under the disguise of “recycling.

These wastes are incorporated into commercial pesticides and fertilizers and then applied to the nation’s farmland. The Environmental Working Group discovered that two hundred and seventy-one million pounds of oxic waste were delivered to farms, fertilizer, and pesticide manufacturers between 1990 and 1995. There were sixty-nine toxins in all. The EWG has identified more than six hundred companies in forty-four states that sent toxic waste to farms in thirty-eight states. What is this saying about farmers who purchase these products?

Do they really know what they are buying? What is this saying about the fertilizer and pesticide companies? What is this saying about our government for allowing this to continue? Is it fair that ignorance is forced upon parents who llow their babies to consume the fruit and vegetables, which are tainted with deadly poisons? Everyday children are pushed by their parents to eat more produce than anyone else is in the name of healthy eating. When thinking of children, if the levels of toxins in possible sources of food do not account for small children then what about infants?

If a large portion of our produce is imported from South America and Mexico, then some of this produce is ending up in baby food products. There is not enough protective legislation for the use of pesticides on produce that go into baby food, and what there is, is becoming more laxed every year. The Environmental Working Group commissioned a laboratory test of eight baby food products produced by three main manufacturers. These manufacturers are Heinz, Gerber and Beechnut. They found sixteen different pesticides within them.

There are three suspected carcinogens, five known carcinogens, eight neurotoxins, and the last five are the most toxic chemicals. It is estimated by some doctors that everyday about one million children under the age of five ingest unsafe levels of pesticide toxins. The American Association of Poison Control centers estimates that there are one million uman pesticide poisonings, and about twenty thousand of them result in death every year. That is a statistic that the House of Representatives would not like their constituents to know.

Our heavy use of chemicals and pesticides in the environment is not just harmful towards humans, our wildlife pays a heavy as well. Animal and insect reproductive patterns are being affected, populations are declining and many species are experiencing an extordinary increase in deformities. Frogs for example, are being extremely affected. In the summer of 1995, a group of teenage students took a hike near a pond in Minnesota. Suprisingly, these frogs were found to have an unusual number of appendages. These frogs had anywhere from two to six legs total. In fact, on of the frogs spotted had three feet on one leg.

Minnesota scientists have cited the likely cause as being chemical toxins. Since this incident, deformed frogs have been found at one hundred and seventy-four sites in several northern U. S. states. Aside from having deformities, the number of frogs in these areas are dwindiling in numbers. The frog population is also decreasing in countries like Australia, India, Europe, Central and South America, and in the ajority of the western United States. The Declinig Amphibians Population Task Force was set up by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and has backing from many governments, including the United States.

Their scientists are continuilly looking for reasons for the mysterious population decreases. It has been thought that pesticides used by nearby farms is the leading cause. Scientists have discovered that not only are the appendeges of frogs being affected by pesticides and chemicals, but the hormonal makeup of other wildlife is being affected as well. Many pesticides and other chemicles released into our enviornment funtion as endocrine disrupters, alter the hormonal makeup of wildlife and humans. Problems in the reproductive system have been discovered in harbor seals, snapping turtles, and double crested cormorants.

Behavorial abnormalities have been cited in different species of gulls and terns, and immune suppression in beluga whales, common terns and gulls has been documented, according to the National Wildlife Federation. An NWF study reprts that endocrine Disruptors have resulted in animal offspring whose gender distinctions are unclear. Alligators, western gulls and rainbow trout have emerged with rudimentary sexual organs, and western and herring gulls have been observed exhibiting mating behaviors of both genders.

Most people, no matter what their view is on pesticide usage, will agree that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating properly outweighs the risk of ingesting possible residues. After all, society knows that fruits and vegetables are very important to maintain a balanced diet. So produce must be protected and maybe there are safer ways of doing it. In some countries like China, they encourage the service nd population of spiders and other insect-eating creatures within their rice crops.

When we spray poisons to kill pests, we are also killing that pest’s natural predators. The only way individuals can protect themselves and their children is to rinse fruit and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Also peeling fruits helps to remove surface residue. Another way to prevent the intake of pesticides is to throw away the outer leaves of vegetables. Cooking and baking foods also helps to kill residues and bacteria. If society is going to stop the escalation of pesticides, then alternative solutions must be explored and put into effect.

Business and the Environment

The relationship between corporations and the environment is a tumultuous one. Corporations have abused and violated the environment for generations. These actions have now become unacceptable in our present society. There is growing concern for our natural resources; the world’s forests, waterways, and air are noticeably tainted. In the last twenty years, the U. S. has become more vigilant in recognizing and passing acts to attempt to regulate and purify our environment. Between 1938 and 1986, twelve acts regarding business and the environment have been passed. The Food and Drug Administration established the first act in 1938.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed to regulate food and drug additives. The Delaney Clause in 1958 added the prohibition of the sale of foods containing human or animal carcinogens to the original act. The Wilderness Act of 1964 outlawed the development of wilderness areas and gave new procedures for the appointment of new protected areas. In 1969, the National Environment Policy Act created a nation wide environmental policy and the Council on Environmental Quality. A year later, the first legislation passed for the Clean Air Act. It was relegislated in 1977 and again in 1990.

This act established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control the enforcement of air quality standards. In 1972, both the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act were passed. They were relegislated in 1988; and 1977, 1981, and 1987 respectively. FIFRA requires the registration of every pesticide, certification and preconsumer testing. The Clean Water Act established standards for wastewater treatment, sludge management, and set discharge limitation and water quality standards. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects animals that are threatened or endangered.

Relegislated in 1984, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 standardized the manufacturing, transportation, storage, treatment and dumping of solid and hazardous waste. Also passed in 1976 was the Toxic Substances Control Act, which delegates the EPA control over the assessment of risks involved in chemicals and recordkeeping. 1980 saw the passing of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act, which brought liability upon the owners, transporters and sources of hazardous waste, and established the Superfund to help with cleanup costs.

The Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act requires companies to publicly disclose all chemical and toxic hazards in their operations. 1 These acts have often left companies feeling as though their hands were tied. The Clean Air Act by 1989 managed to reduce air pollution to two thirds of the 1970’s level. The Act achieves this through the use of permits to regulate the construction and production of major sources of pollution. The act specifies that a major source is one that emits 100 tons or more per year. This means that a factory can be built that emits 90 tons of pollution per year with out a permit.

A permit is also necessary if you want to increase an existing factory that emits 100 tons by 25 tons. This act has its shortcomings. For example, a university wants to expand its heating plant. The administration has two options either modify the existing plant or build a new plant. The university’s heating plant emits 100 tons of pollution, this means that they will need a permit. The modification would normally be more cost effective because it is a smaller job and would not take as much time to accomplish. The practicality of the situation would force the building of a new heating plant that is to be smaller than 100 tons of pollution.

The reason for this is the delay, cost and uncertainty of the permitting process, which would drive the over all cost up. It is probable that the modification of the single plant would ultimately produce less pollution that the two separate plants. 2 The SARA, or Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act passed by the government as an addendum to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act specifies that companies make public details of their storage and handling techniques. All firms manufacturing 300 specific chemicals must abide by this.

Firms with ten or more full time workers must painstakingly report must report all chemicals released routinely. The quantity of the specific chemicals released into water, soil, and air, along with a listing of waste treatment efficiency must be made available to the surrounding community. It is difficult for companies to cite specific waste treatment facilities, for not many true ones exist. The public demands total removal of hazardous wastes and at the same time that the goods be produced with the same efficiency and quality. 3

The Clean Water Act is a system of minimum national standards for the discharge of toxins and hazardous waste into the environment. The rules given call for complicated technical decisions to be made by businesses. The fact that a company must comply with all new standards within a year causes for much loss and payment of fines. These acts do have negative effects upon businesses. However, corporations are finding advantages to environmentally sound procedures. Not only are environmentally friendly policies popular with consumers, but they can also save businesses a great deal of money.

As the acts and their socially conscious agenda become more assimilated into the business world, business is working to gain advantage and minimize disadvantages. Many case studies support this idea. Corporations have discovered that they can often use environmental friendly programs and products to produce more profits. An excellent example of this is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company. The company began by making all natural ice cream on a very small scale in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

Natural food held great appeal in Vermont, even before it held nation-wide popularity. Soon, their product became extremely popular. Ben and Jerry’s all natural products provided the first benefits of environmental-friendly policies for the company. Later, when two large manufacturing facilities were built in Waterbury and St. Albans Vermont, they decided to treat the waste created form their processing with a prototype solar aquatic treatment system. Like a wetland, the system combines solar energy with plants, algae and microbes to break down wastewater.

Three “green teams” strive to ensure compliance with their priorities of managing their waste, conserving energy, practicing sustainability, finding renewable energy sources and forming environmentally positive community programs. Besides these positive actions, which attract many customers, other environmentally correct actions save Ben and Jerry’s money. Instead of sending massive amounts of waste to the landfill, the company implemented procedures that minimize waste and reduce cost simultaneously. Cardboard waste is baled and sold or recycled, which saves the company $17,400 annually.

Office employees must follow a recycling program to save energy, cost and trees. $235,000 a year is saved in recycling or reusing plastic buckets. As much as $250,000 a year will be saved from new energy saving devices incorporated by the company. There are environmentally positive aspects in every part of the company which prove Ben and Jerry’s to be unhypocritical, for the environmentally friendly image they sell their products. Since their total sales were $97 million in 1991, it seems that this philosophy works and brings about a large customer base. 4

Other companies have found profit through environmentally safe Merck & Co. , a worldwide health product corporation for animals and humans, and specialty chemicals balances profit and responsibility even in the face of SARA. To maintain an inner accordance, Merck runs its operations with the same regard for health and well being that its products have. Merck has declared, “… our commitment is to conduct our business worldwide in a manner that will protect the environment as well as the health and safety of our employees and the public. “5 Merck made formal its environmental commitment in 1990.

In 1990, the company published a statement giving its environmental policies and goals. The progress toward these objectives was charted through periodic reports in a set five-year period. The objectives set by Merck were specific. The minimization of chemicals released into the atmosphere, in turn harming people, animals, the ozone layer, and causing acid rain and the greenhouse effect was one goal. Research to find new ways to minimize waste and conserve resources was a priority. Reduction of waste generation and self-sufficient waste treatment and disposal were another goal.

Energy and resource conservation practices were to be utilized in its research, manufacturing and office facilities. Lastly, resource conservation was to be promoted through innovative product design and recyclable materials. 6 Merck, like all chemical producers, was directly confronted with SARA. Though the company is not forced to reduce emissions, its operation procedures go far above SARA suggestions and Clean Air Act regulations. Voluntarily, the company made a commitment to the EPA to follow these higher standards. Merck specifically vowed to reduce carcinogen air emissions by 90% at the end of 1991.

Also, these air emissions were to be eradicated by 1993. Finally, Merck would reduce releases of corporate chemicals by around 90% of all direct releases and material transfers for off site disposal by the end of 1995. Merck had reduced all its worldwide releases of toxic chemicals by 50% from 1987 figures by the end of 1992. 7 The goals focusing on toxic waste processing and reductions were to be achieved through a strategic plan at division and plant levels. Divisions, plants and salaried employees directly or indirectly involved with manufacturing were to implement personal goals to help Merck achieve their overall goals.

The eight plants under Merck’s manufacturing division, along with the two manufacturing vice-presidents, were each accountable for the reduction and better management of waste in the plants. A central environmental resource staff coordinated and supported the effort. SOurce reduction was the biggest priority, followed by recovery/recycling/reuse, and waste management. Most of Merck’s waste is non toxic. The toxic minority consists of primarily ethyl alcohol, acetone and methyl alcohol, used in manufacturing processes.

The waste stream is boiled, the purified vapors condensed, and the liquid recollected. 90% is recovered for reuse. The remaining 10% is toxic waste. 8 Packaging components have experienced reduction in the interest of landfill space and resource conservation. Cotton wadding in drug bottles has been eliminated in the US. In Europe, there has been a 10% reduction in aluminum and foil waste. A conversion in Europe to standard blister packaging and high volume carton printing reduces waste and saves money. 9 New and more efficient equipment helps to reduce Merck’s waste management problems.

By standardizing and improving production, Merck is less likely to encounter problems with the FDA for making drug production changes. Approval for production changes is extremely time and cost consuming. Yield and product quality standards are on the same level as environmental standards. Merck, “takes responsibility for the total life cycle of materials we use and products we manufacture. “10 Merck keeps lines of communication open with the public concerning its environmental policies. By working with the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Responsible Care Program, Merck provides information to the public through a 1-800 number.

The number is linked directly to Merck, where questions regarding Merck plants are answered. Emergency response systems are in place at factories, and for Merck transports. Literature regarding operations and safety procedures are distributed by Merck to keep the public informed. 11 Merck’s environmental commitment extends to its corporate headquarters. Environmental preservation of woodland and wetlands upon the site was the priority. The 900,000 square foot hexagon-shaped building and the 700,000 square foot underground parking garage made a minimal effect upon the land.

Awards and recognition were in order for this achievement. Kevin Roche, an architect known for designs that blend into the environment, was chosen for the project. The hexagon building surrounds five acres of forest, roads go over the land, and trees were moved rather than destroyed. They were nurtured in a nursery for as long as three years and then returned to the landscape. Energy saving features were utilized in the main building. All paper waste, the principal waste product, is recycled. 2. 8 tons of waste are produced per day, of which 8 tons are recyclable. 12

Merck has made an agreement with the Costa Rican Instituto Nacional de Biodivarsidad (INBio) to grant a million dollars to catalog the immensely diverse life found in Costa Rico. In exchange, Merck is granted the rights to any new medicines found. If a new medicine is found, the royalties will surpass the cost of the failure of the project. The diversity of Costa Rico is thought by scientists to contain more biodiversity then any other planet on earth. Many unknown animals and plants exist in Costa Rico and have yet to be discovered. Merck is training local people to take samples and perform extractions.

INBio will analyze the samples. Merck will evaluate samples for agricultural and pharmaceutical applications. This mutual beneficent relationship will aid both the environment and Merck. 13 By improving their product, cutting their costs, and improving their public image, Merck has made a profit from environmental friendliness. The envirometal centered policy has opened up new markets and gained a competitive advantage. This compliance is expensive, but seems well worth the expenditure for the return. The EPA also has developed incentives in recent years for environmental policy compliance.

The Green Lights program gives companies EPA support to drive down lighting usage, which accounts for over 20% of overall electrical costs. Software, financing information, lighting product consumer reporting is provided free of charge. Public recognition is given through public service ads, news articles, marketing materials, broadcast specials and videotapes. Computer manufacturers who install automatic “power down” on their computers join the Energy Star program endorsed by the EPA. Consumers and businesses look specifically for this symbol in many cases, causing a gain for the computer manufacturer.

Variable Speed Drives for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems save 40% or more efficiency. The EPA has formed a special group buy to make them more affordable. Payback is within three years. Plans are on the board to endorse other “green” technologies this way. Refrigerators that are produced and function 30-50% more energy efficient then 1993 standards will receive a rebate. These are just a few incentives the EPA is providing. 14 Government and business have often debated over policies and laws. In the case of laws governing business practices and their effects on the environment, this holds true.

The balance between being environmentally safe and still producing the quality and quantities needed is delicate. However, today’s market makes environmental friendliness sellable, and the procedures involved often save businesses a considerable amount of money. Ben and Jerry’s have utilized the market for environmentally aware products and combined it with their company philosophy. Merck has utilized the same business strategy and found ways to surpass SARA and other environmental acts. These businesses prove that being environmentally responsible is not only morally correct, but also profitable.

Environmental Activism Essay

The large mainstream environmentalism groups started to compromise too much with regulatory agencies and bureaus, starting with the Glen Canyon Dam project. This began an estrangement with the mainstreams that culminated in the rise of more militant groups like Earth First! Glen Canyon represented what was fundamentally wrong with the country’s conservation policies: arrogant government officials motivated by a quasireligious zeal to industrialize the natural world, and a diffident bureaucratic leadership in the mainstream environmental organizations that more or less willingly collaborated in this process.

The mainstream environmental groups and government held the premise that mankind should control and manage the natural world. The radicals held that our technological culture with its intrusions on natural world had to be curtailed, perhaps even undone, to keep the ecology of this planet and our role in it viable. It marked a shift from a rearguard strategy (mainstream) to protect wilderness to an affirmative attempt to roll back the artifacts of civilization, to restore the world to the point where natural processes such as the flow of rivers could continue.

The mainstream environmental movement is now perceived by many as out of touch with people’s deep concern about environmental degradation, has become systematized. The activists use approaches such as industrial vandalism or “ecotage” to foster dramatic results. Some other methods employed are tree spiking, tree sitting, road blockading, demonstrations, tree pinning, ship sinking, dam breaking and outright terrorist-type sabotage (bombing power stations, bridges, power line, etc. )

There may be some complimentary results of the efforts of both mainstream and radical groups. The large environmental organizations, while denouncing the radical’s confrontational activities, have then been able to use their ample finances to take the campaign to Congress or the courts with the impetus of public support the radicals generated. 2. With Soule’s quote, including “Vertebrate evolution may be at an end” it means that the civilization complex has lost its reference point by overwhelming the natural processes it has always used to define itself.

The otherness of nature is disappearing into the artificial world of technology. As the environmental crisis worsens, we can expect increased attention directed at the ecological sciences, resource management, pollution control, and technological supervision of the reproduction of valued species, including man. Toynbee writes that the ecological scarcity of the future will be so severe that the “within each of the beleaguered ‘developed’ countries there will be a bitter struggle for control of their diminished resources”.

This conflict will inevitably lead to the imposition of authoritarian regimes. There is already evidence of “ecological elite’s” where power and status are increasingly measured not merely by economic control, but by control over the ecology. Access to clean water, fresh air, open wild spaces, and natural products is competing with ownership of German autos and Swiss watches. It is becoming the main preoccupation of political debate.

As an example, even when a corporation decides to create a item through genetic or non-genetic engineering, it is often indirectly determining what species will be exterminated to increase profits, which habitats will be sacrificed for economic growth, and whose children will be allocated the toxic water, poisoned food, and radioactive living space. If the environmental crisis is causing us to reexamine and reject the accepted values of the civilization complex in its entirety, a unique event is taking place: the passing of civilization into history.

Nuclear Energy and the Environment

In our society, nuclear energy has become one of the most criticized forms of energy by the environmentalists. Thus, a look at nuclear energy and the environment and its impact on economic growth. Lewis Munford, an analyst, once wrote, “Too much energy is as fatal as too little, hence the regulation of energy input and output not its unlimited expansion, is in fact one of the main laws of life. ” This is true when dealing with nuclear power. Because our societies structure and processes both depend upon energy, man is searching for the most efficient and cheapest form of energy that can be used on a long term basis.

And because we equate power with growth, the more energy that a country uses, – the greater their expected economic growth. The problem is that energy is considered to have two facets or parts: it is a major source of man-made repercussions as well as being the basis of life support systems. Therefore, we are between two sections in which one is the section of “resource availability and waste”, and the other “the continuity of life support systems pertinent to survival. ” Thus, the environmentalists believe that nuclear energy should not be used for various reasons.

First of all, the waste product, i. e. plutonium, is xtremely radioactive, which may cause the people who are working or living in or around the area of storage or use, to acquire leukemia and other cancers. They also show how billions of dollars are spent yearly on safety devices for a single reactor, and this still doesn’t ensure the impossibility of a “melt down. ” Two examples were then given of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, in 1979, when thousands of people were killed and incapacitated.

Finally, the environmentalists claim that if society wastes less energy, and develops the means to use the energy more efficiency, then there would be a definite decrease n the requirement for more energy producing plants. On the other hand, some business men and economists say that the present conditions should be kept intact, as the other forms of energy, e. g. oil, natural gas and coal, are only temporary, in dealing with surplus, and give off more pollution with less economic growth.

Concurrently, countries wanted a more reliable, smokeless form of energy not controlled by OPEC, and very little uranium was required to produce such a high amount of resultant energy. Lastly, they said that renewable energy is (a) unreliable in that the wind, for example, ould not be depended upon to blow, nor the sun to shine, and (b) were intermittent in that a 1,000 mega-watt solar farm may occupy about 5,000 acres of land, compared with less than 150 acres of land for a similar capacity nuclear power generation station.

Because the energy technology that society employs directly influences the quantity and quality of life, the energy option that is chosen should have the greatest cost- benefit effectiveness as well as maximizing flexibility and purchases. However, those who believe in continuous energy consumption growth, seem to forget that there is only a limited supply of energy in every ener….. gy ystem, and to “overdo” any resource may provide for an unacceptable impact upon global and regional ecology. Thus, if the business world pushes the environment as far as it can go, Ceribus Paribus, please refer to figure 1.

Thus, to use petroleum as a substitute for uranium, which is needed to power the nuclear system, would not be economically or environmentally sensible. I say this because, first of all, there is a major supply of uranium considering it was one of the last energy sources to be found as well as only a small amount of it is required to produce a lot of energy. Secondly, petroleum gives off carbon monoxide which is one of he reasons for ozone depletion; whereas, the uranium does not give off pollution except that it produces plutonium which needs to be buried for more than fifty years to get rid of its radiation.

Finally, because so much of the petroleum will be required to power the vast area that nuclear energy can cover, the cost to us as the consumer would be massive! This would mean slower economic growth and/or expansion, especially when compared to nuclear energy. Therefore: Ceribus Paribus – (a) if the cost decreases, the demand increases, and – (b) if the cost increases, the demand decreases. Please refer to figures 2 and #3 respectively. Nuclear plants are now replacing coal burning plants. It will cost the taxpayers far more than they are currently paying for electricity.

However, industrial officials claim that since the plants have useful lifetimes, they will save the consumers money in the long run. The problem with this is that this depends on hard to predict factors, such as the future price of oil and the national demand for electricity. It should also be noted that there is also a sharp jump in consumer costs when the plants are turned on to pay for the construction costs, plant manufacturers or other loan sources, plus interest. Thus, the cost of electricity may go up three-fold.

New plants usually supply substantially more energy than the area requires; meaning that the consumer will be paying for this waste of energy, which is cost per kilowatt hour. It should also be noted that some plants are canceled during construction, which can raise the cost up to several billion dollars. This is absorbed by the government through tax laws, shareholders, and rate payers; and is considering the fact there is a continual rise in construction prices and a decrease in costs of alternative fuels, many utilities cancel plants, when almost half completed.

Late cancellation cost is an increase in the proportion to the amount that has been invested. ) Albert Schweitzer, an ecologist wrote, nuclear power “threatens the present and forecloses the future. It is unethical, and inferior to non-fission futures that enhance survival for humans, alive and yet to be born, and nature, with all its living entities. ” Therefore, in conclusion, it is clearly evident why nuclear energy should be abandoned, even though it may be considered as economically sound, and that we should concentrate more on conservation and quality rather than expansion as we have done in the past.

The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect, in environmental science, is a popular term for the effect that certain variable constituents of the Earth’s lower atmosphere have on surface temperatures. These gases–water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4)–keep ground temperatures at a global average of about 15 degrees C (60 degrees F). Without them the average would be below the freezing point of H20. The gases have this effect because as incoming solar radiation strikes the surface, the surface gives off infrared radiation, or heat, hat the gases trap and keep near ground level.

The effect is comparable to the way in which a greenhouse traps heat, hence the term. Environmental scientists are concerned that changes in the variable contents of the atmosphere (particularly changes caused by human activities) could cause the Earth’s surface to warm up to a dangerous degree. Even a limited rise in average surface temperature might lead to at least partial melting of the polar ice caps and hence a major rise in sea level, along with other severe environmental agitation.

An example of a runaway greenhouse effect is Earth’s near-twin planetary neighbor Venus. Because of Venus’s thick CO2 atmosphere, the planet’s cloud-covered surface is hot enough to melt lead. Water vapor is an important “greenhouse” gas. It is a major reason why humid regions experience less cooling at night than do dry regions. However, variations in the atmosphere’s CO2 content are what have played a major role in past climatic changes. In recent decades there has been a global increase in atmospheric CO2, largely as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.

If the many other determinants of the Earth’s present global climate remain more or less constant, the CO2 increase should raise the average temperature at the Earth’s surface. As the atmosphere warmed, the amount of H2O would probably also increase, because warm air can contain more H2O than can cooler air. This process might go on indefinitely. On the other hand, reverse processes could develop such as increased cloud cover and increased absorption of CO2 by phytoplankton in the ocean. These would act as natural feedbacks, lowering temperatures.

In fact, a great deal remains unknown about the cycling of carbon through the environment, and in particular about the role of oceans in this atmospheric carbon cycle. Many further uncertainties exist in greenhouse-effect studies because the temperature records being used tend to represent the warmer urban areas rather than the global environment. Beyond that, the effects of CH4, natural trace gases, and industrial pollutants–indeed, the complex interactions of all of these climate controls working together–are only beginning to be nderstood by workers in the environmental sciences.

Despite such uncertainties, numerous scientists have maintained that the rise in global temperatures in the 1980s and early 1990s is a result of the greenhouse effect. A report issued in 1990 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), prepared by 170 scientists worldwide, further warned that the effect could continue to increase markedly. Most major Western industrial nations have pledged to stabilize or reduce their CO2 emissions during the 1990s. The U. S. ledge thus far concerns only chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

CFCs attack the ozone layer and contribute thereby to the greenhouse effect, because the ozone layer protects the growth of ocean phytoplankton. would probably also increase, because warm air can contain more water than can cooler air. This process might go on indefinitely. On the other hand, reverse processes could develop such as increased cloud cover and increased absorption of CO2 by phytoplankton in the ocean. These would act as natural feedbacks, lowering temperatures.

What Is Nature

After reading the chapter encountering nature the question arises. What is nature and why have historical American figures such as poets and writers focused so much of their time on writing about nature. Well the answer is quit simple. Nature is a part of us and history. It cant be avoided. After reading this nature causes many natural disasters such as snow and frigid temperatures. Many classic stories discuss the cold winter and survival. Moby Dick talks about a Captains goal to find the great white whale. Nature is a beautiful thing but it can also be devastating. Natural disasters such as things that happen in the ocean can be deadly.

Tidal waves are just one example of what the ocean can do. These massive waves can crash down on entire cities destroying anything in its path. Creatures of the sea such as whales and sharks can be deadly. Even though the odds are slim of being killed by one, things can still happen. Such creatures like whales as depicted in Moby Dick can be a nice sight but also deadly. In the book the captain of the ship lost his leg in a prior encounter with a whale. When the crew went after Moby Dick he snapped and swelled huge waves towards the boat and attacked. He wrecked the ship. The panicked crew was scattered around the boat.

IN the end nature prevailed because moby dick scared the crew. But it was the humans who got the last word when they killed he gigantic whale. Frigid cold winters are another one of natures forces. Back in the times of the Indians, and before modern day housing people had to survive in the cold. Many times people lived on mountaintops or alongside a river. When winter hit its strongest it was hard to live. These people used techniques such as making fires and eating wild fruit and killing animals as way of survival. As in the classic story Rain of Gold, gold was traded for food and clothing.

This was one of the only ways to harvest food in the weather. Water was easily found by almost every one in the mountains, this mad it to trade. Every one was eager to get gold. Mother nature poured piles of snow onto the mountains making the trading of goods a necessity. Snow is a thing of beauty but when Mother Nature unleashes her full power it can be deadly. Without the proper clothing frostbite would set in fast, and death would be just around the corner. Another part of mature is animals. Animals generally are fierce and kill each other for food. Its the survival of the fittest.

As said the Lion is king of the jungle, he rains his territory. Other animals know he is the ruler so they dont bother him. So why do we cage up these wild beasts. By doing this theyre being taken out of their natural environment. This doesnt only hurt them it upsets the ecological balance. Healthy animal need to be in their natural habitat. We dont take a perfectly fine human that did n harm and put him in a cage do we? No, so why should we do this to animals. Well its done for the pleasure of humans. They get put in a zoo so people can watch them. Galway Kinell wrote poems about nature.

In his poems he brought the reads to woods, were the hunted and fished. His poems were truly about how relaxing nature can be. His poems show the readers what a positive thing nature can be. A downfall of the woods can be is if some one decides to disrupt it. A fire can cause major chaos. Besides all the woods burning down, animals and who ever else is there will be in danger. Even if they werent hurt their place of living would be. As shown in the story rain of gold the family would have died if they hadnt have found the gold to trade for clothing and food. During this harsh time of winter these things were a necessity.

The long journey up and down the mountain to trade for goods could be fatal in the winter conditions. Jack London was notorious for telling stories about survival. London went off to be part of the Klondike gold rush. In 1903 he wrote the call of the wild, this was known as one of the best dog stories ever told. His stories had true meaning he knew what it went to survive in nature. He was correspondent in the war between Russia and Japan, and also helped in the Mexican revolution. Unlike many other American writers he was part of a war. Many werent and just told stories of what they heard had happened.

So after reading this passage what is nature and what does it have to do with classic American literature. Well the two seem like they would have nothing in common but in actuality they do. Many famous American artists write about nature. I think there goal is to inform people of how important nature is. But many of these writers are talking about there own personal experiences. As shown in the stories many of natures occurrences such as, hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, and blizzards can be harmful and cause death. Unfortunately these have caused many casualties.

Coral Reefs, One Of The Oldest Types Of Living Systems On Earth

Coral reefs are one of the oldest types of living systems on earth, and certainly one of the most spectacular. They are massive underwater structures formed by the limestone skeletons of tiny invertebrate animals. Reefs house a greater diversity of body forms, chemistry, and animal phyla (thirty-two compared to the eight that inhabit the most biodiverse ecosystems on land). Phyla comprise the second largest category of living things, after kingdoms. Coral animals begin life as free-floating larvae, but settle on the sea floor in sedentary colonies.

The term “coral” applies both to these animals and to their skeletons, particularly the skeletons of stone-like corals. Many different organisms, including molluscs, sponges, and worms, help shape reefs, but hard corals and various algae are the major architects. In effect, the corals build limestone, because their skeletons are made of Calcium Carbonate. The skeletons deposited by these corals and other organisms accumulate, along with sand and other debris, to form the backbone of the reef. Over tens of thousands of years, chemical and mechanical changes turn the reef into true rock.

The body of a coral animal consists of a polyp, which is the living portion of the coral. A polyp is a hollow, cylindrical structure attached at one end to a surface, the other end is a mouth surrounded by tentacles which gather food and can sting prey to paralyse it. Polyps live in colonies, which grow from 1 to 7 inches, depending on the species. Coral polyps are classified as animals. Microscopic algae live within the animal tissues in a symbiotic relationship. The algae turn sunlight into carbon and sugars, which are then available to the polyp.

In turn the polyp filters particles out of the water and excretes waste (nitrogen and phosphorus) that becomes available to the symbiotic algae. It’s this very tight nutrient recycling within the coral itself that allows these corals to live in very low-nutrient waters. There are three kinds of reefs: atolls, barrier reefs, and fringing reefs. Atolls are formed out in the middle of the ocean by volcanic subsidence, while fringing and barrier reefs form near continents. Florida contains both of these kinds of reefs, not as far offshore as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but not terribly close either.

Most are eight to eleven kilometres (five to seven miles) offshore. All three kinds of reefs can have associations, called patch reefs, which are small, shallow-water clusters or offshoots. In Florida, patch reefs can be as close as one hundred meters to the shore. Ancient limestone reefs have occupied the Florida peninsula intermittently over the past 150 million years. Florida’s present coral reefs came into existence 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, when sea levels rose following the Wisconsin Ice Age. The reefs in the Florida Keys are part of the third largest barrier reef system (360 square kilometres from Miami to the Dry Tortugas).

Coral reefs are continuously being both built up and decomposed, so different parts of a reef are in varying stages of succession. Coral reefs are very fragile, because reef-building organisms cannot thrive if the surrounding water changes significantly. Coral reefs require very specific conditions in order to grow: a solid structure for the base; warm and consistent water temperatures (averaging between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius); stable salinity; moderate wave action; and clear water that is low in nutrients and plankton.

The water on a healthy coral reef is clear because there are very few nutrients, so plankton that would cloud the water are few. In general corals grow slowly, but they are extremely efficient at living and reproducing in these conditions Reefs matter in many ways: Links to other coastal ecosystems: such as mangroves and sea grasses. Sources of medicine: Because corals and most other reef-dwelling species move either very little or not at all, they rely on biochemical warfare for both offence and defence.

They have developed strong and very diverse chemical compounds, and a number are proving to have significant anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. For example, cytarabine, derived from the Caribbean sponge Tethya crypta, induces remission in certain forms of leukaemia and is also useful against the herpes virus; pseudopterosins from the Caribbean sea-whip Pseudopterogorgia elisbethae have powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties; and prostaglandins, which have a wide range of clinical applications, can be found in large quantities in the Caribbean sea fan Plexaura homomalla.

About six thousand unique chemical compounds have been isolated from reef organisms so far, and this potential pharmacopoeia has barely been tapped. And coral, which is porous and quickly reabsorbed, is used to repair human bone, with no risk of implant rejection or transmission of infection. Living breakwaters: Reefs protect coastal areas from storms, floods, and erosion. They’re key to many a surfer’s “perfect wave,” and contribute sand to the growth of beaches.

Evaporation basins: Reef flats and lagoons may play a key role in regulation of the sea’s salt content, removing salt by acting as evaporation basins. Shapers of landmass: Reefs play a part in the formation of tropical islands through deposition and accumulation of Calcium Carbonate rock (limestone) and sand. Mediators of global climate: Corals remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, actually “fixing” 700 billion kilograms a year. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Coral Reefs are also very important to the Florida economy:

Recreation and tourism: tourists spend about $1. 2 billion annually in the Florida Keys. Food fisheries: the value of reef fisheries (including shellfish and other invertebrates) off the Keys is estimated at $48. 4 million. Other industries: reefs support a large trade in aquarium fish and are a habitat for sport fish. Most present-day reefs have probably been growing for 5,000 to10, 000 years. But their continued survival is now threatened. Reefs around the world are now declining at an unprecedented rate–one that far outstrips our understanding of the problem.

Few long-term studies of coral reefs have been conducted, and there is considerable debate about the overall health of reef ecosystems. Still, most scientists agree that reefs worldwide are in crisis. Caribbean reefs appear to be in worse condition than Pacific reefs. They naturally have lower levels of biodiversity, which makes them more vulnerable to structural change. They house significantly fewer species of fast-growing and reef-building corals, and diseases have affected the entire basin while the far greater size of the Pacific has tended to keep outbreaks reef-specific or regional.

The third largest barrier reef system in the world is located off the Florida Keys. Its recent decline has been attributed to multiple causes, almost all of which involve human activity. Most scientists agree that the greatest threat to Florida’s reefs is degraded water quality. When land is cleared for development or agriculture, fertilisers, pesticides, and eroded soil wash out to sea when it rains. Pesticides can weaken the corals and make them more susceptible to disease. Sediments can smother or scour the reef, impairing coral growth.

The sea is also where most of the sewage and wastewater from Florida Key residents and their one million annual visitors ultimately ends up, and this pollution also degrades the water quality. In particular, fertilisers and sewage have significantly increased the level of nutrients in the water of Florida Bay. As a result, phytoplankton utilise these nutrients and grow exponentially. This causes various kinds of algal blooms: phytoplankton turning the water green, toxic blooms including red tides, and macro-algae overgrowing and smothering the reef. As phytoplankton increases, so does the turbidity of the water.

This cuts down the amount of light reaching the zooxanthellae (tiny one-celled algae that live inside coral polyps), so photosynthesis within the coral is adversely affected. Poor water quality affects other parts of the coastal ecosystem. Coastal ecosystems act as buffers between land and sea, reducing negative impacts in both directions. When stressed, they are less effective. There are three key environments in Florida that are intimately related. First of all, the mangroves along the shore, secondly, the grass beds in shallow water, and finally, the coral reefs at the edge of the shelf.

Water flows through this system, and the health of each system determines the health of the next. Every time somebody cuts down mangroves, it affects the sea grass beds somewhat further off shore. Every time a sea grass bed is destroyed, it affects the coral reef even further off shore. So all these interconnected habitats need to be preserved as a whole. Increased nutrients in the water were blamed for a major sea grass die-off in the bay in 1987, further stressing the reefs. Silt normally held down by the sea grass flowed out of the bay and ended up on the coral reefs, clouding the water.

This sediment hurts the reef in several ways: it impairs photosynthesis; it forces corals to expend energy cleansing themselves; and it can even bury them entirely. Studies showed corals only 4 kilometres from each other grew at dramatically different rates: the corals closer to Florida Bay grew only half as much as offshore corals. The location of the Florida Keys makes them particularly vulnerable. They are close to the heavily populated North American coast, and ocean currents place them downstream of the Caribbean basin.

The Loop Current, which travels clockwise in the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula, to the Mississippi River, by Tampa Bay, and ultimately to the Florida Keys, carries stormwater and agricultural runoff containing pesticides, heavy metals, oil, and other toxic waste from more than half of the United States. Even sediment from the Amazon finds its way through the Florida straits. Compounding the problem is the fact that most of the bedrock underlying the islands of the Florida Keys is highly porous limestone, the remains of ancient reefs, through which contaminated waters easily flow in and out.

Preliminary studies indicate that ground waters beneath the reefs do contain nutrients, principally ammonia, at levels many times higher than that of normal seawater. These nutrient-rich ground waters can seep into the reef’s water columns with each change of the tide. People harm reefs in lots of other ways: Overfishing: fish and other reef species are caught by subsistence fishermen and overharvested by commercial ones. This has reduced overall populations, and specifically that of certain fish that control algae on the reefs.

Destructive fishing practices also harm reefs badly. These include using crowbars to dislodge clams, abalone, and other marine invertebrates from reefs at low tide, and also the illegal use of explosives and cyanide poisoning Ship groundings: thousands of ships and boats have run into Florida’s reefs since colonial times. Evidence is mounting that reefs struck frequently by boats recover more slowly from storm damage than untouched reefs. Collecting of coral and other reef species: specimens are collected live for aquariums or for curios and jewellery.

Mining of coral rock and sand: These are used for building materials, and coral is mined for jewellery. Redirecting water flow: Cross-sections of Florida reefs show that they began to decline beginning about eighty years ago. That coincides with the completion of Henry Flagler’s railroad across the Keys, and also with the redirection of water flow from the Everglades by developers and government officials. The railroad stopped Florida Bay from flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, while water from the Everglades was redirected towards Florida’s East Coast instead of into Florida Bay.

Alteration of coastal habitats for urban development: mangrove deforestation and dredging, draining, or filling in coastal wetlands all affect water quality. Tourism and recreation: careless divers break coral, kick up sand, feed fish, and remove specimens; careless boaters drop and drag anchors across fragile coral, leak oil, and dump garbage. Corals have been hit by diseases. Since the 1970s, Florida’s corals have been struck by an unprecedented number of diseases: white pox, black band, yellow band, white band, white death, and white plague.

Outbreaks are more frequent, more intense, and wider ranging than ever before. Many of these diseases are new to science and their causes are unknown. The diseases might result from a bacterial or fungal infection from the Pacific Ocean introduced to the Atlantic through bilge water of ships crossing the Panama Canal, or from animals or other materials carried from the Pacific. Unlike Pacific species, Atlantic corals have no immunity to these pathogens. Poor water quality could also be causing disease. The fungus Aspergillus is thought to be transferred by land runoff into Florida Bay and infecting corals directly.

Diseased fish swimming on the reefs may also be contributing. Airborne contaminants could also be a culprit. At first it was thought to be sewage flowing through porous limestone from the Keys that was infecting coral reefs miles offshore. Scientists then began wondering why the same diseases infected coral reefs in remote areas of the Caribbean. They now suspects that red, iron-rich African dust borne by transatlantic trade winds are carrying bacterial spores to reefs, and correlations between dust and disease outbreaks are presently being studied.

The iron also stimulates algal growth, which is bad for reefs (see explanation earlier). Other environmental factors could be causing harm. Hurricanes and storms also damage reefs and devastate coastal areas. While large waves cause severe short-term damage to reefs, recovery is rapid, and part of a cycle of disturbance and recovery that helps shape healthy coral reefs. When the reef is already stressed by pollution or overfishing, though, it may not be able to recover from storm damage. In the early 1980s, a mysterious epidemic killed almost all the long-spined black sea urchins in the Caribbean and South Atlantic.

The “sheep” of the reef, the urchins grazed on the seaweed that competes with corals for space. Whether attributable to global warming, or urban runoff, warmer water affects reef chemistry. For example, it can lead to overproduction of oxygen by zooxanthellae, which damages the polyps. Rising water temperatures also mean a rise in sea levels. Because algae and reef-building corals need sunlight for photosynthesis, the reef must grow relatively near the ocean’s surface to survive (generally within thirty meters). This means that a rapid rise in sea level could “drown” corals that don’t grow fast enough.

One widespread symptom of systems under stress is coral bleaching, which takes place when the microscopic algae that lives inside the coral polyps are expelled. With the loss of these photosynthetic algae, corals lose their coloration and rapidly turn white. Within a number of weeks, the coral animals die and the “bleached” reef is sterilised and no longer regenerates. The causes of coral bleaching are uncertain, but one possibility is the rise in sea surface temperatures. Tropical seawater is generally very stable in its temperature, rarely rising above 31 degrees Celsius.

However, within the last ten years, those maximum temperatures have been exceeded frequently and they’ve stayed hot for a long time, a change drastic enough to kill the algae. (Water that is too cold can also damage reefs. ) Corals may be an early warning sign for global warming. Recently, many reefs around the world have bleached several times, most often when local water temperatures were unusually high. Parts of these reefs are now dying. At least one species of coral may have already become extinct due to bleaching.

The Florida Keys Reef Monitoring Project is designed to assess the health of the reefs in the 2800-square-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A three-scientist team (Jim Porter, Phil Dustan and Walter Japp) designed and implemented the coral reef part of the program. Fortunately, they combine over sixty years of experience, because the question the study asks–“Are the reefs changing? “- is a complicated one. It’s grounded not just in reef ecology but in population biology, which involves sophisticated mathematical analysis of the equilibrium between births and deaths in a community of organisms.

One hundred and sixty-eight monitoring stations were established in 1996 and the first assessment was conducted in 1997; there will be at least four more. The project’s primary focus is on overall water quality. Parallel studies are examining the health of fish and of sea grass communities. The purpose of the survey is to figure out what’s causing the reef decline in the hopes that it can be arrested and prevented. The best way to determine the health of corals is to monitor over time to see whether the corals are growing or staying the same or possibly even dying.

That’s done by taking a series of still life pictures and a series of Hi8 videos, over time, in exactly the same locations. Forty-two reefs were chosen, each with four video units consisting of two stainless steel survey pins twenty meters apart. Lines are attached to those survey pins and then a video camera or still life camera can be used. That way we’re quite sure that the camera has photographed exactly the same substrate each time. These measurements have to be repeated in a very precise way, because coral reefs are much more dynamic than originally thought.

Without those pins to reference exactly where the camera is, we’d be lost the next time measurements needed to be taken. Images from the video are converted into digital information, and stored on CD-ROMS. At least 20,160 frame-grabbed images will be analysed each year for changes in the colour array, because coral communities that are sick change colour. In the same sense that a doctor can often tell when a patient is sick by a peaked look, we see that on a coral reef. Vibrant colours turn to grey; brilliant hues turn to white.

Marine scientists are always working on other kinds of monitoring, including underwater site-scanning sonar techniques and low-elevation aerial photography, which is useful in evaluating broad-scale geological changes such as sediment movement after hurricanes. Satellite monitoring is also being explored, but the resolution and interpretation of such remote images is still in the early stages. Going out in boats and “sea truthing” information from more remote platforms is time-consuming. At this point there’s no substitute for getting in the water and actually looking at the plants and animals themselves.

The key thing to remember for coral reefs is: Look-, but dont touch! As a boater: Do not dispose of trash, bilge washings, and other debris on or near the reefs! Tie your boat to reef mooring buoys, or anchor in sandy areas; don’t anchor in coral Consult tide and navigation charts, and steer clear of shallow areas As a fisherman: Avoid shallow coral reefs when trawling. Hooks can scar and injure the coral, and leave live coral vulnerable to infection by microscopic organisms. Try to retrieve all fishing gear, especially monofilament line, which animals can swallow or become tangled in.

Observe size and catch limits As a swimmer or diver: Enjoy diving on the reef without touching or bumping into it. Control your flippers and snorkels. Even the lightest contact can hurt sensitive polyps. Wear a float coat so you can adjust gear without standing on or sitting on coral. Avoid contact with the ocean bottom, where fragile organisms can live. Try not to kick up sand, which can smother reefs. Take home photographs and memories instead of seashells. Don’t remove marine specimens; most captured tropical fish die within a year. All coral is protected.

It is against the law to collect, harvest or sell Florida corals in state and adjacent federal waters. Please don’t feed the fish; it disrupts their natural habits. In terms of sheer natural beauty, coral reefs must rank as nature’s masterpiece. They have some of the most bizarre and beautiful forms of life on this planet, certainly the most colourful. Sea fans, various types of corals, brilliantly coloured fish, and invertebrates. They all live in three-dimensional spaces that are some of the most beautiful scenes ever witnessed on earth.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Plan, adopted in 1990, will be implemented over the next ten to twenty years to clear up water around the Keys and Florida Bay. Under the plan, some Key reefs will be off limits to visitors, and on others, limits or prohibitions will be placed on how many fish, shells, and other animals can be removed.. The purpose of the Environmental Protection Agency’s five-year Reef Monitoring Project is to determine what causes reef damage so these fragile ecosystems can be protected more effectively.

Environmental Activism

The large mainstream environmentalism groups started to compromise too much with regulatory agencies and bureaus, starting with the Glen Canyon Dam project. This began an estrangement with the mainstreams that culminated in the rise of more militant groups like Earth First! Glen Canyon represented what was fundamentally wrong with the country’s conservation policies: arrogant government officials motivated by a quasireligious zeal to industrialize the natural world, and a diffident bureaucratic leadership in the mainstream environmental organizations that more or less willingly collaborated in this process.

The mainstream environmental groups and government held the premise that mankind should control and manage the natural world. The radicals held that our technological culture with its intrusions on natural world had to be curtailed, perhaps even undone, to keep the ecology of this planet and our role in it viable. It marked a shift from a rearguard strategy (mainstream) to protect wilderness to an affirmative attempt to roll back the artifacts of civilization, to restore the world to the point where natural processes such as the flow of rivers could continue.

The mainstream environmental movement is now perceived by many as out of touch with people’s deep concern about environmental degradation, has become systematized. The activists use approaches such as industrial vandalism or “ecotage” to foster dramatic results. Some other methods employed are tree spiking, tree sitting, road blockading, demonstrations, tree pinning, ship sinking, dam breaking and outright terrorist-type sabotage (bombing power stations, bridges, power line, etc. )

There may be some complimentary results of the efforts of both mainstream and radical groups. The large environmental organizations, while denouncing the radical’s confrontational activities, have then been able to use their ample finances to take the campaign to Congress or the courts with the impetus of public support the radicals generated. 2. With Soule’s quote, including “Vertebrate evolution may be at an end” it means that the civilization complex has lost its reference point by overwhelming the natural processes it has always used to define itself.

The otherness of nature is disappearing into the artificial world of technology. As the environmental crisis worsens, we can expect increased attention directed at the ecological sciences, resource management, pollution control, and technological supervision of the reproduction of valued species, including man. Toynbee writes that the ecological scarcity of the future will be so severe that the “within each of the beleaguered ‘developed’ countries there will be a bitter struggle for control of their diminished resources”.

This conflict will inevitably lead to the imposition of authoritarian regimes. There is already evidence of “ecological elite’s” where power and status are increasingly measured not merely by economic control, but by control over the ecology. Access to clean water, fresh air, open wild spaces, and natural products is competing with ownership of German autos and Swiss watches. It is becoming the main preoccupation of political debate.

As an example, even when a corporation decides to create a item through genetic or non-genetic engineering, it is often indirectly determining what species will be exterminated to increase profits, which habitats will be sacrificed for economic growth, and whose children will be allocated the toxic water, poisoned food, and radioactive living space. If the environmental crisis is causing us to reexamine and reject the accepted values of the civilization complex in its entirety, a unique event is taking place: the passing of civilization into history.

The Concerns And Facts Involved With Reforestation

The purpose of this written report is to inform the reader about the concerns and facts involved with reforestation. Reforestation began in Ontario after World War II. What happened was, professional foresters were assigned to an area and became responsible for its well being. Under the Crown Timber Act, long term management was prepared. Then the many steps needed to rebuild a forest began. Included in this report will be information on the effects of cutting and replanting, such as Carbon Dioxide, and Global Warming.

Following his will be methods for planning a forest, and how they are conveyed before planting in a forest begins. There are many reasons why forests are cut down. One is to benefit economically, with furniture and home building. But there is also another reason. Arguments say “the United States could help slow the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide by replacing old-growth forests with faster-growing young trees”. A new study of young and old forests says how this is in fact not true. Loggers have said that new trees pull the carbon dioxide better than old trees, and this may eem true, but it is not.

There is one point being overlooked from all of this. The older, larger trees can store much, much more carbon dioxide than a new tree could. By cutting and burning these magnificent seasoned trees, the CO2 is being released back into the atmosphere. These releases of carbon dioxide add up in our surroundings, only to intensify Global Warming. Although this shows what happens when one burns and cuts down old forests, one must still plant new trees for long term plans, not letting them grow for a few years, to then cut hem down. There are many methods for planning a forest.

The simplest method of replanting a forest is to leave it to nature. A suitable seed bed in which trees will readily take root is integral for successful regeneration. Reducing competition by eliminating grass, weed or shrubs is another requirement in securing a new crop of trees. These will sprout to produce seedlings. Though the weeds were eliminated before, they still grow back, and because of this poor, quality trees will grow. Another method though, is to create a planned forest, where new onifers are grown from seed in a special nursery.

Seeding is a reforestation technique used mainly in the Boreal forest area where fire or logging tends to leave no or very little seeds for growth. In specific cases, Ministry staff seed the area with treated tree seeds. Following this is the planting. In many cases, planting is the only means of initiating a new forest. Up to 80 000 000 trees are planted annually in Ontario on Crown and private land. Usually immature forests have to be tended to. Once situated, a new crop needs intermittent care for the next 60 to 100 years.

This means continuing protection from fires, disease and insects and routine thinning to focus the growth on selected crop trees. Before a forest can be grown, certain procedures must first occur. Collecting and processing seeds is one of them. Tree flowers fertilized by blowing winds or insects generate seed, in a time of somewhere within 1 to 2 years. Seed collecting from the woods must be timed with periodically occurring good seed years. Angus, near Barrie, is where all forest tree seed collection is co- ordinated. Stock of seeds can value up to $500 000.

Usually this is around 3 billion seeds from 59 tree classes. In summary of the aforesaid, trees are very valuable to the human race economically and for health. Without trees the environment could worsen to the point where we would be living on one large dessert. We must remember that forest do not grow as easily as they used to because of fires and other disasters. This is why many forests are planned, and cared for. Most of us will never now how they turn out because for a forest to completely grow, it needs within anywhere from 60 to 100 years or more.

There are many reasons why we should have reforestation. One being mostly that we need forest to live! Without forests, or any type of plant, the carbon cycle can’t result. There are not many arguments against reforestation, but there can be some opposition for the land being used between a large business company and the Ministry. I feel replanting of forests is very crucial to the human race. The earth depends on many cycles, where one organism depends on the other because of what it does. We, exhale carbon dioxide which the trees take in, while they give off vital oxygen.

Can You Picture Our Earth Without Forests

Can you picture our earth without forests? Many of us cant. Forests cover approximately one fifth of the worlds land surface and play an important role in our everyday lives (Dudley 4). Forests provide us with many products and services from helping maintain erosion to providing jobs for our citizens. Humanity depends on the survival of a healthy ecosystem and deforestation is causing many social, economic and ecological problems. One ecological problem is Global warming witch is caused when carbon is released into the air after the burning of forests.

Governments and industries must become more aware of these consequences of their activities and change accordingly. They need to cooperate with forest management and work towards a future that benefits all. Humans need to be educated about the current issues of the forests in order for us to save, preserve or sustain these places that provide us with so much. Humans depend tremendously on the worlds forests, but yet were the ones destroying them. For humans, the forests have many aesthetic, recreational, economic, and cultural values. Timber and other products of the forests are important economically both locally and as exports.

They provide employment for those who harvest the wood or for those who make products from the living forest. Forests also provide us with medical drugs, dyes and fabrics. There are many people who are dependent on forestland for their livelihoods. One third of the worlds people depend on wood for fuel as a significant energy source (Dudley). Not only do the forests provide some people with homes, but also provides a popular setting for ecotourism, which includes hiking, camping, bird watching and other outdoor adventure or nature study activities.

All these activities and products the forests provide us are at great risk from deforestation. Not only do forests provide us with all this but also protect soil from erosion and reduces the risks of landslides and avalanches. Trees help sustain freshwater supplies therefore are an important factor in the availability of one of lifes basic needs. Forests affect the climate and are also a very important source of oxygen. One major factor that the forests carry is that they are the home to over one half of the worlds total species (Dudley).

Currently we are discovering 20 new species of insects and 15 species of plants each day (Dudley 13). Recent reports by the World Resources Institute have shown that more than 80% of the plants natural forests have already been destroyed (Hatch). Yes humankind is the cause of deforestation, however us humans are also capable of having a positive effect on this crisis. Tropical forests cover about 10 per cent of the worlds dry land surface, mostly located in South America and Asia (Dudley 6). In the tropical forests of the world, deforestation is occurring for agriculture and livestock pastures.

The main cause is the unequal distribution of land (Anderson). Temperate forests are found in land areas that are warm enough and low enough to support trees but not so hot to be tropical. They are found in North America, Europe and cooler parts of Australia (Dudley 4). The problems in temperate forests are not so much the decrease in overall forest area, but the substantial change in the types of forests and their ecological diversity and stability. Commercial forestry is the main cause of deforestation in temperate forests.

In very broad terms, the total area of forest in Europe, the USSR and North America is likely to decrease only slightly in the medium future, but the proportion of forest existing as plantation is liable to rise sharply (Dudley 66). This however is going to lead to an increase in conflict between the recreational and conservation interests and will also tend to make forestry a more capital-intensive operation, thus providing fewer jobs. Since so many people are dependent on the worlds forests, deforestation will have a social, economical and ecological effect on the world.

Most of these effects are negative ones. The loss of forestlands is connected to desertification, which translates into there being fewer trees, thus decreasing the future forest workers employment. Heavy rainfall and high sunlight quickly damage the topsoil in tropical rainforest, causing them to regenerate slower and also providing insufficient farming grounds. When forests are replanted there will also be a loss in quality. Also the medical treatments, cures and vaccines will never be discovered if there are no forests to discover them in. There may be a loss of future markets for ecotourism.

The value of a forest is often higher when it is left standing than it could be worth when it is harvested (Dudley). Deforestation can cause the climate to change which could cause and increase in floods and droughts. Global warming is a big factor in the destruction of trees. Forests store large amounts of carbon that are released when trees are cut or burned. It is said that deforestation and the burning of biomass will be responsible for fifteen percent of the greenhouse effect between 1990 and 2025 (FAO). Because of global warming ranges of tree species could shift with respect to altitude and latitude (Humankind 2).

Furthermore, the stress of such environmental change may make some species more susceptible to the effects if insects, pollution, disease and fire (FAO). Also, areas of trees may be lost and genetic diversity may decrease. The clearing of forestland results in increase of erosion and landslides. Landslide is a descent of a mass of earth and rock down a mountain slope. Landslides may occur when water from rain and melting snow sinks through the earth on top of a slope, seeps through cracks and pore spaces in underlying sandstone, and encounters a layer of slippery material, such as shale or clay, inclined toward the valley (Encarta).

Logging has directly and indirectly damaged spawning grounds, blocked river channels, raised water temperatures and caused water levels in streams to fluctuate dangerously. Therefore, the removal of tress can reduce the viability of fist stocks in their watershed and down streams environments. People destroy or degrade forests because, for them, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. Underlying causes include such issues as poverty, unequal land ownership, womens status, education and population.

Immediate causes are often concerned with a search for land and resources, including both commercial timber and fuel wood (Dudley). The government and industry play a huge role in the destruction or stability of forests. The government is the major aspect in controlling and maintaining the forests. They have a huge say on what can and cant be done. For example on March 14th 1996 the senate voted 54-42 against repealing a section of the 1995 rescissions law that allows the forest industry to salvage burned and downed trees from national forests (Shuster 1).

They can restrict loggers by making laws but also are the link between compromising with the environmentalists. High unemployment and job loss is usually blamed on the restrictions set on foresters. However this is a myth. Most of this unemployment is from worldwide economic change. The production of value-added forest products would create more jobs and bring more wealth to these logging communities. The whole goal of this would be to reduce the pressure on the forests. If commercial forestry is to have a future, its methods need to become more ecologically sound and sustainable.

The technique of salvage logging, removing dead and diseased trees from the forest, is good if the loggers dont take advantage of it and know what trees to go after. Another affective method loggers use is known as whole tree harvesting. This uses all of the wood from a tree. The branches and the treetops are converted into wood chips. Whole tree logging provides more jobs for the people and more products to be sold for the economy. The government must play a greater role in forest management to protect the environment and employment.

The government should ensure that the interests of all stakeholders and as well as the long-term effects associated with forest areas are taken into account during forest planning. Governments should stop defending the forest industry from criticism and end the practice of subsidization. Propaganda originating from governments and corporations requires elimination if the public is to be able to make the right choices. Probably only the action of concerned citizens and consumers will compel government and industry to make changes in the forests.

Individuals can communicate their uncertainty about the future of the worlds forests to politicians, corporate executives and non-governmental organizations through personal communication in the form of letters, telephone calls, faxes and e-mails. Deforestation is a serious problem, but humans can make a difference. And individual as well as a business can practice green consumerism. They can make an effort to purchase the most ecologically sensitive products. Recycled paper is always available, which can reduce the demand for timber.

One of the most important ways a person to have a positive effect is to reduce his or her consumption of forest and related products. An increase in the participation of reducing, reusing and recycling is necessary. Education is one of the most effective ways to promote change in our environment. Society should educate people of today to change their ways and teach the younger generations to have respect for nature. The young people in our society should also be taught about the biological, social and economic values of forests. Environmental conservation should be as important as math, physics, and history in school.

Workers should be taught to use technology to enhance forest ecosystems instead of destroying them for reforestation. If humans would just see themselves as a part of nature, they will respect it so much more and not just exploit it for its resources. Humans bear the responsibility for deforestation and the global ecological crisis. But humankind has the abilities and potential to change its ways and prevent the destruction of our worlds forests. If the forests are protected and regenerated they will benefit us all in many ways. Trees will help benefit the land from erosion. Endangered species will have better chances for survival.

Human health will benefit from medicinal compounds that are given a chance to be disvocered. Local economies will benefit from ecotourism and consumers worldwide will gain satisfaction from knowing that their wood products were harvested in a sustainable manner that left four out of five trees standing (Greenpeace). In order for this to occur humans are going to have to undergo some degree of ideological change. Humans are going to have to live more sustainable lives and become closer with nature. Once the crisis of deforestation has passed, humankind will enjoy a finer existence, and will look forward to a bright future.

Environment Report: Tidal Power In The Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy, which is found off the shores of Nova Scotia, has the highest tides in the world . Extraordinary tides occur when the tidal wave length is two to four times  the length of the Bay. By virtue of blind luck or physics, the tide is amplified into a standing wave, like water sloshing in a bathtub. For a breaking wave to form, the surging tide must meet an obstacle. When the ocean meets the river going in the opposite direction, the sea hesitates, piles up behind the front line, and advances anew in a tidal bore.

Usually the ingredients occur during a new moon with 15 feet tides and he opposing force of the Shubenacadie river to display the true Bay’s magnificence. This part of St. John is divided into 3 main areas: the main Harbor, Courtenay Bay and the Outer Harbor. These areas are influenced by the Bay of Fundy tides and the currents of the  St John River which flow out of the main Habour into the Bay. This section also experiences two high and two low tides each day (semi – diurnal), with a tidal range varying from 15 to 18 feet, depending on the type of tides.

High – water heights vary from 22 to 28 feet and low – water heights vary from 0 to 7 feet above chart data. Because of these semi – diurnal tides and the action of the St John River, slack water in the Habour occurs at approximately tides and not at high or low water as would be the case at other parts. In the Bay of Fundy, the tides are spectacularly large. While the rise and fall of sea level due to tides is the most apparent aspect, it is also the tidal currents that direct magnification of tides, and the sea level rises or declines are due to resulting convergences and divergencies.

These tides rise and fall over a range that is greater than 50 feet; such  massive water movement ombined with accumulation of sediment through erosion has built up a large salt marsh that is a feeding station for migrating shore birds. The low fundy also feeding a ground for marine life including whales. A long time ago between about 15000 and 10000 year ago at the glacier retreated from the last ice age, part of Georges Bank were dry land. Such as fragment of trees and mammoth teeth from this are still found occasional in fishing travels. The sun and the moon are the only important celestial bodies in producing Terrestrial tides.

While the moon is much smaller than the sun, it is nevertheless more important for tidal rocesses, because of its proximity to the earth. There is a small imbalance between the centrifugal force and the gravitational attraction of the moon   on the water column that gives rise to horizontal forces, causing water motion that causes two bulges in the sea surface. One immediately under the earth, and the other on the other side of the earth. These bulges tend to rotate around the globe along with the moon resetting in semi-diurnal tides with a period of half a lunar day (12. diurnal hours) even though the earth’s rotation is a diurnal period of 24 hours. The Bay of Fundy is an area of about 1. (100000 Km2).

The Bay of Fundy is a part of the Continental Shelf off eastern Canada and New England. It also serves as  an extension that divides New Brunswick from Western Nova Scotia. At the Bay of Fundy’s tidal river at the Southwestern tip of Nova Scotia,  sea water overflows the other riverbank in spring to deposit loads of North Atlantic Salt twice daily. In the tidal river, fresh water and salt water are mixed. Fundy of Bay is famous for its tides which is the best and highest in the whole world.

The marsh is a home to mammals, a breeding place for birds and a feeding ground or estuary fish. It is a land that leaves even the most experienced naturalists awestruck by the aerial ballet performed annually by thousands of birds flying wing to wing during annual migration. The first experiment dealing with the consequences of environmental pollution was conducted at Yarmouth. There was a polluted brook on a farm sullied by foul-smelling effluent. Part of problem came from the regional airport where noxious run of f had spilled into the head water of the brook.

This pollution stayed in the brook for over 25 years. The area was  putrid smelling from fish eal and made people sick. The Fundy tides are a renewable source of energy with potentially hundreds of billions of kilowatts generated each year. It has the potential to provide viable energy, as there is a growing need for pollution-free sources. The Bay of  Fundy tidal power has, over half a century, been sparked  interest and successful investigation into the potential of its development. Technological advancement and “the new economy”brought renewed interest into developing energy from the Fundy tides.

While the rhythmic modulation of sea level and its association with the motion f the sun and the moon must have been noticed since prehistoric time, a better understanding had to wait until Sir Isacc Newton applied his theory of gravitation to explain the underlying physical mechanism. He was able to construction an equilibrium theory of tides, that explained the semi-diurnal nature of tides in most parts of the world. If there were infinite time allowed for adjustment of the ocean to the astronomical forces it is the equilibrium tides that would be the result.

This is, however, not the case since the tidal forcing varies quite rapidly with time. Resonance in the oceanic response push tides in certain localities to be above the value predicted by the equilibrium theory. While the equilibrium theory products two bulges to form, one underneath the moon and the other on the opposite side of the globe, in reality the high water may significantly precede or lag the transit of the moon. These differences are due to the dynamic response of the oceans to tidal forcing.

It was Laplace who a century later laid the theoretical and mathematical foundation for modern dynamic theory of ocean tides by considering oceanic tides to be the esponse of a fluid medium to the astronomical forcing by the sun and moon’s gravitational attractions. The transportation of oil from the Bay of Fundy and the generation of nuclear power are two aspects of the same issue in that the supply of energy that present inherent risks to the environment, but opposing arguments against the use of foreign oil and nuclear power might be base on purely economic grounds.

The risk of oil spills with catastrophic and long lasting effects on Marine organisms and the coastal environment is always a possibility. The monumental Mains Basin scheme produces more than twice as much electricity in Nova Scotia at 4560 megawatts from all sources-coal, oil and hydro as the largest water-driven electrical power plant in the world. Nova Scotia produces more power than Newfoundland’s Churchill Falls (about 2660 megawatts) and Ontario Hydro’s Picketing nuclear-power plant ( 2160 megawatts).

Tidal power would not replace conventional electrical energy derived from nuclear or fossil fuels for peak demand. Tidal power has fluctuating peaks so. At 12 noon is when you  need the power might not be quailabler. Utilities would still meet peak demand whether or not tidal power was on the line. The  renewable energy source using lunar gravitation and hydroelectricity has become increasingly important. Compared with a river dam, tidal power has a difficult saltwater environment, where machines are needed to produce of power and also have saltwater durability.

The electric power output is the twice-daily ebb average of tidal electricity less than 40% of the generating capacity of a river dam. In the 15 century, a construction handbook was published ,showing how tidal ater was held behind a dam at high tide so that when a sufficient water level was reached between the land and sea sides of the dam . a mill could use tidal water to mix with the fresh water to turn the waterwheel that provided power for grinding grain. The first mill in the would was built in 1607 by Samuel de Champlain on the Lequille River.

By 1910 Turnbull and an American  engineer, designed a double basin scheme that would cross the  international boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. Given the grave environmental challenges such as global warning or environmental ollution facing many kind in the coming century and because oceans play such a very important role in governing the degree of global warming, fisheries yield, and degrees of pollution along our beaches, the study of the tides through a variety of means such as ship surveys, and remote sensing will lead to a better understanding of how the oceans work.

The hope is that as a result, we will leave behind for our children a world that is both livable as well as enjoyable in all its majesty . If we an avoid oil spills into the ocean the water and environment will be more beautiful and ecologically safe for all living things.

The Damnation of a Canyon

Not many people know of the used-to-be 150-mile excursion that the Glen Canyon had to offer. Not many people know how to sail a raft down a river for a week. Not many people know how to interact with nature and the animals that come with it. We seem to come from a world that is dependent on time and consumed in money. Edward Abbey is what you would call an extreme environmentalist. He talks about how it was an environmental disaster to place a dam in which to create Lake Powell, a reservoir formed on the border of Utah and Arizona.

He is one of the few that have actually seen the way Glen Canyon was before they changed it into a reservoir. Today, that lake is used by over a million people, and is one of the biggest recreation hot spots in the western United States. First of all, Edward Abbey admits to being a certain bias and that he is a, butterfly chaser, googley eyed bleeding heart and wild conservative. So, in other words he is intending this article to be read by environmental activist who will support his opinion and the action that he is trying to take.

Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area back in 1967, so of course he would be against any environmental action taken to change the canyon. He stated that before the damnation of the canyon that there were streams, waterfalls, plunge pools, and plenty of wildlife. Now you can only find that on a small scale and that these things have been lost, pushed out, drowned, or buried under mud. Abbey highlighted quite a few points; one of them that interested me the most was his description, of the difference between the present reservoir, and the original Glen Canyon.

He stated that it was the difference between life and death. Glen Canyon was alive. Lake Powell is a graveyard. He really seems to be going out on a limb in saying this extreme of a statement. I think that he is wrong in saying that. I feel that he is only looking at one side of the story. I would say the opposite, but for a rhetorical analysis proposes only, I will come from his point of view in researching that he came to that conclusion under the assumption that the wildlife and nature was more alive then the life outside of the dam. Lake Powell is a graveyard in such that there is nothing natural about it.

The rocks are pretty and the water is blue. Abbey talks of a term called bathtub ring, it is left on the canyon walls, after each drawdown of the water level. The park rangers in Glen Canyon consider it to be not of great importance, and that is one of the only illusions that you look at upon a natural lake. To some people seeing that effect is more then they have seen or may ever see in their life when it comes to nature. People come from places where there isnt a lot of wildlife around them. The closest they get seeing that might just be from a book or a video they saw in school.

So what if they dump a ton of striped bass and rainbow trout into the lake every year. One of those fishes could be the first one ever caught by a boy who is having a weekend with his father. The symbol of that fish and what it represents to the bonding between two people may be a lot more then what I think Abbey has analysed. I think Abbey brought up a very controversial/argumentative point in his article. He stated that if Rainbow Bridge is worth seeing at all, then by God it should be easily, readily, immediately available to everybody with the money to buy a big power boat.

Before the Dam was put up to create Lake Powell, Rainbow Bridge was only accessible by walking six miles through the thickets of cottonwood trees, semi-tropical hanging orchids, and ivy, with swarms of insects and birdlife to get there. He seems to argue the wheelchair ethos of the wealthy, upper-middle class American slob. Well, excuse the people who were born paralyzed from the waist down, and would like to experience the forces nature in its natural state of beauty and grace. He seems to generalize the typical population of people who visit Lake Powell on an unscientific basis, upper-middle class American slobs.

So does that mean that a lower class family doesnt have the money to do such recreational activity? And that we are slobs because we like to view nature in its own environment? One last point in which should be heard is that, Edward Abbey states that now that the river is closed up people cannot get a raft, spend about forty dollars, give up 7-10 days, and rely only on the goodness of fresh catfish just to float down a river. In todays society people dont have time. We would rather spend the hundreds of dollars to get a nice speedboat, buy real food, and only take maybe the weekend to enjoy the great outdoors.

We enjoy the freshness of a shower everyday, going to the bathroom with flushable device, eating food with the right bit of garlic taste, in other words the comfort of home. Even if they did take down the dam and offer such rafting trips, do you honestly think a person could leave their cell phone at home? In conclusion, I do think that Edward Abbey made a great attempt at persuading the audience. He had great facts and experience to back up what he was arguing. I did like the fact that even though he was against the damnation he mentions that has been a good source of energy.

But he argues, of course, that as the world becomes more technically advanced that we should use alternate methods of power generation, such as solar. In that, as a society we will learn to adapt to different resources and basic needs in which the demands for electrical power begins to diminish. We can shut down the Glen Canyon power plant, open the tunnels, drain the reservoir, and as he states it The wilderness will again belong to God, the people and the wild things that call it home.