Study "Environment / Conservation / Ecology" Essays 661-688

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Environmental Science and Biomes Essay

… Ecosystems

Environmental Science and Biomes

I visited three types of ecosystems. The first was a coastal salt marsh. Microalgae, phytoplankton, and Spartina (cordgrass) were the primary producers in this system. Snails, periwinkle, and shrimp were some of the detritivores. Bacteria and fungi seemed to be the decomposers. Consumers included fish, small crab, and terrapin.

The second ecosystem that I visited was a small farm pond. Various species of water plants and algae were the primary producers. Decomposers included bacteria and worms. Consumers included fish, frogs, and water insects.

The third ecosystem I visited was a grassland. The primary producer was, obviously, grass. Main detritivores seemed to be worms and fungi. Some of the main consumers were birds, deer, and rodents.

a) If carbon nutrient cycle were to be disrupted by, for instance, the sudden inability of plants to undergo photosynthesis, the consequences to us would be sudden and lethal. The decay of organic matter, the burning of fossil fuels, and of course our own respiration would continue to produce CO2, but without the plants using CO2 as part of the photosynthesis process, carbon levels in the atmosphere would quickly skyrocket and become toxic.

b) The nitrogen nutrient cycle is being disrupted by agricultural practices at this very moment, and the consequences could affect us on a global level. Current fertilizing practices are increasing the amount of fixed nitrogen in the atmosphere, but the organisms that can balance this through denitrification remain limited. The resulting excess of fixed nitrogen diminishes stratospheric ozone, contaminates water, and creates acid rain.

c) If, for some reason, phosphate were no longer able to be dissolved in water and thus digested by plants and (through the plants) by animals, our bodies themselves would cease to be able to function.…… [read more]


Risk Assessment: El Dorado Hills Assessment

… Risk Assessment: El Dorado Hills, California

El Dorado Hills, California, faces several risks that must be mitigated. The El Dorado Fire Department is one of the entities with the task of mitigating such risk, as it is an "all-risk" entity in the city. Increasingly, fire and police departments have integrated their services to best protect and serve the communities within which they function. This risk assessment is then focused upon determining the probability of certain risks, and to therefore be able to make recommendations regarding the measures that should be implemented to mitigate such risks. El Dorado Hill is subject to natural, chemical and man-made risks.

Natural risks include earthquakes, tornadoes, and the weather. The most significant natural risk is earthquakes. The estimated risk of earthquakes for the El Dorado Hills region is about 90% of the national average. The risk posed by tornadoes and the weather is minimal, at only 15% and 5% of the national average, respectively (PropertyMaps.com). The climate in the region is very mild, with the average temperature during July at 95 degrees F, and the coldest in January being 39 degrees F. There is therefore little danger of weather-related problems for inhabitants of the community. The average yearly rainfall is below the national average (38.64') at 24.61'. There is no risk from rain or hail.

The most significant chemical risk for El Dorado Hills is naturally occurring asbestos (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010). Asbestos occurs naturally in ultramafic rock formations throughout the El Dorado County in California and specifically in El Dorado Hills. In the city, asbestos has been found at the West Bear Mountains Fault Zone running north to south through the county.

According to the EPA, asbestos has been found present in soil and ambient air in El Dorado Hills by means of both investigations and visual inspection. Specifically, such investigations focused upon a residential area on Woedee Drive at Oak Ridge High school. It was recommended that mitigation activities be used to address asbestos contamination on the campus. A further recommendation could…… [read more]


Environmental Case Study

… Copper Mining in Southeastern Arizona at the Morenci Operation

The Morenci Operation: Arizona

Copper is a metal that is typically found in ore form. It is smelted or leached out of the ore and used in myriad different applications. Copper… [read more]


James Ward Sustainability Lecture Essay

… ¶ … James Ward Sustainability lecture is a sobering reminder of the effects of industrialization and the modern, Western lifestyle upon the planet. For too long people on a policy level and an individual level have ignored the real costs of burning fossil fuels on a mass scale. The problem of global warming is that its consequences are not immediately obvious, and it is still denied by many, even though droughts, rising sea levels, floods, and the destruction of indigenous ways of life are already manifest -- all the result of rising temperature. Additionally, people in the developing world wish to enjoy the privileges and luxuries of Westerners, in a manner that is not sustainable for the planet as a whole. Sustainability is defined as "the ability to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs" (Ward, Sustainability, Slide 2). The population is expanding, and so is the demand for consumer goods as well as basic necessities.

The need for fostering sustainability goes further than simply providing green alternatives: it also means containing the current population explosion worldwide, even while some nations are concerned about their rapidly aging populations and reductions in their birth rates. What is pleasurable or even good for a nation is not necessarily true of the world as a whole, and for the green movement to enact real changes, citizens must start to take a global perspective, and look at the effects that their individual actions have upon the world, not just within their towns or nations. Engineers must likewise begin to police themselves, and constantly question their professional ethics. Ward states that engineers should not pursue projects that tax rather than improve the current environmental state of the planet. It is often said that the eternal question of engineers is…… [read more]


Bog Ecosystem Essay

… Bogs are unique ecosystems, at once wholly infertile and teeming with life. Our trip to the Orono Bog revealed that bogs are more than mud pits. They can be stunningly beautiful with a surprising array of wildlife, especially bird life. We saw several small songbirds along the boardwalk at Orono. Also called peatlands, bogs give rise to cranberries and similar small berries. Fungi, mosses, and flowers, including some bog-specific orchids, can all be sustained by bogs.

Although a bog is a type of wetland ecosystem, it differs significantly from marshes and swamps. Bogs are characterized by their "acidic and infertile" soil ("Bog FAQs"). Yet the term infertile belies the subtle life teeming within the bog. For instance, we could see and hear many insects, which provide nourishment not only for birds passing by but also for carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant. Bogs cannot sustain the type of flora and fauna that a forest will, though. Because of the acidic nature of the soil, the bog is devoid of trees and grasses. Their roots also cannot penetrate the thick mineral layer (class notes p. 2). However, a mat of moss known as sphagnum may provide a carpet upon which some plants and even trees like the tamarack can take root and grow (EPA). Thus, a bog is a heterogeneous ecosystem with many different manifestations, sections, and layers.

The Orono Bog is a raised bog, complete with moat, rand, and fen. Peat accumulation is higher in the center of the bog than at the edges, creating the domed terrain and also the moat surrounding it. The moat is created and sustained as rain waters flow down the rand, the sloping sides. Beyond the moat, we can see the gradual reintroduction of familiar vegetation such as woody trees and shrubs that cannot exist within the peaty part of the bog. I imagine that many of the passerine birds we witnessed along the boardwalk made their…… [read more]


Recycling Sidebar Tire Article Critique

… Recycling Sidebar: Tire-to-Tire Recycling

The adherence of all researchers to principles of Good Research Practice is crucial to the scientific process. Such principles have been defined and formulated by various scientific bodies. Good Research Practice by definition is not very specific since the details vary from field to field. Good Research Practice is made up of a set of principles that provides a structure within which research is carried out. It is designed, carried out, observed, documented, reported and archived. In order for research projects to be good ones they need:

A sharp focus that is supported by a clear research question or proposal that is used for developing them. Projects should be directed towards results which can be communicated to and used by other people

Convincing arrangements for accessing and building upon what is known already about the area to be studied. Projects need to demonstrate that they will make a systematic and collective contribution to what is already known

Clear research methods need to be use (Criteria for Research, 2010).

The scientific method is a procedure that is used for experimentation that explores observations and answer questions. Scientists use it in order to investigate for cause and effect relationships in nature. They devise an experiment so that one things changes because something else varies in an expected way. The steps of the scientific method include:

Asking a question

Doing background research

Constructing a hypothesis

Testing the hypothesis by experimentation

Analyzing the data and drawing conclusions

Communicating the results to others (Steps of the Scientific Method, 2010).

In the article Recycling Sidebar: Tire-to-Tire Recycling the author looks at the idea of how devulcanization can add value to rubber shred. The number of scrap tires that are made North America is overwhelming. According to a report published in November 2009 by the U.S. EPA, consumers along with industry in the United States produced almost 300 million scrap tires in 2008. This was thought to be about five million tonnes of non-biodegradable waste rubber. The EPA says that approximately a billion tires are disposed of every year in landfills around the world. The good thing is that the recycling of scrap tires has gone up tremendously over the last decade. Government agencies in many countries have partnered with industry to raise consciousness and find new valuable and commercially-viable ways to utilize recycled scrap tires. New markets keep on developing recycled rubber, generating what is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Many tire makers add in recycled rubber into their tires and retreads. Until just recently, they could only combine one to two per cent recycled rubber powder in without taking the risk of having performance safety issues or even failure. This was for the reason that powdered rubber lost necessary properties that are natural in new rubber, such as suppleness and pliability. These are properties that are vital for tire performance and safety. In this study devulcanization is studied to see if this process can solve the problem of reduced performance safety.… [read more]


Swimming Pool Chemicals and the Effects of Its Agents Research Paper

… Swimming Pool Chemicals and the Effects of These Agents

Anyone who has taken a dip in a swimming pool that has just been treated with chlorine can readily testify to the powerful burning effects this chemical has on the eyes, but chlorine and the other chemicals that are used to treat swimming pools can have other, less noticeable but potentially harmful effects as well. To determine what chemicals are typically used to treat swimming pools and their effects, this paper provides a review of the relevant literature, followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Compared to other hazardous household wastes, American consumers tend to have more swimming pool chemicals left over at the end of a season that must be disposed of than any other category, using up to 89-90% of their pesticides and fertilizers and 90% of their cleaning products, but just 8% of their swimming pool chemicals (Wolf, Kettler, Leahy and Spitz 1999). As a result, there have been injuries of waste management personnel reported from around the country when these chemicals were improperly disposed of in municipal landfills (Wolf et al. 1999). When swimming pool chemicals are improperly combined, they have the potential to produce chlorine gas (Gas threat 2009).

One international manufacturer of swimming pool chemicals, BioLab UK, was charged with negligence following an explosion of chemicals that were improperly mixed that seriously injured a consumer's face. Although admitting that she had mixed the chemicals wrongly, the consumer emphasized that the widely sold pool care kit failed to highlight the potential dangers involved in mixing the chemicals and emphasized that she would never have purchased the kit had she been aware of the danger ("Mother's agony as Pool Cleaning Fluid Explodes in Her Face" 2004). The explosion occurred when the consumer followed the swimming pool treatment kit's directions to mix the chemicals in separate containers with water; however, rather than adding the two solutions directly to the swimming pool, she combined them in a single bucket which resulted in the explosion ("Mother's agony as Pool Cleaning Fluid Explodes in Her Face" 2004). Beyond the trauma and pain suffered, the consumer was uncertain at the time of the report whether the damage to her face could be repaired ("Mother's agony as Pool Cleaning Fluid Explodes in Her Face" 2004).

There are other dangers involved with chlorine as well. For instance, according to hair care product manufacturer Paul Clayton (2009) of Clayton and company, "Frequent swimmers with natural blonde or chemically lightened hair that is extremely porous may experience the development of green tints and shades over time" (40). Prior planning, Clayton suggests, is the most effective approach to preventing this color change. All professional hair care product companies offer a range of sun care products that can provide protection against damage from the chlorine used in…… [read more]


Cost Analysis: Categorical Descriptions and a Case Thesis

… Cost Analysis: Categorical Descriptions and a Case Analysis

Variable Manufacturing Costs:

Costs associated with manufacturing that vary depending on the amount of output, such as raw materials and human resources, fall into this category. As these costs change based on production numbers, they are an essential part of an incremental cost analysis.

Fixed Manufacturing Costs:

Those costs associated with manufacturing that remain static regardless of the level of output belong to this category. Overhead, including some amount of energy consumption, leases, property taxes, and inspection fees are all fixed. As such, they have no need to be included in an incremental cost analysis.

Semi-Variable Manufacturing Costs:

Though a base amount of energy is needed to produce a single unit and probably won't vary much to produce 100, it will likely take more energy to make 10,000 units. This is an example of a semi-variable cost; a careful analysis of these costs is essential in an incremental analysis.

Total Production Costs:

The sum of the above costs equal the total manufacturing or production costs. The optimum total cost is that which maximizes profits, and has no bearing on an incremental analysis.

Direct Costs:

Direct costs are those which can be attributed to a specific material, good, or service produced by a firm. The specific amount of labor necessary to produce a single unit of product, for example, would be a direct cost. As these costs directly relate to the product, they are important in an incremental analysis.

Indirect Costs:

Indirect costs are those that cannot be attributed directly and specifically to a product. Building maintenance and administrative costs are two examples; these costs are non-incremental.

Case Analysis: Laundry Detergent

An examination of the…… [read more]


Arizona History Thesis

… Pollution in Arizona

The state of Arizona used to be internationally known for its clean air and dry climate. It was an ideal place for someone suffering from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory diseases to reside. Now, Arizona has some… [read more]


Sustainable Development Plan in 2008, Canada Passed Thesis

… Sustainable Development Plan

In 2008, Canada passed the Federal Sustainable Development Act. This act includes a number of tactics and strategies to help one of the world's large industrialized nations develop in a sustainable manner. Many of these are for federal agencies, and each agency has its own set of sustainable development strategies. A sustainable development advisory panel has also been established to help monitor the progress of the federal agencies with respect to sustainable development.

Canada is a signatory to many international agreements on sustainable development, including the Beijing Declaration on the advancement of women, the Kyoto Protocol and commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. Canada views sustainable development as an ongoing process, with each individual goal as having its down timeline. The Millennium Development Goals, for example, have a timeframe for completion of 2015. The Kyoto Commitment Canada signed on for -- a much more stringent commitment than most countries -- was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 6% lower than 1990 levels by 2012.

Canada's sustainable development plan does not address many areas that other sustainable development plans address. For example, there is little with regards to water, Canada being a water-rich nation. Employment is considered a separate issue from sustainability. There is no funding from the IMF, World Bank or other agencies, since Canada can afford its own programs. There are programs to aid in employment and economic development, but for the most part they are not part of the sustainable development plans. The lack of tie-in between the "sustainable" and the "development" is the main weakness in Canada's sustainable development plans.

In 2002, Ethiopia launched its down sustainable development program, which addressed several crucial issues (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2002) . The plan is centered on the primary goal of poverty reduction. With respect to land use, the plan focused on the production of cash crops, as a means to generate income, but the government feels that this can be balanced with…… [read more]


Sustainable Development the Brundtland Report Essay

… Sustainable Development

The Brundtland Report defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (IISD, 2009). The concept of sustainable development is based on the understanding that the world is a system -- a set of interrelationships that is near infinite in its complexity.

There are two levels of interrelationships involved. One is geographic and the other is temporal. The world's system spans all geographies. Actions taken in one part of the world will, in some, impact other parts of the world. Forest fires from slash and burn agriculture in Indonesia create pollution across all of Southeast Asia. The temporal relationship means that the system functions over time. Actions taken at one point in time will impact points in the future. Overfishing the bluefin tuna to extinction today will impact the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean ecosystems for generations to come, until a new post-bluefin equilibrium is reached.

There are multiple dimensions to the concept of sustainable development, including social, economic, and environmental (UN Division for Sustainable Development, 2009). Within each of these dimensions are webs of relationships that intertwine frequently. The interaction of different factors creates complex relationships between the factors.

Sustainable development, being based on holistic, global system, ultimately must resolve every environmental, social and economic ill on the planet. As a result of the complex webs of interrelationships, sustainable development faces numerous challenges that must be overcome in order to resolve these issues. The first is with respect to measuring sustainable development. While the definition indicates what the outcomes of sustainable development look like, it is difficult to definitively measure the impacts of individual decisions. A decision's on direct outcome variables can be measured, but its impacts on indirect outcome variables can be difficult to measure. The number of different factors that contribute to any one outcome can be high, and the degree of influence of any one…… [read more]


Eutrophication Is the Process by Which Human Essay

… Eutrophication is the process by which human activities, as a result of released nitrogen and phosphorus, drives excessive plant and algae growth within bodies of water (Carpenter, 2009; James E. Cloern & J. Emmett Duffy, 2007). This artificial enrichment causes abnormally high rates of growth, often known as algal blooms, and can function to eventually degrade water quality (James E. Cloern & J. Emmett Duffy, 2007). The increased nitrogen and phosphorus within these bodies of water can often be traced to fertilizer run-off of farms and lawns or sewage-treatment plants. Extreme algal growth can result in anoxic conditions due to high levels of oxygen utilization, potentially killing many marine creatures and fish (James E. Cloern & J. Emmett Duffy, 2007). The Salton Sea in California, the Baltic Sea, the Sea of Marmara near Turkey, and Lake Prespa on the boundary of Macedonia and Greece are well-known examples of bodies of water which are or haven been undergoing eutrophication (James E. Cloern & J. Emmett Duffy, 2007).

Most solutions which have been proposed to deal with the problem of eutrophication target the…… [read more]


Gray Water System Term Paper

… Adding water recycling units to residential homes only makes sense. "As lakes shrink and droughts worsen, people all over the world are realizing that our freshwater supply is limited and must be protected. In the United States alone, experts predict… [read more]


Green Term Paper

… We want you to come up with new ways for us to save even more, through a program that will reward our staff members for their ideas on conserving energy, recycling, and reusing. If you see waste in your department, we'd like to hear your creative ideas on how to manage it. If you have an idea for other areas of the company, we want to hear your solutions. We're proud to be an innovator in green technology, and for our awards from the Council, but we feel there is even more we can do, even at remote locations far away from our award-winning San Jose facilities. Now is the time to be even more creative and innovative in looking for ways to save energy and recycle. It creates better, happier, and safer workplaces, it saves money, and it's the socially conscious thing to do. Adobe has been a leader in technology and innovation, and now's the time to continue…… [read more]


Defining Problems and Putting Them Into Context Thesis

… Asbestos

Defining Problems and putting them into context

Environmental health risk management plan: Asbestos

The "Framework for risk management" when evaluating an environmental hazard takes a six-stage form according to the federal government:

Define the problem and put it in context

Asbestos possesses qualities that make it ideal for use in thermal insulation. It is strong and chemically stable. This is why asbestos is commonly used as an acoustic insulator, and in thermal insulation, fire proofing and in other building materials. However, "asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when asbestos- containing materials are damaged or disturbed," such as during routine procedures in cutting the material for insulation (Asbestos, 2009, EPA). "When these fibers get into the air they may be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems" (Asbestos, 2009, EPA)

Step 2: Analyze the risks associated with the problem in context

Millions of Americans have been exposed to asbestos through their occupations or in their daily lives. While low levels not deemed to be hazardous according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is clear that there are severe health consequences that can result from continued exposure. Shipbuilders, workers involved in asbestos mining, milling, and textile work, and construction workers are only some of the individuals at increased risk because of their employment. Family members of workers in these industries can also be exposed through contact to workers' hair or clothing. This is why the federal government mandates on-site decontamination procedures in most industries where work is done with asbestos (Asbestos exposure and cancer risk, 2009, The National Cancer Institute).

For some -- and there is no way of telling who -- "although it is clear that the health risks from asbestos exposure increase with heavier exposure and longer exposure time, investigators have found asbestos-related diseases in individuals with only brief exposures. Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after their first exposure. It can take from 10 to 40 years or more for symptoms of an asbestos-related condition to appear" (Asbestos exposure and cancer risk, 2009, The National Cancer Institute). This also makes it difficult to connect certain levels of exposure and certain types of exposure with increased risk for cancer, lung disease, emphysema, or other illnesses related to asbestos.

Step 3: Examine options for addressing the risks

The EPA has used a two-pronged strategy: phasing out future use of asbestos and only 'grandfathering' in those existing structures with acceptable levels of risk. Asbestos has been used in many buildings and in many industries since the 1800s. It is used in strengthening cement and plastics as well as for insulation, roofing, fireproofing, and sound absorption. Asbestos has also been used in ceiling and floor tiles; paints, coatings, and adhesives; and plastics -- even in crayons until recently (Asbestos exposure and cancer risk, 2009, The National Cancer Institute).

Thus, in terms of the stakeholders, many people are potentially at risk. Builders,… [read more]


Exxon Valdez Disaster Thesis

… ¶ … Exxon Valdez Disaster

Good Friday was turning out to be a bad day for the Prince William Sound in Alaska. In 1965, the day was marked by a major earthquake. (Valdez, 2007). In 1989, something even worse happened -- the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran over the Bligh reef, tearing large holes in its oil storage tanks and spilling nearly eleven million gallons of crude oil into the Sound (Streissguth & Chandler, 2003; Valdez, 2007). This was and still is the largest oil spill in North American history, and cleanup efforts on some of the areas most affected by the spill continue to this day (Valdez, 2007). The effect on wildlife in the area was huge, with over 30,000 dead sea birds recovered in the first few months, who dies as a direct result of the spill, and an additional 7,000 dying off in the months following the spill from undetermined but most likely indirect causes related to the spill, such as a diminishing of the food supply and destruction of habitat (Piatt et al., 1990). The cost of the spill, both environmentally and financially in terms of clean up, was too enormous to accurately calculate.

The cost of the oil lost was also huge to Exxon, though the company never really faltered. In fact, though the company did begin immediate efforts to clean up the spill, some believe that they did not act quickly enough, or that the ensuing cleanup project did not reach a large enough scale to fully minimize the damage done (Streissguth & Chandler, 2003). It is also believed by many that adequate precautions were not taken to prevent the spill from occurring, and there is very likely some truth to this statement. According to the official version of events, Joseph Hazelwood, captain of the Exxon Valdez, left the ship in command of Gregory Cousins shortly before midnight on. Hazelwood insists that he instructed Cousins to set a course that would steer them around the Bligh Reef before leaving the bridge, but Cousins…… [read more]


How the Invention of Nylon Changed Society as We Know it in the 20th Century Essay

… Nylon

One of the first commercially available synthetic fibers, nylon transformed the fabric and textile industry during the first half of the twentieth century. Manufacturing the polymide fiber reduced dependence on natural fibers like silk, linen, and cotton in the production of clothing and other fabrics; brush bristles; and a slew of other everyday products. Nylon also became instrumental in harder industries demanding tough, endurable materials used for ropes and other products. Although preceded by rayon as a synthetic, nylon was dubbed a "miracle fiber" because of its amazing strength and versatility ("A Short History of Manufactured Fibers" nd). Unlike rayon, nylon was one hundred percent synthetic: derived from petrochemicals. Well before automobiles because commonplace, nylon helped catapult the petroleum industry into the foreground of twentieth century manufacturing.

Nylon is a polyamide fiber, one that is "derived from a diamine and a dicarboxylic acid," (Hegde, Dahiya, & Kamath 2004). Polymers are the building blocks of nylon: chains of molecules that can be formed into strong fibers (Bellis nd). The most commonly used chemicals in the production of nylon, and the ones used in its original manufacturing by the DuPont Company, include nylon 66 (polyhexamethylene adiamide) and nylon 6 (Polycaprolactam, a cyclic nylon intermediate). Hegde, Dahiya & Kamath (2004) note that in addition to petroleum products, benzene and furfural are also raw materials from which nylon 66 and nylon 6 are extracted. Under pressure to compete with the budding rayon industry and because of its heavy investment in research and development, the DuPont Company's Wallace Carothers and his team of researchers created and perfected the first nylon ("Nylon: A Brief History of Its Inception at DuPont"). Nylon not only had an enormous impact on twentieth century manufacturing but also on the life of Carothers, who committed suicide soon after discovering the fiber. Carothers was deeply dismayed at the way the DuPont Company focused almost solely on the commercial applications of nylon ("Nylon: A Brief History of Its Inception at DuPont"). In fact, the creation of nylon inspired the DuPont Company to saturate the market with products using the new synthetic fiber. Nylon, for all its…… [read more]


1874 as Othmar Zeidler's Graduate School Project Essay

… ¶ … 1874 as Othmar Zeidler's graduate school project, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was not initially invented for use as a pesticide. However, in 1939, Paul Herman Muller synthesized the chlorinated hydrocarbon specifically for use as a pesticide and thus was born one of the most monstrous chemicals ever used in agriculture. Muller experimented with DDT not only on crops but also on human beings, applying the toxic substance to war refugees for their lice (Davis nd). Because DDT appeared to kill insects on contact but not human beings, the substance was deemed a miraculous success and brought quickly to market. During World War Two, DDT was used for the "control of vector-borne diseases such as typhus and malaria," according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1975). Other contagious diseases like yellow fever were also believed to respond to DDT ("DDT: An Introduction"). Its "reasonable cost, effectiveness, persistence, and versatility" made DDT seem to be a boon for civilization during the first half of the twentieth century (EPA 1975). Dr. Muller won the Nobel Prize for medicine because of his discoveries.

DDT tremendously changed society during the twentieth century and especially during the latter half. Because of its dramatic effect on killing insects, DDT was dubbed "the 'atomic bomb' of pesticides," ("DDT: An Introduction"). After its use during World War Two in attempting to stop the spread of disease, DDT was applied almost exclusively to agro-business crops. One of the most notable impacts of DDT was on the twentieth century marketplace: the chemical proved extremely lucrative. Well over a billion pounds of the substance was used in the United States alone prior to the ban on DDT in 1972. DDT changed the way the agriculture industry operated: switching the production of crops from smaller farms to larger ones that were aided by DDT and other pesticides in producing massive amounts of surplus. The agro-businesses not only altered landscapes in America but also the labor models of farming. Moreover, DDT would leave a horrific legacy as the precursor to seemingly safer chemical-based pesticides. DDT promised a world in which crops would grow unfettered by bugs and rodents. A bug-free world is of course a fantasy, one that has led to dangerous levels of toxins in drinking water and soils and also to…… [read more]


Environmental Science Deforestation Is Occurring Term Paper

… Environmental Science

Deforestation

Deforestation is occurring around the world today, and it is permanently killing forests and woodlands in many countries, but especially in the tropical areas of the world. Logging is a major contributor to deforestation, (Stock and Rochen), but cattle ranching, agriculture, and building can all lead to deforestation, as well. In addition, most of the deforestation occurs in the tropics, and the tropics have very poor soil for agriculture, when the forest is cleared for agriculture, the crops quickly deplete the soils nutrients, and more forest must soon be cleared to continue the growth. Thus, it is a never-ending cycle of clearing and deforestation. Acid rain can also lead to deforestation, and climate change could lead to more deforestation in other areas of the globe, as well.

Deforestation affects the globe in many ways. When a tropical forest is lost, the other plants and animals that depend on the forest for their survival are displaced, and this can lead to extinction. In addition, trees take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen. Without this carbon cycle, more CO2 remains in the air, which…… [read more]


Bottled Water Term Paper

… Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

Is bottled water safe to drink? Is it environmentally responsible to buy bottled water? Is tap water a safe and sound alternative? What kind of filters are necessary when drinking tap water? There are a… [read more]


Waste Water Runoff Inadequately Planned Growth Term Paper

… Waste Water Runoff

Inadequately planned growth has been the cause of significant health concerns for America's beaches. In 2004, the Natural Resources Defense Council ordered 19,950 days of beach closures and pollution advisories. This 9% rise from the previous year affected 1,234 ocean and freshwater beaches. "The reason for 85% of the closures and advisories was the detection of excessive counts of fecal bacteria in the beach waters" (Mallin 53). Just as these high amounts of fecal bacteria were unhealthy for humans, they also were unhealthy for shellfish beds, leading to many closures as well.

With this disturbing trend, Mallin sought to investigate the relationship between human population growth and the closure of shellfish beds. This was of vast significance for several reasons. First, if the theorized linkage between population growth and shellfish bed closure was correct, then this information could be used to motivate developers and land owners to utilize more eco-friendly development plans, such as smart growth strategies. Second, healthier shellfish beds equates to healthier people who consume shellfish. Third, understand the causes of shellfish bed contamination, which would lead to action plans to prevent this contamination, also leads to economic benefits of a healthier crop of shellfish. The main point of this article was that human population growth was significantly linked to shellfish bed closures.

The author supported his conclusion with gathered data from his laboratory.

This data was gathered from five coastal North Carolina counties studied. "In 1984, when 352,124 people lived in the five counties, 35,275 acres of…… [read more]


Tragedy of the Commons Term Paper

… Laws limiting toxic emissions are one coercive way of reducing the negative effects of pollution. Because individuals and corporations must now pay fines or pay for the effective treatment of their waste before throwing it out, they are less likely to pollute. Thus, Hardin suggests that laws are absolutely necessary in preventing the "tragedy of the commons." Again, the author is absolutely right. Although the companies might grumble and complain that it raises their costs, they pass those costs onto the consumer anyway. The fact is that if we want clean air and drinking water, we need to be willing to pay the price. Later, Hardin shows how laws, rather than being negative, ultimately result in positive outcomes for all human beings.

Next, Hardin talks about the intolerability of uncontrolled or unlimited breeding. Unlike many animal species, human beings do not have huge litters that are forced to survive on their own. Rather, human beings love and care for every one of their critters. Therefore, unlimited breeding leads to overpopulation of the species. A society committed to welfare and to feeding and caring for each individual who is born creates the "tragedy of the commons." Breeding is an act of self-interest that leads to collective disaster: depletion of resources, starvation, and pollution. Hardin states bluntly: "To couple the concept of freedom to breed with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world into a tragic course of action," (5). I personally agree: we must somehow control breeding, and the problem cannot be ignored for much longer. The earth has limited resources and we can no longer pretend that unlimited breeding won't produce the same problems faced by the herders. We can't simply rely on a laissez faire attitude because, as Hardin points out early in the article, "natural selection favors the forces of psychological denial," (3). To do nothing and ignore the problem means that those inclined to breed will still breed, even if they are consciously aware of the problems of overbreeding.

Therefore, we cannot control breeding simply through an "appeal to conscience," (5). In fact, Hardin states that conscience in this case has a ripple effect because "those who have more children will produce a larger fraction of the next generation than those with more susceptible consciences," (5). The solution Hardin proposes is simple psychological coercion. Although coercion is a "dirty" word, we can "cleanse" it "by saying it over and over without embarrassment," (6). Hardin wants to show that coercion does not entail physical force or even a lack of freedom. To illustrate his point, the author provides another poignant analogy: laws against robbery create more freedom for human beings, not less (8).

There are many other means by which human beings use compulsion, coercion, and restriction in order to create a better world. For instance, "We institute and support taxes and coercion devises to escape the horror of the commons," (6). Hardin makes a rational and logical… [read more]


Air Pollution Arises Both From Natural Processes Term Paper

… Air pollution arises both from natural processes and human activity. Substances not naturally found in the air or at greater concentrations or in different locations from usual are considered 'pollutants'. Air pollution can result from human activity or natural processes. Forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds, and natural radioactivity, are all among the natural causes of air pollution.

Natural air pollution does not usually occur in abundance in particular locations. Natural air pollution is distributed throughout the world, and as a result, poses little threat to the health of people and ecosystems (1). Therefore, the remainder of this paper will focus on air pollution resulting from human activity, and potential means of reducing air pollution from human activity.

The biggest causes of air pollution are the operation of fossil fuel-burning power plants and automobiles that combust fuel. Combined, these two sources are responsible for about 90% of all air pollution in the United States. Due to the abundance of air pollution attributable to automobiles, the Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a number of programs to reduce automobile emissions.

One of these initiatives is the clean air act. "Reformulated gasoline is gasoline blended to burn cleaner and reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants in the air we breathe.

The Clean Air Act requires that reformulated gasoline be used in cities with the worst smog pollution to reduce harmful emissions of ozone" (2).

The first phase of the reformulated gasoline program was designed to reduce the air pollution that causes smog by 64,000 tons per year in the areas that use reformulated gasoline, compared to conventional gasoline, the equivalent of eliminating the smog-forming emissions from over 10 million vehicles" (2).

Green Peace has identified industrial incinerators as a major source of air pollution. According to Green Peace, "fifteen municipal waste incinerators burn 2.5…… [read more]


Satire About Water Pollution Term Paper

… One cannot trust anything these liberals say, they have their own agenda, plain and simple. They love to cause trouble and stir the pot. Even the government says the country does not have a big problem with water pollution. These… [read more]


Louisiana Air Pollution Term Paper

… [Anne Rolfes]

If exposed, HF can immediately vaporize and contaminate the air by forming an acid cloud for miles. Fluoride ion is very powerful and can penetrate human tissues and cause pulmonary edema and death due to suffocation. As the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety states, "Even a concentration as low as 30 ppm of hydrofluoric acid in the air is considered 'immediately dangerous to life and health,' [SBCEQ] The Hydrofluoric Acid usage by the Exxon Mobil refinery is definitely an ominous threat to the lives of over one million people in the locality.

Bibliography

Designed by SBCEQ ('Saint Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality'), "Exxon Mobil's Hydrofluoric Acid and Chalmette, Louisiana - Unnecessary Risk," Accessed on April 24th 2004, http://www.exxonmobildoublestandards.com/

Anne Rolfes, Darryl Malek, Ken Ford, Aaron Viles and Rick Hind, "Exxon Mobil's Chalmette Refining Leads Refineries Nationwide in Use of Hazardous Acid," Accessed on April 24th 2004, http://www.labucketbrigade.org/communities/chalmette/press/3.16.04%20HF%20Press%20Release.pdf

Louisiana Bucket Brigade, "Chalmette's Exxon Mobil Skips Deadline to Provide

Air Monitoring Results," Accessed on April 24th 2004, http://www.labucketbrigade.org/communities/chalmette/press/20031120.shtml… [read more]


Ecosystems, Energy, and Nutrient Cycles Term Paper

… Decomposers are microorganisms that are able to break down large molecules into smaller parts, meaning that they return nutrients from a living organism (or previously living organism) back into the earth, where they will return to the producers which will draw these kinds nutrients out of the soil to aid in production of food.

A food chain follows the path of energy transfer as organisms find food. An example of a food chain involving the animals I have observed:

Prickly Pear Cactus -> Turtles -> Wolves ->mosquito ->Venus Fly Trap -> Deer ->Wolves

This is not an example that would be expected, however, because although wolves are considered to be at the top of the food chain, meaning that they have no natural predators, they do in fact have parasites, such as mosquitos, or even flies that will eat their ears during the summer, which will then continue the food chain. It is also interesting to have the Venus Fly Trap, which is a plant, acting as a consumer in this theoretical food chain. Also, it is interesting to note that the wolf occurs twice on this food chain example, because it eats both the turtle and the deer, which is an example of how the food chain is not as simple as "one, two, three" in the way that people often imagine it.) food web follows many paths, and shows how organisms are related in many ways in their search to find food. An example of a food web including organisms I have observed:

tree produces acorns which may be eaten by many small animals, including squirrels and chipmunks, and also eaten by wild boars. In turn, these small animals may be eaten by larger animals such as bobcats and owls, and wolves may eat both these smaller animals and also the wild boars which have eaten the acorns. After they die, any of these animals may be eaten by vultures and insects, such as flies. Flies may be eaten by Venus Fly Traps, or by Black Bears which enjoy eating insects. (Food webs have no logical end point because the cycle continues forever.)

Bibliography

Campbell, Neil and Reece, Jane. Biology. Pearsons Higher Education, 2001.

Taylor, Martha. Student Study Guide for Biology. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 1999.… [read more]


Angiosperms, Fungi, Algae Characteristics Term Paper

… This plant is nourished by sunlight and heat, and flourish in water with a high pH level and water that is in high nitrogen level.

Algae cultivate growth of bacteria.

Black Algae Cyanophyta: These are dark blue, black or in green color that are mostly grown in colonies as small dots.

They have a protective layer over itself and are usually visible in white plaster.

Green Algae Chlorophyta: they are the most common algae.

They are formed in green patches on pool and spa surfaces.

Yellow Algae Phaeophyta: They are also called Mustard Algae that makes a slimy layer in order to protect it from sanitizers.

Yellow algae can be removed easily with brush, but returns quickly at the same time.

They can set in on any pool or spa.

Chlorine may slow its growth, but will not totally remove this damage of Algae

Works Cited

Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Characteristics of Angiosperms.

A www.academics.hamilton.edu

Characteristics of Fungi. Master Gardener General Training. Table of Contents.

A www.plantpath.wisc.edu

Algae and its Characteristics. Warehouse Pool Supply.

A www.warehousepools.com

Angiosperms, Fungi, Algae… [read more]


San Diego-Tijuana Water Epidemic Term Paper

… San Diego later cancelled those plans and this prompted the federal governments to delay the program until 1998. Citing San Diego's change in construction plans as well as the famed San Diego flood troubles the plans were placed on hold… [read more]

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