ENS 314 - 4A - ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living...

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ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living in the Environment: Concepts, Connections, and Solutions , 16th ed., by G. Tyler Miller, Jr., and Scott E. Spoolman (Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole CENGAGE Learning, 2009). Written Assignment 4 - Chapters 14 through 16 Answer each of the following questions thoroughly. Provide each answer with scientific/technical detail. For certain questions you may need to supplement your answers with statistics or relevant examples. Be sure to acknowledge and cite your sources properly, preferably in APA style. 1. What are the implications of finite mineral supplies? “All nonrenewable mineral resources exist in finite amounts, and as we get closer to depleting any mineral resource, the environmental impacts of extracting it generally become more harmful.”(pp 360) Relying on finite resources places a community or country in a difficult position once the resources are depleted. Similar to our current impending situation with fossil fuels and S. Koreas experience after exporting most of their copper and iron. Once the finite materials are exhausted we need to find a replacement source. Should we need those materials for future endeavors, they wont be available. United States, Germany, and Russia— use 75% of all widely used metals with only 8% of the population. As countries become more and more developed they too will require more use of these finite materials, expediting the depletion. Many of these finite resources are used for our countries economy and military strength. i.e. four strategic metal resources; manganese, cobalt, chromium, and platinum. Without these finite materials our countries security could be compromised. Another implication regularly experienced as resources become depleted, prices for the material increase. The economics of a material must be balanced with its required usefulness otherwise it becomes economically depleted.
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How should we address impending shortages? (LO 4.1) We have five choices for impending shortages: recycle, waste less, use less, find a substitute and do without. While scientist continue to work on nanotechnology, it’s imperative that alternate sources be identified and tested. Nanotechnology is being used currently in every day life through stain- resistant and wrinkle- free coatings on clothes, odor- eating socks, self- cleaning coatings on windows and windshields, cosmetics and sunscreens. More studies are being performed to develop nanotechnology for finite materials. We can also mine lower-grade Ore and look to our oceans however, these solutions can result in less then optimal results. Another way to address the impending shortages would be regulate and limit the usage and distribution. 2. What is your opinion regarding the use of nuclear power as a source of energy? Describe the
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2010 for the course NATURAL SC ENS 314 taught by Professor Earnshaw during the Summer '10 term at Thomas Edison State.

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ENS 314 - 4A - ENS-314 Global Environmental Change Living...

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