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Unformatted text preview: 1 2 People & The Environment
Like all living things,
people interact with
Unlike other living
things, we have the
ability to radically alter
We can choose how we
will affect the natural
world — constructively
or destructively. Resource Issues Source: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/gwb/pps.html 3 Resources 4 A resource is a substance in the environment
that is useful to people, is economically and
technologically feasible to access, and is
socially acceptable to use.
There are two basic categories of resources:
renewable and non-renewable. If they are
resources can be
Solutions? – Renewable resources – like fertile soil, trees, fish –
can be used without being used up – they can renew
themselves (in a reasonable period of time).
– Non-renewable resources – like oil and minerals –
can be exhausted. Once they are used, they’re gone. 5 Energy: Consumption The Tragedy of the Commons – Legal (policing);
– Moral (shame);
– Structural (privatize). 6 Per Capita Energy Consumption About ¼ of the world’s population live in
MDCs – and consume about ½ of all the
The US has 5% of the world’s population
and consumes nearly ¼ of the world’s
In the US energy is consumed by
– BUSINESS: Mostly electricity, and mostly from
coal, followed by natural gas and oil.
– HOMES: Mostly for heating, and mostly from
natural gas, followed by coal and oil.
– TRANSPORTATION: Almost all transportation
energy today comes from oil. 1 U.S. Energy Consumption
1850–2005 7 8 Energy: Fossil Fuels
In the late 1800s coal became more
important than wood or other
biomass fuels in the MDCs.
Oil became the most important
source of power in the 20th Century.
Fossil fuels have two important
– The supply is finite.
– The supply is unevenly distributed. 9 Reserves vs. Production: COAL 10 Proven Coal Reserves, 2006 Total Proven reserves: 909,064 million tonnes
Major Proven Reserves:
– US (27%)
– Russia (17%)
– China (12%) Annual global production: 3,080 million tonnes
Major Consumers (million tonnes oil equivalent):
– China 1,191 (39%)
US 567 (18%)
India 238 (8%)
Russia 113 (4%)
South Africa 94 (3%) Data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/genericsection.do?categoryId=92&contentId=7005893 Chart from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010964&contentId=7021586 11 12 Reserves vs. Production: OIL Proven Oil Reserves, 2006 Total proven reserves: 1,208.2 billion barrels
Major Proven Reserves:
– Saudi Arabia (22%)
United Arab Emirates (8%)
Kuwait (8%) Daily global production: 81,663 thousand barrels
– US (24%)
South Korea (3%) Data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2005.
See http://www.bp.com/genericsection.do?categoryId=92&contentId=7005893 Chart from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010943&contentId=7021566 2 13 Proven Reserves: 1986, 1996, 2006 14 Oil Imports & Exports, 2006 Chart from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010943&contentId=7021566 From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010943&contentId=7021566 15 16 Per Capita Oil Consumption, 2006 Reserves vs. Production: GAS
Total proven reserves: 181.46 trillion cubic meters
Major Proven Reserves:
– Russia (26%)
Saudi Arabia (4%)
United Arab Emirates (3%)
Nigeria (3%) Total global production: 2.6 trillion cubic meters
– US (22%)
Japan (3%) From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010943&contentId=7021566 Data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2005.
See http://www.bp.com/genericsection.do?categoryId=92&contentId=7005893 17 18 Proven Reserves, Natural Gas 2006 From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010958&contentId=7021578 Per Capita Natural Gas
Consumption, 2006 From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See 3 19 Natural Gas Imports & Exports, 2006 20 LNG
The easiest way to transport
natural gas is by pipeline – but
when that’s not possible, it can be
sent by tanker.
Natural gas is liquefied by cooling
it to -259˚F (-161˚C); it condenses
to form a liquid with just 1/600th its
original volume. When it reaches
its destination the LNG is warmed
Unfortunately, this takes a lot of
energy – making LNG less
efficient and environmentally
friendly than conventionally
processed natural gas.
There has never been a serious
LNG tanker accident; however,
there have been some accidents
in the processing phases. From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2007.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010958&contentId=7021578 21 “Proven” vs. “Potential” Reserves
Proven reserves can be
reasonable accuracy –
we can be fairly
confident about how
much is available, and
that it can be recovered
Potential reserves have
not been discovered.
So how do we know
they exist? We don’t –
but based on what we
know about geology,
technology, we can
make a good guess
about their existence. – Alternative fossil
fuels (oil shale, tar
– Nuclear power
(fission-based) Renewable (or
– Solar 22 Problems with Fossil Fuels
Subsidence & erosion
– Air pollution
Dependence on foreign sources
Transportation Natural Gas
– Air pollution
– Storage & safety
Source: http://www.bp.com/downloads.do?categoryId=9003093&contentId=7005944 Alternative Sources of Energy
Non-Renewable Source: http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/faq.html; http://www.energiacostaazul.com.mx/English/constructionupdate.htm;
http://www.energy.ca.gov/lng/documents/costa_azul/2007-01-18_GOVERNORS_LNG_TASK_FORCE_BRIEFING.PDF Coal Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/petroleu.html#Reserves 23 This is Sempra Energy’s
new Energía Costa Azul
facility near Ensenada,
Mexico. It should begin
operation soon, and can
process one billion cubic
feet/day. Other Renewable
Others? • Passive
– Heat conversion
– Indirect electric
– Photovoltaic 24 Problems With Other Fossil Fuels
Alternative fossil fuels have all the
inherent problems of more
conventional fossil fuels.
They also have two major problems:
– They are usually not economical to
extract at current prices.
– We aren’t sure how to extract or
process them yet. Sources: http://www.eere.energy.gov/kids/roofus/solar_panels.html; http://ostseis.anl.gov/guide/oilshale/index.cfm;
http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/logos22-1/hydrogen.htm; http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/pdf/smith_may10.pdf 4 25 Problems with Nuclear Power 26 Nuclear Power Production 28 Nuclear Power in the U.S. Worldwide, nuclear power produces about
6% of the world’s electricity (the amount
varies – 75% of the electricity in Lithuania
and France comes from nuclear power).
Nuclear power also varies in the US – 18
states have no nuclear power, but it
supplies more than half the electricity in
New Hampshire and Vermont)
Problems with nuclear power: Chernobyl,
Waste and waste storage
Bomb material (nuclear and “dirty” bombs)
Non-renewable – limited fuel supply
High cost Source: http://www.hf.faa.gov/webtraining/Controls/ControlsFinal022.htm 27 Nuclear Energy Consumption, 2005 From the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2006.
See http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9010966&contentId=7021588 29 Radioactive Waste 30 Current and Planned
Low-Level Waste Disposal Radioactive waste may be either
– Low-level (650,000 yd3/year)
– High-level (more than 30,000 tons) Radioactive waste may be
dangerous for literally thousands of
There is, at present, no permanent
waste disposal facility in the US. Yucca Mountain, NV
Although the NRC review
has not ended, as of today
it appears the Yucca
Mountain project is dead. http://www.ymp.gov/reference/photos/geology/page1.htm;
http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/states/us.htm http://www.em.doe.gov/lowlevel/chap1.html 5 31 Problems with Renewable
Energy Sources 32 Minerals are essential for
an industrial society.
Unfortunately, the earth’s
crust is fairly miserly
when it comes to the
metals and other
minerals – metallic and
non-metallic – that we
Remember that minerals
are non-renewable –
once they’re mined,
they’re gone.* Solar, wind and wave power are dispersed
– you need large areas and lots of
machines to harness them – which raises
Hydroelectric and geothermal power can
only be done in a limited number of places
– and have serious environmental impacts.
Biomass energy can cause pollution, and
may cause a loss of food producing lands.
Nuclear fusion sounds great – but it
doesn’t work yet. 33 Cut-Off Grades for Ore Deposits
Abundance (%) Minimum
Grade (%) 8.13% 30% 5.00% 25% 5.0 Manganese 0.10% 35% 350 Metal Chromium 0.02% 30% 1500 Nickel 0.008% 1.5% 188 Zinc 0.008% 4% 500 Copper 0.007% 1% 140 Silver 0.00001% 500 g/t 5000 Gold 35 Ferrous Minerals 3.7 Iron 34 *Unless they’re recycled! Concentration
Factor Aluminum Mineral Resources 0.0000005% 5 g/t 1000 Nonferrous Metal Production Nonferrous metals are basically all metals that
aren’t involved in iron and steel production
(including precious metals like gold and silver). “Ferrous” minerals include iron and all the various alloy
metals (chromium, manganese, etc.) that are used in
steel making. 36 US Nonmetallic Mineral Production Principal US States for production of selected nonmetallic
Note that some nonmetallic minerals (crushed stone, Portland
cement, lime, sand and gravel, etc.) are produced just about
everywhere! 6 37 Pollution 38 When more waste is added than a resource
can accommodate, we have pollution.
Not all pollution is caused by people;
however, until we can control volcanoes, we
are going to worry about the things we are
responsible for: We can talk about air pollution in
terms of three scales: global,
regional and local.
Global air pollution problems:
– Global warming
– Ozone damage – Air pollution
– Water pollution
– Land pollution (waste disposal) Regional air pollution problems:
– Acid deposition When it comes to managing pollution there
are two types of sources: point and
non-point. Point are far easier to control. 39 41 Global-Scale Air Pollution:
There is no question that earth’s
climate has changed over time
There is also no question that
people have been adding large
quantities of certain gases and
particles to atmosphere for the past
The question is: Does what we do
seriously affect the earth’s climate? Greenhouse Gasses
There are a lot of
gases that are good
at holding in the
– H2O (Water vapor)
CO2 (Carbon dioxide)
N2O (Nitrous oxide) These are all gasses
that we have been
putting into the
atmosphere. Air Pollution Local air pollution problems:
– Smog 40 Factors Affecting Climate Change
Greenhouse Gasses (CO2, CH4, etc.)
Atmospheric aerosols (soot, dust)
Land cover changes
Variations in the sun’s output
Volcanic aerosols 42 Our Contribution
“Since the beginning of the industrial
revolution, atmospheric concentrations of
carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%,
methane concentrations have more than
doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations
have risen by about 15%.” Environmental
Protection Agency “The observed patterns of [climate] change
over the past 50 years cannot be explained
by natural processes alone.” US Climate Change
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/pressreleases/pressrelease2may2006.htm 7 43 Per Capita CO2 Production 2005 44 Not all the evidence clearly points to
There are contradictory news story
almost every day.
All we can do is take the best
evidence we can get, listen to the
most reliable sources, and try to
make the most prudent decisions. • The top 5 producers of
CO2 (per 1,000 people,
in metric tons):
19.5 But Isn’t There Controversy? CO2 production, per 1,000,
in metric tons. Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/ ;
Data source: Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 45 46 Sometimes the
research is serious,
sometimes it seems
silly. Chacaltaya: End of a Glacier More information
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6496429.stm; http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/1030126.html;
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/02/world/americas/02bolivia.html?_r=1 47 Warming of the climate system
For the next two decades
temperatures will rise by 0.2˚C,
with continued rising through
the end of the century. A total
rise in global average
temperatures of about 2.0˚C4.5˚C (3.6 - 8.1°F) is likely.
Predicted sea level rise is 0.30.8m (11.8-31.5 in).
Snow cover at the global scale
is predicted to contract, with
widespread thawing of
Mmidlatitude and tropical
storm tracks are predicted to
Precipitation may increase at
higher latitudes and decrease
in the subtropics.
Climate changes will persist for
centuries. Highlights from the
IPCC 2007 Summary
for Policymakers 48 Global-Scale Air Pollution: Ozone
GlobalOxygen makes up about 21%
of the atmosphere. Most of
the time, atmospheric oxygen
atoms travel in pairs — as O2
However, oxygen in the
atmosphere can exist in
another form — as O3 or
ozone. Source: http://uarsfot08.gsfc.nasa.gov/HP_THEME/Ozone_Topic/Stat_Ozone_Loss(nat) Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/ 8 49 Ozone Is Not “Just Oxygen!” 50 Ozone is more chemically active than oxygen.
Ozone is a pale blue gas.
Ozone has a distinctive smell.
Ozone has the ability to absorb/block
Ozone is an extremely poisonous, corrosive
gas (and has been used as a disinfectant, in
water purification, and as a bleach) that
damages and kills vegetation.
In the stratosphere, ozone is vital to our
planet’s survival. In the upper atmosphere, ozone is produced by a natural process
and forms a layer that protects us from ultraviolet radiation.
At ground level, ozone is a dangerous pollutant (part of smog).
Source: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/gooduphigh/ 51 Making Good Ozone… 52 …And Making It Better Source: http://www.meto.umd.edu/~bruce/m1239702.html Source: http://www.meto.umd.edu/~bruce/m1239702.html 53 54 The Problem: CFCs and Friends
A variety of humancreated chemicals,
industrial cleaners, and
contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or related
methyl chloroform, etc.).
When CFCs interact with
ozone in the
stratosphere, the results
aren’t pretty Source: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/gooduphigh/ Breaking Up Is Hard ... 1 2 3 4 Source: http://www.meto.umd.edu/~bruce/m1239702.html 9 55 … And It Keeps Getting Worse 5 Cold Clouds During winter stratospheric winds form a vortex around the South
Pole. Within the vortex the atmosphere over the pole is effectively
isolated, temperatures are extremely cold (-80ºC), and unusual
polar stratospheric clouds form. Chlorine from CFCs is stored on
the clouds during the long polar night, and then released to attack
ozone when the sun returns in spring. 6 Source: http://www.meto.umd.edu/~bruce/m1239702.html 57 56 The Results for the Planet Sources: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagewall/solve.html;
htt // i / /004/004 l ht 58 Ozone
Hole • Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) on the Earth
Probe satellite shows the growth of the ozone hole over 20
years. Image © 2004, NASA Source: http://www.floridatoday.com 59 Regional-Scale Air Pollution:
RegionalAcid Precipitation http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/ 60 Acid Precipitation Damage Burning is a process of oxidation.
Because all organic compounds contain
(among other things) nitrogen and sulfur,
oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur are
released into the atmosphere whenever we
burn anything organic (wood, oil, etc.).
These combine with atmospheric moisture
to produce sulfuric and nitric acids — and
can precipitate as acid rain or snow. Marble
of acid rain Acid precipitation affects
some areas of the world
far more than others —
an effect of wind
The kinds of damage
that can be done by acid
rain vary from minor to
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/acidrain/5.html 10 61 62 http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/isopleths/maps2000/ http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/isopleths/maps2000/ 63 64 Local-Scale Air Pollution: Smog
LocalThere are really two
kinds of smog:
– Photochemical Smog layer, upstate NY
http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/isopleths/maps2000/ http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/viewrecord?6626 Air Pollution: US Pollutants &
Pollution Sources (percentages) 65 Source Particulates SO2 Photochemical smog is
produced by the action
of sunlight on
— mostly oxides of
One of the most
in photochemical smog
is ozone. NOx VOC CO Lead Power 3% 87% 42% 5% 6% 13% Industry 2% 6% 3% 8% 4% 59% Solvents 0% 0% 0% 29% 0% 0% Storage 0% 0% 0% 7% 0% 0% Waste 1% 0% 0% 2% 1% 16% Vehicles 1% 1% 32% 30% 56% 0% Off-Highway 1% 5% 22% 14% 22% 13% Other 92% 0% 1% 4% 10% 66 Temperature Inversion
Normally, air temperature
declines with altitude.
In a temperature inversion, cold
air at the surface is trapped
beneath a layer of warm air.
Since cold air doesn’t rise, the
air at the surface becomes
Any pollutants released into the
surface air are trapped. 0% US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000 http://www.airparif.asso.fr/english/prevision/inversionpollution.htm 11 67 Temperature Inversion:
The Donora Valley 68 Water Pollution
There are six types of water pollutants In October 1948, a temperature
inversion in the town of Donora,
PA trapped pollutants from nearby
steel and zinc smelters.
After 5 days, almost 6,000 people
were severely ill. Twenty died.
In 1950 President Harry Truman
convened the first national air
pollution conference, citing
Donora as an example of the need.
The kind of smog that caused the
Donora Valley disaster is
sometimes called a “sulfurous”
smog (even though other
chemicals, including fluorine, were
– Biodegradable wastes (sewage)
Plant nutrients (fertilizers, phosphates)
Hazardous and toxic chemicals (biocides)
Radioactive wastes There are three main sources of water
– Water-using industries (mostly point source)
– Municipal/sewage (point and non-point)
– Agriculture (mostly non-point) http://www.epa.gov/region02/epa30/air.htm;
http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues99/nov99/ 69 Industrial Water Pollution 70 Oil Spills About half the water used daily in the US is used
Industrial activities routinely discharge a variety
of chemicals (and heat) into our waters.
Industrial pollutants include
– PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
– Radioactive waste
• In 1998 there were 8,315 recorded oil spills in US waters; over
885,000,000 gallons were spilled.
• In 2000 the Bureau of Transportation Statistics recorded 8354
oil spills totaling 1,431,370 gallons.
• In 2001 the US Coast Guard recorded 7,559 oil spills totaling
854,520 gallons, and 105 chemical spills totaling 271,429
gallons. 1 barrel of oil = 0.146 tonnes of oil – Thermal pollution 4,500,000 tonnes = 30,784,500 barrels
http://elearningexamples.com/the-worst-oil-spills-in-history/ 71 Mining Acid mine drainage, Pennsylvania Rainwater reacts with mine
waste to produce a variety of
Mine waste is a significant
problem in many parts of the
– Kentucky, Tennessee and West
Virginia (strip mining for coal)
– Utah, Nevada, New Mexico (gold,
silver, lead, copper, uranium mining) Cyanide sump pond, California Cyanide heap-leach mining for
gold presents special problems
in California and other western
http://www.epa.gov/region08/superfund/sites/co/svlpondpic.html 72 Municipal Water Pollution
Cities produce an enormous variety
of water pollutants
– Street runoff
– Salts, fertilizers, heavy metals, biocides
• Three kinds of sewage treatment
– Primary (settling & skimming)
– Secondary (aerobic decomposition)
– Tertiary (chemical & biological purification) • About 78% of the US population is served by
some kind of municipal wastewater
Sources: Statistical Abstract of the US, 2000; http://www.csc.noaa.gov/rvat/environ.html;
http://css.snre.umich.edu/css_doc/CSS04-14.pdf 12 73 Agricultural Water Pollution 74 Biological Oxygen Demand
When too great a quantity
of plant nutrients get into
the water, they can set off
a series of steps that
result in the biological
death of a water body.
Steps to oxygen depletion Agriculture is the leading source of
non-point pollution in the US
There are 3 main types of agricultural
• Pesticides – ANIMAL WASTE –
– Feedlot, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat
Animal Research Center,
Clay Center, Nebraska Excess nutrients
Algal bloom and death
Oxygen depletion http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct98/odor1098.htm http://www.agnr.umd.edu/users/agron/nutrient/Factshee/Phosphorus/Eutrop.html 75 76 The Aral Sea: 1960s The Aral Sea: 1970s 1964 1973 http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/earthshots/slow/Aral/Aral http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/earthshots/slow/Aral/Aral 77 78 The Aral Sea: 1980s The Aral Sea: 1990s 1987 1999 http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/earthshots/slow/Aral/Aral http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/earthshots/slow/Aral/Aral 13 79 80 The Aral Sea: 2003 The Aral Sea Today
As recently as the 1980s 60,000 people were employed in the
Aral Sea fishing industry. Today, there is no commercial fishing
in the area.
Surface area is now less than 50% what it was in 1950; volume is
less than 25%.
Climate in the area has become more extreme; dust,
contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, is blown as far
as Pakistan, China, and the Arctic.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed treaties to try to save the
Aral Sea in 1992 and 1994. The crisis continued.
In 2003 the Kazakh government announced a plan to build a
dam to raise the water level of the North Aral Sea and reduce its
salinity; the South Aral Sea would be abandoned. Satellite image of
the Aral Sea in the
year 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3846843.stm 81 Saving the North,
Killing the South 82 Land Pollution
We could talk about a number of “land
pollution” problems – loss of farmland;
soil erosion; salinization, etc.
Instead we are going to focus on one
aspect of land pollution: solid waste
disposal. In the summer of 2005
the Kok Aral dam,
funded by the World
Bank to save the
northern part of the
Aral Sea, was
Since then the
northern region has
started to fill up – and
even more quickly
than expected. – “Solid Waste” refers to trash and garbage —
not sewage! Americans throw away more trash per
person than any other people on earth —
about 1,600 pounds per person, per year. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17241 83 Municipal Solid Waste 2007 http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-fs.pdf 84 What’s in the trash? http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-fs.pdf 14 85 Methods of Waste Disposal 86 Dumps (the not sanitary landfills) There are four methods of solid waste
disposal that are used today:
– DUMP (“landfill” – obsolete in the US)
A village dump in rural
Alaska. Because the
land here is frozen
(permafrost), it is
impossible to construct
a landfill here. US Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2000;
http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/should-the-u-s-burn-or-bury-its-trash/ http://www.denali.gov/content/challenges/solid.htm 87 88 Dumps are pretty much
self-explanatory – solid
waste (trash) is just
In most of the United
States, dumps are now
obsolete and illegal.
In LDCs dumps are still
Dumps are notorious
for their stench,
disease, and for
attracting vermin. Sanitary Landfill Problems with Sanitary Landfills
Leachate — liquid (from rain or
other sources) reacts with solid
waste to produce a toxic brew that
can easily contaminate
Capacity — since the 1970s the
number of landfills in the US has
declined by 80%.
NIMBY — “not-in-my-back-yard” The most common way to dispose of solid waste in
the developed world today is in a sanitary landfill.
Although a definite improvement on the old-fashioned
dump, landfills have some serious problems.
http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/worldbook/atozpictures/lr000599.html 89 Sanitary Landfills: Declining Capacity 90 Incineration
Incinerators can be designed to burn
In theory this turns a problem into an
– Waste can be burned to generate
– The volume of waste can be reduced
drastically (by up to 96%).
– There were 86 waste-to-energy facilities in
the US as of 2010, generating nearly 3,000
megawatt hours of electricity (about 1.5
times the amount produced by the San
Onofre Nuclear Generating Station). http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-fs.pdf http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/posters/merc_program/;
http://www.wte.org; http://www.sce.com/PowerandEnvironment/PowerGeneration/ 15 91 Problems With Incineration 92 Products can be “recycled” in two ways: Air Pollution — the fumes produced
by burning solid waste are highly
Ash — although the volume of trash
is reduced by up to 96%, the
remaining ash is extremely toxic and
highly concentrated, and must be
disposed of — probably in a toxic
waste landfill. 93 Recycling: Pick-Up, Processing,
collected in four
– Regardless of how
recyclables are sold
as commodities –
“virgin” aluminum in
the marketplace. 95 –
– • When an aluminum can is recycled to produce
another aluminum can, not only is pollution
reduced, but the need for mining and
manufacturing is reduced as well. – Recycling in a different production process
• Not everything can be recycled – plastic bottles are
not usually made into more bottles.
• Instead, the bottles are used to make other plastic
items – brooms, pails, etc.
• This also reduces waste, and reduces the need for
making plastics directly from petroleum. 94 “Biodiversity” is the
variety of species –
either at the global or
It’s estimated that
there are millions of
still out there. Source: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversity.html Sustainability
Conservation: Sustainable use and
management of natural resources.
– Renewable resources are conserved if
they are consumed at (or less than)
– Non-Renewable resources are
conserved if reserves are maintained
for future generations. Paper
Aluminum Sustainable Development
meets the needs of
the present without
ability of future
meet their own
possible, then it is
vital to maintain
biodiversity. – Recycling in the same production system Once they’ve been
are turned into new
for more than half of
all recycling: Deposit programs
Buy-back centers Reducing Pollution: Recycling Conservation is not the same as
preservation. 96 Threats to Biodiversity – and Maybe to Us!
Species die – that is
natural and inevitable.
But in the last few
centuries, the rate of
species extinction has
especially in the tropics,
is a very great concern.
Tropical forests cover
only 7% of the earth’s
land, but are home more
than 50% of all species
of plants and animals! Source: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversity.html 16 ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/16/2010 for the course GEOG 102 taught by Professor Osborn during the Fall '10 term at San Diego State.
- Fall '10