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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY Characteristics that can put certain species in greater danger of extinction

© angelica garcia 1. Low reproductive rate – blue whale, giant panda, rhinoceros
2. Specialized niche – blue whale, giant panda, everglades kite
3. Narrow distribution – elephant seal, desert pupfish
4. Feeds at high tropic level – Bengal tiger, bald eagle, grizzly bear
5. Fixed migratory patterns – blue whale. Whooping crane, sea turtle
Sustaining Biodiversity: The Species (Ex-Situ) Approach
6. Rare – African violet, some orhids
What role do humans play in the extinction of species?
7. Commercially valuable – snow leopard, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, rare plants and birds
1. Extinctions are natural but sometimes they increase sharply
8. Large territories – California condor, grizzly bear, Florida panther
- Biological extinction occurs when a species can no longer be found anywhere on the earth.
- The disappearance of species can weaken or break some of the connections in the ecosystem.
Percentages of various species threatened with extinction due to human activities
- The extinction of many species in a relatively short period of geologic time is called a mass extinction.

2. Some human activities are causing extinction rates to rise

- Extinction is a natural process, but evidence indicates that extinction has accelerated as the human
population has increased, consuming huge quantities of resources and creating large and growing
ecological footprints.
- Scientists from around the world have estimated that the current annual rate of species extinction is
at least 100 to 1,000 times the background rate.
- The annual extinction rate is projected to rise to about 1% per year, mostly because of habitat loss
and degradation, climate change, and other environmentally harmful effects of human activities.
- At a 1% extinction rate, 25% - 50% of the world’s current species could vanish by the end of this century.
- A projected extinction rate of 1% a year may be on the low side, for several reasons.
à The rate of species loss and the extent of biodiversity losses are likely to increase sharply during the
next 50–100 years due to projected growth of the human population.
à Current and projected extinction rates are much higher than the global average in parts of the
world that are already highly endangered centers of biodiversity.
à Humans are creating a speciation crisis by eliminating or degrading many biologically diverse Why should we care about the rising rate of species extinction?
environments that are potential sites for the emergence of new species. 1. Species are a vital part of the earth’s natural capital
- Human activities might help to increase the speciation rates for other rapidly reproducing opportunist - Three major reasons why we should work to prevent our activities from causing the extinction of other
species such as weeds, rodents, insects, which could further accelerate the extinction of other species:
species. a. The world’s species provide natural resources and natural services that help to keep us alive and
support human economies.
3. SCIENCE FOCUS: Estimating extinction rates. à Various plant species provide food crops, fuelwood and lumber, paper, and medicine.
- Difficulties in estimating extinction rates include: à Preserving species also provides economic benefits through wildlife/eco-tourism.
a. Because the extinction of a species typically takes a very long time, it is not easy to document. b. Analysis of past mass extinctions indicates that it will take 5–10 million years for natural speciation
b. We have identified of only about 2 million of the world’s estimated 8 million to 100 million species. to rebuild the biodiversity that we are likely to destroy during your lifetime.
c. Scientists know little about the nature and ecological roles of most of the species that have been c. Many people believe that each wild species has a right to exist, regardless its usefulness to us.
- Methods include: How do humans accelerate species extinction?
a. Studying records that document the rates at which mammals and birds have become extinct 1. Loss of habitat is the single greatest threat to species: Remember HIPPCO
since humans began their rapidly increasing domination of the planet about 10,000 years ago, - HIPPCO summarizes the most important causes of extinction from human activities:
and comparing this information with fossil records of extinctions that occurred before the à Habitat destruction/degradation/fragmentation.
development of agriculture. à Invasive (nonnative) species.
b. Observing how decreases in habitat size affect extinction rates. The species–area relationship à Population growth/increasing use of resources.
suggests that, on average, a 90% loss of land habitat in a given area can cause the extinction of à Pollution.
about 50% of the species living in that area. à Climate change.
c. Using mathematical population viability analysis (PVA) models to estimate the risk of a particular à Overexploitation.
species becoming endangered or extinct within a certain period of time. - Scientists say that the greatest threat to wild species is habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation.
The greatest eliminators of species are, in order:
à Deforestation in tropical areas.
4. Endangered and threatened species are ecological smoke alarms à Destruction and degradation of coral reefs and wetlands.
- An endangered species has so few individual survivors that the species could soon become extinct à Replacement of biologically diverse grasslands with monoculture crops.
over all or most of its natural range. à Pollution of streams, lakes, and oceans.
- A threatened species (vulnerable species) still has enough remaining individuals to survive in the short - Island species, often endemic species found nowhere else on earth, are especially vulnerable to
term, but because of declining numbers, it is likely to become endangered in the near future. extinction.
- Some species have characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to ecological and biological
- Habitat fragmentation—by roads, logging, agriculture, and urban development—occurs when a 4. Prevention is the best way to reduce threats from invasive species
large, intact area of habitat is reduced in area and divided into smaller, more scattered and isolated - Scientists suggest several ways to do this:
patches, or “habitat islands.” à Fund a massive research program to identify the major characteristics that allow species to
- Most national parks and other nature preserves are habitat islands. become successful invaders and the types of ecosystems that are vulnerable to invaders.
à Greatly increase ground surveys and satellite observations to detect and monitor species invasions
2. We have introduced species that can disrupt ecosystems and to develop better models for predicting how they will spread and what harmful effects they might
- After habitat loss and degradation, the biggest cause of animal and plant extinctions is the deliberate have.
or accidental introduction of harmful invasive species into ecosystems. à Identify major harmful invader species and establish international treaties banning their transfer
- Most species introductions are beneficial to us, such as food crops, livestock and harvestable trees. from one country to another, as is now done for endangered species, while stepping up inspection of
- Problems arise when introduced species have no natural predators, competitors, parasites, or imported goods to enforce such bans.
pathogens to help control their numbers in their new habitat. à Require cargo ships to discharge their ballast water and replace it with saltwater at sea before
- An estimated 7,100 species introduced into the US have caused ecological and economic harm. entering ports or require them to sterilize such water or to pump nitrogen into the water to displace
dissolved oxygen and kill most invader organisms.
CASE STUDY: The Kudzu Vine. à Educate the public about the environmentally harmful effects of releasing exotic plants and pets
• A deliberately introduced plant species; grows rampant in the southeastern US and is known as ‘the vine into the environment near where they live.
that ate the South’.
• In the 1930s, this vine was imported from Japan and planted in the southeastern US in an attempt to Ways we can slow or prevent the spread of invasive species
control soil erosion. 1. Do not capture or buy wild plants and animals
2. Do not remove wild plants from their natural areas
3. Some accidentally introduced species can disrupt ecosystems 3. Do not release wild pets back into nature
- Many unwanted nonnative invaders arrive from other continents as stowaways on aircrafts, ships, 4. Do not dump the contents of an aquarium into waterways, wetlands, or storm drains.
wooden packing crates, on cars, or with tourists. 5. When camping, use wood found near your campsite instead of bringing firewood from somewhere else.
- Terrestrial examples include: 6. Do not dump unused bait into waterways.
à The aggressive Argentina fire ant which has spread over much of the southern US. Fire ants can 7. After dogs visit woods or the water, brush them before taking them home.
wipe out native ant populations. Fire ant mounds can cover fields and yards. When disturbed, up to 8. After each use, clean your mountain bike, canoe, boat, motor, and trailer, all fishing tackle, hiking boots,
100,000 ants may attack with painful, burning stings. They have killed deer fawns, birds, livestock, pets, and other gear before heading for home.
and at least 80 people who were allergic to their venom.
à Pythons and boa constrictors have ended up in the Everglades in Florida after being dumped by 5. Population growth, overconsumption, pollution, and climate change can cause species extinctions
their owners. Some reach 20 feet long and 200 pounds. They are hard to find and kill, and they - Past and projected human population growth and excessive and wasteful consumption of resources
reproduce rapidly. They devour birds, raccoons, pet cats and dogs, full-grown deer and alligators. have greatly expanded the human ecological footprint, impacting other species.
Tens of thousands of these snakes now live in the Everglades and they may spread to other swampy - Pollution also threatens some species with extinction, as has been shown by the unintended effects
wetlands in the southern half of the US. of certain pesticides.
- Bioinvaders also affect aquatic systems and are blamed for about two-thirds of fish extinctions in the à Each year pesticides kill about 20% of the honeybee colonies that pollinate almost 33% of U.S. food
US between 1900 and 2009 crops, kill more than 67 million birds and 6–14 million fish each year, and threaten about 20% of the
à The Great Lakes of North America have been invaded by more than 185 alien species. At least 13 country’s endangered and threatened
of the recent invading species threaten some native species and cause billions of dollars in damages. species.
à Fish-killing sea lamprey. à The pesticide DDT can be biomagnified
à Zebra mussel - displaced some species, depleted the food supply for others and clogged pipes, about 10 million times in an estuary food
shutting down water intake pipes for power plants and city water supplies, jammed ship rudders, and chain, causing animals such as the osprey,
grown in huge masses on boat hulls, piers and other solid surfaces. brown pelican and bald eagles to die.
- Projected climate change could help drive a
Harmful Invasive Species quarter to half of all land animals and plants
to extinction by the end of this century.

Bioaccumulation and biomagnification

• Bioaccumulation and biomagnification: DDT is a
fat-soluble chemical that can accumulate in the
fatty tissues of animals. In a food chain or web,
the accumulated DDT is biologically magnified in
the bodies of animals at each higher tropic level.
(Dots in this figure represent DDT.) The
concentration of DDT in the fatty tissues of organisms was biomagnified about 10 million times in this food
chain in an estuary on Long Island Sound in the U.S. state of New York. If each phytoplankton organism
takes up and retains one unit of DDT, a small fish-eating thousands of zooplankton (which feed on the
phytoplankton) will store thousands of units of DDT in its fatty tissue. Each large fish that eats ten of the
smaller fish will ingest and store tens of thousands of units, and each bird (or human) that eats several
large fish will ingest hundreds of thousands of units.
CASE STUDY: Where Have All The Honeybees Gone? CASE STUDY: A Disturbing Message from the Birds
• About one-third of the U.S. food supply comes from insect-pollinated plants, and honeybees are • Approximately 70% of the world’s known bird species are declining in number.
responsible for 80% of that pollination. • The primary culprits appear to be habitat loss and fragmentation.
• A 30% - 40% drop in U.S. honeybee populations has been reported since the 1980s, due to:
- Pesticide exposure. SCIENCE FOCUS: Vultures, Wild Dogs, and Rabies: Some Unexpected Scientific Connections.
- Parasitic mites - can wipe out a colony in hours. • Understanding often-unexpected ecological connections in nature is vital to our own lives and health.
- Invasion by Africanized honeybees. • Populations of three species of carcass-eating vulture fell by more than 97% due to their consumption of
- A virus traced to Israel, and a certain fungus. a drug in cow carcasses. Since the birds were not alive to eat this food supply. It was available for wild
- Poor nutrition because of a decrease in the natural diversity of flowers and other plants on which bees dogs, so their population exploded and the incidence of human deaths from rabid dogs exploded.
• In 2010, about 34% of commercial honeybee colonies in the U.S. were lost in part to colony collapse How can we protect wild species from extinction?
disorder (CCD), causing adult bees to mysteriously disappear. 1. International treaties and national laws can help to protect species
• Strategies to help honeybee populations: - The 1975 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is a far-reaching treaty
- Beekeepers are reducing CCD by practicing stringent hygiene, improving the diets of the bees, and signed by 174 countries that bans the hunting, capturing, and selling of threatened or endangered
trying to reduce viral infections. species.
- Cut back on use of pesticides, especially at midday when honeybees are most likely to be searching - The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), ratified by 190 countries (but as of 2011, not by the
for nectar. United States), legally commits participating governments to reversing the global decline of
- Make our yards and gardens into buffets for honey bees by planting native plants that they like. biodiversity and to equitably sharing the benefits from use of the world’s genetic resources.
- Bees need places to live, so some homeowners are purchasing bee houses from their local garden
centers. The U.S. Endangered Species Act
• The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; amended in 1982, 1985, and 1988) was designed to identify
6. Illegally killing, capturing, and selling wild species threatens biodiversity and protect endangered species in the United States and abroad.
- Some protected species are poached for their valuable parts or are sold live to collectors. • Under the ESA, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for identifying and listing
- The global illegal trade in wildlife brings in an average of at least $600,000 an hour and at least 66% of endangered and threatened ocean species, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is to identify
all live animals smuggled around the world die in transit. Organized crime has moved into illegal and list all other endangered and threatened species.
wildlife smuggling because of the huge profits involved. • Any decision to add or remove a species on the list must be based on biological factors alone without
- Examples include: consideration of economic or political factors.
à A highly endangered, live mountain gorilla is worth $150,000. • The ESA forbids federal agencies (except the Defense Department) to carry out, fund, or authorize
à The pelt of a critically endangered giant panda can bring $100,000. projects that would jeopardize an endangered or threatened species, or destroy or modify its critical
à A poached rhinoceros horn can be worth $25,000 per pound. Rhinoceros are killed only for their habitat.
horns. • For offenses committed on private lands, fines as high as $100,000 and 1 year in prison.
à About 25,000 African elephants are killed illegally each year for their ivory tusks despite an • Between 1973 and 2011, the number of U.S. species on the official endangered and threatened species
international ban on the sale of poached ivory since 1989. lists increased from 92 to more than 1,320.
à A coat made from the fur of the Indian or Bengal tiger can sell for as much as $100,000 in Tokyo, • Since 1982, the ESA has been amended to give private landowners economic incentives to help save
and the body parts of a single tiger are worth as much as $70,000. Without emergency action to curtail endangered species living on their lands.
poaching and preserve their habitat, few if any tigers may be left in the wild within 20 years. • Some believe that the ESA should be weakened or repealed, and others believe it should be
à More than 60 bird species, mostly parrots, are endangered or threatened because of the wild-bird strengthened and modified to focus on protecting ecosystems.
trade. • The ESA and international agreements have been used to identify and protect endangered and
à The pet trade is depleting populations of many amphibians, various reptiles, some mammals, and threatened marine species such as seals, sea lions, sea turtles, and whales.
many tropical fishes. For each fish caught alive, many more die, and the cyanide used to stun tropical
fish also kills the coral polyps that build reefs. 2. Republic Act 9147
à Some exotic plants are endangered when they are gathered to for houseplants and landscapes. - Equivalent of the US Endangered Species Act in the Philippines
Collectors may pay $5,000 for a rare orchid or $15,000 for a saguaro cactus. - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE RESOURCES AND THEIR
à In Thailand, biologist Pilai Poonswad decided to do something about poachers taking rhinoceros - “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.”
hornbills from a rain forest. So he visited them in their villages and showed them why the birds are
worth more alive than dead, so they could make more money from them being alive. Republic Act 7586
7. Rising demand for bush meat threatens some African species PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM, DEFINING ITS SCOPE AND COVERAGE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
- Indigenous people in much of West and Central Africa have sustainably hunted wildlife for bush meat, - “National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992.”
a source of food, for centuries.
- In the last two decades, bush meat hunting in some areas has skyrocketed as hunters try to provide 3. CASE STUDY: Protecting Endangered Sea Turtles
food for rapidly growing populations or to make a living by supplying restaurants with exotic meats. - Six of the world’s seven sea turtle species are critically endangered or endangered.
- Bush meat hunting has led to the local extinction of many wild animals, driven one species of colobus - Two major threats to sea turtles are loss or degradation of beach habitat (where they come ashore
monkey to complete extinction, and been a factor in reducing some populations of orangutans, to lay their eggs and the young hatch), and the legal and illegal taking of their eggs.
chimpanzees, elephants, and hippopotamuses.
4. CASE STUDY: Protecting Whales: A Success Story . . . So Far
- Easier to kill due to their large size and their need to come to the surface to breathe.
à Whalers killed an estimated 1.5 million whales between 1925 and 1975, driving 8 of the 11 major à How do we decide which species should get the most attention in our efforts to protect species?
species to commercial extinction and driving the blue whale, the world’s largest animal, to the brink à How do we determine which areas of land and water are the most critical to protect?
of biological extinction.
à The International Whaling Commission estimates some whale species are recovering, but many Three Big Ideas
conservationists fear that opening the door to any commercial whaling may weaken international 1. We are greatly increasing the extinction of wild species by destroying and degrading their habitats,
disapproval and legal sanctions. introducing harmful invasive species, and increasing human population growth, pollution, climate
à Despite the ban on whaling, more than 28,000 whales were hunted and killed between 1986 and change, and overexploitation.
2010, mostly by the nations of Japan, Norway, and Iceland, which have openly defied the ban. 2. We should avoid causing the extinction of wild species because of the economic and ecological services
they provide, and because their existence should not depend primarily on their usefulness to us.
5. We can establish wildlife refuges and other protected areas 3. We can work to prevent the extinction of species and to protect overall biodiversity by using laws and
- In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first U.S. federal wildlife refuge at Pelican Island, treaties, protecting wildlife sanctuaries, and making greater use of the precautionary principle.
Florida, to help protect birds such as the brown pelican from extinction.
- The National Wildlife Refuge System grew to 553 refuges by 2011. Sustaining Biodiversity: The Ecosystem (In-Situ) Approach
- More than three-fourths of the refuges serve as wetland sanctuaries that are vital for protecting What are the major threats to forest ecosystems?
migratory waterfowl. 1. Forests vary in their age, make-up, and origins
- One-fifth of U.S. endangered and threatened species have habitats in the refuge system, and some - Natural and planted forests occupy about 30% of the earth’s land surface (excluding Greenland and
refuges have been set aside for specific endangered species, such as Florida’s Key deer, the brown Antarctica).
pelican, and the trumpeter swan. - Two major types based on their age and structure:
- Harmful activities to wildlife such as mining, oil drilling, and use of off-road vehicles occur in nearly 60% a. Old growth forest: Uncut or regenerated primary forest that has not been seriously disturbed by
of the nation’s wildlife refuges. human activities or natural disasters for several hundred years or more.
- Wildlife refuges receive little funding; a third of them have no staff, and structures in some refuges are b. Second-growth forest: A stand of trees resulting from secondary ecological succession that
in disrepair. develops after the trees in an area have been removed by human activities such as clear-cutting
for timber or cropland or by natural forces such as fire, hurricanes, or volcanic eruption.
6. Gene banks, botanical gardens, and wildlife farms can help to protect species - A tree plantation (tree farm, commercial forest), is a managed tract with uniformly aged trees of one
- Gene or seed banks preserve genetic information and endangered plant species by storing their or two genetically uniform species that usually are harvested by clear-cutting as soon as they become
seeds in refrigerated, low-humidity environments. commercially valuable.
- More than 100 seed banks worldwide collectively hold about 3 million samples, however: - Forests provide important economic and ecological services.
à Some species cannot be preserved in gene banks. à Forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in organic compounds (biomass) through
à The banks are expensive to operate and can be destroyed by fires and other mishaps. photosynthesis.
à A new underground vault on a remote island in the Arctic will eventually contain 100 million of the à Forests help to stabilize the earth’s temperature and slow projected climate change.
world’s seeds and will not be vulnerable to power losses, fires, storms, or war. - Forests provide many important economic and ecological services
- The world’s 1,600 botanical gardens and arboreta contain living plants, representing almost one-third Ecological Services Economic Services
of the world’s known plant species but only about 3% of the world’s rare and threatened plant species. Support energy flow and chemical cycling Fuelwood
- Some endangered or threatened species are raised on farms for commercial sale, such as alligator Reduces soil erosion Lumber
farms in Florida and butterfly Papua New Guinea. Absorb and release water Pulp to make paper
Purify water and air Mining
7. Zoos and aquariums can protect some species Influence local and regional climate Livestock grazing
- Zoos, aquariums, game parks, and animal research centers are being used to preserve some Store atmospheric carbon Recreation
individuals of critically endangered animal species, with the long-term goal of reintroducing the Provide numerous wildlife habitats Jobs
species into protected wild habitats.
- Two preserving techniques are: The short rotation cycle of cutting and regrowth of a monoculture tree plantation
1. Egg pulling, where wild eggs laid by critically endangered bird species are collected and then
hatched in zoos or research centers.
2. Captive breeding, where some or all of the wild individuals of a critically endangered species are
captured for breeding in captivity, with the aim of reintroducing the offspring into the wild.
3. Limited space and budgets restrict efforts to maintain breeding populations of endangered
animal species that are large enough to avoid extinction through accident, disease, or loss of
genetic diversity due to inbreeding.

8. The precautionary principle

- Biodiversity scientists call for us to take precautionary action to help prevent premature extinctions
and loss of biodiversity.
à The principle advocates that when substantial preliminary evidence indicates that an activity can
harm human health or the environment, we should take precautionary measures to prevent or reduce
such harm even if some of the cause-and-effect relationships have not been established scientifically.
- Using limited financial and human resources to protect biodiversity based on the precautionary
principle involves dealing with three important questions:
à How do we allocate limited resources between protecting species and protecting their habitats?
2. Unsustainable logging is a major threat to forest ecosystems 6. Release of CO2 into atmosphere
- The first step in harvesting trees is to build roads for access and 7. Acceleration of flooding
timber removal, but they can cause the following problems:
à Increased erosion and sediment runoff into waterways. CASE STUDY: Many Cleared Forests in the United States Have Grown Back
à Habitat fragmentation. • Forests that cover about 30% of the U.S. land area provide habitats for more than 80% of the country’s
à Loss of biodiversity. wildlife species and supply about two-thirds of the nation’s surface water.
à Forest exposure to invasion by nonnative pests, diseases, and • Today, forests in the U.S. cover more area than they did in 1920, primarily due to secondary succession.
wildlife species. • Every year, more wood is grown in the U.S. than is cut and the total area planted with trees increases.
- Methods of harvesting trees: • Protected forests make up about 40%.
à Selective cutting. • Since the mid-1960s, an increasing area of the nation’s remaining old-growth and fairly diverse second-
à Clear-cut. growth forests has been cut down and replaced with biologically simplified tree plantations.
à Strip cutting.
- SCIENCE FOCUS: Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Ecological 5. Tropical forests are disappearing rapidly
Services. - Tropical forests cover about 6% of the earth’s land area.
à Market tools such as regulations, taxes, and subsidies can - At least half of the world’s known species of terrestrial plants and animals live in tropical forests.
encourage protection of biodiversity. - Brazil has more than 30% of the world’s remaining tropical rain forest in its vast Amazon basin.
à The world’s forests and other ecosystems will continue to be - At the current rate of global deforestation, 50% of the world’s remaining old-growth tropical forests
degraded with current prices of goods and services. will be gone or severely degraded by the end of this century.

3. Fire can threaten or benefit forest ecosystems 6. Causes of tropical deforestation are varied and complex
- Surface fires usually burn only undergrowth and leaf litter on the forest floor. - There are a number of interconnected underlying and direct causes.
à Kills seedlings and small trees but spares most mature trees and allows most wild animals to escape. à Pressures from population growth and poverty, push subsistence farmers and the landless poor into
à Burns away flammable ground material and may help to prevent more destructive fires. tropical forests, where they try to grow enough food to survive.
à Frees valuable mineral nutrients tied up in slowly decomposing litter and undergrowth. à Government subsidies can accelerate the direct causes such as logging and ranching by reducing
à Releases seeds from the cones of lodgepole pines. the costs of timber harvesting, cattle grazing, and the creation of vast plantations of crops such as
à Stimulates the germination of certain tree seeds (e.g. giant sequoia and jack pine). soybeans.
à Helps to control tree diseases and insects. à Tropical forests in the Amazon and other South American countries are cleared/burned for cattle
- Crown fires are extremely hot fires that leap from treetops, burning whole trees. grazing and large soybean plantations.
à Can destroy most vegetation, kill wildlife, increase soil erosion, and burn or damage human à In Southeast Asia, tropical forests are being replaced with vast plantations of oil palm, whose oil is
structures in their paths. used in cooking, cosmetics, and biodiesel fuel for motor vehicles.
- CONNECTIONS: Climate Change and Forest Fires. à In Africa, people struggle to survive by clearing plots for small-scale farming and by harvesting
à Rising temperatures and increased drought from projected climate change will likely make many wood for fuel, which is causing deforestation on that continent.
forest areas more suitable for insect pests, which would then multiply and kill more trees. - CONNECTIONS: Burning Tropical Forests and Climate Change.
à Drying forests will probably experience more fires, producing increases in the greenhouse gas CO2, à The burning of tropical forests releases CO2 into the atmosphere, which is projected to warm the
which then increases atmospheric temperatures. atmosphere and change the global climate at an increasing rate during this century.
à These fires account for at least 17% of all human-created greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Almost half of the world’s forests have been cut down
- Deforestation is the temporary or permanent removal of large expanses of forest for agriculture, In the Philippines, how much forest cover had been lost in the last century?
settlements, or other uses. • Philippines. 24.0% —or about 7,162,000 hectares—of Philippines is forested. Of this, 11.6% —or roughly
- Human activities have reduced the earth’s original forest cover by about 46%, with most of this loss 829,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.
occurring in the last 60 years. • Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Philippines lost an average of 262,500 hectares
- If current deforestation rates continue, about 40% of the world’s remaining intact forests will have of forest per year.
been logged or converted to other uses within two decades, if not sooner.
- Clearing large areas of forests, especially old-growth forests, has important short-term economic Major underlying and direct causes of the destruction and degradation of tropical forests
benefits, but it also has a number of harmful environmental effects.
- The net total forest cover in several countries changed very little or even increased between 2000 and
2007. Some due to natural reforestation by secondary ecological succession on cleared forest areas
and abandoned croplands, or the spread of tree plantations.
- Concern about the growing amount of land occupied by commercial tree plantations, because
replacement of old-growth forests by these biologically simplified tree farms represents a loss of
biodiversity, and possibly of stability, in some forest ecosystems.

Harmful effects of Deforestation

1. Decreased soil fertility from erosion
2. Runoff of eroded soil into aquatic systems
3. Premature extinction of species with specialized niches
4. Loss of habitat for native species and migratory species such as birds and butterflies
5. Regional climate change from extensive clearing
How should we manage and sustain forests? - Consumers can reduce the demand for products that are supplied through illegal and unsustainable
1. We can manage forests more sustainably logging in tropical forests.
- Certification of sustainably grown timber and of sustainably produced forest products can help à For building projects, use recycled waste lumber or wood alternatives, such as recycled plastic
consumers. building materials and bamboo.
- Removing government subsidies and tax breaks that encourage deforestation would also help. à Reduce the use of throwaway paper products and replace them with reusable plates, cups, and
cloth napkins and handkerchiefs.
Ways to grow and harvest trees more sustainably - Individuals can plant trees.
1. Identify and protect forest areas high in biodiversity - CONNECTIONS: Good and Bad Bamboo
2. Rely more on selective cutting and strip cutting à Growing bamboo, which is increasingly used for hardwood flooring, added to an environmental
3. Stop clear-cutting on steep slopes problem while trying to be part of the solution.
4. Stop logging in old-growth trees à Bamboo can be a highly sustainable building material if it is raised on degraded lands.
5. Sharply reduce road building in uncut forest areas à Some bamboo suppliers have cleared natural forests to plant rapidly growing bamboo.
6. Leave most standing dead trees and fallen timber for wildlife habitat and nutrient cycling à Consumers should look for bamboo products that are certified as sustainably produced by the
7. Put tree plantations only on deforested and degraded land Forest Stewardship Council.
8. Certify timber grown by sustainable methods
9. Include ecological services of forests in estimates of their economic value Ways to protect tropical forests and use them more sustainably
Prevention Restoration
2. We can improve the management of forest fires Protect most diverse and endangered areas Encourage regrowth through secondary succession
- In the United States, the Smokey Bear educational campaign has: Educate settlers about sustainable agriculture and
à prevented countless forest fires, saved many lives and prevented billions of dollars in loss of trees, forestry
wildlife, and human structures. Subsidize only sustainable forest use Rehabilitate degraded areas
à convinced the public that all forest fires are bad and should be prevented or put out. Protect forests through debt-for-nature swaps and Concentrate farming and ranching in already-
- Trying to prevent all forest fires can make matters worse by increasing the likelihood of destructive conservation concessions cleared areas
crown fires due to the accumulation of highly flammable underbrush and smaller trees in some forests. Certify sustainably grown timber
- Strategies for reducing fire-related harm: Reduce poverty
à Prescribed burns are small, contained surface fires to remove flammable small trees and Slow population growth
underbrush in the highest-risk forest areas.
à Allow some fires on public lands to burn, thereby removing flammable underbrush and smaller trees, How should we manage and sustain grasslands?
as long as the fires do not threaten human structures and life. Protect houses/buildings in fire-prone 1. Some rangelands are overgrazed
areas by thinning a zone of about 60 meters (200 feet) around them and eliminating the use of - Grasslands provide many important ecological services, including soil formation, erosion control,
flammable building materials such as wooden shingles. nutrient cycling, storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide in biomass, and maintenance of biodiversity.
à Thin fire-prone areas by clearing small fire-prone trees and underbrush under careful environmental - Rangelands are unfenced grasslands in temperate and tropical climates that supply forage, or
controls. vegetation, for grazing (grass-eating) and browsing (shrub-eating) animals.
- SCIENCE FOCUS: Certifying Sustainably Grown Timber and Products Such as the Paper Used in This - Livestock also graze in pastures, which are managed grasslands or enclosed meadows usually
Book. planted with domesticated grasses or other forage.
à The nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council has developed environmentally sound and sustainable - Overgrazing occurs when too many animals graze for too long and exceed the carrying capacity of
practices for use in certifying timber and timber products. a rangeland area.
à To be certified, a timber company must show that cutting of trees has not exceeded long-term - Limited data from surveys in various countries indicate that overgrazing by livestock has caused a loss
forest regeneration; roads and harvesting systems have not caused unreasonable ecological in productivity in as much as 20% of the world’s rangeland.
damage; topsoil has not been damaged; and downed wood (boles) and standing dead trees
(snags) are left to provide wildlife habitat. 2. We can manage rangelands more sustainably
à The FSC reported that, by 2009, about 5% of the world’s forest area in 82 countries had been - Control the number of grazing animals and the duration of their grazing in a given area so the carrying
certified according to FSC standards. The countries with the largest areas of FSC-certified forests are, capacity of the area is not exceeded.
in order, Canada, Russia, Sweden, the United States, Poland, and Brazil. à Rotational grazing: confine cattle to one area via portable fencing for a short time (1–2 days) and
à FSC also certifies 5,400 manufacturers and distributors of wood products. The paper used in this then moved.
book was produced with the use of sustainably grown timber, as certified by the FSC, and contains à Provide supplemental feed at selected sites and strategically locate water holes and tanks and
recycled paper fibers. salt blocks to reduce overgrazing.
à Suppress the growth of unwanted invader plants by use of herbicides, mechanical removal, or
3. We can reduce the demand for harvested trees controlled burning or use controlled, short-term trampling by large numbers of livestock.
- Reduce inefficient use of construction materials, excess packaging, overuse of junk mail, inadequate
paper recycling, and failure to reuse or find substitutes for wooden shipping containers. How should we manage and sustain parks and nature reserves?
- Paper can be made from fiber that does not come from trees. 1. National parks face many environmental threats
- More than 1,100 major national parks are located in more than 120 countries.
4. Ways to reduce tropical deforestation - Most too small to sustain many large animal species.
- Debt-for-nature swap can make it financially attractive for countries to protect their tropical forests. - Many parks suffer from invasions by nonnative species that compete with and reduce the populations
- Conservation concessions occur when governments or private conservation organizations pay of native species.
nations for agreeing to preserve their natural resources. - Some parks are so popular that large numbers of visitors are degrading the natural features that make
them attractive.
- Parks in less-developed countries have the greatest biodiversity of all parks, but only about 1% of these - Conservation biologists support protecting wilderness in order to preserve biodiversity and as centers
parklands are protected. for evolution.

CASE STUDY: Stresses on U.S. Public Parks CASE STUDY: Controversy over Wilderness Protection in the United States
• The U.S. national park system, established in 1912, includes 58 major national parks, along with 335 • Conservationists have been trying to save wild areas from development since 1900.
monuments and historic sites. States, counties, and cities also operate public parks. • The Wilderness Act (1964) allowed the government to protect undeveloped tracts of public land from
• Popularity is one of the biggest problems. Noisy and polluting vehicles degrade the aesthetic experience development as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
for many visitors, destroy or damage fragile vegetation, and disturb wildlife. • Only about 2% of the land area of the lower 48 states is protected, most of it in the West.
• Many suffer damage from the migration or deliberate introduction of nonnative species.
• Native species—some of them threatened or endangered—are killed or removed illegally. What is the ecosystem approach to sustaining biodiversity?
1. Here are four ways to protect ecosystems:
CONNECTIONS: National Parks and Climate Change. - Most biologists and wildlife conservationists believe that the best way to keep from hastening the
• Low-lying U.S. park properties in places such as Key West, Florida, Ellis Island in New York Harbor, and extinction of wild species through human activities is the ecosystems approach, which protects
Florida’s Everglades National Park will likely be underwater later in this century if sea levels rise as threatened habitats and ecosystem services.
projected. - Four-point plan of the ecosystems approach:
• As climate zones shift in a warmer world, by 2030, Glacier National Park may not have any glaciers and à Map the world’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and create an inventory of the species
the saguaro cactus may disappear from Saguaro National Park. contained in each of them and the ecosystem services they provide.
à Locate and protect the most endangered ecosystems and species, with emphasis on protecting
2. Nature reserves occupy only a small part of the earth’s land plant biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- As of 2010, less than 13% of the earth’s land area was strictly or partially protected in nature reserves, à Seek to restore as many degraded ecosystems as possible.
parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness, and other areas.
- No more than 5% of the earth’s land is strictly protected from potentially harmful human activities. 2. Protecting global biodiversity hotspots is an urgent priority
- Conservation biologists call for full protection of at least 20% of the earth’s land area in a global system - Some biodiversity scientists urge adoption of an
of biodiversity. emergency action strategy to identify and quickly
- Developers and resource extractors oppose protection and contend that these areas might contain protect biodiversity hotspots, areas especially rich in
valuable resources that would add to current economic growth. plant species that are found nowhere else and are in
- Ecologists and conservation biologists view protected areas as islands of biodiversity and natural great danger of extinction.
capital that help to sustain all life and economies and serve as centers of evolution. - These hotspots cover only a little more than 2% of the
- The buffer zone concept strictly protects an inner core of a reserve and establishes buffer zones in earth’s land surface, they contain an estimated 50% of
which local people can extract resources sustainably without harming the inner core. the world’s flowering plant species and 42% of all
- By 2010, the United Nations had used this principle to create a global network of 553 biosphere terrestrial species.
reserves in 109 countries. - These hotspots are home for a large majority of the
- SCIENCE FOCUS: Reintroducing the Gray Wolf to Yellowstone National Park. world’s endangered or critically endangered species, and one-fifth of the world’s population.
à Yellowstone reintroduced the wolf as an experiment in ecosystem restoration.
à Project appears successful but decades of research will be needed to better understand the 3. We can rehabilitate and restore ecosystems that we have damaged
wolves and to unravel many other interacting factors in this complex ecosystem. - Almost every natural place on the earth has been affected or degraded to some degree by human
CASE STUDY: Costa Rica—A Global Conservation Leader - We can at least partially reverse much of this harm through ecological restoration: the process of
• Tropical forests once completely covered Costa Rica, but between 1963 and 1983 much of the country’s repairing damage caused by humans to the biodiversity and dynamics of natural ecosystems.
forests were cleared to graze cattle. - Examples of restoration include:
• Costa Rica is a superpower of biodiversity, with an estimated 500,000 plant and animal species. à replanting forests
• Costa Rica now has a system of nature reserves and national parks that, by 2010, included about a à restoring grasslands
quarter of its land. à restoring coral reefs
• Costa Rica now devotes a larger proportion of its land to biodiversity conservation than does any other à restoring wetlands and stream banks
country à reintroducing native species
• The country’s largest source of income is its $1-billion-a-year tourism industry, almost two-thirds of which à removing invasive species
involves ecotourism. à freeing river flows by removing dams.
• To reduce deforestation, the government has cut subsidies for converting forest to rangeland. - Four steps to speed up repair operations include the following:
• The government pays landowners to maintain or restore tree cover. a. Restoration.
• Between 2007 and 2008, the government planted nearly 14 million trees. b. Rehabilitation.
• Went from having one of the world’s highest deforestation rates to having one of the lowest. c. Replacement.
d. Creating artificial ecosystems.
3. Protecting wilderness is an important way to preserve biodiversity - Researchers have suggested a science-based, four-step strategy for carrying out most forms of
- One way to protect undeveloped lands is to set them aside as wilderness, land officially designated ecological restoration and rehabilitation:
as an area where natural communities have not been seriously disturbed by humans and where à Identify the causes of the degradation.
human activities are limited by law. à Stop the abuse by eliminating or sharply reducing these factors.
- Some critics oppose protecting large areas for their scenic and recreational value for a relatively small à If necessary, reintroduce key species to help restore natural ecological processes.
number of people. à Protect the area from further degradation and allow secondary ecological succession to occur.
- SCIENCE FOCUS: Ecological Restoration of a Tropical Dry Forest in Costa Rica. CASE STUDY: Industrial Fish Harvesting Methods
à One of the world’s largest ecological restoration projects. • Industrial fishing fleets dominate the world’s marine fishing industry, using global satellite positioning
à Small, tropical dry forest was burned, degraded, and fragmented for large-scale conversion of the equipment, sonar fish-finding devices, huge nets and long fishing lines, spotter planes, and gigantic
area to cattle ranches and farms. refrigerated factory ships that can process and freeze their catches.
à The forest is being restored and reconnected to a rain forest on nearby mountain slopes, with the • Trawler fishing is used to catch fish and shellfish by dragging a funnel-shaped net held open at the neck
goal of reestablishing a tropical dry-forest ecosystem over the next 100–300 years. along the ocean bottom.
à The project serves as a training ground in tropical forest restoration for scientists from all over the • Purse-seine fishing is used to catch surface-dwelling fish by using a spotter plane to locate a school; the
world. fishing vessel then encloses it with a large net called a purse seine.
• Longlining involves lines up to 130 kilometers (80 miles) long, hung with thousands of baited hooks to catch
4. We can share areas we dominate with other species open-ocean fish species or bottom fishes.
- Reconciliation ecology is the science that focuses on inventing, establishing, and maintaining new • Drift-net fishing catches fish with huge drifting nets that can hang as deep as 15 meters (50 feet) below
habitats to conserve species diversity in places where people live, work, or play. the surface and extend to 64 kilometers (40 miles) long.
- Examples include: • Drift-nets can trap and kill large quantities of unwanted fish, called bycatch, along with marine mammals,
à Protecting local wildlife and ecosystems can provide economic resources for their communities by sea turtles, and seabirds.
encouraging sustainable forms of ecotourism. • Almost one-third of the world’s annual fish catch by weight consists of bycatch species, which are mostly
à Protecting vital insect pollinators such as native butterflies and bees by reducing the use of thrown overboard dead or dying.
pesticides, planting flowering plants as a source of food for pollinating insect species, and building
structures which serve as hives for pollinating bees. Major Commercial Fishing Methods
à Protecting bluebirds within human-dominated habitats where most of the bluebirds’ nesting trees
have been cut down by using nesting boxes and keeping house cats away from nesting bluebirds.

Ways you can help sustain terrestrial biodiversity

1. Adopt a forest
2. Plant trees and take care of them
3. Recycle paper and buy recycle paper products
4. Choose wood substitutes such as bamboo furniture and recycled plastic outdoor furniture, decking, and
5. Help to restore a nearby degraded forest or grassland
6. Landscape your yard with a diversity of plants that are native to your area

How can we help to sustain aquatic biodiversity?

1. Human activities are destroying and degrading aquatic biodiversity
- Human activities have destroyed or degraded a large portion of the world’s coastal wetlands, coral
reefs, mangroves, and ocean bottom, and disrupted many of the world’s freshwater ecosystems.
- Rising sea levels are likely to destroy many coral reefs and flood some low-lying islands along with their
protective coastal mangrove forests.
- Loss and degradation of many sea-bottom habitats caused by dredging operations and trawler 3. We can protect and sustain marine biodiversity
fishing boats. - Protecting marine biodiversity is difficult for several reasons.
- In freshwater aquatic zones, dam building and excessive water withdrawal from rivers for irrigation à The human ecological footprint and fishprint are expanding so rapidly into aquatic areas that it is
and urban water supplies destroy aquatic habitats, degrade water flows, and disrupt freshwater difficult to monitor the impacts.
biodiversity. à Much of the damage to the oceans and other bodies of water is not visible to most people.
- The deliberate or accidental introduction of hundreds of harmful invasive species threatens aquatic à Many people incorrectly view the seas as an inexhaustible resource that can absorb an almost
biodiversity. infinite amount of waste and pollution and still produce all the seafood we want.
- Thirty-four percent of the world’s known marine fish species and 71% of the world’s freshwater fish à Most of the world’s ocean area lies outside the legal jurisdiction of any country and is thus an open-
species face premature extinction. access resource and subject to overexploitation.
- Several ways to protect and sustain marine biodiversity:
2. Overfishing: gone fishing; fish gone à Protect endangered and threatened aquatic species.
- A fishery is a concentration of a particular wild aquatic species suitable for commercial harvesting in à Establish protected marine sanctuaries.
a given ocean area or inland body of water. à Protect whole marine ecosystems within a global network of fully protected marine reserves.
- The fishprint is defined as the area of ocean needed to sustain the consumption of an average person, - INDIVIDUALS MATTER: Sylvia Earle—Champion of the Oceans
a nation, or the world. à Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. For decades, she has been a
- Fifty-two percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, 20% are moderately overexploited, and global leader in publicizing the urgent need to increase our understanding of the global ocean that
28% are overexploited or depleted. helps support all life and to protect much more of it from harmful human activities.
- Overharvesting has led to the collapse of some of the world’s major fisheries. à Earle’s research has focused on the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems, with an
- When overharvesting causes larger predatory species to dwindle, rapidly reproducing invasive emphasis on developing deep-sea exploration technology.
species can more easily take over and disrupt ocean food webs. à She has been the Chief Scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) and founded three companies devoted to developing submarines and other devices for
deep-sea exploration and research.
à She has received more than 100 major international and national honors, including a place in the • Captive breeding of animals and artificial propagation of plants, with possible reintroduction into the wild;
National Women’s Hall of Fame. and
à Earle is currently leading a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine • Collecting living organisms for zoos, aquaria, and botanic gardens for research and public awareness.
protected areas, which she dubs “hope spots.” Her goal is to help save and restore the oceans.
Ex-situ conservation measures can be complementary to in-situ methods as they provide
Ways to manage fisheries more sustainably and protect marine biodiversity an "insurance policy" against extinction. These measures also have a valuable role to play in recovery
1. Fishery Regulations – set low catch limits; improve monitoring and enforcement programmes for endangered species. The Kew Seed Bank in England has 1.5 per cent of the world's flora - about
2. Economic Approaches – reduce or eliminate fishing subsidies; certify sustainable fisheries 4,000 species - on deposit.
3. Protect Areas – establish no-fishing areas; establish more marine protected areas
4. Consumer Information – label sustainably harvested fish; publicize overfished and threatened species In agriculture, ex-situ conservation measures maintain domesticated plants which cannot survive in nature
5. Bycatch – use nets that allow escape of smaller fish; use net escape devices for seabirds and sea turtles unaided.
6. Aquaculture – restrict coastal locations of fish farms; improve pollution control
7. Nonnative Invasions – kill or filter organisms from ship ballast water; dump ballast water at sea and replace Ex-situ conservation provides excellent research opportunities on the components of biological diversity. Some
with deep-sea water of these institutions also play a central role in public education and awareness raising by bringing members of
the public into contact with plants and animals they may not normally come in contact with. It is estimated that
4. Taking an Ecosystem Approach to Sustaining Aquatic Biodiversity worldwide, over 600 million people visit zoos every year.
- Strategies for applying the ecosystem approach to aquatic biodiversity include: Ex situ conservation measures should support in-situ conservation measures (in-situ conservation should be the
à Complete the mapping of the world’s aquatic biodiversity, identifying and locating as many plant primary objective).
and animal species as possible.
à Identify and preserve the world’s aquatic biodiversity hotspots and areas where deteriorating The role of Protected Areas in maintaining biodiversity
ecosystem services threaten people and other forms of life. A protected area is a geographically defined area that is designated or regulated and managed to achieve
à Create large and fully protected marine reserves to allow damaged marine ecosystems to recover specific conservation objectives. It may be set aside for the protection of biological diversity, and of natural and
and to allow fish stocks to be replenished. associated cultural resources and is managed through legal or other effective means.
à Protect and restore the world’s lakes and river systems (the most threatened ecosystems of all).
à Initiate worldwide ecological restoration projects in systems such as coral reefs and inland and This includes national parks and nature reserves, sustainable use reserves, wilderness areas and heritage sites
coastal wetlands.
à Find ways to raise the incomes of people who live in or near protected lands and waters so that Protected areas (Pas) have been widely used as a conservation tool in order to maintain a representative sample
they can become partners in the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems. of unaltered species and eco-systems for the future, and to limit the potential for environmental degradation
- The harmful effects of human activities on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services could be through human mismanagement of resources.
reversed over the next 2 decades if an ecosystem approach is implemented, at a cost one of penny At present, approximately 8,500 PAs exist throughout the world in 169 countries. This covers about 750 million
per cup of coffee consumed in the world each year. hectares of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, which amounts to 5.2 % of the Earth’s land surface.

Three Big Ideas The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has a key role in promoting the establishment of protected areas
1. The economic values of the important ecological services provided by the world’s ecosystems are far throughout the world. Since 1948, IUCN has developed standards and guidelines for PA
greater than the value of raw materials obtained from those systems. management. Protected areas have been established following the categories defined by the IUCN. (It should
2. We can sustain terrestrial biodiversity by protecting severely threatened areas, protecting remaining be noted that strict protection categories (categories I – III) have mostly been applied in the developing
undisturbed areas, restoring damaged ecosystems, and sharing with other species much of the land we countries, whereas categories V and VI are the most commonly used in the developed world).
3. We can sustain aquatic biodiversity by establishing protected sanctuaries, managing coastal Category I Strict Protection. Sometimes called strict nature reserve/wilderness areas. Protected areas
development, reducing water pollution, and preventing overfishing. managed mainly for science or wilderness protection. Generally smaller areas where the preservation of
important natural values with minimum human disturbance are emphasized.
In-situ and Ex-situ Conservation Methods
Explain how in situ and ex situ conservation methods are used to maintain biodiversity. Refer to protected areas Category II Ecosystem Conservation and Tourism. Sometimes called national parks. Generally larger areas
and/or reserves, seed banks, botanic gardens, zoos, sperm banks with a range of outstanding features and ecosystems that people may visit for education, recreation, and
In Situ Conservation Methods inspiration as long as they do not threaten the area's values.
In-situ conservation, the conservation of species in their natural habitats, is considered the most appropriate way
of conserving biodiversity. Category III Conservation of Natural Features. Sometimes called natural monuments. Similar to National
Conserving the areas where populations of species exist naturally is an underlying condition for the conservation Parks, but usually smaller areas protecting a single spectacular natural feature or historic site.
of biodiversity. That's why protected areas form a central element of any national strategy to conserve
biodiversity. Category IV Conservation through Active Management. Sometimes called habitat and wildlife (species)
management areas. Areas managed to protect and utilize wildlife species.
Ex Situ Conservation Methods
Ex-situ conservation is the preservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats. This Category V Landscape/Seascape Conservation and Recreation. Sometimes called protected
involves conservation of genetic resources, as well as wild and cultivated or species, and draws on a diverse landscapes/seascapes.
body of techniques and facilities. Some of these include:
• Gene banks, e.g. seed banks, sperm and ova banks, field banks; Category VI Sustainable Use of Natural Ecosystems. Sometimes called managed resource protected
• In vitro plant tissue and microbial culture collections; areas. Protected areas managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.
In the past, it was assumed that the best way to preserve biodiversity was to conserve it through protected areas
by reducing human activities or completely excluding humans. Population growth and poverty were seen as
main causes of environmental degradation; people were regarded as a problem from which the environment
needed protecting. Accordingly, protected areas and parks were fenced off from local people, traditional
practices were prohibited, and people were held under penalties of fines or imprisonments for utilising park
resources. However, there are very controversial scientific and social problems with this approach, which was
characterized by serious conflicts between local communities and the state.

This therefore led to a transformation in thinking and the recognition that:

1. Local people understand their environment and have extensive knowledge of the resources within their
local environment
2. The exclusion of local people from protected areas may actually lead to impoverishment of their
biological diversity, with both ecological and social costs
3. Traditional practices enable people to live with nature in a mutually beneficial way. For example, instead
of banning hunting altogether, a series of regulations could be put in place to regulate hunting, i.e., Summary of the general approaches in extraction, isolation and characterization of bioactive compound from
prohibitions on killing juveniles, or pregnant females plants extract
4. Many communities still do not see wildlife and the environment as their own property because they are
not involved in decision-making and have little responsibility in conservation projects
5. Revenues earned from PAs have not always been passed on to communities

PA management has taken on a more holistic approach to assessing biodiversity and environmental protection
- it has to be effective in linking conservation with human needs. PA management must take into account the
local people’s realities, that is, policy formulation must be based on a more realistic understanding of the social
and political dimensions of natural resources management.

PROTECTED AREAS IN THE PHILIPPINES – refer to the GUIDEBOOK of protected areas by DENR

Bioprospecting for Pharmaceutical Products and Indigenous Knowledge

• Biodiversity prospecting or bioprospecting is the systematic search for biochemical and genetic
information in nature in order to develop commercially-valuable products for:
- Pharmaceutical
- Agricultural
- cosmetic
- other applications
• Bioprospecting is possible both in terrestrial and marine environments.
• Many molecules, such as trabecetidin (an antitumor agent) and eribulin (used to treat breast cancer),
were discovered from marine organisms.

Phases of Bioprospecting
1. Sample collection
2. Isolation
3. Characterization
4. Product development
5. Commercialization
3. Local populations will become increasingly aware of the potential economic value of natural habitats,
providing incentives to the domestic population for biodiversity conservation.
4. It promotes innovation, helping countries to develop new pharmaceutical products.
5. It also favors employment opportunities related to natural products;
6. It helps to preserve traditional culture and habits by rediscovering ancient native practices.

Disadvantages of Bioprospecting
1. Bioprospecting is time-consuming and high risk in terms of expected returns;
2. Even the most advanced legal frameworks often fail to offer sufficient protection to traditional
3. The Nagoya Protocol coverage is still limited, increasing the risks of biopiracy from non-signature countries.

The Risks of Bioprospecting

1. The returns from bioprospecting are uncertain; bioprospecting success rates have been low.
2. Unequal capacities of host country stakeholders lead to unfair negotiation outcomes over benefit
3. The negotiation of bioprospecting contracts can be difficult, including the determination of a fair price
for exploration and commercialization.
4. The enforcement of the legal framework, including biopiracy and intellectual property theft linked to low
capacity in enforcing laws and international treaties.
Bioprospecting and Nagoya Protocol 5. Legal risks, including of litigation in multiple jurisdictions; conflicts of jurisdiction (e.g. Antarctica) are more
• Bioprospecting activities must comply with the definition of utilization of genetic resources of the Nagoya frequent in marine environments;
Protocol. 6. Unsustainable harvesting of resources and other negative environmental impacts;
• Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising 7. Social tension in local communities that might perceive being unfairly treated.
from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, also known as the Nagoya Protocol on
Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is a 2010 supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on The Positive Impact of Bioprospecting can be maximized by:
Biological Diversity (CBD). 1. Stronger (national/international) legal and enforcement measures against biopiracy.
• The protocol was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, and entered into force on 12 October 2. More environmental friendly bioprospecting operations.
2014. 3. More effective use of resources and stronger negotiation capacities in the source country (to increase
• It has been ratified by 107 parties, which includes 106 UN member states and the European Union revenues).
• Nagoya Protocol aim is the implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: 4. Greater investment in research and productive capacities in the source country to allow local companies
- the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, thereby and universities to participate in the whole value chain.
contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 5. More robust Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) frameworks to protect the culture and interests of the local
Bioprospecting and Indigeneous Knowledge - All bioprospecting agreements should respect the customs, traditions, values, and customary
• Extract the maximum commercial value from genetic resources and indigenous knowledge practices of indigenous and local communities which genetic resources have been obtained.
• Creating a fair compensation system that can benefit all
Bioprospecting in the Philippines
• Biopiracy is a practice in which indigenous knowledge of nature, originating with indigenous peoples, is FOR THE PROSPECTING OF BIOLOGICAL AND GENETIC RESOURCES, THEY'RE BY PRODUCT AND
used by others for profit, without authorization or compensation to the indigenous people themselves. DERIVATIVES, FOR SCIENTIFIC AND COMMERCIAL PURPOSES; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES,
• Biopiracy practices contribute to inequality between developing countries rich in biodiversity, and • Issued on 18 May 1995
developed countries hosting biotech firms. • Implementing Rules and Regulations on the Prospecting of Biological and Genetic Resources in the
Philippines, Administrative Order No. 96-20
Famous Case of Biopiracy
• The Maya ICBG bioprospecting controversy took place in 1999–2000. Who are the Stakeholders? What is at stake?
• The International Cooperative Biodiversity Group led by ethnobiologist Brent Berlin was accused of being • Government agencies as policy makers
engaged in unethical forms of bioprospecting by several NGOs and indigenous organizations. - State – DENR, DOH, DA (agriculture), or DOST, DTI, DFA (for international linkage); PAWB (Protected
• The ICBG aimed to document the biodiversity of Chiapas, Mexico and the ethnobotanical knowledge of Areas and Wildlife Bureau) and other agencies
the indigenous Maya. - Indigenous communities
• The possibilities of developing medical products based on any of the plants used by the indigenous - Local communities
groups. - Academic institutions for research purposes
- Universities, Research Institutes
Advantages of Bioprospecting - Commercial/academic collector
1. It creates an incentive to monitor and preserve biodiversity in order to avoid the risk of losing economic - NGO representative
opportunities from competitors or extinction. - People’s organization
2. It promotes technology and knowledge transfer among countries (North-South and South-South) along • At stake:
with foreign direct investment. - Natural sources abuse, misuse and depletion
- Food sources Central Nervous System (CNS)
- Income / Profits for whom • The central nervous system is responsible for all of man’s behavior; controls the interactive process of
- Beneficiaries storing and retrieving information.
• Two main parts: Brain and Spinal cord
Case in Focus • The brain is a sponge-like organ (weighs 3 pounds in the adult) encased in the skull, consisting of the brain
• Hoodia is a plant used by the San people of South Africa as an appetite suppressant when hunting or stem, cerebellum, and cerebrum.
travelling on long journeys. • The spinal cord accepts the stimulus coming from the peripheral senses (stimulated externally).
• There were long negotiations between the San and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which was
interested in developing products based on hoodia. The San eventually won the right to royalties from Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
any products based on hoodia. • The PNS is responsible for carrying nerve impulses to and from the body, including the many craniospinal
nerves which branch off the brain and the spinal cord.
Additional Readings • Two Main Divisions of PNS: Somatic Nervous System and Autonomic Nervous System
• Scientist at work: Bio-prospecting for better enzymes April 24, 2017 • Somatic nerves relay sensory information from receptors in the skin and muscles, and motor commands
- Jeffrey Gardner, University of Maryland, Baltimore County to skeletal muscles (voluntary control).
- Bio-prospecting is the search for useful materials from natural sources. A biologist explains what we • Autonomic nerves send signals to and from smooth muscles, internal organs (visceral functions), cardiac
can learn from bacteria about breaking down plant material, and how we can use that knowledge. muscle, and glands (involuntary control),
- http://theconversation.com/global/topics/bioprospecting-25443
• Justice is still not being done in the exploitation of indigenous products April 5, 2016 Sympathetic nerves
- Rachel Wynberg, University of Cape Town • speed up body processes or arouse the body
- Good models have been developed to ensure benefit sharing in the biodiversity business. But major • fight or flight response in emergency or stressful events
challenges prevent developing countries from translating this into social justice. • excitatory effect
- http://theconversation.com/global/topics/bioprospecting-25443
Parasympathetic nerves
Neuroscience • slow down body processes or put the body in a calm, relax state
• The scientific study of the brain and nervous system is called neuroscience or neurobiology. • inhibitory effect
• The field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the structure, development,
function, chemistry, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system. Regions of the Human Brain

Basic Neuroanatomy

Parts of the Central Lobe

• Frontal lobe is the biggest, front portion of the cortex. It is primarily
The Nervous System
responsible for motor activities and eye movement.
• Nervous system is responsible for sending, receiving, and
• Parietal lobe is the top side segment of the cortex. Its major role is to
processing nerve impulses throughout the body.
mediate tactile.
• Neuron is the basic functional structure or unit of the
• Occipital lobe is at the rear end of the cortex. Its main function is for
nervous system.
visceral perception.
• Temporal lobe is beneath the three lobes. Its role is for hearing and
control of speech; also in memory, attention and emotions related
• The neurons in the human brain communicate with one
to touch.
another by releasing chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.
• May be excitatory or inhibitory.
Social Neuroscience
• A research discipline that examines how the brain mediates social processes and behavior.
• A field related to social psychology.
• A wide range of research topics are examined within this discipline, including social interactions, agency, Human Health and Reproduction: Philippine Setting
empathy, morality, and social prejudice and affiliations.

1. Attachment
2. Depression
3. Drug Addiction

Attachment Theory
• The seeking of protection when anxious which is triggered by external threats or behaviors.

Who is an Attachment Figure?

• In the first few years of life when children are learning about relationships, their primary attachment figures
are parents and caregivers; in adulthood, that is usually a spouse or significant other.

Neurobiology of Attachment
• Daniel Siegel, in his book, The Developing Mind states early childhood experiences with caretakers allow
the brain (pre-frontal cortex) to organize in particular ways, which forms the basis for later interpersonal
• “In childhood, particularly the first two years of life, attachment relationships help the immature brain use
the mature functions of the parent’s brain to develop important capacities related to interpersonal
functioning. The infant’s relationship with his/her attachment figures facilitates experience-dependent
neural pathways to develop, particularly in the frontal lobes where the aforementioned capacities are
wired into the developing brain.”
• “When caretakers are psychologically-able to provide sensitive parenting (e.g. attunement to the infants
signals and are able to soothe distress, as well as amplify positive experiences), the child feels a haven of
safety when in the presence of their caretaker(s).
• Repeated positive experiences also become encoded in the brain (implicitly in the early years and
explicitly as the child gets older) as mental models or schemata of attachment, which serve to help the
child feel an internal sense of what John Bowlby called “a secure base” in the world. These positive mental
models of self and others are carried into other relationships as the child matures.”
• Experts in the neurosciences have identified the last trimester in utero together with the first three years of
life as the period during which the brain is most receptive and sensitive to certain emotional and social
experiences, such as loving and soothing, which help to grow the brain. Violence and emotional neglect,
on the other hand, affect the growth of the brain and lead to hormonal high stress and even toxic stress
(Manala, 2016).

Mental Health and Depression

• 3.3M Filipinos suffer from depressive disorders (highest among ASEAN countries), with suicide rates (lowest)
in 2.5 males and 1.7 females per 100,000 of the population

Comprehensive Mental Health Act

• Giving rights to individuals suffering from mental illness:
- protection from abuse and discrimination
- access to right mental health care and facilities
- recognition of other forms of treatment
- implementing basic mental health education and awareness WHO: Human Rights and Health
• The WHO Constitution (1946) envisages “…the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental
Drug Addiction right of every human being.”
• Nagsisimula sa Pamilya. The Noel Torres Story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLrr_Q0j5cE • Understanding health as a human right creates a legal obligation on states to ensure access to timely,
• Ano ang Solusyon? https://youtu.be/2TqjjwlfPd0 acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality as well as to providing for the underlying
determinants of health, such as safe and potable water, sanitation, food, housing, health-related
information and education, and gender equality.
• A States’ obligation to support the right to health – including through the allocation of “maximum
available resources” to progressively realise this goal - is reviewed through various international human
rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review, or the Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights. In many cases, the right to health has been adopted into domestic law or Constitutional
• A rights-based approach to health requires that health policy and programs must prioritize the needs of
those furthest behind first towards greater equity, a principle that has been echoed in the recently 3. Outcome 3: Public Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Achieved
adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Universal Health Coverage. (1)
• The right to health must be enjoyed without discrimination on the grounds of race, age, ethnicity or any
other status. Non-discrimination and equality requires states to take steps to redress any discriminatory
law, practice or policy.
• Another feature of rights-based approaches is meaningful participation. Participation means ensuring
that national stakeholders – including non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations – are
meaningfully involved in all phases of programming: assessment, analysis, planning, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation.

Health Programs in the Philippines

1. Outcome 1: Improved Financial Health Risk Protection
- PhilHealth Benefits: Expanded Z Benefit Package for Colon and Rectum Cancers, Point of Care (POC)
Enrollment Program, Enhanced Primary Care Package (TSeKaP), Extended Dialysis Coverage

2. Outcome 2: Greater Access to Healthcare Services

4. Outcome 4: Improved Health Governance
- ISO certification of government hospitals
- National health summit
- Local government unit awards
- National barangay health workers convention
- Representation in WHO and APEC
- Issuance of health policies

Discussion: The Right to Health in the Philippines

• “the well-being of a country depends on the health of its citizens”.
• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), clearly articulates the right
to health in Article 12. Article 12 (1) provides that State Parties to the ICESCR recognize “the right of
everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”
• The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) elaborated on the right to health as:
- access to safe and potable water
- adequate sanitation
- adequate supply of safe food, nutrition and housing
- healthy occupational and environmental conditions
- access to health-related education and information including on sexual and reproductive health
• The World Health Organization (WHO) described the “right to health as “closely related to and dependent
upon the realization of other human rights:
- right to food, housing, work, education, participation
- the enjoyment of the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, life, non-discrimination,
- the prohibition against torture, privacy, access to information, and
- the freedoms of association, assembly and movement.”
• Issues
- Measly Health Budget
- Inaccessible and Expensive Medicines
- Combating TB, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases
- Safe drinking water and sanitation
- Setback in women’s health
- So much food, but nothing to eat
- Bagong Bayani (modern day heroes) in distress
- Imminent collapse of the health system
- Other gaps in government actions on health include the following:
à the needs of the older persons have not been given special attention;
à differently abled persons continue to be disregarded in many health programs;
à environmental and occupational health hazards remain on the sidelines;
à special needs of women, particularly those pregnant and lactating,

Discussion: Republic Act 10354 - Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012
• The State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons, including their right to equality and
nondiscrimination of these rights, the right to sustainable human development, the right to health which
includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make
decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs and the
demands of responsible parenthood. . .
• it is the duty of the State to protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution
and equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.
• The State recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution and the foundation of the family which in
turn is the foundation of the nation.
• The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal
affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies which do not
prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum
• The State shall also promote openness to life: Provided, That parents bring forth to the world only those
children whom they can raise in a truly humane way.
• Reproductive health care refers to the access to a full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies
that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by addressing reproductive health related
problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal à “The lifetime probability of developing lung cancer from smoking one pack of cigarettes per day
relations. . . . is 1 in 250.” This means that 1 of every 250 people who smoke a pack of cigarettes every day will likely
• Reproductive health rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples to decided freely and responsibly develop lung cancer over a typical lifetime.
whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children, to make other decisions - Risk assessment is the process of using statistical methods to estimate how much harm a particular
concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and hazard can cause to human health or to the environment. It helps us to establish priorities for avoiding
means to do so, and to attain the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health; Provided, or managing risks.
however That reproductive health rights do not include abortion, and access to abortifacients; - Risk management involves deciding whether or how to reduce a particular risk to a certain degree.
• All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which
shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and Risk Assessment and Risk Management
marginalized couples having infertililty issues who desire to have children.. - Risk assessment is the process of using statistical methods to estimate how much harm a particular
• No person shall be denied information and access to famly planning services, whether natural or artificial: hazard can cause to human health or to the environment. It helps us to establish priorities for avoiding
Provided, That minors will not be allowed access to modern methods of family planning without written or managing risks.
consent from their parents or guardians, except when the minor is already a parent or has had a à Hazard identification.
miscarriage. à Probability of risk.
à Consequences of risk.
13 sexual reproductive health rights - Risk management involves deciding whether or how to reduce a particular risk to a certain degree.
1. The Right to Life - This means, among other things, that no woman’s life should be put at risk by reason of à Comparative risk analysis.
pregnancy, gender or lack of access to health information and services. This also includes the right to be à Risk reduction.
safe and satisfying sex life. à Risk reduction strategy.
2. The Right to Liberty and Security of the Person - This recognizes that no woman should be subjected to à Financial commitment.
forced pregnancy, forced sterilization or forced abortion.
3. The Right to Equality, and to be free from all Forms of Discrimination - This includes, among other things, 2. We face many types of hazards.
freedom from discrimination because of one’s sexuality and reproductive life choices. - Biological hazards from more than 1,400 pathogens that can infect humans.
4. The Right to Privacy - This means that all sexual and reproductive health care services should be à A pathogen is an organism that can cause disease in another organism.
confidential in terms of physical set-up, information given or shared by the clients, and access to records i. Bacteria. iv. Protozoa.
or reports. ii. Viruses. v. Fungi.
5. The Right to Freedom of Thought - This means that all sexual and reproductive health care services should iii. Parasites.
be confidential in terms of physical set-up, information given or shared by the clients, and access to - Chemical hazards from harmful chemicals in air, water, soil, food, and human-made products.
records or reports. - Natural hazards such as fire, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and storms.
6. The Right to Information and Education - This includes access to full information on the benefits, risks and - Cultural hazards such as unsafe working conditions, unsafe highways, criminal assault, and poverty.
effectiveness of all methods of fertility regulation, in order that all decisions taken are made on the basis - Lifestyle choices such as smoking, making poor food choices, drinking too much alcohol, and having
of full, free and informed consent. unsafe sex.
7. The Right to Choose Whether or Not to Marry and to Found and Plan a Family - This includes the right of
persons to protection against a requirement to marry without his/her consent. It also includes the right of What types of biological hazards do we face?
individuals to choose to remain single without discrimination and coercion. 1. Some diseases can spread from one person to another
8. The Right to Decide Whether or When to Have Children - This includes the right of persons to decide freely - An infectious disease is caused when a pathogen such as a bacterium, virus, or parasite invades the
and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have access to related information and body and multiplies in its cells and tissues.
education. à Tuberculosis, flu, malaria, and measles.
9. The Right to Health Care and Health Protection - This includes the right of clients to the highest possible - Bacteria are singe-cell organisms that are found everywhere. Most are harmless or beneficial. A
quality of health care, and the right to be free from harmful traditional health practices. bacterial disease results from an infection as the bacteria multiply and spread throughout the body.
10. The Right to the Benefits of Scientific Progress - This includes the right of sexual and reproductive health - Viruses are smaller than bacteria and work by invading a cell and taking over its genetic machinery
service of clients to avail of the new reproductive health technologies that are safe, effective, and to copy themselves. They then multiply and spread throughout one’s body, causing a viral disease
acceptable. such as flu or AIDS
11. The Right to Freedom of Assembly and Political Participation - This includes the right of all persons to seek - A transmissible disease is an infectious bacterial or viral disease that can be transmitted from one
to influence communities and governments to prioritize sexual and reproductive health and rights. person to another.
12. The Right to be Free From Torture and Ill-Treatment - This includes the rights of all women, men and young - A non-transmissible disease is caused by something other than a living organism and does not spread
people to protection from violence, sexual exploitation and abuse. from one person to another.
13. The Right to Development - This includes the right of all individuals to access development opportunities à Examples include cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases, most cancers, asthma, and
and benefits, especially in decision-making processes that affect his/her life. diabetes.
- In 1900, infectious disease was the leading cause of death in the world.
Environmental Hazards and Human Health - Greatly reduced by a combination of better health care, the use of antibiotics to treat infectious
What major health hazards do we face? diseases caused by bacteria, and the development of vaccines.
1. Risks are usually expressed as probabilities
- A risk is the probability of suffering harm from a hazard that can cause injury, disease, death, Ways infectious disease organisms can enter the human body
economic loss, or damage. 1. Pets 5. Food
- Probability—a mathematical statement about the likelihood that harm will be suffered from a hazard. 2. Livestock 6. Water
3. Wild Animals 7. Air
4. Insects
4. We can reduce the incidence of infectious diseases
2. Infectious diseases are still major health threats - The percentage of global death rate from infectious diseases decreased from 35% to 17% between
- Infectious diseases remain as serious health threats, especially in less-developed countries. 1970 and 2006 and is projected to drop to 16% by 2015.
- Spread through air, water, food, and body fluids. - From 1971-2006, immunizations of children in developing countries to prevent tetanus, measles,
- A large-scale outbreak of an infectious disease in an area is called an epidemic. diphtheria, typhoid fever, and polio increased from 10% to 90%—saving about 10 million lives each
- A global epidemic such as tuberculosis or AIDS is called a pandemic. year.
- Many disease-carrying bacteria have developed genetic immunity to widely used antibiotics and - An important breakthrough has been the development of simple oral rehydration therapy—
many disease-transmitting species of insects such as mosquitoes have become immune to widely administering a simple solution of boiled water, salt, and sugar or rice.
used pesticides that once helped to control their populations. - CONNECTIONS: Drinking Water, Latrines, and Infectious Diseases.
à More than a third of the world’s people do not have sanitary bathroom facilities, and more than 1
3. Viral diseases and parasites kill large numbers of people billion get their water for drinking, washing, and cooking from sources polluted by animal and human
- Viruses evolve quickly, are not affected by antibiotics, and can kill large numbers of people. feces.
à The biggest killer is the influenza, or flu, virus, which is transmitted by the body fluids or airborne à A key to reducing sickness and premature death from infectious disease is to focus on providing
emissions of an infected person. people with simple latrines and access to safe drinking water.
à The second biggest viral killer is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). - Philanthropists have donated billions of dollars toward improving global health, with special emphasis
HIV infects about 1.8 million people each year, and the complications resulting from AIDS kill about on infectious diseases in less-developed countries.
1.8 million people annually. - About 47% of the population live in areas where malaria is prevalent
- The third largest viral killer is the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which damages the liver and kills about a million
people each year. Ways to prevent or reduce the incidence of infectious diseases
à Transmitted by unsafe sex, sharing of needles by drug users, infected mothers who pass the virus to 1. Increase research on tropical diseases and vaccines
their offspring before or during birth, and exposure to infected blood. 2. Reduce poverty
- Emergent diseases are illnesses that were previously unknown or were absent in human populations 3. Decrease malnutrition
for at least 20 years. 4. Improve drinking water quality
à One is the West Nile virus, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of a common mosquito that is 5. Reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics
infected when it feeds on birds that carry the virus. 6. Educate people to take all of an antibiotic prescription
- Greatly reduce your chances of getting infectious diseases by practicing good, old-fashioned 7. Reduce antibiotic use to promote livestock growth
hygiene. 8. Require careful hand washing by all medical personnel
à Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. 9. Immunize children against major viral diseases
à Avoid touching your face. 10. Provide oral rehydration for diarrhea victims
à Stay away from people who have flu or other viral diseases. 11. Conduct global campaign to reduce HIV/AIDS

CASE STUDY: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic. What Types of Chemical Hazards do we Face?
• The global spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), caused by infection with the human 1. A toxic chemical is one that can cause temporary or permanent harm or death to humans and animals.
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a major global health threat. - In 2004, the EPA listed arsenic, lead, mercury, vinyl chloride (used to make PVC plastics), and
• In 2009, a total of about 33 million people worldwide (1.1 million in the United States) are living with HIV. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as the top five toxic substances in terms of human and
• Between 1981 and 2009, more than 27 million people died of AIDS-related diseases. environmental health.
• AIDS has reduced the life expectancy of the 750 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa from 62 to 47 - There are three major types of potentially toxic agents.
years, on average, and to 40 years in the seven countries most severely affected by AIDS. a. Carcinogens are chemicals, types of radiation, or certain viruses that can cause or promote
• Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. cancer.
à Examples are arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, gamma radiation, PCBs, radon, certain
CASE STUDY: Malaria—Death by Parasite-Carrying Mosquitoes. chemicals in tobacco smoke, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and vinyl chloride.
• Almost half of the world’s people are at risk from malaria, as is anyone traveling to malaria-prone areas, b. Mutagens are chemicals or forms of radiation that cause mutations, or changes, in the DNA
because there is no vaccine that can prevent this disease. molecules found in cells, or that increase the frequency of such changes.
• More than 80% of malaria’s victims live in sub-Saharan Africa. à Nitrous acid (HNO2), formed by the digestion of nitrite (NO2 –) preservatives in foods, can cause
• Malaria is caused by a parasite that is spread by the bites of certain mosquito species. mutations linked to increases in stomach cancer in people who consume large amounts of
• Infects and destroys red blood cells, causing intense fever, chills, drenching sweats, anemia, severe processed foods and wine.
abdominal pain, headaches, vomiting, extreme weakness, and greater susceptibility to other diseases. à Harmful mutations occurring in reproductive cells can be passed on to offspring and to future
• Kills an average of at least 2,700 people per day. generations.
• Working to develop new antimalarial drugs, vaccines, and biological controls. c. Teratogens are chemicals that cause harm or birth defects to a fetus or embryo.
• Distribute free or inexpensive long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets. à Drinking during pregnancy can lead to offspring with low birth weight and a number of physical,
• Zinc and vitamin A supplements could be used to boost resistance to malaria in children. developmental, behavioral, and mental problems.
• Spray the insides of homes with low concentrations of the pesticide DDT twice a year at a low cost. à Other teratogens are angel dust, benzene, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, PCBs, phthalates,
• CONNECTIONS: Deforestation and Malaria – Clearing and developing tropical forests has led to the local thalidomide, and vinyl chloride.
spread of malaria. A 5% loss of tree cover in one part of Brazil’s Amazon forest led to a 50% increase in
malaria in that study area. Deforestation may create pools of water that make ideal breeding ponds for
malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
PCBs and other persistent toxic chemicals can move via many pathways Ways to prevent or control inputs of mercury pollution
a. Phase out waste incineration
b. Remove mercury from coal before it is burned
c. Switch from coal to natural gas and renewable energy resources

a. Sharply reduce mercury emissions from coal-burning plants and incinerators
b. Label all products containing mercury
c. Collect and recycle batteries and other products containing mercury

3. Some chemicals affect the human endocrine system

- The endocrine system is a complex network of glands that release tiny amounts of hormones that
regulate human:
à Reproduction. à Learning ability.
2. Some chemicals may affect our immune and nervous systems à Growth. à Behavior.
- Our body’s immune system protects us against disease and harmful substances by forming antibodies à Development.
that render invading agents harmless, but some chemicals interfere with this process. - Hormonally active agents (HAA) are synthetic chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system in humans
à Arsenic. and some other animals.
à Methylmercury. à Examples include aluminum, Atrazine™ and several other herbicides, DDT, PCBs, mercury,
à Dioxins. phthalates, and bisphenol A (BPA).
- Some natural and synthetic chemicals in the environment, called neurotoxins, can harm the human à Some disrupt the endocrine system by attaching to estrogen receptor molecules.
nervous system, causing the following effects. à Thyroid disrupters cause growth, weight, brain, and behavioral disorders.
à Behavioral changes. à Attention deficit disorder. à BPA is found in plastic water bottles, baby bottles and the plastic resins line food containers.
à Learning disabilities. à Paralysis. a. Studies found that low levels of BPA cause numerous problems such as brain damage, early
à Retardation. à Death. puberty, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease.
- Examples of neurotoxins. b. Studies funded by the chemical industry found no evidence or only weak evidence, for adverse
à PCBs. à Lead. effects from low-level exposure to BPA in test animals.
à Methylmercury. à Certain pesticides. c. In 2008, the FDA concluded that BPA in food and drink containers does not pose a health hazard.
à Arsenic. d. In 2010, Canada classified BPA as a toxic chemical and banned its use in baby bottles, and the
- SCIENCE FOCUS: Mercury’s Toxic Effects. EU voted to ban the sale of plastic baby bottles that contain BPA.
a. High levels of mercury can damage the human nervous system, kidneys, and lungs. Low levels of à Phthalates are found in detergents, perfumes, cosmetics, deodorants, soaps, and shampoo, and
mercury can also harm fetuses and cause birth defects. in PVC products such as toys, teething rings, and medical tubing used in hospitals. Phthalates cause
b. Natural sources account for about one-third of the mercury reaching the atmosphere. cancer and other health problems in laboratory animals.
c. Remaining two-thirds come from human activities.
i. Primarily from the smokestacks of coal-burning power plants and coal-burning industrial
ii. Rain washes emissions out of the atmosphere onto the soil and into bodies of water.
d. Humans are exposed to mercury in three ways.
i. Inhale vaporized elemental mercury or particles of inorganic mercury salts such as mercury
sulfide and mercuric chloride.
ii. Eat fish contaminated with highly toxic methylmercury.
iii. Consuming high-fructose corn syrup, widely used as a sweetener in beverages and food
- The EPA estimates that about 1 in 12 women of childbearing age in the US has enough mercury in her
blood to harm a developing fetus.
à The greatest risk from exposure to low levels of methylmercury is brain damage in fetuses and young
à Methylmercury may also harm the heart, kidneys, and immune system of adults.
à EPA advised nursing mothers, pregnant women, and women who may become pregnant not to
eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish and to limit their consumption of albacore tuna.
à In 2003, the UN Environment Programme recommended phasing out coal-burning power plants
and waste incinerators throughout the world as rapidly as possible.
How can we evaluate chemical hazards?
à Other recommendations are to reduce or eliminate mercury in the production of batteries, paints,
1. Many factors determine the harmful health effects of chemicals
and chlorine by no later than 2020.
- Toxicology is the study of the harmful effects of chemicals on humans and other organisms.
à Toxicity is a measure of the harmfulness of a substance.
à Any synthetic or natural chemical can be harmful if ingested in a large enough quantity.
à The dose is the amount of a harmful chemical that a person has ingested, inhaled, or absorbed à Usually takes a long time.
through the skin. à Closely linking an observed effect with exposure to a particular chemical is difficult because people
à Many variables can affect the level of harm caused by a chemical. are exposed to many different toxic agents throughout their lives and can vary in their sensitivity to
a. Toxic chemicals usually have a greater effect on fetuses, infants, and children than on adults. such chemicals.
b. Toxicity also depends on genetic makeup, which determines an individual’s sensitivity to a à Cannot evaluate hazards from new technologies or chemicals to which people have not yet been
particular toxin. exposed.
c. Some individuals are sensitive to a number of toxins—a condition known as multiple chemical
sensitivity (MCS). 4. Are trace levels of toxic chemicals harmful?
d. How well the body’s detoxification systems (such as the liver, lungs, and kidneys) work. - Almost everyone is now exposed to potentially harmful chemicals that have built up to trace levels in
e. Solubility: water-soluble toxins and oil- or fat-soluble toxins. their blood and in other parts of their bodies.
f. Persistence, or resistance to breakdown such as DDT and PCBs. - In most cases, we do not know if we should be concerned about trace amounts of various synthetic
g. Biological magnification, in which the concentrations of some potential toxins in the environment chemicals because there is too little data and because of the difficulty of determining the effects of
increase as they pass through the successive trophic levels of food chains and webs. exposures to low levels of these chemicals.
- The damage to health resulting from exposure to a chemical is called the response. - Possible potential long-term effects on the human immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.
à Acute effect is an immediate or rapid harmful reaction ranging from dizziness and nausea to death. - The risks from trace levels may be minor.
à Chronic effect is a permanent or long-lasting consequence (kidney or liver damage, for example)
of exposure to a single dose or to repeated lower doses of a harmful substance. Potentially harmful chemicals found in many homes

CASE STUDY: Protecting Children from Toxic Chemicals.

• In 2005, the Environmental Working Group analyzed umbilical cord blood from 10 randomly selected
newborns in U.S. hospitals.
• 287 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancers in humans or animals, 217 damage the brain and nervous
systems in test animals, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in test animals.
• Young children are more susceptible because:
- They generally breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food per unit of body weight than
do adults.
- They are exposed to toxins in dust or soil when they put their fingers, toys, or other objects in their
- Children usually have less well-developed immune systems and body detoxification processes than

2. Scientists use live laboratory animals and non-animal tests to estimate toxicity
- The most widely used method for determining toxicity is to expose a population of live laboratory
animals to measured doses of a specific substance under controlled conditions.
- Lab mice and rats are widely used because their systems function somewhat like human systems.
à Results plotted in a dose-response curve. 5. Why do we know so little about the harmful effects of chemicals?
à Determine the lethal dose. - All methods for estimating toxicity levels and risks have serious limitations.
à Median lethal dose (LD50) is the dose that can kill 50% of the animals (usually rats and mice) in a - Only 10% of the 80,000+ registered synthetic chemicals in commercial use have been thoroughly
test population within an 18-day period. screened for toxicity, and only 2% have been adequately tested to determine whether they are
à Toxicity ratings and average lethal doses for humans LD50. carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens.
i. Supertoxic—Less than 5; less than 7 drops nerve gases, botulism toxin, mushroom toxin, and - Because of insufficient data and the high costs of regulation, federal and state governments do not
dioxin (TCDD). supervise the use of nearly 99.5% of the commercially available chemicals in the US.
ii. Extremely toxic—5–50; 7 drops to 1 teaspoon potassium cyanide, heroin, atropine, parathion,
and nicotine. 6. How far should we go in using pollution prevention and the precautionary principle?
iii. Very Toxic—50–500; 1 teaspoon to 1 ounce mercury salts, morphine, and codeine. - Some are pushing for much greater emphasis on pollution prevention.
iv. Moderately toxic—500–5,000; 1 ounce to 1 pint lead salts, DDT, sodium hydroxide, sodium - Do not release into the environment chemicals that we know or suspect can cause significant harm.
fluoride, sulfuric acid, caffeine, and carbon tetrachloride. à Look for harmless or less harmful substitutes for toxic and hazardous chemicals.
v. Slightly toxic—5,000–15,000; 1 pint to 1 quart ethyl alcohol, Lysol, soaps. à Recycle them within production processes to keep them from reaching the environment.
vi. Essentially nontoxic—15,000 or greater; more than 1 quart water, glycerin, and table sugar. - The precautionary principle advocates when there is reasonable but incomplete scientific evidence
of significant or irreversible harm to humans or the environment from a proposed or existing chemical
3. There are other ways to estimate the harmful effects of chemicals or technology, we should take action to prevent or reduce the risk instead of waiting for more
- Case reports provide information about people suffering some adverse health effect or death after conclusive scientific evidence.
exposure to a chemical. à New chemicals/technologies would be assumed to be harmful until scientific studies could show
- Epidemiological studies, which compare the health of people exposed to a particular chemical (the otherwise.
experimental group) with the health of a similar group of people not exposed to the agent (the control à Existing chemicals/technologies that appear to have a strong chance of causing significant harm
group), but limited by: would be removed from the market until their safety could be established.
à Too few people have been exposed to high enough levels of a toxic agent to detect statistically
significant differences.
- In 2000, a global treaty banned or phased out the use of 12 of the most notorious persistent organic 3. Most people do a poor job of evaluating risks
pollutants (POPs), also called the dirty dozen. The list includes DDT and eight other pesticides, PCBs, - Many people deny or shrug off the high-risk chances of death (or injury) from voluntary activities they
and dioxins. enjoy, such as:
- In 2007, the European Union enacted regulations known as REACH (for registration, evaluation, and à Motorcycling (1 death in 50 participants).
authorization of chemicals) that put more of the burden on industry to show that chemicals are safe. à Smoking (1 in 250 by age 70 for a pack-a-day smoker)
à REACH requires the registration of 30,000 untested, unregulated, and potentially harmful chemicals. à Hang gliding (1 in 1,250).
à The most hazardous substances are not approved for use if safer alternatives exist. à Driving (1 in 3,300 without a seatbelt and 1 in 6,070 with a seatbelt).
à When there is no alternative, producers must present a research plan aimed at finding one - Some of these same people may be terrified about their chances of being killed by:
- Individuals Matter: Ray Turner and His Refrigerator à A gun (1 in 28,000 in the United States).
à In 1992, most of the world’s nations signed an agreement to phase out the use of à Flu (1 in 130,000).
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-destroying chemicals. à Nuclear power plant accident (1 in 200,000).
à Ray Turner, a manager at Hughes Aircraft in California, searched for a cheap and simple substitute à West Nile virus (1 in 1 million).
for CFCs as cleaning agents. à Lightning (1 in 3 million).
à He found it in his refrigerator: lemon juice. à Commercial airplane crash (1 in 9 million).
à Today, circuit boards, computer boards, and computer chips are cleaned using inexpensive, CFC- à Snakebite (1 in 36 million).
free, acidic chemicals extracted from fruit. à Shark attack (1 in 281 million).
- Five factors can cause people to be being more or less risky than experts judge.
How do we perceive risks and how can we avoid the worst of them? à Fear.
1. The greatest health risks come from poverty, gender, and lifestyle choices à Degree of control we have.
- Risk analysis involves identifying hazards and evaluating their associated risks. à Whether a risk is catastrophic instead of chronic.
à Risk assessment. à Some people suffer from optimism bias, the belief that risks that apply to other people do not apply
à Ranking risks (comparative risk analysis). to them.
à Determining options and making decisions about reducing or eliminating risks (risk management). à Many risky things are highly pleasurable and give instant gratification.
à Informing decision makers and the public about risks (risk communication).
- The greatest risk by far is poverty. 4. Several principles can help us evaluate and reduce risk
à The high death toll ultimately resulting from poverty is caused by malnutrition, increased - Compare risks.
susceptibility to normally nonfatal infectious diseases, and often-fatal infectious diseases transmitted - Determine how much risk you are willing to accept.
by unsafe drinking water. - Evaluate the actual risk involved.
- The second greatest risk is gender. - Concentrate on evaluating and carefully making important lifestyle choices.
- The best ways to reduce one’s risk of premature death and serious health problems are to:
à avoid smoking and exposure to smoke à exercise regularly Three Big Ideas
à lose excess weight à drink little or no alcohol 1. We face significant hazards from infectious diseases such as flu, AIDS, diarrheal diseases, malaria, and
à reduce consumption of foods à avoid excess sunlight tuberculosis, and from exposure to chemicals that can cause cancers and birth defects, and disrupt the
containing cholesterol and saturated fats à practice safe sex human immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.
à eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, 2. Because of the difficulty in evaluating the harm caused by exposure to chemicals, many health scientists
call for much greater emphasis on pollution prevention.
3. Becoming informed, thinking critically about risks, and making careful choices can reduce the major risks
CASE STUDY: Death from Smoking. we face.
• Cigarette smoking kills an average of about 14,800 people every day.
• Cigarette smoking is the world’s most preventable major cause of suffering and premature death among Reviewing concepts of stem cell therapy and human reproductive technology and its connection to human
adults. health
• Tobacco contributes to the premature deaths of at least 5.4 million people annually from 25 illnesses, 1. Therapeutic cloning can produce stem cells with great medical potential
including: - A blastocyst can provide embryonic stem cells (ES cells), which can
a. Heart disease. d. Bronchitis. à differentiate in an embryo to give rise to all the specialized cell types of the body or
b. Stroke. e. Emphysema. à divide indefinitely when grown in laboratory culture.
c. Lung cancer and other cancers. - When the goal is to produce embryonic stem cells to use in therapeutic treatments, this process is
• In 2009, the CDC estimated that smoking kills about 443,000 Americans per year prematurely. called therapeutic cloning.
• Nicotine inhaled in tobacco smoke is highly addictive.
• Passive smoking, or breathing secondhand smoke, poses health hazards.

2. Estimating risks from technologies is not easy

- The more complex a technological system, and the more people needed to design and run it, the
more difficult it is to estimate the risks of using the system.
- The overall reliability or the probability that a person, device, or complex technological system will
complete a task without failing is the product of:
à Technology reliability.
à Human reliability.
2. Reproductive technologies increase our reproductive options SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
- New techniques can help many infertile couples.
à About 15% of couples wanting children experience infertility, the inability to conceive. [QUIZ 2]
© angelica garcia
à Drug therapies can help address problems of impotence (erectile dysfunction) and induce
à Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) require eggs to be harvested from the ovaries, fertilized,
and returned to a woman’s body. FOOD SECURITY AND SAFETY
à In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common assisted reproductive technology. Fertilization occurs Food Security
in a culture dish, and an early embryo is implanted in the uterus. Photosynthesis
• Photoautotrophs feed us, clothe us (think cotton), house us (think wood), and provide energy
for warmth, light, transport, and manufacturing.

Republic Act 10354

• “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.”

What is Food Security and Why is it Difficult to Attain?

1. Many people suffer from chronic health and malnutrition.
- Food security means having daily access to enough nutritious food to live an active and
healthy life.
- One of every six people in less-developed countries is not getting enough to eat, facing food
insecurity—living with chronic hunger and poor nutrition, which threatens their ability to lead
healthy and productive lives.
a. The root cause of food insecurity is poverty.
b. Other obstacles to food security are political upheaval, war, corruption, and bad
weather, including prolonged drought, flooding, and heat waves.
- To maintain good health and resist disease, individuals need fairly large amounts of
macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and smaller amounts of
micronutrients—vitamins and minerals.
- People who cannot grow or buy enough food to meet their basic energy needs suffer from
chronic undernutrition, or hunger.
- Many suffer from chronic malnutrition—a deficiency of protein and other key nutrients, which
weakens them, makes them more vulnerable to disease, and hinders the normal physical
and mental development of children.
à According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2010, there were an
estimated 925 million chronically undernourished or malnourished people.

2. Many people do not get enough vitamins and minerals.

- Many people suffer from a deficiency of one or more vitamins and minerals, usually vitamin
A, iron, and iodine.
- Some 250,000–500,000 children younger than age 6 go blind each year from a lack of vitamin ii. Crops are grown on large monoculture plantations, mostly for export to more-
A, and within a year, more than half of them die. developed countries.
- Lack of iron causes anemia which causes fatigue, makes infection more likely, and increases - Modern industrialized agriculture violates the three principles of sustainability by relying
a woman’s chances of dying from hemorrhage in childbirth. heavily on fossil fuels, reducing natural and crop biodiversity, and neglecting the
- One of every five people in the world suffers from iron deficiency. conservation and recycling of nutrients in topsoil.
- Chronic lack of iodine can cause stunted growth, mental retardation, and goiter.
- Almost one-third of the world’s people do not get enough iodine in their food and water. 3. Traditional agriculture often relies on low-input polycultures.
- According to the FAO and the WHO, eliminating this serious health problem would cost the - Traditional agriculture provides about 20% of the world’s food crops on about 75% of its
equivalent of only 2–3 cents per year for every person in the world. cultivated land, mostly in less-developed countries.
- There are two main types of traditional agriculture.
3. Many people have health problems from eating too much. a. Traditional subsistence agriculture supplements energy from the sun with the labor of
- Overnutrition occurs when food energy intake exceeds energy use and causes excess body humans and draft animals to produce enough crops for a farm family’s survival, with little
fat. left over to sell or store as a reserve for hard times.
- People who are underfed and underweight and those who are overfed and overweight à In traditional intensive agriculture, farmers increase their inputs of human and draft-
face similar health problems: lower life expectancy, greater susceptibility to disease and animal labor, animal manure for fertilizer, and water to obtain higher crop yields, some
illness, and lower productivity and life quality. of which can be sold for income.
- Globally about 925 million people have health problems because they do not get enough b. Many traditional farmers grow several crops on the same plot simultaneously, a practice
to eat, and about 1.1 billion people face health problems from eating too much. known as polyculture.
- About 68% of American adults are overweight and half of those people are obese. i. Crop diversity reduces the chance of losing most or all of the year’s food supply to
- Obesity plays a role in four of the top ten causes of death in the United States—heart disease, pests, bad weather, and other misfortunes.
stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. ii. Crops mature at different times, provide food throughout the year, reduce the input
of human labor, and keep the soil covered to reduce erosion from wind and water.
How is Food Produced? iii. Lessens need for fertilizer and water, because root systems at different depths in the
1. Food production has increased dramatically. soil capture nutrients and moisture efficiently.
- About 10,000 years ago, humans began to shift from hunting for and gathering their food to iv. Insecticides and herbicides are rarely needed because multiple habitats are created
growing it and raising animals for food and labor. for natural predators of crop-eating insects, and weeds have trouble competing with
- Today, three systems supply most of our food. the multitude of crop plants.
a. Croplands produce mostly grains. v. On average, such low-input polyculture produces higher yields than does high-input
b. Rangelands, pastures, and feedlots produce meat. monoculture
c. Fisheries and aquaculture (fish farming) provide us with seafood.
- About 66% of the world’s people survive primarily by eating three grain crops—rice, wheat, 4. A closer look at industrialized crop production.
and corn. Only a few species of mammals and fish provide most of the world’s meat and - Farmers can produce more food by increasing their land or their yields per acre.
seafood. - Since 1950, about 88% of the increase in global food production has come from using high-
- Since 1960, there has been an increase in global food production from all three of the major input industrialized agriculture to increase yields in a process called the green revolution.
food production systems because of technological advances. - Three steps of the green revolution:
a. Tractors, farm machinery and high-tech fishing equipment. a. First, develop and plant monocultures of selectively bred or genetically engineered high-
b. Irrigation. yield varieties of key crops such as rice, wheat, and corn.
c. Inorganic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, high-yield grain varieties, and industrialized b. Second, produce high yields by using large inputs of water and synthetic inorganic
production of livestock and fish. fertilizers, and pesticides.
c. Third, increase the number of crops grown per year on a plot of land through multiple
2. Industrialized crop production relies on high-input monocultures. cropping.
- Agriculture used to grow crops can be divided roughly into two types: - The first green revolution used high-input agriculture to dramatically increase crop yields in
a. Industrialized agriculture, or high-input agriculture, uses heavy equipment and large most of the world’s more-developed countries, especially the United States, between 1950
amounts of financial capital, fossil fuel, water, commercial inorganic fertilizers, and and 1970.
pesticides to produce single crops, or monocultures. - A second green revolution has been taking place since 1967. Fast-growing varieties of rice
i. Major goal of industrialized agriculture is to increase yield, the amount of food and wheat, specially bred for tropical and subtropical climates, have been introduced into
produced per unit of land. middle-income, less-developed countries such as India, China, and Brazil.
ii. Used on about 25% of the world’s cropland, mostly in more-developed countries, and à Producing more food on less land has helped to protect some biodiversity by preserving
produces about 80% of the world’s food. large areas of forests, grasslands, wetlands, and easily eroded mountain terrain that might
b. Plantation agriculture is a form of industrialized agriculture used primarily in tropical less- otherwise be used for farming.
developed countries. - Largely because of the two green revolutions, world grain production tripled between 1961
i. Grows cash crops such as bananas, soybeans, sugarcane, coffee, palm oil, and and 2009.
- People directly consume about 48% of the world’s grain production. About 35% is used to c. Currently, at least 70% of the food products on U.S. supermarket shelves contain some
feed livestock and indirectly consumed by people who eat meat and meat products. The form of genetically engineered food or ingredients, but no law requires the labeling of
remaining 17% (mostly corn) is used to make biofuels such as ethanol for cars and other GM products.
vehicles. d. Certified organic food, which is labeled as makes no use of genetically modified seeds
or ingredients.
SCIENCE FOCUS: Soil Is the Base of Life on Land. e. Bioengineers plan to develop new GM varieties of crops that are resistant to heat, cold,
• Soil is a complex mixture of eroded rock, mineral nutrients, decaying organic matter, water, air, herbicides, insect pests, parasites, viral diseases, drought, and salty or acidic soil. They
and billions of living organisms, most of them microscopic decomposers. also hope to develop crop plants that can grow faster and survive with little or no
• Soil formation begins when bedrock is slowly broken down into fragments and particles by irrigation and with less fertilizer and pesticides.
physical, chemical, and biological processes, called weathering.
• Soil, on which all terrestrial life depends, is a key component of the earth’s natural capital. It 6. Meat production has grown steadily.
supplies most of the nutrients needed for plant growth and purifies and stores water, while - Meat and animal products such as eggs and milk are good sources of high-quality protein
organisms living in the soil help to control the earth’s climate by removing carbon dioxide from and represent the world’s second major food-producing system.
the atmosphere and storing it as organic carbon compounds - Between 1961 and 2010, world meat production—mostly beef, pork, and poultry—increased
• Most soils that have developed over a long period of time, called mature soils, contain horizontal more than fourfold and average meat consumption per person more than doubled.
layers, or horizons. - Global meat production is likely to more than double again by 2050 as affluence rises and
• The roots of most plants and the majority of a soil’s organic matter are concentrated in a soil’s more middle-income people begin consuming more meat and animal products in rapidly
two upper layers, the O horizon of leaf litter and the A horizon of topsoil. developing countries such as China and India.
• In most mature soils, these two layers teem with bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and small insects, - About half of the world’s meat comes from livestock grazing on grass in unfenced
all interacting in complex ways. rangelands and enclosed pastures.
• Porous mixture of the partially decomposed bodies of dead plants and animals, called humus, - The other half is produced through an industrialized system in which animals are raised mostly
and inorganic materials such as clay, silt, and sand. in densely packed feedlots and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where
• The B horizon (subsoil) and the C horizon (parent material) contain most of a soil’s inorganic they are fed grain, fish meal, or fish oil, which are usually doctored with growth hormones
matter, mostly broken-down rock consisting of varying mixtures of sand, silt, clay, and gravel. and antibiotics.
• The spaces, or pores, between the solid organic and inorganic particles in the upper and lower - Feedlots and CAFOs, and the animal wastes and runoff associated with them, create serious
soil layers contain varying amounts of air (mostly nitrogen and oxygen gas) and water. environmental impacts on the air and water.
• Although topsoil is a renewable resource, it is renewed very slowly, which means it can be
depleted. Just 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) of topsoil can take hundreds of years to form, but it can 7. Fish and shellfish production have increased dramatically.
be washed or blown away in a matter of weeks or months when we plow grassland or clear a - The world’s third major food-producing system consists of fisheries and aquaculture.
forest and leave its topsoil unprotected. - A fishery is a concentration of particular aquatic species suitable for commercial harvesting
in a given ocean area or inland body of water.
5. Crossbreeding and genetic engineering produce varieties of crops and livestock. - Industrial fishing fleets harvest most of the world’s marine catch of wild fish.
- Crossbreeding through artificial selection has been used for centuries by farmers and - Fish and shellfish are also produced through aquaculture—the practice of raising marine and
scientists to develop genetically improved varieties of crops and livestock animals. freshwater fish in freshwater ponds and rice paddies or in underwater cages in coastal
a. Such selective breeding in this first gene revolution has yielded amazing results; ancient waters or in deeper ocean waters.
ears of corn were about the size of your little finger, and wild tomatoes were once the - Some fishery scientists warn that unless we reduce overfishing and ocean pollution, and slow
size of grapes. projected climate change, most of the world’s major commercial ocean fisheries could
b. Traditional crossbreeding is a slow process, typically taking 15 years or more to produce collapse by 2050.
a commercially valuable new crop variety, and it can combine traits only from species
that are genetically similar. 8. Industrialized food production requires huge inputs of energy
c. Typically, resulting varieties remain useful for only 5–10 years before pests and diseases - The industrialization of food production has been made possible by the availability of energy,
reduce their effectiveness. mostly from nonrenewable oil and natural gas
- Modern scientists are creating a second gene revolution by using genetic engineering to - Energy is needed to run farm machinery, irrigate crops, and produce synthetic pesticides
develop genetically improved strains of crops and livestock animals. and synthetic inorganic fertilizers, as well as to process food and transport it long distances
a. Genetic engineering involves altering an organism’s genetic material through adding, within and between countries.
deleting, or changing segments of its DNA to produce desirable traits or to eliminate - As a result, producing, processing, transporting, and consuming industrialized food result in
undesirable ones—a process that is also called gene splicing; resulting organisms are a large net energy loss.
called genetically modified organisms.
b. Developing a new crop variety through gene splicing is faster selective breeding, usually What Environmental Problems arise from Industrialized Food Production?
costs less, and allows for the insertion of genes from almost any other organism into crop 1. Producing food has major environmental impacts.
cells. - Spectacular increases in the world’s food production since 1950. The bad news is the harmful
environmental effects associated with such production increases.
- According to many analysts, agriculture has a greater total harmful environmental impact - Repeated annual applications of irrigation water in dry climates lead to the gradual
than any human activity. accumulation of salts in the upper soil layers—a soil degradation process called salinization
- These environmental effects may limit future food production and make it unsustainable. that stunts crop growth, lowers crop yields, and can eventually kill plants and ruin the land.
- Severe salinization has reduced yields on at least 10% of the world’s irrigated cropland, and
Food Production’s Harmful Environmental Effects almost 25% of irrigated cropland in the United States, especially in western states
- Irrigation can cause waterlogging, in which water accumulates underground and gradually
raises the water table; at least one-tenth of the world’s irrigated land suffers from
waterlogging, and the problem is getting worse.
- Excessive irrigation contributes to depletion of groundwater and surface water supplies.

5. Agriculture contributes to air pollution and projected climate change.

- Agricultural activities create a great deal of air pollution.
- They also account for more than 25% of the human-generated emissions of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases.
- Industrialized livestock production alone generates about 18% of the world’s greenhouse
gases; cattle and dairy cows release the greenhouse gas methane and methane is
generated by liquid animal manure stored in waste lagoons.
- Nitrous oxide, with about 300 times the warming capacity of CO2 per molecule, is released
in huge quantities by synthetic inorganic fertilizers as well as by livestock manure.

6. Food and biofuel production systems have caused major losses of biodiversity.
- Natural biodiversity and some ecological services are threatened when forests are cleared
and grasslands are plowed up and replaced with croplands used to produce food or
biofuels, such as ethanol.
- There is increasing loss of agrobiodiversity, the world’s genetic variety of animal and plant
2. Topsoil erosion is a serious problem in parts of the world. species.
- Soil erosion is the movement of soil components, especially surface litter and topsoil from one - In the United States, about 97% of the food plant varieties that were available to farmers in
place to another by the actions of wind and water. the 1940s no longer exist, except perhaps in small amounts in seed banks and in the
- Erosion of topsoil has two major harmful effects. backyards of a few gardeners.
à Loss of soil fertility through depletion of plant nutrients in topsoil. - The world’s genetic “library,” which is critical for increasing food yields, is rapidly shrinking.
à Water pollution in nearby surface waters, where eroded topsoil ends up as sediment. This
can kill fish and shellfish and clog irrigation ditches, boat channels, reservoirs, and lakes. 7. There is controversy over genetically engineered foods.
- By removing vital plant nutrients from topsoil and adding excess plant nutrients to aquatic - Controversy has arisen over the use of genetically modified (GM) food and other products
systems, we degrade the topsoil and pollute the water, and thus alter the carbon, nitrogen, of genetic engineering.
and phosphorus cycles. - Its producers and investors see GM food as a potentially sustainable way to solve world
hunger problems and improve human health.
3. Drought and human activities are degrading drylands. - Some critics consider it potentially dangerous “Frankenfood.”
- Desertification in arid and semiarid parts of the world threatens livestock and crop a. Recognize the potential benefits of GM crops.
contributions to the world’s food supply. b. Warn that we know too little about the long-term potential harm to human health and
- Desertification occurs when the productive potential of topsoil falls by 10% or more because ecosystems from the widespread use of such crops.
of a combination of prolonged drought and human activities that expose topsoil to erosion. c. Warn that GM organisms released into the environment may cause some unintended
- In its 2007 report on the Status of the World’s Forests, the FAO estimated that some 70% of harmful genetic and ecological effects.
world’s arid and semiarid lands used for agriculture are degraded and threatened by d. Genes in plant pollen from genetically engineered crops can spread among
desertification. nonengineered species. The new strains can then form hybrids with wild crop varieties,
which could reduce the natural genetic biodiversity of wild strains.
4. Excessive irrigation has serious consequences. e. Most scientists and economists who have evaluated the genetic engineering of crops
- Irrigation is important in boosting productivity of farms; the roughly 20% of the world’s believe that its potential benefits will eventually outweigh its risks.
cropland that is irrigated produces about 45% of the world’s food. f. Others have serious doubts about the ability of GM crops to increase food security
- Most irrigation water is a dilute solution of various salts that are picked up as the water flows compared to other more effective and sustainable alternative solutions.
over or through soil and rocks.
CONNECTIONS: GM crops and organic food prices
• The possible unintended spread of GM crop genes threatens the production of certified organic
crops, which must be grown in the absence of such genes.
• Because organic farmers have to perform expensive tests to detect GMOs or take costly - Rangeland grazing and industrialized livestock production cause about 55% of all topsoil
planting measures to prevent the spread of GMOs to their fields from nearby crop fields, they erosion and sediment pollution, and 33% of the water pollution that results from runoff of
have to raise the prices of their produce. nitrogen and phosphorous from excessive inputs of synthetic fertilizers.
• This makes it more difficult for organic farmers to compete with the industrial farming operations - The use of fossil fuels energy pollutes the air and water, and emits greenhouse gases.
that generate the GM genes in the first place. - Use of antibiotics is widespread in industrialized livestock production facilities.
a. 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are added to animal feed to prevent the
Genetically modified crops and foods have advantages and disadvantages spread of diseases in crowded feedlots and CAFOs and to make the livestock animals
Advantages Disadvantages grow faster.
Need less fertilizer Unpredictable genetic and ecological effects b. Widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production is an important factor in the rise of
Need less water Harmful toxins and new allergens in food genetic resistance among many disease-causing microbes.
More resistant to insects, diseases, frost, and No increase in yields à Reduces the effectiveness of some antibiotics used to treat infectious diseases in
drought humans.
Grow faster More pesticide-resistant insects and herbicide- à Promotes the development of new and aggressive disease organisms that are resistant
resistant weeds to all but a very few antibiotics currently available.
May need less pesticides or tolerate higher Could disrupt seed market - Animal waste produced by the American meat industry amounts to about 130 times the
levels of herbicides amount of waste produced by the country’s human population.
May reduce energy levels Lower genetic diversity
Animal feedlots and confined animal feeding operations have advantages and disadvantages
8. There are limits to expansion of the green revolution. Advantages Disadvantages
- Factors that have limited the current and future success of the green revolution include: Increased meat production Large inputs of grain, fish meal, water, and fossil
a. Without huge inputs of inorganic fertilizer, pesticides, and water, most green revolution Higher profits fuels
and genetically engineered crop varieties produce yields that are no higher (and are Less land use Greenhouse gas emissions
sometimes lower) than those from traditional strains. Reduced overgrazing Concentration of animal wastes that pollute
b. High inputs cost too much for most subsistence farmers in less-developed countries. water
c. Scientists point out that continuing to increase these inputs eventually produces no Reduced soil erosion Use of antibiotics can increase genetic
additional increase in crop yields. Protection of biodiversity resistance to microbes in humans
d. Since 1978, the amount of irrigated land per person has been declining, due to
population growth, wasteful use of irrigation water, soil salinization, and depletion of both 10. Aquaculture can harm aquatic ecosystems.
underground water supplies (aquifers) and surface water, and the fact that most of the - Advantages of aquaculture:
world’s farmers do not have enough money to irrigate their crops. a. High efficiency. c. Can reduce overharvesting of
e. We can get more crops per drop of irrigation water by using known methods and b. High yield in small volume of fisheries.
technologies to greatly improve the efficiency of irrigation. water. d. Low fuel use.
f. Clearing tropical forests and irrigating arid land could more than double the area of the e. High profits.
world’s cropland, but much of this land has poor soil fertility, steep slopes, or both. - Disadvantages:
g. Cultivating such land usually is expensive, is unlikely to be sustainable, and reduces a. Using fishmeal and fish oil to feed farmed fish can deplete populations of wild fish. About
biodiversity by degrading and destroying wildlife habitats 37% of the wild marine fish catch is used in the production of fish meal and fish oil.
h. During this century, fertile croplands in coastal areas are likely to be flooded by rising sea b. Fish such as farmed salmon raised on fishmeal or fish oil can be contaminated with long-
levels resulting from projected climate change. lived toxins such as PCBs and dioxins. Aquaculture producers contend that the
i. Food production could drop sharply in some major food-producing areas because of concentrations of these chemicals are not high enough to threaten human health.
increased drought and longer and more intense heat waves, also resulting from c. Fish farms produce large amounts of wastes which can pollute aquatic ecosystems and
projected climate change. fisheries.
d. Farmed fish can escape their pens and mix with wild fish, changing and possibly
9. Industrialized meat production has harmful environmental consequences. disrupting the gene pools of wild populations.
- Producing meat by using feedlots and other confined animal production facilities increases e. Large inputs of land, feed, and water
meat production, reduces overgrazing, and yields higher profits. f. Large waste output
- Such systems use large amounts of energy (mostly fossil fuels) and water and produce huge g. Loss of mangrove forests and estuaries
amounts of animal waste that sometimes pollute surface water and groundwater and h. Some species fed with grain, fish meal, or fish oil
saturate the air with their odors and emitting large quantities of climate-changing i. Dense populations vulnerable to disease
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- Meat produced by industrialized agriculture is artificially cheap because most of its harmful
environmental and health costs are not included in the market prices.
- Overgrazing and soil compaction and erosion by livestock have degraded about 20% of the
world’s grasslands and pastures.
How can we protect crops from pests more sustainably? ii. Safer to use and less damaging to the environment than are many older
1. Nature controls the populations of most pests. pesticides.
- A pest is any species that interferes with human welfare by competing with us for food, iii. Genetic engineering is being used to develop pest-resistant crop strains and
invading homes, lawns and gardens, destroying building materials, spreading disease, genetically altered crops that produce natural pesticides.
invading ecosystems, or simply being a nuisance.
- Worldwide, only about 100 species of plants (“weeds”), animals (mostly insects), fungi, and 4. Synthetic pesticides have several disadvantages.
microbes cause most of the damage to the crops we grow. - Opponents of widespread pesticide use believe that the harmful effects of these chemicals
- In natural ecosystems and many polyculture agroecosystems, natural enemies (predators, outweigh their benefits.
parasites, and disease organisms) control the populations of most potential pest species. a. Accelerate the development of genetic resistance to pesticides in pest organisms.
à Spiders kill far more crop-eating insects every year than humans do by using chemicals. b. They can put farmers on a financial treadmill.
- When we clear forests and grasslands, plant monoculture crops, and douse fields with c. Some insecticides kill natural predators and parasites that help control the pest
chemicals that kill pests, we upset many of these natural population checks and balances populations.
that help to maintain biodiversity. d. Pesticides do not stay put and can pollute the environment.
e. Some pesticides harm wildlife.
2. We use pesticides to help control pest populations. f. Some pesticides threaten human health.
- Development of a variety of synthetic pesticides—chemicals used to kill or control
populations of organisms that we consider undesirable such as insects, weeds, rats, and CASE STUDY: Ecological Surprises: The Law of Unintended Consequences.
mice. • In the 1950s, dieldrin (a DDT relative) was used to eliminate malaria in North Borneo. This started
- Common types of pesticides include insecticides (insect killers), herbicides (weed killers), an unexpected chain of negative effects.
fungicides (fungus killers), and rodenticides (rat and mouse killers). • Small insect-eating lizards that lived in the houses died after eating dieldrin-contaminated
- Plants produce chemicals called biopesticides to ward off, deceive, or poison the insects insects. Cats died after feeding on the lizards. Rats flourished and villagers became threatened
and herbivores that feed on them. by plague carried by rat fleas.
- Since 1950, pesticide use has increased more than 50-fold, and most of today’s pesticides • The WHO successfully parachuted healthy cats onto the island to help control the rats.
are 10–100 times more toxic than those used in the 1950s. • The villagers’ roofs fell in. The dieldrin had killed wasps and other insects that fed on a type of
- Use of biopesticides is on the rise. caterpillar that was not affected by the insecticide. The caterpillar population exploded, and
- Broad-spectrum agents are toxic to many pests, but also to beneficial species. Examples are ate the leaves used to thatch roofs.
chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds, such as DDT, and organophosphate compounds, • Ultimately, both malaria and the unexpected effects of the spraying program were brought
such as malathion and parathion. under control.
- Selective, or narrow spectrum, agents are effective against a narrowly defined group of
organisms. Examples are algaecides for algae and fungicides for fungi. CONNECTIONS: Pesticides and Organic Foods.
- Pesticides vary in their persistence, the length of time they remain deadly in the environment. • According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you could reduce your pesticide intake
a. DDT and related compounds remain in the environment for years and can be biologically by up to 90% by eating only organic versions of 12 types of fruits and vegetables that tend to
magnified in food chains and webs. have the highest pesticide residues (peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, cherries,
b. Organophosphates are active for days or weeks and are not biologically magnified but strawberries, lettuce, imported grapes, spinach, pears, and potatoes).
can be highly toxic to humans. • Pesticide proponents say the residue concentrations in foods treated with pesticides are too low
- In the United States, about 25% of pesticide use is on houses, gardens, lawns, parks, playing to cause harm.
fields, swimming pools, and golf courses, with the average lawn receiving ten times more • Some scientists urge consumers to play it safe using the precautionary principle and buying only
synthetic pesticides per unit of land area than an equivalent amount of cropland. organic versions of the dirty dozen foods.
- In 1962, biologist Rachel Carson warned against relying primarily on synthetic organic
chemicals to kill insects and other species we regard as pests. - Banned or unregistered pesticides may be manufactured in one country and exported to
other countries.
3. Synthetic pesticides have several advantages. - In what environmental scientists call a circle of poison, or the boomerang effect, residues of
- Proponents contend that their benefits outweigh their harmful effects. some banned or unapproved chemicals used in synthetic pesticides exported to other
a. Save human lives. DDT and other insecticides probably have prevented the premature countries can return to the exporting countries on imported food.
deaths of at least 7 million people from insect-transmitted diseases such as malaria, - The wind can also carry persistent pesticides from one country to another.
bubonic plague, and typhus. - In 1998, more than 50 countries developed an international treaty that requires exporting
b. Increase food supplies by reducing food losses from pests. countries to have informed consent from importing counties for exports of 22 synthetic
c. Can increase profits for farmers. pesticides and 5 industrial chemicals.
d. They work fast. - In 2000, more than 100 countries developed an international agreement to ban or phase
e. When used properly, the health risks of some pesticides are very low, relative to their out the use of 12 especially hazardous persistent organic pollutants. The United States has
benefits, according to pesticide industry scientists. not signed this international agreement.
f. Newer pesticides are safer and more effective than many older ones.
i. Greater use is being made of chemicals derived originally from plants.
Reducing Exposure to Insecticides - Agriculture is a financially risky business because farmers have a good or bad year
1. Grow some of your food using organic methods depending on factors over which they have little control: weather, crop prices, crop pests
2. Buy certified organic food and diseases, loan interest rates, and global markets.
3. Wash and scrub all fresh fruits, vegetables, and wild foods you pick - Governments use two main approaches to influence food production:
4. Eat less meat, no meat, or certified organically produced meat à Control prices.
5. Trim the fat from the meat à Provide subsidies.
- To improve food security, some analysts urge governments to establish special programs
5. There are alternatives to synthetic pesticides. focused on saving children from the harmful health effects of poverty.
- Many scientists believe we should greatly increase the use of biological, ecological, and a. Immunizing more children against childhood diseases.
other alternative methods for controlling pests and diseases that affect crops and human b. Preventing dehydration from diarrhea by giving infants a mixture of sugar and salt in
health. Here are some of these alternatives: water.
a. Fool the pest. A variety of cultivation practices can be used to fake out pests. c. Preventing blindness by giving children an inexpensive vitamin A capsule twice a year.
b. Provide homes for pest enemies.
c. Implant genetic resistance. How can we produce food more sustainably?
d. Bring in natural enemies. Use biological control by importing natural predators, parasites, 1. Reduce soil erosion.
and disease-causing bacteria and viruses. - Soil conservation involves using a variety of ways to reduce soil erosion and restore soil fertility,
e. Use insect perfumes. mostly by keeping the soil covered with vegetation.
f. Bring in the hormones. - Some of the methods farmers can use to reduce soil erosion:
g. Reduce use of synthetic herbicides to control weeds. a. Terracing and contour planting are ways to grow food on steep slopes without depleting
6. Integrated pest management is a component of more sustainable agriculture. b. Strip cropping involves planting alternating strips of a row crop (such as corn or cotton)
- Many pest control experts and farmers believe the best way to control crop pests is a and another crop that completely covers the soil, called a cover crop (such as alfalfa,
carefully designed integrated pest management (IPM) program. clover, rye, or a grass-legume mixture).
- Farmers develop a carefully designed control program that uses a combination of c. Alley cropping, or agroforestry involves one or more crops planted together in strips or
cultivation, biological, and chemical tools and techniques. alleys between trees and shrubs, which provide shade.
- The overall aim of IPM is to reduce crop damage to an economically tolerable level. d. Farmers can establish windbreaks, or shelterbelts, of trees around crop fields to reduce
- Farmers first use biological methods (natural predators, parasites, and disease organisms) wind erosion.
and cultivation controls (such as rotating crops, altering planting time, and using large e. Conservation tillage farming by using special tillers and planting machines that drill seeds
machines to vacuum up harmful bugs). directly through crop residues into the undisturbed soil.
- They apply small amounts of insecticides—mostly based on those naturally produced by f. Retire the estimated one-tenth of the world’s marginal cropland that is highly erodible
plants—only when insect or weed populations reach a threshold where the potential cost of and accounts for the majority of the world’s topsoil erosion.
pest damage to crops outweighs the cost of applying the pesticide.
- Broad-spectrum, long-lived pesticides are not used, and different chemicals are used Soil Conservation Methods
alternately to slow the development of genetic resistance and to avoid killing predators of
pest species.
- A well-designed IPM program can reduce synthetic pesticide use and pest control costs by
50–65%, without reducing crop yields and food quality.
- IPM can also reduce inputs of fertilizer and irrigation water, and slow the development of
genetic resistance, because pests are attacked less often and with lower doses of pesticides.
- Disadvantages of IPM:
a. It requires expert knowledge about each pest situation and takes more time than does
using conventional pesticides.
b. Methods developed for a crop in one area might not apply to areas with even slightly
different growing conditions.
c. Initial costs may be higher, although long-term costs typically are lower than those of
using conventional pesticides.
d. Widespread use of IPM is hindered in the United States and a number of other countries
by government subsidies for using synthetic chemical pesticides, as well as by opposition 2. Restore soil fertility.
from pesticide manufacturers, and a shortage of IPM experts - Topsoil conservation is the best way to maintain soil fertility, with restoring some of the lost
plant nutrients being the next option.
How can we improve Food Security? - Organic fertilizer from plant and animal materials.
1. Use government policies to improve food production and security. a. Animal manure: the dung and urine of cattle, horses, poultry, and other farm animals
adding organic nitrogen and stimulating the growth of beneficial soil bacteria and fungi.
b. Green manure: consists of freshly cut or growing green vegetation that is plowed into the Switch to salt-tolerant crops Install underground drainage systems
topsoil to increase the organic matter and humus available to the next crop. (expensive)
c. Compost is produced when microorganisms in soil break down organic matter such as
leaves, crop residues, food wastes, paper, and wood in the presence of oxygen. 4. Practice more sustainable aquaculture.
- Organic agriculture uses only organic fertilizers and crop rotation to replenish the nutrients. - Open-ocean aquaculture.
- Synthetic inorganic fertilizers are usually inorganic compounds that contain nitrogen, - More consumers choose fish species that feed on plants rather than on other fish.
phosphorus, and potassium. - Polyaquaculture operations raise fish or shrimp along with algae, seaweeds, and shellfish in
a. Inorganic fertilizer use has grown more than 900% since 1950, and it now accounts for coastal lagoons, ponds, and tanks.
about one-fourth of the world’s crop yield. - Protect mangrove forests and estuaries
b. These fertilizers can run off the land and pollute nearby bodies of water and coastal - Improve management of wastes
estuaries where rivers empty into the sea. - Reduce escape of aquaculture species into the wild
c. They do not replace organic matter. To completely restore nutrients to topsoil, both - Raise some species in deeply submerged cages
inorganic and organic fertilizers should be used. - Set up self-sustaining aquaculture systems that combine aquatic plants, fish, and shellfish
- Certify and label sustainable forms of aquaculture
3. Reduce soil salinization and desertification.
- One way to prevent and deal with soil salinization is to reduce the amount of water that is 5. Produce meat more efficiently and eat less meat.
put onto crop fields through use of modern efficient irrigation. - Meat production and consumption account for the largest contribution to the ecological
a. Drip, or trickle irrigation, also called microirrigation, is the most efficient way to deliver footprints of most individuals in affluent nations.
small amounts of freshwater to crops precisely. - If everyone in the world today was on the average U.S. meat-based diet, the current annual
b. These systems drastically reduce freshwater waste because 90–95% of the water input global grain harvest could sustainably feed only about one-third of the world’s current
reaches the crops. population.
c. By using less freshwater, they also reduce the amount of harmful salt that irrigation water - More sustainable meat production and consumption involves shifting from less grain-efficient
leaves in the soil. forms of animal protein, such as beef, pork, and carnivorous fish produced by aquaculture,
- Reducing desertification is not easy because we can’t control the timing and location of to more grain-efficient forms, such as poultry and herbivorous farmed fish.
prolonged droughts caused by changes in weather patterns. - Eating less meat by having one meatless day per week.
- We can reduce population growth, overgrazing, deforestation, and destructive forms of - Healthier to eat less meat.
planting, irrigation, and mining, which have left much land vulnerable to soil erosion and thus - Replace meat with a balanced vegetarian diet.
- Work to decrease the human contribution to projected climate change, which is expected 6. Shift to more sustainable food production.
to increase severe and prolonged droughts in larger areas of the world during this century. - Industrialized agriculture produces large amounts of food at reasonable prices, but is
- Restore land suffering from desertification by planting trees. unsustainable because it:
a. Relies heavily on fossil fuels.
Three types of systems commonly used to irrigate crops b. Reduces biodiversity and agrobiodiversity.
c. Reduces the recycling of plant nutrients back to topsoil.
- More sustainable, low-input agriculture has a number of major components.
a. Organic farming
à Sharply reduces the harmful environmental effects of industrialized farming and our
exposure to pesticide residues.
à Encourages more humane treatment of animals used for food and is a more
economically just system for farm workers and farmers.
à Requires more human labor than conventional industrial farming requires.
à Yields can be lower but farmers do not have to use or pay for expensive synthetic
pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, and they usually receive higher prices for their crops.
b. Organic polyculture.
à A diversity of organic crops is grown on the same plot. For example, a diversified
organic vegetable farm may grow forty or more different crops on one piece of land.
à Use polyculture to grow perennial crops—crops that grow back year after year on their
à Helps to conserve and replenish topsoil, requires and wastes less water, and reduces
Ways to Prevent Soil Salination and Ways to Clean it Up the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
Prevention Cleanup à Reduces the air and water pollution associated with conventional industrialized
Reduce Irrigation Flush soil (expensive and wastes water) agriculture.
Use more efficient irrigation methods Stop growing crops for 2-5 years c. Shift from using imported fossil fuel to relying more on solar energy for food production.
Soil conservation Greenhouse gas emissions
Subsidies for sustainable farming Subsidies for unsustainable farming
SCIENCE FOCUS: The Land Institute and Perennial Polyculture.
• Over 3 decades ago, plant geneticist Wes Jackson co-founded The Land Institute in the U.S. Ways to Eat More Sustainably
state of Kansas which uses natural systems agriculture to grow a polyculture of edible perennial 1. Eat less meat, no meat, or organically 3. Buy certified organic food
plants to supplement traditional annual monoculture crops and to help reduce the latter’s certified meat 4. Eat locally grown food
harmful environmental effects. 2. Use organic farming to grow some of 5. Compost food wastes
• Benefits of this approach include: your food 6. Cut food waste
a. No need to till the soil and replant seeds each year. This reduces topsoil erosion and water
pollution from eroded sediment, because the unplowed topsoil is not exposed to wind and 7. Buy locally grown food, grow more food locally, and cut food waste.
rain. - Increase sustainability by buying more of our food locally or at least regionally grown, in other
b. Reduced need for irrigation because the deep roots of such perennials retain more water words “becoming a locavore.”
than do the shorter roots of annuals. - Participate in community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs in which they buy shares of
c. Little or no need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and thus little or no pollution from a local farmer’s crop and receive a box of fruits and vegetables each week during the
these sources. summer and fall.
d. Perennial polycultures also remove and store more carbon from the atmosphere, and - People can plant gardens and raise chickens in suburban backyards.
growing them requires less energy than does growing crops in conventional monocultures. - In cities, they grow food in vacant lots, on rooftops, in window boxes, and in raised beds in
unused or partially used parking lots (a growing practice known as asphalt gardening).
CONNECTIONS: Corn, Ethanol, and Food Riots - People can sharply cut food waste as an important component of improving food security.
• Some call for ending U.S. government subsidies for growing corn to make ethanol fuel for cars
and for returning about one-fourth of all U.S. cropland to food production. Three Big ideas
• Corn ethanol production has to be subsidized because it takes about as much energy to grow 1. About 925 million people have health problems because they do not get enough to eat and
the corn and convert it to ethanol as we get by burning the ethanol. 1.1 billion people face health problems from eating too much.
• The recent shift to growing more corn to feed cars instead of people has also increased corn 2. Modern industrialized agriculture has a greater harmful impact on the environment than any
prices and led to food riots in some low-income, corn-importing countries such as Mexico, other human activity.
Indonesia, and Egypt. 3. More sustainable forms of food production will greatly reduce the harmful environmental
impacts of industrialized food production systems while likely increasing food security.
- Five major strategies to help farmers and consumers make the transition to more sustainable
agriculture: Food Security and GMOs
a. First, greatly increase research on more sustainable organic farming and perennial What are GMOs?
polyculture, and on improving human nutrition. • A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is a plant, animal, microorganism, or other organism
b. Second, establish education and training programs in more sustainable agriculture for whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene
students, farmers, and government agricultural officials. splicing) gene modification or transgenic technology.
c. Third, set up an international fund to give farmers in poor countries access to various types • Genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially inserted into the genes of an
of more sustainable agriculture. unrelated plant or animal through genetic engineering or genetic modification
d. Fourth, replace government subsidies for environmentally harmful forms of industrialized • It aims to address issues of food security, agriculture, drug production and nutrition
agriculture with subsidies that encourage more sustainable agriculture.
e. Fifth, mount a massive program to educate consumers about the true environmental and
health costs of the food they buy. This would help them understand why the current
system is unsustainable, and it would help build political support for including the harmful
costs of food production in the market prices of food.

More sustainable, low-input food production has a number of major components

More Less
High-yield polyculture Soil erosion
Organic fertilizers Soil salination
Biological pest control Water pollution
Integrated pest management Aquifer depletion
Efficient irrigation Overgrazing
Perennial crops Overfishing
Crop rotation Loss of biodiversity and agrobiodiversity
Water-efficient crops Fossil fuel use
• With the help of genetic engineering techniques, certain desirable traits are introduced in crops,
which include pest resistance, improvement in the crop's nutrient profile, or resistance to
environmental conditions and chemical treatments.
• The darker side of genetic engineering in food is that the processes involve the use of herbicides
and contamination of genes in crops.
• Horizontal gene transfer and recombination can give rise to new pathogens. It may introduce
virulency among pathogens. If certain resistance genes spread in the harmful bacteria
themselves, we may waste our defenses to diseases. By genetically engineering food, we are in
a way ignoring the possibility that transgenic life forms could be harmful.
• Genetically engineered crops may supersede natural weeds. Genetic engineering in food may
prove to be dangerous to other weeds and natural organisms. The self-replication of genetically
modified life forms might render us helpless in controlling their production and growth.
• If not done with great care, genetic engineering can have negative side effects on food. It can
lead to undesirable mutations in genes. It may produce allergies in crops. Moreover, in case of
genetically modified seeds, all of them are identical in their genetic structure. This might cause
a widespread failure of a crop due to a pest attack. Some argue that in refining the appearance
and taste of food, its nutritional value may be compromised.
• This makes us realize that the seemingly rosy picture of genetic engineering in food may prove
to be thorny too. Genetic engineering should be used with responsibility. High standards should
be exercised to ensure safety in the genetically engineered foods. The bottom line is that before
we introduce genetic alterations in food, we should have a clear understanding of their
dangers. Failing to understand the negative aspects of genetic modification of foods, may pose
a risk to our health and safety.


Water Resources and Water Pollution
Water’s Life-Supporting Properties
1. Hydrogen bonds are weak bonds important in the chemistry of life
- The hydrogen atoms of a water molecule are attached to
oxygen by polar covalent bonds.
- Because of these polar bonds and the wide V shape of the
molecule, water is a polar molecule—that is, it has an unequal
Common GMOs
distribution of charges.
1. Corn 6. Rapeseed (Canola)
- This partial positive charge allows each hydrogen to be
2. Soy 7. Potatoes
attracted to a nearby atom that has a partial negative charge.
3. Cottonseed 8. Tomatoes
- Weak hydrogen bonds form between water molecules.
4. Papaya 9. Dairy Products
à Each hydrogen atom of a water molecule can form a
5. Rice 10. Peas
hydrogen bond with a nearby partially negative oxygen atom
Figure 1 Water Molecule
of another water molecule.
Ethical Dilemmas: Pros and Cons of GMO
à The negative (oxygen) pole of a water molecule can form
• Genetic engineering to introduce new traits in plants, can lead to increase in their yield, improve
hydrogen bonds to two hydrogen atoms.
agricultural practices, and improve the nutritional value of food.
à Thus, each H2O molecule can hydrogen-bond to as many as four partners.
• Plants tolerant to weed killers, allow farmers to kill weeds without worrying about the crops. The
advantages of herbicide or insecticide-resistant crops are similar. The future of genetically
2. Hydrogen bonds make liquid water cohesive
engineering crops could be the development of edible vaccines.
- The tendency of molecules of the same kind to stick together
• Development of potatoes with edible vaccines for diarrhea, and cultivation of tobacco with
is cohesion.
antibodies for dental caries, is in the stage of pre-clinical human trials.
à Cohesion is much stronger for water than for other liquids.
• By the use of genetic engineering, genes can be transferred to a developed variety of crop to
à Most plants depend upon cohesion to help transport water
achieve a higher yield.
and nutrients from their roots to their leaves.
• The transfer of genes which impart the characteristic of greater yield, is critical. But it is also one
- The tendency of two kinds of molecules to stick together is
of the most beneficial applications of genetic engineering in food.
- Cohesion is related to surface tension—a measure of how
difficult it is to break the surface of a liquid.
à Hydrogen bonds give water high surface tension, making it behave as if it were coated à The pH scale describes how acidic or basic a
with an invisible film. solution is.
à Water striders stand on water without breaking the water surface. à The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 the most
acidic and 14 the most basic.
3. Water’s hydrogen bonds moderate temperature à Each pH unit represents a 10-fold change in the
- Thermal energy is the energy associated with the random movement of atoms and concentration of H+ in a solution.
molecules. - A buffer is a substance that minimizes changes in pH.
à Thermal energy in transfer from a warmer to a cooler body of matter is defined as heat. Buffers
à Temperature measures the intensity of heat—that is, the average speed of molecules in a à accept H+ when it is in excess and
body of matter. à donate H+ when it is depleted.
- Heat must be absorbed to break hydrogen bonds.
- Heat is released when hydrogen bonds form. Will we have enough usable water?
- To raise the temperature of water, hydrogen bonds between water molecules must be 1. Freshwater is an irreplaceable resource that we are
broken before the molecules can move faster. Thus, managing poorly.
à when warming up, water absorbs a large amount of heat and - Freshwater is relatively pure and contains few
à when water cools, water molecules slow down, more hydrogen bonds form, and a dissolved salts.
considerable amount of heat is released. - Earth has a precious layer of water—most of it saltwater—covering about 71% of the earth’s
- Earth’s giant water supply moderates temperatures, helping to keep temperatures within surface.
limits that permit life. - Water is an irreplaceable chemical with unique properties that keep us and other forms of
- Water’s resistance to temperature change also stabilizes ocean temperatures, creating a life alive. A person could survive for several weeks without food, but for only a few days
favorable environment for marine life. without water.
- When a substance evaporates, the surface of the liquid that remains behind cools down; - Huge amounts of water are needed to supply us with food, shelter, and meet our other daily
this is the process of evaporative cooling. needs and wants.
- This cooling occurs because the molecules with the greatest energy leave the surface. - Water helps to sculpt the earth’s surface, moderate climate, and remove and dilute wastes
and pollutants.
4. Ice floats because it is less dense than liquid water - Water is one of our most poorly managed resources.
- Water can exist as a gas, liquid, or solid. a. People waste and pollute it.
- Water is less dense as a solid than a liquid because of hydrogen bonding. b. We charge too little for making it available.
- When water freezes, each molecule forms a stable hydrogen bond with its neighbors. - Concerns regarding water include:
à As ice crystals form, the molecules are less densely packed than in liquid water. a. Access to freshwater is a global health issue. Every day an average of 3,900 children
à Because ice is less dense than water, it floats. younger than age 5 die from waterborne infectious diseases.
b. An economic issue because it is vital for reducing poverty and producing food and
5. Water is the Solvent of Life energy.
- A solution is a liquid consisting of a uniform mixture c. A women’s and children’s issue in developing countries because poor women and girls
of two or more substances. often are responsible for finding and carrying daily supplies of water.
à The dissolving agent is the solvent. d. A national and global security issue because of increasing tensions within and between
à The substance that is dissolved is the solute. nations over access to limited water resources that they share.
à An aqueous solution is one in which water is the e. An environmental issue because excessive withdrawal of water from rivers and aquifers
solvent. results in dropping water tables, lower river flows, shrinking lakes, and losses of wetlands.
- Water’s versatility as a solvent result from the
polarity of its molecules. 2. Most of the earth’s freshwater is not available to us.
- Polar or charged solutes dissolve when water - About 0.024% is readily available to us as liquid freshwater in accessible groundwater
molecules surround them, forming aqueous deposits and in lakes, rivers, and streams.
solutions. - The rest is in the salty oceans, in frozen polar ice caps and glaciers, or in deep underground
- Table salt is an example of a solute that will go into solution in water. and inaccessible locations.
- The world’s freshwater supply is continually collected, purified, recycled, and distributed in
6. The chemistry of life is sensitive to acidic and basic conditions the earth’s hydrologic cycle—the movement of water in the seas, in the air, and on land,
- In liquid water, a small percentage of water molecules break apart into ions. which is driven by solar energy and gravity, except when:
à Some are hydrogen ions (H+). a. Overloaded with pollutants.
à Some are hydroxide ions (OH–). b. We withdraw water from underground and surface water supplies faster than it is
à Both types are very reactive. replenished.
- A substance that donates hydrogen ions to solutions is called an acid. c. We alter long-term precipitation rates and distribution patterns of freshwater through our
- A base is a substance that reduces the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution. influence on projected climate change.
- Freshwater is not distributed evenly. save real freshwater by importing virtual water through food imports, instead of producing food
a. Differences in average annual precipitation and economic resources divide the world’s domestically.
continents, countries, and people into water haves and have-nots. • Large exporters of virtual water are the European Union, the United States, Brazil, and Australia.
b. Canada, with only 0.5% of the world’s population, has 20% of the world’s liquid freshwater, However, a fourth of the U.S. corn crop is now being converted to ethanol to “feed” cars instead
while China, with 19% of the world’s people, has only 7% of the supply. of people and livestock.

3. Groundwater and surface water are critical resources. 5. Freshwater shortages will grow.
- Some precipitation infiltrates the ground and percolates downward through spaces in soil, - The main factors that cause water scarcity in any particular area are a dry climate, drought,
gravel, and rock until an impenetrable layer of rock stops this groundwater—one of our most too many people using a water supply more quickly than it can be replenished, and wasteful
important sources of freshwater. use of water.
a. The zone of saturation is where the spaces are completely filled with water. - More than 30 countries—most of them in the Middle East and Africa—now face water
b. The top of this groundwater zone is the water table. scarcity.
c. Aquifers: underground caverns and porous layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock through - By 2050, some 60 countries, many of them in Asia, with three-fourths of the world’s population,
which groundwater flows—typically moving only a meter or so (about 3 feet) per year are likely to be suffering from water stress.
and rarely more than 0.3 meter (1 foot) per day. - In 2009, about 1 billion people in the world currently lack regular access to enough clean
d. Watertight layers of rock or clay below such aquifers keep the water from escaping water for drinking, cooking, and washing.
deeper into the earth. - By 2025, at least 3 billion people are likely to lack access to clean water.
e. Most aquifers are replenished naturally by precipitation that percolates downward - We can increase freshwater supplies in various parts of the world by:
through soil and rock, a process called natural recharge while some are recharged from a. withdrawing groundwater; building dams and reservoirs to store runoff in rivers for release
the side by lateral recharge from nearby rivers and streams. as needed
f. Nonrenewable aquifers are found deep underground and were formed tens of b. transporting surface water from one area to another; and converting saltwater to
thousands of years ago. freshwater (desalination)
- Surface water is the freshwater from precipitation and snowmelt that flows across the earth’s c. reducing unnecessary waste of freshwater
land surface and into lakes, wetlands, streams, rivers, estuaries, and ultimately to the oceans.
a. Precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere by How can we increase water supplies?
evaporation is called surface runoff. 1. Groundwater is being withdrawn faster than it is replenished in some areas.
b. The land from which surface water drains into a particular river, lake, wetland, or other - Aquifers provide drinking water for nearly half of the world’s people.
body of water is called its watershed, or drainage basin. - Most aquifers are renewable resources unless their water becomes contaminated or is
removed faster than it is replenished by rainfall.
4. We use a large and growing portion of the world’s reliable runoff. - Water tables are falling in many areas of the world because the rate of pumping water from
- Two-thirds of the annual surface runoff in rivers and streams is lost by seasonal floods and is aquifers (mostly to irrigate crops) exceeds the rate of natural recharge from rainfall and
not available for human use. snowmelt.
- The remaining one third is reliable surface runoff, which we can generally count on as a - The world’s three largest grain producers—China, India, and the United States—as well as
source of freshwater from year to year. Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Israel, and Pakistan are overpumping many of their
- During the last century, the human population tripled, global water withdrawals increased aquifers.
sevenfold, and per capita withdrawals quadrupled. As a result, we now withdraw about 34%
of the world’s reliable runoff of freshwater Withdrawing Groundwater: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Worldwide, about 70% of the water we withdraw each year comes from rivers, lakes, and Advantages Disadvantages
aquifers to irrigate cropland, industry uses another 20%, and residences 10%. Useful for drinking and irrigation Aquifer depletion from over pumping
- Affluent lifestyles require large amounts of water. Exists almost everywhere Sinking of land (subsidence) from over pumping
Renewable if not over pumped or Pollution of aquifers lasts decades or centuries
SCIENCE FOCUS: Water Footprints and Virtual Water contaminated
• Each of us has a water footprint, which is a rough measure of the volume of freshwater that we Cheaper to extract than most surface waters Deeper wells are nonrenewable
use directly and indirectly to keep us alive and to support our lifestyles.
• The average American each day directly uses about 260 liters (69 gallons) of freshwater. CASE STUDY: Aquifer Depletion in the United States
• We use much larger amounts of freshwater indirectly to provide us with food and other • In the United States, groundwater is being withdrawn, on average, four times faster than it is
consumer products. replenished.
• Freshwater that is not directly consumed but is used to produce food and other products is • One of the most serious overdrafts is in the lower half of the Ogallala, the world’s largest known
called virtual water, and it makes up a large part of our water footprints, especially in more- aquifer, which lies under eight Midwestern states and supplies about one-third of all the
developed nations. groundwater used in the U.S.
• The virtual water used to produce and transport food is often withdrawn as groundwater or • In parts of the Ogallala, groundwater is being pumped out 10–40 times faster than the slow
surface water in another part of the world. For some water-short countries, it makes sense to natural recharge rate, which has lowered water tables and increased pumping costs.
• Serious aquifer depletion is also taking place in California’s semiarid Central Valley, which a. displaced 40–80 million people from their homes
supplies half of the country’s fruits and vegetables b. flooded an area of mostly productive land totaling roughly the area of the U.S. state of
2. Over pumping of aquifers has several harmful effects c. impaired some of the important ecological services that rivers provide
- As water tables drop, farmers must drill deeper wells, buy larger pumps, and use more - Reservoirs eventually fill up with sediments such as mud and silt, typically within 50 years,
electricity to run those pumps. Poor farmers cannot afford to do this and end up losing their which eventually makes them useless for storing water or producing electricity.
land. - Around 500 small dams have been removed in the U.S. but removal of large dams is
- Withdrawing large amounts of groundwater can allows the sand and rock in aquifers to controversial and expensive.
a. This causes the land above the aquifer to subside or sink, a phenomenon known as land 4. A closer look at the over-tapped Colorado River
subsidence and sometimes referred to as a sinkhole. basin.
b. Once an aquifer becomes compressed by subsidence, recharge is impossible. - The amount of water flowing to the mouth of
c. In addition, land subsidence can damage roadways, water and sewer lines, and building the heavily dammed Colorado River has
foundations. dropped dramatically.
- Groundwater overdrafts near coastal areas can pull saltwater into freshwater aquifers. The - In most years since 1960, the river has dwindled
resulting contaminated groundwater is undrinkable and unusable for irrigation. to a small, sluggish stream by the time it
- Deep water aquifers hold enough freshwater to support billions of people for centuries. reaches the Gulf of California.
- Concerns about tapping these ancient deposits of freshwater: - Negative effects include that:
a. They are nonrenewable and cannot be replenished on a human timescale. a. As the flow of the rivers slows in reservoirs, it
b. Little is known about the geological and ecological impacts of pumping large amounts drops much of its load of suspended silt,
of freshwater from deep aquifers. depriving the river’s coastal delta of much-
c. Some deep aquifers flow beneath more than one country and there are no international needed sediment and causing flooding and loss of ecologically important coastal
treaties that govern rights to them. Without such treaties, water wars could break out. wetlands.
d. The costs of tapping deep aquifers are unknown and could be high. b. These reservoirs will probably become too full of silt to control floods and store enough
water for generating hydroelectric power, or to provide freshwater for irrigation and
Solutions for Groundwater Depletion drinking water for urban areas.
Prevention Control c. Agricultural production would drop sharply and many people in the region’s cities likely
Waste less water Raise price of water to discourage waste would have to migrate to other areas.
Subsidize water conservation Tax water pumped from wells near surface d. Withdrawing more groundwater from aquifers is not a solution, because water tables are
waters already low and withdrawals threaten the survival of aquatic species that spawn in the
Limit number of wells Set and enforce minimum stream flow levels river, and destroy estuaries that serve as breeding grounds for numerous other aquatic
Do not grow water-intensive crops in dry areas Divert surface water in wet yers to recharge species.
5. Water transfers can be wasteful and environmentally harmful
3. Large dams and reservoirs have advantages and - In many cases, water has been transferred into various dry regions of the world for growing
disadvantages crops and for other uses.
- Dams are structures built across rivers to block - Such water transfers have benefited many people, but they have also wasted a lot of water
some of the flow of water. and they have degraded ecosystems from which the water was taken.
- Dammed water usually creates a reservoir, a - Such water waste is part of the reason why many products include large amounts of virtual
store of water collected behind the dam. water.
- A dam and reservoir:
a. capture and store runoff and release it as CASE STUDY: California transfers massive amounts of freshwater from water-rich areas to water-poor
needed to control floods areas
b. generate electricity (hydroelectricity) • One of the world’s largest water transfer projects is the California Water Project.
c. supply water for irrigation and for towns and • It uses a maze of giant dams, pumps, and aqueducts to transport water from water-rich northern
cities California to water-poor southern California’s heavily populated agricultural regions and cities.
d. provide recreational activities such as • This project supplies massive amounts of freshwater to areas that, without such water transfers,
swimming, fishing, and boating would be mostly desert.
- The world’s 45,000 large dams have increased • Projected climate change will reduce snow packs, bodies of densely packed, slow-melting
the annual reliable runoff available for human snow in the High Sierras that supply freshwater.
use by nearly 33%. • Many people living in arid southern California cities, as well as farmers in this area, may have to
- Negative effects of dams include: move elsewhere because of freshwater shortages
CASE STUDY: The Aral Sea Disaster: A Striking Example of Unintended Consequences. 2. We can cut freshwater waste in irrigation.
• The shrinking of the Aral Sea is the result of a large-scale water transfer project in an area of the - About 60% of the irrigation water applied throughout the world does not reach the targeted
former Soviet Union with the driest climate in central Asia. crops.
• Since 1960, enormous amounts of irrigation water have been diverted from the inland Aral Sea - In most irrigation systems, water is pumped from a groundwater or surface water source
and its two feeder rivers, mostly for raising cotton and rice. through unlined ditches and about 40% is lost through evaporation, seepage, and runoff.
• The sea’s salinity has risen sevenfold and the average level of its water has dropped by 22 meters - Flood irrigation method delivers far more water than is needed for crop growth and typically
(72 feet). loses 40% of the water through evaporation, seepage, and runoff.
• The area’s fishing industry has been devastated. - With existing irrigation, this loss could be reduced to 5–10%.
• Winds pick up the sand and salty dust and blow it onto fields as far as 500 kilometers (310 miles)
away. Ways to Reduce Freshwater Waste in Irrigation
• The area’s climate is altered. The once-huge sea acted as a thermal buffer that moderated the 1. Line canals bringing water to irrigation ditches
heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter. Now there is less rain, summers are hotter and 2. Irrigate at night to reduce evaporation
drier, winters are colder, and the growing season is shorter. The combination of such climate 3. Monitor soil moisture to add water only when necessary
change and severe salinization has reduced crop yields by 20–50% on almost one-third of the 4. Grow several crops on each plot of land (polyculture)
area’s cropland—the opposite of the project’s intended consequences. 5. Encourage organic farming
• Many of the 45 million people living in the Aral Sea’s watershed have health problems from a 6. Avoid growing water-thirsty crops in dry areas
combination of toxic dust, salt, and contaminated water. 7. Irrigate with treated waste water
• Since 1999, the United Nations and the World Bank have spent about $600 million to purify 8. Import water-intensive crops and meat
drinking water and upgrade irrigation and drainage systems in the area.
• The five countries surrounding the lake and its two feeder rivers have worked to improve irrigation 3. We can cut freshwater waste in industry and homes.
efficiency and to partially replace water-thirsty crops with others requiring less irrigation water. - Producers of chemicals, paper, oil, coal, primary metals, and processed food consume
• The Aral Sea basin has been stabilized; nevertheless experts expect the largest portion of the almost 90% of the water used by industry in the United States.
Aral Sea to continue shrinking. - Some of these industries recapture, purify, and recycle water to reduce their water use and
water treatment costs.
6. Removing salt from seawater is costly, kills marine organisms, and produces briny wastewater. - Most industrial processes could be redesigned to use much less freshwater.
- Desalination involves removing dissolved salts from ocean water or from brackish (slightly - Flushing toilets with freshwater is the single largest use of domestic water in the United States.
salty) water in aquifers or lakes for domestic use. à Standards have required that new toilets use no more than 6.1 liters (1.6 gallons) of water
a. Distillation involves heating saltwater until it evaporates (leaving behind salts in solid form) per flush.
and condenses as freshwater. - Studies show that 30–60% of the freshwater supplied in nearly all of the world’s major cities in
b. Reverse osmosis (or microfiltration) uses high pressure to force saltwater through a less-developed countries is lost, primarily through leakage in water mains, pipes, pumps, and
membrane filter with pores small enough to remove the salt. valves.
- Today, about 13,000 desalination plants operate in more than 125 countries, especially in the - Fixing leaks should be a high government priority that would cost less than building dams or
arid nations of the Middle East, North Africa, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. importing water.
- There are three major problems with the widespread use of desalination - Homeowners and businesses in water-short areas are using drip irrigation on their properties
a. The high cost, because it takes a lot of increasingly expensive energy to desalinate water. and replacing lawns with native plants that need little freshwater.
b. Pumping large volumes of seawater through pipes and using chemicals to sterilize the - About 50–75% of the slightly dirtied water from bathtubs, showers, sinks, dishwashers, and
water and keep down algae growth kills many marine organisms and also requires large clothes washers in a typical house could be stored in a holding tank and then reused as gray
inputs of energy to run the pumps. water to irrigate lawns and nonedible plants, to flush toilets, and to wash cars.
c. Desalination produces huge quantities of salty wastewater that must go somewhere. - The relatively low cost of water in most communities causes excessive water use and waste.
- Some scientists have hopes for using solar energy as the primary power source for a. Many water utility and irrigation authorities charge a flat fee for water use, and some
desalination. charge less for the largest users of water.
b. About one-fifth of all U.S. public water systems do not have water meters and charge a
How can we use fresh water more sustainably? single low rate for almost unlimited use of high-quality water
1. Reducing freshwater waste has many benefits. c. Many apartment dwellers have little incentive to conserve water, because water use
- An estimated 66% of the freshwater used in the world is unnecessarily wasted. charges are included in their rent.
- In the United States—the world’s largest user of water—about half of the water drawn from
surface and groundwater supplies is wasted. Reducing Water Waste
- It is economically and technically feasible to reduce such water losses to 15%, thereby 1. Redesign manufacturing processes to use less water
meeting most of the world’s water needs for the foreseeable future. 2. Recycle water in industry
- Reasons so much freshwater is wasted: 3. Landscape yards with plants that require little water
a. Government subsidies that keep the cost of freshwater low 4. Use drip irrigation
b. Lack of government subsidies for improving the efficiency of freshwater use. 5. Fix water leaks
6. Use water meters
7. Raise water prices How can we reduce the threat of flooding?
8. Use waterless composting toilets 1. Some areas get too much water from flooding.
9. Require water conservation in water-short cities - Some areas sometimes have too much water because of natural flooding by streams,
10. Use water-saving toilets, showerheads, and front-loading clothes washers caused mostly by heavy rain or rapidly melting snow.
11. Collect and reuse household water to irrigate lawns and nonedible plants - A flood happens when water in a stream overflows its normal channel and spills into the
12. Purify and reuse water for houses, apartments, and office buildings adjacent area, called a floodplain.
- Floodplains, which usually include highly productive wetlands, help to provide natural flood
CONNECTIONS: Water Leaks and Water Bills and erosion control, maintain high water quality, and recharge groundwater.
• Any water leak unnecessarily wastes freshwater and raises water bills. You can detect a silent - People settle on floodplains to take advantage of their many assets, such as fertile soil, ample
toilet water leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and waiting 5 minutes. freshwater and proximity to rivers for transportation and recreation.
If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Also, a faucet leaking one drop per second - To reduce the threat of flooding for people who live on floodplains:
wastes up to 8,200 liters (3,000 gallons) of water a year—enough to fill about 75 bathtubs. a. Rivers have been narrowed and straightened (channelized), equipped with protective
levees and walls, and dammed to create reservoirs that store and release water as
CONNECTIONS: Smart Cards and Water Conservation. needed.
• In Brazil, an electronic device called a water manager allows customers to obtain water on a b. Greatly increased flood damage may occur when prolonged rains overwhelm them.
pay-as-you-go basis. - Floods provide several benefits.
• Brazilian officials say this approach saves water and electrical power and typically reduces a. Create the world’s most productive farmland by depositing nutrient-rich silt on
household water bills by 40%. floodplains.
b. Recharge groundwater and help to refill wetlands, thereby supporting biodiversity and
4. We can use less water to remove wastes. aquatic ecological services.
- Large amounts of freshwater good enough to drink are being flushed away as industrial, - Since the 1960s, human activities have contributed to a sharp rise in flood deaths and
animal, and household wastes. damages, meaning that such disasters are partly human-made.
- Within 40 years we may need the world’s entire reliable flow of river water just to dilute and a. Removal of water-absorbing vegetation, especially on hillsides, which can increase
transport the wastes we produce each year. flooding and pollution in local streams, as well as landslides and mudflows.
- Save water by using systems that mimic the way nature deals with wastes by recycling them. b. Draining and building on wetlands, which naturally absorb floodwaters.
- Rely more on waterless composting toilets. à Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005 and
contributed to the flooding of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Damage was intensified
5. We need to use water more sustainably. because of the degradation or removal of coastal wetlands that had historically helped
- Each of us can help bring about such a “blue revolution” by using and wasting less water to to buffer the land from storm surges.
reduce our water footprints. c. Rise in sea levels caused by projected climate change due to the warming of the
a. Use water-saving toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators. atmosphere.
b. Shower instead of taking baths, and take short showers.
c. Repair water leaks. A hillside before and after deforestation
d. Turn off sink faucets while brushing teeth, shaving, or washing.
e. Wash only full loads of clothes or use the lowest possible water-level setting for smaller
f. Use recycled (gray) water for watering lawns and houseplants and for washing cars.
g. Wash a car from a bucket of soapy water, and use the hose for rinsing only.
h. If you use a commercial car wash, try to find one that recycles its water.
i. Replace your lawn with native plants that need little if any watering.
j. Water lawns and yards only in the early morning or evening.
k. Use drip irrigation and mulch for gardens and flowerbeds.

Sustainable Water Use

1. Waste less water and subsidize water conservation
2. Do not deplete aquifers
3. Preserve water quality
4. Protect forests, wetlands, mountain glaciers, watersheds, and other natural systems that store
CONNECTIONS: Deforestation and Flooding in China.
and release water
• In 1998, severe flooding in China’s Yangtze River watershed, home to 400 million people, killed
5. Get agreements among regions and countries sharing surface and water resources
at least 15 million people.
6. Raise water prices
• Scientists identified the causes as heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt, and deforestation that had
7. Slow population growth
removed 85% of the watershed’s tree cover.
• Chinese officials banned tree cutting in the watershed and accelerated tree replanting with b. Nonpoint sources are broad, diffuse areas, rather than points, from which pollutants enter
the long-term goal of restoring some of the area’s natural flood-control ecological services. bodies of surface water or air.
i. Difficult and expensive to identify and control discharges from many diffuse
CASE STUDY: Living Dangerously on Floodplains in Bangladesh. sources.
• Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with 184 million people in c. Agricultural activities are the leading cause of water pollution, including sediment from
2010 living only slightly above sea level. erosion, fertilizers and pesticides, bacteria from livestock and food-processing wastes,
• Bangladesh depends on moderate annual flooding during the summer monsoon season to and excess salts from soils of irrigated cropland. .
grow rice and help maintain soil fertility in the delta basin. d. Industrial facilities, which emit a variety of harmful inorganic and organic chemicals, are
• In 1998, a disastrous flood covered two thirds of Bangladesh’s land area for 9 months, drowned a second major source of water pollution.
at least 2,000 people, and left 30 million people homeless. e. Mining is the third biggest source of water pollution. Surface mining disturbs the land by
• Bangladesh is one of the few less-developed nations that is preparing and implementing plans creating major erosion of sediments and runoff of toxic chemicals.
to adapt to sea levels rises projected as a result of climate change.
CONNECTIONS: Atmospheric Warming and Water Pollution
2. We can reduce flood risks. • Projected climate change will likely contribute to water pollution in some areas.
- To improve flood control, we can rely less on engineering devices such as dams and levees • In a warmer world, some regions will get more precipitation and other areas will get less.
and more on nature’s systems such as wetlands and natural vegetation in watersheds. • More intense downpours will flush more harmful chemicals, plant nutrients, and microorganisms
- Straightening and deepening streams (channelization) reduces upstream flooding, but: into waterways.
a. It eliminates aquatic habitats, reduces groundwater discharge, and results in a faster • Prolonged drought will reduce river flows that dilute wastes.
flow, which can increase downstream flooding and sediment deposition.
b. Channelization encourages human settlement in floodplains, which increases the risk of 2. Major water pollutants have harmful effects.
damages and deaths from major floods. - According to the WHO, an estimated 4,400 people die each day from preventable
- Levees or floodwalls along the sides of streams contain and speed up stream flow, but they infectious diseases that they get from drinking contaminated water.
increase the water’s capacity for doing damage downstream.
a. No protection against unusually high and powerful floodwaters. Major Water Pollutants and Their Sources
b. In 1993, two-thirds of the levees built along the Mississippi River in the United States were
damaged or destroyed.
- Dams can reduce the threat of flooding by storing water in a reservoir and releasing it
gradually, but they also have a number of disadvantages.
- An important way to reduce flooding is to preserve existing wetlands and restore degraded
wetlands to take advantage of the natural flood control they provide in floodplains.
- We can sharply reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to projected climate
change, which will likely raise sea levels and flood many coastal areas of the world during
this century.
- We can think carefully about where we choose to live. Many poor people live in flood-prone
areas because they have nowhere else to go. Most people, however, can choose not to
live in areas especially subject to flooding or to water shortages.

Ways to Reduce Flood Risk

Prevention Control
Preserve forests on watersheds Straighten and deepen streams (channelization)
Preserve and restore wetlands in floodplains
Tax development on floodplains Build levees or floodwalls along streams
Use floodplains primarily for recharging aquifers, Build dams 3. Streams can cleanse themselves, if we do not overload them.
sustainable agriculture and forestry - Flowing rivers and streams can recover rapidly from moderate levels of degradable, oxygen-
demanding wastes through a combination of dilution and biodegradation of such wastes
How can we deal with water pollution? by bacteria.
1. Water pollution comes from point and nonpoint sources. - This natural recovery process does not work when streams become overloaded with such
- Water pollution is any change in water quality that harms humans or other living organisms pollutants or when drought, damming, or water diversion reduces their flows.
or makes water unsuitable for human uses such as drinking, irrigation, and recreation.
a. Point sources discharge pollutants at specific locations through drain pipes, ditches, or INDIVIDUALS MATTER: John Beal Planted Trees to Restore a Stream
sewer lines into bodies of surface water. • Hamm Creek is a small stream that flows from the hills southwest of Seattle. It was once a
i. Because point sources are located at specific places, they are fairly easy to spawning ground for salmon and its banks were lined by evergreen trees. By 1980, the polluted
identify, monitor, and regulate. stream had no fish and the trees were gone.
• John Beal persuaded some companies to stop polluting the creek, and he hauled out many à This dense plant life can reduce lake productivity and fish growth by decreasing the
truckloads of trash. Then he began a 15-year project of planting thousands of trees along the input of solar energy needed for photosynthesis by phytoplankton that support fish.
stream’s banks. He and many volunteers also restored natural waterfalls and ponds that had à The algae die and decompose, providing food for aerobic bacteria, which deplete
served as salmon spawning beds. dissolved oxygen. Low oxygen then can kill fish and other aerobic aquatic animals.
• The creek’s water now runs clear, its vegetation has been restored, and salmon have returned à Anaerobic bacteria can take over and produce gaseous products such as smelly,
to spawn. highly toxic hydrogen sulfide and flammable methane.
b. About one-third of the 100,000 medium to large lakes and 85% of the large lakes near
- Laws enacted in the 1970s to control water pollution have greatly increased the number and major U.S. population centers have some degree of cultural eutrophication.
quality of plants that treat wastewater—water that contains sewage and other wastes from c. Ways to prevent or reduce cultural eutrophication:
homes and industries—in the United States and in most other more-developed countries. à Advanced (but expensive) waste treatment to remove nitrates and phosphates
- Laws also require industries to reduce or eliminate their point-source discharges of harmful before wastewater enters lakes.
chemicals into surface waters. à Banning or limiting the use of phosphates in household detergents and other cleaning
- In most less-developed countries, stream pollution from discharges of untreated sewage, agents.
industrial wastes, and discarded trash is a serious and growing problem. à Employ soil conservation and land-use control to reduce nutrient runoff.
- According to the World Commission on Water in the 21st Century, half of the world’s 500 d. Ways to clean up lakes suffering from cultural eutrophication:
major rivers are heavily polluted, and most of these polluted waterways run through less- à Mechanically remove excess weeds.
developed countries. à Control undesirable plant growth with herbicides and algaecides.
à Pump air through lakes and reservoirs to prevent oxygen depletion.
The oxygen sag curve (blue) and demand curve (red)
5. Groundwater cannot cleanse itself very well.
- Groundwater pollution is a serious threat to human health.
- Common pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, gasoline, and organic solvents can seep
into groundwater from numerous sources.
- When groundwater becomes contaminated, it cannot cleanse itself of degradable wastes
as quickly as flowing surface water does.
a. Flows so slowly that contaminants are not diluted and dispersed effectively.
b. Low concentrations of dissolved oxygen (which helps decompose many contaminants)
and smaller populations of decomposing bacteria.
c. Usually colder so chemical reactions are slower.
- It can take decades to thousands of years for contaminated groundwater to cleanse itself
of slowly degradable wastes (such as DDT).
- On a human time scale, nondegradable wastes (such as toxic lead and arsenic) remain in
the water permanently.

6. Groundwater pollution is a serious hidden threat in some areas.

- Little is known about groundwater pollution because it is expensive to locate, track, and test
4. Too little mixing and low water flow make lakes vulnerable to water pollution. aquifers.
- Lakes and reservoirs are generally less effective at diluting pollutants than streams. - Groundwater provides about 70% of China’s drinking water.
a. Deep lakes and reservoirs often contain stratified layers that undergo little vertical mixing. - In 2006, the Chinese government reported that aquifers in about nine of every ten Chinese
b. Little or no flow. cities are polluted or overexploited, and could take hundreds of years to recover.
- Lakes and reservoirs are more vulnerable than streams to contamination by runoff or - In the United States, an EPA survey of 26,000 industrial waste ponds and lagoons found that
discharge of plant nutrients, oil, pesticides, and nondegradable toxic substances such as one-third of them had no liners to prevent toxic liquid wastes from seeping into aquifers.
lead, mercury, and arsenic. - Almost two-thirds of America’s liquid hazardous wastes are injected into the ground in
- Many toxic chemicals and acids also enter lakes and reservoirs from the atmosphere. disposal wells, some of which leak water into aquifers used as sources of drinking water.
- Eutrophication refers to the natural nutrient enrichment of a shallow lake, estuary, or slow- - By 2008, the EPA had completed the cleanup of about 357,000 of the more than 479,000
moving stream usually caused by runoff of plant nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates underground tanks in the United States that were leaking gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating
from surrounding land. oil, or toxic solvents into groundwater.
- An oligotrophic lake is low in nutrients and its water is clear. - During this century, scientists expect many of the millions of such tanks around the world to
- Near urban or agricultural areas, human activities can greatly accelerate the input of plant become corroded and leaky, possibly contaminating groundwater and becoming a major
nutrients to a lake—a process called cultural eutrophication. global health problem.
a. During hot weather or drought, this nutrient overload produces dense growths or
“blooms” of organisms, such as algae and cyanobacteria, and thick growths of aquatic
Principal sources of groundwater contamination in the U.S. SCIENCE FOCUS: Is Bottled Water a Good Option?
• The United States has some of the world’s cleanest drinking water. Municipal water systems in
the United States are required to test their water regularly for a number of pollutants and to
make the results available to citizens.
• About half of all Americans worry about getting sick from tap water contaminants, and many
drink high-priced bottled water or install expensive water purification systems.
• Americans are the world’s largest consumers of bottled water, consuming enough bottled water
to meet the annual drinking water needs of the roughly 1 billion people in the world who
routinely lack access to safe and clean drinking water.
• According to water expert Peter Gleick and the Natural Resources Defense Council, at least
40% of the bottled water used in United States is tap water and 30% of the bottled water tested
contained bacteria and synthetic organic chemicals.
• Use of bottled water also causes environmental problems.
a. The number of plastic water bottles thrown away, if lined up end-to-end, would circle the
earth’s equator eight times.
b. And 86% of these bottles are not recycled.
c. The oil used to pump, process, bottle, transport, and refrigerate the bottled water used
in the United States each year would be enough to run 3 million cars for a year.
d. Withdrawing water for bottling is helping to deplete some aquifers.
e. Health risks from chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) that can leach into the water from
7. Pollution prevention is the only effective way to protect groundwater. the plastic in some water bottles, especially if they are exposed to the hot sun.
- Find substitutes for toxic chemicals. • There is a growing back-to-the-tap movement with many consumers refusing to buy bottled
- Keep toxic chemicals out of the environment. water and instead refilling portable bottles with tap water and using simple filters where needed.
- Install monitoring wells near landfills and underground tanks. • Health officials suggest that, before drinking expensive bottled water or buying costly home
- Require leak detectors on underground tanks. water purifiers, consumers have their water tested by local health departments or private labs
- Ban hazardous waste disposal in landfills and injection wells. (but not by companies trying to sell water purification equipment).
- Store harmful liquids in aboveground tanks with leak detection and collection systems.
9. Ocean pollution is a growing and poorly understood problem.
Cleanup of Groundwater Pollution - The oceans hold 97% of the earth’s water, make up 97% of the biosphere where life is found,
1. Pump to surface, clean, and return to aquifer (very expensive) and contain the planet’s greatest diversity and abundance of life.
2. Inject microorganisms to clean up contamination (less expensive but still costly) - Oceans help to provide and recycle the planet’s freshwater through the water cycle. They
3. Pump nanoparticles of inorganic compounds to remove pollutants (still being developed) also strongly affect weather and climate, help to regulate the earth’s temperature, and
absorb some of the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that we emit into the atmosphere
8. There are many ways to purify drinking water. - Coastal areas—especially wetlands, estuaries, coral reefs, and mangrove swamps—bear
- Most of the more-developed countries have laws establishing drinking water standards. But the brunt of our enormous inputs of pollutants and wastes into the ocean.
most of the less-developed countries do not have such laws or, if they do have them, they a. 80-90% of municipal sewage from most coastal areas of less-developed countries, and in
do not enforce them. some coastal areas of more-developed countries, is dumped into oceans without
- More-developed countries usually store surface water in a reservoir to increasing dissolved treatment.
oxygen content and allow suspended matter to settle, then pumped water to a purification b. Some U.S. coastal waters have found vast colonies of viruses thriving in raw sewage and
plant and treat it to meet government drinking water standards. in effluents from sewage treatment plants and leaking septic tanks.
- Very pure groundwater or surface water sources need little treatment. c. Scientists also point to the underreported problem of pollution from cruise ships.
- Protecting a water supply is usually a lot cheaper than building water purification plants. d. Harmful algal blooms can result from the runoff of sewage and agricultural water.
- We have the technology to convert sewer water into pure drinking water. But reclaiming e. Every year, because of harmful algal blooms, at least 400 oxygen-depleted zones form
wastewater is expensive and it faces opposition from citizens and from some health officials in coastal waters around the world.
who are unaware of the advances in this technology.
- Simple measures can be used to purify drinking water: CASE STUDY: Ocean Garbage Patches: There is No Away
a. Exposing a clear plastic bottle filled with contaminated water to intense sunlight can kill • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is two gigantic masses of plastic and other solid wastes in the
infectious microbes in as little as three hours. middle of the North Pacific Ocean, trapped there by ocean currents.
b. The Life Straw is an inexpensive portable water filter that eliminates many viruses and • About 80–90% of this litter is long-lasting plastic, and roughly 80% comes from the land—washed
parasites from water drawn into it. or blown off of beaches, pouring out of storm drains, and floating down streams and rivers that
empty into the sea. Most of the rest is dumped into the ocean from cargo and cruise ships, oil-
drilling platforms, and cargo containers that have broken open or fallen off of ships.
• Much of the plastic has been partially decomposed to particles about the size of rice grains.
• The tiny plastic particles can be harmful to marine mammals, seabirds, fishes and other aquatic a. Visible sources are tanker accidents and blowouts at offshore oil drilling rigs, such as that
species that swallow them. of the BP Deep Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
• Fish that feed on plankton ingest these tiny plastic particles, which can contain PCBs, DDT, BPA, b. The largest source of ocean oil pollution is urban and industrial runoff from land, much of
and other long-lasting harmful chemicals. These toxins can build up to high concentrations in it from leaks in pipelines and oil-handling facilities. At least 37% of the oil reaching the
food chains and webs. oceans is waste oil, dumped, spilled, or leaked onto the land or into sewers by cities and
industries, as well as by people changing their own motor oil.
SCIENCE FOCUS: Oxygen Depletion in the Northern Gulf of Mexico - Different components of petroleum are harmful to wildlife.
• The world’s third largest oxygen-depleted zone forms each year in the Gulf of Mexico as a result a. Volatile organic hydrocarbons in oil and other petroleum products kill many aquatic
of oxygen-depleting algal blooms caused primarily by high inputs of nutrients from the Mississippi organisms immediately upon contact.
River basin. b. Other chemicals in oil form tar-like globs that float on the surface and coat the feathers
• The low oxygen levels suffocate fish, crabs, and shrimp that cannot move to less polluted areas. of seabirds and the fur of marine mammals. This oil coating destroys their natural heat
Thus, these oxygen-depleted zones threaten aquatic biodiversity and whole ecosystems. insulation and buoyancy, causing many of them to drown or die of exposure from loss of
• Because of the size and agricultural importance of the Mississippi River basin, there are no easy body heat.
solutions to the problem of severe cultural eutrophication of this and other overfertilized coastal c. Heavy oil components that sink to the ocean floor or wash into estuaries and coastal
zones around the world. wetlands can smother bottom-dwelling organisms such as crabs, oysters, mussels, and
• Preventive measures include: clams, or make them unfit for human consumption.
a. applying less fertilizer on farms upstream, injecting fertilizer below the soil surface, and using d. Some oil spills have killed coral reefs.
controlled-release fertilizers that have water-insoluble coatings. - Populations of many forms of marine life can recover from exposure to large amounts of
b. planting strips of forests and grasslands along waterways to soak up excess nitrogen, crude oil in warm waters with fairly rapid currents within about 3 years. But in cold and calm
restoring Gulf Coast wetlands that once filtered some of the plant nutrients, and creating waters, full recovery can take decades.
wetlands between crop fields and streams emptying into the Mississippi River. - Recovery from exposure to refined oil, especially in estuaries and salt marshes, can take 10–
c. reduce government subsidies for growing corn to make ethanol. 20 years or longer.
d. improving flood control to prevent the release of nitrogen from floodplains during major - Oil slicks that wash onto beaches can have a serious economic impact on coastal residents,
floods and upgrading sewage treatment to reduce discharges of nitrates into waterways. who lose income normally gained from fishing and tourist activities.
e. reducing deposition of nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere by requiring lower - Scientists estimate that current cleanup methods can recover no more than 15% of the oil
emissions of nitrogen oxides from motor vehicles and by phasing in forms of renewable from a major spill.
energy to replace the burning of fossil fuels. - Preventing oil pollution:
a. Use oil tankers with double hulls.
Residential areas, factories, and farms all contribute to the pollution of coastal waters b. More stringent safety standards and inspections could help to reduce oil well blowouts at
c. Businesses, institutions, and citizens in coastal areas should prevent leaks and spillage of
even the smallest amounts of oil.

11. Reducing ocean water pollution.

- The key to protecting the oceans is to reduce the flow of pollution from land and air and
from streams emptying into these waters.

12. Reducing surface water pollution from nonpoint sources.

- There are a number of ways to reduce nonpoint-source water pollution, most of which
comes from agriculture.
a. Reduce soil erosion by keeping cropland covered with vegetation.
b. Reduce the amount of fertilizer that runs off into surface waters and leaches into aquifers
by using slow-release fertilizer, using no fertilizer on steeply sloped land, and planting
buffer zones of vegetation between cultivated fields and nearby surface waters.
c. Organic farming can also help prevent water pollution caused by nutrient overload.
d. Control runoff and infiltration of manure from animal feedlots by planting buffers and
locating feedlots and animal waste sites away from steeply sloped land, surface water,
and flood zones.

10. Ocean Pollution from Oil 13. Laws can help to reduce water pollution from point sources. (Refer to attached handout on
- Crude and refined petroleum reach the ocean from a number of sources and become Greenpeace)
highly disruptive pollutants.
14. Sewage treatment reduces water pollution.
- About one-fourth of all homes in the United States are served by septic tanks. • More than 800 cities and towns around the world use natural or artificially created wetlands to
a. Household sewage and wastewater is pumped into a settling tank. treat sewage as a lower-cost alternative to expensive waste treatment plants.
b. Discharged into a large drainage (absorption) field through small holes in perforated
pipes embedded in porous gravel or crushed stone. Primary and secondary sewage treatment systems help to reduce water pollution
c. Drain from the pipes and percolate downward, the soil filters out some potential
pollutants and soil bacteria decompose biodegradable materials.
d. Septic tanks work well as long as they are not overloaded and their solid wastes are
regularly pumped out.
- In urban areas most waterborne wastes flow through a network of sewer pipes to wastewater
or sewage treatment plants.
a. The first is primary sewage treatment: a physical process that uses screens and a grit tank,
then a primary settling tank where suspended solids settle out as sludge.
b. A second level is secondary sewage treatment where a biological process takes place
in which aerobic bacteria remove as much as 90% of dissolved and biodegradable,
oxygen-demanding, organic wastes.
c. A combination of primary and secondary treatment removes 95–97% of the suspended
solids and oxygen-demanding organic wastes, 70% of most toxic metal compounds and
non-persistent synthetic organic chemicals, 70% of the phosphorus, and 50% of the
nitrogen, but removes only a tiny fraction of persistent and potentially toxic organic
substances found in some pesticides and in discarded medicines that people put into
16. There are sustainable ways to reduce and prevent water pollution.
sewage systems, and it does not kill pathogens.
- Most developed countries have enacted laws and regulations that have significantly
d. Before discharge, water from sewage treatment plants usually undergoes bleaching, to
reduced point-source water pollution as a result of bottom-up political pressure on elected
remove water coloration, and disinfection to kill disease-carrying bacteria and some
officials by individuals and groups.
viruses. The usual method for accomplishing this is chlorination.
- To environmental and health scientists, the next step is to increase efforts to reduce and
i. Chemicals formed from the chlorination process cause cancers in test animals, can
prevent water pollution in both more- and less-developed countries, beginning with the
increase the risk of miscarriages, and may damage the human nervous, immune, and
question: How can we avoid producing water pollutants in the first place?
endocrine systems.
- This shift will require that citizens put political pressure on elected officials and also take
ii. Use of other disinfectants such as ozone and ultraviolet light is increasing, but they
actions to reduce their own daily contributions to water pollution.
cost more and their effects do not last as long as those of chlorination.
Ways to Help Reduce or Prevent Water Pollution
15. We can improve conventional sewage treatment.
Solutions Reducing Water Pollution
- Prevent toxic and hazardous chemicals from reaching sewage treatment plants and thus
from getting into sludge and water discharged from such plants. Prevent groundwater contamination Fertilize garden and yard plants with manure or
a. Require industries and businesses to remove toxic and hazardous wastes from water sent Reduce nonpoint runoff compost instead of commercial inorganic
to municipal sewage treatment plants. fertilizer
b. Encourage industries to reduce or eliminate use and waste of toxic chemicals. Reuse treated wastewater for drinking and Minimize your use of pesticides, especially near
c. Eliminate sewage outputs by switching to waterless, odorless composting toilet systems, irrigation bodies of water.
to be installed, maintained, and managed by professionals. Find substitutes for toxic pollutants Prevent yard wastes from entering storm drains.
à This process returns plant nutrients in human waste to the soil and thus mimics the Work with nature to treat sewage Do not use water fresheners in toilets.
natural chemical cycling principle of sustainability. Practice the three R’s of resource use (reduce, Do not flush unwanted medicines down the
à It also reduces the need for energy-intensive and water-polluting commercial fertilizers. reuse, recycle) toilet.
à Cheaper to install and maintain than current sewage systems because don’t require Reduce air pollution Do not pour pesticides, paints, solvents, oil,
vast systems of underground pipes connected to centralized sewage treatment plants. Reduce poverty antifreeze, or other products containing harmful
à Save large amounts of water, reduce water bills, and decrease the amount of energy Slow population growth chemicals down the drain or onto the ground
used to pump and purify water.
Three Big Ideas
SCIENCE FOCUS: Treating Sewage by Working with Nature. 1. One of the major global environmental problems is the growing shortage of freshwater in many
• Biologist John Todd has developed an ecological approach to treating sewage, which he calls parts of the world.
living machines. 2. We can use water more sustainably by cutting water waste, raising water prices, and protecting
a. This natural purification process uses passive solar energy, an artificial marsh and complex aquifers, forests and other ecosystems that store and release water.
series of organisms to filter and purify sewage. 3. Reducing water pollution requires preventing it, working with nature to treat sewage, cutting
b. Ultraviolet light or an ozone generator is used to make the water fit to drink. resource use and waste, reducing poverty, and slowing population growth.
c. Operating costs are about the same as those of a conventional sewage treatment plant.
Republic Act 9275 - Scientists classify outdoor air pollutants into two categories.
• AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND FOR OTHER a. Primary pollutants are harmful chemicals emitted directly into the air from natural
PURPOSES processes and human activities.
• “Philippine Water Act of 2004” b. Primary pollutants react with one another and with other normal components of air to
• The State shall pursue a policy of economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection, form new harmful chemicals, called secondary pollutants.
preservation and revival of the quality of our fresh, brackish and marine waters. - Outdoor air pollution is a global problem, largely due to the sheer volume of pollutants
• This Act shall apply to water quality management in all water bodies: Provided, That it shall produced by human activities
primarily apply to the abatement and control of pollution from land based sources: Provided,
further, That the water quality standards and regulations and the civil liability and penal 2. What are the major outdoor air pollutants?
provisions under this Act shall be enforced irrespective of sources of pollution. - Carbon oxides.
a. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and highly toxic gas that forms from motor
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT vehicle exhaust, burning of forests and grasslands, tobacco smoke, and open fires and
Air Quality Management, Air Pollution, and Ozone Depletion inefficient stoves used for cooking.
The Nature of the Atmosphere i. CO reacts with hemoglobin in red blood cells and reduces the ability of blood to
1. The atmosphere consists of several layers. transport oxygen to body cells and tissues.
- A thin envelope of gases surrounding the earth is called the atmosphere. ii. Long-term exposure can trigger heart attacks and aggravate lung diseases such as
à The troposphere is the atmospheric layer closest to the earth’s surface extending only asthma and emphysema.
about 17 kilometers (11 miles) above sea level at the equator and 8 kilometers (5 miles) over iii. At high levels, CO can cause headache, nausea, drowsiness, mental impairment,
the poles. collapse, coma, and death.
a. Nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), water vapor (varying from 0.01% at the frigid poles to 4% in b. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas.
the humid tropics), 0.93% argon (Ar), 0.038% carbon dioxide (CO2), and trace amounts i. About 93% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is the result of the natural carbon cycle.
of dust and soot particles and other gases including methane (CH4), ozone (O3), and ii. The rest comes from human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the
nitrous oxide (N2O). clearing of CO2-absorbing forests and grasslands.
b. Rising and falling air currents, winds, and concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse iii. Until recently CO2 has not been classified as an air pollutant.
gases play a major role in the planet’s short-term weather and long-term climate. iv. Growing scientific evidence that increasing levels of CO2 are contributing to
à The atmosphere’s second layer is the stratosphere, which extends from about 17 to about atmospheric warming and projected climate change, which can contribute to
48 kilometers (from 11 to 30 miles) above the earth’s surface. human health problems.
- Composition is similar to troposphere, except the water vapor is about 1/1,000 and its c. Nitrogen oxides and nitric acid.
concentration of ozone (O3) is much higher. i. Nitric oxide (NO) is a colorless gas that forms when nitrogen and oxygen gas in air
- Ozone (O3) is concentrated in a portion of the stratosphere called the ozone layer, found react at the high-combustion temperatures in automobile engines and coal-burning
roughly 17–30 kilometers (11–19 miles) above sea level. power and industrial plants.
a. Stratospheric ozone is produced when some of the oxygen molecules there interact with ii. Lightning and certain bacteria in soil and water also produce NO as part of the
ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun. nitrogen cycle.
b. This “global sunscreen” of ozone in the stratosphere keeps out about 95% of the sun’s iii. In the air, NO reacts with oxygen to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a reddish-brown gas.
harmful UV radiation from reaching the earth’s surface. iv. Collectively, NO and NO2 are called nitrogen oxides (NOX).
v. Some of the NO2 reacts with water vapor in the air to form nitric acid (HNO3) and
2. The earth’s atmosphere is a dynamic system that includes 4 nitrate salts (NO3–)—components of harmful acid deposition.
layers vi. NO2 plays a role in the formation of photochemical smog—a mixture of chemicals
- The two innermost layers of the atmosphere are the formed under the influence of sunlight in cities with heavy traffic.
troposphere, which supports life, and the stratosphere, vii. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas.
which contains the protective ozone layer. viii. Nitrogen oxides can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat; aggravate lung ailments such
as asthma and bronchitis; and suppress plant growth and reduce visibility when they
What are the Major Air Pollution Problems? are converted to nitric acid and nitrate salts.
1. Air Pollution comes from Natural and Human Sources d. Sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid.
- Air pollution is the presence of chemicals in the i. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas with an irritating odor.
atmosphere in concentrations high enough to harm ii. About one third of the SO2 in the atmosphere comes from natural sources as part of
organisms, ecosystems, or human made materials, or to the sulfur cycle.
alter climate. iii. Human sources include combustion of sulfur-containing coal in electric power and
a. Natural sources include dust blown by wind, pollutants industrial plants and oil refining and smelting of sulfide ores.
from wildfires and volcanic eruptions, and volatile organic chemicals released by some iv. In the atmosphere, SO2 can be converted to aerosols, which consist of microscopic
plants. suspended droplets of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and suspended particles of sulfate (SO4 2–
b. Most human inputs of outdoor air pollutants come from the burning of fossil fuels in power ) salts that return to the earth as a component of acid deposition.
plants and industrial facilities (stationary sources) and in motor vehicles (mobile sources).
v. Sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid droplets, and sulfate particles reduce visibility and - The formation of photochemical smog begins when exhaust from morning commuter traffic
aggravate breathing problems. releases large amounts of NO and VOCs into the air over a city.
vi. Damage crops, trees, soils, and aquatic life in lakes, and they corrode metals and - The NO is converted to reddish-brown NO2, which leads to the name brown-air smog.
damage paint, paper, leather, and stone on buildings and statues. - When exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, some of the NO2 reacts in complex ways
e. Particulates. with VOCs released by certain trees, motor vehicles, and businesses.
i. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) consists of a variety of solid particles and liquid - The resulting mixture of pollutants, dominated by ground-level ozone, usually builds up to
droplets small and light enough to remain suspended in the air for long periods. peak levels by late morning, irritating people’s eyes and respiratory tracts.
ii. EPA classifies particles as fine, or PM-10 (with diameters less than 10 micrometers), and - Some of its pollutants, known as photochemical oxidants, can damage lung tissue.
ultrafine, or PM-2.5 (with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers). - All modern cities have some photochemical smog, but it is much more common in cities with
iii. 38% comes from human sources such as coal-burning power and industrial plants, sunny, warm, and dry climates, and a great number of motor vehicles.
motor vehicles, road construction, and tobacco smoke.
iv. Irritate the nose and throat, damage the lungs, aggravate asthma and bronchitis, CONNECTIONS: Short Driving Trips and Air Pollution
and shorten life. • About 60% of the pollution from motor vehicle emissions occurs in the first minutes of operation.
v. Can cause mutations, reproductive problems, and cancer. • 40% of all car trips take place within 3 kilometers (2 miles) of drivers’ homes.
vi. Particulates reduce visibility, corrode metals, and discolor clothes and paints.
f. Ozone. 5. Several factors can decrease or increase outdoor air pollution.
i. Ozone (O3), a colorless and highly reactive gas, is a major ingredient of - Five natural factors help reduce outdoor air pollution.
photochemical smog. a. Particles heavier than air settle out as a result of gravitational attraction to the earth.
ii. Causes coughing and breathing problems, aggravates lung and heart diseases, b. Rain and snow help cleanse the air of pollutants.
reduces resistance to colds and pneumonia, and irritates the eyes, nose, and throat. c. Salty sea spray from the oceans washes out many pollutants from air that flows from land
iii. Damages plants, rubber in tires, fabrics, and paints. over the oceans.
iv. Ozone in the troposphere near ground level is often referred to as “bad” ozone, while d. Winds sweep pollutants away and mixes them with cleaner air.
ozone in the stratosphere as “good” ozone. e. Some pollutants are removed by chemical reactions.
g. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). - Six other factors can increase outdoor air pollution.
i. Organic compounds that exist as gases in the atmosphere or that evaporate into the a. Urban buildings slow wind speed and reduce dilution and removal of pollutants.
atmosphere are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). b. Hills and mountains reduce the flow of air in valleys below them and allow pollutant levels
ii. Global methane emissions come from natural sources, mostly plants, wetlands, and to build up at ground level.
termites, while human sources include primarily rice paddies, landfills, oil and natural c. High temperatures promote the chemical reactions leading to formation of
gas wells, and cows. photochemical smog.
iii. Benzene and other liquids used as industrial solvents, dry-cleaning fluids, and d. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from certain trees and plants in heavily
components of gasoline, plastics, and other products. wooded urban areas can play a large role in the formation of photochemical smog.
e. Grasshopper effect—occurs when air pollutants are transported by evaporation and
3. Burning coal produces industrial smog. winds from tropical and temperate areas through the atmosphere to the earth’s polar
- Sixty years ago, cities such as London, England, and the U.S. cities of Chicago, Illinois, and areas, where they are deposited.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, burned large amounts of coal in power plants and factories and f. Temperature inversions occurs when a layer of warm air can temporarily lie atop a layer
for heating homes and often for cooking food. of cooler air nearer the ground.
- People in such cities, especially during winter, were exposed to industrial smog consisting
mostly of an unhealthy mix of sulfur dioxide, suspended droplets of sulfuric acid, and a variety 6. Acid deposition is a serious regional air pollution problem.
of suspended solid particles in outside air. Those burning coal inside their homes were - Most coal-burning power plants, ore smelters, and other industrial facilities in more-
exposed to dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants. developed countries use tall smokestacks, which reduce local air pollution, but can increase
- Today, urban industrial smog is rarely a problem in most more-developed countries using regional air pollution downwind.
pollution controls. - Prevailing winds may transport the primary pollutants SO2 and NOx as far as 1,000 kilometers
- In industrialized urban areas of China, India, Ukraine, and some eastern European countries, (600 miles), forming secondary pollutants such as droplets of sulfuric acid, nitric acid vapor,
large quantities of coal are still burned in houses, power plants, and factories with and particles of acid-forming sulfate and nitrate salts.
inadequate pollution controls. - Descend to the earth’s surface in two forms:
à Because of its heavy reliance on coal, China has some of the world’s highest levels of a. Wet deposition consisting of acidic rain, snow, fog, and cloud vapor, and dry deposition
industrial smog and 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities. resulting in a mixture called acid deposition, or acid rain.
b. Dry acid deposition (sulfur dioxide gas and particles of sulfate and nitrate salts).
4. Sunlight plus cars equals photochemical smog. - Mixture of wet and dry is called acid deposition—sometimes called acid rain.
- A photochemical reaction is any chemical reaction activated by light.
- Photochemical smog is a mixture of primary and secondary pollutants formed under the
influence of UV radiation from the sun.
Air Quality Index
• The AQI is an “index” determined by calculating the degree of pollution in the city or at the
monitoring point;
• includes five main pollutants – particulate matter ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon
monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
• Each of these pollutants have an air quality standard which is used to calculate the overall AQI
for the city.

9. Indoor air pollution is a serious problem.

- In less-developed countries, the indoor burning of wood, charcoal, dung, crop residues,
coal, and other cooking and heating fuels in open fires or in unvented or poorly vented
stoves exposes people to dangerous levels of particulate air pollution.
- Indoor air pollution is a serious problem in developed areas of all countries, mostly because
of chemicals used in building materials and products.
- EPA studies have revealed some alarming facts about indoor air pollution.
a. Levels of 11 common pollutants generally are two to five times higher inside U.S. homes
Reducing Air Deposition and its Damage and commercial buildings than they are outdoors.
Prevention Cleanup b. Pollution levels inside cars in traffic-clogged urban areas can be up to 18 times higher
Reduce coal use Add lime to neutralize acidified lakes than outside levels.
Burn low-sulfur coal C. The health risks from exposure to such chemicals are magnified because most people in
Increase use of natural gas and renewable developed urban areas spend 70–98% of their time indoors or inside vehicles.
energy resources - The four most dangerous indoor air pollutants in more-developed countries are:
Remove SO2 particulates and NOX from Add phosphate fertilizer to neutralize acidified a. tobacco smoke
smokestack gases and remove NOX from motor lakes b. formaldehyde emitted from many building materials and various household products
vehicular exhaust c. radioactive radon-222 gas, which can seep into houses from underground rock deposits
Tax emissions of SO2 d. very small (ultrafine) particles of various substances in emissions from motor vehicles, coal-
burning facilities, wood burning, and forest and grass fires.
7. Acid deposition has a number of harmful effects.
- Damages statues and buildings, contributes to human respiratory diseases, and can leach
toxic metals (such as lead and mercury) from soils and rocks into lakes used as sources of
drinking water.
- Toxic metals can accumulate in the tissues of fish which are eaten by people and other
- 45 U.S. states have issued warnings telling people to avoid eating fish caught from waters
that are contaminated with toxic mercury.
- Harms aquatic ecosystems, and can leave lakes with few if any fish.
- Indirectly kills trees by leaching essential plant nutrients such as calcium and magnesium
from soils and releasing ions of aluminum, lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are toxic to
the trees, leaving them vulnerable to stresses.
- Acid deposition, which consists of rain, snow, dust, or gas with a pH lower than 5.6, is
commonly called acid rain.

8. We know how to reduce acid deposition.

- The best solutions are prevention approaches that reduce or eliminate emissions of sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates.
- Implementing these solutions is politically difficult.

CONNECTIONS: Low-Sulfur Coal, Climate Change, and Toxic Mercury. 10. Air pollution is a big killer
• Some U.S. power plants have lowered SO2 emissions by switching from high-sulfur to low-sulfur - Your respiratory system helps protect you from air pollution.
coals. a. Hairs in your nose filter out large particles.
• Increased CO2 emissions contribute to projected climate change. b. Sticky mucus in the lining of your upper respiratory tract captures smaller (but not the
smallest) particles and dissolves some gaseous pollutants.
c. Sneezing and coughing expel contaminated air. b. Sharply reducing emissions from older coal-burning power and industrial plants, cement
d. Hundreds of thousands of tiny mucus-coated hairlike structures, called cilia, line your plants, oil refineries, and waste incinerators.
upper respiratory tract to trap pollutants. c. Improving fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles to match or exceed those of
- Prolonged or acute exposure to air pollutants, including tobacco smoke, can overload or Europe, Japan, and China.
break down these natural defenses. d. Regulating emissions from motorcycles and two-cycle gasoline engines more strictly.
- Fine and ultrafine particulates get lodged deep in the lungs, contributing to lung cancer, e. Setting much stricter air pollution regulations for airports and oceangoing ships in U.S.
asthma, heart attack, and stroke. waters.
- Years of smoking or breathing polluted air can lead to other lung ailments such as chronic f. Sharply reducing indoor air pollution.
bronchitis and emphysema, which leads to acute shortness of breath.
- At least 2.4 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from the effects of air 2. We can use the marketplace to reduce outdoor air pollution.
pollution. - Allow producers of air pollutants to buy and sell government air pollution allotments in the
- The annual number of deaths related to indoor and outdoor air pollution ranges from 150,000 marketplace.
to 350,000 people in the U.S. - The Clean Air Act of 1990 authorized an emissions trading, or cap-and-trade, program,
- Millions more suffer from asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders. enabled coal-burning power plants to buy and sell SO2 pollution rights.
- Every year, more than 125,000 Americans get cancer from breathing soot-laden diesel fumes a. Each plant is annually given a number of pollution credits, which allow it to emit a certain
emitted by buses, trucks, tractors, construction equipment, and train engines. amount of SO2.
- Many cargo ships burn low-grade oil called bunker fuel in which the concentration of b. A utility that emits less than its allotted amount has a surplus of pollution credits which it
polluting sulfur is 30 times higher than that of diesel fuel sold at the pumps of U.S. gas stations. can use to offset SO2 emissions at its other plants, keep for future plant expansions, or sell
to other utilities or private parties.
c. Cheaper and more efficient than government regulation of air pollution.
d. Allows utilities with older, dirtier power plants to buy their way out of their environmental
responsibilities and to continue polluting.
e. Cheating possible because cap-and-trade is based largely on self-reporting of emissions.
- Emissions trading is also being used for NOx.

3. There are many ways to reduce outdoor air pollution.

- Figure 15-12 summarizes several ways to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides,
and particulate matter from stationary sources such as coal-burning power plants and
industrial facilities.
Prevention Reduction or Disposal
How should we Deal with Air Pollution? Burn low-sulfur coal or remove sulfur from coal Disperse emissions (which can increase
1. Laws and regulations can reduce outdoor air pollution. downwind pollution) with tall smokestacks
- The United States provides an excellent example of how a regulatory approach can reduce
Convert coal to a liquid or gaseous fuel Remove pollutants from smokestack gases
air pollution.
Phase out coal use Tax each unit of pollution produces
- The U.S. Congress passed the Clean Air Acts in 1970, 1977, and 1990.
a. The federal government established air pollution regulations for key pollutants that are
- Figure 15-13 lists several ways to prevent and reduce emissions from motor vehicles, the
enforced by states and major cities.
primary factor in the formation of photochemical smog.
b. Six major outdoor pollutants regulated:
Prevention Reduction
ii. Carbon monoxide
Walk, bike, or use mass transit Require emission control devices
iii. Nitrogen dioxide
iv. Sulfur dioxide Improve fuel efficiency Inspect car exhaust systems twice a year
v. Suspended particulate matter Get older, polluting cars off the road Set strict emission standards
vi. Ozone
vii. Lead 4. Reducing indoor air pollution should be a priority.
- The combined emissions of the six major pollutants decreased by about 54% between 1980 - Little effort has been devoted to reducing indoor air pollution.
and 2008, even with significant increases during the same period in gross domestic product, - Several ways to prevent or reduce indoor air pollution in less-developed countries.
vehicle miles traveled, energy consumption, and population. a. Use inexpensive clay or metal stoves that burn fuels more efficiently and vent their exhaust
- The reduction of outdoor air pollution in the United States since 1970 has been a remarkable to the outside.
success story, mostly because of two factors. b. Use stoves that use solar energy to cook food.
a. Citizens insisted that laws be passed and enforced to improve air quality.
b. The country was affluent enough to afford such controls and improvements. Prevention Cleanup or Dilution
- U.S. air pollution laws could be strengthened by: Ban indoor smoking Use adjustable fresh air vents for work spaces
a. Putting much greater emphasis on preventing air pollution.
Set stricter formaldehyde emissions standards for Circulate a building’s air through rooftop • In 1995, Rowland and Molina received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on CFCs. The
carpet, furniture, and building materials greenhouses Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that these two scientists contributed to “our salvation
Prevent radon infiltration Circulate air more frequently from a global environmental problem that could have had catastrophic consequences.”
Use less polluting cleaning agents, paints, and Use efficient venting systems for wood-burning
other products stoves 2. Why should we worry about ozone depletion?
- More biologically damaging UV-A and UV-B radiation will reach the earth’s surface.
5. We can emphasize pollution prevention. - Causes problems with human health, crop yields, forest productivity, climate change, wildlife
- Greater emphasis on preventing air pollution. populations, air pollution, and degradation of outdoor materials.
- Will not take place unless individual citizens and groups put political pressure on elected
officials to enact and enforce appropriate regulations. Effects of Ozone Depletion
- Citizens can, through their purchases, put economic pressure on companies to get them to A. Human Health
manufacture and sell products and services that do not add to pollution problems. 1. Worse sunburns
2. More eye cataracts and skin cancers
3. Immune system suppression

B. Food and Forests

1. Reduced yields for some crops
2. Reduced seafood supplies from reduced phytoplankton
3. Decreased forest productivity for UV-sensitive tree species

C. Climate Change
1. While in troposphere, CFCs act as greenhouse gases

D. Wildlife
1. Increased eye cataracts in some species
2. Decreased populations of aquatic species sensitive to UV radiation
3. Reduced populations of surface phytoplankton
4. Disrupted aquatic food webs from reduced phytoplankton
How have we depleted ozone in the stratosphere and what can we do about it?
E. Air Pollution and Materials
1. Our use of certain chemicals threatens the ozone layer.
1. Increased acid deposition
- A layer of ozone in the lower stratosphere keeps about 95% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet
2. Increased photochemical smog
(UV-A and UV-B) radiation from reaching the earth’s surface.
3. Degradation of outdoor plants and plastics
- Measurements show considerable seasonal depletion (thinning) of ozone concentrations in
the stratosphere above Antarctica and the Arctic and a lower overall ozone thinning
Reducing Exposure to UV Radiation
everywhere except over the tropics.
1. Stay out of the sun, especially between 10AM and 3PM
- Ozone depletion in the stratosphere poses a serious threat to humans, other animals, and
2. Do not use tanning parlors or sunlamps
some primary producers (mostly plants) that use sunlight to support the earth’s food webs.
3. When in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunglasses that protect against UV-A and UV-B
- Problem began with the discovery of the first chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) in 1930 and later
4. Be aware that overcast skies do not protect you
a. Popular non-toxic, inexpensive coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators, propellants in
5. Do not expose yourself to the sun if you are taking antibiotics or birth control pills
aerosol spray cans, cleaners for electronic parts such as computer chips, fumigants for
6. When in the sun, use a sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15
granaries and ship cargo holds, and gases used to make insulation and packaging.
7. Examine your skin and scalp at least once a month or moles or warts that change in size, shape,
b. CFCs are persistent chemicals that destroy the ozone layer.
color, and sores that do not heal. If you observe any of these signs, consult a doctor immediately.
INDIVIDUALS MATTER: Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina—A Scientific Story of Expertise, Courage,
3. We can reverse stratospheric ozone depletion.
and Persistence
- The problem of ozone depletion has been tackled quite impressively.
• In 1974, chemists Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina of the University of California found that
- In 2008, the area of ozone thinning was still near its record high of 29 million square kilometers
CFCs were lowering the average concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. They called for an
(11 million square miles), set in 2006.
immediate ban of CFCs in spray cans.
- Models indicate that even with immediate and sustained action.
• The CFC industry, led by DuPont, resisted change but eventually agreed to stop producing
a. About 60 years for the earth’s ozone layer to recover the levels of ozone it had in 1980.
CFC’s and to sell higher-priced alternatives that their chemists had developed.
b. About 100 years for recovery to pre-1950 levels.
- In 1987, representatives of 36 nations met in Montreal, Canada, and developed the Montreal SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
Protocol to cut emissions of CFCs. © angelica garcia
- In 1992, adopted the Copenhagen Protocol, an amendment that accelerated the phase- THIS REVIEWER IS NOT FOR SALE.
out of key ozone-depleting chemicals signed by 195 countries.
- The ozone protocols set an important precedent by using prevention to solve a serious SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
environmental problem. What are solid waste and hazardous waste, and why are they problems?
1. We throw away huge amounts of useful things and hazardous materials.
CONNECTIONS: Atmospheric Warming and Repair of the Ozone Layer. - No waste in natural world because wastes of one organism become nutrients for others as a natural
• Warming of the troposphere makes the stratosphere cooler, which slows down its rate of ozone recycling of nutrients occurs.
repair. - Modern humans produce huge amounts of waste that go unused and pollute.
- Solid waste—any unwanted or discarded material we produce that is not a liquid or a gas.
a. Industrial solid waste produced by mines, agriculture, and industries that supply people with goods
Three Big Ideas and services.
1. All countries need to step up efforts to control and prevent outdoor and indoor air pollution. b. Municipal solid waste (MSW), often called garbage or trash, which consists of the combined solid
2. Reducing the projected harmful effects of rapid climate disruption during this century requires waste produced by homes and workplaces.
emergency action to increase energy efficiency, sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rely
more on renewable energy resources, and slow population growth. 2. Hazardous, or toxic, waste threatens human health or the environment because it is poisonous,
3. We need to continue phasing out the use of chemicals that have reduced ozone levels in the dangerously chemically reactive, corrosive, or flammable.
stratosphere and allowed more harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth’s surface. - Examples:
i. Industrial solvents.
Republic Act 8749 ii. Hospital medical waste.
iii. Car batteries (containing lead and acids).
• Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999
iv. Household pesticide products.
• AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL POLICY AND FOR OTHER v. Dry-cell batteries (containing mercury and cadmium).
PURPOSES vi. Ash from incinerators and coal-burning power plants.
• Comprehensive air quality management policy and program which aims to achieve and - Classes of hazardous wastes are:
maintain healthy air for all Filipinos. vii. Organic compounds (such as various solvents, pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins).
• The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful viii. Nondegradable toxic heavy metals (such as lead, mercury, and arsenic).
ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. ix. Highly radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons facilities.
à The State shall promote and protect the global environment to attain sustainable
CASE STUDY: Solid Waste in the United States.
development while recognizing the primary responsibility of local government units to deal with
• The United States leads the world in total solid waste production and in solid waste per person. 4.6% of the
environmental problems. world’s people produce about 33% of the solid waste.
à The State recognizes that the responsibility of cleaning the habitat and environment is
primarily area-based. How should we deal with solid waste?
à The State also recognizes the principle that "polluters must pay". 1. We can burn or bury solid waste or produce less of it.
à Finally, the State recognizes that a clean and healthy environment is for the good of all and - Waste management in which we attempt to manage wastes in ways that reduce their environmental
should therefore be the concern of all. harm without seriously trying to reduce the amount of waste produced.
- Waste reduction in which we produce much less waste and pollution, and the wastes we do produce
are considered to be potential resources that can be reused, recycled, or composted.
- Integrated waste management—a variety of strategies for both waste reduction and waste

2. We can cut solid wastes by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

- Waste reduction is based on three Rs:
a. Reduce: consume less and live a simpler lifestyle.
b. Reuse: rely more on items that can be used repeatedly instead of on throwaway items, and buy
necessary items secondhand or borrow or rent them.
c. Recycle: separate and recycle paper, glass, cans, plastics, metal, and other items, and buy
products made from recycled materials.
- Strategies that industries and communities have used to reduce resource use, waste, and pollution.
a. Redesign manufacturing processes and products to use less material and energy.
b. Develop products that are easy to repair, reuse, remanufacture, compost, or recycle.
c. Eliminate or reduce unnecessary packaging.
d. Use fee-per-bag waste collection systems that charge consumers for the amount of waste they
throw away but provide free pickup of recyclable and reusable items.
e. Establish cradle-to-grave responsibility laws that require companies to take back various
discarded consumer products, such as electronic equipment, appliances, and motor vehicles.
Why is reusing and recycling materials so important?
1. Reuse is an important way to reduce solid waste and pollution, and to save money. 5. We can encourage reuse and recycling.
- Increasingly substituted throwaway items for reusable ones, which has resulted in growing masses of - Three factors hinder reuse and recycling.
solid waste. a. The market prices of almost all products do not include the harmful environmental and health
- Reuse involves cleaning and using materials over and over and thus increasing the typical life span of costs associated with producing, using, and discarding them.
a product. b. The economic playing field is uneven, because in most countries, resource-extracting industries
- Waste reduction decreases the use of matter and energy resources, cuts pollution and waste, creates receive more government tax breaks and subsidies than reuse and recycling industries.
local jobs, and saves money. c. The demand, and thus the price paid, for recycled materials fluctuates, mostly because buying
- In many less-developed countries, the poor scavenge in open dumps for food scraps and items that goods made with recycled materials is not a priority for most governments, businesses, and
they can reuse or sell, and are often exposed to toxins and infectious diseases. individuals.
- Reuse strategies in more-developed countries include yard sales, flea markets, secondhand stores, - Ways to encourage reuse and recycling:
and online sites such as eBay and craigslist. a. Increase subsidies and tax breaks for reusing and recycling materials and decrease subsidies and
- To encourage people reusable bags, the governments of Ireland, Taiwan, and the Netherlands tax tax breaks for making items from virgin resources.
plastic shopping bags. b. Increase use of the fee-per-bag waste collection system and encourage or require government
- Australia, France, Italy, and the U.S. city of San Francisco have banned the use of all or most types of purchases of recycled products to help increase demand for and lower prices of these products.
plastic shopping bags. c. Pass laws requiring companies to take back and recycle or reuse packaging and electronic waste
- Plastics industry officials have mounted a massive advertising and political campaign to prevent such discarded by consumers.
bans. d. Citizens can pressure governments to require product labeling that lists recycled content of
products and the types and amounts of any hazardous materials they contain.
2. There are two types of recycling. - Recycling is popular because it helps to soothe the consciences of people living in a throwaway
- Recycling involves reprocessing discarded solid materials into new, useful products. society.
- Households and workplaces produce five major types of materials that we can recycle: paper - Reducing resource consumption and reusing resources are more effective prevention approaches to
products, glass, aluminum, steel, and some plastics. reducing the flow and waste of resources
a. Primary, or closed-loop, recycling—materials are recycled into new products of the same type.
b. Secondary recycling— waste materials converted into different products. SCIENCE FOCUS: Bioplastics.
à Used tires can be shredded and turned into rubberized road surfacing and newspapers can be • Most of today’s plastics are made from organic polymers produced from petroleum-based chemicals
reprocessed into cellulose insulation. (petrochemicals).
- Key questions about recycling. • Biodegradable and more environmentally sustainable bioplastics can be made from some plants,
a. Do the items that are separated for recycling actually get recycled? chicken feathers, and garbage.
b. Do businesses, governments, and individuals complete the recycling loop by buying products that
are made from recycled materials? What are the advantages and disadvantages of burning or burying solid waste?
1. Burning solid waste has advantages and disadvantages.
3. Composting is a form of recycling that mimics nature’s recycling of nutrients. - Globally, MSW is burned in more than 600 large waste-to-energy incinerators which use the heat they
- Involves using decomposer bacteria to recycle yard trimmings, food scraps, and other biodegradable generate to boil water and make steam for heating water or interior spaces, or for producing
organic wastes. electricity.
- The resulting organic material can be added to soil to supply plant nutrients, slow soil erosion, retain - The United States incinerates only about 12% of its MSW.
water, and improve crop yields. a. Incineration has a bad reputation stemming from past use of highly polluting and poorly regulated
- Homeowners can compost such wastes in simple backyard containers. incinerators.
- Some cities in Canada and in many European Union countries collect and compost more than 85% b. Incineration competes with an abundance of low-cost landfills in many areas.
of their biodegradable wastes in centralized community facilities. - Advantages of incinerating solid waste :
- In the United States, about 3,000 municipal composting programs recycle about 60% of the yard c. Reduces trash volume
wastes in the country’s MSW. d. Produces energy
e. Concentrates hazardous substances into ash for burial
4. Recycling has advantages and disadvantages. f. Sale of energy reduces cost
- Whether recycling makes economic sense depends on how we look at its economic and - Disadvantages:
environmental benefits and costs. g. Expensive to build
- Critics of recycling programs argue that recycling is costly and adds to the taxpayer burden in h. Produces a hazardous waste
communities where recycling is funded through taxation. i. Emits some CO2 and other air pollutants
- Proponents of recycling point to studies showing that the net economic, health, and environmental j. Encourages waste production
benefits of recycling far outweigh the costs.
- Critics say that recycling may make economic sense for valuable and easy-to-recycle materials such 2. Burying solid waste has advantages and disadvantages.
as aluminum, paper, and steel. - About 54%, by weight, of the MSW in the United States is buried in sanitary landfills, compared to 80%
in Canada, 15% in Japan, and 4% in Denmark.
INDIVIDUALS MATTER: Mike Biddle’s Contribution to Recycling Plastics. - Sanitary landfills are where solid wastes are spread out in thin layers, compacted, and covered daily
• Mike Biddle and Trip Allen designed a 16-step automated process that separates plastics from nonplastic with a fresh layer of clay or plastic foam, which helps to keep the material dry and reduces leakage
items in mixed waste streams and then separates plastics from each other by type and grade and of contaminated water.
converts them to pellets that can be used to make new products. - Open dumps are essentially fields or holes in the ground where garbage is deposited and sometimes
• The pellets are cheaper than virgin plastics. burned.
a. Rare in more-developed countries. 2. We Can Detoxify Hazardous Wastes
b. China disposes of about 85% of its solid waste in rural open dumps or in poorly designed and poorly - Biological methods for treatment of hazardous waste may be the wave of the future.
regulated landfills. - Bioremediation employs bacteria and enzymes that help destroy toxic or hazardous substances or
- Advantages of sanitary landfills: convert them to harmless compounds.
a. Low operating costs - Phytoremediation involves using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter, and remove
b. Can handle large amounts of waste contaminants from polluted soil and water.
c. Filled land can be used for other purposes - Hazardous wastes can be incinerated to break them down and convert them to harmless or less
d. No shortage of landfill space in many areas harmful chemicals such as carbon dioxide and water.
- Disadvantages: - Detoxify hazardous wastes by using a plasma arc torch, somewhat similar to a welding torch, to
a. Noise, traffic, and dust incinerate them at very high temperatures.
b. Release greenhouse gases (methane and CO2) unless they are collected
c. Output approach that encourages waste production 3. We can store some forms of hazardous waste.
d. Eventually leak and can contaminate groundwater - Burial on land or long-term storage of hazardous and toxic wastes should be used only as the last
- R.A. 9003 Ecological Solid Waste Management of the Philippines (Read in separate document) resort
- Currently, burial on land is the most widely used method in the United States and in most countries,
largely because it is the least expensive of all methods.
a. The most common form of burial is deep-well disposal.
à Liquid hazardous wastes are pumped under pressure through a pipe into dry, porous rock
formations far beneath aquifers that are tapped for drinking and irrigation water.
à Cost is low and the wastes can often be retrieved if problems develop.
à Problems with deep-well disposal:
Ø Limited number of such sites and limited space within them.
Ø Wastes can leak into groundwater from the well shaft or migrate into groundwater in
unexpected ways.
Ø Encourages the production of hazardous wastes.
b. Surface impoundments are ponds, pits, or lagoons in which wastes are stored.
à May have liners to help contain the waste.
à 70% of the storage ponds in the United States have no liners.
à Eventually all impoundment liners are likely to leak and could contaminate groundwater.
How should we deal with hazardous waste? (READ RA 6969) c. Liquid and solid hazardous wastes can be put into drums or other containers and buried in carefully
1. We can use integrated management of hazardous waste. designed and monitored secure hazardous waste landfills.
- Integrated management establishes three levels of priority:
a. Produce less. 4. Hazardous Waste Regulation in the Philippines (R.A. 6969)
b. Convert as much of it as possible to less hazardous substances.
c. Put the rest in long-term, safe storage. CASE STUDY: Lead Is a Highly Toxic Pollutant.
- Industries try to find substitutes for toxic or hazardous materials, reuse or recycle the hazardous • The chemical element lead does not break down in the environment.
materials within industrial processes, or use them as raw materials for making other products. • A potent neurotoxin can harm the human nervous system, especially in young children.
- Industrial hazardous wastes are exchanged through clearinghouses where they are sold as raw • Each year, 12,000–16,000 American children younger than age 9 are treated for acute lead poisoning,
materials for use by other industries. and about 200 die.
- Most e-waste recycling efforts create further hazards and can result in serious threats to other species. • About 30% of the survivors suffer from palsy, partial paralysis, blindness, and mental retardation.
• Between 1976 and 2004, the percentage of U.S. children ages one to five years with blood lead levels
CONNECTIONS: Cell Phones and Endangered African Gorillas. above the safety standard dropped from 85% to just 1.4%.
• Most cell phones contain coltan, a mineral extracted in the deep forests of the Democratic Republic of a. Banned leaded gasoline in 1976.
the Congo in central Africa, which is also the home of the endangered lowland gorillas. Coltan mining b. Banned lead-based paints in 1970.
has dramatically reduced the gorilla habitat and contributed to the killing of gorillas to feed the miners. • 130–200 million children around the world are at risk of lead poisoning, and 15–18 million children in less-
• Recycling old cell phones reduces the need to mine coltan and helps save the remaining lowland gorillas. developed countries have permanent brain damage because of lead poisoning.

CASE STUDY: Recycling E-Waste How can we make the transition to a more sustainable low-waste society?
• In some countries, workers in e-waste recycling operations are often exposed to toxic chemicals as they 1. Grassroots action has led to better solid and hazardous waste management.
dismantle the electronic trash to extract its valuable metals or other parts that can be sold for reuse or - Individuals have organized to prevent the construction of hundreds of incinerators, landfills, treatment
recycling plants for hazardous and radioactive wastes, and polluting chemical plants in or near their
• The United States produces roughly 50% of the world’s e-waste and recycles only about 15% of it. communities.
• Thirty-five states have banned the disposal of computers and TV sets in landfills and incinerators and - If local citizens adopt a “not in my back yard” (NIMBY) approach, the waste will always end up in
thirteen have laws that make manufacturers responsible for recycling most electronic devices. someone’s back yard.
• Some U.S. electronics manufacturers have free recycling programs. - A call for drastically reducing production of such wastes by emphasizing pollution prevention and
• Proponents call for a standardized U.S. federal law that makes manufacturers responsible for taking back using the precautionary principle.
all electronic devices they produce and recycling them domestically.
2. Providing environmental justice for everyone is an important goal. Three Big Ideas:
- Environmental justice is an ideal whereby every person is entitled to protection from environmental 1. The order of priorities for dealing with solid waste should be to produce less of it, reuse, and recycle as
hazards regardless of race, gender, age, national origin, income, social class, or any political factors. much of it as possible and safely burn or bury what is left.
- A larger share of polluting factories, hazardous waste dumps, incinerators, and landfills in the United 2. The order of priority for dealing with hazardous waste should be to produce less of it, reuse or recycle it,
States are located in or near communities populated mostly by African Americans, Asian Americans, convert it to less-hazardous material, and safely store what is left.
Latinos, and Native Americans. 3. We need to view solid wastes as wasted resources and hazardous wastes as materials that we should not
- In general, toxic waste sites in Caucasian communities have been cleaned up faster and more be producing in the first place.
completely than such sites in African American and Latino communities.
Municipal Solid Waste Management
3. International treaties have reduced hazardous waste. • Waste refers to any unwanted material or substance that results from a human activity or process.
- For decades, some more-developed countries had been shipping hazardous wastes to less- • Waste is divided into several categories:
developed countries. 1. Municipal solid waste is non liquid waste that comes from homes, institutions, and small businesses.
- Since 1992, international treaty known as the Basel Convention has banned participating countries 2. Industrial solid waste includes waste from production of consumer goods, mining, agriculture, and
from shipping hazardous waste to or through other countries without their permission. petroleum extraction and refining.
a. In 1995, the treaty was amended to outlaw all transfers of hazardous wastes from industrial 3. Hazardous waste refers to solid or liquid waste that is toxic, chemically reactive, flammable, or
countries to less-developed countries. corrosive.
b. By 2010, this agreement had been signed by 175 countries and ratified by 172 countries. 4. Wastewater is water we use that we drain or flush.
c. The United States, Afghanistan, and Haiti have signed but have not ratified the convention. • Municipal solid waste is commonly referred to as “trash” or “garbage.”
- Hazardous waste smugglers evade the laws by using an array of tactics. à This includes many different materials, from food scraps to paper, plastic, and glass.
- In 2000, delegates from 122 countries completed a global treaty called the Stockholm Convention on • In developing nations, waste production and consumption both tend to increase as individuals become
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to control 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs). more affluent.
a. POPs are widely used toxic chemicals that can accumulate in the fatty tissues of humans and à Many poor people in these countries support themselves by scavenging and selling items from dumps.
other organisms at high trophic levels in food webs. • Developed countries have improved their waste collection and disposal, and the proportion of waste
The original list of 12 chemicals, called the dirty dozen, includes DDT and eight other chlorine- going to landfills has declined.
containing persistent pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, and furans. à This corresponds to an increase in recycling and composting.
b. By 2009, 169 countries had signed a strengthened version of the POPs treaty that seeks to ban or • There are three main components of waste management:
phase out the use of these chemicals and to detoxify or isolate stockpiles of them. 1. Minimizing the amount of waste we generate
c. It does allow 25 countries to continue using DDT to combat malaria until safer alternatives are 2. Recovering discarded materials and finding ways to recycle them
available. 3. Disposing of waste safely and effectively
d. The United States has not yet ratified this treaty. • The waste stream is flow of waste as it moves from its sources toward disposal destinations
- In 2000, the Swedish Parliament enacted a law that, by 2020, will ban all chemicals that are persistent • Minimizing waste at its source is called source reduction, and is the best way of dealing with the waste
in the environment and that can accumulate in living tissue. stream.
a. Industries required to perform risk assessments on the chemicals they use and to show that these
chemicals are safe to use, as opposed to requiring the government to show that they are
b. Strong opposition to this approach in the United States.

4. We can make the transition to low-waste societies.

- Many environmental scientists argue that we can make a transition to a low-waste society by
understanding and following key principles:
a. Everything is connected.
b. There is no away, as in to throw away, for the wastes we produce.
c. Polluters and producers should pay for the wastes they produce.
d. Different categories of hazardous waste and recyclable waste should not be mixed.

Case Study Industrial Ecosystems: Copying Nature

• Make industrial manufacturing processes cleaner and more sustainable by redesigning them to mimic
how nature deals with wastes, with the waste outputs of one organism become the nutrient inputs of
another organism.
• Reuse or recycle most of the minerals and chemicals used, instead of burying or burning them or shipping
them somewhere.
• Interact with each other through resource exchange webs in which the wastes of one manufacturer
become the raw materials for another. • The linear movement of products from their manufacture to their disposal is often described as “cradle-
• In Kalundborg, Denmark, an electric power plant and nearby industries, farms, and homes are to-grave.”
collaborating to save money and to reduce their outputs of waste and pollution within what is called an à The new cradle-to-cradle approach requires that materials from products are recovered and reused
ecoindustrial park, or industrial ecosystem. to create new products.
• Such biomimicry encourages companies to come up with new, environmentally beneficial, and less • Recycling and composting (converting organic waste to mulch or humus through natural decomposition)
resource-intensive chemicals, processes, and products that they can sell worldwide. are important parts to this, and are similar to the natural cycling of matter in ecosystems.
à These are each considered recovery, because they remove waste from the waste stream.
Sources of Municipal Solid Waste in the Philippines Fraction of Disease Cases Attributable to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Disease Attributable Fraction Source
Diarrhea 88% WHO
Helminthiasis 100% WHO
Typhoid and Paratyphoid 50% WB
Cholera 100% Widely Accepted
Hepatitis A 50% WB

The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of the Philippines (RA 9003)
• In 2001, Republic Act 9003 (RA 9003), otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act
of 2000, was enacted into law declaring the policy of the government to “adopt a systematic,
comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management program” in the country.
• The ecological solid waste management (ESWM) policy is based on the management of waste in the
following hierarchy:
1. Source reduction (avoidance) and minimization of waste generated at source
2. Reuse, recycling and resource recovery of wastes at the barangay level
Composition of Municipal Solid Waste in the Philippines, 2008-2013 3. Efficient collection, proper transfer, and transport of wastes by city/municipality
4. Efficient management of residuals and of final disposal sites and/or
5. Any other related technologies for the destruction/reuse of residuals
• Mandate of RA 9003
1. Creation of a Solid Waste Management (SWM) Board (city/municipal and provincial levels)
2. Creation of a SWM Committee (barangay level)
3. Submission of a 10-year SWM Plan (city/municipal levels)
4. Establishment of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) per barangay or cluster of barangays and
city/municipal centralized MRF
5. Closure of open dumpsites and conversion into controlled dumpsites by 2004 (city/municipal levels)
6. Banning of controlled dumpsites by 2006 (city/municipal levels)

Solid Waste Exposure Pathway

We Can Cut Solid Wastes by Refusing, Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

• Waste reduction is based on:
1. Refuse – don’t use it
2. Reduce – use less
3. Reuse – use it over and over
4. Recycle- convert it to useful items and buy products made from recycled materials.
3. Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process.
4. Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions.
• Microorganisms
- With the proper mixture of water, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen, microorganisms are able to break
down organic matter to produce compost.
- The composting process is dependent on microorganisms to break down organic matter into
• There are many types of microorganisms found in active compost of which the most common are:
1. Bacteria- The most numerous of all the microorganisms found in compost. Depending on the phase
of composting, mesophilic or thermophilic bacteria may predominate.
2. Actinobacteria- Necessary for breaking down paper products such as newspaper, bark, etc.
3. Fungi- molds and yeast help break down materials that bacteria cannot, especially lignin in woody
Why Are Refusing, Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling So Important? material.
• By refusing and reducing resource use and by reusing and recycling what we use, we: 4. Protozoa- Help consume bacteria, fungi and micro organic particulates.
- Decrease our consumption of matter and energy resources 5. Rotifers- Rotifers help control populations of bacteria and small protozoans.
- Reduce pollution and natural capital degradation 6. In addition, earthworms not only ingest partly composted material, but also continually re-create
- Save money aeration and drainage tunnels as they move through the compost.
• Reuse:
- Buy beverages in refillable glass containers Recycling
- Use reusable lunch containers • The first step of recycling is to collect and process used goods and materials.
- Store refrigerated food in reusable containers - Drop-off locations and curbside recycling are the most common strategies used by cities.
- Use rechargeable batteries and recycle them when their useful life is over • Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) are where workers and machines separate items by weight and size
- When eating out, bring your own reusable container for leftovers using automated processes including magnetic pulleys, optical sensors, water currents, and air classifiers.
- Carry groceries and other items in a reusable basket or cloth bag • When sorted, the materials can be used to manufacture new goods.
- Buy used furniture, cars, and other items, whenever possible • There is great potential for Recycling
1. Primary, closed-loop recycling – Materials recycled into new products of the same type
Reducing waste is our best option 2. Secondary recycling – Materials converted to other products: tires
• Packaging is a major source of waste that can be easily reduced. • Types of wastes that can be recycled
- Consumers can buy unwrapped produce, or buy food in bulk 1. Preconsumer, internal waste generated in manufacturing process
- Manufacturers can switch to packaging that is recyclable, or reduce the size and weight of their 2. Postconsumer, external waste generated by product use
containers. • Steps to recycling:
• Some governments are beginning to tax and restrict the use of plastic shopping bags, because the persist 1. collecting materials
for so long and are often littered. 2. converting materials to new products
3. selling and buying of products
Composting recovers organic waste • We Can Mix or Separate Household Solid Wastes for Recycling
• Composting is the conversion of organic waste (food scraps, yard debris, etc.) into mulch or humus - Materials-recovery facilities (MRFs) – Machines or workers separate mixed waste to recover valuable
through natural decomposition. materials for sale to manufacturers as raw materials.
- This compost is used to enrich soil, mimicking natural cycles of matter and preventing waste from
reaching a landfill or incinerator. Recycling Paper
- Form of recycling that uses bacteria to decompose yard trimmings, vegetable food scraps, & • Production of paper versus recycled paper
biodegradable waste into materials that can increase soil fertility. - Energy use – world’s fifth largest consumer
• Resulting organic matter can be used to: Supply plant nutrients, Slow soil erosion, Retain water, and - Water use
Improve crop yield - Pollution
• Easy to recycle
Composting - Uses 64% less energy
• Composting is an aerobic method (meaning that it requires the presence of air) of decomposing organic - Produces 35% less water pollution
solid wastes. - Produces 74% less air pollution
• It can therefore be used to recycle organic material.
• The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus-like material, known as compost, Recycling Plastics
which is a good fertilizer for plants. • Plastics
• Composting requires the following three components: - Composed of resins created from oil and natural gas
1. human management • Currently only 7% is recycled in the U.S.
2. aerobic conditions - Many types of plastic resins making it difficult to separate from products that contain them
3. development of internal biological heat
• Composting organisms require four equally important ingredients to work effectively: RECYCLING
1. Carbon — for energy; the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat Advantages Disadvantages
2. Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon. High nitrogen materials Reduces energy and mineral use and air and water Can cost more than burying in areas with ample
tend to be green (or colorful, such as fruits and vegetables) and wet. pollution. landfill space.
Reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Reduces profits for landfill and incinerator owners. Concentrates hazardous substances into ash for Emits some CO2 and other air pollutants
Reduces solid waste. Inconvenient for some. burial
Sale of energy reduces cost Encourages waste production
Sanitary Landfills
• Sanitary landfills bury waste in the ground or pile it in large mounds engineered to prevent waste from We can gain energy from trash [waste-to-energy (WTE)]
contaminating the environment. • Most incinerators now are waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, which use the heat produced by waste
• Waste is partially decomposed by bacteria and compresses under its own weight to take up less space. combustion to boil water, creating steam that drives electricity generation or that fuels heating systems.
• Soil is layered with the waste to speed decomposition and reduce odor and pests. - Waste generates about 35% as much energy as burning coal.
• Liners and collection systems prevent liquid leachate from escaping into the nearby groundwater. • Inside landfills, bacteria decompose waste and produce landfill gas, a mix of gases that is about 50%
• Landfills must be located away from wetlands, earthquake-prone faults, and at least 6 meters above the methane.
water table. - This can also be collected, processed, and used as a source of energy.

SANITARY LANDFILLS We can recycle materials from landfills

Advantages Disadvantages • Steel, aluminum, copper, and other metals are abundant enough in some landfills to make salvage
Low operating costs. Noise, traffic, and dust. operations profitable when market prices for the metals are high enough.
Can handle large amounts of waste. Releases greenhouse gases (methane and CO2) • Organic waste from landfills could be mined and composted.
unless they are collected. • Older landfill waste could also be incinerated in WTE facilities to produce energy.
Filled land can be used for other purposes. Output approach that encourages waste
production. How Can We Make the Transition to a More Sustainable Low-Waste Society?
No shortage of landfill space in many areas. Eventually leaks and can contaminate groundwater. • Shifting to a low-waste society requires individuals and businesses to:
- Reduce resource use
- Reuse and recycle wastes at local, national, and global levels

Reuse, Recycling, and Composting Present Economic Opportunities

1. Freecycle network
2. Upcycling
- Recycling materials into products of higher value
3. Dual-use packaging

We Can Make the Transition to Low-Waste Societies

• Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands
- Committed to reduce resource waste by 75%
• Key principles
1. Everything is connected
2. There is no away
3. Producers and polluters should pay for their wastes
Incinerating trash reduces pressure on landfills 4. We can mimic nature by reusing, recycling, composting, or exchanging MSW we produce
• Incineration, or combustion, is a controlled process in which garbage is burned at very high temperatures.
• Incineration reduces the weight of waste up to 85%, and its volume up to 95%. Case Study: Industrial Ecosystems: Copying Nature
• Resource exchange webs
- Waste as raw material
- Ecoindustrial parks
• Two major steps of biomimicry
- Observe how natural systems respond
- Apply to human industrial systems

Three Big Ideas

• The order of priorities for dealing with solid waste should be to:
1. Produce less of it
2. Reuse and recycle as much of it as possible
3. Safely burn or bury what is left

What is net energy and why is it important?
Advantages Disadvantages 1. Basic science: Net energy is the only energy that really counts.
Reduces trash volume Expensive to build - The usable amount of high-quality energy available from a given quantity of an energy resource is its
Produces energy Produces a hazardous waste net energy yield: the total amount of useful energy available from an energy resource minus the
energy needed to make it available to consumers.
- We can express net energy as the ratio of energy produced to the energy used to produce it. As the a. In 2010, OPEC holds about 77% of the world’s proven crude oil reserves.
ratio increases, the net energy also rises. When the ratio is less than 1, there is a net energy loss. b. OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar,
- Net energy ratios for various energy systems over their estimated lifetimes differ widely. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
- The United States has only about 2% of the world’s proven oil reserves. China has only 1.1%, India has
2. Energy resources with low or negative net energy need help to compete in the marketplace. 0.4%, and Japan has no oil reserves.
- Any energy resource with a low or negative net energy ratio cannot compete in the open - Currently, the world’s largest producers of oil are, in order, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
marketplace with other energy alternatives with higher net energy ratios unless it receives financial Energy experts project that by about 2020, Iraq will become the world’s third largest oil producer.
support from the government (taxpayers) or other outside sources of funding. - Since 1984, production of conventional crude oil from proven reserves has exceeded new oil
- For example, the low net energy yield for the nuclear power fuel cycle is one reason why many discoveries. Since 2005, global crude oil production has generally leveled off. Of the world’s 64 major
governments throughout the world must heavily support nuclear power financially to make it oil fields, 54 are now in decline.
available to consumers at an affordable price. - According to some analysts, in order to keep using conventional oil at the projected increasing rate
of consumption, we must discover proven reserves of conventional oil equivalent to the current Saudi
What are the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels? Arabian supply every 5 years. Most oil geologists say this is highly unlikely.
1. Fossil fuels supply most of our commercial energy.
- The direct input of solar energy produces several other forms of renewable energy resources that: CASE STUDY: The United States Uses Much More Oil Than It Produces
wind, flowing water, and biomass. • The United States uses much more oil than it produces.
- Most commercial energy—energy sold in the marketplace—comes from extracting and burning • The United States gets about 85% of its commercial energy from fossil fuels, with 40% coming from crude
nonrenewable energy resources obtained from the earth’s crust. oil.
à 87% from carbon-containing fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal). • In 2010, the United States imported about 57% of its crude oil (compared to 24% in 1970).
à 6% from nuclear power. • The United States cannot even come close to meeting its huge and growing demand for crude oil and
à 8% from renewable energy resources—biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar energy. gasoline by increasing domestic supplies.

2. We depend heavily on oil. 5. Using crude oil has advantages and disadvantages.
- Crude oil, or petroleum (soil as it comes out of the ground), is a - Extraction, processing, and burning of nonrenewable oil and other fossil fuels have severe
black, gooey liquid consisting of hundreds of different environmental impacts.
combustible hydrocarbons along with small amounts of sulfur, a. Land disruption.
oxygen, and nitrogen impurities. b. Air pollution.
a. Also known as conventional oil and as light or sweet crude c. Greenhouse gas emissions.
oil. d. Water pollution.
b. Oil, coal, and natural gas are called fossil fuels because they e. Loss of biodiversity.
were formed from the decaying remains (fossils) of - Oil spills cause catastrophic damage.
organisms that lived millions of years ago. a. In 2010, the BP Company’s Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling rig exploded, spilling an estimated 679
- When the rate of crude oil production starts declining it is million liters (180million gallons) of crude oil into U.S. Gulf Coast waters.
referred to as peak production for the well. b. In 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled 42 million liters (11 million gallons) of
- Global peak production is the point in time when we reach the oil into Alaskan waters.
maximum overall rate of crude oil production for the whole c. More than 2.5 times the estimated amount of crude oil spilled in the 2010 Gulf Coast disaster has
world. been spilled from off the coast of Nigeria with little media attention
- After extraction, crude oil is transported to a refinery by pipeline,
truck, or ship (oil tanker). CONVENTIONAL OIL
- Crude oil is heated to different boiling points in a complex Advantages Disadvantages
process called refining to separate it into different layers, such Ample supply for several decades. Water pollution from oil spills and leaks.
as petrochemicals. Net energy yield is high but decreasing. Environmental costs not included in market price.
- When crude oil is refined, many of its components are removed at various levels Low land disruption. Releases CO2 and air pollutants when burned.
Efficient distribution system. Vulnerable to international supply interruptions.
3. How long might supplies of conventional crude oil last?
- Crude oil is now the single largest source of commercial energy in the world. 6. Will heavy oil be a useful resource?
- Proven oil reserves are identified deposits from which conventional crude oil can be extracted - Oil shale is rock that contains a solid combustible mixture of hydrocarbons called kerogen which can
profitably at current prices with current technology. be processed to produce shale oil.
- Geologists project that known and projected global reserves of conventional crude oil will be 80% - Shale oil can be extracted from oil shale rock
depleted sometime between 2050 and 2100. The remaining 20% will likely be too costly to remove - Producing shale oil requires large amounts of water and has a low net energy and a very high
- Options include: environmental impact.
a. look for more oil. - Estimated potential global supplies of unconventional shale oil are about 240 times larger than
b. use less oil. estimated global supplies of conventional crude oil.
c. waste less oil. - Shale has a low net energy yield so would require subsidies to compete on the open market, and
d. use other energy resources. shale extraction would have a high environmental impact, causing severe land disruption, high water
use, and high CO2 emissions when produced and burned.
4. OPEC controls most of the world’s crude oil supplies.
- 13 countries make up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Advantages Disadvantages • Major oil companies are shifting a portion of their efforts to natural gas production. Two reasons for this
Large potential supplies. Low net energy yield. are their lack of access to most of the world’s government-owned oil reserves and the huge and growing
Easily transported within and between countries. Releases CO2 and air pollutants when produced and expense of extracting oil from sea beds. Also, natural gas use is growing faster than oil use, natural gas
burned. deposits are more plentiful, and natural gas burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels do. In addition, utility
Efficient distribution system in place. Severe land disruption and high water use. companies are expected to replace their coal-burning power plants with natural gas-burning plants,
which will boost the demand for natural gas.
CASE STUDY: Heavy Oil from Tar Sand
• Tar sand, or oil sand, is a mixture of clay, sand, water, and a combustible organic material called 9. Coal Is a Plentiful but Dirty Fuel
bitumen—a thick, sticky, tar-like heavy oil with a high sulfur content. - Coal is a solid fossil fuel formed from the remains of land plants that were buried 300–400 million years
• Canada has three-fourths of the world’s tar sand resources, an amount roughly equal to seven times the ago and exposed to intense heat and pressure over those millions of years.
total conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. - Coal is burned in power plants to generate about 42% of the world’s electricity, and burned in
• Extraction of oil from tar sand results in major harmful impacts on the land, air, water, wildlife, and climate. industrial plants to make steel, cement, and other products.
- Boreal forest is clear-cut, wetlands drained, and rivers and streams diverted. - The three largest coal-burning countries are China, the United States, and India.
- The overburden of sandy soil, rocks, peat, and clay is stripped away to expose tar sand deposits then - Coal is plentiful and cheap.
the oil sand is mixed with hot water and steam to extract the bitumen. - Mining and burning coal have severe impacts on the earth’s air, water, land, climate, and human
- Produces a great deal of air pollution: dust, steam, smoke, gas fumes, and a tarry stench. health.
- Releases 3 to 5 times more greenhouse gases per barrel than is released in the extraction and a. Coal-burning power and industrial plants are among the largest emitters of the greenhouse gas
production of a barrel of conventional crude oil. CO2.
b. Coal burning emits trace amounts of toxic and radioactive materials.
7. Natural gas is a useful and clean-burning fossil fuel. c. Burning coal produces a highly toxic ash that must be safely stored, essentially forever.
- Natural gas is a mixture of gases of which 50–90% is methane (CH4). d. China uses three times as much coal as the United States and it has become the world’s leading
a. Has high net energy. emitter of CO2 and of sulfur dioxide.
b. Versatile fuel that can be burned to heat indoor space and water, propel vehicles and produce - Coal is a relatively cheap way to produce electricity because most of its harmful environmental and
electricity. health costs are not included in the market price of electricity from coal-burning power plants.
c. Lies above most reservoirs of crude oil. - The clean coal campaign.
d. When a natural gas field is tapped, propane and butane gases are liquefied and removed as à Powerful U.S. coal companies and coal-burning utilities oppose measures such as stricter air
liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). pollution standards for coal-burning plants, classification of coal ash as a hazardous waste, and
e. Cleanest-burning alternative among the fossil fuels, releasing much less CO2 per unit of energy classification of climate-changing CO2 as a pollutant.
than do coal, crude oil, and synthetic crude oil from tar sands and oil shale. à Publicity campaign built around the misleading notion of clean coal.
a. Burn coal more cleanly by adding costly air pollution control devices.
CONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS b. There is no such thing as clean coal.
Advantages Disadvantages - This power plant burns pulverized coal to boil water and produce steam that spins a turbine to
Ample supplies. Low net energy yield for LNG. produce electricity.
- CO2 emissions vary with different energy resources
High net energy yield. Production and use may emit more CO2 and CH4 per
unit than does coal. - Different types of coal have formed over millions of years
Emits less CO2 and air pollutants when burned and Potential groundwater pollution from fracking.
other fossil fuels.

8. Use of fracking to extract natural gas is controversial

- Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, pumps water mixed with sand and some toxic chemicals
underground to fracture deep rock and free up natural gas stored there.
a. The gas flows out, along with a toxic slurry of water, salts, toxic heavy metals, and naturally
occurring radioactive materials that is stored in tanks and holding ponds.
b. Drillers maintain that fracking is necessary for exploiting this reserve at a reasonably low cost, and
they argue that no groundwater contamination directly due to fracking has ever been recorded.
c. Scientists and citizens point out that there is no guarantee that sharply increasing use of the
process will not contaminate groundwater or that holding ponds and tanks used to store the toxic COAL
slurry will not leak and pollute rivers and streams. Advantages Disadvantages
d. People who rely on aquifers and streams in these areas for their drinking water have little protection Ample supplies in many countries. Severe land disturbance and water pollution.
from pollution of their water supplies that might result from natural gas drilling. High net energy yield. Fine particle and toxic mercury emissions threaten
- Natural gas can be transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG)—gas converted to liquid at a high human health.
pressure and at a very low temperature. However, LNG has a low net energy yield, as more than a Lost cost when environmental and health costs are Emits large amounts of CO2 and air pollutants when
third of its energy content is used to process it and to deliver it to users. not included. produced and burned.
- The long-term global outlook for conventional natural gas supplies is better than that for crude oil.
- Potential sources of unconventional natural gas include coal bed methane gas and methane
hydrate, but environmental impacts and cost may limit their use.
CASE STUDY: The Growing Problem of Coal Ash. b. processing and enriching the uranium to make fuel.
• Burning coal and removing pollutants from the resulting emissions together produce an ash that contains c. using it in the reactor.
highly toxic and indestructible chemical elements such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and radioactive d. safely storing the resulting highly radioactive wastes for thousands of years until their radioactivity
radium. falls to safe levels.
• Some of this ash is blended into cement and concrete, used as a base for paving roads, or converted e. retiring the highly radioactive plant by taking it apart.
into wallboard for use in homes and offices. f. storing its high- and moderate-level radioactive material safely for thousands of years.
• Almost 60% of it is either buried or made into a wet slurry that can slowly leach into groundwater or severely
pollute nearby rivers, groundwater, and towns. 3. Storing spent radioactive fuel rods presents risks
• Coal and electric utility companies argue that forcing them to include environmental and health costs in - High-level radioactive wastes consist mainly of spent fuel rods and assemblies.
the price of coal-generated electricity would make it considerably more expensive. - After 3–4 years in a reactor, spent fuel rods are removed and stored in a deep pool of water contained
in a steel-lined concrete basin for cooling.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy? - After about 5 years of cooling, the fuel rods can be stored upright on concrete pads in sealed dry-
1. How does a nuclear fission reactor work? storage casks made of heat-resistant metal alloys and concrete.
- Nuclear power plant is a highly complex and costly system designed to perform a relatively simple - Stored spent radioactive fuel rods are vulnerable to terrorist acts.
task: to boil water to produce steam that spins a turbine and generates electricity. - Storage pools and dry casks at 68 nuclear power plants in 31 U.S. states are especially vulnerable to
- A controlled nuclear fission reaction is used to provide the heat. sabotage or terrorist attack.
a. The fission reaction takes place in a reactor. - Critics call for construction of much more secure structures to protect spent-fuel storage pools and
b. Light-water reactors (LWRs) produce 85% of the world’s nuclear-generated electricity (100% in the dry casks.
United States).
c. The fuel for a reactor is made from uranium ore mined from the earth’s crust, then enriched and CONVENTIONAL NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE
processed into pellets of uranium dioxide. Advantages Disadvantages
d. Pellets are packed into fuel rods which are then grouped into fuel assemblies and placed in the Low environmental impact (without accidents). Very low net energy yield ang high overall cost.
core of a reactor. Emits 1/6 as much CO2 as coal. Produces long-lived, harmful radioactive wastes.
e. Control rods are moved in and out of the reactor core to regulate the amount of power produced. Low risk of accidents in modern plants. Promotes spread of nuclear weapons.
f. A coolant, usually water, circulates through the reactor’s core to remove heat, which keeps fuel
rods and other materials from melting and releasing massive amounts of radioactivity into the
environment. 4. Dealing with high-level radioactive wastes produced by nuclear power is a difficult problem.
g. A containment shell surrounds the reactor core to keep radioactive materials from escaping into - High-level radioactive wastes consist mainly of spent fuel rods and assemblies from commercial
the environment in case there is an internal explosion or a melting of the reactor’s core. nuclear power plants and dismantled plants, and assorted wastes from the production of nuclear
h. Light water reactors are highly inefficient; the net energy loss is about 82%, without taking into weapons.
account the energy needed to dismantle a plant at the end of its life and transport and store its - Spent fuel rods can be processed to remove radioactive plutonium, as is done with some of the other
radioactive materials for thousands of years. radioactive wastes we produce.
- Reduces the storage time from up to 240,000 to about 10,000 years.
a. Costly and produces plutonium that terrorists or countries that support them could use to make
nuclear weapons.
b. Main reason that the United States abandoned this fuel recycling approach in 1977.
- Deep burial in a geologically acceptable underground repository is the safest and cheapest way to
store these and other high-level radioactive wastes.
a. After almost 60 years of research and evaluation, no country has built and tested such a repository.
- All worn-out nuclear plant plants will have to be dismantled and their high-level radioactive materials
will have to be stored safely for thousands of years.
a. Store the highly radioactive parts in a permanent, secure repository, which so far, no country has
built and tested.
b. Install a physical barrier around the plant and set up full-time security for 30–100 years, until the
plant can be dismantled after its radioactivity has reached safer levels. These levels would still be
high enough to require long-term safe storage of leftover materials.
c. Enclose the entire plant in a concrete and steel-reinforced tomb, called a containment structure.

CASE STUDY: High-Level Radioactive Wastes in the United States

• In 1987, the DOE announced plans to build a repository for underground storage of high-level radioactive
2. What is the nuclear fuel cycle? wastes from commercial nuclear reactors.
- A nuclear power plant is only one part of the nuclear fuel cycle, which also includes the mining of • On federal land in the Yucca Mountain desert region, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Las
uranium, processing and enriching the uranium to make fuel, using it in the reactor, safely storing the Vegas, Nevada.
resulting highly radioactive wastes for thousands of years until their radioactivity falls to safe levels, and • By 2008, more than $10.4 billion had been spent on preliminary development of the site with $2 billion of
retiring the highly radioactive plant by taking it apart and storing its high- and moderate-level these costs paid by the nuclear industry and $8.4 billion paid by taxpayers.
radioactive material safely for thousands of years. • Opponents say that Yucca Mountain site is not a suitable storage site, and that transporting nuclear waste
- In addition to a nuclear power plant, the nuclear fuel cycle includes: across the country would create numerous opportunities for accidents, sabotage, or theft of radioactive
a. mining uranium. materials by terrorists.
• In 2009, the president of the United States requested that the U.S. Congress cut off funding for the Yucca - Replace today’s uranium-based reactors with new ones based on the element thorium which are less
Mountain project while other, shorter-term alternatives are evaluated. costly and safer, and would cut the amount of nuclear waste generated in half.
• Meanwhile, large amounts of U.S. nuclear waste sit in pools and dry casks and these volumes of waste - Develop nuclear fusion—a nuclear change at the atomic level in which the nuclei of two isotopes of
continue to grow. a light element such as hydrogen are forced together at extremely high temperatures until they fuse
to form a heavier nucleus, releasing energy in the process
5. Can nuclear power lessen dependence on imported oil and help reduce projected global warming? - With nuclear fusion, there would be no risk of a meltdown or of a release of large amounts of
- Nuclear power advocates contend it will: radioactive materials, and little risk of the additional spread of nuclear weapons. In addition to
a. Reduce oil dependency. generating electricity, fusion power could be used to destroy hazardous wastes, and it could have
b. Reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions and reduce the threat of projected climate change. many other uses.
- Dissenters claim that
a. While nuclear power plants do not produce greenhouse gasses, the nuclear fuel cycle does. CASE STUDY: The Three Worst Nuclear Power Plant Accidents
b. Increased use of nuclear power in the U.S. will make the country dependent on imports of uranium. • Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA) had a serious accident in 1979
c. While nuclear emissions are much lower than those from coal-burning power plants, they still that almost caused a meltdown of the plant’s reactor. The accident caused no known deaths among
contribute to projected atmospheric warming and climate change. plant workers or the general public.
• The world’s worst nuclear power plant accident occurred in 1986 at Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear power
6. Nuclear Power Is Not Expanding Very Rapidly plant in Ukraine. Investigators estimate that at least 6,000 workers and cleanup personnel died with 9,000
- 1950s prediction was that by the year 2000 at least 1,800 nuclear power plants would supply most of to 212,000 long-term deaths projected.
the world’s electricity. • The third major accident occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in
- Some 441 commercial nuclear reactors in 31 countries produce only 6% of the world’s commercial northeast Japan. The accident was caused by a severe tsunami. Officials project that it will take at least
energy and 14% of its electricity. a year to bring the reactors under control and to clean up the radioactivity in and around the plant, but
- Nuclear power is now the world’s slowest-growing form of commercial energy some experts believe that to be overly optimistic

7. Experts Disagree about the Future of Nuclear Power Why is energy efficiency an important energy resource?
- Opposition to Nuclear Power. 1. We waste huge amounts of energy.
a. Nuclear power industry could not exist without support from governments and taxpayers. - Energy efficiency is the measure of how much work we can get from each unit of energy we use.
b. In the United States, the government provides huge subsidies, tax breaks, and loan guarantees to - Roughly 84% of all commercial energy used in the United States is wasted.
the nuclear industry, and accident insurance guarantees, because insurance companies have a. About 41% of this energy is unavoidably lost because of the degradation of energy quality imposed
refused to fully insure any nuclear reactor. by the second law of thermodynamics.
c. Public concerns about the safety of nuclear reactors b. The other 43% is wasted unnecessarily, mostly due to the inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs,
- Some critics of nuclear power say any new generation of nuclear power plants should beet all of industrial motors, most motor vehicles, coal and nuclear power plants, and numerous other energy-
these criteria; so far, none do consuming devices.
c. Many people live and work in leaky, poorly insulated, and badly designed buildings that require
SOLUTIONS excessive heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
• Reactors must be built so that a runaway chain reaction is impossible. - Reducing energy waste is the quickest, cleanest, and usually the cheapest way to provide more
• The reactor fuel and methods of fuel enrichment and fuel reprocessing must be such that they energy, reduce pollution and environmental degradation, and slow projected climate change.
cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. - Widely used devices that waste large amounts of energy unnecessarily:
• Spent fuel and dismantled structures must be easy to dispose of without burdening future generations a. The incandescent light bulb uses only about 5% of the electricity it draws to produce light. The
with harmful radioactive waste. other 95% is wasted as heat.
• Taking its entire fuel cycle into account, nuclear power must generate a net energy yield high b. The internal combustion engine, which propels most motor vehicles and wastes about 80% of the
enough so that it does not need government subsidies, tax breaks, or loan guarantees to compete in energy in its fuel.
the open marketplace. c. A nuclear power plant, which produces electricity for space heating or water heating, wastes
• Its entire fuel cycle must generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other energy alternatives. about 65% of the energy in its nuclear fuel.
d. A coal-fired power plant wastes about 66% of the energy released.
CONNECTIONS: Nuclear Power Plants and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons
• The United States and 14 other countries have been selling commercial and experimental nuclear 2. We can save energy and money in industry.
reactors and uranium fuel-enrichment and purification technology in the international marketplace for - Industry accounts for about 30% of the world’s energy consumption and 33% of U.S. energy
decades. Much of this information and equipment can be used to produce bomb-grade material for use consumption, mostly for the production of metals, chemicals, petrochemicals, cement, and paper.
in nuclear weapons. Energy expert John Holdren, pointed out that, with the exception of the United - There are many ways for industries to cut energy waste.
States, Great Britain, and the former Soviet Union, the 60 countries that have nuclear weapons or the a. Cogeneration, or combined heat and power (CHP), combines two useful forms of energy (such as
knowledge to develop them have gained most of such information by using civilian nuclear power steam and electricity), produced from the same fuel source.
technology. Some critics see that as the single most important reason for not building more nuclear power b. Save energy and money in industry by replacing energy-wasting electric motors.
plants throughout the world. c. Recycling materials, such as steel and other metals, is a third way for industry to save energy and
8. Support for Nuclear Power. d. Switch from low-efficiency incandescent lighting to higher-efficiency fluorescent lighting or even
- Governments should continue funding research, development, and pilot-plant testing of potentially more efficient LED lighting.
safer and less expensive second-generation reactors.
- New advanced light-water reactors (ALWRs) have built-in safety features designed to make
explosions and releases of radioactive emissions almost impossible.
CONNECTIONS: Saving Energy with a Smarter Electrical Grid. - Super insulated houses in Sweden use 90% less energy for heating and cooling than typical American
• A digitally controlled, ultra-high-voltage smart grid with super-efficient transmission lines would be homes of the same size.
responsive to local and regional changes in demand and supply. - Green building certification standards now exist in 21 countries, thanks to the efforts of the World
• Smart appliances such as clothes washers and dryers could be programmed to perform their tasks during Green Building Council.
off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. - The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program
awards certificates to buildings that meet certain efficiency standards.
Benefits of Reducing Energy Waste
1. Prolongs fossil fuel supplies 5. Reduces pollution and environmental CASE STUDY: The Rocky Mountain Institute
2. Reduces oil imports and improves energy degradation • Energy analyst Amory B. Lovins, head of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), designed a large, solar-heated,
security 6. Buys time to phase in renewable energy solar-powered, superinsulated, partially earth-sheltered home and office in Snowmass, Colorado.
3. Has very high net energy yield 7. Creates local jobs • Solar energy provides this building with 99% of its heat and hot water, 95% of its daytime lighting, and 90%
4. Saves a lot of money of its household electricity.

3. We can save energy and money in transportation. 6. We can save energy and money in existing buildings.
- As a result of the 1973–1974 oil embargo imposed by OPEC, the U.S. government imposed higher fuel - Have an expert make an energy audit of a house or other building to suggest ways to improve energy
efficiency standards for new vehicles sold in the United States beginning in 1978. efficiency.
- Between 1973 and 1985, average fuel efficiency for new vehicles sold in the United States rose sharply a. Insulate the building and plug leaks. d. Heat water more efficiently.
because of the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. b. Use energy-efficient windows. e. Use energy-efficient appliances.
- Greatly increased sales of light trucks and SUVs lead to a decline in fuel efficiency in the U.S. between c. Heat houses more efficiently. f. Use energy-efficient lighting.
1985 and 2005.
- Fuel economy standards for new vehicles in Europe, Japan, China, and Canada are much higher
than are those in the United States.
- In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring new motor vehicles to have an average combined
fuel efficiency of 15 kilometers per liter (35 miles per gallon) by 2020.
- One way to include more of the real cost of gasoline in its market price is through gasoline taxes.
- Government could encourage consumers them to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles with a fee-bate
program in which buyers of inefficient vehicles would pay a high fee, and the resulting revenues would
be given to buyers of fuel-efficient vehicles as rebates

4. More energy efficient vehicles are on the way.

- Energy-efficient, gasoline-electric hybrid car.
a. A small gasoline-powered motor and an electric motor used to provide the energy needed for
acceleration and hill climbing.
b. The most efficient models of these cars, such as the 2011 Toyota Prius, get a combined
city/highway mileage of up to 22 kpl (51 mpg) and emit about 65% less CO2 per kilometer driven
than a comparable conventional car emits.
c. A newer option is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle—a hybrid with a second and more powerful
CONNECTIONS: Using Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Reduces Mercury Pollution
battery that can be plugged into an electrical outlet and recharged.
• The typical compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) contains a small amount of toxic mercury.
- The next superefficient car may be an electric vehicle that uses a fuel cell—a device that uses
• Newer bulbs will have only half this amount.
hydrogen gas (H2) as a fuel to produce electricity. Fuel cells are at least twice as efficient as internal
• The mercury cannot be released to the environment unless the bulb gets broken.
combustion engines, have no moving parts, and require little maintenance.
• The total amount of mercury in all CFLs is a tiny fraction of the amount of mercury released by coal-fired
- Fuel efficiency for all types of cars could nearly double if car bodies were made of ultralight and
power plants.
ultrastrong composite materials.
- Other ways to save energy in transportation include
7. Why are we still wasting so much energy and money?
a. shifting from diesel-powered to electrified rail systems
- Fossil fuels, nuclear power, and other widely used energy resources are artificially cheap, primarily
b. building accessible mass transit systems within cities
because of the government subsidies they receive and because market prices do not include the
c. constructing high-speed rail lines between cities
harmful environmental and health costs of their production and use.
d. encourage bicycle use by designating bike lanes on highways and city streets
- There are few large and long-lasting government tax breaks, rebates, low-interest and long-term
e. using video conferencing as an alternative to flying employees to meetings.
loans, and other economic incentives for consumers and businesses to invest in improving energy
5. We can design buildings that save energy and money.
- The U.S. government has done a poor job of encouraging fuel efficiency in motor vehicles and
- Changes in the design and construction of buildings could save 30–40% of the energy used globally.
educating the public about the environmental and economic advantages of cutting energy waste.
- Orienting a building so it can get more of its heat from the sun can save up to 20% of heating costs
- Inadequate energy-efficiency building codes and appliance standards.
and as much as 75% when the building is well insulated and airtight.
- Green architecture, based on energy-efficient and money-saving designs, makes use of natural
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable energy resources?
lighting, passive solar heating, solar cells, solar hot water heaters, recycled wastewater, and energy-
1. We can use renewable energy for many purposes.
efficient appliances and lighting.
- Renewable solar energy comes directly from the sun or indirectly from wind, moving water, and
- Renewable energy can come from geothermal energy from the earth’s interior. Moderate environmental impact. Low net energy ang high costs.
- Renewable energy could provide 20% of the world’s electricity by 2025 and 50% by 2050. No direct emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants. Needs backup or storage system on cloudy days.
- Several reasons why renewable energy provides only 13% of the world’s energy and 8% of the energy Lower costs with natural gas turbine backup. High water use for cooling.
used in the United States:
a. Since 1950, government tax breaks, subsidies, and funding for research and development of SOLAR CELLS
renewable energy resources have been much lower than those for fossil fuels and nuclear power. Advantages Disadvantages
b. Although subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuels and nuclear power have essentially been Moderate net energy yield. Needs access to sun.
guaranteed for many decades, those for renewable energy in the United States have to be Little or no direct emissions of CO2 and air pollutants. Need electricity storage system, backup, or
renewed by Congress every few years. connection to a grid system.
c. The prices we pay for nonrenewable fossil fuels and nuclear power do not include the harmful Easy to install, move around, and expand as High costs for older systems but decreasing rapidly.
environmental and human health costs of producing and using them. needed.
Competitive cost for newer cells. Solar-cell power plants could disrupt desert
2. We can heat buildings and water with solar energy. ecocsystems.
- Passive solar heating system absorbs and stores heat from the sun directly.
- Active solar heating system uses energy from the sun by pumping a heat-absorbing fluid through
6. We can produce electricity from falling and flowing water.
special collectors usually mounted on a roof or on special racks to face the sun.
- Hydropower uses the kinetic energy of flowing and falling water to produce electricity.
- Heating a house with passive or active solar energy systems has advantages and disadvantages
- Indirect form of solar energy because it is based on the evaporation of water, which is part of the
earth’s solar-powered water cycle.
PASSIVE OR ACTIVE SOLAR HEATING - Most common approach to harnessing hydropower is to build a high dam across a large river to
Advantages Disadvantages create a reservoir.
Net energy is moderate (active) to high (passive). Need access to sun 60% of time during daylight. - Hydropower is the world’s leading renewable energy source for the production of electricity. In order,
Very low emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants. Sun can be blocked by trees and other structures. the world’s top six producers of hydropower are China, Canada, Brazil, the United States, Russia, and
Very low land disturbance. High installation and maintenance costs for active Norway.
systems. - Some analysts expect that use of large-scale hydropower plants will fall slowly over the next several
Moderate cost (passive). Need backup system for cloudy days. decades as many existing reservoirs fill with silt and become useless faster than new systems are built.
- Microhydropower generators are small floating turbines that use the power of flowing water to turn
3. We can cool buildings naturally. rotor blades, which spin a turbine to produce electric current. They provide electricity at a low cost
- Open windows to take advantage of breezes and use fans to keep the air moving. with a very low environmental impact.
- A living roof can make a huge difference in keeping a building cool. - Ocean tides and waves contain energy. Dams have been built across the mouths of some bays and
- Superinsulation and high-efficiency windows help to keep hot air outside. estuaries to capture the energy in ocean water movement.
- Block the high summer sun with window overhangs or awnings. - Large-scale hydropower has advantages and disadvantages
- Use a light-colored roof to reflect as much as 80% of the sun’s heat.
- Use geothermal heat pumps for cooling (and heating in winter). LARGE-SCALE HYDROPOWER
Advantages Disadvantages
4. We can concentrate sunlight to produce high-temperature heat and electricity. Moderate to high net energy. Large land disturbance and displacement of people.
- Solar thermal systems use different methods to collect and concentrate solar energy in order to boil Large untapped potential.
water and produce steam for generating electricity Low-cost electricity. High CH4 emissions from rapid biomass decay in
- The net energy yield for solar thermal systems is only about 3%, which means that they need large shallow tropical reservoirs.
government subsidies or tax breaks in order to compete in the marketplace with alternatives that
Low emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants in Disrupts downstream aquatic ecosystems.
have higher net energy yields.
temperate areas.
- Inexpensive solar cookers focus and concentrate sunlight for cooking food and sterilizing water.
7. Using wind to produce electricity is an important step toward sustainability.
5. We can use sunlight directly to produce electricity.
- Wind turbines have been erected in large numbers at favorable sites to create wind farms
- Solar energy can be converted directly into electrical energy by photovoltaic cells, commonly called
- Since 1990, wind power has been the world’s second fastest-growing source of energy after solar cells.
solar cells.
- Wind turbines can be interconnected in arrays of tens to hundreds. These wind farms or wind parks
- Solar cells have no moving parts, are safe and quiet, and produce no pollution or greenhouse gases
can be located on land or offshore.
during operation.
- In 2009, a Harvard University study estimated that wind power has the potential to produce 40 times
- The material used in solar cells can be made into paper-thin rigid or flexible sheets that can be
the world’s current use of electricity.
incorporated into roofing materials and attached to a variety of surfaces such as walls, windows, and
- Benefits:
a. Wind is widely distributed and inexhaustible
- Generating electricity with solar cells could become nearly as efficient as using coal-burning power
b. Wind power is mostly carbon-free and pollution-free.
plants without producing the air pollutants and climate-changing CO2 emitted by those plants.
c. A wind farm can be built within 9 to 12 months and expanded as needed.
- Using solar energy to generate high-temperature heat and electricity has advantages and
d. Homeowners can also use small and quiet wind turbines to produce their own electricity.
e. Wind power has a moderate-to-high net energy ratio.
- Using solar cells has advantages and disadvantages
- Areas with the greatest wind power potential are often far from cities so may require controversial
upgrading and expansion of electrical grid systems.
Advantages Disadvantages
- Winds can die down and thus require a backup source of power, such as natural gas, for generating - The two most water-intensive ways to produce a unit of energy are irrigating soybean crops to
electricity. produce biodiesel fuel and irrigating corn to produce ethanol.
- Some people in populated areas oppose wind farms as being unsightly and noisy. - An alternative to corn ethanol is cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from inedible cellulose that
- In windy parts of the U.S. Midwest and in Canada, farmers and ranchers are paid royalties for each makes up most of the biomass of plants.
wind turbine located their land and can still grow crops or graze cattle. a. In this process, enzymes are used to help convert the cellulose from widely available inedible
- Wind power has advantages and disadvantages cellulose materials such as leaves, stalks, and wood chips to sugars that are processed to produce
WIND POWER b. A plant that could be used for cellulosic ethanol production is switchgrass, a tall perennial grass
Advantages Disadvantages native to North American prairies that grows faster than corn.
Moderate to high net energy yield. Needs backup or storage system when winds die c. Affordable chemical processes for converting cellulosic material to ethanol are still being
down. developed and are possibly years away.
Widely available. Visual pollution for some people. - Advantages and disadvantages of liquid biofuels
Low electricity cost.
Little or no direct emissions of CO2 or air pollutants. Low-level noise bothers some people. LIQUID BIOFUELS
Easy to build and expand. Can kill some birds and bats if not properly designed Advantages Disadvantages
and located. Reduced CO2 emissions for some crops. Fuel crops compete with food crops for land.
High net energy yield for biodiesel from oil palms. Low net energy yield for corn ethanol and for bio
Connections: Bird Deaths and Wind Turbines diesel from soybeans.
• Wind turbines are estimated to kill as many as 440,000 birds each year in the United States, although other Moderate net energy yield for ethanol from Higher CO2 emissions from corn ethanol.
more recent estimates put the figure at 7,000 to 100,000. sugarcane.
• Most of the wind turbines involved in bird deaths were built with the use of outdated designs, and some
were built in bird migration corridors. Wind power developers now avoid such corridors when building CONNECTIONS: Biofuels and Climate Change.
wind farms. Newer turbine designs reduce bird deaths considerably by using slower blade rotation speeds • In 2007, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen warned that intensive farming of biofuel crops could
and by not providing places for birds to perch or nest. speed up projected climate change by producing more greenhouse gases than would be produced by
burning fossil fuels instead of biofuels.
8. We can produce energy by burning solid biomass. • This would happen if nitrogen fertilizers were used to grow corn and other biofuel crops. Such fertilizers,
- Biomass consists of plant materials (such as wood and agricultural waste) and animal wastes that can when applied to the soil, release large amounts of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
be burned directly as a solid fuel or converted into gaseous or liquid biofuels. • A 2008 study by Finn Danielsen and a team of other scientists concluded that keeping tropical rain forests
- Solid biomass is burned mostly for heating and cooking, but also for industrial processes and for intact is a better way to slow projected climate change than is replacing such forests with biofuel
generating electricity. plantations.
a. Wood, wood wastes, charcoal (made from wood), animal manure.
b. In agricultural areas, crop residues (such as sugarcane stalks, rice husks, and corn cobs) and Case Study: Is Ethanol the Answer?
animal manure are collected and burned. • Ethanol can be made from plants such as sugarcane, corn, and switchgrass, and from agricultural,
c. About 2.7 billion people in 77 less-developed countries face a fuelwood crisis and are often forced forestry, and municipal wastes.
to meet their fuel needs by harvesting wood faster than it can be replenished. • Brazil is the world’s second largest ethanol producer after the United States. Brazil makes its ethanol from
d. Plant fast-growing trees, shrubs, and perennial grasses in biomass plantations, but this can deplete bagasse, a residue produced when sugarcane is crushed.
soil nutrients and deplete or degrade biodiversity. • In the United States, most ethanol is made from corn. Processing all of the corn grown in the U.S. into
- Solid biomass has advantages and disadvantages ethanol each year would meet only about 30 days worth of the country’s current demand for gasoline,
leave no corn for other uses and would cause sharp increases in the prices of corn-based foods such as
SOLID BIOMASS cereals, tortillas, poultry, beef, pork, and dairy products.
Advantages Disadvantages
Widely available in some areas. Can lead to deforestation. CONNECTIONS: Corn, Ethanol, and Tortilla Riots in Mexico
Moderate costs. Increase CO2 emissions if harvested and burned • Traditionally, the United States has supplied approximately 75% of the world’s corn.
unsustainably. • Mexico imports 80% of its corn from the United States.
No net CO2 increase if harvested, burned, and Clear cutting can cause spoil erosion, water • Since 2005, when America began using much of its corn crop to produce ethanol, the price of food items
replanted sustainably. pollution, and loss of wildfire habitat. such as corn tortillas in Mexico has risen sharply.
Plantations help restore degraded lands. Some biomass plans can be invasive species. • High prices have led to food riots and massive citizen protests.

9. We can convert plants and plant wastes to liquid biofuels. 10. We can get energy by tapping the earth’s internal heat.
- Liquid biofuels such as biodiesel (produced from vegetable oils) and ethanol (ethyl alcohol produced - Geothermal energy is heat stored in soil, underground rocks, and fluids in the earth’s mantle.
from plants and plant wastes) are being used in place of petroleum-based diesel fuel and gasoline. - A geothermal heat pump system can heat and cool a house by exploiting the temperature
- Advantages of biofuels: differences between the earth’s surface and underground almost anywhere in the world at a depth
a. While oil resources are concentrated in a small number of countries, biofuel crops can be grown of 3–6 meters (10–20 feet).
almost anywhere, and thus they help countries to reduce their dependence on imported oil. à Most energy-efficient, reliable, environmentally clean, and cost-effective way to heat or cool a
b. If these crops are not used faster than they are replenished by new plant growth, there is no net space. It produces no air pollutants and emits no CO2.
increase in CO2 emissions, unless existing grasslands or forests are cleared to plant biofuel crops. - Drill wells into hydrothermal reservoirs of geothermal energy to extract steam or hot water, which is
c. Biofuels are easy to store and transport through existing fuel networks and can be used in motor used to heat homes and buildings, provide hot water, grow vegetables in greenhouses, raise fish in
vehicles at little or no additional cost. aquaculture ponds, and spin turbines to produce electricity.
à The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of geothermal electricity from hydrothermal reservoirs. g. How will extracting, transporting, and using the resource affect the environment, the earth’s
- Deep geothermal energy stored in hot, dry rock found 5 or more kilometers (3 or more miles) climate, and human health? How will these harmful costs be paid and by whom?
underground almost everywhere. h. Does use of the resource produce hazardous, toxic, or radioactive substances that must be safely
à Tapping just 2% of this source of geothermal energy in the U.S. could produce more than 2,000 times stored for very long periods of time?
the country’s current annual use of electricity. - Hard energy paths are based on increasing use of nonrenewable fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
à Digging so deep into the earth’s crust is costly. - Soft energy paths are based on improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of various
- Using geothermal energy has advantages and disadvantages renewable energy resources.
- Three general conclusions of experts who have evaluated energy alternatives:
GEOTHERMAL ENERGY a. There will likely be a gradual shift:
Advantages Disadvantages à from large, centralized power systems such as coal and nuclear power plants to smaller,
Moderate net energy and high efficiency at High cost and low efficiency except at concentrated decentralized power systems such as household and neighborhood solar-cell panels, rooftop solar
accessible sites. and accessible sites. water heaters, and small natural gas turbines.
Lower CO2 emissions than fossil fuels. Scarcity of suitable sites. à from gasoline-powered motor vehicles to hybrid and plug-in electric cars.
Low cost at favorable sites. Noise and some CO2 emissions. à to fuel cells for cars and to stationary fuel cells for houses and commercial buildings.
b. A combination of greatly improved energy efficiency and the temporary use of nonrenewable
11. Will hydrogen save us? natural gas will be the best way to make the transition to a diverse mix of renewable energy
- Focus is on fuel cells that combine H2 and oxygen gas (O2) to produce electricity and water vapor (2 resources over the next several decades
H2 + O2→2 H2O). c. Because of their still-abundant supplies and artificially low prices, we will continue using fossil fuels
- Use of hydrogen as a fuel would eliminate most of our outdoor air pollution problems. in large quantities.
- Greatly reduce the threat of projected climate change as long as the H2 is not produced with the use
of fossil fuels or nuclear power. SOLUTIONS
- Three challenges in turning the vision of widespread use of hydrogen as a fuel into reality. MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE
a. Hydrogen gas must be produced from elemental hydrogen (H), which requires using other forms IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY REUCE POLLUTION AND HEALTH
of energy; the amount of energy it takes to make this fuel will always be more than the amount RISK
we can get by burning it. Increase fuel-efficiency standards Greatly increase use of renewable Phase out coal subsidies and tax
b. Fuel cells are the best way to use H2 to produce electricity. for vehicles, buildings, and energy. breaks.
c. Whether or not a hydrogen-based energy system produces less outdoor air pollution and CO2 than appliances.
a fossil fuel system depends on how the H2 is produced. Provide large tax credits of Provide large subsidies and tax Levy taxes on coal and oil use.
- Possible uses of hydrogen fuel: feebates for buying efficient cars, credits for use of renewable
a. Fuel-cell cars, running on affordable H2 produced from natural gas, could be in widespread use house, and appliances. energy.
by 2030 to 2050. Reward utilities for reducing Greatly increase renewable Phase out nuclear power
b. Larger, stationary fuel cells could provide electricity and heat for commercial and industrial users. demand for electricity. energy research and subsidies, tax breaks, and loan
c. In homes, a fuel-cell stack about the size of a refrigerator could provide heat, hot water, and Greatly increase energy efficiency development. guarantees.
electricity. research and development.
- Using hydrogen has advantages and disadvantages
2. Economics, politics, and education can help us shift to more sustainable energy resources.
HYDROGEN - Governments can use three strategies to help stimulate or reduce the short-term and long-term use
Advantages Disadvantages of a particular energy resource.
Can be produced from plentiful water at some sites. Negative net energy yield. a. Keep the prices of selected energy resources artificially low to encourage use of those resources.
No direct CO2 emissions if produced from water. CO2 emissions if produced from carbon-containing b. Keep the prices of selected energy resources artificially high to discourage their use.
compounds. c. Governments can emphasize consumer education.
Good substitute for oil. High costs and negative net energy yield create
need for subsidies. The three big ideas for this chapter:
High efficiency (45-65%) in fuel cells. Need H2 storage and distribution system. 1. We should evaluate energy resources on the basis of their potential supplies, how much net energy they
provide, and the environmental impacts of using them.
How can we make the transition to a more sustainable energy future? 2. Using a mix of renewable energy sources—especially solar, wind, flowing water, sustainable biofuels, and
1. Choosing energy paths. geothermal energy—can drastically reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity losses.
- Energy policies must be developed with the future in mind. 3. Making the transition to a more sustainable energy future will require sharply reducing energy waste, using
à Usually takes at least 50 years and huge investments to phase in new energy alternatives. a mix of environmentally friendly renewable energy resources, and including the harmful environmental
- Creating energy policy involves trying to answer the following questions for each energy alternative: costs of energy resources in their market prices.
a. How much of the energy resource is likely to be available in the near future (the next 25 years) and
in the long term (the next 50 years)? MINING AND THE MODERN SOCIETY
b. What is the estimated net energy yield (p. 000) for the resource? What are the earth’s major geological processes and hazards?
c. What are the estimated costs for developing, phasing in, and using the resource? 1. The earth is a dynamic planet.
d. What government research and development subsidies and tax breaks will be needed to help - Geology is the science devoted to the study of dynamic processes occurring on the earth’s surface
develop the resource? and in its interior.
e. How will dependence on the resource affect national and global economic and military security? - Three major concentric zones.
f. How vulnerable is the resource to terrorism?
a. The core is the earth’s innermost zone—extremely hot, with a solid inner part surrounded by a liquid - The largest recorded earthquake occurred in Chile on May 22, 1960 and measured 9.5 on the Richter
core of molten or semisolid material. scale.
b. Surrounding the core is a thick zone called the mantle—solid rock, but under its rigid outermost - The primary effects of earthquakes include shaking and sometimes a permanent vertical or horizontal
part is the asthenosphere, a zone of hot, partly melted rock that flows. displacement of the ground. These effects may have serious consequences for people and for
c. The outermost and thinnest zone of the earth is the crust. buildings, bridges, freeway overpasses, dams, and pipelines.
i. Continental crust, which underlies the continents. - One way to reduce the loss of life and property damage from earthquakes is to examine historical
ii. Oceanic crust, which underlies the ocean basins and makes up 71% of the earth’s crust. records and make geologic measurements to locate active fault zones.
d. The combination of the crust and the rigid outermost part of the mantle (above the a. Map high-risk areas and establish building codes that regulate the placement and design of
asthenosphere) is called the lithosphere. buildings in such areas.
b. People evaluate the risk and factor it into their decisions about where to live.
2. The earth beneath your feet is moving. c. Engineers know how to make homes, large buildings, bridges, and freeways more earthquake
- Convection cells or currents move large volumes of rock and heat in loops within the mantle like resistant.
gigantic conveyer belts.
- Flows of energy and heated material in these convection cells caused the lithosphere to break up 5. Earthquakes on the ocean floor can cause huge waves called tsunamis.
into a dozen or so huge rigid plates, called tectonic plates. - A tsunami is a series of large waves generated when part of the ocean floor suddenly rises or drops.
- Continents have split apart and joined as tectonic plates drifted atop the earth’s asthenosphere. - Most large tsunamis are caused when certain types of faults in the ocean floor move up or down as
- The tremendous forces produced at these plate boundaries can cause mountains to form, a result of a large underwater earthquake, a landslide caused by such an earthquake, or in some
earthquakes to shake parts of the crust, and volcanoes to erupt. cases by a volcanic eruption.
- Oceanic plates move apart from one another allowing molten rock, or magma, to flow up between - Tsunamis are often called tidal waves, although they have nothing to do with tides.
them. - They can travel far across the ocean at the speed of a jet plane.
- Much of the geologic activity at the earth’s surface takes place at the boundaries between tectonic - In deep water the waves are very far apart—sometimes hundreds of kilometers—and their crests are
plates as they separate, collide, or slide in the resulting cracks. not very high.
a. Oceanic ridges may have peaks higher and canyons deeper than those found on the earth’s - As a tsunami approaches a coast, it slows down, its wave crests squeeze closer together, and their
continents. heights grow rapidly.
b. When two oceanic plates collide, a trench ordinarily forms at the boundary between the two - Hits a coast as a series of towering walls of water that can level buildings.
plates. - Tsunamis can be detected through a network of ocean buoys or pressure recorders located on the
c. When an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate, the continental plate usually rides up ocean floor to provide some degree of early warning sent through emergency warning centers.
over the denser oceanic plate and pushes it down into the mantle in a process called subduction. a. Between 1900 and 2010, tsunamis killed an estimated 280,000 people in regions of the Pacific
d. The area where this collision and subduction takes place is called a subduction zone. Ocean.
e. Tectonic plates can also slide and grind past one another along a fracture (fault) in the b. The largest loss of life (279,900) occurred in December 2004 when a great underwater earthquake
lithosphere—a type of boundary called a transform fault. in the Indian Ocean with a magnitude of 9.15 caused a tsunami that generated waves as high as
a five-story building.
3. Volcanoes release molten rock from the earth’s interior.
- An active volcano occurs where magma reaches the earth’s surface through a central vent or a long CONNECTIONS: Coral Reefs, Mangrove Forests, and Tsunami Damage.
crack, called a fissure. • Coral reefs and mangrove forests slow waves that roll over them, reducing their force before they hit
- Many volcanoes form along the boundaries of the earth’s tectonic plates when one plate slides under nearby shorelines.
or moves away from another plate. • Satellite observations and ground studies showed that healthy coral reefs and mangrove forests played
- Magma that reaches the earth’s surface is called lava. a role in reducing the force of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami’s huge waves and the resulting death toll and
- Volcanic activity can release large chunks of lava rock, glowing hot ash, liquid lava, and gases destruction in some areas. In areas where mangrove forests had been removed, the damage and death
(including water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) into the environment. toll were much higher.

4. Earthquakes are geological rock-and-roll events. How are the earth’s rocks recycled?
- Forces inside the earth’s mantle and near its surface push, deform, and stress rocks. 1. There are three major types of rocks.
- The stress can cause the rocks to suddenly shift or break and produce a transform fault, or fracture in - A mineral is an element or inorganic compound that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust as a solid
the earth’s crust. with a regular internal crystalline structure.
- When a fault forms or when there is abrupt movement on an existing fault, energy that has - A few minerals consist of a single element such as gold, silver, and diamond (carbon).
accumulated over time is released in the form of vibrations, called seismic waves, causing an - Most of the more than 2,000 identified minerals occur as inorganic compounds formed by various
earthquake. combinations of elements, such as salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) and quartzite (silicon dioxide or SiO2).
- The severity of an earthquake is measured by the magnitude of its seismic waves. - Rock is a solid combination of one or more minerals found in the earth’s crust.
- The magnitude is a measure of ground motion (shaking) caused by the earthquake, as indicated by a. Some kinds of rock, such as limestone (calcium carbonate, or CaCO3) and quartzite (silicon
the amplitude, or size, of the seismic waves when they reach a recording instrument, called a dioxide, or SiO2), contain only one mineral while most consist of two or more minerals, such as
seismograph. granite—a mixture of mica, feldspar, and quartz crystals.
- Scientists use the Richter scale, on which each unit has amplitude 10 times greater than the next b. Three broad classes:
smaller unit. i. Sedimentary rock is made of sediments—dead plant and animal remains and tiny particles of
a. Insignificant (less than 4.0 on the d. Destructive (6.0–6.9). weathered and eroded rocks: sandstone and shale (formed from pressure created by
Richter scale). e. Major (7.0–7.9). deposited layers made mostly of sand); dolomite and limestone (formed from the compacted
b. Minor (4.0–4.9). f. Great (over 8.0). shells, skeletons, and other remains of dead organisms); and lignite and bituminous coal
c. Damaging (5.0–5.9). (derived from compacted plant remains).
ii. Igneous rock forms below or on the earth’s surface when magma wells up from the earth’s - Life cycle of a metal—mining, processing, and using it—takes enormous amounts of energy and water
upper mantle or deep crust and then cools and hardens: granite (formed underground), and and can disturb the land, erode soil, produce solid waste, and pollute the air, water, and soil.
lava rock (formed aboveground). - The more accessible and higher-grade ores are usually exploited first.
iii. Metamorphic rock forms when a preexisting rock is subjected to high temperatures (which - As they are depleted, mining lower-grade ores takes more money, energy, water, and other materials,
may cause it to melt partially), high pressures, chemically active fluids, or a combination of and increases land disruption, mining waste, and pollution
these agents: slate (formed when shale and mudstone are heated, and marble (produced
when limestone is exposed to heat and pressure). 3. There are several ways to remove mineral deposits.
- Shallow mineral deposits are removed by surface mining by:
2. Earth’s rocks are recycled very slowly. a. Removing vegetation.
- The rock cycle is the interaction of physical and/or chemical processes that change rock from one b. Removing the overburden or soil and rock overlying a useful mineral deposit.
form to another c. Placing waste material set aside in piles, called spoils.
- It takes millions of years for this cycle to happen - Open-pit mining.
- Strip mining is useful and economical for extracting mineral deposits that lie in large horizontal beds
What are mineral resources and what are the environmental effects of using them? close to the earth’s surface.
1. We use a variety of nonrenewable mineral resources. a. Area strip mining is used where the terrain is fairly flat; a gigantic earthmover strips away the
- A mineral resource is a concentration of naturally occurring material from the earth’s crust that can overburden, and a power shovel removes the mineral deposit.
be extracted and processed into useful products and raw materials at an affordable cost. b. Contour strip mining is used mostly to mine coal on hilly or mountainous terrain.
a. Found and extracted more than 100 minerals from the earth’s crust. - Mountaintop removal uses explosives, large power shovels, and huge machines called draglines to
b. Examples are fossil fuels (such as coal), metallic minerals (such as aluminum and gold), and remove the top of a mountain and expose seams of coal.
nonmetallic minerals (such as sand and limestone). - Subsurface mining removes minerals from underground through tunnels and shafts.
c. Minerals are classified as nonrenewable resources.
- An ore is rock that contains a large enough concentration of a particular mineral—often a metal—to 4. Mining has harmful environmental effects.
make it profitable for mining and processing. - Scarring and disruption of the land surface.
a. A high-grade ore contains a large concentration of the desired mineral. a. Mountaintop removal destroys forests, buries mountain streams, and increases flood hazards.
b. A low-grade ore contains a smaller concentration. Wastewater and toxic sludge, produced when the coal is processed, are often stored behind
c. Aluminum (Al) is used for packaging and beverage cans and as a structural material in motor dams in these valleys, which can overflow or collapse and release toxic substances such as
vehicles, aircraft, and buildings. arsenic and mercury.
d. Steel, an essential material used in buildings and motor vehicles, is a mixture (alloy) of iron (Fe) à In the United States, more than 500 mountaintops have been removed to extract coal and
and other elements that are added to give it certain properties. the resulting spoils have buried more than 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) of stream.
e. Copper (Cu), a good conductor of electricity, is used for electrical and communications à Surface mining in tropical forests and other tropical areas destroys or degrades vital
wiring. biodiversity when forests are cleared and rivers are polluted with mining wastes.
f. Gold (Au) is used in electrical equipment, tooth fillings, jewelry, coins, and some medical à Produces toxic waste material such as lead dust, which can cause lead poisoning and
implants. irreversible brain damage in children.
- The most widely used nonmetallic minerals are sand and gravel. - Subsurface mining disturbs less land than surface mining disturbs, and it usually produces less waste
a. Sand, which is mostly silicon dioxide (SiO2), is used to make glass, bricks, and concrete for material.
construction of roads and buildings. a. Creates hazards such as cave-ins, explosions, and fires.
b. Gravel is used for roadbeds and to make concrete. à Miners often get diseases such as black lung, caused by prolonged inhalation of coal dust in
- Another common nonmetallic mineral is limestone (mostly calcium carbonate, or CaCO3) which is subsurface mines.
crushed and used to make road rock, concrete, and cement. à Causes subsidence—the collapse of land above some underground mines.
- Estimates of the supply of a given mineral resource refer to its reserves: identified resources from which - Mining operations produce large amounts of solid waste and cause major water and air pollution.
we can extract the mineral profitably at current prices. a. Acid mine drainage occurs when rainwater that seeps through a mine or a spoils pile carries
- Reserves increase when we find new, profitable deposits and when higher prices or improved mining sulfuric acid (H2SO4, produced when aerobic bacteria act on iron sulfide minerals in spoils) to
technologies make it profitable to extract deposits that previously were considered too expensive to nearby streams and groundwater.
remove. b. Mining has polluted about 40% of western watersheds in the United States, and it accounts for
50% of all the country’s emissions of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
CONNECTIONS: Lithium and U. S. Energy Dependence c. Much of this degradation comes from leaking storage ponds built to hold a toxic sludge that is
• Lithium (Li) is becoming increasingly important as a vital component of lithium-ion batteries used in cell produced from the mining and processing of metal ores.
phones, iPods, laptop computers, and electric cars. The South American countries of Bolivia, Chile, and
Argentina have about 80% of the global reserves of lithium. Bolivia alone has about 50%. The United States CONNECTIONS: Mercury Poisoning and Tropical Gold Mining
holds only about 3% of the global reserves. Japan, China, South Korea, and the United Arab Emigrates • Mercury is a highly toxic chemical that interferes with the human nervous system and brain functions, and
are buying up access to global lithium reserves to ensure their ability to sell batteries to the rest of the it can build up to high levels in the human body.
world for the rapidly growing fleet of electric cars. Within a few decades, the United States may be as • Mercury is used illegally and rampantly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America by tens of thousands of small-
dependent on expensive imports of lithium and lithium batteries as the country is now dependent on scale gold miners who use it to separate gold from stream sediments, especially in the South American
imported oil. country of Columbia.
• It is the second-biggest human-related source of mercury pollution in the world after the burning of coal.
2. Some environmental impacts of mineral use.
- Metals can be used to produce many useful products. 5. Removing metals from ores has harmful environmental effects.
- Ore extracted by mining typically has two components:
a. Ore mineral, containing the desired metal. 4. Is mining lower-grade ores the answer?
b. Waste material. - Extraction of lower grades of ore is possible due to new earth-moving equipment, improved
- Removing the waste material from ores produces waste piles called tailings. techniques for removing impurities from ores, and other technological advances in mineral extraction
- Heating ores to release metals is called smelting. and processing.
c. Without effective pollution control equipment, smelters emit enormous quantities of air pollutants, - Mining low-grade ores is limited by:
including sulfur dioxide and suspended particles. a. Increased cost of mining and processing larger volumes of ore.
- Chemicals can be used to remove metals from their ores. An example is highly toxic solutions of b. Increasing shortages of freshwater—which is needed to mine and process some minerals—
cyanide salts used to extract gold from its ore. especially in arid and semiarid areas.
c. Environmental impacts of the increased land disruption, waste material, and pollution produced
How long will supplies of nonrenewable mineral resources last? during mining and processing.
1. Mineral resources are distributed unevenly. - Can use microorganisms that can break down rock material and extract minerals in a process called
- The earth’s crust contains fairly abundant deposits of iron and aluminum. in-place, or in situ, mining or biomining.
- Manganese, chromium, cobalt, and platinum are relatively scarce.
- The earth’s geologic processes have not distributed deposits of nonrenewable mineral resources CONNECTIONS: Metal Prices and Thievery
evenly among countries. • Copper prices have risen sharply in recent years. As a result, in several U.S. communities, people have
- Five nations—the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, and Australia—supply most of the been stealing copper to sell it—stripping abandoned houses of copper pipe and wiring and stealing
nonrenewable mineral resources used by modern societies. electrical wiring from underneath city streets and from public sports facilities. Also, because the price of
- Experts are concerned about four strategic metal resources—manganese, cobalt, chromium, and the rare earth metal palladium has skyrocketed, some thieves have been stealing catalytic converters
platinum—which are essential for the country’s economy and military strength. The United States has that contain palladium from cars in shopping mall parking lots.
little or no reserves of these metals.
5. Can we get more of our minerals from the ocean?
2. Supplies of nonrenewable mineral resources can be economically depleted. - Some ocean mineral resources are dissolved in seawater.
- The future supply of nonrenewable minerals depends on two factors: - Low concentrations take more energy and money than they are worth.
a. The actual or potential supply of the mineral. - Hydrothermal ore deposits are rich in minerals such as copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold, and some of the
b. The rate at which we use it. rare earth metals.
c. Minerals may become economically depleted when it costs more than it is worth to find, extract, - Growing interest in deep-sea mining.
transport, and process the remaining deposits. Options when this occurs are: - Manganese nodules cover large areas of ocean floor.
i. Recycle or reuse existing supplies.
ii. Waste less. How can we use mineral resources more sustainably?
iii. Use less. 1. We can find substitutes for some scarce mineral resources.
iv. Find a substitute. - Human ingenuity will find substitutes.
v. Do without. - Current materials revolution in which silicon and other new materials, particularly ceramics and
vi. SCIENCE FOCUS: The Nanotechnology Revolution. plastics, are being used as replacements for metals.
- Finding substitutes for scarce minerals through nanotechnology.
SCIENCE FOCUS: The Importance of Rare Earth Metals
• The 17 rare earth elements or rare earth metals are extremely important for widely used modern SCIENCE FOCUS The Nanotechnology Revolution
technologies such as LCD displays, cell phones, digital cameras, and generators in wind turbines. • Nanotechnology, or tiny tech, creates materials out of atoms and molecules.
• Nations also need these metals and their oxides to maintain their military strength. • Uses for nanotechnology include:
• China has roughly 37% of the known reserves. In 2010, China produced 100% of the world’s rare earth a. Stain-resistant and wrinkle-free coatings on clothes, odor-eating socks, self-cleaning coatings on
metals and 94% of the world’s rare earth oxides. sunglasses and windshields, sunscreens, deep-penetrating skin care products, and food containers
• China dominates the global supply of these immensely important metal resources. that release nanosilver ions to kill bacteria, molds, and fungi.
• Alternatives: b. Tiny supercomputers; biocomposite materials to make our bones and tendons super strong;
a. Extract and recycle rare earth metals from electronic wastes. nanovessels that could be deliver medicine to cells; and nanomolecules that kill cancer cells.
b. Companies making batteries for electric cars can also switch from nickel-metal-hydride batteries, c. Nanoparticles to remove industrial pollutants in contaminated air, soil, and groundwater.
which require the rare earth metal lanthanum, to lithium-ion. d. Turn garbage into food by mimicking how nature turns wastes into plant nutrients.
c. Find substitutes. • Concerns over some possible unintended and harmful health effects on humans. As particles get smaller,
they become more reactive and potentially more toxic to humans and other animals
3. Market prices affect supplies of nonrenewable minerals. • Two steps before unleashing nanotechnology more broadly.
- Geologic processes determine the quantity and location of a mineral resource in the earth’s crust. a. Investigate its potential risks.
- Economics determines what part of the known supply is extracted and used. b. Develop guidelines and regulations for controlling its growing applications.
- An increase in the price of a scarce mineral resource can lead to increased supplies and can
encourage more efficient use. 2. We can recycle and reuse valuable metals.
- Standard economic theory may not apply because most well-developed countries often use - A more sustainable way to use nonrenewable mineral resources (especially valuable or scarce metals
subsidies, taxes, regulations, and import tariffs to control the supplies, demands, and prices of minerals. such as gold, iron, copper, aluminum, and platinum) is to recycle or reuse them.
- Most mineral prices are kept artificially low. - Recycling has a much lower environmental impact than mining and processing metals from ores.
- The Philippine Mining Act of 1995, EO 72. (please read these policies). - Cleaning up and reusing items instead of melting and reprocessing them has an even lower
environmental impact.
3. We can use mineral resources more sustainably. • Tax payments (P25.782B in 2015)
- Instead of asking how we can increase supplies of nonrenewable minerals, we should be asking, how • Exports (US$2.797B in 2015)
can we decrease our use and waste of such resources? • Social development and management (commitment of P13.153B as of August 2016)
- Since 1990, a growing number of companies have adopted pollution and waste prevention programs • Environmental protection and management (commitment of P19.119B for EPEP and P3.878B for FMRDP)
that have led to cleaner production. • Mining forest program (23,927.56 reforestation as of 2015)

Case Study: Pollution Prevention Pays Issues in Mining

• In 1975, the U.S.-based Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), which makes 60,000 1. Displacements
different products in 100 manufacturing plants, began a Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program. The - people are forced to transfer to other places because of mining operations.
program led the company to redesign much of its equipment and processes, use fewer hazardous raw
materials, identify toxic chemical outputs and recycle or sell them as raw materials to other companies, 2. Forest Denudation
and make more nonpolluting products. - Mining is one of the identified contributors to deforestation
• Between 1975 and 2008, the 3M Pollution Prevention Pays program prevented more than 1.4 million metric - Mining is one of the identified contributors to deforestation in Philippine forests
tons (1.5 million tons) of pollutants from reaching the environment—an amount roughly equal to the
weight of more than 100 empty jumbo jet airliners. The company has also saved more than $1.2 billion in 3. Water Pollution
waste disposal and material costs. This is an excellent example of why pollution prevention pays. - Heavy siltation
• Since 1990, a growing number of companies have adopted similar pollution and waste prevention - Pollution of water tables and tributaries
programs that have led to cleaner industrial production. - 2-3 million tons of mine waste leaked into the 26 km Boac River
- The 2012 Philex Pacdal Mine Spill = Some 20 million metric tons of sediments flowed into Balog creek
Three Big Ideas: up to Agno River rendering the Balog Creek biologically dead
1. Dynamic forces that move matter within the earth and on its surface recycle the earth’s rocks, form
deposits of mineral resources, and cause volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. 4. Minimal Contributions to the Economy
2. The available supply of a mineral resource depends on how much of it is in the earth’s crust, how fast we - The economic value of the mining industry is too high to contribute too little to the economy.
use it, the mining technology used to obtain it, its market prices, and the harmful environmental effects of - 0.7% to Gross Domestic Product - 0.6% to revenues
removing and using it. - 0.6% to employment - 6.5% to exports
3. We can use mineral resources more sustainably by trying to find substitutes for scarce resources, reducing
resource waste, and reusing and recycling nonrenewable minerals. 5. Mining in the Philippines is Export-Oriented
- Majority of minerals mined in the Philippines are exported.
Mining in the Philippines - China - Australia
Mining - Japan - United States
• The science, technique, and business of mineral discovery and exploitation. Strictly, the word connotes
underground work directed to severance and treatment of ore or associated rock. Practically, it includes 6. Human Rights are Violated
opencast work, quarrying, alluvial dredging, and combined operations, including surface and - 8 of the 10 SoS with indigenous communities have issues related to violation of the rights of the
underground attack and ore treatment. Indigenous Peoples
- 7 out of 10 SoS have actual reports on the impact of mining in the people’s source of water.
Minerals in the Philippines - All of the SoS have noted threats on their livelihood (mostly fishing and farming) while 6 have actual
• 5th highly mineralized country in the world • 5th in the world for nickel incidences of land grabbing or encroachment in their farm lands
• 3rd in the world for gold • 6th in the world for chromite
• 4th in the world for copper The Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Project
• Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) conducted in June 13, 2013 of the Tampakan Copper-Gold
Mining Data Project
• 40 metallic mines • Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)
- 5 gold mines - 4 chromite mines • Commissioned by MISEREOR (German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation),
- 3 copper mines - 1 iron mine and Fastenopfer (Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund),
- 27 nickel mines • In collaboration with Bread for All
• 62 non-metallic mines (35 limestone/shale quarries, 6 silica quarries, 17 aggregate quarries, 1 dolomite • Brigitte Hamm · Anne Schax · Christian Scheper
quarry and 3 clay quarries) • Published and was presented in a series of Forum, including a National Presentation through the
• 5 processing plants (2 gold processing plants, 2 nickel processing plants and 1 copper processing plant) Commission on Human Rights
• 16 cement plants
• 2,397 small quarries and sand & gravel operations covered by permits issued by LGUs Findings
- Lack of information on which to base a decision
Land Area and Mineral Potential - Differential of Power - a very rich powerful, “benevolent” mining company and a vulnerable
• Philippine land area of 30 Million disempowered and marginalized IP community - co-dependency - lack of government social
• 9 Million hectares identified as having high mineral potential services
• 2.70% or 0.811 are covered by mining tenements - Lack of appreciation of IP Customary laws
- Violation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent
Economic Contributions of Mining - “Increased volatility...heightened risk of human rights violation”
• Employment (236,000 in 2016)
Human Rights Violation and Issues in Sites of Struggles - UK Mine – Largest coal mining in the United Kingdom found in Nottinghamshire; Operating since 1974;
• 4 out of 6 SoS with fishing communities have observed decline on their fish catch relating to the impact 7 Million Tons of Coal produced in 2009
of mining in their coastline - The Eden Project on former china clay pits in Cornwall (160 years) – rehabilitated mine
• 8 out of 10 SoS have reported cases of harassments towards the community leaders; criminal cases were
filed against activists and members of the People’s Organization in 4 SoS 3. Australia
• 4 out of 10 SoS have cases of killings and violent assault committed against anti-mining advocates - 13th largest economy in the world
- Economic growth took place in the 1800s
August 24, 2013 - Discoveries and Mining of gold led to influx of capital, which in turn developed other industries:
- Place of Incident: Bulol Kalon of Sitio T’bol, Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao Del Sur. a. Agriculture c. Textile
- Victims: Bong Fulong Anteng Freay, 70 and Victor Freay, 17 b. Manufacturing
- Incident: Murder, Strafing - The Super Pit – Largest open-cut gold mine in Australia; Found in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia;
- Perpetrators: Unidentified elements of the Civilian Auxillary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) under Operating since 1893; Produces 850,000 ounces of gold annually
the Task Force KITACO and members of the 39th IB PA detailed in the detachment in Sitio Datal Alyeng - Nabarlek Uranium Mine – rehabilitated mine
in the boundary of Tampakan, South Cotabato and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.
4. Canada
Agosto 5, 2013 - 9th largest economy in the world
- Silvia Abug, Eduardo Sandoval, Margarita Sandoval and her year-old baby were pushed into the - Biggest industrial progress after World War II
bucket of the loader. The four were then raised and shaken up, down and sideways for about 10 - Transformed from rural to industrial and urban economy due to impressive growth in:
minutes. a. Manufacturing
- HMC barge rammed into protesting Manicani residents in two separate incidents b. Mining
- Diavik Diamond Mine – Open-pit iron diamond mine surrounded by a lake found in Yellowknife, North
Campaign Groups Interventions Canada; Operating since 2003, 8Mct a year
1. Sustaining Sites of Struggle
- Capacity building Geology, Mining, and Metallurgy
- Legal support Mining Life Cycle
- Local campaign support

2. Network Strengthening
- Capacity building
- Learning exchanges within the network

3. Building Solidarity
- Networking (local and international)
- Policy advocacies

Uses of Minerals and Metals in our Daily Lives

• Farming and Fishing need Mining.
• Mass Media, such as Broadcasting, need Mining.
• The Church uses products of Mining. 1. Exploration
- Search for minerals - Risks
Industrial Development of First World Countries - Geological surveys a. 1000 anomalies, 10 good targets
- Remote sensing b. 10 good targets, 2 possibly economic
1. USA
- Greatest economic & technological progress started in late 18th century - Test pitting to mine
- Transformed from a primitive agricultural economy to an industrial power in the world - Drilling c. Budget runs to several millions of
- Early industrialization facilitated by: - Sampling and analysis dollars just to find out: Porphyry Cu: >
a. Factories & Mills c. Steamboats - Reserve/resource Estimation US $30 million
b. Turnpikes & Canals d. Mining - Feasibility Study Preparation d. Takes years to decades to put into
- Hibbing Taconite Company – World’s largest open-pit iron ore mine found in Hibbing, Minnesota; - Environmental/ Social Benchmark Studies production
Operating since 1895 - Environmental Impact Assessment
- Flambeau Mine in Wisconsin – Rehabilitated mine
2. Development
2. United Kingdom - Ore body preparation (Open Cast, - Mine and Mill Development &
- Greatest development took place during the “Industrial Revolution” Underground, Open Pit) Construction
- Average income and population began to exhibit sustained growth - Mine Organization - Construction of ancillary facilities
- Due to major changes in: - Road Construction - Debugging and Commissioning
a. Agriculture d. Transport - Mine Planning & Design - Environmental/ Social Programs
b. Manufacturing e. Technology
c. Mining 3. Production
- Extraction or disposition of minerals
- Mineral processing Other contributions of Mining
- Marketing of minerals/mineral products 1. Social Development & Management Programs (1.5% of operating costs)
- Environmental Protection and Social Development Programs a. Community infrastructure support
b. Schools and educational programs
4. Rehabilitation c. Health Services and Facilities
- Establishment of a functional land use capability proximate to the land use prior to the disturbance of d. Enterprise Promotion
mine area 2. Environmental Protection & Enhancement Programs (10% of capital/project cost)
- Social Development Programs a. Return of wildlife to their previous habitat
- Mines are not closed until reclamation that protects surface and water resources is complete.. b. Siltation control
c. Dust mitigation
Pillars of Responsible Mining [GOAL: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT] d. Air & water quality monitoring
1. Economic Growth e. Biological indicator of environmental performance
2. Social Development f. Soil erosion control
3. Environmental Management & Protection g. Rehabilitation
3. Corporate Social Responsibility Projects
PH Mining Act of 1995 vs Earlier Mining Laws
PD 463 RA 7942 • Minerals are non-renewable but recyclable.
• Life of mines is finite but mineral resources adjust to demands.
Environmental Provisions/Requirements • Mining is a temporary use of land (in contrast to land conversion projects)
• Environmental Work Program during exploration X X P • Today’s mining economics criteria:
• Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program during operation X X P a. PROFIT – project has sound economics
• Realistic Mine Closure requirement X X P
b. PEOPLE – project is socially acceptable with clear, measurable benefits to host communities
• Funding for environmental works and final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning X X P
plan c. PLANET – project is able to MINIMIZE and MITIGATE IMPACT of operations on environment

Social Development and Management CLIMATE CHANGE AND OZONE DEPLETION

• Provisions on recognition and protection of Indigenous Peoples
X X P What is the nature of the atmosphere?
• Mandatory Social Development and Management Program
X X P 1. The atmosphere consists of several layers.
- A thin envelope of gases surrounding the earth is called the atmosphere.
Empowerment of local governments P - The troposphere is the atmospheric layer closest to the earth’s surface extending only about 17
• Endorsement from concerned LGUs X X kilometers (11 miles) above sea level at the equator and 8 kilometers (5 miles) over the poles.
a. Nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), water vapor (varying from 0.01% at the frigid poles to 4% in the
Economic Growth humid tropics), 0.93% argon (Ar), 0.038% carbon dioxide (CO2), and trace amounts of dust and
soot particles and other gases including methane (CH4), ozone (O3), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
b. Rising and falling air currents, winds, and concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
play a major role in the planet’s short-term weather and long-term climate.
- The atmosphere’s second layer is the stratosphere, which extends from about 17 to about 48
kilometers (from 11 to 30 miles) above the earth’s surface.
- Composition is similar to troposphere, except the water vapor is about 1/1,000 and its concentration
of ozone (O3) is much higher.
- Ozone (O3) is concentrated in a portion of the stratosphere called the ozone layer, found roughly 17–
30 kilometers (11–19 miles) above sea level.
a. Stratospheric ozone is produced when some of the oxygen molecules there interact with
ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun.
b. This “global sunscreen” of ozone in the stratosphere keeps out about 95% of the sun’s harmful UV
radiation from reaching the earth’s surface.
Employment Generation
How might the earth’s climate change in the future?
1. Weather and climate are not the same.
- Weather consists of short-term changes in atmospheric variables, such as the temperature and
precipitation in a given area over a period of hours or days.
- Climate is determined by the average weather conditions of the earth or of a particular area,
especially temperature and precipitation, over periods of at least three decades to thousands of
- One or two warmer or colder years or decades can result simply from changes in the weather and
do not necessarily tell us that the earth’s climate is warming or cooling.
- Climate scientists look at data on normally changing weather conditions to see if there has been a temperature increased. By comparison, sea levels rose about 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) in the
general rise or fall in any measurements such as average temperature or precipitation over a period 18th century and 6 centimeters (2 inches) in the 19th century.
of at least 30 years.
4. CO2 emissions play an important role.
2. Climate change is not new. - Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show that the atmospheric
- Over the past 3.5 billion years, the planet’s climate has been altered by volcanic emissions, changes concentration of carbon dioxide rose from a level of 285 parts per million (ppm) around 1850 at the
in solar input, continents moving slowly atop shifting tectonic plates, impacts by large meteors, and start of the Industrial Revolution, to 390 ppm in 2010, a 37% increase.
other factors. - Major climate models indicate a need to prevent CO2 levels from exceeding 450 ppm—an estimated
- Over the past 900,000 years, the atmosphere has experienced prolonged periods of global cooling threshold, or irreversible tipping point, that could set into motion large-scale climate changes for
and global warming, known as glacial and interglacial (between ice ages) periods. hundreds to thousands of years.
- For roughly 10,000 years, we have lived in an interglacial period characterized by a fairly stable
climate and a fairly steady average global surface temperature. SCIENCE FOCUS: Using Models to Project Future Changes in Atmospheric Temperature and Climate.
- For the past 1,000 years, the average temperature of the atmosphere has remained fairly stable but • To project the effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases on average global temperatures, climate
began rising during the last century when people began clearing more forests and burning more fossil scientists develop complex mathematical models, which simulate interactions among the earth’s sunlight,
fuels. clouds, landmasses, oceans, ocean currents, concentrations of greenhouse gases and pollutants, and
- Past temperature changes are estimated through analysis of radioisotopes in rocks and fossils; other factors that affect the earth’s average atmospheric temperature and thus its climate.
plankton and radioisotopes in ocean sediments; tiny bubbles, layers of soot, and other materials
trapped in different layers of ancient air found in ice cores from glaciers; pollen from the bottoms of INDIVIDUALS MATTER Sounding the Alarm—James Hansen
lakes and bogs; tree rings; and temperature measurements taken regularly since 1861 • In 1988, climate scientist James Hansen appeared before a U.S. Congressional committee and stated
that atmospheric warming was a grave threat made worse by emissions of carbon dioxide and other
3. Human activities emit large quantities of greenhouse gases greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. With that, he kicked off the public debate over what
- A natural process called the greenhouse effect occurs when some of the solar energy absorbed by most climate scientists believe is our greatest environmental challenge.
the earth radiates into the atmosphere as infrared radiation (heat). • Hansen’s message is that rising levels of greenhouse gases will likely lead to catastrophic climate disruption
- Four greenhouse gases absorb the heat which warms the lower atmosphere and the earth’s surface, during this century unless those levels are drastically reduced.
helping to create a livable climate. • In 2006, Hansen received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Scientific
a. Water vapor (H2O). Freedom and Responsibility. In 2009, he received the American Meteorological Society’s highest award
b. Carbon dioxide (CO2). for his “outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change, and for clear
c. Methane (CH4). communication of climate science in the public arena.”
d. Nitrous oxide (N2O).
- Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s, human actions—mainly the burning 5. What role does the sun play?
of fossil fuels—have led to significant increases in the concentrations of several greenhouse gases in - The energy output of the sun plays the key role in the earth’s temperature and this output has varied
the lower atmosphere. over millions of years, but separate studies concluded that most of the rise in global average
- The average atmospheric concentration of CO2 rose dramatically during that time, along with the atmospheric temperatures since 1980 could not be the result of increased solar output.
average temperature of the atmosphere - The atmosphere is now heating from the bottom up, which indicates that inputs at the earth’s surface
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to document past play an important role.
climate changes and project future changes; its network includes more than 2,500 climate scientists - Since the mid-1970s, the sun’s output has remained about the same and thus cannot account for the
and scientists in disciplines related to climate studies from more than 130 countries rise in temperature since 1975.
- In 2007, the IPCC issued a report based on more than 29,000 sets of data, finding that:
a. The earth’s lower atmosphere has warmed, especially since 1980, due mostly to increased levels 6. What role do oceans play in projected climate disruption?
of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. - The world’s oceans help to moderate the earth’s average surface temperature, and thus its climate,
b. Most of these increases are due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and by removing about 25–30% of the CO2 pumped into the lower atmosphere by human activities.
deforestation. - The oceans absorb heat from the lower atmosphere and currents slowly transfer some CO2 to the
c. These human-induced changes are beginning to change the earth’s climate. deep ocean.
d. If greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise, the earth is likely to experience rapid - The ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 decreases as water temperatures increase, so as the oceans
atmospheric warming and climate disruption during this century. warm up, some of their dissolved CO2 is released into the lower atmosphere.
- Evidence that the IPCC and other climate scientists used to support the major conclusions of the 2007 - The upper portion of the oceans warmed by an average of 0.32–0.67Cº (0.6–1.2Fº) during the last
IPCC report: century—an astounding increase considering the huge volume of water involved—most likely due to
a. Between 1906 and 2005, the average global surface temperature has risen by about 0.74 C° (1.3 increasing atmospheric temperatures.
F°). Most of this increase has taken place since 1980. - Increasing levels of CO2 in the ocean have increased the acidity of its surface. This threatens corals
b. Average levels of CO2 in the atmosphere rose sharply between 1960 and 2010. and other organisms with shells made of calcium carbonate, which dissolves when acidity reaches a
c. The first decade in this century (2000–2009) was the warmest decade since, and 2010 was the certain level.
warmest year on record.
d. In some parts of the world, glaciers are melting and floating sea ice is shrinking. 7. There is uncertainty about the effects of cloud cover on projected atmospheric warming.
e. In 2010, NASA scientists reported on a survey of the world’s major lakes, which showed that these - Warmer temperatures increase evaporation of surface water and create more clouds, which can
lakes have warmed since 1985 at rates of 0.81–1.8 Fo per decade. either warm or cool the atmosphere.
f. During the 20th century, the world’s average sea level rose by 19 centimeters (7 inches), mostly - An increase in thick and continuous cumulus clouds at low altitudes could decrease surface warming
because of runoff from melting land-based ice and the expansion of ocean water as its by reflecting more sunlight back into space.
- An increase in thin, wispy cirrus clouds at high altitudes could increase the warming of the lower b. Water, food, and power shortages could threaten billions of people in Asia and South America as
atmosphere by preventing more heat from escaping into space. these glaciers slowly melt over the next century or two

CONNECTIONS: Air Travel and Atmospheric Warming CONNECTIONS: Melting Permafrost and Atmospheric Warming.
• Wispy condensation trails (contrails) left behind by jet planes expand and turn into large cirrus clouds that • Ice within soils and ocean bottom sediments, or permafrost, is melting.
tend to heat the atmosphere. • Could eventually release amounts of methane and CO2 that would be many times the current levels in
the atmosphere, resulting in rapid and catastrophic climate change.
What are some possible effects of a warmer atmosphere?
1. Enhanced atmospheric warming could have severe consequences. 4. Sea levels are rising.
- We face a rapid projected increase in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere during this - A 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report concluded that the world’s average sea level will most likely rise
century. 0.8–2 meters (3–6.5 feet) by the end of this century and probably keep rising for centuries.
- This is very likely to cause climate disruption, a rapid change in the fairly mild climate that we have - Rising sea levels are due to the expansion of seawater as it warms, and to the melting of land-based
had for the past 10,000 years. ice.
- Such changes will determine where we can grow food and how much of it we can grow; which areas - 1-meter (3.3-foot) rise in the world’s average sea level by 2100 could:
will suffer from increased drought and which will experience increased flooding; and in what areas a. degrade or destroy at least one-third of the world’s coastal estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs
people and many forms of wildlife can live. b. disrupt many of the world’s coastal fisheries
- A 2003 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report laid out a nightmarish worst-case scenario in which c. cause flooding and erosion of low-lying barrier islands and gently sloping coastlines, especially in
human activities, alone or in combination with natural factors, trigger new and abrupt climate and U.S. coastal states
ecological changes that could last for thousands of years. - The projected rise in sea levels would also:
a. Ecosystems collapsing. a. flood agricultural lowlands and deltas in coastal areas where much of the world’s rice is grown.
b. Floods in low-lying coastal cities. b. cause saltwater contamination of freshwater coastal aquifers and decreased supplies of
c. Forests consumed in vast wildfires. groundwater needed for irrigation and drinking water supplies.
d. Grasslands, dried out from prolonged drought, turning into dust bowls. c. submerge low-lying islands around the world, flooding out a total population greater than that
e. Rivers and supplies of drinking and irrigation water could dry up. of the United States.
f. Premature extinction of up to half of the world’s species. d. displace at least 150 million people from flooded coastal cities
g. Prolonged droughts. e. threaten trillions of dollar’s worth of buildings, roads, and other forms of infrastructure
h. More intense and longer-lasting heat waves.
i. More destructive storms and flooding. 5. Extreme weather is likely to increase in some areas.
j. Much colder weather in some parts of the world. - Atmospheric warming will increase the incidence and intensity of extreme weather events such as
k. Rapid spread of some infectious tropical diseases. severe droughts and heat waves in some areas.
a. Kill large numbers of people.
2. Severe drought is likely to increase. b. Reduce crop production
- Severe and prolonged drought affects at least 30% of the earth’s land (excluding Antarctica). c. Expand deserts
- By 2059 up to 45% of the world’s land area could experience extreme drought. - A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, so other areas will experience increased flooding from
- Effects of increased drought could include: heavy and prolonged precipitation.
a. The growth of trees and other plants declines. - In some areas, global atmospheric warming will likely lead to colder winter weather.
b. Wildfires increase in frequency. - The consensus view of the effect of atmospheric warming on tropical storms and hurricanes is that
c. Declining stream flows and less available surface water projected atmospheric warming is likely lead to fewer but stronger hurricanes that could cause more
d. Falling water tables with more evaporation, worsened by farmers irrigating more to make up for damage.
drier conditions.
e. Shrinking lakes, reservoirs, and inland seas. CONNECTIONS: Atmospheric Warming and Colder Winter Weather
f. Dwindling rivers. • As the average temperature of the atmosphere rises, some parts of earth will likely experience colder
g. Water shortages for 1–3 billion people. winter weather.
h. Declining biodiversity. • Continued melting of sea ice in the Arctic region will likely lead to colder and snowier winters in Europe,
eastern North America, and eastern Asia. The hypothesis is that the loss of sea ice is causing the Arctic
3. More ice and snow are likely to melt. Ocean to absorb more heat during the summer.
- Climate models predict that climate change will be the most severe in the world’s polar regions. • This could weaken the jet stream—a high, rapidly moving flow of air that affects global weather patterns
- Light-colored ice and snow in these regions help to cool the earth by reflecting incoming solar energy. and cause it to move southward during the winter, bringing cold air into the areas listed above. So a
- The melting of such ice and snow exposes much darker land and sea areas, which absorb more solar warmer Arctic not only threatens polar bears but also will likely bring more severe winters to large areas
energy. of the world.
- Arctic atmospheric temperatures have risen almost twice as fast as average temperatures in the rest
of the world during the past 50 years. 6. Climate disruption is a threat change will threaten biodiversity.
- Soot generated by North American, European, and Asian industries is darkening arctic ice and - Projected climate disruption is likely to upset ecosystems and decrease biodiversity in areas of every
lessening its ability to reflect sunlight. continent.
- The overall projected long-term trend is for the average summer ice coverage to decrease. - Approximately 30% of the land-based plant and animal species assessed so far could disappear if the
- During the past 25 years, many of the world’s mountain glaciers have been melting and shrinking at average global temperature change exceeds 1.5–2.5ºC (2.7–4.5ºF).
accelerating rates. - The hardest hit will be:
a. Mountain glaciers are sources of water for drinking, irrigation, and hydropower. a. Plant and animal species in colder climates
b. Species at higher elevations - There are two basic approaches to dealing with the projected harmful effects of global climate
c. Plant and animal species with limited ranges disruption.
d. Those with limited tolerance for temperature change. à Mitigation is to act to slow it and to avoid climate change tipping points.
- The populations of plant and animal species that thrive in warmer climates could grow. à Adaptation is to recognize that some climate change is unavoidable and to try to reduce some of
- The ecosystems most likely to suffer disruption and species loss from climate change are: its harmful effects.
a. Coral reefs. - Some say that climate change will provide economic opportunity and that making a shift to a low-
b. Polar seas. carbon economy will lead us into a new era of economic growth and prosperity.
c. Coastal wetlands. - Scientists have come up with this list of possible climate change tipping points
d. High-elevation mountaintops. a. Atmospheric carbon level of 450 ppm
e. Alpine and arctic tundra. b. Melting of all Arctic summer sea ice
- The warmer climate would increase populations of insects and fungi that damage trees. c. Collapse and melting of the Greenland ice sheet
- Shifts in regional climate would also threaten many existing state and national parks, wildlife reserves, d. Severe ocean acidification, collapse of phytoplankton populations, and a sharp drop in the
wilderness areas, and wetlands, along with much of the biodiversity they contain. ability of the oceans to absorb CO2
e. Massive release of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost
7. Agriculture could face an overall decline f. Collapse and melting of most of the western Antarctic ice sheet
- According to the 2007 IPCC report, crop productivity is projected to increase slightly at middle to high g. Severe shrinkage or collapse of the Amazon rain forest
latitudes with moderate atmospheric warming, but decrease if warming goes too far.
- Climate change models predict a decline in agricultural productivity in tropical and subtropical 2. Preventing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
regions. - Four major prevention strategies.
- Flooding of river deltas due to rising sea levels could reduce crop production in these areas and fish a. Improve energy efficiency to reduce fossil fuel use, especially the use of coal.
production in nearby coastal aquaculture ponds. b. Shift from nonrenewable carbon-based fossil fuels to a mix of low-carbon renewable energy
- Food production could also decrease in farm regions that are dependent on rivers fed by snow and resources based on local and regional availability.
glacial melt, and in any arid and semiarid areas where droughts become more prolonged. c. Stop cutting down tropical forests and plant trees to help remove more CO2 from the
- These disruptions in food production could be largely unpredictable because of the projected atmosphere.
increase in extreme weather as a result of a warmer atmosphere. d. Shift to more sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture.
- By 2050, some 200–600 million of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people could face starvation - Output, or cleanup, strategies focus on dealing with CO2 after it has been produced.
and malnutrition due to the effects of projected climate disruption. a. Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, involves removing CO2 from the smokestacks of coal-
burning power and industrial plants and storing it deep underground in abandoned coal beds
8. A warmer world is likely to threaten the health of many people. and oil and gas fields or under the sea floor.
- More frequent and prolonged heat waves in some areas will increase numbers of deaths and illnesses, à Stored CO2 would have to remain sealed from the atmosphere forever because leaks could
especially among older people, people in poor health, and the urban poor who cannot afford air dramatically increase atmospheric warming in a very short time.
conditioning. - Focus on reducing and preventing greenhouse gas emissions, as soon as possible.
- Hunger and malnutrition will increase in areas where agricultural production drops. - Some scientists urge us to increase efforts to reduce emissions of other greenhouse gases.
- A warmer, CO2-rich world will favor rapidly multiplying insects, microbes, toxic molds, and fungi that a. Methane (CH4) is 25 times more effective in warming the atmosphere than CO2.
make us sick, and plants that produce pollens that cause allergies and asthma attacks. b. Soot is accumulating on glaciers and ice fields and contributing to the melting of this ice and to
- Microbes that cause infectious tropical diseases such as dengue fever and yellow fever are likely to atmospheric warming.
expand their ranges and numbers if mosquitoes that carry them spread to warmer temperate and - Geo-engineering or trying to manipulate natural conditions to counter an enhanced greenhouse
higher elevation areas as they have begun to do. effect.
- A 2009 study estimated that climate disruption already contributes to the premature deaths of more a. Injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere to reflect some of the incoming sunlight into space
than 300,000 people, and that 325 million people are now seriously affected by accelerating climate and cool the troposphere.
change through natural disasters and environmental degradation. b. Placing a series of giant mirrors in orbit above the earth for the same purpose.
- One major problem with most of these technological fixes, and with some carbon capture and
What can we do to slow projected climate change? storage schemes is that they require huge investments of energy and materials, and there is no
1. What are our options? guarantee that they will work.
- Calling for urgent action at the national and international levels to curb greenhouse gas emissions by - If we rely on these systems and continue emitting greenhouse gases, and if the systems then fail,
regulating and taxing such emissions will not work. atmospheric temperatures will likely soar at a rapid rate, greatly speeding up the processes of climate
à Psychological research indicates that using fear and guilt, and promoting sacrifice to change disruption.
behavior rarely works.
à People are primarily interested in the short-term, not long-term, benefits of changing their behavior. SLOWING CLIMATE DISRUPTION
à For elected officials whose future depends on being reelected every few years, spending their Prevention Cleanup
efforts on long-term problems is most often not in their best short- Cut fossil fuel use (especially coal) Remove CO2 from smokestack and vehicle emissions
- Important short-term benefits for individuals, corporations, schools, and universities of working locally Shift from coal to natural gas Store (sequester) CO2 by planting trees
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include: Improve energy efficiency Sequester CO2 in soil by using no-till cultivation and
à Money saved from cutting energy use and waste; better health because of cleaner air; more jobs Shift to renewable energy resources taking cropland out of production
in the less polluting and more cost-competitive domestic wind and solar industries; and Transfer energy efficiency and renewable Sequester CO2 deep underground (With no leaks
à Improved national and economic security due to reduced dependence on imported oil. technologies to developing countries allowed)
- Most climate scientists argue that our most urgent priority is to do all we can to avoid any and all Reduce deforestation Sequester CO2 in the deep oceans (With no leaks
climate change tipping points—thresholds beyond which natural systems can change irreversibly. Use more sustainable agriculture and forestry allowed)
Put a price on greenhouse gas emissions Repair leaky natural gas pipelines and facilities Rewards cuts in emissions Vulnerable to cheating
Reduce poverty Use animal feeds that reduce CH4 emissions from Record of success Rich polluters can keep polluting
Slow population growth cows (belching) Low expense for consumers Puts variable price on carbon

CONNECTIONS: Sea Creatures, Carbon Dioxide, and Cement. 4. Some countries, states and localities are leading the way.
• In 2010, earth science professor Brent Constantz developed a process for removing CO2 from the - Costa Rica aims to be the first country to become carbon neutral by cutting its net carbon emissions
smokestack emissions of a power plant in Moss Landing, California, and converting it to cement by to zero by 2030.
spraying it with mineral-rich seawater. He developed this CCS method by mimicking sea creatures that - China has one of the world’s most intensive energy efficiency programs.
convert CO2 into calcium carbonate, or limestone, to form their skeletons and shells. He envisions - By 2010, at least 30 U.S. states had set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
converting CO2 emissions into stone and locking them away essentially forever in the concrete - Since 1990, local governments in more than 650 cities around the world (including more than 450 U.S.
foundations of our cities. cities) have established programs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Governments can help to reduce the threat of climate disruption. 5. Some companies are reducing their carbon footprints
- Governments can use six major methods to promote the solutions. - Leaders of some of the most prominent U.S. companies, including Alcoa, DuPont, Ford Motor
a. Strictly regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) as climate-changing pollutants. Company, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and Shell Oil, have joined with leading
b. Phase out the most inefficient polluting coal-burning power plants and replace them with more environmental organizations to form the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.
efficient and cleaner natural gas and renewable energy alternatives such as wind power. a.Called on the government to enact strong national climate change legislation.
c. Put a price on carbon emissions by phasing in taxes on each unit of CO2 or CH4 emitted by fossil b.Profit opportunity in developing or using energy-efficient and cleaner-energy technologies, such as
fuel use, or phasing in energy taxes on each unit of fossil fuel that is burned and offsetting these fuel-efficient cars, wind turbines, and solar cells.
tax increases by reducing taxes on income, wages, and profits.
d. Use a cap-and-trade system, which uses the marketplace to help reduce emissions of CO2 and 6. Colleges and universities are going green
CH4. - Some colleges and universities in the U.S.A., Costa Rica, Canada, and the United Kingdom are taking
e. Phase out government subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuels industry and industrialized food action.
production, and phase in such subsidies and breaks for energy efficiency technologies, low-
carbon renewable energy sources, and more sustainable agriculture. 7. We can prepare for climate change.
f. Focus research and development efforts on innovations that lower the cost of clean energy
alternatives, so that they can compete more favorably with fossil fuels. This is probably quicker 8. Individual Choices Make a Difference.
and more politically feasible than trying to raise the cost of energy from fossil fuels. - Each of us plays a part in the projected acceleration of atmospheric warming and climate disruption
g. Work out agreements to finance and monitor efforts to reduce deforestation—which accounts during this century. Whenever we use energy generated by fossil fuels, for example, we add a certain
for 12% to 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions—and to promote global tree-planting efforts. amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. Each use of energy adds to an individual’s carbon footprint, the
h. Encourage more-developed countries to help fund the transfer of the latest energy-efficiency amount of carbon dioxide generated by one’s lifestyle.
and cleaner energy technologies to less-developed countries so that they can bypass older,
energy wasting and polluting technologies. Reducing CO2 emissions
- Many say that the most critical goal for governments is to find ways to put a price on carbon emissions. 1. Calculate your carbon footprint
- The resulting higher costs for fossil fuels may spur innovation in finding ways to reduce carbon emissions, 2. Walk, bike, carpool, and use mass transit or drive fuel-efficient cars
improve energy efficiency, and phase in a mix of cleaner, low-carbon renewable energy alternatives. 3. Reduce garbage by recycling and reusing more items
- Establishing laws and regulations that raise the price of fossil fuels is politically difficult because of the 4. Use energy-efficient appliances and compact fluorescent or LED lightbulbs
immense political and economic power of the fossil fuel industries. 5. Wash laundry in warm or cold water
- In December 1997, delegates from 161 nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate a treaty to slow 6. Dry clothes on a rack or line
global warming and its projected climate disruption. 7. Use a low-flow showerhead
a. The Kyoto Protocol went into effect in 2005 with 187 of the world’s 194 countries (not including 8. Eat less meat or no meat
the United States) ratifying the agreement by late 2009. 9. Heavily insulate your house and seal all air leaks
b. Requires the 36 participating more-developed countries to cut their emissions of CO2, CH4, and 10. Use energy efficient windows
N2O to certain levels by 2012, when the treaty expires. 11. Insulate your hot water heater and set it at 49ºC (120ºF)
c. Less-developed countries were excluded from this requirement, because such reductions would 12. Plant trees to shade your house during summer
curb their economic growth. 13. Buy from businesses working to reduce their emissions
d. Negotiations have failed to extend the original agreement after 2012
9. We can prepare for climate change.
CARBON AND ENERGY TAXES - The world needs to make a 50–85% cut in emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 to stabilize
Advantages Disadvantages concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere which would help prevent the planet from heating
Simple to administer Tax laws can get complex up by more than 2ºC (3.6ºF) and to head off rapid changes in the world’s climate and the projected
Clear price on carbon Vulnerable to loopholes harmful effects that would result.
Covers all emitters Doesn’t guarantee lower emissions - Also should begin to prepare for the likely harmful effects of projected climate disruption.
Predictable revenues Politically unpopular - A no-regrets strategy.
- What if it turns out that the climate models are wrong and atmospheric warming is not a serious threat?
CAP AND TRADE POLICIES a. Should we abandon the search for preventive solutions?
Advantages Disadvantages à No, we should begin implementing changes now as a no-regrets strategy.
Clear legal limit on emissions Revenues not predictable
à Changes should be implemented because they will lead to very important environmental, Related Rules and Regulations
health, and economic benefits. 1. Republic Act 9003
How have we depleted ozone in the stratosphere and what can we do about it? NECESSARY INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS AND INCENTIVES, DECLARING CERTAIN ACTS PROHIBITED AND
1. Our use of certain chemicals threatens the ozone layer. PROVIDING PENALTIES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
- A layer of ozone in the lower stratosphere keeps about 95% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV-A and - Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000
UV-B) radiation from reaching the earth’s surface.
- Measurements show considerable seasonal depletion (thinning) of ozone concentrations in the 2. Republic Act 9513
stratosphere above Antarctica and the Arctic and a lower overall ozone thinning everywhere except - AN ACT PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION, AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF RENEWABLE
- Ozone depletion in the stratosphere poses a serious threat to humans, other animals, and some - Renewable Energy Act of 2008
primary producers (mostly plants) that use sunlight to support the earth’s food webs.
- Problem began with the discovery of the first chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) in 1930 and later Freon. 3. Republic Act 9367
- Popular non-toxic, inexpensive coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators, propellants in aerosol - AN ACT TO DTRECT THE USE OF BIOFUELS ESTABLISHING FOR THIS PURPOSE THE BIOFUEL PROGRAM
spray cans, cleaners for electronic parts such as computer chips, fumigants for granaries and ship APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
cargo holds, and gases used to make insulation and packaging. - Biofuels Act of 2006
- CFCs are persistent chemicals that destroy the ozone layer.
4. Executive Order 79
INDIVIDUALS MATTER: Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina—A Scientific Story of Expertise, Courage, and - Institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine mining sector, providing policies and
Persistence guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral
• In 1974, chemists Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina of the University of California found that CFCs resources
were lowering the average concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. They called for an immediate ban
of CFCs in spray cans. 5. Republic Act 7942
• The CFC industry, led by DuPont, resisted change but eventually agreed to stop producing CFC’s and to - AN ACT INSTITUTING A NEW SYSTEM OF MINERAL RESOURCES EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION
sell higher-priced alternatives that their chemists had developed. AND CONSERVATION
• In 1995, Rowland and Molina received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on CFCs. The Royal - Philippine Mining Act of 1995
Swedish Academy of Sciences said that these two scientists contributed to “our salvation from a global
environmental problem that could have had catastrophic consequences.” 6. Republic Act 9729
- More biologically damaging UV-A and UV-B radiation will reach the earth’s surface. PURPOSE THE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
- Causes problems with human health, crop yields, forest productivity, climate change, wildlife - Climate Change Act of 2009
populations, air pollution, and degradation of outdoor materials.

3. We can reverse stratospheric ozone depletion.

- The problem of ozone depletion has been tackled quite impressively.
- In 2008, the area of ozone thinning was still near its record high of 29 million square kilometers (11 million
square miles), set in 2006.
- Models indicate that even with immediate and sustained action.
à About 60 years for the earth’s ozone layer to recover the levels of ozone it had in 1980.
à About 100 years for recovery to pre-1950 levels.
- In 1987, representatives of 36 nations met in Montreal, Canada, and developed the Montreal Protocol
to cut emissions of CFCs.
- In 1992, adopted the Copenhagen Protocol, an amendment that accelerated the phase-out of key
ozone-depleting chemicals signed by 195 countries.
- The ozone protocols set an important precedent by using prevention to solve a serious environmental

CONNECTIONS: Atmospheric Warming and Repair of the Ozone Layer.

• Warming of the troposphere makes the stratosphere cooler, which slows down its rate of ozone repair.

The three big ideas for this chapter:

1. All countries need to step up efforts to control and prevent outdoor and indoor air pollution.
2. Reducing the projected harmful effects of rapid climate disruption during this century requires emergency
action to increase energy efficiency, sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rely more on renewable
energy resources, and slow population growth.
3. We need to continue phasing out the use of chemicals that have reduced ozone levels in the stratosphere
and allowed more harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth’s surface.