Chemistry and the Environment

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Reply to: Ocean Management
3 années 8 mois ago

I chose to comment on your summary because i have seen alot of videos online about the plastic pollution massively affecting marine life, I also feel somewhat responsible as someone who used to live in one of the five countries that create at least 50% of the plastic pollution in the ocean. I agree that this is a problem that must be tackled immediately before the marine life are forced to adapt to a deterioration environment. According to the study "Global research priorities to mitigate plastic pollution impacts on marine life" by A.C Vector et al. "plastic pollution now impacts all marine and coastal habitats... [and its] impact on the physical condition of habitats has received little attention". According to the study, in more extreme cases, plastic pollution has been seen to alter the physico-chemical processes such as light and oxygen availability along with temperature and water movement, which leads to alteration in micro and meiobenthic communities and interruption of foraging pattern of key species.
The consequences of plastic waste is not only limited to 'how we get rid of it inland' but also its effects on both land and marine life if not disposed of properly. I believe this is a problem that must be tackled immediately because with the plastic pollution messing up the marine habitat and with the fisheries over exploiting the fishes, i don't think they would last another couple of centuries.

Work Cited:
https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_376116/UQ376116_OA.pdf?Expires=...

3 années 9 mois ago

Hello Daija, I have selected to respond to your article because the fishing industry, especially in Canada constitutes for such a large amount of our food production. To add, Canada ranks 6th in the world for seafood exportation in an industry totaling 4.2 billion dollars for the country. Particularly, your article signals an alarming trend in the continued increase in fishery emissions by 21% since 1990. Also, it's interesting to read about how certain types of crustacean animals produce more emissions than others. Perhaps a way to mitigate the effects of fishery extractions could be to enforce a regulation that set a limit on the more emitting types of fish, thus reducing the overall impact on the environment. I agree with you when you state how, ultimately companies that produce so much and require output for the demand need to use more expensive alternatives when they are focused on making the most money possible. Since fish swim together it is a logical solution to exploit from this instead of fishing for lobsters that swim individually and require more complex solutions. Also, I believe the solution for such a problem should come from the countries who emit the most, those being China, Indonesia, Vietnam, United States, and Japan. Finally i'll end by mentioning a rather creative approach to the problem of enhanced fishery emissions. An article on Phys.org presented hybrid energy as profitable alternative seeing as “[t]he Master's student estimated that by using wind turbines and PV panels in addition to a diesel generator for handling the energy peaks, farms can reduce their CO2 emissions by almost 50 per cent, and a typical fish farm will at the same time be able to cut costs by 16 per cent”.

Works Cited:

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-fish-and-seafood-exporting-count...

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-fish-farming-industry-climate-friendly.htm...

3 années 9 mois ago

After reading your summary, I decided to chose your article because I found the topic interesting insofar as, typically, one wouldn't associate the melting of glaciers to warm water from beneath. In fact, the article mentioned an interesting fact that the melting of an underwater glacier the size of greater London had melted throughout the space of 5 years. I think that its rather alarming to think of all the natural disasters that could occur in the future given our current lifestyles. The article you chose is really interesting also in the sense that as the author mentions rising sea levels are an important threat to mankind. Also interesting is when you mention that the accumulated sea level rise could in the near future rise approximately 3 meters. Finally, I'll end off by mentioning that like you stated stopping the rise in sea levels is practically impossible and water levels will inevitably continue to rise however I would recommend maybe finding a way to slower sea level rise since stopping it entirely is impossible. Indeed, my suggestion would be to impose something that is already present, that being a protocol that would diminish carbon emissions.

Reply to: climate change
3 années 9 mois ago

I chose to comment on this particular article because this was a perspective i had not thought of. I have not thought of the effects climate change might bring to our and other species' diets. According to the article "potential impact of climate change on world food supply, our doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will only lead to a small decrease in global food production, although the developing countries will have to brunt of this problem as you have stated. This will do nothing to alleviate the already rising tensions between developed and developing countries. Scientists have performed multiple test on crops in order to
find solutions to cope with the rapid changing climate such as crop yield change methods and farm- level adaptations, under the assumption that water supply for irrigation would be available all over the place due to the rising sea level.

I think rather than trying to cure the problem we should be trying to prevent this in the first place. Although it might sound like a slippery slope, global warming could potentially cause another global war due to our waning food source. we should try decreasing our GhG emissions.
Work Cited:
http://ecoethics.net/cyprus-institute.us/PDF/Rosensweig-Food-Supply.pdf

Reply to: climate change
3 années 9 mois ago

I chose to comment on this particular article because this was a perspective i had not thought of. I have not thought of the effects climate change might bring to our and other species' diets. According to the article "potential impact of climate change on world food supply, our doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will only lead to a small decrease in global food production, although the developing countries will have to brunt of this problem as you have stated. This will do nothing to alleviate the already rising tensions between developed and developing countries. Scientists have performed multiple test on crops in order to
find solutions to cope with the rapid changing climate such as crop yield change methods and farm- level adaptations, under the assumption that water supply for irrigation would be available all over the place due to the rising sea level.

I think rather than trying to cure the problem we should be trying to prevent this in the first place. Although it might sound like a slippery slope, global warming could potentially cause another global war due to our waning food source. we should try decreasing our GhG emissions.
Work Cited:
http://ecoethics.net/cyprus-institute.us/PDF/Rosensweig-Food-Supply.pdf

3 années 10 mois ago

Today (March 20 2018), we learned in class that DDTs and PCBs are what is often called persistent chemicals, and its effects on the environment such as biomagnification and bioaccumulation. When i read your article, a thought immediately popped in my mind "how about oil spills and its effects on the fish who live in it and the animals who drink the contaminated water?"
According to the article "The effects of oil spills on marine fish: Implication of spatial variation in natural mortality.", written by O. Langangen, Fish eggs and larvae tend to be very vulnerable to toxic oil compounds because of their small size. Even at small concentrations can prove fatal to small marine life such as the aforementioned. According to the article, depending on the spatial variation, the effects could either lessen or worsen. The study was concluded with the statement that this problem is being largely underestimated and that it is possible to control the effects of oil spill as long as the spill is immediately contained.

I believe that this is another problem that we tend to avoid because oil is such a precious commodity to people that they think of the lost profits rather than the lives that will be lost when seeing such a spill. Thank you for raising this subject.

Work Cited:
https://ac.els-cdn.com/S0025326X17302552/1-s2.0-S0025326X17302552-main.p...

3 années 10 mois ago

Thank you for taking your time to write your summary about this. I like the bit about the big companies taking a step back and looking back at what they are truly doing, as they really, really should.
Onto the matters presented, this took an interesting turn for me as most of the articles i have read about the problems of building more Dams in Amazon are about Indigenous people's way of lives. In a way this shows that building these Dams threaten more than just human life but biodiversity itself.
According to a study of sustainable development discourse on indigenous people in the Brazilian Amazon in the context of the proposed Belo Monte hydroelectric dam,although it is great that we are looking forward to a sustainable future, the problem is that the only thing we are sustaining is human life, at the cost of other lives, both human and non-human.
Also, during the proposal of the creation of the dam, the companies have agreed to the creation of maintenance of ecological reserves for the threatened fauna along with the creation of new infrastructure as a support to the possible influx of migration to bigger cities. What they arent considering though is that with the creation of new infrastructure, more land will be taken up causing the same type of damages to the environment and society, It is appreciated that these companies are at least thinking of bettering this world through the lessening of pollution, there are still other ways of keeping Brazil Amazon light up such as improvement on solar power which for some reason was not presented as an alternative source of power. It has been presented that hydroelectric power is the only alternative to fossil fuels.
Looking back to your comment on how companies should look back at what they do, hopefully they soon do as more and more companies are rising up and with the population increasing we need a better way of sustaining out livelihood without compromising the future.
Work Cited:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4c9a/8fd51cea7019c7a2f9e2a165404a0bdc62...

3 années 10 mois ago

To begin, I decided to choose your article summary because the topic was not only very interesting, but also very intriguing. Without a question the topic you have selected is immensely important however in my opinion it's an issue that we as humans wrongly overlook, in the sense that we often perceive this issue as sustainable and untroubling for current and approaching generations, when in actuality the points you addressed would help mitigate any future risks through finding solutions now, before the situation becomes troubling. For instance I agree with your point that local and national governments must enforce regulations on how water is used and distributed seeing as the last thing you want s a society taking for granted this supply (water) simply becauseit is available. Personally, I believe that by using a mathematical model to predict water shortages could only be seen as a positive, although i don't think that we should use this method as the sole way to predict our water needs. For example, the ''Government of Canada'' published on their website an article on water availability for each province and identified Quebec as a province with a low threat to water availability through the water availibility indicator (Government of Canada, 2017). Thus, Canada's approach to water scarcity is different than other countries such as ones with mostly warm and dry conditions without many water bassins or water bodies, like Jordan, a country with a mosty arid climate. In fact, the article entitled ''Water starved'' states how ''Jordan has one of the lowest levels of water resource availability'' and nearly 94 % of ''total rainfall volume (... is) evaporated'' (Syeda Areeba, 2018, 40-41). The problem with Jordan is that the countries population is expected to double and water shortage is expected to increase due to global warming. This has led the country to be classifed as water scarce, and being a country that relies on its precipitation (however little it may be) causes a serious risk that cannot be relieved by only predicting water shortage through historic data. My point is that for a country facing a water crisis, the auhtor of he aformentioned article argues that a possible solution could be to recycle and reuse the municipalities' waste water. I would also argue for this solution atop of setting government regulations like you had mentioned in the opinion section of your article.

Bibliography:

Rasheed, S. A. (2018, 01). Water starved. Southasia, 22, 40-41. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1987360830?accountid=44391

Government of Canada. (2017, 04). Water Availability: Indicator Initiative. Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/water-overv...

4 années 1 mois ago

I strongly agree with you that municipalities need to find new ways of waste disposal because landfill spaces are rare and it is a threat to the environment. You proposed compost as an efficient way to dispose of the organic waste and I found one city in the United-State that is not only mastering this technique but also the overall champion of zero waste. San-Francisco will soon reach his goal of 100% recycled waste and is proving to the world that this objective is possible and profitable. The Pier 96 is the 20000 m2 biggest center of recycling in the world and was build to achieve a goal they established in 2013 to have zero waste by the year 2020. In 2015, they were already at 80% of recycled waste, which mean they are getting very close to their objective. In this huge recycling center of San Fransisco, the organic matter that is collected at night is used to produce 650 tons of compost that is then sold to the farms in the region. What is also great with the Pier 96 is that it created 178 jobs really well paid and reserved for people living in poor neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the enormous Hilton Hotel of this city has, since 2000, compost all leftovers from its 7500 meal served daily. They were able to save 250000 dollars per year just by reducing the costs related to the picking up of waste. This is why in 2005, the 4500 restaurants in the city followed the Hilton example and started to compost. I think that San Francisco sends a very positive image to other big cities and prove them that everything is achievable.

article:
https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/cbcacomplete/docview/1735884568/9C...

4 années 1 mois ago

The impacts of meat consumption on the environment are of great concern as you mention in your article. Nevertheless, they are often overlooked by environmentalists. Hence, I congratulate you for having taken the time to explore this issue.

First, I completely agree that food production takes a large portion of the US land area. As a matter of fact, this is a global problem. Specifically, the livestock production takes 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the Earth’s global surface (Ilea, 2). Thus, one of the main causes of global deforestation is animal farming (Ilea 8). Indeed, large areas are necessary for animals to graze, and for the production of their feed (Ilea 8). For example, from 1990 to 2000, the Amazon rainforest lost “an area twice the size of Portugal […], most of it to pasture” (Ilea 8). Similarly, 50% of the global production of corn and 80% of that of soy is intended to feed farm animals (Ilea 8). As you partly noted, meat production can, as a result, cause biodiversity losses, soil erosion, and deforestation (Ilea 8).

However, while reading your second paragraph I did not see how your argument proved your conclusion. Indeed, while you state that the US food production, may it be for meat or for plant, use a large amount of energy and is not sustainable, you conclude that a vegan diet is much more sustainable than a meat-based one. Although your conclusion is reasonable, the statistics you provide do not prove it. Nevertheless, in addition to the other environmental consequences aforementioned, the livestock sector does have a significant impact on global warming. As a matter of fact, the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than those of all transport (Ilea 2). More specifically, meat production is responsible for 68% of anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions, 64% of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, and 35–40% of anthropogenic methane emissions (Ilea 4). While methane and nitrous oxide respectively have a global warming potential 23 and 296, nitrous oxide also contribution to the ozone depletion and ammonia plays a significant role in the acidification of rain (Ilea 4).

Similarly, meat production also consumes much more water than the production of cereal, as you noted. Nevertheless, the statistics you provide do not match those I found. Indeed, you mention that producing 1 kg of animal protein requires 100 times more water than 1 kg of grain. What I found, however, is that the production of 1 kg of meat takes from 2.5 to 20 times more water than the production of 1 kg of grain (Ilea 9). As a result, “diets based on meat from grain-fed cattle may take two times more water than pure vegetarian ones” (Ilea 9). Nonetheless, this is a real problem, especially with increasing water shortages that are expected; in fact, “64% of the world’s population is expected to live in water-stressed sectors by 2025” (Ilea 9). Furthermore, the nutrients from livestock’s manure are important sources of water pollution (Ilea 9).

Finally, the rapid population growth will indeed make all these problems worse if no changes are made. The population of the United States is indeed expected to increase, as the projections are now expecting, to 447,883,000 people in 2100 (United Nations, 28).

Hence, while some suggest that the population growth should be controlled, it is certain that developed countries’ consumption of animal products will need to be decreased (Ilea 12). In fact, if the global trend is not changed, the world livestock will consume as much as 4 billion people by 2050 (Ilea 12).

United Nations. “World Population Prospects.” Department of Economic and Social
Affairs, 2017, https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2017_KeyFindings.pdf

Ilea, Ramona C. "Intensive Livestock Farming: Global Trends, Increased Environmental
Concerns, and Ethical Solutions." Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 22, no. 2, 2009, pp. 153-167, Research Library, https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/196572554?accountid=44391, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10806-008-9136-3.

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