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Page with question from env7 and space to add your answers

Page history last edited by mrmr_mail@yahoo.com 8 years, 6 months ago

 


ENV7 - Dunnville Secondary - Dunnville, Ontario, Canada

We aim to live our lives in an environmentally sustainable way, as Canadians we try to limit our consumption of “things” – electricity, bottled water, over packaged products – we recycle what we can – paper, plastics, electronics such as cells phones, computers and batteries – we re-use items and buy second-hand, as well as buying “green” products – from light bulbs, pens for writing and clothing.  This is why when we are faced with a potential threat to our environment Canadians group together and raise their voices to the government, big business and anyone who will listen to help us stop it.  Below is a current issue in our province (it is potentially damaging to our water source, farm land that produces food for Ontarians, etc. – and it is only 2 hours from our school).  Our question to you is;

 

What environmental issues have you had in your country?  What was the issue?   What were the potential damages to the environment?  How did you fight for the environment, the animals, the water, etc?  What affect did you have – and has the affect been sustainable (change in people’s thinking about the environment, change in policy from the government, etc)?

 

Our Issue:

Please watch the video as it has valuable information for understanding the issue, the links below outline our fight against the mega-quarry along with supporting articles to demonstrate the potential environmental devastation that this mega-quarry will have.

 

 

Ultimately, we want to prevent the destruction of 2,316 acres of prime agricultural land in Dufferin County, Ontario and to encourage government reform around aggregate policy.

The mega-quarry proposed by the Highland Companies (an United States company – operating in Canada) would be one of the largest open-pit mines in the North America and as such would be highly disruptive not only to prime agriculture, and aquifers, but also local flora, fauna and quality of life for all residents of this area as well as upstream and downstream communities. By drilling more than 200 feet below the ground’s surface this proposed quarry would affect a number of pristine watersheds, including the Nottawasaga and Grand Rivers. Furthermore it would result in the diversion of approximately 600,000,000 litres of fresh water per day (every day in perpetuity) to meet operational needs.

 

Webpages

http://www.stopthemegaquarry.ca/

http://nomegaquarry.ca/

 

Articles

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2011/05/billion-tonne-mega-quarry-to-improve-the-local-environment/

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/07/ontario-proposed-mega-quarry-melancthon-contaminate-drinking-water.php

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1017849%E2%80%94environment-ministry-blasts-mega-quarry-proposal

 

This is the county and surrounding farmlands that are involved in the issue.


View Larger Map

 

 

 

 


Answer from env1

          Water has been polluted and trees cut down in an endless quest for timber or new pasture land. Precious topsoil that took millennia to make, blows away in the wind and is replaced with poisons to which mankind should never have been exposed. The crisp, clean air has been filled with dirt, filth and danger. Plants and animals that have evolved in patient process, have been subjected to genetic engineering often across the species simply in the name of profit. In short, mankind had sought total control over the environment and with potentially disastrous results.

 

            Every one of us, whatever age we are can do something to help slow down and reverse some of the damage. We cannot leave the problem-solving entirely to the experts - we all have a responsibility for our environment. We must learn to live in a sustainable way  learn to use our natural resources which include air, freshwater, forests, wildlife, farmland and seas without damaging them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Answer from env2

 

The communist regime inherited to Romania many environmental issues like air pollution,plenty of toxic waste and the waste dumping. All of these issues contributed at destroying the Romania's beauty. First, the rivers were affected due an alomost total lack of environmental policy.We fight for the environment by participating at different ecological-projects with our school and we are very well educated, we take care where we dump the garbage. We're proud because we encouraged many people to protect the environment because in is an important piece in the puzzle called "life" .

 

 

 


Answer from env3

Hi!

 

Our dear Canadian friends, we analysed the problem and we think that you have an interesting idea; we hope that  you solve this problem, but we need more support from authorities.

The problems, our country is facing with an ecological level are vast. First of all: global warming, landslides, fires, floods, water- is more and more polluted- etc. All these problems were the main factor of pollution (but most people are indifferent and forget to the protect the environment).

After these disasters (floods, landslides, fires etc.) many people are left homeless, families are broken and pets are left without a shelter and what’s the worst are left without a family. To solve these problems, here there are numerous activities (we can do waste collection, recycling electrical etc.).

We participated to the activity of planting trees and restoring forest called “Romania take root” . Most people were enrolled in this project and succeeded in planting trees on a very large area in only one day. 

 

Best wishes,

env3  

 


Answer from env4

 

Dear Friends,

 

Our answers:

Ghana has a long history of attempting to safeguard the environment from being abused by enacting and including environmental protection in appropriate legislation. The best result from all of these attempts is the establishment of an organisation solely responsible for the environment – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, since its establishment in 1994 as an Agency with powers to regulate the activities within the environment, has been using the Environmental Assessment Administration procedures as its major tool for achieving compliance with its legislation. The number of applications received for environmental permits within a certain time frame is used as a measure of environmental compliance.
To be able to enforce the environmental legislation, the Agency promotes compliance by working in partnership with other stakeholders, especially those state organisations with an equal mandate to enforce certain legislation. Compliance monitoring is done by the Environmental Quality Department of the Agency in collaboration with other departmental staff within and outside the Agency. Non-compliance response involves mainly using statutory notices, site visits, and, as the last resort, legal action.

 

 

State of our environment

 

Atmosphere
Ghana generally enjoys ‘clean’ atmospheric conditions. However, emissions from point sources such as vehicles, industries, and dusts from untarred roads, etc. tend to create atmospheric pollutants within their immediate environments. The most abundant greenhouse gas produced and emitted in Ghana is CO2. There are CO2 sinks in the forested and the reforested land. The trend of the total CO2 equivalent removals, however, shows a significant decline of about 49 percent from 1990 to 1996. There is fear that the rate of deforestation will offset net CO2 removal as forests, which serve as sink for excess CO2, are being depleted. Ghana’s programme under the Montreal Protocol (control of chlorofluorocarbons) is progressing smoothly.

 

Biodiversity
Ghana’s rich biodiversity is gradually being depleted due to a variety of factors. Prominent among them are poaching, habitat loss, deforestation, etc. It is indisputable that there is a pressing need to domesticate the Biodiversity Convention. This is in view of the precarious biodiversity conditions prevalent in Ghana.

 

Forest Resources
It is estimated that over 90 percent of Ghana’s high forest have been logged since the late 1940s. The rate of deforestation is 5 percent in off-reserves and 2 percent in on-reserves. The off-reserves have been seriously degraded and fragmented to less than 5 percent of the forested area 83,489km2. The current deforestation rate is about 22,000 hectares (ha) per annum. Ghana, therefore, may face future export deficits and there is the likelihood that the country’s forestry sector will die out.


Fresh Water
Available data suggests that Ghana is not under water stress. Indeed surface water resources, including the Volta Lake constitute about 5 percent of the total land area. There is, however, a serious problem of uneven distribution of water, leading to perennial water shortages in many parts of the country, especially during the dry season. Inadequate industrial and domestic wastewater management has resulted in the pollution of most surface water resources in the country. Prominent among these are the rivers that flow through urban areas.

 

Environment and Human Health
There has been some overall gain in health over the past 30 years. Life expectancy at birth has improved from 45 years in 1984 to 55 years in 2000. Many water-borne and water-related diseases are however on the rise due to poor domestic environmental management and industrial pollution. Malaria remains endemic in the country despite several control measures. Incidences of cholera are also recorded every year especially during the rainy season.

 

Land Resources
Agricultural land availability has reduced from 1.56ha in 1970 to 1.11ha in 1984 to 0.74ha in 2000. This shows that there has been pressure on the country’s land resources over the past three decades. The pressure on land available in urban areas is largely due to rural-urban migration.

 

Coastal Zone and Marine Environment
The coastal zone of the country is under intense pressure due to high concentration of human activities within the zone. The major industries in the country are located within the zone. Marine fishing serves as a source of livelihood for the majority of the people living along the coast. Although coastal erosion points have not increased in number in the past decade, the magnitude of the problem has increased considerably in certain areas. This is the case for the Volta Delta at Ada and Keta. Extensive restoration is ongoing in Keta and is expected to be completed in the next two years.

 

 

 

 


Answer from env5

 

The flow of the river Vardar is collecting the water of the biggest part of the territory of Republic of Macedonia. (Confluence of the Vardar River collects water from the bulk of the territory of Macedonia. )Its total basin covers nearly 80% of the territory of Macedonia. Vardar is the biggest river in Republic of Macedonia that passes through several cities and collects all waste waters.
Unfortunately there are not purifying stations build in, who can provide its bed to have clear water. There is a plan to build purifying stations but due to financial problems completions is postponed.
Under the water law, the discharge of waste water into the river should be only once they are cleaned and rid of more organic and chemical compounds that are polluted, either by public sewers or from technological processes.
A group of students from high school Vlado Tasevski, working in the field of ecology under the guidance of  teacher  Rada Mazganska are correlated with EKOSKOP NGO that cares about preserving the environment.
After a short discussion we decided to organize a patrol of the river ecology.
We traced the situation with short authentic sequence.
This is a video for the condition of the river Vardar after leaving the central city core.

 

 

 

 


Answer from env6

Answer from env6

 

In our country (Bangladesh, a country of South Asia) there are many environmental issues. They are : 1)  How to save the sweet surface and underground water. 2) How to save ground water from Arsenic contamination. 3) How to protect the human habitation from the erosion of mighty river flow in the rainy season. 4) How to educate the mass people about different aspects of environment when most of them are illiterate. 6) How to save the people from sound pollution as there is much use of different types of horns by the vehicles and widespread use of loud speaker in public places. 7) How to save the soil from the contaminated plastic bags and bottles as they are not properly recycled. 8) How to check deforestation and promote aforestation.  etc

 

The issues mentioned above are issues and they are the burning questions for the people as well as for the government.

 

The potential damages caused to the environment are the contamination of river and lake water by unethical and uncontrolled use of insecticides and chemical manures in the farmland and allowing the contaminated water to mix with natural water bodies. Again the toxic things yielded by the factories and small scale industries are allowed to mix with the natural water bodies before it (waste) is properly treated to make it toxic free, On the other hand urban and rural habitation are being expanded without having the proper facilities of water supply and proper sewerage, and having no sufficient electricity supply, having no proper drainage system of water, as a result floods visit the country and damage the national economy. Because of the rise of sea level the famous mangrove forest of Bangladesh, that is Sunderbans’ flora and fauna undergo problems and Royal Bengal tiger suffer from preying  their normal food.

 

The Print and Electronics media of the country cover all the environment related problems and also sustainability in a positive way, and as a result people are becoming conscious day by day. People as well as different bodies on environment are very active in creating public opinion for the environmental sustainability.

 

The government of Bangladesh along with the different bodies of the UNO and other organizations is up and doing for the environmental sustainability and also by enacting environmental laws in the country and organizing symposium, seminar, workshop to make common people aware and also by including topics on environmental sustainability in the school and college curriculum.

 

 

 

XXX

 

What is carbon footprint of your country and other countries around the world?

 

a.) Why measure carbon dioxide? We measure carbon dioxide so that we can see how much we have in the air because if we don’t keep control of it, then the earth will heat up even more and then we will die because we will have less oxygen to breathe in.

b.) What does a person’s typical carbon footprint consist of? The average persons carbon footprint consists of 3706 diapers, 13056 pints of milk, 1423 pounds of meat, 1.3 tons of eggs, 21946 pounds of bread, 12888 oranges, 29700 pounds of trash, 1.2 million gallons of water, and it would take 14 years for all of our recycling to decompose after we die and all that is in 1 lifetime.

c.) How we can reduce carbon footprint? We can reduce our carbon footprint by using less food and water and making it easier to go to work by walking or biking to work if it is close enough, and we could make everything environmentally safe for everything that we use in life, like making everything 100% recyclable so that we don’t have to worry about having to deal with garbage all the time because everything would be recyclable so we can just keep using it over and over again till it is disintegrated and wont be of any use to us anymore.

 

 

 

 

Look at the questions assigned to you.

  

 

 

What is the question really asking? (write that down)

 The questions are asking me if I know what it is to have a carbon footprint and what there is to it so that I know if I really payed attention to the work that I was assigned.

 

 

What questions does it bring to mind – what will you need to research to be able to answer these questions? Do you need to narrow the questions focus? The questions that it brings to mind are did I do a good enough job on the work?? Did I pay enough attention when we were getting the work done and not misread the questions? I would need to have access to a computer, the movies that we watched, and all of my notes to research wether or not I got the right answers or read the question right or wrong. I don’t think that I would need to shorten my question search because I don’t need to see if they are long or not because I get right to the point in most of my questions.

  

 

 

What agencies in Canada will you contact for first hand information? Why are these the best ones?

 I would contact the water purification plant so that I could go and see the files there and I would know if they are right or not depending on the information I might get papers that were from 10-50 years ago because they would have typed up all of the documents that they would have had that were written down on paper so that we would think that it is from today’s date. This is the best one because then we can see if we have polluted water or if they aren’t cleaning our water properly and we get sick from it all.

 

 

What statistics can you find to substantiate your research?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 These go with the title of What is carbon footprint of your country and other countries around the world? They are videos for the title and the other ones for the questions are on the other side by the feet and under the chart to the right of those.The statistics that i can find for my research is that the water tables of when the water comes into the plant, all of the stations that it has to go through and how much it will be when it comes out into the water systems that we use everyday.

 

http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/datablog/2009/dec/07/copenhagen-climate-change-summit-carbon-emissions-data-country-world&rct=j&sa=X&ei=3zawTvCKLcHw0gHE5uS-AQ&ved=0CEcQuAIwAA&q=What+is+carbon+footprint+of+your+country+and+other+countries+around+the+world&usg=AFQjCNETonvySJU2nLCT-0cx41O_X1IoQQ

http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DueQlHM6usak&rct=j&sa=X&ei=3zawTvCKLcHw0gHE5uS-AQ&ved=0CE0QuAIwAg&q=What+is+carbon+footprint+of+your+country+and+other+countries+around+the+world&usg=AFQjCNGqtwYCU7SQtRzl5IE-v7_bsdOCxQ

 

 

 

 

1.a)http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D1xX3nPZd3II&rct=j&sa=X&ei=ijewTvHRHOLY0QHvj63QAQ&ved=0CEYQuAIwAA&q=carbon+dioxide+measured+over+the+years&usg=AFQjCNHd3cQxv_pam1bi5BQPG5__YovGlQ

 

1.b)http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DgHisfHDuuYo&rct=j&sa=X&ei=wDewTp7RFaTl0QGCtqi6AQ&ved=0CGMQuAIwBw&q=a+person%27s+typical+carbon+footprint+n+a+lifetime&usg=AFQjCNHcRESFNVF7MM7SRfeVwQpEt7sIxw

1.c)http://www.google.ca/url?url=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DvDPQV_1VyV4&rct=j&sa=X&ei=-TewTrPKKYrY0QHlqNTmAQ&sqi=2&ved=0CEsQuAIwAQ&q=how+to+reduce+a+person%27s+typical+carbon+footprint+n+a+lifetime&usg=AFQjCNGSn7y7tSxz-SG30OQmqhbtsAmmtQ

 

 



Answer from env8

 

As you know our country has become the first country hit by the peaceful atom. April 26, 1986, 3 km from the town of Pripyat, a town 18 km from the Chernobyl explosion of the fourth power. Immediately after the accident were stopped first third unit, consisting of the 4th power unit of Chernobyl second place, and then the 1st and 2nd units.

The elimination of the accident the government sent all possible force. Five clean out those first to engage the fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, got hero of Ukraine posthumously.

Government Commission decided to prepare for the evacuation of Pripyat. On the night of 26 to 27 April from Kiev and other cities nearby bus arrived in 1200, three special railway train. On this day the city was taken out about 45 thousand people. In the first days after the accident, was also evacuated people from the near (10 km) zone of the Chernobyl NPP. The Chernobyl accident resulted in a large-scale radioactive contamination of the terrain, buildings, roads and other objects of the environment not only in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant, but also far beyond. The accident spewed into the environment of radioactive material, including isotopes of uranium, plutonium and iodine.

The accident affected the fate of many people. People who lived in Pripyat were forced to flee their homes, thus leaving this life, the residents of this town to grief or fortunately had to start from scratch. In the early days of receiving the radiation dose people receive a full bouquet of Chernobyl diseases. Today, when admission to the Chernobyl zone is possible, the former inhabitants of this town come to visit his abandoned house.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Answer from env9

 

Even us in Kenya we are trying to do the same with what you are also doing though not to that effectiveness but generally we always re-use and also use them to manufacture other products. In soil, acid rain dissolves and washes away nutrients needed by plants. It can also dissolve toxic substances, such as aluminum and mercury, which are naturally present in some soils, freeing these toxins to pollute water or to poison plants that absorb them. By removing useful nutrients from the soil, acid rain slows the growth of plants, especially trees. It also attacks trees more directly by eating holes in the waxy coating of leaves and needles, causing brown dead spots. If many such spots form, a tree loses some of its ability to make food through photosynthesis. Also, organisms that cause disease can infect the tree through its injured leaves. Once weakened, trees are more vulnerable to other stresses, such as insect infestations, drought, and cold temperatures.

Most air pollution comes from one human activity: burning fossil fuels—natural gas, coal, and oil—to power industrial processes and motor vehicles. Among the harmful chemical compounds this burning puts into the atmosphere are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and tiny solid particles—including lead from gasoline additives—called particulates. Between 1900 and 1970, motor vehicle use rapidly expanded, and emissions of nitrogen oxides, some of the most damaging pollutants in vehicle exhaust, increased 690 percent.

 

 

Polluted River

The pollution of rivers and streams with chemical contaminants has become one of the most critical environmental problems of the century. Chemical pollution entering rivers and streams can be classified according to the nature of its sources: point pollution and non point pollution. Point pollution involves pollution from a single concentrated source that can be identified, such as an outfall pipe from a factory or refinery. Non point pollution involves pollution from dispersed sources that cannot be precisely identified, such as runoff from agricultural or mining operations or seepage from septic tanks or sewage drain fields.

 

 

 

 

The effects of acid rain on wildlife can be far-reaching. If a population of one plant or animal is adversely affected by acid rain, animals that feed on that organism may also suffer. Ultimately, an entire ecosystem may become endangered. Some species that live in water are very sensitive to acidity, some less so. Freshwater clams and mayfly young, for instance, begin dying when the water pH reaches 6.0. Frogs can generally survive more acidic water, but if their supply of mayflies is destroyed by acid rain, frog populations may also decline. Fish eggs of most species stop hatching at a pH of 5.0. Below a pH of 4.5, water is nearly sterile, unable to support any wildlife.

Land animals dependent on aquatic organisms are also affected. Scientists have found that populations of snails living in or near water polluted by acid rain are declining in some regions. In The Netherlands songbirds are finding fewer snails to eat. The eggs these birds lay have weakened shells because the birds are receiving less calcium from snail shells.

Acid Rain

I

 

INTRODUCTION

Acid Rain, form of air pollution in which airborne acids produced by electric utility plants and other sources fall to Earth in distant regions. The corrosive nature of acid rain causes widespread damage to the environment. The problem begins with the production of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, and from certain kinds of manufacturing. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water and other chemicals in the air to form sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and other pollutants. These acid pollutants reach high into the atmosphere, travel with the wind for hundreds of miles, and eventually return to the ground by way of rain, snow, or fog, and as invisible “dry” forms.

Damage from acid rain has been widespread in eastern North America and throughout Europe, and in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Acid rain leaches nutrients from soils, slows the growth of trees, and makes lakes uninhabitable for fish and other wildlife. In cities, acid pollutants corrode almost everything they touch, accelerating natural wear and tear on structures such as buildings and statues. Acids combine with other chemicals to form urban smog, which attacks the lungs, causing illness and premature deaths.

II

 

FORMATION OF ACID RAIN

The process that leads to acid rain begins with the burning of fossil fuels. Burning, or combustion, is a chemical reaction in which oxygen from the air combines with carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and other elements in the substance being burned. The new compounds formed are gases called oxides. When sulfur and nitrogen are present in the fuel, their reaction with oxygen yields sulfur dioxide and various nitrogen oxide compounds. In the United States, 70 percent of sulfur dioxide pollution comes from power plants, especially those that burn coal. In Canada, industrial activities, including oil refining and metal smelting, account for 61 percent of sulfur dioxide pollution. Nitrogen oxides enter the atmosphere from many sources, with motor vehicles emitting the largest share—43 percent in the United States and 60 percent in Canada.

Once in the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides undergo complex reactions with water vapor and other chemicals to yield sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and other pollutants called nitrates and sulfates. The acid compounds are carried by air currents and the wind, sometimes over long distances. When clouds or fog form in acid-laden air, they too are acidic, and so is the rain or snow that falls from them.

Acid pollutants also occur as dry particles and as gases, which may reach the ground without the help of water. When these “dry” acids are washed from ground surfaces by rain, they add to the acids in the rain itself to produce a still more corrosive solution. The combination of acid rain and dry acids is known as acid deposition.

III

 

EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN

The acids in acid rain react chemically with any object they contact. Acids are corrosive chemicals that react with other chemicals by giving up hydrogen atoms. The acidity of a substance comes from the abundance of free hydrogen atoms when the substance is dissolved in water. Acidity is measured using a pH scale with units from 0 to 14. Acidic substances have pH numbers from 1 to 6—the lower the pH number, the stronger, or more corrosive, the substance. Some nonacidic substances, called bases or alkalis, are like acids in reverse—they readily accept the hydrogen atoms that the acids offer. Bases have pH numbers from 8 to 14, with the higher values indicating increased alkalinity. Pure water has a neutral pH of 7—it is not acidic or basic. Rain, snow, or fog with a pH below 5.6 is considered acid rain.

When bases mix with acids, the bases lessen the strength of an acid (see Acids and Bases). This buffering action regularly occurs in nature. Rain, snow, and fog formed in regions free of acid pollutants are slightly acidic, having a pH near 5.6. Alkaline chemicals in the environment, found in rocks, soils, lakes, and streams, regularly neutralize this precipitation. But when precipitation is highly acidic, with a pH below 5.6, naturally occurring acid buffers become depleted over time, and nature’s ability to neutralize the acids is impaired. Acid rain has been linked to widespread environmental damage, including soil and plant degradation, depleted life in lakes and streams, and erosion of human-made structures.

A

 

Soil

In soil, acid rain dissolves and washes away nutrients needed by plants. It can also dissolve toxic substances, such as aluminum and mercury, which are naturally present in some soils, freeing these toxins to pollute water or to poison plants that absorb them. Some soils are quite alkaline and can neutralize acid deposition indefinitely; others, especially thin mountain soils derived from granite or gneiss, buffer acid only briefly.

B

 

Trees

By removing useful nutrients from the soil, acid rain slows the growth of plants, especially trees. It also attacks trees more directly by eating holes in the waxy coating of leaves and needles, causing brown dead spots. If many such spots form, a tree loses some of its ability to make food through photosynthesis. Also, organisms that cause disease can infect the tree through its injured leaves. Once weakened, trees are more vulnerable to other stresses, such as insect infestations, drought, and cold temperatures.

Spruce and fir forests at higher elevations, where the trees literally touch the acid clouds, seem to be most at risk. Acid rain has been blamed for the decline of spruce forests on the highest ridges of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. In the Black Forest of southwestern Germany, half of the trees are damaged from acid rain and other forms of pollution.

C

 

Agriculture

Most farm crops are less affected by acid rain than are forests. The deep soils of many farm regions, such as those in the Midwestern United States, can absorb and neutralize large amounts of acid. Mountain farms are more at risk—the thin soils in these higher elevations cannot neutralize so much acid. Farmers can prevent acid rain damage by monitoring the condition of the soil and, when necessary, adding crushed limestone to the soil to neutralize acid. If excessive amounts of nutrients have been leached out of the soil, farmers can replace them by adding nutrient-rich fertilizer.

D

 

Surface Waters

Acid rain falls into and drains into streams, lakes, and marshes. Where there is snow cover in winter, local waters grow suddenly more acidic when the snow melts in the spring. Most natural waters are close to chemically neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline: their pH is between 6 and 8. In the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, the water in some lakes now has a pH value of less than 5 as a result of acid rain. This means they are at least ten times more acidic than they should be. In the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, a quarter of the lakes and ponds are acidic, and many have lost their brook trout and other fish. In the middle Appalachian Mountains, over 1,300 streams are afflicted. All of Norway’s major rivers have been damaged by acid rain, severely reducing salmon and trout populations.

E

 

Plants and Animals

The effects of acid rain on wildlife can be far-reaching. If a population of one plant or animal is adversely affected by acid rain, animals that feed on that organism may also suffer. Ultimately, an entire ecosystem may become endangered. Some species that live in water are very sensitive to acidity, some less so. Freshwater clams and mayfly young, for instance, begin dying when the water pH reaches 6.0. Frogs can generally survive more acidic water, but if their supply of mayflies is destroyed by acid rain, frog populations may also decline. Fish eggs of most species stop hatching at a pH of 5.0. Below a pH of 4.5, water is nearly sterile, unable to support any wildlife.

Land animals dependent on aquatic organisms are also affected. Scientists have found that populations of snails living in or near water polluted by acid rain are declining in some regions. In The Netherlands songbirds are finding fewer snails to eat. The eggs these birds lay have weakened shells because the birds are receiving less calcium from snail shells.

F

 

Human-Made Structures

Acid rain and the dry deposition of acidic particles damage buildings, statues, automobiles, and other structures made of stone, metal, or any other material exposed to weather for long periods. The corrosive damage can be expensive and, in cities with very historic buildings, tragic. Both the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, are deteriorating due to acid pollution.

G

 

Human Health

The acidification of surface waters causes little direct harm to people. It is safe to swim in even the most acidified lakes. However, toxic substances leached from soil can pollute local water supplies. In Sweden, as many as 10,000 lakes have been polluted by mercury released from soils damaged by acid rain, and residents have been warned to avoid eating fish caught in these lakes. In the air, acids join with other chemicals to produce urban smog, which can irritate the lungs and make breathing difficult, especially for people who already have asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory diseases. Solid particles of sulfates, a class of minerals derived from sulfur dioxide, are thought to be especially damaging to the lungs.

H

 

Acid Rain and Global Warming

Acid pollution has one surprising effect that may be beneficial. Sulfates in the upper atmosphere reflect some sunlight out into space, and thus tend to slow down global warming. Scientists believe that acid pollution may have delayed the onset of warming by several decades in the middle of the 20th century.

IV

 

EFFORTS TO CONTROL ACID RAIN

Acid rain can best be curtailed by reducing the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released by power plants, motorized vehicles, and factories. The simplest way to cut these emissions is to use less energy from fossil fuels. Individuals can help. Every time a consumer buys an energy-efficient appliance, adds insulation to a house, or takes a bus to work, he or she conserves energy and, as a result, fights acid rain.

Another way to cut emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides is by switching to cleaner-burning fuels. For instance, coal can be high or low in sulfur, and some coal contains sulfur in a form that can be washed out easily before burning. By using more of the low-sulfur or cleanable types of coal, electric utility companies and other industries can pollute less. The gasoline and diesel oil that run most motor vehicles can also be formulated to burn more cleanly, producing less nitrogen oxide pollution. Clean-burning fuels such as natural gas are being used increasingly in vehicles. Natural gas contains almost no sulfur and produces very low nitrogen oxides. Unfortunately, natural gas and the less-polluting coals tend to be more expensive, placing them out of the reach of nations that are struggling economically.

Pollution can also be reduced at the moment the fuel is burned. Several new kinds of burners and boilers alter the burning process to produce less nitrogen oxides and more free nitrogen, which is harmless. Limestone or sandstone added to the combustion chamber can capture some of the sulfur released by burning coal.

Once sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen have been formed, there is one more chance to keep them out of the atmosphere. In smokestacks, devices called scrubbers spray a mixture of water and powdered limestone into the waste gases (flue gases), recapturing the sulfur. Pollutants can also be removed by catalytic converters. In a converter, waste gases pass over small beads coated with metals. These metals promote chemical reactions that change harmful substances to less harmful ones. In the United States and Canada, these devices are required in cars, but they are not often used in smokestacks.

Once acid rain has occurred, a few techniques can limit environmental damage. In a process known as liming, powdered limestone can be added to water or soil to neutralize the acid dropping from the sky. In Norway and Sweden, nations much afflicted with acid rain, lakes are commonly treated this way. Rural water companies may need to lime their reservoirs so that acid does not eat away water pipes. In cities, exposed surfaces vulnerable to acid rain destruction can be coated with acid-resistant paints. Delicate objects like statues can be sheltered indoors in climate-controlled rooms.

Cleaning up sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides will reduce not only acid rain but also smog, which will make the air look clearer. Based on a study of the value that visitors to national parks place on clear scenic vistas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency thinks that improving the vistas in eastern national parks alone will be worth $1 billion in tourist revenue a year.

A

 

National Legislation

In the United States, legislative efforts to control sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides began with passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970. This act established emissions standards for pollutants from automobiles and industry. In 1990 Congress approved a set of amendments to the act that impose stricter limits on pollution emissions, particularly pollutants that cause acid rain. These amendments aim to cut the national output of sulfur dioxide from 23.5 million tons to 16 million tons by the year 2010. Although no national target is set for nitrogen oxides, the amendments require that power plants, which emit about one-third of all nitrogen oxides released to the atmosphere, reduce their emissions from 7.5 million tons to 5 million tons by 2010. These rules were applied first to selected large power plants in Eastern and Midwestern states. In the year 2000, smaller, cleaner power plants across the country came under the law.

These 1990 amendments include a novel provision for sulfur dioxide control. Each year the government gives companies permits to release a specified number of tons of sulfur dioxide. Polluters are allowed to buy and sell their emissions permits. For instance, a company can choose to reduce its sulfur dioxide emissions more than the law requires and sell its unused pollution emission allowance to another company that is further from meeting emission goals; the buyer may then pollute above the limit for a certain time. Unused pollution rights can also be 'banked' and kept for later use. It is hoped that this flexible market system will clean up emissions more quickly and cheaply than a set of rigid rules.

Legislation enacted in Canada restricts the annual amount of sulfur dioxide emissions to 2.3 million tons in all of Canada’s seven easternmost provinces, where acid rain causes the most damage. A national cap for sulfur dioxide emissions has been set at 3.2 million tons per year. Legislation is currently being developed to enforce stricter pollution emissions by 2010.

Norwegian law sets the goal of reducing sulfur dioxide emission to 76 percent of 1980 levels and nitrogen oxides emissions to 70 percent of the 1986 levels. To encourage cleanup, Norway collects a hefty tax from industries that emit acid pollutants. In some cases these taxes make it more expensive to emit acid pollutants than to reduce emissions.

B

 

International Agreements

Acid rain typically crosses national borders, making pollution control an international issue. Canada receives much of its acid pollution from the United States—by some estimates as much as 50 percent. Norway and Sweden receive acid pollutants from Britain, Germany, Poland, and Russia. The majority of acid pollution in Japan comes from China. Debates about responsibilities and cleanup costs for acid pollutants led to international cooperation. In 1988, as part of the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution Agreement sponsored by the United Nations, the United States and 24 other nations ratified a protocol promising to hold yearly nitrogen oxide emissions at or below 1987 levels. In 1991 the United States and Canada signed an Air Quality Agreement setting national limits on annual sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants and factories. In 1994 in Oslo, Norway, 12 European nations agreed to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by as much as 87 percent by 2010.

Legislative actions to prevent acid rain have results. The targets established in laws and treaties are being met, usually ahead of schedule. Sulfur emissions in Europe decreased by 40 percent from 1980 to 1994. In Norway sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 75 percent during the same period. Since 1980 annual sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States have dropped from 26 million tons to 18.3 million tons. Canada reports sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced to 2.6 million tons, 18 percent below the proposed limit of 3.2 million tons.

Monitoring stations in several nations report that precipitation is actually becoming less acidic. In Europe, lakes and streams are now growing less acid. However, this does not seem to be the case in the United States and Canada. The reasons are not completely understood, but apparently, controls reducing nitrogen oxide emissions only began recently and their effects have yet to make a mark. In addition, soils in some areas have absorbed so much acid that they contain no more neutralizing alkaline chemicals. The weathering of rock will gradually replace the missing alkaline chemicals, but scientists fear that improvement will be very slow unless pollution controls are made even stricter.

 

 

 

 

 


Answer from env10

 

Hello,

 

Our class decided to focus on the mega-quarry and possible responses to its creation and the potential damage to the environment and overall environmental sustainability in Ontario as a whole.

 

Ten student small group responses (after viewing the video) included the following courses of action:

 

1) You could protest the company's actions.  Stand on the land that they are going to blow up in a giant group.

 

2) The best response for Dunnville's issue is to create petitions that help raise awareness for our issues.  This helps to get more attention and for our voices to be heard!

 

3) A petition is the best response to this issue.  A petition requires people's signatures agreeing that we should stop the quarry, including people's signatures that will affect/change how people feel about the quarry.

 

4) Raise as much awareness as possible in as many ways as possible through the news, petitions, school boards, commercials, websites, spread/share videos and rallies.

 

5) We should write a letter to local government officials and include a petition signed by everyone in the area.  If this does not work then they should hold a peaceful protest at the site of the quarry.

 

6) A Facebook/Twitter campaign would be effective because it's a great way to get a fast message out and build momentum about an issue.

 

7) Bring the issue to your school board to get attention of the government about how this is negatively affecting you and multiple communities.

 

8) The most efficient solution would be to create awareness through petitions, news reports, and protesting as well as electronically through creating Facebook groups and videos that could prevent air pollution, the use of non-renewable pollution, water pollution, etc.

 

9) You must sue them clearly.  Enforce conservation laws, take them to court and raise awareness.  Also, gather a group of displeased civilians and gather around the trees and potentially affected land as a protest.

 

10) Join a Facebook group or sign a petition to stop it.  Also we could prtoest and spread the word about this issue. 

 

These responses connect to the Global Teenager Project, our course theme of Conscience and Awareness and the idea that research is important, but ultimately the variety of issues and questions concerning the environment require not only responses, but meaningful action.

 

Cheers,

Derrick Schellenberg

English Teacher

Sir William Mulock Secondary School

 

 

 


Answer from env11

 

Answer From ENV 11 to ENV 7

 

 In our country Egypt we have many environmental issues like air pollution, pollution of river Nile  

We think that Electronics media should cover all the environment related problems and also sustainability in a positive way,  

Every one can do something to help; we all have a responsibility for our environment. We must learn to live in a sustainable way.

  

Best Regards

ENV 11 Team

 

 

 

 

 


 

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