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Destruction of the human environment.

  1. Dec 27, 2003 #1
    Humans are of course, radically altering the environment of the entire world. When one thinks about humans destroying the environment usually the destruction of rainforests, pollution of water and things which largely affect animals are brought to mind. I'm, however, looking for ways in which humans are destryoing or altering an environment which will ultimately, or already has, began to effect human environment in a powerful way.

    So, does anyone have a link to any good papers about how pollution or otherwise destroying/changing the environment will be detrimental to humans, as well as things humans could change to stop these things from happening or lessen their effects?

    Something about global warming and melting icecaps would be nice, maybe something which could quantate the amount of damage that will be done due to the inevitable rise in sea level, such as loss of crops, destruction of costal cities, radical environmental changes (ie an ice age in europe due to disruption of gulf stream) etc. Also some statistics about general global warming effects, causes and timeframe would be helpful. Again, i'm looking for something that can show what is inevitaby going to happen, and what can realistically be avoided.

    Of course if anyone has any links to other ways in which changes in the environment would negatively affect humans that would be very useful as well, the more topics the merrier.

    Some possible other topics I'm considering:
    -Pollution of the air leading to poor health in industrial areas. Wasn't there some large smog cloud over much of asia recently due to all the industry going on there? Does anyone have a link to an article about that?
    -Pollution of water leading to less available drinking water.


    Anything else anyone can think of and provide information about which has potential to cuase great amounts of harm to humans but can also be averted would be of great help.

    Thanks alot.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2003 #2
    I'd be careful with global warming; there's much politically motivated pseudoscience out there.

    Be sure to get something on the Medieval Warm Period and the cooling from the 1500s until 1900, that puts a lot of things into perspective.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2003 #3

    russ_watters

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    I haven't heard anything about pollution of water being a large-scale problem, however consumption itself may be an issue. Google for the "water table" lowering.

    And air pollution in some cities in China (Bejing, Hong Kong) is really, really bad. About as bad outside as being in a smoky bar.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2003 #4

    Monique

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    The fresh water supply is actually limited, so I guess pollution definately is a problem. What were you trying to say with the lowering water table?

    And wasteofo2, do you want us to prepare your essay for you or something
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2003
  6. Dec 27, 2003 #5
    Concerning global warming..

    Is it possible that we would run out of things to "burn" before all the doomsayers predictions come true?

    From what I read (probably newscientists), we may well only have 50 years of extractable oil left, and that doesn't count the fact that production drops before the final end point. Perhaps it is the same for coal and other fossil fuels.. seems like nature still controls us!

    I would post links because I'm bored, unless you have acess ScienceDirect .. but i'll try anyway haha
    Effect of Global warming on Human Fertility
     
  7. Dec 27, 2003 #6
    It is ok to destroy the environment, so long as we don't hurt corporate profits...don't you people know anything?!?
     
  8. Dec 28, 2003 #7

    adrenaline

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    As Adrian stated, models predicting climate behavior are an imperfect science and fraught with politics so I am not going to argue the merits of emission controls based on global warming models in the current state it is today or fuel consumption predictions etc. etc. Instead, there is a more accurate method and reason for looking at environmental pollution, specifically emission control.


    Since epidimeology is a more exact science than fossil fuel supply predictions or global warming I propose medical epidimeology data as a more concrete method of advancing the cause of the Kyoto Treaty and pollution control in general.


    It is very, very easy to track the number of hospital admissions, emergency room visits for asthma exacerbations and other respiratory illnessess and show a direct correlation with the level of ozone for that day or week.

    Asthma has increased in prevalence by fifty percent.... the one disease that has increased not only in prevalance but also mortality so it is a serious subject among medical professionals.

    Study after study show that air pollutants exacerbate asthma but there are more and more studies showing that it causes asthma

    see http://www.sinusnews.com/Articles2/...one-asthma.html

    This is one of many studies.

    Who suffers? Children who have to breath in fifty percent more air than adults per body mass. These studies show counties with higher ozone levels have three times more newly diagnosed asthmatics, more school absences due to respiratory problems, etc. etc.

    The EPA has been good about reducing overall air pollutants, skeptics may ask why the increased rate in asthma? Once again, the answer depends on the question asked. The EPA bases its measurements on relatively large particle size airborne pollutants which are measured and thus define air quality index. Pulmonologist state that these air quality measurements do not measure the real and much more dangerous smaller particle pollutants which are comprising more and more of the emissions (? due to different fossil fuel burning technology? I don't know since I am not an expert in this stuff.)

    Thus, some may not care about global warming or fuel supply, but its effect on medical expenditure usage, on increasing the prevelance of the one disease that has also increased in mortality (compared to strokes, heart attacks, all cancers etc.), the physical damage to the most vulnerable segment of our society, children... makes emissiion control a public health problem. ( I have only discussed asthma and did not even go into the exacerbations and increased death or hospitalizations of those with other lung diseases affected by air pollution.)

    Thus people can argue back and forth about pollution control being an environmental issue, it is very much a real medical issue for many doctors and is a public health crisis around the globe.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2003 #8
    Well actually, what I'm trying to do is come up with a case for protecting the environment which can show how hurting the environment might actually hurt corporate profits/the economy in general. Such as a rise in sea level loosening the foundation of coastal cities and many buildings collapsing, worldwide health crisis etc.

    And about us runing out of things to burn before the predictions come true, we've about 30-50 years of oil left and about 200 years of coal. If we completely stopped burning fossil feuls today things would still get alot worse over a very long period of time until they stopped.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2003
  10. Dec 28, 2003 #9
    Unless it is going to affect the next quarterly report, no one's interested...
     
  11. Dec 28, 2003 #10

    adrenaline

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    Zero is right, unless money is to be lost, there won't be many changes. The only other strategy is to play up the public health issue, but then, most people won't even quit smoking for their own health, much less reduce emissions for someone elses's.
     
  12. Dec 28, 2003 #11
    Think about it: there is nothing safe or healthy about pollution, and you can't convince people that pollution is bad.
     
  13. Dec 28, 2003 #12

    Monique

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    How about that environmental pact that was made (forgot the name)? Kyoto or something..
     
  14. Dec 28, 2003 #13
  15. Dec 29, 2003 #14
    I try to keep it in perspective by looking at the bright side.

    Nature itself is far more powerful, resourceful and resilient than we are.
    At least we won't destroy nature, we will wipe out the human race long before that happens.
    More good news I keep close to my heart...
    I think we have surpassed the point of no return and out extinction is all but inevitable.

    I am all for the extinction of human beings from this planet.
    We are guests that have far overstayed our welcome and taken advantage of our gracious host for too long.

    I say, "Fucx humans! Let us lie in the beds we made."
     
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