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ES102 - Environmental Problems 2014.pdf

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Environmental Studies
Ali Zaidi

ES102Environmental Problems2014STUDY NOTESLecture 1 Exxon Valdez DisasterThis tanker which carried oil hit a reed in Prince William Sound Alaska 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled which is 17 olympic swimming pools worth 3 methods were used in the effort to clean it upBurning mechanical cleanup and chemical dispersantsNone were effective because of a lack of equipment in the areaWhat caused itThere were icebergs in the shipping lane so the drunk captain ordered his men to steer out of the shipping lanesThe shifts were then changed and the original employee forgot to tell the next employee that they were doing something different The ship was never steered back to its correct shipping lane Effects200 miles of shoreline was heavily or moderately oiled 1100 were lightlyvery lightly oiled35000 dead birds and 1000 sea otters were foundMost carcasses sink so these are estimates25000 seabirds 2800 sea otters 300 harbour seals 250 bald eagles up to 22 orcas and billions of salmonherringRates of recovery for these animalsRecovered bald eagles loons harbour seal river otters salmonStill recovering orcas sea otters clams harlequin ducksNot recovering herring pigeon guillemotsChallenge oil still remains in sediments at waters edge and will take thousands of years to biodegradeLessons we learn from the Exxon ValdezThe proximate cause The Prince William Sound is already challenging waters to navigate icebergs reefs etcCareless actions on part of the drunk captainThe ship leaked profusely once agroundInsufcient equipmentpeople to clean it upCrews did not know the proper technique to clean it upBasically avoid carelessness and come up with safer paths for shipsHow to deal with oil spillsWhat not to dopressure wash the shore with hot waterthere are micro organisms that will feast on the oil naturallyIf the spill is in open seas leave it alonethe waves will naturally break up the oil particles and not harm some sea creatures1ES102Environmental Problems2014STUDY NOTEScoastal waters contain the spill to the immediate vicinityusing booms and being to skim it OR add dispersant chemicals to the unskimmableuncontainable oil slicksHow to avoid these oil spillsImprovements made since this spillGreater oversight and training of ships crewshow to deal with spillsNew regulationsDoublehulled tankers now required by US lawGreater requirements for standby spill cleanup equipmentAbout responsibilityWe use a lot more oil today than we did in 1989Spills will always happens and have huge environmental impactsWe must learn these lessons because we continue to drill oil in difcult marine environments and ship oil through complex coastal environmentsWe are exhausting the in land resources and are starting to use tracking etc in complex environments which increases the riskWho is responsibleEmployeesthey are paid to make sure it doesnt happenOwners of these companies Government regulators Consumerswe need the oil so demandThe Bigger PictureWhy are we shipping oil over these long distancescomplex environments1 the demand for oil is growing steadily Asias demand is growing rapidly which EU and North A is going up and down2 oil makes many people wealthy Exxon Mobil protsup to 45 billion 1200secondAustralia used to be the worst country environmentallyOnce Peter Garrett got involved things changed dramatically and Australia turned into one of the better countries while Canada has fallen backwards Lecture 2 Systems thinking environmental problem identication and the doubledouble not on midtermReminder of ES101We think in terms of systemsEnvironmental problems rarely happen by chanceThey usually result from human interference with the functioning of natural systemsThe DoubleDoubleTim HortonsThe disposable cupPaper exterior with a polyethylene plastic linerThe liner means the cup cannot be recycled by most municipal recycling programs and must be landlledThe exterior paper contains little or not recycled nerTims does however purchase cups with paper from FSCcertied suppliersEnvironmental impactsEnergy is used to manufacture and distribute the cups2ES102Environmental Problems2014STUDY NOTESLandll space is consumedOften disposed of poorly litter and does not break down quickly because of the linerBenets of avoiding paper cupsA 2000 study for Starbucks conducted by Environmental Defence Fund fond that reusable cups Generate 99 less water pollution water consumption would fall by 64Would require 98 less energyProduce 99 less SO2 and NOxReduce by 8 the weight of the solid waste producedPlastic lid Made from plastic in turn made from oilThere is pollution GHG emissionsland degradation associated with oil productionLow grade 6 plastic of little value as a recyclable Often not processed by curb aside recycling programsOften disposed of indiscriminately litterCoffee productionTims is very secretive about wherehow its coffee beans are sourcedIts general practice to obtain lowcost beans in bulk and adversities them as a premium product Known sources Brazil Colombia and GuatemalaPossible sources Vietnam Mexico Indonesia WestCentral Africa India and EthiopiaCoffees historyNative to the horn of Africa Sudan EthiopiaCoffee beverage became popular in Middle East in the 1500sCoffee plantations established in Americas in 1700s and slave labor was usedCoffee plantThe coffee plant is a shrubIt grows naturally as an understoryforest fringe plantThe berries are gathered dried and the sees extractedThe green seeds are roasted to create the coffee we use for brewingShadegrown vs PlantationgrownShadegrown coffee shrubs are planted among trees mimicking their natural growing conditionsPlantationgrown coffee grown as a monoculture eld crop in open sunHigh rates of deforestation and land degradationHigh pesticide useHigher soil erosionLower plant and animal biodiversity Plants grown in the sun are under stress which causes more berries to be produced but need extra fertilization pesticides and wateringShadePlantationgrowngrown3
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