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Final Study Guide Part 1

by: Juliet Chin

Final Study Guide Part 1 EBIO-1040-01

Juliet Chin

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About this Document

This covers Louisiana Environment and Environmental Racism, Trash, Sustainability, and Environmental History in the US
Global Environmental Change
Doosey, Michael
Study Guide
50 ?




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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Juliet Chin on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to EBIO-1040-01 at Tulane University taught by Doosey, Michael in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Global Environmental Change in Environmental Science at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 02/18/16
Sunday, December 6, 2015 Final Louisiana Environment and Environmental Racism - Environmental Justice “the right of every citizen regardless of age, race and gender, social class, or other • factor, to adequate protection from environmental hazard”—> fundamental human right • all environments deserve to be equally protected, BUT - low-income and minority communities in rural and urban areas face more threats, have fewer amenities, and have less of a voice in making decisions - Hard to find solution that respects all types of people - 1994, Pres. Clinton required all gov. agencies to not discriminate for future plans - Environmental Racism • “disproportionate siting of hazardous industries and toxic waste dumps in minority neighborhoods” • became national issue in 1982 when illegal dumpers unloaded huge cargo of dangerous PCBs (poly-chlorinated biphenyl) along a North Carolina Road—> they dumped Warren County (poor rural area, 82% african american) - Benjamin Chavis was the Deputy Director of the Commission of Racial Justice and realized how hazardous PCBs were; he organized protests; coined the term ‘environmental racism’ • defenseless have it worst: very young, very old, very poor • target neighborhoods to pollute and use as waste dumps • Environmental equity: everyone should be treated equally under environmental laws, regardless of race, culture, or economic status • Grass-roots activism growing: Louisiana Bucket Brigade & Concerned Citizens of Norco - Difficult to link specific pollutants to human disease • 40% of all deaths are pollution related 1 Sunday, December 6, 2015 • Pesticides, radioactives, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals persist and accumulate in environments • DDT: (dichlorodiphenyl- trichloroethane) pesticide affects birds; make thin fragile eggs that break during incubation; widely used for everything in common home • Pathways of Pollution: Persistence, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification - Persistence: characteristic of a chemical that are extremely stable and may take years to be broken down by natural processes (synthetic chemicals-not found in nature-like DDT); natural decomposers have not evolved to be able to break it down - Bioaccumulation: The buildup of a persistent toxic substance in an organism’s body (often fatty tissue); synthetic chemicals do not metabolize well - Biomagnification: the increased concentration of toxic chemicals in the tissues of organisms that are at higher levels in food webs - Louisiana Environment • Toxic Release Inventory (TRI): 1987, EPA required toxic chemicals industries to report types+ amounts of pollutants they released each year • Louisiana usually makes top ten in every category • After TRI Louisiana began to clean up act: - 66% decline in 1 year! (1993: 450.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals—> 1994: 152.7 million) - 138 million pounds last year • Cancer Alley: aka the Chemical Corridor - Heavily industrialized stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rogue to New Orleans - over 139 industries line the MR (most petrochemical plants) - Mossville & the Chemical Conundrum • Chemical Conundrum: causing poor health but cannot prove it clearly • there are so many other factors that play into poor health; multiple toxins in the air from multiple plants; only options for residents are to leave or fight back politically 2 Sunday, December 6, 2015 - Morrisonville • founded in the 1870s by freed slaves from Australia Plantation; in southern Louisiana and was wiped out by industrial expansion • Dow Chemical bought Morrisonville for $10 million on house at a time, left a few isolated homes - Norco • Similar to what happened to Morrisonville - Sacrifice Zones • frontline of fence line communities that are disproportionately exposed to high levels of toxins in the atmosphere—> minority or low-income neighborhoods - Ecotoxicology • study of contaminants in biosphere and harmful effects on ecosystems Trash - Solid Waste & where it ends up • Municipal Solid Waste: solid material discarded by homes, businesses, retail stores, schools; small portion of solid waste produced • Non-Municipal Solid Waste: solid waste generated by industry, agriculture, and mining • US generates more solid waste per capita than any other country (4.4 lbs per person per day) • Used to have open dumps which were unsanitary, released methane into the air, toxic leachate (liquis that seeps through solid waste; because of rain water) poisoned water • Waste is either disposed through: 1) sanitary landfills, 2) incineration, 3) recycling - What is Incinerated, discarded in Landfills and Recycled • Incineration: - accounts for over 1/2 of trash disposal in industrialized nations; 12% of US solid waste is burned; reduces volume of solid waste by 90% 3 Sunday, December 6, 2015 - PRO: makes heat—> steam for electricity; less carbon emissions than power plants - CON: creates air pollutants, particulates, heavy metals(mercury, dioxins); creates bottom ash, fly ask (byproducts)-disposed of in hazardous waste landfills • Landfills: - primary means of disposal; early models not well designed—> just pits with trash - CON: odor, rodents, leachate, biogas (volatile mixture-methane, CO2, H2O) - NIMBY; landfills in cities are reaching capacity - Modern versions: Sanitary Landfills—> bulldoze hill, then rebuild him from scratch with dirt and trash; pack trash into tight cells, covered by packed dirt; build pyramid topped with thick clay layer (issues: plastic wont break down or decompose, tires non-recyclable) • Recycle: - glass bottles, newspapers, steel cans, plastic bottles, cardboard, office paper - US recycles 35% of municipal solid waste - Paper (US recycles 64%); Glass (US recycles 34%); Aluminum (US recycles 55%— economic incentive bc it costs less than making brand new can); Plastics (14%— less expensive to make from raw materials) - Tires: hard to do so because few products are made from old tires - Strategies to waste prevention—GOALS: reduce, reuse, recycle • no excess packaging; charge people by unit for garbage disposal; compost - Great Pacific Garbage Patch found in 1990s; particles of plastic beneath surface; larger than Texas • - Garbology • 1973—University of Arizona Garbage Project—> fast food= .5% of landfill; styrofoam= 1% of landfill; plastics= 16% of landfills (but 24% of garbage— less due to light weighting); mainly paper= 40% (28% today) • light-weighting: reducing thickness of plastics use less material to make same container 4 Sunday, December 6, 2015 Sustainability - Environmental Sustainability • ability to meet current human need for natural resources without compromising the needs of future generations (global, national, regional. community, individual) • Requires understanding: - The effects of our actions on the earth and that the earth’s resources are not infinite - How to live more sustainably • climate resilience: capacity of a socio-ecological system to adapt into more desirable configurations that improve the sustainability of the system, leaving it better prepared for future climate change impacts—a grassroots mitigation and adaptation effort • Consumption: human use of materials and energy; world does not have enough resources to sustain everyone at level enjoyed by the US • Don’t plant exotic species; conserve water; plant a tree; mow the lawn; don't keep exotic pets; conserve energy; - Lester Brown’s Five Recommended Ways 1. Eliminating poverty and stabilizing the human population—> this will require increasing economic growth and must address the issue of health, nutrition and education; debts to poorest countries should be forgive; must devote resources to family planning bc must try to stay within carrying capacity 2. Protecting and restoring Earth’s resources—> forests being lost because we convert them to cash and population growth and widespread poverty; deforestation damages soil; loss of biodiversity—use it for food, medicine, clothing, services • Reforestation in East Africa: Dr. Wangari Maathai— Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 — Green Belt Movement founded in 1977; help rural women in Kenya; promote women to work together to plant seedlings to bind soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood— over 50 million trees planed since 1977 5 Sunday, December 6, 2015 3. Providing adequate food for all people—> link btw poverty and food insecurity; ag must be improved; manage more efficiently; reduce loss of soil fertility, erosion, aquifer depletion 4. Mitigating climate change—> energy plan: phase out fossil fuels in developed and developing countries; cascade effect of interacting responses 5. Designing sustainable cities—> 50% of population lives in cities; urban transportation system; parks and open spaces - START WITH INDIVIDUALS— YOU! Environmental History in the US - Legislation • 1970: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - An agency for the environment - Environmental Impact Statement: 1. Nature of proposal & purpose 2. Environmental Impact of proposal a. Short & long term 3. Alternatives to lessen adverse effects of the proposal • 1970: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - ***Cornerstone*** - Requires Environmental Impact Statement for any proposed federal action Ex: highway, dam - Revolutionized environmental protection in the US Ecosystems & Energy - Biosphere • atmosphere (gaseous envelope around the earth); hydrosphere (water supply of all water); lithosphere (soil and rock of earth’s crust) - 6


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