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Matt F

Page history last edited by Matt F 10 years, 10 months ago

Student Name               Matt F

Class Period                                1st

Hobbies and Interests                 I play soccer and watch sports

Activities outside of school          Club soccer and whatever else I feel like doing

Why I am enrolled in AP Environmental Science?        To get college credit and raise my GPA even higher (and I have to because I haven't taken regular)

What I hope to get out of this class.          Basic understanding of the planet I guess

Links of Interest (you will be adding to this as you go through the semester).  

Uploaded Homework Assignment and Class projects






Chapter 2:  Some analysts believe that the world’s remaining hunter-gatherer societies should be given title to the land on which they and their ancestors have lived for centuries and should be left alone by civilization.  They content that we have created protective reserves for endangered species, so why not create protective reserves for cultures?  What do you think?  Explain.


     There are only a few small bands of hunter-gatherers that still roam the planet and live off the land.  Their culture is one that seems ancient to most people but it is their way of life.  When dealing with animals on the verge of extinction, we create reserves for them to survive.  But these are human beings which are looked at quite differently despite their likeness to an animals culture.  As we have seen with many groups of immigrants, total assimilation does not work effectively because the change is to drastic.  I would be in favor of a slow transition into modern society rather than creating more reservations to accomodate these outsiders.  Using the idea of melting pot of culture, we can respect some of their customs and beliefs while introducing them to our own and I believe they will see the advantages of out society.  After all, there are places in our culture that appeal to people who want to live off the hunt.  They will just need to learn our hunting policies and they can partially continue their only way of life if they prefer.


Chapter 4:  Why could the total amount of animal flesh on the earth never exceed the total amount of plant flesh, even if all animals are vegetarians?


     The fact is, animals need plants more than plants need animals.  To simply create the energy needed to live, animals perform cellular respiration which requires oxygen.  This is only produced by plants through photosynthesis which uses solar energy from the sun.  Then, animals need to consume plants to gain the rest of the energy they require.  Even if an animal is not a primary consumer, they consume an animal that got its energy from a producer.  This way, it is impossible for animals to consume more plants because they need the plants to be the majority.  Otherwise, they would not be able to survive themselves because of the lack of producer energy.  That is the reason consumers need more plant flesh total at all times.


Chapter 6:  Some biologists have suggested restoring large herds of bison on public lands in the North American plains as a way of restoring remaining tracts of tall-grass plains.  Ranchers with permits to graze cattle and sheep on federally managed lands have strongly opposed this idea.  What do you think about the idea of restoring large numbers of bison to the plains of North America?  Explain. 


     Before European settlers ever arrived in North America, the native people had lived for centuries off of the land.  In the plains, their entire way of life was based on the bison.  Enormous herds used to roam the plains and the nomadic natives follow them.  They served as a major food source, but they were also used for other things like clothes and shelter.  When the United States of America began to expand westward, the once great bison began to die off as they were poached and slaughtered for sport.  In today's American society, our food and other necessities are carefully planned so that the consumer may purchase them at some point.  While I do think the species should be protected, I would not advocate their restoration at the expense of currently hard-working ranchers.


Chapter 9:  Suppose because of disease or genetic defects from inbreeding, the wolves on Isle Royal (page 197) die off.  Should we (a) intervene and import new wolves to help control the moose population or, (b) let the moose population grow until it exceeds its carrying capacity and suffers another population crash?  Explain.


          As we have seen with many cases of human intervention, good intentions can end in disaster.  The dilemma we face is that humans do not want to interfere too much, but we also can not stand by and watch as nature destroys its own ecosystems.  In this case, simply allowing the moose population to grow and then crash would not be beneficial to the ecosystem.  But there should be a waiting period to identify the actual future of the moose population before we decide to correct it.  If the population grows to unsafe levels, an introduction of a predator that is not expected to have a large impact on the rest of the environment may be necessary.  Regulation of this species would need to be conducted regularly to ensure that it does not harm any other part of the ecosystem.  If the new wolves lead to unexpected consequences, a well thought out plan for eradication would already need to be in place.  With these standards met, human intervention could be beneficial in this case.


Chapter 10:  In the area that you live, are you more likely to experience an earthquake or a volcano eruption?  What can you do to escape or reduce the harm if such a disaster strikes?  What actions can you take when it occurs? 


     Because I live in Concord, North Carolina, neither an earthquake nor a volcano eruption is very likely.  The biggest natural disaster that is likely to occur in this region is a hurricane.  But if I had to choose, an earthquake would be more likely because there are no volcanoes anywhere near here.  The safest strategy in that situation would be to avoid anything that could fall over on you.  I will also stay clear of any windows or glass that could shatter.  If possible, I would try to find a strong shelter that could save me from falling objects.  It would also be important to be aware of any cracks in the earth so I wouldn't fall in.  The only way to ensure some safety is to construct buildings that are resistant to earthquakes but then risk management would come into play.  In this area, extra cost of construction would be unnecessary because the chance of an earthquake is so low.


Chapter 18:  Do you agree/disagree with the argument by developing countries that developed countries should bear the brunt of reducing carbon dioxide emissions because they produce most of the emissions?  Explain.


     Reducing carbon dioxide emissions should be a global effort that occurs in every country around the world.  In developed countries, it is true that they produce the majority of these harmful emissions, but not all of them.  Developing countries should also be held responsible for their own actions and join the effort to save the planet.  In order to do this, richer nations should take the lead and set the example of what steps need to be take in order to conserve our natural resources.  When poorer countries witness the effects, they will follow the example and begin to implement the techniques as their nation develops.  The world as a whole must realize that each region has its own part to play.  Only then can there be a full drive to ending the destruction of our planet.


Chapter 15:  The United States now imports more than half the oil it uses and could be importing 64% of its oil by 2020.  Explain why you are for or against continuing to increase oil imports.  What do you believe are the 5 best ways to reduce oil imports?


          I am against the continued increase of oil imports.  But because our society has such a high dependence on oil, the only way to cut down on these imports and get the oil we need from our own land is to greatly lower our dependence on it.  This can be done by: researching alternative energy sources, cut down on the amount of gas used for transportation, limit its use in household products, generate electricity by other means, and reduce the amount it is used in industrial production.  These sort of efforts will require the assistance of more than just a few individuals.  The entire American population must realize this goal and strive to achieve it.  If we remain dependent on foreign countries that may not always have good relations with us, our economy could collapse with any drastic decision by OPEC.

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