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Neil M

Page history last edited by ndmehta@... 10 years, 10 months ago

Neil M

Class Period

4th Period

Hobbies and Interests

Activities outside of school

Beta Club, Math Club, AWSUM Club, Habitat for Humanity, TRAIL

Why I am enrolled in AP Environmental Science?

What I hope to get out of this class.

 An A+, and hopefully Carolina will give me some sort of credit.

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

Uploaded Homework Assignment and Class projects


Journal Entries

Journal One:   Respond to ONE of the following prompts:

Chapter 1:  What does the word “sustainable society” mean to you?  Do you believe that it is possible for the society you live in to become a sustainable society within the next 50 years?


A sustainable society is one that persists and thrives.  It provides a high quality of life for all of its inhabitants without harming the integrity and productivity of the natural systems and resources upon which all life depends.  Humans' needs and desires are met within the limits of what nature can provide. People depend on nature's capacity to provide food, water, and energy services such as the pollination of crops and creation of soils.  We also depend on nature’s capacity to detoxify our waste.  Sustainability means achieving satisfying lives for all within the means of nature, now and in the future.


Chapter 2Some 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.


I'm assuming that most of the Hunter-Gatherer society are Native Americans. It is because our relationship with them in the past which has caused most of them to lose their cultural heritage by assimilating into American society. I believe they should have the right to pursue their cultural ways in order to maintain cultural diversity. I agree with creating protective reserves for cultures to sort of "say sorry" for what the early settlers (and Andrew Jackson) did to them. Protecting their right to have ancestral lands will perserve the Native American culture for the future.


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?


First of all, plants were the dominant inhabitants on Earth way before animals arrived. Eventhough most of those plants are probably extinct, there are still enough species of plants (and their flesh) to exceed the amount that the animals have to offer. Even though only some animals are toxic when eaten, the number of plants that can be toxic greatly surpasses the number of toxic animals. So if all animals were vegetarians, they would only eat the edible plants and most plants would be left alone. This in itself would contribute to the increased number of plant flesh when compared to animal flesh.


Chapter 8:  Suppose a hurricane blows down most of the trees in a forest.  Timber company officials offer to salvage the fallen trees and plant a tree plantation to reduce the chances of fire and to improve the area’s appearance, with an agreement that they can harvest the trees when they reach maturity and plant another tree farm.  Others argue that the damaged forest should be left alone because hurricanes and other natural events are part of nature and the dead trees will serve as a source of nutrients for natural recovery through ecological succession.  What do you think should be done and why?


I disagree with the first statement because I question that fact that planting a new tree plantation would reduce the chances of another fire. I also think planting more trees would only cause more fertilizers to be leached away (because more will be used to plant the trees). Planting too many trees would deplete the soil of nutrients and result in lowering the sustainability of the soil. However, the second proposal is more feasible. I would argue that letting the land recover over time would result in secondary succession and provide a firm ground to build upon. If you keep planting new trees, not only will hurricanes and other natural disasters just destroy them but there will not be enough room for secondary trees and plants to grow.


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.


I think we should import new wolves to help control of moose populations but only to a certain extent. However, we should be aware of the risks of invasive species and if they would grow too large and drive the moose population to extinction. This option would uphold the predator-prey cycle unlike the second option. The wolves would not be at risk of extinction if they control the population enough to where they reproduce enough offspring to continue the species existence. If there is a genetic defect in the wolves, I would propose a "gene therapy" experiment where it would fix the altered gene to where the wolves could continue to flourish without having to survive only off of the wolves who don't have the genetic defect (which would be a small number anyway).


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?


One the eastern side of the United States, there are not that many convergent boundaries and if there were any they would be insignificant. Therefore, earthquakes would be more likely because of the nature of the plates in North Carolina. Studying the history of seismic activity in the area and constructing topography maps can help predict where the earthquake will occur. As far as predicting when, these natural disasters do not have a distinct pattern. If an earthquake would strike, the public should have evacuation procedures that protect civilians against primary and secondary effects(floods, fires, etc.). Designing buildings that can withstand violent shaking would be very helpful in reducing the primary effects of earthquakes. Plotting high-risk areas can help warn civilians to hide in a secluded space free of glass and other harmful objects.


Chapter 17:  Congratulations!  You are in charge of reducing air pollution in your country.  List the 3 most important features of your policy.


1. Reduce emissions of primary and secondary pollutants: Primary pollutants such as CO, sulfur and nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter can result in the production of photochemical smog. Sulfur oxides can combine with the water vapor in the atmosphere to produce acid rain which can cause respiratory problems. Carbon monoxide can be toxic enough to cause death. Secondary pollutants include sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and ozone. Reducing industrial processes, automobile use, and other processes that use fossil fuels can greatly reduce the amounts of these pollutants in our atmosphere.


2. Increased fuel efficiency: Using hybrid vehicles reduces the dependence on gas and, thus, fossil fuels.


3. Pollution Control Devices: These devices can either destroy contaminants or remove them from an exhaust stream before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Examples include mechanical collectors (Dust cyclones), electrostatic precipators, particulate scrubbers, and selective catalytic (and noncatalytic) reduction. The first three listed control and absorb particulates while the last two control nitrous oxides.


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?


Increase the efficiency of oil use: If the United States would use oil sparingly (obviously we don't understand the concept of nonrenewable resources), then the need for oil from other countries would decrease. In some ways, oil may not have to be used all the time. Other substitutes for oil such as natural gas can serve a purpose.


Developing advanced vehicle technologies that use oil more efficiently: Congress recently passed legislation to decrease our dependence on oil by increasing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards on new cars and trucks to 35 mpg by model year 2020. This could reduce our petroleum use by 25 billion gallons by 2030. Other technologies that would substitute for oil include hybrid cars, iodiesel fuels, wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power, and geothermal energy. We can actually help the cause by selecting vehicles with high MPG ratings, drive more sensibly, and planning/combining family trips. (Driving more sensibly just means to drive more efficiently such as rolling the windows up when driving over 40 mph to prevent wind drag which can lower mpg, or avoiding jack-rabbit starts).


Creating new energy sources that can replace petroleum cleanly and cost-effectively: New energy sources would not have to be nonrenewable to be efficient; renewable energy sources may not have as much output as fossil fuels, but are a temporary source to prevent us from constantly turning to nonrenewable resource for energy.


Restrict the use of plastic bags: The plastic bags at the grocery store, like all plastics, is largely a petroleum byproduct. Instead we use paper products or use reusable cloth bags that do not have to be thrown away after the first use. This could also help with reducing the need for landfills.


Reducing the use of appliances: Wearing clothes more than once can prevent the need to constantly use electricity to wash and dry clothes. To dry clothes, an alternative could be to air dry them on a rack. This could eliminate the need for the dryer which relies on natural gas power and converts it to electricity.


There are many other ways to reduce the need for burning oil and other fossil fuels, it is just a matter of realizing that it is possible (believe it or not). Therefore, I am against overdependence on oil and thus the increased import of oil into the United States.


























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