VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 55 POSTED ON: 12/9/2012
If We Wear Out Our Planet, Where Will We Live? The Big 8 Concerns: Population Growth Water pollution Air pollution Acid rain The ozone Solid waste Greenhouse effect Toxic waste THE EARTH’S POPULATION 1830 1 billion 1950 2 billion 1990 4 billion PROJECTED for 2050: 10 billion Air Pollution = Pollution source + Mountain and valley so winds can’t blow out + Temperature inversion (Warm air, trapping cooler air) TEMPERATURE INVERSION SMOG = Ozone Carbon monoxide Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen dioxide Major Sources of Air Pollution Burning of fossil fuels Burning solid waste Natural pollutants like forest fires Air Pollution Risks: Increased smog = decreased oxygen Breathing difficulties for people with: Asthma COPD Congestive heart failure Emphysema Imagine that the earth is 80” in diameter. It’s atmosphere would = 1/10” ACID RAIN = Atmospheric pollutants + Moisture in the air Falls to earth as rain, sleet, snow or hail. Effects of Acid Rain: Acidified lakes and streams = no fish. Damaged trees. Toxic substances released into soil. Corrodes metals on buildings. Damages stone and paint on buildings. Damages monuments and cars. What Can We Do? Cut back on driving: ride bike, use public transportation, walk, car-pool, drive a fuel-efficient car Keep car tuned up and well- maintained, use unleaded gas and keep tires inflated Stay in speed limit. No quick starts. Don’t use air conditioning. Don’t idle the car. THE OZONE A layer of gases, 10-30 miles above the earth’s surface, which shield the planet from UV rays Problem: the OZONE is thinning Primary Cause: CFC’s Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) are industrial chemicals used: Coolants in refrigerators and home and car air conditioners Foaming agents in some foam products Propellant in aerosol spray cans (banned in 1978) CFC’s Rise into the atmosphere and break down the ozone layer. REMEMBER: The Ozone is: Good up there Bad down here The Effects: More UV rays = increase in skin cancer More UV rays = decrease in crop yields (interferes with photosynthesis) Change in weather patterns What Can We Do? Buy energy star appliances. Dispose of old refrigerators, air conditioners and humidifiers wisely. Have your car’s air conditioner checked and serviced by a station that recycles CFC’s. The Greenhouse Effect The Good News: The greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane Allow light in Trap heat to help raise earth’s temp Natural process The Bad News: One of the Causes: O Some of the Results: Florida’s coast, battered by hurricanes California fries Kansas plains confront the fury of the skies Global Warming = Melting Icecaps Melting icecaps = rising sea levels Miami, Fla. and New Orleans, La. would disappear Every city on the U.S. Eastern seaboard would be inundated WHAT CAN WE DO? Run dishwasher with a full load, only. (Reduces carbon dioxide 200 lbs. Per year.) Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot. (Reduces carbon dioxide by 500 lbs. per year.) Turn down water heater to 120°. (Reduces carbon dioxide by 500 lbs. per year.) SOLID WASTE What’s in our garbage? Paper products: 38.9% by weight Yard waste: 14.6% Plastics: 9.5% by weight 18% of space Metals 7.6% Wood 7.0% Food 6.7% Glass 6.3% ENDURING LITTER: Paper 2-4 weeks Cotton Rag 1-5 months Rope 3-14 months Wool Sock 1 year Bamboo Pole 1-3 years Painted Wooden Stake 13 years Aluminum Can 200-500 years Tin Can 100 years Glass Bottle Plastic 6- pack Cover 450 years Undetermined Sanitary Landfills: A site that is not near Despite the liner, groundwater is contaminants can leak selected. into surrounding soil Layers of solid waste and groundwater. are covered with dirt. Grass and trees may be planted on top. Little decomposition occurs. What Can We Do? Buy products with the least amount of packaging Reuse paper and plastic bags Avoid using foam or paper cups. Recycle newspapers, glass, cans, paper and other recyclables. Take foam pellets to a recycling center. Start a compost pile for your organic garbage. When shopping, take along your own bag. reduce, reuse, recycle WATER DRINKING WATER: Where does it come from? 1. Wells / ground water 2. Surface water rivers lakes streams ponds In Contra Costa County: Water comes from the Sacramento – San Juaquin Delta It’s transported in the Contra Costa Canal Stored in reservoirs like Los Vaqueros Treated by the Contra Costa Water District POTENTIAL CONTAMINANTS: • industrial wastewater • urban and highway runoff • agricultural runoff Contaminants, continued: • pesticides • mine runoff • grazing animals What’s in your Drinking Water? microbial contaminants: bacteria, viruses inorganic contaminants: salts, metals pesticides and herbicides organic chemicals radioactive contaminants What Can We Do? PRESERVE Never put anything but clean water into a gutter or down a storm drain. Use non-chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Always recycle used motor oil. Use non-toxic cleaning alternatives. Clean up after your pet. CONSERVE Take showers, not baths Don’t let water run when you’re not using it. Run dishwashers and washing machines with a full load. Purchase water-efficient shower heads and toilets. Fix leaky faucets. IS IT WORTH SAVING?
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