Environmental Issues - Essay Example

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Environmental Studies Name: Institution: ISSUE 4: REWILDING Migration and settlement of humans in North America resulted in the decimation and extinction of local mega fauna such as lions, cheetahs and mammoths; an event termed the Pleistocene Overkill. Re-wilding refers to the proposition to introduce extinct species, or their close relatives from other areas of the world back into these ecosystems…
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Download file to see previous pages Rubenstein et al oppose this argument by pointing out that these animals would be introduced into a completely new environment from that of their predecessors, with unpredictable results. Dolan also argues for re-wilding as a means of restoring species’ evolutionary potential. Rubenstein et al rebuff this argument as impractical because both the species being reintroduced and those in the current habitat have evolved very differently from past species (Easton, 2011). According to Dolan, re-wilding boosts conservation efforts. Endangered species from Africa and Asia stand a better chance of survival if protected in North American reserves (Easton, 2011). Rubenstein et al however disagree with this on the basis that diversion of resources away from on-going conservation efforts further reduces these species’ chances of survival (Easton, 2011). Rubenstein et al therefore highlight serious concerns on the viability and practicality of re-wilding. Instead of diverting attention and funds towards experimental efforts, I believe it is more productive to focus on current conservation efforts. ISSUE 5: MILITARY TRAINING AND THE ENVIRONMENT The United States military is entrusted with 25 million acres of land for military training purposes (Easton, 2011). There are more than 300 species on these lands, and so far, the military has displayed a conservative approach towards these species, training and conducting its activities in a manner that preserves the integrity of these species, an approach termed ‘working around’ (Easton, 2011). Benedict Cohen argues that environmental concerns hinder the military from achieving its training objectives and renders them satisfactorily unprepared to defend the country. He therefore argues for exemption of the military from strict environmental protection policies on the basis that military activities do not greatly endangered species. Cohen provides assurance that the military will continue to conserve the land under its stewardship (Easton, 2011). Clark strongly opposes the exemption of the military from environmental regulations, arguing that the military has so far trained satisfactorily while within the limits of environmental policies. She also gives examples of the military’s active environmental conservation by incorporating environmental concerns into its training routine, thus demonstrating that military objectives and environmental conservation are not mutually exclusive, but capable of being integrated. Clark also argues that if limitations are removed, there will be no guarantee that the military will clean up after itself, and irreparable damage may be inflicted on the ecosystem (Easton, 2011) . I believe that no institution should operate under a mandate of zero accountability. The military cannot be expected to adequately police itself as regards environmental conservation, and should therefore be held accountable by regulatory bodies on the impact of its activities on the environment. ISSUE 6: CARBON EMISSION RESTRICTIONS The growing realization of the devastating impact of green-house gases emitted by human activities and the subsequent climate change necessitated establishment of controls and regulation of emissions by these industries. The debate over carbon emissions is a result of climate change concerns and the need for human beings to regulate their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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