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Environmental Issues - Essay Example

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Environmental Issues (Author’s name) (Institutional Affiliation) Issue 11 – Bio-fuels and Food Prices According to Edinburgh Napier University article on Bio-fuels, bio-fuels refers to any liquid, gas, or solid fuels products used for cooking, heating and in locomotive machinery which are derived and produced directly or indirectly from organic matter…
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Download file to see previous pages Taking for instance, Donald Mitchell argument on a supporting statement from World Bank report (2008). He insists that as much as several factors contributing to the increase in food prices from January 2002 to June 2008, the senior most contributing factor is attributed to large increase in bio-fuels productions from oilseeds and grains in the U.S and E.U that has increased the demand of these products while reducing supplies of wheat and crops that compete with food commodities used as bio-fuels. This has lead to land use changes in wheat and maize exporting countries shifting towards plantation of oilseeds for bio-fuel production resulting to shrunk wheat and maize production hence witnessing rise in wheat and maize prices. Donald also supports his claims from (FAPRI, 2008) that food prices have also increased due to expansion of bio-diesel production and higher costs of bio-fuel production. On the contrary, Keith sharply disagrees by arguing that the impact of bio-fuel production is much less than alarmist claim (2009). Keith K. et al rather claims that there would be greater impact if bio-fuels development focused on converting bio-waste, fast growing trees and grass into fuel. According to him, increased food prices arise out of increased demands in emerging economies, drought in food exporting countries, global warming, and market-distorting subsidies. In fact a supporting report from U.S department of agriculture (USDA) calculated that bio-fuel production only contributed to 5% of the 45% increase in global food prices. Additionally, bio-fuel crops provide alternative diversities that boost rural perennial incomes therefore reducing international burning that contributes to global warming. It hence addresses efficient production and utilization of bio-fuels, global mismanagement of land, stabilization of land cover, protection of biodiversity and improving water quality. From my point of view I would agree to the fact that bio-fuels indeed contribute to increasing food prices and other environmental drawbacks. Supporting arguments, according to Robin Maynard, when food and fuel compete for farmland, food prices will rise drastically and the poor will suffer as well as rainforests (2007). Additionally, Renton emphasizes that when forests are cleared, to create space for bio-fuel crops, they no longer serve as “carbon sinks” therefore leading to global warming as it takes longer for the benefits of bio-fuel crops to be noticeable (2007). The bio-fuel crops also displace natural ecosystems and destroy habitat for several species. Bio-fuels hence will maintain as a contributive factor to increasing food prices. Issue 12 - Nuclear Power The debate over use of nuclear power sparked out of its negative connotations in the past that threatened the survival and future of the world during the world war, nuclear disasters and links to chronic fatal diseases. Discussion have also arisen out of the proponents that nuclear power can be economical, safe and a clean form of energy. From these proponents there are disagreements amongst scholars on the question of nuclear energy. Lain Murray for instance has a positive position on use of nuclear power. He argues that the worlds experience shows it to be both safe and reliable. Supporting documents such as the Congregation Budget Office ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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