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Air Pollution - Essay Example

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Clean air is a natural resource that is shared by all living things on Earth. Maintaining air quality is critical to the well being of humans as well as the plants and animals that inhabit the planet. The failure to maintain air quality can be seen in the large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Tokyo where many residents require specialized breathing equipment to go outside during air quality alerts…
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Air Pollution
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Download file to see previous pages The high altitude trees in the Rocky Mountains feel the impact of the air pollution emitted in Beijing, China. To determining the most rational approach to controlling air pollution, the worldviews of Environmental Wisdom and Planetary Management can help decide who has responsibility for the air we breath and what are the benchmarks for quality.
Both worldviews rely on the tenet that our resources are valuable and require constant attention to provide sustainability and quality of life. However, they differ greatly on their approach, philosophy, and degree of optimism in technology. The Environmental Wisdom worldview takes the stance that the human race is a part of nature and must show an equal respect for all plants and animals in the world. Environmental Wisdom believes technology and economics are limited and there must be a sustainable cooperation with the earth to be able to sustain our resources.
The Planetary Management worldview believes that man is the dominant life form on Earth and humans have a right to exploit the Earth's resources to assure their well being. Planetary Management has a high degree of optimism in both technology and economics. ...
A major air pollutant that has been at the center of controversy are the CO2 emissions that come from burning fossil fuels. Environmental Wisdom believes that the Earth's fragile ecosystem is threatened by global warming and there is a need to curtail the use of this energy source. It has recently been reported that rising global temperatures have been responsible for the spread of the Asian Hornet which is known to destroy the hives of honeybees (Allen). Loss of the pollination done by honeybees could result in a 26 percent reduction in the US's available food supply (Young). Environmental Wisdom sees the need to reduce CO2 emissions and protect the habitat of the honeybee. The CO2 that is emitted in Beijing has a direct effect on the quality of food in the US. While we may be able to live with a short supply of copper, Environmental Wisdom contends that there is no substitute for quality air.
Planetary Management advocates would view the problem of CO2 emissions as a temporary problem that will be solved by science. The air could be cleansed of excessive CO2 with new scientific discoveries and an economic stimulus to develop the technique. In fact, researchers are already developing a method to strip our the CO2 from the polluted air, liquefy it, and bury it underground (Haszeldine). This would allow man to continue to deplete the fossil fuel resources and manage the polluting by-products of its use. Planetary management would have less concern for the complex eco-systems, such as honeybees, that may be threatened or eradicated by global warming. These would simply be further challenges to our technology and inventiveness.
In conclusion, all the people on the earth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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