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'Is the environment becoming more dangerous or are we merely becoming more afraid?' Dicuss with referce to the postulated change in the nature of enviroment polluants over time.

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Introduction

'Is the environment becoming more dangerous or are we merely becoming more afraid?' Dicuss with referce to the postulated change in the nature of enviroment polluants over time. The main pollutant had changed from simple to complex status. Before, the main form of pollutants were smoke and sewage, but now, thousands and thousands of chemical compounds release either deliberately or accidentally to our environment. This in turn, due to the hanging nature of human activities. Two major form of human activities contribute to the changing nature of pollutants, they are agricultural and industrial activities. The traditional method of 'slash and burn' had been criticise and seen as a form of unsustainable farming method, but surprisingly, it's actually a relatively sucessful way of cultivating herbaceous food plants without over stressing the forest ecosystem as a whole. This is because given plenty of land, so that the cultivation patches are always surrounded by plenty of forest, and there are plenty of time allowed for the sucession to grow back to forest, the process need not to be inefficient or laod to long term ecological changes. However, large scale extensive use had a dramatic ecological effects result in significant nutrient loss that may require many centuries of soil maturation or a major fertilisers to put it back. If the ecological system need to be modofied extensively for massive food production, it is essential to increase management effort and also ...read more.

Middle

As pollutants are getting more complicated ( due to different kinds of chemical reaction), there is a increasing dependence on science to tell us what is out there, there is a increasing fear because we can't tell. Compare of 25 years ago, USA air quality is much improved, although pollution is atill obvious - traffic fumes in city traffic, exauted gas that irritate the eyes and lungs or smog that obscure the view. Even when pollution is not visible and no adverse effects are noticed, air may still contains pollutants at levels that provoke concern. Another example will be water. The water or it's sediments may cantain synthetic chemicals, the word synthetic is deliberately used because there are always thousands of natural chemicals present. If the level of human generated chemicals is high enough in a water body to affect bird reproduction adversely or to cause tumors in fish, all would agree that the water is polluted whether or not pollution is visible. However, one thing seems to be neglected is that there is the possibility of adverse long term consequences of even very low concentrations. If the levels of all chemical are added together, the total can cause adverse effects, the effect may be synergistic- one chemical may magnify the effect of another. There are thouands of natural chemical present in water, soil and food, many of which are similar, or identical to anthropogenic (human generated) ...read more.

Conclusion

The other type of pollutants is acid pollutant, acids are found in runoff from coal mining and metal mining sites. Hydrogen chloride, a gas emitted by incinerators, which forms hydrochloric acid after react with moisture. Physical pollutants is any solid material found in an inappropriate location. Soil, carried in rainwater runoff from agricultural fields, city streets and constrution sites is an example of physical pollution.Biological pollutants includes dead and living micro organisms and fragments of insects and other organisms that can caontaminate air, water or food.Before the development of agricultiral sectors and industrailisation, physical pollutants and biological pollutants may be counted for the major souce of pollution, but as other human activities increase there's a massive amount increase in the other types of pollutant substances. There are an increasing concern for environmental issues causing by pollution, e.g. global warming, ozone depletion, pesticide and fertiliser problem such as food poisoning and urban air pollution. The increasing fear of our environment comes from two major area. What we did not know could be harmful before, and what we know we cannot tell now whether it is harmful or not. The changing nature of pollutants to a more complex chemical contents also bring the fears that we don't know what are we eating, drinking or breathing, but if scientists can provide us with good knowledage of information, the panic seems to be less. ...read more.

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