Quiz 19: A Healthier Environment


An individual may contribute to environmental pollution by burning wood, toxic substances, or fossil fuels, by using items such as paints, solvents, fertilizers, pest killers, cleaning agents, and sprays, by stirring up road dust while driving, and through emissions from manufacturing plants, among others. Impact may be reduced by not engaging in pollution-contributing activities, by engaging in those activities at lower levels, or by making substitutions.

The rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused a strong greenhouse effect in the atmosphere by warming the Earth. The increase in temperature has an effect on events such as precipitation, storms, and wind patterns. Hence, the correct answer is(b)Most experts say that the buildup of greenhouse gases is changing natural climate and weather patterns. An increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide, is considered to have the end effect of increasing the global temperature. Hence, the option(a)Increasing carbon dioxide production will slow the progress of global warming is incorrect. A change in climate is believed to cause health effects through the increase in air pollution, severe weather, allergens, and environmental degradation, impacts on food and water, and changes in vector ecology. Potential conditions include injuries, asthma, malaria, dengue, cholera, leptospirosis, malnutrition, and cardiovascular failure. Hence, the option(c)Climate change poses no health risks for humans in the next 20 years is incorrect. Forests absorb around 3,000,000,000 tons of carbon deriving from anthropogenic sources each year. Forests should be planted in regions where they would be most effective at absorbing carbon. For example, a region containing a tropical climate that has a rainy season would be effective as trees would grow more quickly and have a high amount of large, bright leaves. Hence, the option(d)Increasing tree cover and agricultural lands will contribute to global warming is incorrect.

Health and environmental concerns and industrial concerns must be understood and incorporated into decision making. The refining equipment and processes can be studied to determine if changes can be made that will allow fewer pollutants to be emitted. A study can be done to determine the level at which reduction of pollutants has diminishing returns. All findings can be incorporated into a plan that is acceptable for all stakeholders.