Ethics and Environmental Case Study

Topics: Air pollution, Pollution, Environmentalism Pages: 9 (2947 words) Published: May 12, 2012
Ethics and Environment Case Study Project

Learning Team C

Lynette Barnhart, Russell Cortez, Eric Hiram, Domoniqué Shaw


March 28, 2011
Howard Schmidt, M.S., M.B.A.

Ethics and Environment Case Study Project

When air pollution is mentioned, many think of the city Los Angeles. However, Beijing China and Mexico City have become well known for air pollution, with Beijing topping the list of worst air quality in the world (Raven, Berg, & Hassenzahl. 2010). At the same time Mexico City is no stranger to air pollution, ranking fourth of major metropolitan areas in the world (Raven,, 2010). Leaders in developing countries have a strong desire to become more industrialized in order to compete with developed countries economically (Raven,, 2010). Beijing and Mexico City have growing populations and industrialization, causing an increase in air pollution (Raven,, 2010). As these countries strive to compete, air pollution laws are often ignored and outdated technologies are used (Raven, 2010). Leaders need to comply with the laws and regulations, which require newer technology, and environmental awareness to ensure protection of the environment, and safety of citizens. Historical Development

As Beijing has rapidly grown from a population of four million in 1949 to 11.6 million in 2004 so has the air pollution (Xiangde, Xie, Ding, & Bian 2005). The main cause for this rapid growth is economic investments and industrialization (Xiangde,, 2005). As industrialization and urbanization continue to increase, so does the number of people in the area. In addition urban construction has also continued to rapidly grow (Xiangde, 2005). This has increased from 2.9 million m2 to 70 million m2 in less than forty years (Xiangde,, 2005).

The increase in population, urbanization, and industrialization has stressed the natural environment. Beijing now has the worst air quality in the world (Raven,, 2010). As History has shown if Beijing does not take measures to reduce the rapid growth, industrialization and urbanization the air quality will only get worse.

Mexico City is located in a basin surrounded by mountains (1994). Winds are light through the valley channels causing poor ventilation (1994). With the lower oxygen content CO emissions are increased and health effects are increased (1994).

As Mexico City’s population continues to increase at a rate of 1.4 percent per year, the consumption of energy is also increasing (1994). The increasing population contributes to the 2.5 million motor vehicles that contribute to 44 percent of energy consumption in the city (1994). Motor vehicles contribute to the pollution of Mexico City.

In addition to the location, increased population and energy consumption Mexico City also has over 30,000 industries are located in the valley of Mexico City (1994). Of these industries 4000 are generating atmospheric emissions that are damaging the environment (1994). With the combination of these four factors Mexico City is ranked fourth of major metropolitan areas in the world for air pollution (Raven,, 2010). Stakeholders

The financial benefit of improving air quality and controlling the pollutant levels is reviewed and ultimately determines what actions take place for the cities. In Mexico City, efforts are taking place due to the statistics that workers are losing substantial income due to being ill; often illness related to poor air and environmental maintenance. Air quality and exposure modelers, epidemiologists and public health specialists, economists and statisticians assessed a wide range of health benefits and "savings," including people's willingness to pay for better health and a potentially longer life. (IDRC (ND), 2011)

Whether a resident suffers from a stuffy nose and watery eyes to more serious health issues, sickness prevents people from showing up to work sick and lacking productivity or it...
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