Ethics and the environment

Topics: Pollution, Sustainability, Environmentalism Pages: 4 (1288 words) Published: October 2, 2014
Pollution The undesirable and unintended contamination of the environment by human activity such ad manufacturing, waste disposal, burning fossil fuels,etc. Resource depletion The consumption of finite or scarce resources. Global warming The increase in temperatures around the globe due to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons gases that absorb and hold heat from the sun, preventing it from escaping back into space, much like a greenhouse absorbs and holds the sun’s heat. Ozone depletion The gradual breakdown of ozone gas in the stratosphere above us caused by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the air. Acid rain Occurs when sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides are combined with water vapor in clouds to form nitric acid and sulfuric acid. These acids are then carried down in rainfall. Major types of air pollution

Greenhouse gases : carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide.
Ozone depletion gases : chlorofluorocarbons
Acid rain gases : sulfur oxides
Airborne toxics : benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and 329 others. Common air pollutants: carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, airborne lead, ozone, particulates.

Organic wastes Largely untreated human waste, sewage, and industrial waste from processing various food products, from the pulp and paper industry, and from animal feedlots. Major types of water pollution

Organic wastes : human sewage, animal wastes,bacteria, oil
Inorganic pollutants : salt brines, acids, phosphates, heavy metals, asbestos, PCBs, radioactive chemicals. Major types of land pollution
Toxic substances : acids, heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, phenols. Solid wastes : residential garbage, industrial wastes, agricultural wastes, mining wastes Nuclear wastes : high level (cesium, strontium, plutonium), transuranic (diluted high level wastes), low level (contaminated reactor equipment, uranium mine tailings)...
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