Environmental Issues Homepage


Beijing Air Pollution - Beijing, China is now the air pollution capital of the world.  I recall waking up on my first trip to Beijing, looking out my window, and thinking that I was so jetlagged that I had slept the entire day away.  My watch disagreed and I discovered that it was in fact 10:00 in the morning.  The smog was so thick that twilight like conditions prevailed during the day.  The citizens of Beijing are environmental victims of China's spectacular economic growth.  Soaring levels of air pollution in China are blamed for more than 400,000 premature deaths a year (mostly from lung and heart-related diseases).  Nitrogen dioxide contributes to the toxic soup of atmospheric pollutants and can cause fatal damage to the lungs.  In the wake of China's economic development comes environmental devastation - the likes of which is unparalleled in the history of industrialization.  I believe that eventually environmental shortsightedness will catch up with China.  For every economic step forward China will have to face an environmental crises that will solidly stymie its development. The World Bank reports that  China is home to 16 of the Earth's 20 most air polluted cities.  Air pollution over China has increased by approximately 50% during the past 10 years and fears abound that without proper air quality laws those levels could more than quadruple within 15 years.  China's must balance its great potential to be an industrialized world leader with looming environmental collapse.



Course Syllabus

Course Poster/Project

1) Poster, Annotated Bibliography, and Presention Design and Guidelines

2) Poster and Presentation Grading Ruberic and Checklist

Course Readings:

These articles are in addition to your textbook readings:

1) Environmental Collapse of Easter Island.
2) Tragedy of the Commons
3) Industrial Ecology:  From Theory to Practice
4) Acid Precipitation in the Adirondack Mountains
5) The Value of Nature and the Nature of Value
6) The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital
7) Dead Zones - Oxygen-Starved Coastal Waters
8) ANWR, 1002 Area, Petroleum Assessment, 1998, Including Economic Analysis

Additional readings if you want more clarification on topics - not required:

1) Environmental Problems and Ecosystem
2) How Many People Can The Earth Support
3)Feeding People Versus Saving Nature

Course Exam Reviews
Course Article Review (see syllabus)
Homework/On-Line Lectures:
1) Industrialization as a Fundamental Cause of Environmental Issues:  Surface Water and Air Pollution in Poland

2) Organic Pollution and Biological Oxygen Demand

Class Makeup Assignment