Next time you sit down to your home cooked dinner, you may want to take a moment to ponder your plate. Your lamp chops, tomatoes, and corn-on the cob may look the same as usual, but it's quite possible that the lamb contains human genes, the tomato has been genetically altered for a longer shelf life and the corn has modified to resist infestations from the corn borer. This may come as a surprise to you now, but it certainly isn't news to the government agencies established to protect our food supply. In recent years there has been much debate over the increasing use of technology in food production. Much of this has come from the sensitive subject of genetically modified food production. Also known as food biotechnology or gene technology, genetic food engineering in its broadest definition is any technique which uses biological methods to alter food crops, animals or micro-organisms. The aim of this technology being to improve the attributes, safety, quantity, quality and ease of production of our food. Simply put, the claimed benefits of GM food are sensational. We are told that GM food is 100% safe and has been put through thorough testing by the worlds leading scientific bodies. We are also repeatedly told of the numerous benefits that GM products have the ability to display. Leaner pork, vine-ripened tomatoes, potatoes that absorb less fat during cooking and disease resistant sugar cane. Yet despite these safety claims by such groups as the Australian Food and Grocery Council and CSIRO, GM food has not been welcomed by the Australian public. Australians are very hesitant to allow foods into their supermarkets which have been genetically modified in any way. In fact, the CSIRO has announced that it would not commercialise any GM grain crops for at least five years...
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Genetically Modified Food - Advantages Genetically Modified (GM) food has received a lot of flack from interest groups in the last few years, but I don't think that it is as bad as some claim it to be. For some, GM foods are thought to be harmful. What foods are potentially dangerous and what are the risks? I think that from a biologist point of view, that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Today, genetically engineered food is at the centre of the controversy. First, one must understand that plants can be modified in many ways and that the practice of changing our food's DNA is not new. Historically, people have been altering crops by choosing seeds from plants with desired characteristics for a long time. Likewise, plant breeders can and have been creating hybrids by crossing crops with wild relatives of the same family. This process also is not new; it uses simple pollen/embryo manipulation and can improve specific plant properties. Wide crosses, though, do not occur in nature, even with human intervention. There are boundaries that prohibit such mutations. One can't mix a mouse with an elephant, for instance. Genetic engineering allows geneticists to strengthen many organic food attributes. Here are what I think are a few advantages of genetic engineering. ¨ Herbicides last longer Herbicides are both expensive and harmful to the environment but necessary to ensure that weeds do not weaken crops. Through genetic engineering, plants can be designed to resist powerful herbicide. This reduces the amount of herbicide needed to get the job done, and so is less harmful to the environment, because fewer harmful herbicides are used. ¨ Weather tolerance Destruction brought on by frost costs the agricultural industry substantial sums each year. Genes from cold-water fish have been added to tobacco and potatoes to increase their resistance to cold temperature. This saves money and time....
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Genetic modification of food sources has been used for centuries whether it has been using yeast to make bread rise or using rennet to make cheese. Today genetically modified food has become extremely advanced with technologists able to enhance or even delete particular characteristics in food It is even possible to create crops that are resistant to herbicides, which are cheaper to produce and are healthier, all by changing a bit of DNA. How is it modified? To produce genetically modified canola, the DNA sequence is first changed. The involvement of enzymes, plasmids and the methods of cutting and splicing are vital in the manipulation of DNA. Researchers use restriction enzymes (which break DNA at specific sections) and DNA ligase (which join fragments of DNA together) to create new DNA sequences. Plasmids are used as a way of moving genes between organisms. Researchers used the restriction enzymes to cut canola DNA into fragments. Each fragment is spliced into plasmids along with two glyphosate-tolerant genes. Two genes were inserted into the canola DNA they were; (CP4 EPSPS) 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase and glyphosate oxidoreductase (gox). Both genes are derived from bacteria and have their own distinct purpose. CP4 EPSPS is designed to function and not be sensitive to applications of glyphosate and gox, which has additional resistance to the herbicide and degrades it to AMPA to glyoxyate. (Www.anzfa.gov.au) The cutting process of the plasmids then causes the four elements to combine forming a Recombinant DNA. Argobacterium tumefaciems is a bacterium, which infects many plants including canola causing tumors to form in the cells. When a plant is infected the plasmids are transferred into the nucleus of the plant cell. Researchers utilise this transferal and use Arogobacterium as a means to transport the Recombinant DNA into the canola nucleus. (Healy, 2000) The Recombinant DNA is then transferred into the canola cell nucleus and...
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Genetically Engineered Foods The use of genetically engineering in agriculture and food production has an impact, not only on the environment and biodiversity, but also on human health. Therefore, thorough biosafety assessment requires, not only an evaluation of environmental impacts of genetically engineered organisms, but also an assessment of the risks that genetically engineered food pose for the health of consumers. Let us take deeper look at some of the aspects related to genetically engineered foods. What is Genetic Engineering? Genetic engineering is a laboratory technique used by scientists to change the DNA of living organisms. DNA is the blueprint for the individuality of an organism. The organism relies upon the information stored in tits DNA for the management of every biochemical process. The life, growth and unique features of the organism depend on its DNA. The segments of DNA, which have been associated with specific features or functions of an organism, are called genes. Molecular biologists have discovered many enzymes, which change the structure of DNA in living organisms. Some of these enzymes can cut and join strands of DNA. Using such enzymes, scientists learned to cut specific genes from DNA and to build customized DNA using these genes. They also learned about vectors, strands of DNA like viruses, which can infect a cell and insert themselves into its DNA. Scientists started to build vectors, which incorporated genes of their choosing and used vectors to insert these genes into the DNA of living organisms. Genetic engineers believe that they can improve the foods we eat by doing this. At first glance, this might look exciting to some people. Deeper consideration reveals some advantages and serious dangers. What are the advantages of Genetically Engineered Food? Genetic engineering gives today's researchers considerable advantages in plant breeding programs. • Predictability Scientist can identify...
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Abstract Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for quite some time. Chances are, just about everyone has eaten some type of GM food product. With the new and developing technologies that the biotechnology industry has to offer, the GM food market has risen in leaps and bounds. A genetically modified food is a food that has had its genetic make-up altered in some way by DNA technology. It can involve the transfer of genes from one organism to another or be sprayed with a genetically designed pesticide. The characteristics of the product may or may not remain the same depending on which genes have been altered. Some changes that are often seen include their color, flavor, texture, and their ability to resist insects and tolerate herbicides. The use of this science has given rise to much conflict in the public sector and has scared many consumers. As biotechnologists, it is our job to educate the public and inform them of the risks or lack of risks in genetically modified foods. Introduction With a growing world population and the race to be the first to develop the next technological break through, the area of genetic manipulation has become a popular area for discovery. The agricultural industry is very open and excited for the introduction of new technologies that will provide them with a much higher yield and an overall better quality product. Many of the suppliers that use these agricultural products have become skeptical and cautious when buying from the farmers due to the media and government regulating bodies. The most powerful body that will make or break this field is the consumers. If people will not buy the products at the store, then the market for GM food will dissolve. In this paper we will discuss some of the risks and benefits...
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This past Easter Sunday I sat down to dinner with my family, like every Easter I can remember. One of my many cousins, this one is only four, said Grace before we ate. Until this weekend I never noticed exactly what he said. One of the modest lines he spoke went like this: "God is good. God is great. He gave us food for us to eat." He continued on with his prayer, but I contemplated that line for several days. Recently I had been given the topic to research Genetically Modified Organisms (from now on known as GMO's), and I had discovered that much of this field contains modifying agricultural practices, or known in agriculture as Genetic Engineering (from now on know as GE). The United States Government and the FDA have been allowing the use of these scientific practices on agricultural products that livestock and even people consume on a daily basis. GMO's and GE have a profoundly negative effect on nature's ecosystems, and could possibly be detrimental to society. The understanding of this topic first must consist from a background in the field of science. GMO is a set scientific practices using technology that alter the genetic makeup of such living organisms as animals, plants, or bacteria. In agriculture GE can be used in several different ways to make a crop that is less susceptible to bugs, more tolerant to weather, and/or healthier for people. These goals are met through mutating the crops genes, or by giving the crop an additive that will deter the crops predators. "Traditional breeding is limited by the available genetic variability….The great potential…of genetic engineering is that it removes those limits, providing a greater range of possibilities of transferring desired phenotypes into organisms" (Phifer 2088). An example of GE is a pollen additive...
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The level at which world class athletes are performing today has greatly increased and the competition to become number one has never been so tough. But, in order to become a successful athlete, one must train, have talent, and have a physique that corresponds to their particular sport. While some people may possess these traits, most do not. For those who do not the possibilities of becoming a top athlete are significantly increasing because of scientific breakthroughs found in the field of gene-therapy. The purpose of this paper is to explain the evolving growth and the use of genetics in sports. It will examine the importance and process of genetic heredity, the process of genetic engineering, the genes which are involved in the enhancement of athletic performance, as well as the effect of genetics in the future of sports. Genetic Heredity Genes can determine hair and eye color, skin color, some aspects of human behavior, along with threats of possible diseases. Genes related to sport such as the amount of type I, IIa, IIb fibers present in the body, number of mitochondria, as well as height and weight are all contributing factors to attain success in sports. Athletes who are fortunate enough to simply inherit such genes from their parents credit the process of genetic heredity for some of their success. Every human contains a constant number of 46 chromosomes which are found in the nuclei of all cells and contain genes. A human zygote receives 23 chromosomes from its mother and 23 chromosomes from its father. A homologous pair of chromosomes will be matched together based on similar genetic material. Sets of similar genes are called alleles and it is through these alleles that a zygote inherits genetic information. Each gamete has individual traits unlike the other which leads to a...
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Geography Assignment On the Sept 11th 2001, a bunch of crazy extremists expressed their hate towards the Americans by harming innocent and very important businesspersons in the American economy. The attack pierced the heart of the American Nation and shocked people worldwide. To get into the United States, if you are an immigrant is very hard because they have very high standards. The terrorists knew they would not be able to get into the States, coming directly from their country, so they came into Canada instead. The Canadian Immigration policy is misused and it is far too easy for them to get into Canada and to become a Canadian citizen. The terrorists squeezed their way through the Canadian Immigration Laws and stayed there until they got trained and were ready to set up their attack. They snuck over from Canada to the States and from that point on, it was only headed in one direction "disaster." Now if the Canadian Immigration policy was harder, it could've of prevented the death of thousands of lives, millions of heartaches and the endless cries across the nations. I never realized how easy it was to get into Canada and now that I do, I think we should make the Immigration Laws much harder, to protect our country and our fellow allied country. The reason why I stand so firmly on this issue is because we let too many people come into our country and we also let too many smuggle into the country. If we tighten up our immigration law, it could prevent another disaster from occurring. We as Canadians, but especially as North Americans must protect our country and our neighbour's country from further acts of unjustified killings and other acts of random violence. We must keep our children safe from any acts of harm and also our nation. Canada has to learn to mature and they have to stop being the...
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Earthquakes mainly occur around the Pacific Ocean and the coastlines bordering on it. These are the coastlines of: eastern region of Asia and Oceania, and the western region of North and South America. A pattern of earthquakes continue around the coastlines of the following regions: Chile, Peru, west Mexico, west of U.S.A., South of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Japan, Philippines, Vanuatu, and Fiji islands. Some earthquakes occur off coast. However, based on the map on Q1, these earthquakes generally occur within approximately 150km to 1000km range, from the above regions. Active volcanoes are not scattered over the Earth randomly. Instead they tend to bunch up close with each other in particular regions - especially the regions that are bordering the Pacific Ocean. Active volcanoes occur on the coastlines or in-land of: eastern region of Asia and Oceania, Western and central region of Africa, and the western region of North and South America. Volcanic eruptions tend to occur frequently on the following regions: west Mexico, western region of U.S.A., Aleutian Islands, far eastern region of Russia, Japan, Philippines, Vanuatu, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Mariana Islands, northern New Zealand, Kenya and Uganda. Although most volcanic eruptions occur on coastlines, based on the map in Q1, they can occur inland by up to 500 km away from the nearest coast. In terms of where they are located, volcanic eruptions seem to occur, more bunched up in specific places, whereas the earthquakes seem to be more spread out. An example would be volcanic eruptions in the eastern Russia and Mexico. Volcanoes in these regions are located closely together - less than 200km apart. In contrast, the earthquakes in the western border of South America are more spread out, although they do leave a clear trail that continues from the North West end to the South West end. Volcanic eruptions generally...
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Gazania Gazania is a plant which grows along the ground. The leaves are green on the upper side and have a whitish felt on the underside. Flowers on the gazania are yellow orange and are 5-8 cm in diameter. The fruits on the Gazania are hairy and have a series of scales at the top. This plant flowers in summer and is found in many gardens as well as on the dunes. Gazania plants grow low to the ground which helps it to be protected against strong winds. The leaves grow rather small so that there is a smaller surface area for the sun to extract moisture from and the leaves also have a white underside to protect them from the salt and also to help stop large amounts of evaporation. Euphorbia Euphorbia is a native plant to the dune area. The plant inside has a milky latex which can be seen when broken. These plants have a fascinating and unique floral structure as the tiny looking flowers are actually a group of even smaller flowers. The flowers are surrounded by four, white bordered petal structures which are attached to a green cup. It grows to a height of one metre and has 15mm leaves which are dense and oblong. The leaves often have a red tinge and near the top of the stems become more circular. Coastal Rosemary Coastal Rosemary is a native dark green shrub. It grows to the height of two metres tall. The leaves are straight and are arranged in a whorls of four, they are 25mm long and have a grey underside. The flowers on the shrub are a white to mauve colour and grow to about 15mm long. Coastal Rosemary is often found on cliffs although it is common all throughout the sea area, it flowers almost all year round. The...
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(Heloderma suspectum) Classification Phylum: Chordata Class: Reptilia Order: Squamata Family: Helodermatidae Introduction In biology, there are many amazing animals. One of the most fascinating is the...
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Lake Michigan, Superior, Erie, Ontario and Huron; these five lakes located in North America make up the largest fresh water surface in the world. Each one around for several thousands of years, provides an important function to the Earth's eco system. What many might not know, each of these major lakes were formed from a glacier in what is called the Wisconsinan glaciation period. Glaciers are the starting point of many other recognizable landscape functions, such as mountains ranges, valleys and cliffs in addiction to lakes. These are the more commonly known functions of glaciers. Little do most people know, glaciers, with their amazing ability to preserve life, can tell scientists what the temperature was during one of the Ice Ages, or what a mother would use to feed her children millions of years after the fact. Rarely do people give glaciers much thought, but perhaps more should be given. With the ever growing global warming taking over the Earth, glaciers are melting away, more and more every day and a more rapid rate than ever seen before. This directly effects people more than one would think, from your bottled water to how you might some day power your home. Glaciers take thousands of years to form, seeing as it is made when snow accumulates in one area for extended periods of time, each year another layer of ice and snow bury and compress the previous layers. These large masses of snow, recrystallized ice and rock debris begin to flow outwards and downwards under the pressure of their own weight. This is how materials from hundreds to even thousands of miles away can be found years later in a totally different location, as the glacier is responsible for its transport. A glacier continuously deposits materials on top of each other and...
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Now more than ever humans are becoming a major factor in the future of climate and more importantly climate change. Human actions towards the earth and the depletion of the ozone layer are irreversible. A warmer future could result from human activities in the present by releasing massive amounts of heat trapping gases into the air. (www.maui.net) These greenhouse gases are partially the reason for the 0.5°C rise in the global average temperature recorded over the past 100 years. If the Earth's temperature continues to rise as estimated, global warming could occur more rapidly than any climate change of the last 10,000 years. (www.maui.net) Fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide when burned, are used to generate electricity, heat and light homes and workplaces, power factories and run cars. The future of Earth's climate may depend partly on the buildup of heat trapping gases, mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, in the atmosphere. Industrialized nations are known to release the most carbon dioxide. Is there an alternative to this pollution and soon, disaster? In order for us to understand the immensity of this problem, we must look at what causes global warming, what is being done to stop the problem, consequences of this issue, and how we can prevent it. Global warming occurs when there is a depletion of the ozone layer and the earth's temperature begins to get warmer as a result of the heat trapping abilities of greenhouse gases. The glass panels of a greenhouse and the Earth's atmosphere are both transparent to sunlight, and both trap heat(www.maui.net). Atmospheric greenhouse gases trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat like the glass panels of a greenhouse, therefore, creating the greenhouse effect. At the moment, the earth appears to be facing rapid warming, which most scientists believe results, at least...
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Global warming occurs when the levels of greenhouse gasses rise and less infrared light, or heat, escapes the earth's atmosphere. Thus, the temperature experienced on Earth begins to rise. Climate change is a part of the Earth's history. There have been dramatic fluctuations in overall average temperature for the past 150,000 years that suggest a direct association with carbon dioxide levels. In the past the temperature highs and lows have been in tandem with carbon dioxide level highs and lows, this does not seem to be a coincidence. Carbon dioxide currently accounts for 0.03% of the gas content within the atmosphere. However, it has a disproportionate impact on the earth's temperature. Thus, minor fluctuations in the percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide will likely have a significant effect on the global temperature. The percentage of atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen over the past century at an alarming rate. Industrial civilization is essentially driven by fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gasoline all major contributors to the raise in carbon dioxide emissions. Deforestation also releases carbon dioxide via burning and exposing the soil to sunlight. Also, since trees are a major factor in the natural processing of carbon dioxide, needing it to make up their mass, when they are cut down they can no longer serve to absorb carbon dioxide. Our practices are altering the environment and endangering society in return. Carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere in many ways; some of which are naturally occurring and others are from human activity. Over 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions are from natural sources, and would occur even if humans were not on Earth. However, Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, due to the cyclic nature of the carbon cycle, would change little if not for human activities that produce so much every year. The present addition of 3% annually to emissions is enough to throw off the balancing effect of the carbon cycle. The result is a build...
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Global warming is an important issue for humans to consider and science to figure out. Personally I don't care very much about global warming and have never been active in green movements. The evidence presented in this class is very informative and useful when taking into account the numerous known and unknown causes and cures for global warming. However, my attitude towards global warming is unchanged. According to the Common Attitudes Toward...
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Human kind has entered a brand new relationship with the earth. The constant and increasing pressures we are exerting threaten our planets ability to sustain life itself. Change-in the way we think , and in the way we live-is needed now. Global warming is the most urgent environmental problem the world will face in the next decade and the next century. Few, if any, trends are more important to our future than climate change caused by human activities. Scientist around the world are warning us that global warming poses a major threat to our future quality of life, previously there has been little information on this problem. Right now, the rate of global warming may be 100 times faster than it has ever been. Very soon the earth may become hotter then at any time in human history. In the last decades the problems of atmospheric change have been gravely advanced by pollution resulting from human activities. These environmental changes pose a real threat to the lives of people and wild life. It is vital to all of us that we fully understand the complex relationship between the atmosphere and the earth. The earth is getting warmer. the changes are small, so far, but they are expected to grow and speed up. Within the next 50 to 100 years, the earth will continue to heat up hotter than it has been in the past million years. as oceans warm and glaciers melt, land and cities along coasts may be flooded. Heat and drought may cause forests to die and food crops to fail. Global warming will effect weather everywhere, plants and animals everywhere and people everywhere. Humans are warming the earth?s atmosphere by burning fuels, cutting down forests, and by taking part in other activities that release certain heat- trapping gasses into the air. Humans all over the world need to get together and solve these problems. In the southern hemisphere, the...
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The last decade, 1990-2000, was the warmest decade on record; 1998 was the warmest recorded year, and it seems inarguable that global warming should be a very large concern. All the nations of the world must work together if we are to successfully address the problem of global warming. It is imperative that we reach a global accord on the methodology quickly, for the longer we wait the worse the problem becomes. Currently the future of such initiatives looks dim. While the UN has created several programs to deal with Global Warming, many have been ignored by member countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has successfully evaluated the problem of global warming, but was not designed to actively aid solutions, merely to suggest them. The Framework Convention on Climate Change (issued by the Rio Summit of 1992) has failed to produce any real results in the effort to reduce global warming, and the Kyoto Protocol of 1999 was severely crippled by the withdrawal of the United States, which produces 24% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. All previous efforts, while attempting to deal with the problem of global warming, have been crippled by political maneuvering. Many national leaders were more worried about selling any proposal to their voters then actually dealing with global warming. This is not entirely the politicians' fault. Most of the world is uneducated about the realities and dangers of global warming, and therefore dismiss it as harmless. The economic policy of Kyoto, the only real attempt to regulate pollution output, was flawed. The emissions cap for countries was estimated to be 8 to 14 times more expensive than an optimal trading policy, and the cost emission permits would have quickly skyrocketed. Any future policy should be designed with the successes and failures of past efforts in mind. Only then will a truly coherent global policy emerge. There are many actions we could take that are cheap and significantly...
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The greenhouse effect, what exactly is this? The sun supplies the energy to warm the earth. The atmosphere absorbs outgoing reflected thermal radiation to keep then earth warmer than it would be otherwise. That is the greenhouse effect. Just like a greenhouse, it stays warm because the closed windows prevent the air from inside to cool by circulating. The main concern about the greenhouse effect is the constant warming of the earth. Scientists fear that this warming may be a risk to humans, plants, and animals. The world warms at the accelerated rates and concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continues building up in the atmosphere. As the oceans warm, they are not able to absorb as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they do today. Global warming risk assessment is complex because it is associated with the ozone depletion problem. Ozone depletion is represented by one main factor: chlorine and bromine from halocarbons. The higher these chemicals concentrations, the lower the ozone concentrations. It is a proven process, and the thinning ozone layer can be measured. Warming effects are such that the "short-term winners" –areas where the climate has become more temperate and crop yields have risen-are now deteriorating result of a drastically destroyed world economy. An opposing factor of the greenhouse effect is that the main greenhouse absorber of infrared radiation is water vapor and clouds, not carbon dioxide! I f all of the greenhouse gases, expect water vapor, were to suddenly disappear, we would still be left with a significant fraction of the current greenhouse effect. Many scientists still feel, however that any increase in carbon dioxide and other smaller greenhouse gases would still lead to a rise in global temperatures. There have been studies conducted on the correlation of sea surface temperatures and the intensity and...
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Global warming is one of the most challenging environmental problems in existence today. It threatens the health of the earth's inhabitants and the world's economies every day. With global warming comes longer and more intense heat waves and storms. Along with those climate changes, come more pests which in turn can carry devastating diseases. Forestry and farming are feeling the negative impact of global warming and we're also seeing traces of a devastated ecosystem. To prevent further damage and begin repairing the damaging effects of global warming, policies must be implemented and diligently enforced. Energy conservation is the only policy that I would put into effect. This policy would be very broad; encompassing as many aspects of energy use as possible. The first item on the table would be to force automobile manufacturers to only produce vehicles with high MPG ratings and eventually to develop new models that are not run on gasoline alone. Such vehicles are known as hybrids and are run on a combination of electricity and gasoline. Currently, the technology is available to manufacture cars with 40+ mpg ratings, however, the concern lies with the increasing number of trucks and SUVs that are known worldwide as "gas-guzzlers". These larger vehicles are becoming more and more prevalent and currently do not meet any efficiency standards. Requiring that all new SUVs and trucks from this point forward be as fuel efficient as their smaller counterparts, would be a large step in the way of vehicle efficiency and pave the way for less gasoline reliance. This in turn will allow for fewer emissions of carbon dioxide from the vehicles that we have all come to rely on for our sole source of transportation. The next policy to implement would be that technology be developed to make all appliances run efficiently; from refrigerators and...
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The beginning of the Industrial Revolution brought many new, exciting inventions into our lives to simplify our lives and made them more efficient. Such inventions included cars, household appliances and plants that burn solid waste, fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, and wood and wood products for fuel. Before the Industrial Revolution, human activities caused very few gases to be released into the atmosphere, but now scientists say, through the burning of fossil fuels, a large population growth and deforestation, humans are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere. This mixture of gases in the atmosphere is causing the worldwide problem known as...
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