# Make the internet a better place to learn

1

## How is pollution a market failure?

Martin M.
Featured 1 month ago

There are certain factors of production (and their corresponding profit in blue)

• Work $\to \textcolor{b l u e}{\text{salary}}$
• Capital $\to \textcolor{b l u e}{\text{interest}}$
• Nature $\to \textcolor{b l u e}{\text{rent/lease}}$
• Entrepreneur $\to \textcolor{b l u e}{\text{profit}}$

Let's, for example, say I am going to produce some life-saving chemical that I have just discovered. I need a place to produce it, therefore I pay to hire a place.
Next up I want some machine to produce lots of it and I buy some machines where I have to pay for them.
I cannot do everything on my own and I will pay workers do help me out.
Now I earn money with the chemical and I, sort of, pay myself for the company that I just set up.

What I do not have to pay for, is the pollution in this process, since the air is not for sale. I am not going to pay people in surrounding for the negative side effect that my company has because I do not know how much I should pay them. What is air worth?

This very oversimplified situation shows that we consider polluting doesn't costs money. Not only is this by making some chemical, but this can also happen in you use some natural resources (trees, rocks, oil).

In this example, I do not think far ahead of what this pollution could do to nature since the effects are hard to determine. Maybe when producing like this will result in a problem in 50 years.

How to counter these pollution problems?
Now the government comes into place. Since it is a collective problem the government will make up laws to stop this market flaw. This can, for example, be done by only allowing factories to have a certain amount of pollution per year or other restrictions.

$\frac{\textcolor{w h i t e}{a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a}}{\textcolor{w h i t e}{a}}$

I just want to note that I am not a specialist on this subject and that this answer is most probably not complete and or contains some mistakes, but it can give you some information about your question.

4

## How is ozone layer a pollutant?

Anonymous
Featured 2 months ago

Ozone is a pollutant only if it is present near the earth's surface such that we inhale it. It protects us from the sun's harmful rays when in the stratosphere.

#### Explanation:

Near the earth's surface, if inhaled, it causes eye irritation. People with certain genetic characteristics, and people with reduced intake of certain nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, are at greater risk from ozone exposure.

Ozone can:

1. Make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously.
2. Cause shortness of breath, and pain when taking a deep breath.
3. Cause coughing and sore or scratchy throat.
4. Inflame and damage the airways.
5. Aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.
6. Increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
7. Make the lungs more susceptible to infection.
8. Continue to damage the lungs even when the symptoms have disappeared.
9. Cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

To learn more, you may want to check out these related questions on Socratic:
What are the positive and negative effects of the ozone layer?
What is the concern over stratospheric ozone?
How has a thinning zone layer affected human health?

3

## What is eutrophication?

Kate M.
Featured 1 month ago

Eutrophication is the term to describe an abundance of nutrients in a body of water.

#### Explanation:

Eutrophication is the term to describe an excessive amount of nutrients, phosphorous and nitrogen, in a body of water. This excess of nutrients causes an increase in plant and algae growth, which in turn depletes the available oxygen in the body of water. With less oxygen available, aquatic organisms die. These organisms then decompose, which in turn uses up even more of the available oxygen. If this process continues for long enough, the ecosystem can be entirely destroyed.

Eutrophication occurs when nutrients from human activities runoff and enter the environment. A main contributor is agriculture. Human activities have significantly increased the amount of nutrients passing into the environment.

You may want to see this related question on eutrophication and its causes in the Biology section.

2

## How do hydroelectric dams affect the ecosystem?

Kate M.
Featured 1 month ago

Hydroelectric dams affect the ecosystem in many ways, dependent in part on the ecosystem itself and on the dam itself.

#### Explanation:

Hydroelectric dams affect the ecosystem in many ways, dependent in part on the ecosystem itself and on the dam itself. Generally, the effects are negative.

Damming a water source drastically alters the flow of that water source. It can change the direction of the river, the depth of the river, the temperature of the river, the width of a river, and so forth. These changes have consequences for the organisms inhabiting the adjacent environments.

The image below shows a before and after of a large dam in between Paraguay and Argentina.

As you can see, the rivers have been replaced by a large lake. Animals that required certain river conditions will have moved on to find other suitable habitat and they may or may not have been successful.

The plants in the river will also drastically be affected and thus any organisms that depend on those plants for food or shelter will need to adapt or they will die out.

The migration route of fish and other aquatic animals will also change, which in turn could affect the animals that consume them.

The water in rivers typically run faster than the waters in lakes. Thus, the lake water will accumulate more sediments and nutrients, changing the composition of the water and potentially making it unsuitable to any organisms that need lower sediment content.

4

## How does deforestation contribute to the greenhouse effect?

G_Ozdilek
Featured 1 month ago

Carbondioxide accumulation in the atmosphere is triggered by deforestation.

#### Explanation:

Photosynthesis and respiration are coupling reactions. While, during photosynthesis, oxygen is provided after the reaction, during respiration, consumers use oxygen and produce carbondioxide.

One of the greatest sources of oxygen is forests all around the World. However, we have been loosing trees by global climate change, deforestation, water resources diversion projects, construction projects, etc. Deforestation causes a huge loss in forest areas. To make furniture, to get fuel, to gaşn agricultural land, etc., deforestation has been occurring all around the globe.

For this reason, the balance between oxygen production and oxygen consumption is not the same compared to 50 or 100 years ago. By industrial processes, traffic, etc., we have been burning oxygen rapidly; whereas, green plants have been experiencing problems to produce oxygen due to the fact that their numbers and their qualities have been decreasing in real life.

Therefore, deforestation is a principal cause that cause global climate change and greenhouse effect.

Below is an example of clearcut in Kızılkeçili Village in Çanakkale (Turkey) I took these photos. (https://d2gne97vdumgn3.cloudfront.net/api/file/18lRiFYiQBGQLVuRL4Ca) anakkale Turkey.

2

## Are hydroelectric dams expensive? If so, why?

Lucio Margherita
Featured 1 month ago

A dam, per se, is not expensive to build. Any beaver family can build one for the price of a few wooden sticks.

#### Explanation:

A hydroelectric dam is a different story.
For one you have to build it where is needed, rather than where it is convenient (as the beavers would do).

A beaver is concerned with the conditions created upstream by the dam. That is with the peaceful little lake resulting from the barrage of the brook. What happens downstream is not his problem.

A hydroelectric engineer, in addition to similar concerns pertaining the area to be flooded, is apprehensive with conditions downstream.
That is the calculated drop of the waterfall; the capacity of the constrained flow; the impact on the biome and on the environment of the underlying valley.

A beaver cares little of unforeseen weather events. If conditions get rough and the river overflows or if the dam is smashed by a turbulent stream, it waits until the storm blows over and it builds another one.

The engineer has to foresee all predictable and unpredictable atmospheric conditions when planning his project and choosing his building materials.
He cannot afford a bust. There are villages in the valley. There are people leaving under the threat of the flood. There are more people living far away and in need of the commodity that he must at all cost provide. His dam has to resist the pressure of the mounting water, must have the safest thickness and height, all within the acceptable limits of environmental rules and aesthetic canon.

These are only few of the numerous, and expensive, considerations that come into play when building a hydroelectric dam.

And I have not said one word of the expensive machinery, cables, roads, logistic and supplies necessary to provide and transport the very reason why the dam is built in the first place. That is the electricity.

2

## How does extraction of natural gas from shale differ from extraction from sandstone?

Lucio Margherita
Featured 1 month ago

Let us start by saying that "shale oil" is wrong terminology.

#### Explanation:

There may be oil shales, but the economic value of this new hydrocarbon resource is not to be found in shales but in the "source-rock".

Contrary to the general belief oil is not found in underground lakes and pumped out by the Oil Companies. There are no caves nor lakes at great depth, only rocks. Tight rocks, porous rocks, with all sorts of gasses and fluids seeping through them.
Hydrocarbons are generated within particular formations called "source-rock" by geochemists. Their genesis and making is a different story.
Because of its fluidity and light weight oil moves out of the source rock and, generally, migrates upwards in whatever direction is convenient following paths and channels as open by the porosity and permeability of the surrounding rock formations.

Oil does not flow, but seeps from pore to pore of the permeable rocks leaving the sterile source material behind and seeking his way to the surface (where, only sometimes, it naturally, arrives).
More often however it does not. A level of impermeable shales or clay will prevent any further movement and oil accumulates in an underground trap under enormous pressure ready to spring out to the surface at the first occasion.
Such traps is what geoscientists attempt to locate and drill, as they contain the ready to burn energy that human industry has been using for the last 150 years.
Such Oil fields are to be found in limestones, in reefs, as well as in sandstones. Or in any other permeable, porous rock (capped by shales) on the migration path.
Source-rock oil is different. It never moved from its birth place.

Geological conditions around the generating formation were such that all migration channels (porosity and permeability) were locked by impervious conditions and oil simply staid put impregnating its original grounds and becoming part of it.
This oil will not spring out of the well as the pressure is released by the drill. Its mushy, muddy nature; its being imbued with sand or gravel, requires a lot of work to be carried out underground to bring it to the surface. It has to be thinned, filtered, fluidified, diluted... and, often, sucked out of the ground as it would not naturally rise to the surface.

That is basically the difference between traditional oil production and source-rock oil exploitation.
Traditional oil is difficult to find but easier to produce. Source-rock oil is easier to locate but a real conundrum to exploit.

2

## What is environmental racism?

Kate M.
Featured 4 weeks ago

Environmental racism is the term used to describe when environmental injustices are unequally distributed and unfairly fall on one or more race, ethnic group, or minority.

#### Explanation:

Environmental racism is the term used to describe when environmental injustices are unequally distributed and unfairly fall on one or more race, ethnic group, or minority.

For example, in the United States, nuclear waste is disproportionately dumped on Native American reserves. In January 26th, 2016, the United Nations reports (also about the US) that "the highest polluting industrial facilities, across a range of sectors from farming, mining to manufacturing, are more likely to be situated in poor and minority neighbourhood, including those of people of African descent."

It is a widespread problem and is created and/or reinforced by discriminatory policies, regulations, and practices.

Here's a good video:

Minority groups are often disadvantaged in that they do not have the means to fight racist environmental policies: they may not have the time to read about and fight these ideas and practices, they may not have the money to hire lawyers, to pay babysitters to watch their children, they may not have the education and experience of wealthier politicians, they may not be able to take time off work to attend meetings and hearings and to protest, and so forth.

Here's a nice article about coal plants and environmental justice.
Another one entitled, 5 Things to Know About Communities of Color and Environmental Justice.
The Wikipedia article on environmental racism is also very extensive.

1

## Toxicology is highly linked with human development. Its development is directly related to industrialization, urbanization, and green revolution. Explain by citing relevant examples?

G_Ozdilek
Featured 1 month ago

Minamata Disease, Taiwan and Japan rice, Love Canal, etc.

#### Explanation:

I use only one reference for this assay (LaGrega et al., 1994).

Mercury salts, which were used to form felt in the Dutch hat industry, caused neurulogic disorder renowned as being "mad as a hatter." Organic forms of mercury (e.g. methyl mercury) have proven to be more pernicious, having caused hundreds of cases of paralysis and sensory loss at Minamata Bay area in Japan. Inorganic mercury discharged from a chemical plant became methylated in sediments and then bioaccumulated in shellfish. Due to the fact that shellfish are the principal protein source of the local people, this situation was an epidemic waiting to happen. In the late 1960s, this poisoning (itai itai disease) heightened global awareness of industrial pollution.

Two cases of accidental contamination of rice cooking oil in Japan and Taiwan in the late 1960s and mid-1970s exposed thousands of Asians to hşgh concentrations of PCBs (poly chlorinated biphenlys). Miscarriages and birth defects increased within the exposed populations. Although later it would be shown that these prenatal health problems resulted not from PCBs themselves but from polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) that formed when heating the contaminated rice cooking oil, the riveting environmental journalism made the World population vividly aware of the adverse human effects of "PCB" exposure.

Nearly the same time in the United States, the contamination of Michigan cattle feed by polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) not only caused widespread human exposures via milk and other dairy products, but also followed more complex pathways to reach humans.

Afflicted cattle were rendered and then used to prepare chicken feed; thousands of human consumers were exposed to PBBs through eggs and egg products. One incident involved 24 thousand crates of PBB-contaminated shorthcakes which were confiscated in Alabama. PBBs were found in some Michigan mothers' breast milk.

Love Canal is the symbol of environmental contamination by hazardous wate. Not useful as a canal, this canal was sealed off at the ends and used in the 1940s and 1950s by Hooker Chemical Company and others as a hazardous waste disposal site. Later, this site was sold to the Niagara Falls, New York, School Districts. The School District built an elementary school on the site despite the fact that a warning was made against any excavation and underground construction.

Later the developed area caused sickness in children and some residents. You can get details: https://www.geneseo.edu/history/love_canal_history

Reference:

LaGrega, M. D., Buckingham, P. L., and Evans, J. C. (1994). Hazardous Waste Management. McGraw Hill, Inc. New York, NY. USA.

1

## With the help of a clear illustration explain the structure of the atmosphere ?

Anthony R.
Featured yesterday

See explanation

#### Explanation:

The atmosphere is structured in $4$ main layers. Those being: the Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, and Thermosphere. Here's a diagram:

When you travel, you are in the flying in Troposphere and we humans don't go beyond that unless you're going into space.