Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BLM and Weyerhaeuser by Jason Thoma

Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
            My view on the bureau of land management’s involvement in our society is one of an avid outdoorsman who feels that everyone should get to enjoy the natural beauty of the wilderness. The bureau has had many impacts on our society for better and for worse, but all in all I think that they do the best they can. In this paper I will discuss the pros of having a bureau of land management and what they give back. I will also include my views on how Weyerhaeuser, the company that owns the most land in the northwest, is doing business in regards to the needs of our society.
            The bureau of land management in Oregon and Washington has over 15 million acres of land to protect and conserve for the public to enjoy (Tourism, 2010). They are able to do this by receiving grants from the government and charging fees at all recreational areas.
The term that the BLM use for this is “public land” but some are not so sure how open to the public it is; when every forest that we want to enjoy costs money for us to enjoy. Some people feel that if the public owns this land, (the parks/lakes/rivers, anywhere that there is a place for recreational adventure) than it should be free to the public to use and enjoy. These same people that continually complain about our government how it operates yet do nothing to correct the errors. This same group of people is the reason for the hippie fest that occurred last summer under the guise of “Rainbow festival.” The BLM allowed these people to go out and reconnect with nature on the lands that they operate and care for and all these people did was leave a giant mess in the woods that now we have to clean up.
Right now the fees that we pay to enjoy these public lands are not substantial but can be annoying if you are not prepared for them. Without these fees the parks themselves wouldn’t have funding to stay operational. The BLM recorded that 7,962,017 people visited the 70 recreational sites that the BLM manages last year. And they were able to generate 1.9$ million dollars from the fees and permits that they required (Tourism, 2010). It is nice to see that one bureau of our local government can raise almost 2 million dollars for its own continued success instead of taking it straight out of taxes that could’ve been better spent on other situations.
As an avid outdoorsman I have had many experiences with the Weyerhaeuser Company in the state of Washington. Besides BLM owned land Weyerhaeuser is the 2nd largest land owners in Washington. Growing up I have found that my friends and I are more often than not on Weyerhaeuser property when we go out to enjoy the wilderness. They have been very generous in letting the public go onto their lands and conduct their recreational adventures, as long as it doesn’t impede the logging work that is being done in that particular area.
After Weyerhaeuser is done with their logging of an area they offer plots of land to be sold back to the public. Right now there are 90 listings of land that Weyerhaeuser is selling ranging from 3+ acres to 340+ acres. I think this is a great way for a company to offer people a chance to live out their dreams of escaping the city life to live in the solitude of the wilderness.
The BLM and Weyerhaeuser have taken our most precious resource in the Pacific Northwest, which is our vast expanses of wilderness, and transformed them into recreational areas for our families to enjoy and cherish. As our cities grow and our wilderness diminishes it is imperative to have the BLM speaking out to keep our forests intact.

Coranto. (2011, January 1).Washington’s Public Lands. Retrieved from http://publiclands.org/explore.quadrant_map.php?plicstate=WA&quad=wa_q14

Tourism. (2010, January 1). Retieved from

Weyerhaeuser. (2011, June 10). Retrieved from

Our Water Supply Is it Really Safe? by Danielle Solis

PSY 100A/Environmental Science
Warner Pacific College
October 22, 2011
            In the United States one of the last things on our mind everyday is, how safe is our drinking water?  For most of us, we turn on the water faucet and get a glass of water, or turn on the shower head and take our shower.  After our reading this week of an article from the New York Times called Clean Water Laws are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering it became very apparent how unsafe some water is in the United States.  The question who is, responsible for our water safety and what are they doing to assure our water safety?
            For many families in a small town in West Virginia having clean water isn’t something they know about.  One family has water shipped in and stores it on their porch for drinking purposes, and their son has to use special lotion after a bath to avoid rashes and sores.  By no means should anyone in the United States have to worry about safe drinking water. We pay for our water so we should have the luxury of going to the sink for a glass of water.  Seeing there are towns that can’t do this, they turn to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
            The EPA’s mission states; “The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment” (http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/whatwedo.html).  For the families in West Virginia they probably feel that the EPA is looking for the environment more than they are for human health.  Along with the EPA there is also the Clean Water Act that forces polluters to disclose toxins they dump into water ways and to give regulators the power to fine or jail offenders (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html). Each of these organizations has sets of rules and regulations but it still doesn’t seem to be enough to protect some from the harm.  Another aspect of all this is private sectors coming in from the individual states and having a public-private partnership with these bigger government organizations.  Like we read in our book, Environment the science behind the stories these private sectors can combine their efforts with the bigger organizations to have rules and regulations set for their individual states as we all have different needs.  As is the instance with the West Virginia families they have to battle mining efforts in their area that is causing them the problems with the water, whereas here in the northwest we have the dilemma of waste overflowing into our water.
            There are plenty of bad situations that play into this.  The fact that there are contaminates that are legally allowed to pass through our water system and the fact that many of the people who are responsible for dumping never face any fines or charges at all.  The reasoning for the EPA not wanting to get involved is because it is too hard to prove that the diseases and sickness came from the water and not caused environmental or from the air. 
            I think it is great we have environmental regulations that are supposed to be followed and organizations to help enforce them as we could have it so much worse, but it seems there needs to be so much more done with environmental regulations to ensure families in our own home don’t have to face such hardships in life.  It seems that each state needs to have a private sector for such things to work closely with the major sectors to ensure we all feel safe and happy in our homes. If we can’t depend on environmental regulations and the organizations associated with them then who can we?

DUHIGG, C. (n.d.). Toxic Waters - Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering - Series - NYTimes.com. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved October 22, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html
Our Mission and What We Do | About EPA | US EPA. (n.d.). US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved October 22, 2011, from http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/whatwedo.html
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. R. (2011). Environment: the science behind the stories (4th ed.). New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

The EPA and the U.S. Economy by Roberto Selva

PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College
October 23, 2011

In 1970, Richard Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The creation of this government agency was in response to the growing environmental concerns in the U.S. and its impact on human health.  The agency’s responsibilities include: establishing and enforcing environmental standards, carrying out research, funding educational initiatives, and supporting voluntary pollution reduction schemes in the U.S.  The formation of new rules and regulations by the EPA cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars per year.  Naturally, this also affects the industries that are being targeted by EPA and forces companies to raise prices, directly impacting the U.S. economy.
In the first quarter of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency began a multi-month comment period on a new proposed rule and regulation that would stiffen emissions restrictions on industrial power plants that burn coal and oil.  This would have a three-fold negative effect in the economic development of our society.  First: the closure of older industrial plants.  Even with the assumption that not one single plant would close, energy prices would still rise because older plants would require upgrades to continue operations – which, in turn, would also raise prices.  Second: the construction of new plants would be more expensive.  Lastly: the inevitable rise to the cost of producing power.  According to the San Francisco Examiner, “These rules are projected by EPA to cost $11 billion per year in 2016 to American households, who will eventually pay the higher costs of producing electricity.” (Furchtgott-Roth, 2011)  This increase has many Americans concerned and even fearful of what this will mean to their electrical bills, paychecks, and wallets. 
In contrast, I personally believe that the positive effects of this proposed rule outweigh the negative ones.  First and foremost, let’s consider the effects that this would have on our health.  We should be grateful to have an agency that is concerned with looking out for the health of its citizens and protecting us from environmental risks.  Apart from improving our health, reducing the threat of cancer, premature deaths, heart attacks and asthma would also be added benefits.  When quantifying these health benefits in dollars, “the EPA rules finalized and proposed so far by the current administration have net benefits that could exceed $200 billion a year.” (Shapiro, 2011)
Furthermore, this new rule would also have a positive impact in our current unfortunate employment situation, which at the time had an unemployment rate hovering 9.0 and 9.2 percent.  According to the EPA, thousands of Americans would be employed nationwide including 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.  Although this figure is relatively minute compared to the number of jobs created in the private sector, I believe that any form of job creation is fundamental to the furthering of not only our “American confidence” but also our economic environment. 
In conclusion, my belief is that the roles of environmental regulatory agencies are essential to the economic development of our society.  Without these agencies in place, we will deplete all of our resources (including our economic ones) in order to combat and fight environmental threats that will endanger our ecosystems and our livelihood here on earth.  Also, in order for these agencies to fully execute their environmental responsibilities, it is imperative for all of us to remove our personal views and biases from specific situations.  I trust that as environmental awareness becomes more popular in our society, we as human beings will become more cooperative with the EPA and other environment agencies for the benefit of our future and that of the earths.
Furchtgott-Roth, D. (2011). Epa rules disrupt the economy. Online newspaper,
Retrieved from http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/03/epa-rules-disrupt-economy
Koenig, B. (2011, August 22). Epa regulations to shut down coal plants and raise energy prices.
The New American, Retrieved from http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/8700-epa-regulations-to-shut-down-coal-plants-and-raise-energy-prices
Shapiro, I. (2011, September 20). Epa and the economy: much ado about 0.1 percent [Web log   
            message].  Retrieved from http://www.epi.org/blog/epa-economy-ado-0-1-percent/

Are Pesticides The Enemy? by Brenda Rivas

 Environmental Studies
 October 24, 2011
            Pesticides were a big hit when it was discovered in the 1930’s by Paul Muller it was a big deal because he was a big help with insects and covered a wide range of insects. The other two things that people liked were that when it was sprayed it lasted for a long time and also did not wash off with the rain. Mr. Muller was given the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1948 for his discovery. Society at that time did not know the effects that Pesticides would have on the environment, they just knew that it helped with their pest problem and crop and that was all that mattered and later on the effects of using pesticides was discovered.
            How did pesticides affect our environment if affected our air, water, plants, crop, and live stock. When pesticides were sprayed the wind can blow it in the air and it would land on other plants or surfaces and if you had contact with it, it would harm you. Also, when it’s sprayed on plants it gets into our soil, and that can in turn affect our water because when it the plants are watered or it rains the toxin that is in the soil can get into our streams and our drinking water. Our live stock could be affected because if they are eating the crop or the plants that we have sprayed with it that can in turn affect them and if we that live stock it can affect us.
            A scientist by the name of Rachel Carson wrote a book called “Silent Spring”, in 1962 and made people aware of the effects of pesticides in our environment she discovered that birds were dying because when they were eating worms and insects that were exposed it. She discovered that they were two principles related to the indirect toxicity, one of the was Bioconcentration and would accumulate in organisms especially in fatty acid. Second principle was Biomagnifications and it would increase up the food chain. DDT had been exposed not only were it was sprayed but at long distances because it was traveling.
            One of the outcomes of this exposure it that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created and they were put in place to set regulations and standards for Pesticides and help companies be accountable for them to test and produce pesticides that decreased the effects on the environment. Pesticides are still harmful if not use appropriately but companies and society is now are more aware what affects they have on our environment. New pesticides are also being created that are Organic that are more plant based and they are known to be friendlier to the environment but even with these new pesticides it does not mean that they are all good for all plants.
            No matter what pesticides you decide to use for your crops, to kill living organisms, insects you have to educate yourself on the effects it will have on our environment. Just because it states that is Organic it doesn’t mean that in the long run it will not have an adverse effect. Sometimes as society we make changes not knowing how it will change our Eco-System in the future that is why agencies like the EPA were created but they are also having a hard time regulating companies and are having to impose fines. The best thing to do is to read labels and research what you are using in your crop or what you are putting in your mouth.
Withgott, Jay and Brennan,Scott. (Fourth Edition), Environment: The Science behind the stories

BLM and Coal Mining by Douglas Powers

Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
            The United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a government agency that regulates the management of public land throughout the United States. The total area of this land comes out to be about 253 million acres which is approximately 1/8 of the total area of the United States ("Bureau of land," ). The majority of public land is in the western portion of the United States and an even larger portion can be found in Alaska. In addition to the public land that the BLM oversees they are also in charge of 700 million acres of subsurface mineral real estate underlying federal and private lands ("Bureau of land," ).  The BLM has a myriad of responsibilities pertaining to rules or regulations that oversee recreational activities such as camping, hunting, fishing, driving vehicles off-road, boating, hiking, shooting, and even hang-gliding. Aside from recreational activities, the land that the BLM issues for industrial uses is also governed by the BLM. The major industries that apply for these land grants are primarily mining and lumber companies ("Bureau of land," ).
          As stated earlier the BLM issues land to mining and timber companies to fuel America’s manufacturing and energy industries. I have a few complaints about the timber industry but my major complaint is with America’s mining companies and their generally accepted practices. To begin, mining itself has a devastating impact on the ecosystem around mines and also on the human population drawing water from the water table feeding the mine. When they begin digging the mine, high concentrations of methane gas, the most common from of green house gas, is released into the atmosphere ("Environmental impacts of," 2011). Methane is a natural byproduct of the formation of coal ("Environmental impacts of,"). In the United States 67% of the mining done is referred to as strip mining, cut mining, or pit mining; literally, it is a giant pit in the ground and coal is extracted via heavy equipment ("Environmental impacts of," ). This allows for more coal to be recovered then conventional underground mining but also has a greater impact on the environment.
A major byproduct of coal is pyrite (iron sulfide) or fool’s gold. This composition is acidic in nature and when rain falls the rain waters wash over the pyrite and take their acidic qualities to nearby streams or seep into the ground and contaminate the water table. This process is referred to as acid mine drainage (AMD) and is a problem coal mining operations are trying to solve but are having little success ("Environmental impacts of," ).
Another problem that coal mines create but do not deal is overburden or waste rock. This material is the worthless rock and sediment that sit atop the precious coal and typically is left in mountain sized mounds around the mine. This may not seem like a major problem however these piles are extremely unstable and continuously shift and have frequent land slides. In addition to the danger posed to humans, these waste piles attract and soak up heat like a sponge and as a result create very difficult living conditions for the indigenous plant species. However, the benefit of this uneconomical pile is that mining companies can use this material to restock mines and return the landscape to a shade of what it once was.
            To summarize, the BLM allows the mining industry to establish mining operations all over the United States for pennies. The Mining Act of 1872 allows companies to buy an acre of land for five dollars. This allows mining companies to buy massive tracts of land and devastate the landscape which will take decades to recover.

1)  Bureau of land management. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html

2)  Environmental impacts of coal power:. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02c.html

3)  Environmental impacts of coal power:. (2011, may 25). Retrieved from http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=environment_Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Paul Newton's view on Environmental Regulations

PHS 100A Environmental Studies
October 24, 2011

During the second half of the 20th century, the U.S. became more densely populated and more driven by technology and heavy industry, which intensified resource consumption and environmental impacts. This began to cause more obvious damage to the environment in ways that directly affected people’s quality of life (Withgott & Brennan, 2010, p. 175). As the post-war baby boom generation matured, there was much activism that helped support environmental causes and called for policies to prevent pollution, save endangered species, and preserve wilderness, among others. As a result, a large number of laws to protect the environment were passed during the 1960s and 1970s. There has been much criticism of environmental regulation but it is useful to keep in mind its positive accomplishments that have benefited our society, as well as to scrutinize its performance to find ways to improve.

Take for example, the Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, which is the primary federal law that protects our nation's fresh water systems and coastal areas and was the first comprehensive water legislation passed by Congress. The benefits of protection, prevention and restoration under this law after almost 40 years are of great significance to quality of life in this country. Now administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), implementation of the Clean Water Act focuses on improving the quality of U.S. waters through a comprehensive framework of standards and technical and financial assistance. The EPA oversees requirements for municipalities and major industries to comply with standards for pollution control; the setting and implementation by states and tribes of specific water quality criteria; the provision of funding to states and communities to help them meet clean water infrastructure needs; and the use of a permitting process for development and land use to protect valuable wetlands and other aquatic habitats (Clean Water, 2010).

There is a good example of environmental regulation having mixed results in the state where I live, Oregon, where a government agency is very well-known for good and bad results: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). A division of the Department of the Interior, the BLM manages more Federal land than any other agency, most of it in the Western states including Alaska. This consists of about 245 million surface acres as well as 700 million sub-surface acres of mineral estate. The BLM is charged with land use planning to ensure the best balance of uses and resource protections for America’s public lands. According to BLM, they use a collaborative approach with local, state and tribal governments, the public, and groups of stakeholders (What We Do, 2011). The BLM develops Resource Management Plans to guide decisions for every action and approved use on the National System of Public Lands. Much of their work is in carrying out provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which requires federal agencies to make their decision-making process open to public review and to analyze and disclose the potential environmental impacts of their actions (NEPA Program, 2011).

In spite of its great objectives and apparent responsibility to uphold the best interest of the environment and the people, the BLM has been plagued by controversy and criticism for poor decisions and typical bureaucratic weaknesses and inefficiencies. One example is related to exchanges involving high-value public lands near rapidly growing urban areas. As demand in recent years inflated the value of public lands suitable for urban development the BLM, critics charge, failed to properly assess land that was traded in swaps, allowing developers to profit to the detriment of public interests (Public Lands, 2010). If the BLM consulted with experts on property values and looked at these swaps more carefully, they could do a better job of protecting the public interest and the environment at the same time. Another example of problems with performance is that the BLM is known for hassling private property owners for minor details while allowing bigger problems to pass.

Perhaps a cause of the failures in BLM’s performance is that it is given so much responsibility but has limited resources to work with. The BLM is supposed to ensure that proposed projects meet all applicable environmental laws and regulations, and to protect and make public lands available to citizens for “a wide variety of resources including energy, rights-of-way that support communications and energy delivery, a variety of recreational uses, and crucial habitat for species associated with the Western landscape, such as the sage-grouse and pronghorn antelope” (What We Do, 2011). This is a huge job, and yet, according to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior (123 STAT. 2904 PUBLIC LAW 111–88—OCT. 30, 2009, p. 2), the BLM’s 2010 budget was $960 million, which is under $4 per acre. In a 2007 report by the Dept. of the Interior, BLM had only 10,000 permanent employees, which works out to about 25,000 acres per employee (Facts About, 2007).

In conclusion, our government’s regulation of environmental use is necessary and has accomplished many benefits for the present and future of the country and its natural resources. However, perhaps due to the size of the task and the limits of funding, there are many failures and inefficiencies that leave much room for improvement.


Bureau of Land Management public land statistics. (2008). Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.blm.gov/public_land_statistics/pls08/pls1-4_08.pdf

Clean water act enforcement. (2010). Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/

Facts about the Bureau of Land Management. (2007). Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Communications_Directorate/public_affairs.Par.32462.File.dat/BLM_Quick_Facts.pdf

Public Lands Foundation. (August 8, 2010). Land exchanges of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land management. Position Statement: 2010-12. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://www.publicland.org/14_position_statements/PLF_2010_12_ land_exchanges.html

NEPA program. (2011). Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/planning/nepa.html

What we do. (2011). Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy.html

Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011). Environment: the science behind the stories (4th ed.). New York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings


My View on Environmental Regulations by Tyesha McCool-Riley

PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
In my opinion environmental regulations such as the Clean Water Act implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency are great strides in the right direction. Based on the reading from our text Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011), the Clean Water Act requires that harmful toxins and bacteria be removed from waste water discharged into U.S. waterways (p.171). Although this may be a great stride, the question is: how can its full potential be realized? If the purpose of the regulation is to regulate resource use or reduce pollution to promote human welfare and/ or protect natural systems, it is crucial that we not only implement rules and guidelines, but also awareness and education so that everyone has knowledge and understanding on what the issues are, how the issues affect humans, animals, natural resources etc., and what we as a community can do to help remedy the issue.  
For instance the text reported on the Tijuana River located in Mexico and its subpar sewage system that continues to over flow and as a result continues to pollute and contaminate both Mexico and U.S. waterways.  This contamination not only affects nature, but is also has an economic impact. For Mexico and The U.S. additional funds need to be allocated and used to find a long-term solution such as planning and building a larger sewage treatment plant larger than the one built in 1997, to accommodate the rapidly growing population. Also cleanup efforts for this type of project could affect federal and state budgets. Although, attempting to fix the problem may cost money, you cannot put a price on a person’s life and health nor wildlife’s wellbeing, so in my opinion when it comes to the health and wellbeing of humans and wildlife our natural duty should be to eat the cost and fix the problem, if we do not preserve our sustainability, who will? I believe countries need to develop international laws to provide compensation for damage that activities under their control cause to areas beyond their borders. The ability of two countries with different political motivations, values, funding accessibility, and other contributing factors to come together to look after the best interest of people is crucial in setting an example for others to follow.  People want to have proof that certain things are successful before trying them. According to ESD Toolkit (2011),” Nations shall cooperate to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command”. This speaks to taking responsibility for your actions or more so your lack of action as a nation.
            As a result of the continual contamination from the Tijuana River water California beaches have suffered severe polluted and unsafe water as well as Mexico. These conditions have caused California officials to take action and close beaches in an effort to protect people from diseases such as salmonella, shigella, fibrial, cholera, hepatitis A, and Malaria caused by the harmful water.  Unfortunately, the marine that lives in the water doesn’t receive that privilege and they are forced to deal with the conditions of pollution and contamination that has lead to many of their deaths. As a result of the beach closures, it has had a negative economic impact, because beach closures according to Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011) reduce recreation, tourism, other activity associated with clean coastal areas and ultimately each of the above have a direct affect on incoming revenue. For both Mexico and southern California each year their beaches host over 175 million visitors who spend over $1.5 billion. At this point the pros and cons need to be weighed, because I am quite sure that the reduced revenue puts a strain on the state and city budget which then eventually affects the local business (p.168). It’s a domino effect, and people need to be aware and proactive in all that we do to ensure that people have a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
            In conclusion, I understand that what Mexico has failed to do to protect its citizens has now for many years affected U.S. citizens and I believe that Mexico should be held accountable for the pollutions, contaminations, and the costs to fix the problem because they caused it. The ESD toolkit (2011) says, “Nations have the sovereign right to exploit their own resources, but without causing environmental damage beyond their borders”. This statement seems to be the right approach, but at who’s expense?
Although, Mexico needs to take responsibility, I believe that more needs to be done on the United States’ behalf to ensure that safety and wellbeing of all people and wildlife. Regulations may set for guidelines and rules, but what is a rule if there is no consequences and repercussions for not following and adhering to them. Monitoring, enforcing, and continuous evaluation is key in staying current on issues and find ways to fix them, because the EPA implemented the Clean Water Act and for several years Mexico has violated the CWA despite several attempts to put a band aid over and oozing wound. Although, violations continue to occur there has been some progress, Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011) reported that, the House or representatives passed the Tijuana River Valley Estuary and Beach Sewage Cleanup Act in 2000 to authorized the United States to take actions to address comprehensively the treatment of sewage emanating from the Tijuana River area, Mexico, that flows untreated or partially treated into the United States causing significant adverse public health and environmental impacts that(p.170). Also in 2008 advocacy work along the San Diego-Tijuana border led the federal U.S. government to allocate $66 million dollars for sewage treatment plant upgrades. There continue to be efforts, but the efforts fall short of supplying an actual long-term resolution to a long-term problem. Regulations are nothing without effectiveness and efficiency.
Retrieved on October 21, 2011 from, http://www.esdtoolkit.org/discussion/default.htm
Withgott, J., & Bennan, S. (2011). Environment: the science behind the stories (4th ed.). New York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN-13:
Retrieved October 21, 2011 from, http://www1.american.edu/ted/TIJUANA.HTM
Retrieved October 22, 2011 from, http://www.wildcoast.net/who-we-are

Susan Larkins' view on Environmental Protection

 PHS 100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
Environmental Protection Agency & Disappearing Rainforest
Losing Earth’s greatest biological treasures is just the beginning, just as we are starting to appreciate their beauty and their value, they are starting to be destroyed or damaged. Rainforests once covered the earth’s surface by 14% and a mere 6% are left, and experts estimate the last remaining rainforest may be consumed in less than 40 years. One and one half acres of our rainforest in America are lost every second, most of the time with tragic consequences for developing and industrial countries.
These rainforest are being destroyed and the value of land in the rainforest is perceived as only its value in timber by short sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and landowners. Almost half of our world’s species of plants, animals, microorganisms will become destroyed or possibly severely threatened within the next quarter century due to deforestation in our rainforest. Most of our rainforest are cleared by large machinery like bull dozers and small handheld equipment like chainsaws, and also fires which are used for timber value, which are then followed by farming and ranching operations.
World’s giants known as Mitsubishi Corporation, Georgia Pacific and Texaco and included with these companies in Unocal, they are included in damaging our rainforest. Forest play a very important role in environmental protection, and through history there has been much protection for these forest in mountain areas, where they have continuous help to prevent soil erosion, landslides and avalanches. Where this becomes important is the maintaining of water quality of rivers draining into forest catchments, special methods ensure that these rainforest are maintained indefinitely.
Environmental protection is known to have significant impact on some forest; air pollutants that are of concern include sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, heavy metals, and ozone. By controlling these pollutants it ultimately benefits rainforest which are said to play a major role in the protection of our carbon cycle. Representing, they have an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide, using conversion of these forest for other land uses is one cause for the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
Reforestation and a forestation may contribute in reducing our atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, using bio fuels could help in the long run by reducing demand for fossil fuels. Brazil’s Environmental Protection Agency is just one that strives to implement laws when it comes to protecting our valuable resource known as the Amazon rainforest. There overall objective that was initiated in 1998, was a framework for developing, analyzing, and to integrate environmentally sustainable polices known as Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, with having particular focus on the transport sector.
This entire framework was created to supply the decision makers to have a stronger policy instruments for simultaneously addressing local, regional, and issues in global environmental, based on technical, social, and economic criteria. IES Brazil (Integrated Environmental Strategies) team consisted of representatives from the Sao Paulo State Environmental Agency, Medical School of the University of Sao Paulo, the institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Sao Paulo, and included was the institute of Applied Economics Research, and two independent energy consultants.
This team analyzed many different pollutants that ultimately affect humans as well as climate change that in the end affects our rainforest. The IES Brazil team has participated with several regional and international conferences; most recently was the RIO5 World Climate and Energy Event. It brought together many scientists that research politics and industry; they are leading experts in their fields.
 July 2004, EPA, the World’s Banks Clean Air Initiative for Latin American Cities and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory were involved in organizing a regional work shop in “Public Health and Climate Change Benefits of Air Quality Management” (www.epa.gov). The Brazils team meeting worked on providing an opportunity for policymakers and technical experts from Latin America a chance to exchange past experiences with co-benefits-related analyses.
Other teams that were involved in the IES team were from Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, and other organizations doing work in the region, they presented information about experiences with IES methodology and co-benefits research. This particular workshop received a lot of public press which included articles in a national newspaper.
While many current programs will result reducing levels of most emissions, additional programs will implement to reduce PM10 over the next 20 years. The study evaluated three scenarios that promote PM10 reduction they are in order of effectiveness for the control of emissions from trucks, the implementation of an inspection and maintenance program, penetration of natural gas for industry cogeneration and also gradual substitution of diesel buses by natural gas buses.
Ultimately these results could already be helpful in decision-making, although the cost for implementation of each scenario needs to be further investigated. Promoting the use of these sustainable and renewable sources may in the end stop the destruction of our rainforest and reduce climate change.

Google Chrome www.google.com
Retrieved October 23, 2011
Google Chrome www.google.com
Retrieved October 23, 2011
Google Chrome www.google.com Retrieved October 23, 2011

Matt Field's views on Environmental Regulations

Seeds of Damage
Environmental Studies – PHS 100A
Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
As you walk through the produce aisle and see varieties of fruits and vegetables you may marvel at amazing selection that we have in foods today.  Although we do have the availability of many different varieties of food the actual variety of species continues to decline.  Biodiversity in agriculture makes excellent sense ecologically; however it might not translate into the economy of farming.  Seed companies work to genetically engineer the strongest and highest yielding crops possible.  This often comes at the cost of species variety.  It seems that it isn’t easy for these companies to see past the bottom line.  In spite of the power of the American consumer, there is obviously little input that can be made as to what varieties of food are available.  The only way we can protect our ecological and agricultural interests is to introduce subsidy or regulation to grow biodiversity in American farms.
Economic diversity cannot be the primary motivation the government should consider in the regulation of seed monopolies.  Seed monopolies create a tremendous ecological threat as well as a risk to our food sources.  This can be exemplified by the single variety of potato that was grown in Ireland in 1840.  Due to the lack of genetic diversity a fungus was able to wipe out the entire crop, finally resulting in the Irish potato famine.   More recently, a 1970 corn disease wiped out $1 billion in American corn crops.  (http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/biodiversity, 2011)  Today, we are losing biodiversity by developing genetically engineered seeds that are able to withstand strong herbicides that would otherwise kill them. (http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, 2010)  This continues to escalate the amount of homogenization of available seeds in American farms.
A strong case in which a possible seed monopoly may be forming would be the Monsanto Company.  Monsanto distributes both seed and pesticide to the agricultural industry.  They boasted that their Roundup Ready Corn 2 accounted for 40% of the corn acreage for the 2006 U.S. crop.  (http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/monsanto-history.aspx, 2011)  As far as their Roundup Ready soybean seed is concerned, when it was developed in 1993 it only took five years for it to account for 38% of the total U.S. soybean acreage.  (Carpenter Gianessi, 1999).  In addition to this, Monsanto claims that there is an environmental advantage to these seed varieties because they are able to survive with less pesticide than other varieties of seed.  The problem is that Monsanto not only distributes the seed, they also distribute the glyophosate herbicide that is used to protect these plants. (http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, 2010) 
It is clear that Monsanto has very shrewdly begun to develop both a horizontal and vertical monopoly in the agricultural industry.  It is horizontal because of the vast percentage of acreage that is being planted is Monsanto’s, proprietary, genetically modified seed.  It is vertical because farmers are limited by what kind of seed and herbicide they can use.  Because glyophosate Round Up creates less damage than other herbicides such as atrazine, farmers are now left with very little choice as far as what is available to protect their crops.  40% of Monsanto’s revenue comes from the sale of Round Up, making it clear that distributing seeds that work well with the herbicide is essential to the health of their company.  (http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, 2010)
The solution for the pervasive growth of Monsanto isn’t clear to me.  Unlike the antitrust lawsuit levied against Microsoft, the government will not solve the problem by attempting to break up the company.  The creation of several mini Monsanto type companies won’t create more seed diversity and as much as the problem may be seen as economic the real problem is a lack of biodiversity.  It is also clear that a green tax would end up damaging farmers as seed companies like Monsanto would pass the tax on to them.  What would be most appealing to me would be a subsidization of farmers that avoided using herbicides altogether.   By embracing newer tillage methods, multi-year crop rotations, and allowing their fields to have a few more weeds than Round Up sprayed fields farmers will protect both the environment as well as their businesses. (http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, 2010)  If the government even created further subsidization for heritage and heirloom varieties of crops it is possible that it would be regulation by incentive that will create healthier biodiversity.
In the end, we need to do something to embrace biodiversity.  96% of vegetable varieties that were available one hundred years ago are now extinct.    (http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/biodiversity, 2011)  Additionally, as we continue to genetically engineer seeds to become tolerant of herbicides, nature is also adapting.   Today weeds and pests are also becoming more and more tolerant.  (http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, 2010)  It seems that we have embraced genetic engineering and homogenizing seeds and the result could have tremendous ecological consequences.  Without the implementation of some regulation we may continue to compromise our food sources and damage our environment. 
Carpenter, J Gianessi, L (1999) Herbicide Tolerant Soybeans: Why Growers are Adopting Round Up Ready Varieties retrieved from http://www.agbioforum.org/v2n2/v2n2a02-carpenter.htm, October 23, 2011
 (2011) The Issues Biodiversity retrieved from http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/biodiversity, October 22, 2011
(2010) Round Up Ready Soybeans retrieved from http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html, October 22, 2011
(2011) Company History retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/monsanto-history.aspx, October 23, 2011

Emmalee Burlile's view on Environmental Regulations

Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
            Regulations and laws in many different areas are important keys to our society.  Without these rules, our country would be in much more chaos then it is currently.  In order to help protect this land where we live, there must be Environmental laws and regulations as well.  According to scientists, “Earth is currently entering its sixth mass extinction event – and we are the cause” (Withgott & Brennan, 2011, p. 60).  Unfortunately, the extinction of many animals and plants are due to human’s interaction and killing either purposefully (more often than not) or accidentally.  Although there will always be people who disobey and break laws that are put into place to prevent this extinction from happening, this does not mean that the law should be abandoned.  In my opinion, this gives the enforcement of those laws even more importance. 
            For example, just last month South Africa and Vietnam teamed up with the department of environmental affairs to protect the remaining rhinoceros population from poachers (Bauer).  These rhinos are killed for their horns and then the bodies are harshly discarded.  This is happening at an alarming rate and if the rate continues, it will not be long before rhinos are extinct.  After these countries met, plans were put into place to “promote the protection and respect of all natural wildlife in South Africa as well as Vietnam” (Bauer).  They went beyond the protection of rhinos and are working together to promote environmental regulations across both countries.  South Africa also has plans to host similar talks with Thailand and China in the near future. 
            I love hearing stories like this where governments or organizations put forth effort to help our environment.  There is a lot more work to be done and unfortunately, we are a selfish culture who sometimes refuses to participate unless we think it will directly affect us.  But this DOES directly affect us.  There are so many animals on the brink of extinction because WE put them there.  If we continue to kill off animals at this rate, what will be left?  Now, I am not saying that everyone should be a vegetarian.  I love my bacon and eggs just as much as the next person but there are regulations put into place around what meat can be used and how it’s used to prevent over-use and possible extinction.  We also don’t butcher an animal just for one specific body part like what is happening with the Rhinos.  In most cases, we use the WHOLE animal.  From the cow’s tongue to its hind quarters, each part of the animal serves a purpose. 
            There is a common phrase or saying called the “butterfly effect.”  It says that if a butterfly flaps its wings, it may cause a hurricane half way around the world.  We must not forget that everything is connected.
Bauer, Nickolaus. "SA, Vietnam Team up to Thwart Rhino Poachers - News - Mail & Guardian Online." & Guardian Online: The Smart News Source. 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-28-sa-vietnam-team-up-to-thwart-rhino-poachers 
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S.  (2011). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. Fourth Edition. San Francisco, California: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.