In the August 2013 edition of The Environmentalist Magazine my article “Polluting Power” was published considering how pollutants impact habitats and species, with examples from around the world. This will be the first in a series on core professional knowledge for environmentalists. See http://www.environmentalistonline.com/article/2013-08-09/polluting-power
If you enjoyed the piece – I have devised some discussion / bookclub-like questions to help you dig a little deeper into the subject – and get the little grey cells buzzing:
- Can and should the significance and impact of different categories of pollution be compared?
- It is worth accepting, or necessary to accept, some degree of pollution in return for industry and jobs?
- Are the effects of pollution on health and ecosystems costed into products and services? Should they be, and if so how?
- Do anti-pollution regulations and taxes just ‘offshore’ industry to less regulated places? If so what’s the answer?
- Do certain socio-economic groups suffer the effects of pollution more than other? If so do these same groups benefit equally from the activities causing the pollution?
- When does something that is wanted (such as fertilizer) become pollution?
- Can pollution ever be beneficial to species or ecosystems?
- What type(s) of pollution are of the greatest concern to you and why?
Newcastle University (NIRS) are at the forefront of research on sustainability and hosted a debate yesterday between Jonathon Porritt and John Atkin (Syngenta) entitled “Sustainable Intensification versus Low Input Farming”
In my mind few issue are of greater importance that how to feed 7-9 billion people without degrading the air, soil, water, and climate on which food production systems depend. Two main schools of thought are greater intensification vs organic. Intensification is associated with larger farm sizes, mono-culture, increased mechanisation, increased use of fertilizer, and hi-tech such as GM crops. Organic farming practices are usually more labour intensive, often more diverse in terms of crops / livestock, reuse more nutrients within smaller farm systems, and obviously don’t use externally generated fertilizers and insecticides. (more…)
Marek Bidwell (IEMA North Regional Chair) recently hosted a well attended IEMA seminar at Ramside Hall, Durham on the topic of Pollution Prevention and Response. Opening the event, Marek spoke about the positive strides that have been made in recent years on pollution prevention and reduction, but stressed that business need to “always be vigilant” continuing:
“You might have an award winning Corporate Responsibility strategy in your business and be doing excellent work but a single pollution incident can undo years of progress.”