Compaction for Sustainability: Advantages and Disadvantages

In developed countries, sustainable development has become increasingly important due to increased public awareness and pressure to meet demand from population growth. Urban Form is defined by (RTPI, 2015) as “Physical characteristics that make up built-up areas, such as shape, size and density.” It can be classified into four categories: Centralisation, Decentralisation, Concentration and Sprawl(Holden, 2004). Compaction (Centralisation and concentration) has been an EU policy since 1992 hence most European cities are densely populated. The aim is to develop sustainability which is defined by the Brundtland Commission as “Meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.” This can be considered from four dimensions: Economic, Social, Natural and Political (UNESCO, 2010). The essay will first focus on the advantages and disadvantages of compaction in relation to different dimensions of sustainability, then focus on alternative forms. Finally, concluding the best option and consider future challenges.

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Compaction will benefit cities economically due to the agglomeration effect where the concentration of firms allow them to benefit from the economies of scale hence reducing the cost of operation and the infrastructure cost. Also, it encourages more specialisation as higher density has higher demand which allows more division of labour (Tejvan, 2012). This means the population would have access to a wider range of services and job opportunities, hence more likely to receive a more reliable income and become economically sustainable. A compact city will make public transport more attractive as there is a higher demand and usage which allow prices to be more affordable and higher frequency services to be run. This will increase accessibility which allows access to more job opportunities and essential services (RTPI, 2015).
Socially, more people living closer together means that there is a higher chance that people are meeting with each other and communicate hence the chance of social exclusion is reduced and allow accumulation of social capital (Bramley et al., 2009).However, results from the survey suggest that medium density (Terraced Housing) is the best for social interaction. A higher density will have a negative effect. Compact living encourages mixed land use hence people would have easier access to services and job opportunities which will increase the quality of life and improve social sustainability. Finally, with reduced traffic volume as car ownership reduces, safety for pedestrians has increased especially with pedestrianisation schemes of centres making them vibrant again. Urban sprawl has been the strategy in most UK cities between the 1970s and 90s with the focus on out of town development (Williams, 2014).
As economic and business growth contradicts with environmental sustainability, therefore activities have to be regulated by the government through legislation and documents such as Planning Policy Guidance (PPG). The three main arguments of environmental sustainability are related to land use, energy use and air quality. Land use will reduce by increasing density through building on brownfield sites so the countryside is protected. In 1947, the Green Belt is introduced as part of the Town and Country Planning Act and PPG2 which allows local authorities to set areas where development is prohibited on the outskirt of towns and cities. By 2010, around 13% of land in England is Green Belt (Communities and Local Government, 2010). Another supportive reason is the air quality will improve because of compaction mainly due to reduced car ownership as people will travel less with services close to where they live and work. Energy cost and consumption are estimated to be reduced as a result of denser living.
However, there are a lot of argument and findings which suggest the benefit of compaction is over-emphasised. Because of the green belt, house prices have been unaffordable for many younger generation and lower income household. According to Halifax Bank since 1983, UK house prices has risen by 101% and 124% in London after taking into account of inflation (The Investor, 2012). The pressure to build more homes can be seen through the increase in approved planning permission to build on the green belt which rises from 2300 in 2009-10 to 12,000 in 2014-15 (Booth, 2017). The increase in house prices means that houses are segregated by income. Gentrification in the city centre can be seen in most UK cities where new houses are targeted for investors or the young affluent. People with lower income are forced to live in terrace housing outside of the city which are deprived and highly segregated by ethnic minorities which are both economically and socially unsustainable. The Green Belt also force development to occur outside it hence increasing urban sprawl(Mace et al., 2016). For example, a lot of people commute from areas such as Redhill and Horsham which are just outside the Metropolitan Green Belt. This is not good in terms of reducing land use. Finally, government focus on compaction means that rural areas are left isolated as investment focus on towns and cities(Frey, 2003). Many villages lack basic services such as post office as more people move into cities, there is not enough demand to keep them operating.
Compaction is also associated with an increase in stress level which will lead to poorer social ties in communities. The ease of access to shops and services means that time spent in the community is reduced and poorer safety perception due to distrust of neighbours and presence of more people. Hence (Bramley et al., 2009) found that residential satisfaction is low in compacted areas which is not socially sustainable.
As the land value increases in the city centre, this means the availability of green spaces is at a premium hence environmental quality will decline as most areas will be concrete. Although congestion is reduced is surrounding area, traffic volume in the centre actually increases which means air quality in the city centre is worse and increase chances of respiratory disease (Echenique et al., 2012). Melia et al (2011) suggest the idea of paradox of intensification where doubling the density does not reduce the number of trips by half. For example, Gordon (1997) cited in Melia et al (2011) found that in England that doubling densities only leads to 7% decrease in miles travel to work. This is mainly due to the population increase in the area.Studies have found that compaction might not lead to a reduction in energy use. (Heinonen et al., 2011) found that in Helsinki that CO2 emission is higher in downtown area than suburbs. They conclude that this is due to a higher standard of living in the downtown and the increase in emissions is more than the effect of compaction. These examples suggest the environmental benefits of compaction could be overstated.
An alternative urban form which can be considered is polycentric cities which are decentralised but concentrated. This is evolved from Howard’s idea of the Satellite or Garden City in the early 1900s where a centre city is surrounded by satellite cities which carry around 32,000 people each hence a medium density. These satellite cities are self-contained with services and workplace and connected with other cities by Rail links. It focuses on the symbiotic relationship with nature hence trying to achieve sustainability (Frey, 2003). It is very idealistic and only 2 garden cities were built in the UK which was not very successful as density is too low for self-sufficient economy and services.
Another form is the Transit Oriented Development (Calthorpe, 1993 cited in Frey, 2003) which based development around a centre with public transport Hub which has rail links with a major city. The centre is an area for the community with low rise apartments in centre and terraces further away. Parks will be located further away from the centre. This type of development is also known as corridor growth hence a controlled way to limit urban sprawl and Copenhagen’s Finger Plan is a good example (see Figure 1). People can live in medium densities towns which have shops and services near the hub and have easy access to the countryside hence a sustainable form. However, the high house prices in the centre is still problematic.
According to a study of 114 European Cities by Zoeteman et al (2016). It found that sustainability score of city improves up to 2 million inhabitants mainly due to economic sustainability. In cities that are larger than 250,000 people, ecological and social capital reduce. It concludes the ideal size of 100,000-250,000 inhabitants which is a medium density. Therefore, it seems that future growth strategy should focus on developing polycentric medium density cities which is well connected by Public Transport along with technological innovation to reduce environmental pollution. This is a compromise between a centralised compact city and dispersed development.
Current research shows that there is no consensus on whether compaction will benefit socially and environmentally. However, as most governments currently prioritise economic growth, the benefit of agglomeration means that compaction will likely to continue. Ideally, a polycentric network of medium density cities will achieve all forms of sustainability the best.
Booth, R. 2017. English green belt set to get 360,000 new homes. The Guardian. [Online].15 January. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Bramley, G., Dempsey, N., Power, S., Brown, C. and Watkins, D. 2009. Social Sustainability and Urban Form: Evidence from Five British Cities. Environment and Planning A. 41(9), pp.2125-2142.
Brundtland Commission. 1987. Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on environment and Development. [Online]. No Place: UN. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Communities and Local Government. 2010. Local Planning Authority Green Belt Statistics: England 2009/10. [Online]. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Echenique, M.H., Hargreaves, A.J., Mitchell, G. and Namdeo, A. 2012. Growing cities sustainably: does urban form really matter? Journal of the American Planning Association. 78(2), pp.121-137.
Frey, H. 2003. Designing the city: towards a more sustainable urban form. London: Routledge.
Heinonen, J., Kyrö, R. and Junnila, S. 2011. Dense downtown living more carbon intense due to higher consumption: a case study of Helsinki. Environmental Research Letters. 6(3), p034034.
Holden, E. 2004. Ecological footprints and sustainable urban form. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 19(1), pp.91-109.
Knowles, R.D. 2012. Transit Oriented Development in Copenhagen, Denmark: from the Finger Plan to Ørestad. Journal of Transport Geography. 22, pp.251-261.
Mace, A., Blanc, F., Gordon, I. and Scanlon, K. 2016. A 21st Century Metropolitan Green Belt. [Online]. No place: LSE. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Melia, S., Parkhurst, G. and Barton, H. 2011. The paradox of intensification. Transport Policy. 18(1), pp.46-52.
RTPI. 2015. Urban form and Sustainability. [Online]. No Place: Royal Town Planning Institute. [Accessed 21 March 2017]. Available from:
Tejvan, P. 2012. Agglomeration economies. [Online]. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
The Investor. 2012. Historical UK house prices. [Online]. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
UNESCO. 2010. Four Dimensions of Sustainable Development. [Online]. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Williams, K. 2014. Urban form and infrstructure: a morphological review. [Online]. London: Government Office for Science. [Accessed 22 March 2017]. Available from:
Zoeteman, K.B., Mulder, R., Smeets, R. and Wentink, C. 2016. Towards Sustainable EU Cities: A Quantitative Benchmark Study of 114 European and 31 Dutch Cities. [Online]. Tilburg: Telos. Available from:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Post-Secondary Education

   Post-Secondary Education: Is it really beneficial?

 “One of the most damaging messages of educational romanticism is that everyone should go to the college”. – Charles Murray

In today’s world we have often heard the statement “Post-secondary education is a stepping stone towards becoming successful in one’s life”, and it is essential to becoming a more mature and prolific adult. Post-secondary education provides financial stability. I believe that graduating from a well-known esteemed university is more fulfilling than winning a lottery because, in the lottery the prize money will exhaust and the chances of winning another lottery are slim, but with proper education and skills one can make their own fortune. However, seeing the current stats on students who have just graduated from college shows that post-secondary education does not fulfil the promises made to students. Post-secondary education is becoming more disadvantage than its proposed benefits because of its affordability, mental health concerns and assurance.

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Career plays a crucial role in the life of any youth. Education and just routine education are trapping the youth today in a wheel within wheels conceptualization of set prejudicial standards. Just educating ourselves is not sufficient. The call of the day is to inculcate our inherent and latent abilities so that we not shape our personality but also give our contribution to the nation building and growth of the economy. These days many options are available before the youth to choose a vocation in accordance to their ability and aptitude. That’s why they are excelling in the fields they are selecting. Their interest and right guidance through trained faculties help them excel in whatever career they are pursuing. Life is not the matter of just living it, it is modifying and molding it to enable us to serve our country in a more efficient and effective manner, for this specialized education is more helpful than simple post-secondary education.

The price of higher education is increasing per year and that is an alarming situation for every parent. Reasonableness of post-secondary education is flawed in light of the fact that every year because of rivalry in the colleges, the costs go up. Not only is there competition between the students to succeed, but there is also competition between the universities to attract more students, which is further deteriorating the quality of the academics in those institutions. Since 1983 the rate at which the price of college education has increased is far steeper than the increase in the price of good and services. Furthermore, you will be shocked to know the salaries of graduates is on a stable graph since the year 2013. This increase in the cost is like a big rock for students who wish to achieve post-secondary education. I read an article on the internet and it states, the average cost of attending a reputed university in United States of America is near $250,000. With such high cost of attendance, it is nearly impossible for students who come from a low-income background to get into colleges without taking on debt. Recently, total student loans hit a $1 trillion threshold.

A “Pew Internet Survey” which was organized in the year 2016 in which approximately 10,000 higher education experts were interviewed and about which 77 percent said higher education was too expensive for most low-income families to afford it. I walked into the school at the age of four and by the time I graduate I will be 21 years old. I will spend my 17 years of life studying theoretical knowledge knowing that the actual jobs that we will get will be either practical or mechanical. In a recent survey graduates from college of engineering were asked a simple question that was “How many centimeters are there in an inch” out 10 graduates only three were able to give the answer to it. I believe if those students were offered more practical information than just theories, they could have easily answered the question.

 Not so long ago going for Post-secondary education meant acquisition of beneficial knowledge. Realization dawned upon universities that job market gave preference to graduates and BOOM! University diplomas progressed from straightforward signs of education to negotiating chips holding quantifiable fiscal esteem. No sooner education also became as just a private business. With rising interest came fundamentally higher cost. Today, Thousands of dollars are paid by the parents to colleges so that their children can get a job security later in life but still every year students graduate from the college with expensive degrees and no job.

 One of the reasons why students from low income background cannot afford education is that “there is no doubt that costs are going up, and debt is accumulating at an uncomfortable rate for many students” (Korfmann, 2012). As the tuition rates are so high getting a loan from the banks for education are difficult because “prospective students are often unable to provide sufficient collateral to back their borrowing” (Finnie, Ross, Mueller and Richard, 2008).

 Plus, I believe by the time we complete our post-graduate offering the valuable time of this “once given life” the requirement of that degree has already decreased. The so called “trendy course” is no longer fashionable. It can be witnessed in the past years that college degrees are serving just a nominal job after graduation. But if we look at famous billionaires like Bill Gates are Mark Zuckerberg who were college dropouts and still are successful than most of the people in this world. From them we come to know that if we acquire and master a skill set nothing can stop us from reaching the heights of success. Some more infamous billionaires are Anne Beiler co-founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, she dropped out of high school. Richard Branson billionaire and founder of Virgin Mobile. If you run after money you will probably not get successful in life, but if you run after success you will definitely end up being both rich and successful.

 Mental health is a big concern while pursuing higher education. Post-secondary education requires lots of time and attention to the studies and also huge amount of efforts into one’s chosen major. A survey was conducted in 2017 out of 1,000 students 62% reported that post-secondary education gave a lot of stress. People who fall into mental illness and illegal substance use are students who are trying to get out from the stress. Moreover “studies have shown that stress, sleep loss, and depression are commonplace in the college, student population” (Popovic 2012). So, it is evident from these facts that post-secondary education can lead to high health risks. Sometimes student even end up taking counselling sessions so that they can overcome the stress caused by the college.

 Because of stress the cases for suicide ideation and practices, self-damage reports, emergency advising needs, dietary problems, past sexual injury and different things have been expanded. These sorts of issues are disservices for the understudies who need to achieve their objectives in the later life. Consequently, it, makes an enormous measure of weight to the understudy which will probably make them bomb in accomplishing advanced education.

 Another major problem related to post-secondary education is college degrees are of uncertain value, for example if one has to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer or psychologist college theoretical classes are really important for them, but if one aspires to become a lighting designer a guitarist or a plumber how will classes of theories help them? There are so many occupations which do not require a college degree. Also, if one has chosen a career that doesn’t require a college degree one must stay firm and confident in their choice and have faith in whatsoever, they plan to do for themselves. Let’s talk about famous youtubers or all the famous people on social media such as models, singers etc. many of them do not even complete their college or many don’t even try to join one because they believe they can earn money with their talent all they need is a large number of fans following which colleges don’t tell how to earn. As once said by Mark Twain: “Don’t let your boy’s schooling interfere with his education”. This is just one form to say that parents can’t make their children successful just by dumping knowledge over them.

 Now let’s talk about some graduates “Finn Lee” a graduate from reupdated university in America end up working as an uber-driver having a degree of computer science. “Finn Lee” is just one name out of thousands of graduates who every year end up working in Starbucks, MacDonald’s, KFC or as an Uber driver. What makes it worse is that they have thousands of dollars of student loan to pay to the banks. When they fail to pay the loan back to the bank it increases crime rate such as robbery or even murders. Some of them commit suicide leaving behind their loved ones in shock and grief. “The worst part is student loans, like 90% of private loans today, if you die, your cosigner (typically a parent) will still have to pay the debt” (Suicide and student loan debt, 2018).

 Higher education sometimes can have more cons than pros due to its cost, health issues, and debt loans. One of the major reasons why post-secondary education has a disadvantage because of its rise in cost per year. Despite the fact that it offers an alternate focal point it likewise contains disadvantages that can have a huge effect on one’s choice in seeking after a post-education. An individual goes to college so that they can achieve financial stability but nowadays college degrees fail to provide job security and financial stability. In post-secondary education one should always look for open doors and opportunities if left unchecked post-secondary education can have more disadvantage than its advantages.


Korfmann Andreas. The Post-Secondary Education Bubble (2012)

Finnie, Ross, Mueller, Richard E. The Effects of Family Income (2008)

Popovic, Tamara. Mental Health in Post-Secondary Education System (2012)

Robert Farrington. Let’s talk: Suicide and student loan debt. (2018)

Mike-EL Navarro (November 24, 2015)


Advantages and disadvantages of public and private companies

Public companies have the advantage over private companies in access to capital to grow the business. But private companies can react more quickly to challenges and opportunities without going through exhaustive decision making processes.
Advantages and disadvantages of public companies.
Public company is able to raise funds and capital through the sale of its securities it is important historically. To ease of raising capital public companies may issue their securities as compensation for those that provide services to the companies, such as their directors, officers and employees. The basic advantage of public facilities is that the tax paid by the people is used in developing facilities for the people who paid the taxes. Public companies are typically established fair market value in the stock exchange where it is determined by price of security and sold where security is traded.

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The cost of being public is huge and the benefits are questionable if you are a microcap. A public company has to meet the requirement to publicly disclose much financial information which could be useful to competitors. Public companies spend more for certified public accountants and other bureaucratic paper work required of public companies by government regulation. Public companies need a huge capital to get the capital market for purchasing equipment and plant expansions. Because of security regulations public companies requires doing more of paperwork. Public companies have an additional cost for administrative overhead and personnel needed to meet regulatory requirement. It could be quite expensive for stockholders for mailings.
Advantages and disadvantages of private companies
Private companies are less expensive as it requires very less paper work and very limited shareholders. As it is the private companies information are secured, so that’s the way they are dealing more with government agency, because private companies works sensitive with government. The business is kept confidential as it is a private company which is less interacting with media or press. Shareholders have very less liability, as they have agreed upon business stability but the business is not disturbed by the death of shareholders.
While private companies may also issue their securities as compensation for services, the recipient of those securities often have difficulty selling them on the open market. Private companies have high taxes, less dividends and the often deter small-medium sized business owners.
Ans) 2 The small private companies are directed on the attentions to contral according to the commander theory it is excercised by the people. The power to deploy the resources are pointed by the persons or a group of persons. The person who has such power can command over this resources. By using commander notion we cannot appear into the reasonable interpretation of principle and functions of accounting without using false abstraction, such as the entity or fund.
A sole proprietor is a commander. So the proprietor have control over the resources of their firm as they are emphasies by the ownership aspect. Control is an economic function whereas ownership have to work in the legal relationship. Profit is generated from the resources have ability to command over this resources by the proprietors. According to commander theory the supporters are undue and placed on the proprietor as owner rather than as manager.
But in large companies shareholder have very less command over its resources as they are part of owners, managers have very limited control over resources.
The focus of accounting for such companies affects the functions of accounting which is carried out for commanders. For the benefit of the people accounting records are maintain, financial statement are prepared and are analysed by people on and behalf of people. And financial statement reports by commander to commander. The commander of the firm undertakes accounting procedures, accept owner or entity or fund.
In the balancesheet the report of which is showing the resources which is entrusted to the commander and control but does not own. Balancesheet is prepared on behalf of commander is a statement which shows the sources from hwere the commander has rececived resources and the application of those resources. In the accounting practice commander theory is not directly effected. Proprietary and entity theories appears on the oppostie view which is the notion of economic control, and the use of procedures related to propietrary and entity view are simaltaneouly emphasised by the commander theory. In determining the nature of asset and in determining what entities become paramount by the notion of ‘control’ which is included in consolidation account.
The objective of financial objective is dependent for small enterprise which value upon to pursued decision making, practical and control. The bring the value in control and not easily measurable, and small business frequently taking action such as if the company needs more new capital for business but they will refuse to bring new stockholders. To access the financial infornmation from the external financing inevitably brings with it and arranged its over coming difficulties between those enterprise and the financiers concerned. The information of a report that of a small enterprise must required to support the debt financing.
Financing and profit distribution decisions made in small enterprise might be strongly influnced by a desire to avoid such accountibility.
Ans) Proprietary theory emphasies for the small business whereas entity theory for large business. Proprietary theory views the firm as an renewal of its owner’s but by keeping in mind as an accounting purpose the entity does not exist seperately from its owner’s. For this outlook it is supported by the various participant in the business sectors. In large companies shareholders who has very limited holdings but they are not seen as owner of the company but looks as an investors. So they believe that they are working for company and as an shareholders. For the benefit of the company they reinvest their dividends as belonging to the company.
As from the owner’s perspective financial statement are prepared for the advantage of the owner’s. And for controlling shareholders assets of the company is seen as asset of company whereas liablities of company are viewed as a liabilities. As an wealth of the company increases with increases in revenue and decreases with more expenses. The proprietary theory affects the only in each sole company for increasing profit instead of entire companies.
As per the entity theory they maintain financial statement under the joint financial statement as per the view of the business entity. For the accounting purpose legal entity are separately considered from owner. In the interest of the entity consolidated statement are intended to all parties of the entity. The person who are having ownership interest in the consolidated entity are considered separately and distinct as an controlling and non-controlling shareholders of the entity. No preference, no emphasis is given to any members of these entity group such as controlling shareholders non-controlling shareholders and consolidated entity. All profit or loss assets or liabilities equity are merged into one group of entity under the entity theory and they are united for one entity as not for separate controlling and non- controlling shareholders who are involved in the joint net income and the ownership of business group.
If a company decides to transform itself into a public company from a private company their is no magic or formula which qualifies a private company to transform into a public company but the factors which determine a public company can hire plenty of shareholders from any market which can sells its product or services. And company should keep in mind a good regional and national market is in a boom situation you can transform into the public company. The best way to know that it is beneficial or not for company whether it should transform to public company is their management team can grow your company or not and their profit margin because it affects on the accounts of the company.
Ans4) “Yes, I do agree with this statement. Proprietary view of accounting keeps in mind as an interest of all accounting concepts, procedures and rules are formulated to the owner’s. Owner’s of the company seeks to acheive their purpose and to maximise their profit or wealth. As per the proprietary view for the small business really control by their owner’s and generally are not necessary to prepare general-purpose financial statement for a business.
General purpose financial statment is only prepared when it is needed by its users for its financial statement which is opposed to get those requirement of only a exacting group such as an management, creditors, investors or regulatory bodies. And this whole prupose of financial statement is based on GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principle).
Small business does not require to prepare general purpose financial statement and they do not really make an extension of their owner’s because their profit will be maximise and will not be managed properly. On presenting accounting standards for small business entities they have their levels for satisfaction or dissatisfaction which are hurdles and burden on imposing the financial statement to the prepare’s and their standards become weaker. Small business entities cannot bear to maintain financial statement as it is costly and burdensome which casues the overall cost to continue to increase.

Genetic Manipulation: Advantages and Disadvantages

Science on the other hand, fills my brain with questions and answers the knowledge that I crave. The theory of evolution does not dismiss there is a God. It is a theory trying to explain the beginning of life, how we evolved. The Old Testament professes to do the same thing, however, the stories are symbolic in their meaning. I am a Roman Catholic, and our dear Pope John Paul II acknowledged evolution as more than a hypotheses. Only the divine soul is untouched by evolution (Jurmain et al. 2010:44).

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The fact that some fossils are not preserved does not disprove evolution. Many species might not have left fossils. Some organisms just do not fossilize well. The geological record is not perfect. The fossils are not laid out perfectly waiting to be discovered by paleontologists. Chances are it is highly unlikely that an organisms remains will become fossilized, rather than decomposed. For the remains that do become fossilized, their preservation is unlikely due to erosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions , etc;
Evolution continues to be rejected by some religious conservatives and fundamentalists. A lot of them believe that evolutionary biology ignores that God exists. They state that it does not account for how the world was really created according to the scriptures in the Bible. There have been numerous efforts to block teaching of evolution in U.S. public schools since 1968. The US Supreme Court overturned the first case in Arkansas stating that there could be no law barring the teaching of evolution on the grounds that it breached the separation of church and state as stated in the U.S. Constitution.
Fourteen years later the federal courts rejected a statute to teach both “creation science” and “evolution” in the public schools. The courts stated that “creation science” was not actually a science.
To try and “get around” the law of separation of church and state, evolution opponents began to propose the teaching of “intelligent design”. They stated that it was non religious, and a scientific alternative to evolution. Intelligent design claims that the living world was too intricate to have been made by the workings of natural selection. That some living things were too complex to have been developed by evolution and could have only have been created by an intelligent designer. But, they did not identify this intelligent designer. This presentation again was blocked by a federal district judge who found “intelligent design” was not a science (Jurmain et al. 2010:44).
What can be done to correct this controversy, or should it be corrected? Why?
Although I don’t agree with the Christian fundamentalists opinion, my answer is, no.
Why? It is called the First Amendment.
Describe and evaluate some of the positive and negative consequences of genetic manipulation
Genetic engineering entails the manipulation of DNA. The tools in this process are very important for the restriction of so called enzymes, which are produce by various species of bacteria. A particular sequence of a chain of nucleotide bases, can be recognized by restriction enzymes. The nucleotide bases that make up the DNA molecule; cut the DNA at that location. Parts of DNA formed in this way are joined using enzymes called ligases(joining of two enzyme molecules to form a covalent bond, accompanied by the hydrolysis of ATP(adenosine triphosphate))
Positive side of genetic manipulation
Genetic therapy entails supplying a particular function to a gene, and in turn to cells that are lacking that function. The intention is to correct a genetic disorder or an acquired disease. One type of gene therapy used today is, somatic cell therapy. It is similar to an organ transplant. One or more specific tissues are targeted for treatment by therapeutic genes from the lab or the tissue is removed and replaced with the treated cells and given back to the patient. Researchers have had success with somatic cell gene therapy for the treatment of blood, lung, liver disorders and cancer.
Another positive side to genetic manipulation also involves the health industry. The manufacturing of recombinant factor VIII, a blood clotting agent missing in patients with hemophilia A. Practically all of the hemophiliacs who were treated with factor VIII before the mid 1980’s contracted AIDS or hepatitis C from viral contaminants in the blood that were used to make the product. Now donor blood is screened for the presence of HIV and the hepatitis C virus. The process now includes inactivating the viruses if they prove to be present. The possibility of a virus contamination is eliminated completely by the use of “recombinant factor VIII”.
Negative side of genetic manipulation
Explanation of Cloning: A technique that is a process of several stages.

An egg is taken from a donor animal
The nucleus is then removed from the egg.
The nucleus containing the DNA is taken from the tissue cell of the animal being cloned.
The nucleus is inserted into the donor egg cell.
The fused egg is then placed in the uterus of a surrogate mother.
When that mother eventually gives birth, if all goes well, the baby is genetically identical to the animal that provided the tissue cells that contained the DNA.

I understand the potential benefits that genetic engineering has for the future of this world, however, the thought of it getting into the “wrong” hands terrifies me. My main area of concern is cloning. From the beginning, back in 1997 when I heard on the news about the sheep, Dolly, being cloned in Scotland, my heart sank. There is even talk of people ordering what type of children they want, as if they were ordering from a dinner menu. I knew eventually that people would be cloned. There is evidence they have already. People are desperately waiting for transplants. Why are we not using the clones vital organs? This is something would like answered.
Would you agree with your textbook authors when they say: Indeed it would not be an exaggeration to say that this is the most exciting time in the history of evolutionary biology since Darwin published “On the Origins of Species?”
Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? Please provide some detailed examples?
Yes, I would agree. In my younger days, I worked as a chemotherapy technician in Children’s Hospital, Boston. I worked closely with one little girl who was born without a stomach, preparing parenteral nutrition for her daily basis. Children also dying at a very young age of diabetes. But due to the amazing research done in genetics, and recombinant DNA technology, children have a much better chance of reaching adulthood and leading normal lives.
Regarding the field of anthropology, the sequencing of human genes in the Human Genome Project. The progress being made in comparative genomics is terribly exciting. Personally, I can’t wait to hear the DNA comparison results of the Neanderthal, modern human, and nonhuman primate.
What is natural selection?
The theory of Natural selection is actually the “key to evolution.” It is based on the following processes that include:

Biological variation within all species
Individuals within a species that have favorable traits are more likely to survive in their environment and produce offspring.
The environment of the species determines whether or not a trait is satisfactory or not.
Traits are inherited and over a period of time, favorable traits will be passed on generation to generation and become more common in the population.
Isolation of a species may lead to the formation of a new species due to inhabiting a different environment and will in turn adapt to that environment.
Natural selection only operates on an individual within a population, but it is the population that evolves.

Why is genetic variation necessary for the process of natural selection to operate?
Genetic variation plays a significant role at the microevolutionary level, producing evolutionary change. Directional evolutionary trends can only be sustained by natural selection. Individuals who carry a particular allele or a combination of alleles will produce more offspring than other individuals with different alleles. The frequency of the new allele in a population will increase slowly from generation to generation. This process is compounded over hundreds of generations for multiple loci, the result being a major evolutionary change(Jurmain et al. 2010:107).
What are the sources of genetic variation?
Mutations: When there is a change in the DNA molecule that means there is one type of mutation and that multiple genes occur in two or more forms called alleles. If an allele to another allele, or if the gene is altered in some way, a mutation has just occurred. Alleles are, in fact, a direct result of a mutation. The substitution of simply one DNA base for another, a point mutation, can cause a change in an allele. However, to be important to the evolutionary process, the point mutation has to occur in the sex cells. This is so the mutation can be passed on from generation to generation.
No changes in phenotype due to mutations
No evidence of a change on the phenotype of an organism due to mutation. Mutation occurred maybe in a stretch of DNA with no function, or perhaps the mutation occurred in a protein-coding region, but ended up not affecting the amino acid sequencing of the protein.
Small change in phenotype due to mutations would for example be a single mutation like a cats ear slightly curling back.
Big change in phenotype due to mutations
This would create some major phenotypic changes. DDT resistance in insects are usually caused by single mutations. A single mutation can also have very strong negative effects on an organism. Mutations that would cause the death of an organism are called lethal’s.
Gene flow Migration is used here to refer to the movement of people. This occurs when the exchange of genes between different groups of migrants interbreeding. It can also occur when an individual(s) move temporarily and produce some offspring in an entirely new population. This way they have left their “genetic contribution”.
An example of gene flow: Happens a great deal in war. When male soldiers are stationed in remote parts of the world and impregnate the native women of that country and then the male returns to his native land. The impregnated native women in the remote country represents the “gene flow”.
Genetic drift is known as the random factor in evolution. The population size is its entire function. Drift only occurs because a population is small. If an allele is rare in a very small population of less than 400 people, there is a very great chance that it will not be passed down to the offspring. Eventually, the allele may disappear entirely. In this instance genetic variability has been reduced drastically. Genetic drift can cause big losses of genetic variation for small populations.
An example of genetic drift: The B allele was evidently not passed down to generations of Blackfoot people. There is evidence that present populations are deficient in genotypes that contain the B allele (BB, BO and AB). When the populations became greatly reduced in size, some genes may not have been passed on to the next generation. This phenomenon is referred to as a “genetic bottleneck.” As a result, genetic variability may have been severely reduced in succeeding generations.
Founder effect is a type of genetic drift and is seen in human and non human populations.
An example of the founder effect is the Baptist German religious “sect” that settled in Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s. These families didn’t marry outside their own religious sect. There has been evidence of some dramatic changes in their gene frequencies. For example; the type A blood in the “sect” resulted in 60 percent. United States is 42%. It is 45 percent for the “sect” in West Germany. They also have fewer people with certain recessive traits, such as “hitchhiker’s thumb” and attached ear lobes, compared to the U.S. population as a whole. The founder effect helps explain the high frequency of dwarfism and polydactylism (extra fingers) in the Amish of Lancaster Pennsylvania. The colony began when at least one of the individuals carried these traits.
Recombination is a source of genetic variation that introduces new gene combinations into populations.
For example: Siblings are never genetically identical to either of their parents or to each other (unless they are identical twins.)This is because when organisms reproduce sexually, some genetic “shuffling” occurs. This brings together a new combination of genes.
How is natural selection related to environmental factors?
All the evolutionary factors of mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, and recombination, interact to form genetic variation. Genes are then distributed within the populations. There isn’t any long term direction to any of the above factors, but for adaptation and the evolutionary process to occur, the gene pool of the population needs to change in a certain direction.Some alleles need to consistently become more commonplace, while other become less common. Natural selection can cause a change in direction in allele frequency relative to specific environmental factors. If there is to be a change in the environment, then the selection pressures will also change, and a shift in allele frequencies is called “adaptation”. Now if there are long term environmental changes in the same direction, then allele frequencies would also shift very gradually over time.
Example:Hemoglobin S (Hbs) which is an abnormal form of hemoglobin that is formed from a point mutation gene, produces part of the molecule of the hemoglobin. If an individual inherits this allele from both parents, he or she will have sickle cell anemia. HbS is a mutation that occurs in all populations occasionally, but the allele in generally rare. HBs, however, is more common in central Africa where it reaches 20% of the population. With the devastating effects of the HbS homozygotes, one would think that natural selection would have acted on eliminating it. But that is not the case. Natural selection has actually increased the frequency of HbS. This is because of the disease malaria. People with one HbS and one HbA allele (heterozygotes with the sickle cell trait) have red blood cells that contain hemoglobin S. Hemoglobin S is not a suitable environment for the malarial parasite. So having HbS is beneficial, because it protects that person from malaria. In this instance, malaria is the selective agent. and favors the heterozygous phenotype. In this part of the world, individuals with sickle cell anemia trait have a higher reproductive success than those with normal hemoglobin, because they are more apt to die of malaria (Jurmain et al. 2010:105).
Discuss genealogy of the Blue Fugates of Kentucky.
Describe Mendelian principle of inheritance as well as a phenotypic effect of an enzyme deficiency.
Mendel discovered through his experiments with plants, that the inheritance of traits was not due to blending as he originally thought. He found that specific units (genes) of inheritance were passed down from generation to generation. No matter what trait Mendel selected for the second generation of the plants, it would show a ratio of 3 to 1. This meant that there were 3 dominant genes to every 1 recessive gene. Mendel realized that this 3:1 ratio occurred in later generations as well. He had found the key to understanding “inheritance.”
Mendel came to three very important conclusions from his experiments

The inheritance of each trait is determined by units(genes) that are passed on to descendents and are unchanged.
An individual would inherit a gene from each parent for each trait.
A trait just may not show up in an offspring but could be passed on to their offspring.

Mendel’s observations have been summarized in to two principles:
The principle of segregation and the principle of independent assortment.
According to the principle of segregation two members of alleles separate from each other in the formation of sex cells (gametes) Half of the gametes carry one of the allele and the other half of the gametes carry the other allele.
Principle of independent assortment-Genes for different traits are assorted independently from one another in the formation of sex cells.
I feel the principle of segregation applies in the case of the blue Fugates of Kentucky. It was determined that the Fugates inherited an autosomal recessive trait. Both Martin Fugate(heterozygote) and his bride Elizabeth Fugate(heterozygote) had one recessive allele each of this disorder. Since both Martin and Elizabeth were both carriers, there was a 25% chance of their offspring being affected. There is usually a predictable phenotypic ratio of 3:1.
The family would marry people who lived close by and this intermarrying continued. The community was isolated, without roads. When the railroad was completed 30 to 40 years later, roads were built and they started venturing out and marrying outside their “community.” The strain of the inherited “blue” gene began to disappear. The recessive gene was not likely to find a mate with the same recessive gene. A baby named, Benjy Stacy was born blue, 100 years later. He had the recessive gene from both his mother and fathers side. His blue color, however was only temporary. It was “assumed” that Benjy had just inherited one gene of the condition, and being a baby had a smaller amount of the enzyme diaphorase, and it built to normal levels as he got older (Jurmain et al. 2010:86-89) and Fugate family literature.
Why do we see this rare, phenotypic deficiency?
It was first seen in Alaskan Eskimos and Indians. It is a human genetic disease. The gene is located at chromosome 22. In normal people, there is a dominant, allele that is responsible for the production of the enzyme diaphoreses. Normally hemoglobin is converted into methemoglobin(a brownish compound of oxygen and hemoglobin) at a very slow rate. Diaphorase in normal blood, changes the methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. The homozygous children of the Fugate family, lacked the enzyme diaphorase. therefore this conversion could not take place. Therefore, all of their hemoglobin in their body was considered useless. Instead they had a mutant allele that produced an inert enzyme that was unable to reduce the hemoglobin.
What is the nature of the evidence supporting punctuated equilibrium?
The theory was advanced by two American paleontologists Eldredge and Gould. They agreed that the fossil record was incomplete, but that it could not be incomplete enough to account for the near absence of the gradualistic change from the fossil record. They said that species originate too quickly for the normal geological processes to record the event; a single bedding (a thin layer of sedimentary rock)often compresses more than tens of thousands of years into a thin slice. Speciation usually occurs when small populations cut off from the interbreeding with groups, evolving rapidly in isolation. With fewer people in an isolated population, the favorable mutations spread more readily. A small, isolated, evolving population may become extinct and may not leave a trace of a fossil record. Eldredge and Gould said that if it does remove itself from its isolation, and spread over a much wider area, its likely to be seen in the fossil record as making a punctuational appearance, fully formed.
The nature of the evidence supporting punctuated equilibrium was from the paleontologist, Cheetham. He gathered a large sample of bryzoan fossils from the Caribbean and surrounding regions. He painstakingly classified them into 17 species using 46 microscopic characteristics of their skeletons. Measured their length, dimensions of pores, and all the orifices on the fossils. He then arranged them into a family tree. He analyzed them and split a single species into several species. The abruptness in the tree, appeared more clear to him and stronger than ever. He concluded that through 15 million years of the geological record, these particular species persisted unchanged for 2-6 million years. Then in less than 160 thousand years, split off in to a new species. This new species would coexist continuously with its ancestor species. This was his punctuated result. But this was not proof
The morphological differences being used to split the fossil species? What if it really did not mark a separate species, but was just another version of the species? A model of speciation was needed to recognize a new species and support any evidence of punctuated equilibrium.
Several biological tests were performed and then he performed a test in genetics. Using a test of protein electrophoresis, he extracted enzymes and analyzed each of the eight morphologically defined species. In every case, the specimen from each species had very similar enzymes. This indicated they belonged to the same genetically related species. Cheetham had passed the fossil species test. His conclusion was that morphology still seems to say how evolution occurred( 1995:1421).
Would you agree or disagree with this? Why?
Many paleontologists still say that many of these studies have their weaknesses. There is overwhelming evidence that speciation is sometimes gradual and sometimes punctuated. It is very complicated, and until there is more proof, I think I would prefer to stick to the middle ground.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nutrigenomics

The word “Nutrigenomics” is a combination of nutrition and genomics. Nutrition is about the relationship between food and health; genomics is the study of entire genetic makeup of an organism and how they are expressed and regulated. Therefore, nutrigenomics is a field which concerned about the relationship between diet and gene expression by describing the approach to nutrition and human health that studies the implication of genetic differences in human response to food and how food alter the gene expression, biochemistry, metabolism and promotion of health (Elliot R, 2002). In other words, nutrigenomics is the study and application of gene and nutrition interaction. Besides, nutrigenomics also provides a basis for understanding the biological activity of food components (Rawson N, 2008). In addition, nutrigenomics has also been described by the influence of genetic variation on nutrition by correlate the gene expression with a nutrient’s absorption, metabolism and how it is eliminated from our body. In nutrigenomics, nutrients are seen as signals that are detected by a sensory system in the cell that tells the body cells about its environment (diet). Once the nutrient interacts with such system, it alters the gene, metabolite production and protein expression in depending on the level of nutrient it detected (Afman and Muller M, 2006). Hence, different diets will elicit different patterns of gene, protein expression and metabolite production. Such patterns of effects have been referred to as dietary signatures, where they are examined to investigate how homeostasis is influenced (Afman and Muller M, 2006).

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There are many ways on how nutrigenomics is useful to improve quality of life. Firstly, nutrigenomics define the causality relationship between specific nutrients and diet on human health by determining the mechanism of the effect of the nutrients or diet to human body. Besides, nutrigenomics helps to facilitate prevention through dietary modification when the diet-related diseases are detected in early stage. Nutrigenomics also allows the examination on how nutrients affect the genes present in the human genome. With all these reasons, nutrigenomics promotes and improves the understanding of people on how nutrition influence metabolic pathways and alter the homeostatic control in our body. Moreover, nutrigenomics is also able to demonstrate the impact of bioactive food compounds and its effect on human health, which should lead to the development of functional foods that will keep people healthy based to their individual needs. Then, this will further prevent development of chronic diet-related disease such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, nutrigenomics also involve in finding markers of the early phase of diet-related diseases. At this phase, intervention with nutrition approach can restore patient’s health. Once a marker has been found and measured in an individual, the stage of susceptibility of the person to develop the diet-related diseases can be quantified and personalized dietary recommendation can be then given to that particular individual and further improve his or her quality of life.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the lifestyle diseases and it is the most common cause of death all over the world. In Malaysia, about 30% of deaths are caused by CVD (WHO, 2009). There are many factors that can lead to CVD. For example, elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL) level, low level of high density lipoprotein (HDL) and high level of total cholesterol. Diet has a significant effect on CVD. However, long term health benefits can be obtained from dietary proteins and bioactive non-nutrients, called phytochemicals, which could be either integrated into the diet or be part of the food itself. One of the foods that can be used to reduce the risk of getting CVD is soybean. Soybean contain soy protein and it contains phytoestrogens which bind to estrogen receptors in the body. Besides, soybean also contains high level of Isoflavones. There are three major isoflavones in soybeans which are genistein, daidzein and glycetein. Isoflavones have a non-steroidal structure. However, they possess a phenolic ring that enables them to bind the estrogen receptor and act either as estrogen agonists or antagonists (Makela et al., 1995).
One of the ways to prevent or reduce the risk of getting CVD is by lowering the LDL cholesterol level in our blood. The LDL is the major cholesterol-carrying lipoprotein in plasma and it is the causal agent of CVD and coronary heart disease. The major determinants of LDL cholesterol levels in the blood are depend on the number and activity of low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). These LDLRs are mostly found on the surface of the hepatic cells. The LDLR controls the uptake of LDL from the circulation and its intracellular degradation by a process known as the LDLR pathway (Anne K Sautar, 2010). According to Manzoni et al, 2003, the peptides formed by the digestion of soy protein up-regulate hepatic LDLR in the mechanism for the cholesterol lowering effects of soy protein. Based on several clinical studies and researches, Sirtori et al (1995) suggested that soy protein can up-regulates LDLR in human. By consuming soy protein with isoflavones, LDLR will be stimulated and increase the uptake of LDL from the circulation and reduce the LDL level in the blood. This will further decrease the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the number of LDLRs is regulated by a negative-feedback loop. An increase in hepatocyte cholesterol level will suppress the transcription of LDLR genes and retain LDL in the plasma. In contrast, a decline in hepatic cholesterol will stimulates the transcription of LDLR genes and then removes the LDL from the plasma (Elizabeth G, 2003). In addition, Baum et al, 1998, suggested that isoflavones may increase the efficiency to eliminate LDL from the blood by increasing LDLR densities in the liver. Besides, Anderson et al (1995) also suggested that level of total cholesterol and LDL can be lowered by consuming soy protein with isoflavones. A review of 38 controlled studies on soy and CVD concluded that soybean is definitely effective in improving the cholesterol profile. Interestingly, there are some studies shown that with low concentrations of genistein could up-regulate LDL receptor activity and increase LDL receptor gene expression (Kanuck and Ellsworth, 1995). However, there is also some evidence that isoflavones are the active compound in soy in responsible for lowering the LDL in blood and may offer protection against CVD. Therefore, the mechanisms by which soy modulates blood cholesterol and lipoprotein levels in order to prevent or lower the risk of CVD need further research.
There are many advantages of nutrigenomics. One of the advantages is nutrigenomics helps to improve our quality of life by promotes an increase of understanding on how nutrition affects metabolism, homeostatic control and introducing the prevention of chronic diet-related diseases to the people. Nutrigenomics also helps in preventing or delaying the onset of diet and lifestyle related disease such as obesity, cancer, CVD and diabetes mellitus. Apart from chemical drug treatment and therapy, nutrigenomics also acts as supporting element to fasten recover and prevent further damage caused by disease. For example, an individual that are diagnosed to have CVD, with the knowledge of nutrigenomics, they can change their dietary intake to lower their low density lipoprotein level and increase their high density lipoprotein level in their body to prevent and minimized the impact of CVD to their body. In addition, nutrigenomics also helps a country to save cost in a long-term prospect. This is because with the development of nutrigenomics, it can leads to prevention of diseases and thus reduces the cost of treatment, along with decrease in the country’s burden of disease, which then decrease the cost of the government that allocates for health therapy and health services to the community.
When there are advantages, there will be disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of nutrigenomics is costly and time-consuming. Nutrigenomics researches need long-term intervention trials to determine the causal relationship between nutrition and ways of prevention, as well as the outcome of disease which is time-consuming and costly. The methods for measuring dietary intake are much more imprecise when compared to genetic or biochemical measurement. Another disadvantage of nutrigenomics is ethnical implication. Since nutrigenomics include genetic test by the usage of samples from identified populations, ethical and legal implication may appear. The management of genetic information, consent, confidentiality, non-medical uses of information by employers and insurers are some of the ethnical issues that may arise. Furthermore, nutrigenomics might misused by some companies. Recently, the interest of public in this field is increasing. As a result, in United States, some companies are taking this advantage by providing nutrigenomics services to public. These companies may mislead the consumer by making health-related predictions that are medically unproven or asking their customer to buy costly supplement that they claimed to be developed according to an individual’s unique DNA. Moreover, nutrigenomics tests and researches require a large study population of patients and controls to investigate combinations of genetic variants and impact of nutrients in relation to a disease. Thus, it is difficult to visualize the combined data and analyzed, and in an integrated manner, how multiple gene and multiple nutrients interact simultaneously.
In conclusion, nutrigenomics has great potential to benefit medical science in the future. However, it is still only in its infant state and there are many uncertainties about its further development.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Renewable Energies

During the last two decades one of the main concerns of many people and governments is the supply of energy for different purposes such as producing electricity. Two main issues lead them to think about this problem deeply. First of all the environmental problems such as carbon dioxide emission and also the shortage of fossil fuels for generating electricity. Therefore many countries decided to find alternatives which are accessible or easy to access and they cannot harm the environment. Some of alternatives are wind, Tidal, nuclear and solar energy. By looking generally to alternatives it can be realized that each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Currently two main sources which are really important among governments and they have invested on them is solar and nuclear power for producing electricity. Nuclear power can be defined as one kind of energy which can produce through some chemical reactions between the atoms of the element. Nowadays scientists have found some methods to use the energy which is release from the reactions among atoms. The other kind of energy source is solar energy which is releasing from the rays of sun. Governments have decided to use these kinds of renewable energy sources to overcome the problem of energy shortage. Some countries have developed in these two kinds of energy source industries. However in each area some people are for and some of them are against this kind of producing energies.

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One of the common methods of producing electricity in recent years was using fossil fuel energy for spinning the turbines to produce electricity; however scientists found a method of capturing sunlight energy and heating to transfer this energy into turbine to spin them and produce a sustainable energy form without any environmental impact. Generally the main process of this method is using some kinds of mirrors in different shapes which are mostly having u shape or they are like a dish. Through this mirrors in these plants they concentrate the sun rays and convert it into heat energy for boiling water. After boiling water the steam which is produced due to heating energy from the effect of sun light the conventional turbines will spine and through complicated systems produce electricity.
One of the main and biggest projects related to solar power is in California in the united stated. This project has been held between the areas Kramer junction and Harper lake in California. This solar plant can produce 150 megawatts of electricity. It can cover 1500 acres in the desert. In this project more than 900,000 mirrors have been used to capture sun light. Through this project the amount of carbon dioxide emission can decrease significantly in comparison to fossil fuels carbon dioxide emission. Because 3800 tons of carbon dioxide used to produce by fossil fuels.
One of the European countries which are really concern about energy efficiency is Spain. The government has invested significantly due to the future and problems related to energy sources such as shortage and pollution of other sources. They have found this kind of energy adequate as an alternative. Trujillo solar project which is started on the year 2006 and finished on 2007 has some advantages in terms of electricity generation for many homes and also decreasing carbon dioxide emission. The total output of this project which might be introduced is 20 megawatts. The method which is used to generate electricity from sunlight in this project is photovoltaics. This project has been designed and developed by power light corporation. In this project they can cover about 100 hectars.The name of the project is Magascona. The calculations from the company can illustrate that the mentioned power plant can supply electricity for 20,000 homes. Moreover it can prevent from carbon dioxide emission annually by about 42,000 tons.
A kind of renewable kinds of energy which is really controversial its future and its efficiency is nuclear power. In general nuclear energy is a kind of energy which is release from the atom of some elements through some reactions. This kind of energy sometimes can produce by doing some controllable processes to use this energy and convert the nuclear power to electricity. This method of producing electricity has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although some people are concern about its disadvantages but it might be a good alternative as response to the shortage of energy in future. Also there are different comparison between using nuclear power and fossil fuels for generating electricity. The general concept of generating of electricity from nuclear power can be explained through this way. In the first stage the Uranium element which is radioactive element should be extract from the mines. After that Uranium should be fed to the nuclear power plant as a main fuel for reactors. In power plants by using controllable reactions which can be called fission reaction an intense amount of heat will produce. The purpose of this intense amount of energy is to vaporise the water and use the resulted steam for spinning the turbines. The electricity which is produced by turbines will feed the electricity into electricity greed. In the last stage they will use this electricity for various purposes such as industry and homes.
Although this method of producing electricity could be an alternative for the future. but there are many arguments for and against investment on nuclear power plants. Currently there are different countries that are invested on this industry such as France and USA. It might be claimed that France is the pioneer of producing electricity from nuclear power by having about 59 nuclear power plants. Generally the amount of electricity which is generated in this country is about 540.6 Tera watt hour and it is a huge amount of electricity. Currently France is the largest exporter of electricity from nuclear power. However the amount of investment in nuclear power plant is quite allotrope of the main nuclear power plants which was carried out in 1991 and 1993 was CIVAUX .This power plant has two phases. The first phase was built in 1991 and the other one built two years later. Both phases completed in 1999 and the government invested about 4.1 billion dollars on this project. There are a significant issue in this project. At the time of testing this nuclear power plant before putting the electricity into the grid the engineers found out a leak from primary coolant, therefore they decided to shut down the reactor and repair the problem. Because, as some people might know, if any problem occurs during any reaction in these nuclear plants sometimes some disasters might occur, such as explosions. Unfortunately the amount of electricity which was produced in proportion to the time and investment on this project was not worth very much. The CIVAUX project work out 1,349 kwe and it was much lower amount among the other foreign projects.By comparison this project and the amount of energy which is produce by fossil fuels was not a successful project.By comparison this nuclear project to the one fossil fuel project for producing energy they have almost the same amount of electricity production.
Civaux 1-2

The advantages and disadvantages of Strategic Management Accounting

In recent years, the strategic management process has become more complex and costly. Growing competitiveness in many markets and along many combinations of dimension is increasing of analysis facing managers.
The term strategic management is used to refer to the entire scope of strategic-decision making activity in an organization. We can define Strategic Management Techniques in many ways.
Strategic management is the process of managing the pursuit of organizational mission while managing the relationship of the organization to its environment.
Strategic management is defined as the set of decisions and actions resulting in the formulation and implementation of strategies designed to achieve the objectives of the organization.
Now Strategic Management Accounting has been defined as “a form of management accounting in which emphasis is placed on information which relates to factors external to the firm, as well as non-financial information and internally generated information.”
In 1981, Ken Smmonds defined it as the collection of management accounting information about a business and its competitors for use in developing and monitoring the business strategy. The emphasis was placed upon relative levels and trends in real costs and prices, volume, market share, cash flow and stewardship of the resources available to the business. (Inman, 1999)
We have different Strategic Management Accounting Techniques such as Key Performance Indicators, balanced score cards, value chain analysis etc. (Carrefour, Key indicators, 2010)
Over the last 40 years, the company has grown to turn into one of the globe’s leading distribution company. The globe’s second-largest retailing company and is also largest in Europe. Carregour group at present operates four main types of store formats: Supermarkets, hard discount, hypermarkets and convenience stores. The Company currently has more than 15,500 stores which are either franchises or company operated. In UAE, Carrefour has large presence and has the business similar to its international business domain described above.

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Business Strategy:
Carrefour is a retail endeavor, having its own manufacturing and distribution chain in Middle East which is innovated by EMKE Group. The business strategy of the company is to provide things of daily necessity to common people at reasonable price and earn profit for increased market share. The profit is supposed to be magnifies and retailing units as a result of low buying price in bulk purchase of material. The company has its own manufacturing unit for number of products to reduce the purchasing cost. (Author, Our group, 2010)
Mission & Objectives:
The ultimate goal of the company is to have highest profit in hypermarket and other business segment. The company wants to manage its supply chain efficiently by implementing ERP. Other objectives include increased sales, ERP implementation, cost reduction and TQM implementation. (Author, Key indicators, 2010)
Type of Manufacturing:
The company has its own manufacturing stream and distribution stream, providing a good choice to carry out this research. The company did not manufactures all of the products it sells but around 70% of the products Carrefour sells comes from its own manufacturing plants. The company has hi-tech plants which are able to produce more than one variety of products at a time.
Carrefour’s measurement of Strategic objectives:
The company to achieve its strategic objectives uses the balanced scorecard (BSC) method to check its current level of performance and to bridge between present and desired level of performance. Balanced scorecard is a tactical performance management instrument – a semi-level structured account supported by confirmed plan methods and computerization apparatus that can be utilized by managers to maintain track of the implementation of activities by personnel within their monitor and control the cost arising from these actions.
It is possibly the best known of numerous such frameworks (for instance, it is mainly accepted performance management agenda reported).
The company implemented the balance scorecard model given in the figure below. Plan of a Balanced Scorecard eventually is about the recognition of a little number of non-financial & financial measures and adding targets to these items, so that at time when they are evaluate it is probable to establish whether present performance ‘meets prospect. The idea in the rear of this is that by alerting executives to regions where performance diverges from prospect, they can be buoyant to focus their concentration on these areas.
Areas where Strategic Management accounting is useful:
Increasing the performance of the employees and the company:
Performance measures are primarily used to evaluate organizational, as well as employee performance. A PMS develops key performance indicators (KPIs), or metrics, depending on the nature and activities of the organization. KPIs are used as strategy and incentives to assist the coordination of business unit and manager’s objectives, with those of the general corporation objectives, that is, they support goal congruency.
By these metrics, the firm communicates how it desires the workers to act, and how these activities will be evaluated and judged.
Carrefour uses the framework below:
The key performance indicators of the company include:
Number of registered own brands.
Number of quality line product
% of product supplied by the suppliers.
Energy consumption
Water consumption
Customer base
The company uses these indicators for the overall performance improvement and for performance of the employees, the indicators are:
Feedback from colleagues
Work hours
Quality of service (Gregory, 1995)
Supply chain:
The supply chain in the company is evaluated on the basis of Value chain. The value chain is a methodical way to examining the growth of competitive benefit. It was invented by M. E. Porter in his book named Competitive Advantage (published in 1980). The chain comprises of a series of actions that build and create value.
Value Chain Analysis generally describes the actions that take place in commerce and narrates them to a study of the competitive potency of the company.
Value Chain Analysis is single way of recognizing which activities are finest undertaken by a company and which are finest provided by another business. According to that, the finest category of Carrefour’s supply chain is Information Networks. Here as the task is distributed to individual units (like transportation, distribution etc) and innovation can be diffused at any stage. Talking about supply chain, the Carrefour is currently using “allocating gaming policy” to hand out the products. Under this strategy, when the supply is low, the suppliers place fewer products on allocation. This signify that that supplier will not provide the order of the downstream fully but will decrease the volume to be supplied downstream in order to make certain that all the downstream nodes get at least some part of demand. In this way, Value chain analysis helps Carrefour to make a best in industry supply chain. (Gregory, 1995)
Areas where Strategic Management accounting is not successful
The company tried in past to use SMA for inventory management but the results were not fruitful. The key failure was because of short term nature of inventory management which is not been provided by strategic management accounting. Thus to ensure emergency and constant supply of stocks, the company also maintains warehouses at its allocation centers. The company currently utilizes “build to stack” approach in its inventory management policy.
Replacement of SMA in inventory
To ensure a centralized approach in inventory, Carrefour hypermarket has EPR implemented but is not federal yet. The ERP needs to be implemented in complete set of outlets and warehouses of the company.
The responsibility to ensure inventory lies in hands of warehouse manager who has to ensure a particular fixed quantity of stock at anytime of the year. The information needed in ERP is to be supplied by various managers at distribution centers, manufacturing units etc.
Master plan scheduling:
Again because of short term nature of scheduling, Carrefour is not able to schedule its activities with the help of Strategic Management Accounting. Scheduling is thus done by correct coordination between varieties of departments. As mentioned previously, the company maintains around 7 days inventory in its warehouses to provide flexibility next to the always changing demand of people. If the material in the warehouses is lesser than that of 6 days, a buying order form manufacturing plant is placed. In the same way, if the inventory in the outlets is lesser than that of 3 business days capacity, again inventory is enthused for warehouse to the outlets. (Gregory, 1995)
Strategic Managemetn Accounting in Various Departments
The company did not have a probable forecasting model for maintaining the inventory. It needs a better method for this purpose. The present method for supply planning goes with the need of the customers. Production is governed by the customer needs and Bullwhip effect (covered later in the report). In order to support the production in accordance with customer needs, the company utilizes Kano model as a strategic management accounting tool. A short explanation is given below.
Kano model shown at this point is the most fundamental conceptualization of client requirement. “The red line shows innovation” while the blue shows expected and spoken requirement and green line signifies expected and unspoken requirements.
Kano model relies on a supposition that a clients buys when he or she Need something, however is it not totally right, an organization must flood the client needs. This can be implicit as a “Voice of the customer” concept.
Value chain analysis:
At every step, proper documentation is done and coordination is maintained which is a part of value chain analysis to ensure that overall supply chain works properly.
A balance score card method is used here. The key ingredients of the balance score card method are as follows:
Cost Control
Senior leadership manages operating expenses and costs through cyclic budgets/ plan. A budget/ plan is a essential management accounting instrument because it assists top management and subdivision heads set spending thresholds and limits.
correct financial reporting
SCA or Strategic cost accounting assists top management report complete and accurate accounting data summaries. Sufficient cost accounting schemes ease monetary reporting work as corporate controllers can rapidly relocate cost accounting figures into financial accounting instruments like ledgers.
Variance analysis
Variance study is a necessary profit management instrument. Variances, often called contingency, are differences among actual costs and budget amounts. A positive discrepancy indicates that budget total exceed real costs. Higher management pays concentration to negative discrepancy because these indicate insufficient cost control operations in operating activities.
In marketing department, SMA is generally used to forecast the demand. In marketing department, Carrefour is currently employing allocating gaming policy (as mentioned previously too) to distribute its products. In this strategy, in case when the supply goes down, the suppliers place fewer products on allocation. This signify that the supplier will not provide the order of the downstream fully but will decrease the volume to be supplied downstream in order to make certain that all the downstream nodes get at least some part of demand. For example if 1,00,000 Carrefour products are meant for distributed to 4 equally vital downstream nodes band there is difficulty in reliable supply, then the company will supply only 12,500 products to the downstream nodes, irrespective of its capacity and even when it can provide more to assure that each node get a little and stock is not unfilled.
It is also find that is the irregularity in demand is too often, some costumers (downstream nodes of supply chain) order more than the actual need to compensate future disorder in supplies. In this way, the company manages its product strategically.
The company preserves an effectual transportation system from manufacturing unit to distribution centers and then additional from distribution centers to retail outlets. Currently hired motor vehicles are used to diminish the cost of purchasing of vehicles.
Demerits of Strategic Management Accounting
There are some of the disadvantages of Strategic Management Accounting Techniques also. Some of them are:
Lack of Standardization
Monetary accountants follow accounting measures and principles sketched by generally established accounting principles like US GAAP. Management accountants, counting strategic executives, do not have a mix of procedures & policies to follow.
Focus on Quantitative Information
Data based or Quantitative information is information calculated in hard statistics, such as dollars and ponds. A strategic accountant centers a lot of concentration on quantitative data. Information studies by these accountants are very cogent. The difficulty with this is that concentrating only at lucid information, other relevant information is unnoticed.
Strategic accountants generate methods for calculating performance and are prearranged a lot of space for subjectivity and unfairness. This causes a disadvantage to companies because strategic accountants attach their own individual feelings and beliefs into making decisions.
Strategic management process involves the entire range of decisions. Typically, strategic issues have six identifiable dimensions:
Strategic issues engage the allocation of large quantity of company resources
Strategic matter require highest level-management decisions
Strategic issues are probable to have noteworthy impact on the strategic-term success of the company
Strategic issues typically have chief multi business or multifunctional penalty
Strategic issues are often future oriented
Strategic issues require considering aspects in the firm’s outside environment.
Usefulness of Strategic management in the company
Meeting the downstream demand by the organization is extremely necessary and most of the organizations (and thus Carrefour) thus lay great weight over their production unit and taking it to best level to attain marked productivity standards. It is involved in strategic guidelines of the company to attain or exceed the requirement in the market. In order to absolute this requirement, business should be spotless in its production and its inventory management. This also need suitable administration of its volume, productivity and cost resources, so as to achieve suitable quality standards. (Inman, 1999)
Relation between demand and Supply side
The demand of the products to be sold is directly dependent on the supply side (for fulfillment). There is a linear relation existing between demand and supply side with negative slope. When the demand increases, the manufacturing side capacity or say the supply decreases and opposite in vice versa case.
One area in which Carrefour is missing is the supply of consumer demand to its customer with appropriate timing. It is the dimension in which system is meeting its prevalent failure. This is highly exaggerated from elasticity that the system possess, and to have correctly timed outcome, Carrefour should have highly appropriate structuring that would be clever to be adequate to all the needs of the customers associated form the company. As a conclusive reason for the failure, we can say that there is lack of co-ordination and management within all the sections operating in the system.
Production in governed by the Kano model in order to meet the requirement of the customers. The company manages a number of plants for producing the variety offered by the company.
Capacity management:
As mentioned earlier too, to guarantee emergency and constant supply of stacks, the company preserves warehouses at all its distribution centers. The stock maintained in the warehouses depends on the forecasting model of the retailing company. The company depends on two sets of customer (temporary and permanent), the stock necessary for permanent clients is still conventional but that for the temporary set of clientele is not. Thus Carrefour invests blissfully on warehousing extra stocks as it is required to maintain extra quantity to answer the surprises expected form temporary customers.
Why it is crucial?
In a retailing industry like Lulu, a major cost is warehousing or organizing the inventory as mentioned above. If the company fails to understand the actual need of the marketplace in advance, it can counter two kinds of problems: one is the likely unavailability of supply at the stores which affects the quality of the offered service by the company and secondly if Lulu tries to preserves larger amount of stocks, it has to disburse in terms of charge of warehousing. Both the situations are undesirable by the company. (Gregory, 1995)
Comments on Role of SMA in achieving Mission and objectives of the company:
As we saw that the company wants to become the number one retail market company in the world, the activates like Key performance indicators to maintain the performance of employees and the company, Balance scorecard for financial management and related models like Kano model etc helped company to perform its operations in better and cost effective manner. Thus we can say that SMA is helping the company in achieving Mission and objectives

Advantages and Disadvantages of Personal Therapy for Counsellors

“All these personal counselling / therapy requirements for counsellors in training encourage selfish introspection. Counsellors are there to help others, and if they need counselling themselves, they should not be in the job.” Discuss with reference to your own experience and beliefs and to counselling literature.

In this essay, I will be exploring if the requirement for trainees to be in personal therapy encourages selfish introspection, the requirements of local courses and theories, requirements of registering organisations and will also include my own experiences, beliefs and understanding of the requirement.

Personally I feel indignant at this statement as it questions the suitability of counsellors and shows a lack of knowledge, understanding and awareness of the positive impact of trainee’s personal therapy on the therapeutic process.

To the best of my knowledge personal therapy benefits not just the trainee but the client as it contributes in the formation of the therapeutic relationship. However, I also believe that personal therapy may have some adverse effects on the trainee dependent on the individual’s personality, culture and life experience and I wish to explore this further.

Many opinions exist within differing theories/courses. Many theories of counselling psychology stress the importance of self-awareness to be fundamental. In particular, humanistic approaches – person centred and existential therapies. Carl Rogers the founder of humanistic psychology emphasizes the personal worth & uniqueness of the individual, that each individual has the capacity to distinguish their own external locus of evaluation to strengthen their internal locus of evaluation to establish their organismic self; reaching their full potential to self-actualize – becoming a fully functioning person. Mearns, D. and Thorne, B. (2007, pp.19-25)

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In order to facilitate this personality change, the counsellor must provide six necessary conditions for effective therapy which include three core conditions. These conditions cannot be established without the counsellor having achieved to a degree their organismic self in their own personal therapy. Rogers, C. (1967, pp.132-155) In order to change, one needs to fully accept themselves, by accepting ourselves, we are then truly in a position to accept and help others.

The BACP is the largest professional body in the UK. 2018, Ethical guidelines section 18:  We will maintain our own physical and psychological health at a level that enables us to work effectively with our clients

BACP therefore, suggests self awareness is critical to avoid doing harm. In 2005 BACP changed their requirement from 40 hours’ personal therapy for accreditation so that all theoretical approaches, including those not required to have personal therapy were included, instead making self awareness a criterion. The BACP did not remove the criteria for personal therapy for accreditation if it is a requirement of the courses for trainees. Hewes, B. (2010)

The Human Givens institute, claim that the BACPs decision no longer require counsellors to undergo personal therapy proves that personal therapy is not necessary to produce an effective counsellor. They claim that too many protected egos and financial investment are at risk to completely eliminate personal therapy. Human Givens believe that trainee counsellors do not need to have personal therapy in order for them to be more effective practitioners. Human Givens claim therapy is only needed when in distress and the main qualities needed to become a good counsellor is intelligence and life experience. Although, I could not find any evidence to support this claim. Scott, C. (2006)

Crysalis courses do not require personal therapy not stating why yet, their website lists the advantages, this seems contradicting. ()

Inter-Psyche require trainees to undertake 60 hours of personal therapy, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness, becoming aware of areas that require further exploration in order to work effectively.  ()

Existential approaches require personal therapy one hour weekly throughout the training process – () WPF guidelines require trainees to be in individual therapy at least once a week and the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling require trainees to have been in therapy for 6 months prior to contact with clients. ()

Little research has been undertaken to determine the outcome of trainee personal therapy comparably, as research is generally narrative. However, a meta-synthesis of qualitative research combined findings on mandatory therapy and discovered there are many benefits to personal and professional development but that it also had negative effects such as stress/anguish and a negative impact on personal relationships. Bennett-Levy, J (2018) However, I have found no clear result for either argument.

Freud, S (1964, pp.216-253) the founder of personal therapy cited “personal therapy is the deepest and most non-negotiable part of clinical education” recognising the importance of the awareness of self in order to work effectively with a client.

Initially, I was unsure if personal therapy was necessary. However, I soon understood that I could not be a professional me and a personal me. I opted to enter therapy during the certificate course. I had acknowledged from triads that my childhood had had a profound effect upon me and I wanted to begin to lessen the possible negative effects on the diploma as I feared distraction from learning. I slowly began to address the past and negative patterns. One pattern was that I would submerge myself in others to focus all of my energy outwards. A defence mechanism to prevent myself acknowledging painful memories. I have now confronted this pain and I am comfortable with it. If I was uncomfortable with my pain, I could have transferred this discomfort and not dealt with the client’s issues. Crouch, A. (2007, pp.93-94)

The benefits of personal counselling for a trainee are plentiful, the experience of active listening and UPR first-hand allow us a greater understanding in offering the conditions fully and allows us to experience being the client. The higher internal awareness establishes who we can and cannot work with, by highlighting prejudices and minimising cultural assumptions, it discerns projective identification, over identification & organised attachment so that I can accurately recognise if its mine or the clients. Crouch, A. (2007, p.170)

Self awareness also prevents unconsciously deluding with clients and not challenging them. To avoid parallel processes and recognise potential transference & counter transference but also to learn about my own transference difficulties. By acknowledging my vulnerabilities, it will promote self empathy and increase emphatic responses therefore, helping personal and professional development. The relationship with the self will positively impact all of my work with a client. Mearns, D. and Thorne, B (2007, pp. 45-62)

There are many different opportunities to work on self-awareness other than personal therapy, Johari Window, EQ, reflective Journal and PD groups all help obtain self awareness allowing us to live outside of our façade and prevent over identification. Rowan, J (1998, pp. 1-12)

On a negative side, by exploring my inner world, I then doubted my own version of events. I sought corroboration from my siblings, which, for them, arose painful buried memories. As the eldest of four children, I felt responsible for their emotions, I believed I should make them feel better. This highlighted a core belief of mine that, could potentially hinder future therapeutic relationships of being a helper rather than a supporter. However, now that I am aware, I can now explore and understand it further.

I can also understand the essay statement, some may believe that by being in therapy it makes you defective and shows incompetence. It may also, be a transferential need for the counsellor to be seen as a perfect person and therefore themselves too. The avoidance of self introspection can sometimes be viewed as unselfish due to Christian tradition where its considered unhealthy to reflect overly on one’s self which could prevent active participation. Mearns, D. and Thorne, B (2007, pp. 45-47)

The negatives for personal therapy are also plentiful. Mandatory therapy does force students into therapy regardless of their position to address the self in order to qualify. A student may not actively participate in its purpose due to fear of the unknown or the stress that may arise. If one is in a nearly constant state of incongruence, an individual may hide their true feelings by distorting reality instead believing that they are their persona. Due to this they will not benefit from its purpose and it will also be financially demanding which, in itself is a large dedication for those economically disadvantaged. Trainees may not have the time to meet the requirement or feel pressured into continuing with an unsuitable counsellor. Self reflection may impact negatively on relationships and it can also be emotionally draining which may effect training. Overall, it can have a negative impact on training due to personal therapy becoming a painful experience. Macaskills, N.D (1998, pp. 199-226)

I do believe it selfish to be working with clients without self awareness, if for example a counsellor has an external locus of evaluation they wont be able to work effectively with a client possibly, due to fear of causing upset.

In conclusion, I believe personal therapy is of benefit to all trainees. Trainees need to have had personal therapy to gain self awareness and be fully functioning practitioners. Although, personal therapy does not guarantee self awareness; if the trainee is not in the correct psychological capacity to address the self. One needs to be aware of their own inner world in order to congruently sit with others in theirs, as stated by Mearns, D and Thorne, B. Without self awareness, our own experiencing may hinder the process.

By recognising who we can and cannot work with due to prejudices it allows us to work ethically, otherwise we compromise empathy. It is essential for counsellors to understand their cultures and worldviews before helping others. Effective counsellors need to be able to recognise diversity and cultural differences, in order to offer the core conditions fully to the client. Aldridge, S. and Rigby, S. (2001, pp. 65-83)

I believe if your aim for personal therapy is self awareness and growth, it is with the intention to ensure you are in the best position to work effectively. I have no doubt that it is essential to have personal counselling to self develop and to continue to do so as the process of self actualisation is never ending. Rowan, J. (1998, pp. 1-12) Therefore, I conclude that trainees requiring personal therapy does not encourage selfish introspection, it encourages self awareness in order to effectively work as a good counsellor.




Aldridge, S. and Rigby, S. (2001) Counselling Skills in Context. London: Hodder & Stoughton in association with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

BACP. (2018) Ethical Guidelines, Section 18 [Internet]> [Accessed 10/10/18].

Bennett-Levy, J. (2018) Meta synthesis. [Internet] Why therapists should walk the talk: The theoretical and empirical case for personal practice in therapist training and professional development, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry> [Accessed 17/10/18].

Chrysalis Courses: Why Does Personal Therapy Benefit Trainee Counsellors? [Internet]> [Accessed 18/10/18].

Crouch, A. (2007) Inside Counselling: Becoming and Being a Professional Counsellor. London: Sage Publications.

Freud, S. (1964) Analysis Terminable and Interminable. In P. Reiff (ed) New York: Collier (original work published 1937).

Hewes, B. (2010) Therapy Today [Internet]> [Accessed 10/10/18].

Inter-Psyche [Internet]> [Accessed 10/10/18].

Macaskills, N. D (1998) Personal Therapy in the Training of Psychotherapists: Is it effective? British Journal of Psychotherapy: [Internet]> [Accessed 10/10/18].

Mearns, D & Thorne, B. (2007) Person Centred Counselling in Action, third edition. London: Sage Publications.

Rogers, C. R (1967) On Becoming a Person: A Therapists View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable.

Rowan, J. (1998) The Reality Game, second edition: A Guide to Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy. London, Routledge.

Scott, C. (2006) Human Givens Website: [Internet] Self and Society – A forum for contemporary psychology, Volume 33 – No.5:> [Accessed 10/10/18].


Concrete: Advantages And Disadvantages

In this era which we live in, there are more than 7 billion (1) people on Earth and its resources are limited and quickly depleting. As a response to this high demand and burden on the Earth’s precious goods, there has been a ‘green’ movement. Governments and companies are implementing laws and constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and conserve whatever little we have at our disposal. In the light of all this innovative research and as university students studying environmental engineering, concrete evolution has sparked our interest. Concrete is very much a large part of the environment, being one of the most widely used materials in construction, concrete is virtually everywhere. Its high durability and versatility has made it superior to all other building materials however there are some downsides to concrete that has made it a threat to the environment, mainly the greenhouse gas emissions that come with making cement. The cement manufacturing industry is under increasing pressure to reduce these emissions due to the fact that it releases a lot of gases, namely carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The real struggle is to find ways to produce a concrete that is environmentally safe, without losing the integrity of the concrete’s durability and reliability.

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In this paper, the making of concrete and its advantages and disadvantages will be discussed, alongside some different alternatives that have been implemented at present time to deal with energy efficiency and environmental security. Economic and social effects are also looked at and discussed. The main alternatives in focus are; the use of chemical admixtures, recycled concrete materials and fuel alternatives for the kiln.
Kiln and Efficiency
The most energy consuming part of the cement making process is the burning of the mixture of the constituent parts of cement within the kiln. A large amount of emissions is released by the fossil fuels used to heat the kiln up and the chemical reactions that take place within the kiln itself. A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber or oven, in which a controlled temperature is maintained and kilns used for making cement get to temperatures of about 1500 degrees Celsius (2). In order to get to these temperatures, large quantities of coal are burned to generate the energy needed for the kiln. Coal is the primary fuel burned in cement kilns, however, the use of alternative fuels in cement kilns is now common and increasing.
This high energy consumption however leads to high carbon emissions, about 7% of the world’s total carbon emissions. Cement production is an energy-intensive process consuming thermal energy of the order of 3.3 GJ/tonne of clinker produced. Electrical energy consumption is about 90 – 120 kWh/tonne of cement.(3)
These are the reasons why more efficient fuel alternatives are being investigated to firstly help improve the quality of air we breathe and secondly protect the earth from adverse conditions that come with too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
There are two types of kilns being put to use, one utilizing a wet process and the other dry. The wet process is the older method and involves a slurry mixture of water and the cement ingredients being transferred to the kiln. The wet process however uses a lot of energy and therefore the modern dry process is more commonly used. It uses the dry ingredients blended together and then transferred to the kiln, the only disadvantage it that a lot of dust is released. Both diagrams below will illustrate the the cement making process and more importantly the two different kinds of kilns.
Material Science
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, material science is the scientific study of the properties and applications of materials of construction or manufacture (as ceramics, metals, polymers, and composites).(5) The concise encyclopedia further explains how material science goes into how the properties of different materials depend on their composition such as atomic mass and electron configuration.(5) It also points out the importance of material science to engineers of all disciplines as they need to know as much as possible about different materials in order to come up with designs and fix problems in their respective fields.
With a sound knowledge of materials and their properties, they can be manipulated in any way necessary to be an asset to us. In our case, understanding the chemical reactions that take place in concrete will help to understand why the methods chosen have been picked in the first place to help rectify any problems. From the manufacturing of the cement in the kiln to the demolition of concrete structures, knowing and understanding the reason behind different aspects surrounding the whole concrete process is very beneficial in finding alternatives to make it more environmentally safe and efficient.
Alternative Fuels
Fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, have been used as energy sources in the cement manufacturing industry for decades. In more recent years, these traditional fuel sources have become increasingly substituted with alternative fuels typically of waste sources such as municipal solid waste, scrap tires, waste wood, agricultural biomass, meat and bone meal, and petroleum coke. The list of candidate materials is continuously expanding and regulatory pressures, economic factors and the fact that we are running out of landfill space are all reasons why these alternative fuels are continuously sought for and studied.
Alternative fuels used today in cement manufacturing and the different potential alternative fuels differ considerably from the traditional fuels, and the cement manufacturing industry is faced with several challenges in making the switch from traditional to alternative fuels. Some of these challenges include, inadequate heat distribution, blockages in the preheater cyclones, unstable precalciner function, higher SO2, NOx, and CO emissions, congestion in the kiln riser ducts and dusty kilns (6). Furthermore, due to the fact that the cement industry is strictly regulated by national and international legislation for environmental related issues, health and safety of practices, and the quality of cement produced, special approval is required for the use alternative fuel since they all different and can potentially introduce harmful environmental effects or affect the quality of the cement. The type of combustion implemented, which is determined by the type of fuel used can have a direct affect on the composition and characteristics of the output product, and the function of the kiln as different manufacturing plants may differ in their design.
A common practice in cement manufacture is the addition of the ash produced by the fuels, which are comprised of compounds containing silica and alumina, into the clinker (6). The composition of the fuel ash created by different fuels can determine in which proportions an alternative fuel can substitute a conventional fuel, for example some can yield silica rich fuel ash which can later reduce the amount of ground sand needed as a raw material to make cement. Moreover, the inclusion of constituents that can have a deleterious effect on concrete performance must be controlled, since this can happen even at very small concentrations. An example of this would be alkalis such as potassium oxide and sodium oxide, which can in the presence of moisture can cause reactions in concrete called ACR and ASR which can cause cracking in the structure. These alkalis can also react with SO3 to form alkali sulphates, which can affect the reactivity of the cement with aggregates, resulting in hardening problems (6). Therefore, the inclusion of alkalis from the kiln system should be minimized.
In certain kilns that have preheaters, the use of alternative fuels can lead to the volatilization of certain molecules they introduce, which can lead to their subsequent recirculation in increasingly higher loads. Their recirculating can lead to their condensation in cooler areas, binding to circulating dust particles and can potentially cause blockages, thereby affecting the heat-exchange system. Some of these molecules are sodium oxide, potassium oxide, alkali sulphates, and chlorine, which not only are responsible for deposits, preheater blockages, and kiln rings but can also affect the quality of the cement produced if they are retained to some proportions(6).
Petroleum coke or petcoke is a solid residue from the crude oil refineries. It is considered a low volatile fuel with a typical volatile content of 5-15 %. The fact that its volatile content is low means that it has a low reactivity / burning rate and therefore is not possible to burn 100% petcoke in kiln or precalciner without using other high volatile fuels along with it (6). Consequently, this alternative fuel requires finer grinding and is pushing new kiln designs into the market to allow for their complete burning. Another negative is the fact that it has a high sulphur and vanadium content. This can result in increasing the sulphur circulation in the kiln and precalciners and as mentioned before causing build-ups and blockages, and increasing sulphur dioxide emissions. Sulphur contamination of the cement can cause cracking and high vanadium content can cause reduce the strength of concrete (6). A 0.2 percent addition is reported to lead to a 10 percent reduction in 28-day strength of cement. However, due to low ash content of petcoke such high contents of vanadium in cement are unlikely (6). This is an attractive fuel as it has a high calorific content and relatively less expensive than coal and other fossil fuel conventionally used.
Sewage Sludge is generated from wastewater treatment from industrial, residential, commercial, and institutional sources. Sewage sludge is usually disposed of by throwing it in the sea, its use as fertilizer, its incineration, or it is dumped in a landfill. Due to stricter environmental specifications associated with its disposal, the possible health and environmental risks in using it as a fertilizer and the increasing cost for its disposal in landfills, its use as an alternative fuel in cement manufacture is becoming more attractive. The organic components of the sludge are entirely destroyed when it is burned as fuel and the inorganic components and heavy metals are combined and included in the final product. The sulphur content of sludge is not greater than coal so it does not pose a major concern in comparison, and although it has higher nitrogen content the nitrogen oxide emissions are lower than when fossil fuels are burned (7). However, there are higher contents of volatile content, ash, and low fixed carbon compared to coals. Sludge usually requires pretreatment before it can be used as a fuel and has to be burned in controlled conditions as with most alternative fuels. Using sludge is also attractive economically, as it resulted in an increase in return when used instead of fossil fuels, in spite of its lower energy content than coal and the fact that it needs to be stored in special silos in order to avoid contamination (7). Its storage and handling and reduction of water content are the most difficult part of its use as a fuel, however it is definitely a far better option than use of non-renewable resources since it is widely available and a nuisance to dispose of. The use of sludge as a fuel source cannot have much of a social impact other than perhaps peoples perception of it, some may regard it as a better option than incinerating sludge which forms poisonous by-products, while others may be bothered by its use in anything else.
Scrap tires have become utilized as an alternative source of fuel for various parts of the developed world instead of fossil fuels in many industries including cement manufacture. When tires are burned the rubber is completely destroyed and the inorganic component and heavy metals are included in the cement product. Different cases present different conclusions about the emission of SO2 and NOx, which may suggest that it depends on the kiln system and the burning process implemented. However, two Portland Cement Association (PCA) reports (2008, 2009) found that nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and particulate emissions were reduced when scrap tires substituted a portion of the conventional fuels (7). Heavy metal, dioxins and furan emissions showed different results in different studies however, again Portland Cement Association studies collected data from 31 cement plants that used tire as fuel and found a significant reduction in the emissions of dioxins and furans (7) . Some problems with tire derived fuel is incomplete combustion and zinc oxide present at concentrations that may be detrimental to the quality of the cement. Overall, the use of tires as fuel is an environmentally, and economically sound option compared to other end-of life alternatives of tires and the use of 100% fossil fuel. Tires have a higher energy content than coal and allow for savings in the purchase of coal.
Another source of fuel being used is agricultural biomass, which includes all forms of biomass not included in the categories of meat and bone meal, or sewage sludge. Some common sources are rice and coffee bean husks, palm kernels, algae, and cottonseed oils. The use of agricultural biomass has been proven to be an effective way to reduce greenhouse gases and the dependency for fossil fuel (7). Furthermore, its been determined to have low SO2 emissions, low dioxin and furan emissions, and very low heavy metal emissions. Biomass in the form of waste from industrial or agricultural processes is less expensive than fossil fuels, and therefore its use would reduce operational costs. However, equipment specific to the processing of biomass may be needed and may incur additional costs. Also, supply seems to be a major concern, a continuous supply may be difficult to achieve. Socially it can be beneficial to some agricultural communities, allowing them to make an additional income from selling their agricultural by-products (7).
Finally the last alternative fuel to be discussed is the meat and bone meal (MBM), a by-product of the rendering and food industries. Their co-incineration with fossil fuels in cement kiln systems has become a common way for their elimination. MBM has a lower fixed carbon and high ash content and high levels of phosphate, sodium, potassium, magnesium and chlorine (7). Due to the fact that chlorides can volatilize and condense at high temperatures in the kiln and can react with alkalis and sulphates to form compounds with low melting points, which can lead to their recirculation and condensation. As mentioned earlier this can can have harmful effects on the production process and cement produced . Consequently the MBM used as substituted fuel and the compounds introduced into the cement needs to be controlled and monitored. The sulphur content, on the other hand, is a little lower than can be found in coal, and the high calcium content in MBM can help retain most of the SO2 released from its combustion (7). The use of MBM in cement production reduces CO2 emissions, SO2 emissions, and introduces a safe and environmentally friendly way to disposing of them. And as with the previous alternative fuels mentioned, it reduces the demand for landfills and their associated environmental and health risks.
In summary the cement kiln provides numerous advantages over other end-of life alternatives for much of these wastes. The high temperatures, oxygen rich environment, and adequate residence time provided by the kiln system allows for the complete destruction of the organic material. Also, aside from being able to process a wide range of waste materials, since the ash is incorporated into the final product there is no additional waste to manage from the use of these wastes. However, these alternative fuels are derived from selected waste streams and usually require some level of pretreatment, such as the shredding of tires, drying of sewage sludge and reducing its pathogen levels, etc. This is a extra investment of time and money that the cement manufacturers will need to take on as the pretreatment of these wastes is an integral part of their recovery and in most cases is taken care of externally by waste treatment experts or outside suppliers. Despite, these extra costs for the preprocessing of these wastes, the cement manufacturers are expected to make a larger return on this investment in comparison to the purchase of fossil fuels. Also, the use of these wastes as fuels would create a market for these them in neighboring communities, which will help reduce the number of operating landfills and put to use the calorific value in these wastes rather than have them wasted. The burning of carbon neutral wastes which include agricultural biomass, municipal waste, animal waste and paper waste are considered as GHG sinks since they would otherwise decay in landfills and form methane which is a more harmful GHG than CO2 (8). Other wastes that are derived from fossil fuels such as tires, are not carbon neutral, however burning them in cement kilns rather than incinerating them, which also induces GHG emissions, can result in significant CO2 reductions. Although the kiln emerging technologies and their capacities to process these fuels was not discussed, since it is too broad of a subject to cover and is not the main purpose of this paper, it is understood that some alterations to tradition kiln systems is required to adapt to the different combustion of these fuels. An example of these changes is features such as a multi-channel burner design and thermograph systems which allow for the control of the flame and optimize burning of different fuels (10). There are also different mathematical models, which look at which combination of alternative fuels in which proportions can produce optimal burning conditions (11). There has been much progress over the years in the substitution of fossil fuels in cement kilns, especially in the EU where substitution rates are much higher than in North America, however, there is much more work that needs to be done in the evolution of the cement industry towards greener and more sustainable practices.
Advanced Chemical Admixtures
Our society relies greatly on building materials, concrete being one of the oldest, and most important of those materials. Concrete is a combination of 60% to 75% aggregates and 25% to 40% paste. The paste is comprised of 7% to 15% cement, 4% to 8% of air content, and 14% to 21% water (15). Although paste only contribute less than 40% of concrete, the components greatly affects the overall quality. An example is with the reduction of water to cement ratio, and in turn increases the compressive and flexural strength, increases resistance to weathering reduces shrinkage and cracking, and lowers permeability. To achieve these characteristics in concrete, engineers came up with admixtures, an important ingredient’s used when the goals are to reduce the cost of concrete, maintaining the quality of concrete during the different stages of its production, basically to achieve desirable properties of concrete. Admixtures are classified under the following; Air-entraining mixtures, water reducing admixtures, plasticizers, accelerating admixtures, retarding admixtures, corrosion inhibitors, etc.
Superplasticiser/High range water reduction is made up of synthetic polymers, which are admixtures that increase slump flow, essentially used for low to normal slump and water-cement ratio. The use of superplascticiser not only brings the water-cement ratio down, but it drastically increases the workability, as well as increasing the strength at an early stage up to 200% within 16 hrs (13) . A great example of a new and innovative plasticizing admixture is Glenium SKY.
The third generation high range water reducer or superplasticizer also known as Glenium was introduced in the 1990’s. Glenium is a polycarboxylic ether polymer, that attracts entrringite molecules, through a static electric charge. This entrringite provides a protective barrier around the surface of cement particle, which prevents hydration and crystallization. In September 2003 Glenium SKY (Synthesis of Key performance and Yield) was introduced. This new superplasticizer was developed for ready mixed concrete, concrete that contains high performance quality from the production to the usage. Unlike the other types of Glenium; Glenium 21 and Glenium 27 , Figure 1 Glenium SKY, new chemical monomers controls the rate in which the entrringite molecules cover the cement molecules. Therefore the cement molecules are not completely covered, which allows the crystallization to take place at a slower rate, and accelerated strength at an early stage without compromising the consistency.
Glenium SKY was tested against Glenium 27, it is noticeable from the table below that Glenium needing less water and lower cement-water ratio, but still was a able to produce a more consistent slump and greater strength according to the test results in table 1. Within 90 min, the slump dropped only by 2 mm. The usage of Glenium SKY benefits socially, economically, and environmentally.
With the increase in workability, decrease in water-cement ratio, and high early strength, allows the most optimum concrete design which in turns have a positive effect on the economical aspect
The definition of sustainability means to “meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their need” (15). Sustainability is achieved when these 3 factors are properly balanced, economy, social, and environmental.
It is evident that the addition of the superplasticiser used in concrete mix designs will help to achieve environmental sustainability. The concrete industry’s main goal is to produce a superior material with a positive impact to the environment. This super-plasticiser or high range water reducer will decrease the water-cemnet ratio, meaning less cement needed as well as water. Water usage can be reduced from 10% to over 30%. A 10% reduction is equivalent to 600 000 tonnes of water saved annually (14). Not only are the usage of water is reduced but also other environmental factors.
Analyzing the effects of the super-plasticiser shows a generally positive effect on the environment. Figures 3 and 4, shows 2 concrete structures impact on the environment with the addition of super-plasticiser in relation with the structures without the admixture. For the flat Slab concrete, adding the super-plasticiser admixture decreases these negative impacts by a great margin. It is evident that the total energy requirement is reduced by 8%, the toxic impact on human health is reduced by 10 %, the acidifying pollutants is reduced by 8%, and the CO2 is reduced to almost 20%. However, using this admixture, there is an increase in chemical waste, the values have been normalized to 100% for the control, which means the increase of the non-hazardous chemical wastes will only increase by 1% (13). Overall for this cement mix the superplasticier admixture is beneficial because it decreases major negative impacts such as abiotic depletion and eootox sediment by 3% and another 3 categories by over 10%. The effect of the admixtures vary depending on the different type of mixes and their purpose. The concrete mix for a precast wall unit was also analyzed using these admixtures. Based on that analysis we can conclude that this admixture has the desired effect by decreasing the energy by 10% by volume of concrete. As with the previous concrete mix the superplasticiser has a greater impact on a number of impacts. While there is an increase in chemical waste by 10% by volume of control concrete the decrease in energy is of 20%. This outweighs the negative of this admixture. Overall the super-plasticiser admixture has a great effect on a number of impacts but also a negative impact on chemical waste.
Figure 3 and 4 compare the strength with and without the admixture versus the energy and climate change. It is evident that the super-plasticiser are effective in reducing the CO2 emissions and the energy consumption. A cement mix with this superplasticiser admixture will have a positive overall effect and has very beneficial impact on the environment.
The use of this super-plasticiser admixture in concrete mixes allows for social sustainability. As previously stated before, with the addition of this admixture, concrete mix can be made to have a higher strength. An increase in the strength of the concrete will result in a more durable material, and a longer life expectancy. With concrete having higher strength and a longer life, maintaining these structures will be reduced especially within major highways and roadways within a city. Traffic congestions greatly impacts our lives, career, and safety. By reducing the amount of traffic will allow a better quality of life. In central Ontario alone, there are 11 zones where major structures are being repaired and maintained. On the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) near Hamilton, a $7.3 million dollar contract has been approved for the structural rehabilitation (14). According to the traffic reports, the QEW Burlington Skyway Bridge, the Millen and Fifty Road structures and glover road will be under construction, which means a delay up to 30 minutes (14). The 30 minute construction delay with the addition of bottlenecked areas, and overcrowded vehicles can increase the delay to be even longer than 30 minutes. Let’s say 30 minutes delay for construction, and because of a large amount of the population commute to the city of Toronto for work, another 10 minutes due to vehicles overcrowding the roads. We have a total of 40 minutes delay, and a total of 80 minutes delay a day, which comes up to 6400 minutes or 106.6 hours in traffic until this specific project is completed in 4 months. These delays will cause people to be late for work, school, or other commitments, which can lead to stress, and road safety. By producing an optimal concrete design using a super-plasticiser such as Glenium SKY, we can increase the strength and life expectancy of the structure, which will reduce traffic caused by maintenance and repair, and create a more socially sustainable environment.
Reaching economic sustainability is just as important as social and environmental sustainability. With the increase in workability, decrease in water-cement ratio, and high early strength, allows the most optimum concrete design which in turns will help to achieve economical sustainability. The increase in workability allows proper installation into areas of low clearance, underwater placements, and areas where consolidating methods cannot be used. Which means savings on equipment, transportation, and time. When mix designing, with the addition of Glenium SKY admixture, the water-cement ratio is decreased, which results in a smaller amount of water and cement needed. Economically, this is a positive result, not only does it reduce the cost of the amount of cement needed it also reduces energy cost. According to the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario is increasing driver and vehicle fees in order to maintain bridges and roads. The price of maintenance has increased. Consequently this increases taxes and other fees. Using this admixture the amount of maintenance required can be reduced, with increase in tax will not be necessary.
Recycled Concrete
Concrete as one of the mostly used building materials when produced and transported creates a lot of CO2 and when disposed generates a huge amount of waste; therefore it causes a lot of concerns for environmental activists. In order to address these environmental issues, it is necessary to recycle the concrete when demolishing buildings built using concrete. Also reuse of this construction waste is important in terms of life Cycle Assessment that is the standard method of evaluating environmental impacts associated with different stage of products’ life, which includes recycling (22). There are 3 basic concepts to promote the proper reuse of the construction waste, (A) assurance of safety and quality, (B) decrease of environmental impact, and (C) increase of cost effectiveness of construction. In this paper we focus on some benefits of proper recycling of concrete for the environment.
First, we are going to address some of the main environmental problems with concrete. Concrete production emits huge amount of CO2, which is the main issue of this industry that leads into global warming. Up to 8% of all the CO2 produced in the world comes from concrete production. Using recycled concrete can dramatically reduce the amount of emitted CO2 and fight against global warming. Nitrous oxide emission and other articulated air emissions on one hand, and on the other hand the traffic congestion caused by delivery of the ready concrete wastes a lot of energy and cause air pollution. Water pollution and adverse effects of concrete on health are among the other problems that make concrete recycling more essential. (19)
In the past, the resulting concrete from demolishing the buildings was released in the environment which had enormous negative impacts. Conventionally recycling concrete has been considered as a difficult task, however recycling technology has been improved and now it has become a feasible technology. Recycling concrete has become a simple process that involves breaking the concrete pavements, removing them from the sites to the recycling machines that can be also installed near the construction sites and finally crushing the concrete into pieces that can vary in quality and size. (18)
Furthermore, recycling technology has reached the stage that can prepare the recycled concrete to produce superior recycled aggregate for structural concrete. Recycled concrete has become one of the best construction materials as it is stronger than new concrete. There are only few restrictions on the type of concrete that can be used as recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) (20).
Recycling now has become more common method of developing the waste produced by demolishing or renovating the structures made of concrete rather than transferring them by truck and leaving them in landfill. Environmental awareness and also the desire of contractors to keep construction costs as low as possible, has made concrete recycling an attractive proposal in any construction project involving concrete.
Unlike most of the materials, such as, glass, bottles or metals that can be reused to produce the same material, once concrete has been made from cement, it cannot be decomposed to its initial component of sand, cement and water. However, Crushed concrete can be combined with virgin aggregate in producing concrete. (17)
It is important to develop standardized guidelines to create new materials. These standards are needed for quality control of Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA), and the correct use of this recycled materials to produce new concrete.
Recycling can reduce the amount of waste concrete that must be landfilled so it saves landfill space by keeping the waste concrete out of landfill. In addition, it reduces the need of virgin aggregates which help to cuts the negative environmental issues of extraction process. Recycled concrete can be used as gravel and it reduces the need for gravel mining. Another positive impact of recycling is the reduction of transportation requirements to transfer the new material to the construction sites, which in turn can reduce air and water pollution significantly and also decrease the greenhouse emission.
One of the most important environmental advantages of concrete recycling rather than leaving the concrete in the landfill and buying the new material is to save up to 1,360 gallons water by recycling one ton of concrete. Using developed recycling system, to recycle the concrete waste produced from demolishing structures or roadways, can reduce t

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fracking

Research Review
Due to the nature of the question its structure appears to be formulaic; one side looking at the potential benefits and the other presenting counter arguments centring on environmental and social impacts. This structure led naturally to researching the potential benefits of fracking first. A good starting point was the official government report Shale gas and fracking[1], this gives a wide overview of the situation regarding fracking in the UK; however the area that is of particular interest for this project refers to the “Economic implications”. Regular comparisons are made with the United States; where fracking has been implemented on a large scale, dramatically changing their energy landscape for the better. These comparisons have led to the conclusion that “shale gas was unlikely to be a “game-changer” as in the US”, this is down to the comparable shortage of land on which to drill in the UK. Suggesting that UK fracking will yield considerably lower economic benefits than the US, despite this according to a May 2013 report referenced in the document a scenario has been put forward “Where UK shale gas production attracts £3.7 billion per year and supports up to 74,000 jobs”, clearly showing the potential benefits of fracking.

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As expected from a government report counter arguments are provided very effectively, this is a vital part of a cost benefit analyse; the main purpose of the document. A large portion of the document is dedicated to “Environmental considerations”, relating well to the environmental and social impacts section of my dissertation, therefore this source covers arguments both for and against fracking in the UK and will prove very useful when writing my dissertation.
Looking at the origin of the source it appears credible, published on the 22nd January 2014 suggests that up to date information has been used, it has also been written by a plethora of different writers, thus decreasing the chances of any bias influencing conclusions. Finally it is an official government document therefore likely to be highly reliable with informed decisions being made following the collation of large amounts of research data. Although the report made clear there is a distinct lack of information regarding fracking in UK, for example “the amount of shale gas that could be commercially extracted” is not known, possibly making any further assumptions such as how far could fracking bring down energy costs, unreliable as no exact calculations can be made.
Shale gas and fracking raised the idea of Shale gas being used as “bridge” from coal to clearer renewable sources of energy. A similar idea is addressed in Michael Levi’s research paper Climate Consequences of Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel[2]; this explores the use of natural gas as a bridge fuel. The main function of this bridge fuel is “smoothing a transition … from fossil fuels to zero carbon energy by temporarily offsetting the decline in coal use”. Levi takes a research orientated approach using hypothetical scenarios to answer this question; he begins with 6 traditional stabilization scenarios before constructing “six new “bridge” scenarios” and finally “six delayed transmission scenarios”. This modelling demonstrates the effects of these different scenarios on CO2 concentration and temperature change; this is significant when assessing the potential benefits of fracking as if it can lower CO2 output and potentially reduce dependency on coals leading to “zero carbon energy” it could suggest there is a strong case for it implementation.
Again this source presents both sides of the argument, the converse of which is that methane emissions from the extraction of natural gas “will severely reduce or entirely negate the climate benefits of lower CO2 emissions”. Despite this potential downfall not necessarily fitting my counter argument of the environmental and social impacts, it could be used to evaluate the potential benefits of fracking.
Dr Levi, a David Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment, is highly regarded having published many scholarly articles for a number of academic papers such as the Oxford press. Therefore this source seems highly credible as the author has extensive experience in the field of energy and fracking. Despite this there is considerable ambiguity over the conclusions made, he is aware that he has only used a limited number of scenarios and that “examination of additional scenarios could further reinforce or challenge his result”.
Upon appraisal it was evident that a clear fracking debate was emerging, this led me to a particular TED talk entitled The Fracking Debate[3] delivered by Terry Engelder, a leading authority on the Marcellus gas shale play. Engelder believes that the economy will only grow in proportion to its availability to energy and that fracking should be used to fuel this growth. Engelder arguments are not constructed in such a way that champions fracking but instead by deposing its alternatives, for example if America was to implement wide scale renewable energy programs such as solar and wind then it would experience numerous problems. Such as, extensive use of solar panels become susceptible to sudden voltage shocks from the emerging sun causing failure in transmissions systems. He also raises the fact that these are heavily subsidised; unlike fracking. Finally the counter argument over methane emissions from fracking offsetting the reduction in CO2 in Levi’s paper is disproved, Engelder suggests that Co2 emissions will have a far more sever effect on global temperature change as oppose to Methane emissions because of its short ½ life.
In terms of utility this source is highly subjective; Engelder’s has a strong pro fracking stance, which may result in bias thus limiting objectivity. Although having said this the arguments raised demonstrate the potential benefits of fracking are very logical therefore it will prove useful when writing my dissertation.
During this TED talk Engelder refers to the book the end of country[4] by shamus McGraw, this provides a valuable case study with personal insight into the effects of fracking on a local scale. McGraw acts a detached narrator recalling the discovery of the Marcellus gas shale play worth an estimated $1 trillion. He demonstrates how some benefited from this discovery selling their land to oil companies, but at the same time explores the complex moral issues behind selling land that generations have relied on, for a quick profit; resulting in it becoming permanently scared.
McGaw is an experienced freelance writer; therefore this book is likely to give an accurate account from a neutral perspective avoiding any subjectivity. However he may be prone to exaggeration for dramatic effect, which could influence the reader. On its own The end of country cannot be given considerable weighting as it only refers to one example and is therefore not representative of every Fracking scenario. Although it is a good piece of supplementary evidence to support the arguments raised in my dissertation.
These local economic benefits raised The end of country could be seen as a positive. Yet Prof. Susan Christopherson of Cornell University argues that these are short-term and that the communities will suffer in the long run, these views are presented on her Green choices website[5]. She refers extensively to the “ripple affect” that occurs once natural gas extraction has begun in an area, these include “Direct effects on property values, the local tax base … costs associated with increased use of infrastructure, especially roads and bridges”. This source will prove extremely useful when examining the social impacts of fracking as it allows a deeper level of analysis looking at the longer term impacts rather than more immediate ones. It could also provide a good link between my two arguments, as on the one hand you have the short term gain but this is countered by the long term impacts.
The Green choices movement is a product of Cornell University; therefore we would expect the information provided to be very reliable, having been collated and assed by a number of academics who have devoted many hours of research into these conclusions. However we must consider the number of case studies used to come to these conclusions, if they used a limited number then results may not be representative of all areas.
The environmental impacts of fracking are also explored in the Sustainalytics research paper Fracking under Pressure: The Environmental and Social Impacts and Risks of Shale Gas Development[6]. It has subdivided environmental impacts into “land” and “water” as well as a specific case study into ground water contamination. It also deals with social impacts such as “light and noise pollution” from continuously running rigs. However this paper had a disappointing lack of counter arguments, none the less it is still of great use as I am only using to strengthen the Environmental and social impacts side of my argument, thus it is not imperative that in contains counter arguments; the fact that it is a high reliable scholarly article is more important. Although it was published in 2011 so it may be subject to out of date information.
The final source to add weight to the environmental and social impacts side of my argument is the ReFINE[7] project; this is the biggest research project of its kind in Europe, dedicated to researching “the issue of shale gas and oil exploitation using fracking methods and its potential risks”. It not only referred to the already established environmental and social costs of fracking, but also raised some new issues that would add to my argument against fracking e.g. the argument over orphaned wells and who should take responsibility for them. One of most important factors associated with ReFINE is the fact that it has be carried out in Europe rather than America, making it the most relevant source that I have found as I plan to centre my dissertation around fracking in the UK. A common weakness in many of my other sources is that they may not be applicable to the UK. The source is objective, simply presenting the facts rather than trying to influence opinions.
After reading the ReFINE paper I decided to try and gain a deeper insight into the implications behind it and try to find out what those behind it personally thought of Fracking in the UK. To do this I emailed the project lead who forwarded me on Dr Liam Herringshaw who was also involved in formulating the project, he agreed to answer any questions I had for him.
This is an extremely valuable primary source; however I am aware it is highly subjective as it is only one persons opinion. Therefore I plan to use his responses not to base whole arguments on but rather to support arguments that have already been established.
I believe there is no definitive answer to my question; views tend to be a result of the perspective, rather than hardened evidence. I hope that by formulating my ideas in a logical way using my sources both as the basis for my reasoning as well as to supplement my arguments; I will be able to construct a well-balanced argument from which a conclusion made.

[1] Edward White, Mike Fell, Louise Smith, Matthew Keep, Shale gas and fracking, (London 2014).
[2] Michael Levi Climate Consequences of Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel , (January 2013)
[3] Terry Engelder, The Fracking Debate, video, TED, (June 2013)
[4] Shamus McGraw, The end of country, (2012)
[6] Sustainalytics, Fracking under Pressure: The Environmental and Social Impacts and Risks of Shale Gas Development, (August 2011)
[7] ReFINE project, (2013)