Negative Effects of TV

Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwan Ni Jai
Akshar Purushottam Maharaj Ni Jai
Gunatitanand Swami Maharaj Ni Jai
Bhagatji Maharaj Ni Jai
Shastriji Maharaj Ni Jai
Yogiji Maharaj Ni Jai
Pramukh Swami Maharaj Ni Jai
Mahant Swami Maharaj Ni Jai
Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav Ni Jai
IS TV AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL?
TV is a great innovation, and it can be beneficial if used wisely, however, it teaches us to sit back and accept instead of being proactive and thinking.
TV programmes or commercials brainwash us to purchase things we do not actually require.
The most bad effect of TV viewing is, it takes away time from reading, and improving reading skills. According to Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.”
Next, DOES TV PORTRAY FACT OR FICTION?
One of the bad effects of TV viewing is that it appears to portray or report reality. In fact it isn’t. Instead, it is allowing us a small glimpse of what’s really going on. Most people accept whatever television is feeding them, without casting a doubt in their mind. We do not make an effort to search reality, we rely on the TV producers to do all the searches for us. In this way we easily accept a bias view.
Ask yourself, HAS TV ANY EFFECT ON YOUR INTELLIGENCE?
Watching TV for long hours can shrink your creative and analytical thinking ability. Continuous and quick information, opinion, analysis and criticism for just about everything stops you using your critical thinking. In this way, we can be easily misinformed and manipulated.
Those watching too much television start relating themselves with what is shown on TV and the desire to live the lives of their favourite TV characters. This may lead to becoming hungry for power, money, and status.
IS THERE ANY HEALTH RISK RELATED TO TV?
Watching television means inactivity, and # inactivity has been linked to obesity and heart disease. A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health # indicates that watching too much television can significantly increase the risk of developing obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Kids often snack on junk food while watching TV. They are also influenced by commercials to consume unhealthy food.
Watching too much TV is also harmful to eyesight.
WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL EFFECTS?
A child watching non-educational TV for 3-4 hours daily # will have seen about 8,000 murders on screen by the time he reaches the age of 16. Violent TV programs encourage antisocial behaviour in children and may lead them to behave rudely. They believe in violence to resolve conflict, just like their favourite hero does to a bad guy.
TV teaches us, “To Be Passive Copycats”. An actor may be shown smoking or drinking. Children will imitate them thinking it to be cool.
DO WE WASTE TIME?
Life is short, but # we have opted to substitute real living with TV living. We do not live our life to the fullest, going out to meet people, socialising and having fun. We have decided to confine ourselves within four walls and be all alone so we can watch adventure movies, reality shows, and soap operas with full attention.
IN CONCLUSION
Television certainly has much to offer, and without a doubt is a great innovation, but it can affect people negatively when it comes to relying on it, whether to be informed or entertained.
TV steals time for activities that actually develop children, like interacting with other people and playing. A child learns a lot more efficiently from real interaction – with people and things.
Certainly, there are a few programs on TV that are educational and entertaining, but the majority are simply rubbish. Viewing TV can be good if it is done in moderation, and if the program being watched is selected wisely. Some TV shows can educate, inform and inspire.
In a typical 24 hours day, we spend 8 hours at either school or work and further 8 hours sleeping. 2 hours are used for meals and travelling. This leaves us with 6 hours to spare. If we spend 4 hours watching TV, we will have only 2 hours for other activities like # homework, personal hygiene, sports, socialising, communicating with family members, daily puja, Ghar Sabha, housework, shopping, and cooking.

What Are The Negative Effects Of Pesticides Environmental Sciences Essay

From the term pesticides are a molecules chemical substance or a mixture of molecules chemical substances or other agents that control or destroy any organisms that are considered as a pest.
Pesticides are used to increase the protection of food and fibre and to promote public health. There are many types and producer of pesticide, but the pesticide that kills insects is called insecticide and one that kill plants like weeds called an herbicide may other life forms pesticide called fumigants and the ones that kill fungi grow on plants and some ties animals called fungicides.

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Pest infestations have been problem to humans for as many thousands of years as human have practiced agriculture. For long period pests, flies, rats, lice and many other insects threatened human health. For thousands of years people looked for means to rid their crops of the insects eating them, the weeds chocking them or the fungi are making them uneatable. Therefore people began to use sulphur, a chemical product still in use by organic gardeners, as a pesticide thousands of years ago.
Extracts of chrysanthemum flowers containing pyrethrum have been used for nearly as long, and tobacco extract containing nicotine have been used for hundreds of years. Starting in the 1800s, chemical pesticides containing arsenic, mercury, lead, and copper came in to widespread use. An elderly man wrote a letter to a periodical in 1989 describing his grandmothers 1920s gardening chemical; in addition to her occasional use of the highly toxic gas hydrogen cyanide as a fumigant she use Paris green ( copper arsenate), lead arsenate and nicotine sulphate to control garden pest.
In the first half of this century has given the widespread use of metal pesticide.
The first household hazardous waste roundup that Massachusetts carried out in the 1980s, recovered tree tons of arsenic in chemical that had been sitting in sheds and barns for many years. In large amounts, sulphate and cooper only partially controlled pests. Therefore it is not surprising when the very effective synthetic insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was introduced in 1942 it was quickly embraced. DDT was mortal to many insects. It killed the mosquitoes and flies that spread disease, the insect infesting crops, and other insect such as body lice.
It was considered a tremendous contribution to public health, and the discoverer of its insecticidal activity received a Noble Prize in medicine in 1948. Many other synthetic chemical pesticides were quickly developed and saw widespread use. In 1940s, the ability of insects to mutate and become resistant to pesticide was observed; however, most pesticides remained widly effective and the phenomenon of resistance cause little concern.
DDT and similar organochlorine pesticides showed relatively low acute toxicity to human and were not absorbed through the skin. Possible chronic toxicity was little considered.
The result was wide and often indiscriminate use of pesticide. It was not until the early 1960s that Rachel Carson’s famous book Silent spring forced Americans to see the darker face of DDT and other pesticides.
Since the dark face of pesticides discovered it become to be as death sentence of the world and started to be regulated to minim of use and more carful of the way to be use by label it and advertising of the instructed of use by many of the world governments up to our days.
Pesticide use in EU and UK
The European commission (EC) together with a proposal for a framework directive adopted in 2006 the thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides, and they aim to fill all the gaps for the current legislative regarding the level of use for pesticides in EU by setting up some of minimums rules for the use of pesticide in the community to reduce the risks of the pesticides affect on the human health and the environmental.
Therefore the EC directive laws which are:
Set residue limits for certain pesticides.
Prohibit the placing on the market of certain plant protective products.
In UK most people’s use pesticides for different purposes, but UK still have control over what comes on to the market , the MRLs and them monitoring. Common sense suggests that the best way to prevent problems is to stop them at source. That means preventing the wrong kind of products getting to market and being used. Clearly, this admirable public health principle has gone a little awry over pesticides. But the European commission is aware of this and Brussels is increasingly the location of some fairly bitter arguments about pesticides product.
Pesticide and their application
There are many applications for pesticide usages, Pesticides in Agriculture. The use of pesticides enhance the crops to grow at time and in places where could not otherwise be grown. Fruits and vegetables are on market year round not only because they can’t be transported long distance from warmer climates, but because pesticides makes it Let’s see how pesticide use in Agriculture as the use of makes it possible to grow them over longer growing season and in a greater number of locations. For example without fungicides, certain crops could not grow in locals or in seasons when fungi grow prolifically. The health advantages of fresh fruit and vegetable availability year round and their lowered cost make up for any human health risk posed by pesticides. Another public health benefit is reducing growth of fungi on treated crops, fungi which can produce very toxic chemicals. Pesticides make monoculture possible, which is a large tract of land, can be devoted to only one crop, for example, wheat, cotton, soybeans, or corn, season after season at one location. Without chemicals, the pests that attack a monoculture crop would build up until the crop could no longer be grown at that location. Pesticides also make it possible to store food product for long periods. After harvest, grain is fumigated to kill the insects and diseases causing organism infesting it. These organisms could otherwise multiply during the storage, destroying part or all of the grain. For similar reasons crops are fumigated before being transported long distance to market. Pesticides are also used to control the vector that spread disease, such as mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and rats.
Disinfectants germicides are uses to kill microorganisms’ that live outside the body. Regulated as pesticides by EPA, disinfectants have been used since 1867, when Lister began using phenol to disinfect operating rooms.
Chemical related to phenol are still widely in use for disinfectants. The active infect ants use in home and industries are chlorine containing compounds such as sodium hypochlorite, household bleach. For the antibiotics that benne used to kill microorganisms in human and animals are regulated by the US FDA, not EPA 20
Mode of action
It is very important to understand how pesticides mechanism to deal and study the harmful side effects of them and very necessary to pests targeted system function. It is also helpful to understand how animal and humans systems roles or functions to see the similarities and differences between humans and pests to have better control. Another reason it is important to understand the mode of actions of the pesticides we use is to avert the development of pesticide ability and the aim that pests try to achieve. The pesticides with the same mode of achievement action provide to this problem by killing the easily affected pests and leaving only those with conflict to the entire category of pesticides that work through identical mechanisms. Growth of pest conflict can be avoid or deferred by turning pest chemical rule that effort throughout dissimilar mode of achievement Insecticides and miticides in general target the nervous system, expansion and improvement, or energy production of the pest. Pesticides can also cause danger to workforce for the period of production, transportation, or at some stage in and after use. Bystander may also be affected at time, for example walker using public and civil rights of way on nearby land or families whose homes are close by harvest spraying actions. One of the most important hazards of pesticide use is to farm workers and gardeners. A recent advanced study by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered a 70% raise in the risk of developing Parkinson’s infection for people expose to constant small level of pesticides.
Organchlorine pesticide DDT acts on nerve membranes to prevent normal conduction of nervous impulse. Organophosphate insecticides inhabit the action of the enzymes that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; as acetylcholine leaves build up, the results are uncontrolled firing of nerves. Campmate insecticides exert toxicity in a similar manner, but the toxic effect are shorter lived. There are many other ways that insecticides can kill target pests: for example the botanical insecticides (pesticides derived from plant) rotenone is a stomach and contact poison.
Herbicides fall in too many chemical groups. Some interfere with the normal function of plant cell membranes, other act on plant metabolism to cause abnormal growth, and still others inhabit the action of enzymes necessary to plant life.
Some pesticides are selective. They act against a limited group of organisms because they affect some aspect of metabolism specific to a limited number of plant animal, or microbes. Any chemical can be toxic in high enough doses. However, an herbicide that interacts with an enzyme found only in planets is less likely to harm birds, other animals, and humans. Other pesticides are broad-spectrum, affecting a wider range of organisms and more likely to pose a danger to no target species. Fumigants are an example; the fumigants hydrogen cyanide and methyl bromide affect biochemical respiration in many species. A fumigant is often deliberately used to kill a variety of pests, those infesting the grain stored in an elevator or a greenhouse, for example. Fumigants are also used to sterilize soil or seeds. They are often gases that can penetrate an enclosed space to do the job required of them.
The causes of pesticide pollution
Pesticides are a source of pollution, affect land and water everywhere in particular. The trouble is massive and increasing. According to the USA geological survey in 1990, pesticide pollution has been found in most or every lakes, stream, lakes, municipals, and agricultures lands. Many other nations are affected badly as well in the world. As the rain off water wash the chemical products close by water source and most of the chemical products are pesticides as it have been use to enhance the growing in the farming fields and from horticultural land and house gardens, but the main source of exposure to pesticides for mainly people is all the way through diet
In these days most new pesticide are with awareness regulated by government commandment in major countries in the world. As we could see that in Europe and UK, and the EPA in USA conducts studies and licence for pesticides to be used. However all this regulated laws to minimise the use of pesticides can not control what happen because when the grower open a particular product and spray it over his farm without reading the label on the product and follow the guidelines. Therefore accident will happens and can not be controlled.
For the so toxic pesticides as most of the pesticides are toxic they are restricted to a licences and trained application, especially in USA it is infringement to apply any pesticides in any way that is not in agreement with label for that pesticides and it is a offence could end up the farmer in the jail and judge him that he been used the product intentionally. The toxic pesticides are off the record according to their toxicity in the majority countries in the world. Most sensitive pesticide poisonings result from disregarding the label route. So the most important advice for the ones that must use toxic pesticides is to read the label carefully and follow the instruction to the letter, and for anyone who is concerned about the toxic effect of toxic in the pesticides that been used in agriculture is to try and eat the organic foods and vegetable as they grow without toxic pesticides. And there are many strategies available to organic gardens and farms to be avoid attacks by pest.
The effects of toxic pesticides on our foods and vegetables and any other effects on lands and our health for us and our children which is for sure become more and more crucial
Behaviour and fate of pesticides in the environmental
All types of pesticide made to be released in to the environment, and when we release a pesticide in to the environment many things happen to the pesticides. For example herbicides and insecticides are applied over large area of agriculture fields and forest, and farmers nay apply them a dozen times or more during the growing season, less than a half of the pesticides actually reach the insect, weed or other pests. Most become a pollutant. Sometimes a foggy or rainy weather prevents pesticides from being airborne away from the point of application, posing a problem to those exposed to the trapped pesticides. Most pesticides are applying to the crops by spraying then they drift by air from the point of application such as lands. The largest amount of the sprayed pesticides settle on to land and water close to the point of application, but the smaller amount swept higher in to the atmosphere with the winds, can be carried thousands of miles . Certain polychlorinated pesticides detected in wilderness lakes. In the United state and Canada are not used certain polychlorinated pesticides but still they have in the country lakes and they assume that have been blown from some other countries such as Mexico or Latin American. Once soil and water become contaminated with these present pesticides, they may remain so for many years, especially in the northern locations, where cold weather and lake of intense sunlight prevent them from degrading. However agriculture lands are major nonpoint sources of pesticides, fertilizers, eroded soil, and manure. Runoff from lands to which pesticides have been applied is responsible for most surface water contamination with pesticides. Occasionally what happen is advantageous. Such as, the escape of some herbicides into the agriculture roots ground region can give you improved weed control, but most the time releasing pesticides into the environment are risky and harmful, as not the whole applied chemical reach the target place, overflows can shift an herbicide away from objective weeds. The chemical is wasted, weed control is reduced, and there is more chance of damage other plants and polluting soil and water. Or some of the pesticide may drift downwind and outside of the future application site. Many procedure affect what happen to pesticides in the environment. These processes include breakdown, transfer, adsorption, and degradation. Transfer includes process that moves the pesticide away from the target place. These include leaching, volatilization, runoff, spray drift, chemical breakdown, absorption and removal of crops. In the below diagram we could see all the procedures when the pesticides release in to the environment.
Environmental degradation of pesticides
The fate of pesticide in soil
Soil qualities affected by pesticides, because they reduce the biodiversity in the soil and kill the entire future pest with many other small organisms that do live in soil. Due to the pesticides action in soil the life will be killed off and the soil quality become poor. This has a knock on effect upon the retention of water, for the farmer particularly in the time of drought this become a serious problem and issues. In such time organic farmer found out to have yielded approximately 25-40% higher than conventional farm. Soil fertility could be affected in other ways too. When most active organisms killed off in soil, the complex interactions which result in good fertility crack down. As well known that our plants depend on millions of bacteria and fungi’s to pass nutrients to their rootlets, and when these circulations are disrupts plants turn out to be more dependent upon correct dose of chemical fertilisers at usual interval. The fantastically rich interactions in healthy soil can not be fully replicated. Therefore our nutrition and the soil are comprised, and will get large shape of vegetables and fruits, but very watery, which often lake taste and for sure they will contain pesticides residues.another most important factors influencing the action and biodegradability of pesticides in the soil is their attraction for adsorption by soil organic substance. Soil organic substance made of decomposed plant litter dead animals remains and roots and excreta, and they variable in both chemical and physical composition. It is also possesses a selection of a chemical functional groups like carboxyl, hydroxyl, pheonolic and amines which could interact with pesticides.
Many pesticides molecules are non ionic and non polar and in general hydrophobic, organic substance provide significant site for their adsorption. Adsorption is the process a chemical movements from a liquid state to the solid state. Adsorptions of a pesticide onto organic matter make affect its behavior and destiny in the soil in a number of ways. It may make the pesticide physiologically motionless and more vulnerable to degradation by microbial achievement, and therefore less moveable in the soil and less level to defeat process such as leaching. In other situation, adsorption may improve mobility of the pesticide. In the soil clarification, dissolve organic substance or colloidal particulate substance can form complexes with most hydrophobic compounds, including pesticides, greatly increasing their mobility through the soil profile and therefore their vulnerability to leaching defeat. As on the soil surface, pesticides linked with organic substance are susceptible to soil erosion and the movement to water course as balanced load. This sediment may then be deposited and build up in streams and lakes where it may prove unsettling to the aquatic ecosystem and linked food chains. Soil erosion is in charge for the disappearance of many disqualified pesticides example aldrin and dieldrin in surface watercourse in the UK. The clay content of soils may also significantly control the fate of agricultural pesticides. Clay particles size less than two micrometer in particular alumina silicates minerals have two significant properties which explain their primary consequence in soil chemistry. They may have very large specific surface areas and hold a permanent negative electrical charge. This means they are of considerable importance in the adsorption of ionic and ionizable pesticides. Many of the triazine herbicides, for example, are weak bases in acid media and one of the amino groups may become protonated, therefore enhancing its adsorption by clays at low soil pH.
Pesticides in surface and ground waters
The potential of water to spread massive epidemics is a matter of public record. In the beginning of the 20th century typhoid fever and other enteric disease were major causes of death. Since about 1920, however, these enteric diseases have been contributed little to sickness and death in many developing countries. This remarkable record is a credit to water resource engineering. Water borne disease out breaks still occur from time to time but are usually the result of accidents commonly involving small or private supplies. Concern over water borne viral diseases is a result of increased water reuse by man intensifying the need to know more about enteric viruses.
Specific needs of knowledge exist about trace amounts of some potentially toxic chemical or excessive amounts of some common minerals in drinking water. Many of the possible contaminants are organic compounds. These come from chemicals used as automotive fuel additives, insecticides, detergents, lubricants, and from many other types of industrial production. Toxicological effects of water borne organics have been observed principally in connection with the chlorinated hydrocarbons and organic phosphorus compounds use has pesticides these substances may enter the water from runoff, irrigation return flow, air drifting, and by direct application for the control of algae.
Surface and ground water tend to persist pesticides for long period. Therefore the hazard from pesticides in water results both from direct effects, and from indirect effect because they may be concentrated biologically in mans food chain. Generally fish are more sensitive to pesticides and many serve as rough method for determining when chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides contend of water is approaching a danger level. This needs to be established as a fact and care must be exercised to select fish of the proper sensitivity.
The identification and qualification of pesticides compounds in water which have possible effects on human health pose a critical problem. Therefore under the Groundwater Regulations, you must have authorisation from the Environment Agency to dispose of pesticide washings on your land.
Practical solutions for pesticide pollution
Pesticides pollution is everywhere, in everything better living through pesticides has turned out to have a serious pollution downside.
Pesticides pollution has become a big problem in many countries around the world. Although there are very strong laws been setup as pesticides pollution solution to prevent further pesticides pollution from taking place, but there is a lot of works is still to be done. The records from the environmental protection agency those around 41% of rivers, lakes, streams are not safe to fish to swim in due to the pesticides pollution in water and many other water pollution sources. Many laws in place that offer pesticides pollution but they are not always effectively in forces, and very simple way to have pesticides pollutions would be to enforce the rules that have been already set up.
Additional pesticides solutions involve reducing the amount of manure and encouraging smarter agricultural practises by using a biodynamic. Also we could be more advertising to reduce the households pesticides and fertilizers to the minimums need of usage or could be stopping their use altogether.
Individuals can do a lot to help prevent pesticides pollution at becomes a death sentence in the world and to aid in the pesticides pollution solution. Also we have to start buy and use organic food and green house hold cleaners and personal care items to prevent the run off of the chemical product into the ground water.
Man-made pesticides are likely to remain an essential part of current agricultural put into practice for the probable future. However, there are many options for the minimization and abolition of their negative environmental impact. These options might best be thought of as forming a continuum. At one end of the continuum lie relatively high input, intensive farming systems with some technological or managerial modification to make the use of pesticides a little more benign. At the other end of the continuum, are more radical options such as the use of political mechanisms and the encouragement of alternative farming systems to significantly reduce or avoid the use of synthetic pesticide inputs. The options examined here range from the encouragement of good practice when using pesticides to various forms of non chemical pest and weed control.
Pesticides pollution solution is very affordable to put into effect by stop using most the pesticides around our houses and yards, and destroying all the chemical product that have not been proven safe.
Only use pharmaceuticals when absolutely necessary. Learn about natural cures and how important good nutrition, sleep, and low stress levels are to keeping you healthy and pharma free.
 

Negative Impact Of The Bauxite Mining Industry Environmental Sciences Essay

This study is an investigation into the negative impact of the bauxite mining industry on the community of Myersville, St. Elizabeth. The research will entail:
What are the negative impacts that the mining industry has on the community of Myersville?
What are the effects of the negative impacts that the community is faced with?
How can the negative impacts be alleviated?
LITERATURE REVIEW
According to Effects of Pollution by Scott Foresman, ‘pollution is defined as the addition of any substance or form of energy to the environment at a rate faster than the environment can accommodate it by dispersion, decomposition, recycling, or storage in some harmless form’. The processing of alumina at ALPART generates dust thus emitting caustic soda and other waste products such as red mud trailing and gases.
Mr. Williams, personnel from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) office in St. Elizabeth explained that certain tests have been conducted on crops in which they have ruled out diseases and insects and have pointed to the dust emanating from the bauxite mining plant located in Nain, St. Elizabeth, as the main cause of the problems affecting residents’ crops.
Mc Farlene O.A (2000), a draft author on the internet, said ‘the major environment problem caused by the industry is the disposal of the tailing, which forms an alkaline mud. These “red mud lakes” resulted in the percololation of caustic residues (sodium) into the underground aquifers in local areas’. The environmental impact of Jamaica’s bauxite mining symbolizes the majority of mining or heavy industrial operation. Bauxite mining, which is considered as surface mining, is land extensive, noisy and dusty. Mining pits are often interspersed within small rural communities, therefore requiring companies to relocate the people and or to monetarily compensate them. An increasing concern is the loss of habitat for Jamaica’s unique plant and animal species; also bauxite mining severely affects the water retention capability of the soil. The Jamaica mining act of 1947 requires mines to remove top soil before mining, and restore it as part of the reclamation process. Two other environmental impacts of great concern is dust and caustic soda contamination. During a visit to ALPART port facility, economic officials observed a considerable amount of alumina spilled on the pier and a cloud of dust being carried downwind from loading equipment. It has been argued that the dust is chemically inert; however, it adversely affects the respiratory system, pollutes the residential cistern, and defaces property. The degradation of Jamaica’s delicate coral reefs along its south coast is as a result of alumina spilling during ship loading.

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An article titled Tailing wash-out result in death in Jamaica (2005, September 7) stated that a ” remediate” mine tailing area in Myersville, Jamaica became a water grave for five people on July 16,2005, when heavy rain from hurricane Emily washed their car off a road and over a precipice. According to Lance Neita, ALPART’s public relation manager, the bauxite mine which was dugged thirty years ago belongs to ALPART and had been “restored, rehabilitated and certified”. Jamaica National Work Agency (NWA) spokesman Stephen Shaw, said that erosion had taken place at the site and guard rails should have been installed. The author of the report concludes that the ALPART tradition has been to mute local protest rather than to eliminate the source of the environmental problem. There has been ongoing protest in Jamaica about the health and environment costs of the bauxite and alumina operation.
The writer Rampersad Ramsawak ( 2005) states that industries pollute water in a variety of ways and that in the first instance chemical plants such as oil refining, ammonia and urea plants release waste such as sulphur oxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. When it rains, the water becomes polluted with these chemicals thus forming acid rain. Acid rain contributes to fishes being killed in rivers and lakes; also the soil becomes acid and this stultifies the growth of plants and accelerates the corrosion of metalwork on buildings.
Rampersad also said that noise pollution can be alleviated by the implementation of legislations which prohibits noise levels over 80 decibels in residential areas and also that persons should be educated on the effects of noise pollution.
DATA COLLECTION
Myersville is a developed community that has approximately two hundred (200) house holders. In order to collect accurate data for the survey, the researcher decided to use primary and secondary sources of data collection in the form of questionnaires, interviews, textbooks and newspaper articles.
The issuing of questionnaires was one of the most suitable form of data collection because they require little time to be completed; responses are gathered in a standardized way; information can be collected from a large portion of a group; also respondents feel confident in disseminating information because confidentiality is guaranteed and last but not least questionnaires can be completed at the convenience of the respondents in a relatively quick way.
In order to receive accurate information, it was calculated that approximately twenty (20) citizens’ inputs would be ideal. And these twenty (20) persons would account for 10% of the population of the two hundred (200) household members (10% of 200=20). These citizens were selected randomly by placing thirty (30) names in a box after which the box was energetically shaken and the twenty (20) names ascertained.
Twenty three (23) questionnaires were prepared and handed out to residents, with three (3) being additional in case all were not completed. Upon the distribution of the questionnaires, residents were given a time frame of one (1) week in which to complete the questionnaires. However, at the end of the time frame given to residents, the researcher only needed twenty (20) out of the twenty three (23) that were issued.
Alongside the questionnaires, interviews were conducted with some of the citizens who did not receive a questionnaire. The carrying out of interviews with the residents proved useful as the researcher was able to adapt the questions as necessary, clarify doubt, and ensure that the responses are properly understood by rephrasing and repeating the questions. The researcher could also pick up non verbal cues in detecting any form of discomfort, stress and problems that the respondent is experiencing.
PRESENTATION OF DATA
Figure 1: Column Bar chart showing that seventy five percent (75%) of the respondents live within 1 – 5 miles from the mining industry, ten percent (10%) live within 6 – 10, five percent (5%) live within 11- 15 and five percent (5%) live within16 miles and over.
TYPES OF POLLUTION AFFECTING THE RESIDENTS
Type of pollution
Percentage of respondents
Air pollution
15%
Water Pollution
15%
Land Pollution
10%
Total 100%
Noise Pollution
60%
Table 1: Table showing that sixty percent (60%) of the respondents are affected by noise pollution, fifteen percent (15%) respectively is affected by air and water pollution and the remaining ten percent (10%) is affected by land pollution.
Figure 2: Pyramid showing that sixty percent (60%) of the respondents are affected by pollution everyday, thirty-five percent (35%) is affected periodically and five percent (5%) is not affected any at all.
Figure 3: The above pie chart depicts damages caused by pollution.
Thirty five (35%) said it causes poor crop yield and infertile soil, thirty (30%) respectively said the water gets contaminated and animals are affected and five percent (5%) said it causes acid rain.
Figure 4: Donut showing compensations received toward physical.
Thirty five percent (35%) of the respondents say that the company refills the tank with clean water, twenty five (25%) said that the company replaces their roofing material twenty percent (20%) said that the company leases lands for farming, fifteen (15%) said that there is payment for property damage and five percent (5%) that there is no compensation.
Table showing compensations received towards health
Compensations
Percentage of respondents
Provide health cards
45%
Ask citizens to bring medical bill to company
30%
Relocate citizens
25%
Deny responsibilities
0%
Table 2 shows that the compensations received towards health are that the citizens are provided with health cards and a total of forty five percent (45%) said this, 30% said that the citizens are asked to bring the medical bill to the company; twenty five percent (25%) said that they relocate citizens and 0% said that they deny responsibilities.
Figure 5: Pie chart showing that 100% of the respondents said that an anti-pollution method has been implemented.
INTERPRETATION OF DATA
This survey is to find out what are the negative impacts that the mining industry(ALPART) has on the citizens of Myersville, the effects of these negative impacts and how these negative impacts can be alleviated.
Figure 1 illustrates that 15 out of 20 respondents live between 1 to 5 miles from the industry, two (2) live within 6-10 miles and 11 – 15 miles and one (1) live within 16 miles and over. Persons living within one to five (1 -5) miles may be as a result of the availability of resources such as fertile soil for farming. These persons who choose to live there because of the fertile soil for farming may be one that grows and sells food items for a living. Also, a person’s job may have caused them to live within such a close proximity to the industry as it is easier for them to get to work from there as it more economical for them. Those who live within six to ten (6 – 10) miles may be because of inheritance and often times when lands are inherited persons do not bother to relocate, instead they live there and try to make themselves and their family members happy. The person living within eleven to fifteen (11 – 15) miles and sixteen (16) miles and over may be because they had no choice; that person not having any choice could be because they were in search of a plot of land on which to settle and build their house and this plot of land that they came upon was of a reasonable price so the person just went ahead and bought it. Not having any choice could also be that that person was brought up in that community and when they came of age in which they could move out, they did not have the necessary resources such as money to move out and get on with their life.
The types of pollution were depicted by figure 2. Noise pollution, having the most percentage, a total of sixty percent (60%) results from the heavy duty machines when they are extracting bauxite from the earth. Very loud noises accompany these machines when they are in use and noise can be very disturbing whether you are near or far away from it. Noise most times poses as a hindrance in one getting enough rest; hence, this results in frustration. Fifteen percent (15%) of the respondents are affected by air pollution, this may be so because of the dust that is uprooted during the processing of the bauxite; dust would be one of the main causes of air pollution. Water pollution is affected by fifteen percent (15%) of the respondents. This can be as a result of the chemical and dust that is in the air. In addition, it also results from oil spillage from ships that are docking in the harbor. Only ten percent (10%) stated that they are affected by land pollution. Land pollution is caused by debris that is washed on to the land and by negligent people who dispose of their garbage inappropriately. Also, in open cast mining, huge holes are dug in the ground and these form dangerously deep mining pools. A lot of mining waste is left behind and these waste often contain several poisonous substances that seep into underground water.
Sixty percent (60%) of the respondents said that they are affected every day. This is so because of the close proximity that they live to the mining industry. This would be within the distance range of one to five (1 – 5) miles. Thirty-five percent (35%) stated that they are affected periodically; this means that they are affected occasionally. In addition, these residents who are affected may be live within the range of six to fifteen (6- 15) miles. And this distance is much further away from the industry so the residents would not be affected as often as those who live at a closer proximity to the industry. Five (5%) percent is not affected any at all. These residents who are not affected would be those who are living sixteen (16) miles and over.
Thirty five percent (35%) from figure 4 suggested that poor crop yield was one of the major damages caused by pollution; this would be due to the fact that there is a removal of the topsoil during the extraction of bauxite. The topsoil contains all the essential nutrients needed for plant growth. Also, acid rain washes away nutrients from the topsoil, thus making it infertile. Residents say that animals are affected and there is a contamination of water. These responses account for thirty percent (30%) of the respondents respectively. Water becomes contaminated by the excessive dust and other impurities that are in the atmosphere and when consumed can cause great harm to the body. The contamination of water, removal of trees and pastures contributes to the loss of biodiversity. Acid rain being five percent (5%) affects residents’ infrastructure by corroding metals, burning up plants, affecting animals and contaminating drinking water.
There was some compensation that the Myersville community members receive towards physical damages. Among these compensations, the refilling of water tanks with clean water was the highest, having a total of thirty five percent (35%). This is so because the water is contaminated by acid rain and other impurities that are in the air and knowing that water is one of the basic necessities for survival, the industry therefore ensures that the residents have clean water for consumption. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the residents says that the industry replaces roofing materials. Here it can be seen that the industry takes responsibility for damages done to residents’ roofing materials. These damages done to roof is said to have been caused by acid rain. Another compensation that the industry offers is paying for property damage, as was said by fifteen (15%) of the respondents. Property damages could also have been caused by acid rain, as it causes the paint on buildings to strip. Five percent (5%) said that no compensation was given; this could be as a result of them not having any evidence to prove to the industry that the industry affects them in some way. These persons could also have been those who live at a far distance away from the industry.
Not only is compensation given towards physical damages but also it is given towards residents’ health. A number of health problems that residents face are asthma attacks, lung cancer, allergies, difficulty breathing. Furthermore, a resident that was interviewed gave the response that the administration of the industry causes sinus irritation and bronchitis. As a result of these ailments, forty five percent (45%) of the respondents said that they are given health cards as a means of reducing the cost of medications. Thirty percent (30%) of the respondents said that they are asked to bring their medical prescription to the company. This serves as a means of proving that the industry does have a negative impact on residents’ health. Another compensation offered towards residents’ health is that the company relocates them. This would be for residents’ who are vulnerable to the negative impacts that the administration of the industry poses on their health (mainly the elderly). Residents’ never gave a response to the industry denying their responsibilities. This goes to show that the company is aware of different health issues that persons experience overtime due to the production process that is undertaken by the industry.
One hundred percent (100%) of the respondents including those from the interview said that there has been an implementation of an anti-pollution method. One of the interviewee said that this may take the form of the industry reducing working hours, oiling and wetting the roads to reduce excess dust; also the company relocates residents’ that are at risk of being affected by the running of the company.
FINDINGS
After receiving the responses from the questionnaire and interview, it can be seen that pollution is a major problem although the industry is trying to alleviate it.
Myersville is affected by pollution resulting from the Alpart mining industry.
The researcher found out that there are three (3) major types of pollution affecting the residents, namely: noise, air, and water with noise being the most unbearable one as stated by sixty percent (60%) of the residents in table 1.
It was also found out that residents that live relatively close to the industry are affected every day.
Discovery was made that damages caused by the pollution are as follows: infertile soil, contaminated water and animals are affected with infertile soil being the highest, a total of 35%. This is evident in figure 3.
Compensations are given towards physical damages in the form of replacing of roofing materials, refilling of water tanks with clean water, and leasing lands for farming. However, refilling tanks with clean water accounts for the highest percentage (35%) and this can be seen in figure 4.
Not only there are compensations given towards physical damages but also towards health. These compensations include provision of health cards and asking the residents to bring medical bills to the company. But out of the two, the provision of the health cards is the highest with a percentage of (45%) as can be seen in table 2.
Upon the completion of the project, the researcher found out that there has been an implementation of an anti-pollution method.
The smoke and dust that is emitted from the industry during the production process causing air and water pollution. The noise and the poor disposal of solid waste have also caused land and noise pollution, these pollution have caused infrastructural, agricultural, environmental and health problems to citizens on a regular basis.
Before the company takes responsibility for the effects that the company has on residents, they investigate to get proof that the damage was really caused by the industry.
RECOMMENDATONS
During the investigation, the researcher found out that the industry is trying to alleviate the problem; however, the researcher would recommend the following measures;
Before the commencing of work on a daily basis the road should be wet or oiled so as to reduce excess dust; this should also be done on days when there is no work in progress.
The company should practice afforestation and reafforestation; this will help to reduce noise pollution and soil erosion.
The company could provide residents with reservoirs that is free from pollutants and is properly covered; the aim behind this is to ensure that resident always have a clean supply for consumption.
Residents could be provided with ear protectors and dust masks so as to dampen the level of noise and lessen the harmful effect it poses on one’s hearing ability and to lessen their intake of dust.
Also, the industry could contribute to the development of the community in education by establishing an early childhood institution and also community centers; also they can assist school children with financial assistance.
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is responsible for the implementation of programmes to ensure that air pollution is controlled. Therefore, what they could do is to monitor Alpart’s operation in order to ensure that excess dust is not being emitted from the industry that poses as a threat to one’s health.
 

Positive and Negative Effects of Burning an Environment

Positive and Negative Effects of Burning an Environment

 

 

 

Introduction:

Disturbance is a powerful factor in determining the success or failure of different communities of organisms in an environment. The range of disturbance intensities can vary from catastrophic disturbances to something as mild as rain storm. But no matter the intensity of the disturbance it will change and sometimes create lasting impacts on the community and environment (Dornelas 2010). It is easy to think that a disturbance may hinder the environments ability to grow and be successful, but this is not the case for many communities. Many species are adapted to disturbance and occur within dynamic, mosaic landscapes that contain early and late successional microhabitats (Pardini 2015). In many situations’ disturbances are necessary to maintain biological diversity and stability, usually these disturbances need to happen in appropriate time scales for the environment to thrive properly. If the area experiences too much or too little of a disturbance it can negatively impact the community.

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The use of fire has noticeably increased and used over the past two decades to manage hardwood and mixed hardwood-pine (Pinus. L.) systems of the central Hardwoods and central and southern Appalachian regions, USA (Harper et al.: Fire Effects on Wildlife in Eastern USA). Controlled burning for these areas has a shown restorative effect for the organisms residing (Johnson and Hale 2002, Van Lear et al. 2005, Masters 2006), since it is a gateway for secondary succession.  But even as fire is used so extensively the methods behind being successful, generally, are not the same for all southeastern hardwood environments, particularly due to the lack of studies done.  However, many types of prescribed burning have developed for pine environments, an example of such is burning before the growing season begins, this is used mostly for longleaf pine (Pinus palustrus.) ((Johnson and Hale 2002, Van Lear et al. 2005)

Florida is subject to extreme weather patterns which makes it a prime candidate for forest fires.  During late summer to mid to late fall, it’s hot and dry, in the winter is it cooler and dry, spring is characterized as humid and warm, summer is hot and wet. During the late summer to fall is when most of Florida’s forest fires occur, considering how dry and hot the forests are. Typically, late August and early September are the start of Florida’s hurricane season. Florida is considered one of the most active places on earth for lightning strikes, especially during its hot and dry periods, which are when most of Florida’s unregulated fires happen. Usually forest fires happen in areas that are fire repressed and create a lot of damage to the area and are dangerous. If an area is regulated with prescribed burning, it has shown to decrease the issue of forest fires by burning the fuel of the fire. Essentially burning off the sub-canopy bushes or shrubs, allowing for safer natural fires. That’s not to say that prescribed burning is safer as it also has calculated risks to the individuals performing the burns and the surrounding area which is usually inhabited by people.  With the information present, I hypothesize that burning an environment like the pine flatwoods will have a positive effect on plants and trees, but it will negatively affect plants that are sub-canopy. I predict that in burned areas will have higher species diversity and biomass will lower and unburned areas will have a higher biomass and less species diversity. The objective of this study is to determine whether controlled burning reflects positively in these southeastern, United States systems.

Methods:

Site description

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Arboretum, 110 Apollo Cir, Orlando, FL 32816. Spans across eighty-two acres and it is nestled east of the UCF campus or to Seminole County’s Econ River Wilderness area east of the campus (Stewart. J, 2018). UCF originally was built on cattle ranches and orange groves. Within the first forty years of growth at UCF only one recorded fire occurred in 1971, in 2005 however, a chance lightning strike started a fire in in an area called unit 7 that was contained. These pine flatwood areas are a fire dependent environment, and until the fire in 2005, UCF didn’t plan or utilize prescribed burning until May of 2005 (unit 11). However, the most recent burn occurred in April of 2016, approximately two years ago (Stewart. J 2018). For this study I will primarily use sections 11A the unburned section and 11B the burned. In Florida, the flatwood pine areas have a fire return interval within the year or ten years, this process is like the natural occurrences of Florida’s fires. Characteristically speaking, the pine flatwoods are composed of various types of pines, Pinus p., Pinus clausa, Pinus elliotti, and Pinus serotina. These are characteristic species because they are normally the dominant species in the environment and are found in the Arboretum.

Data Collection

Data collection in the Arboretum’s burned and unburned areas were collected in the morning. When collecting data a few items were necessary, a compass, measuring tape, and DBH tape (diameter tape) along with a quad.  In both the burned and unburned sections, 6 replicates in each unit were selected arbitrarily. The point-quarter method, a plotless technique which aims to estimate density, was used to see species distribution and diversity. This method of data collection is best for counting spaced individuals in an area or for large individuals in tight spaced areas. Data collection for the study began October 15, 2018 and will end October 22, 2018. The compass was used to ensure each transects measures were in the properly selected areas. The quad is a sampling point, the area around each point is divided into four 90° quadrants and the closest organism is recorded.  Measuring and DBH tape were used to assess how far different organisms were from the selected point and how wide the organism was. At each sample the percentages of grasses, woody, open space and flowers present were recorded. Using this method species diversity can be accounted for and used to determine if species diversity is larger or smaller in the comparative sites.

Data Analysis

  All data collected was compiled in Microsoft Office Excel, separating the data into category and in burned or unburned areas. The distance from the sample plot and if necessary the DBH of the organism were also recorded and placed into the data. Using the values from the spreadsheet a F-test and t-test were performed. The F-test testing for equal variances, is used to determine if the populations are equal. The test can be one tailed or two tailed depending on the data. For my data I’ll be using the two-tailed test which tests to see if the variance is unequal. This method was chosen to test if the burned areas are more biodiverse and have less biomass than the unburned. The T-test is quite similar, it needs two sets of data to determine whether there is a statistical difference between them. This test also can be one or two-tailed depending on the data. My data will be employing the two-tailed test, again to assume unequal variance. The MS Excel toolkit will be used to calculate the values of the F-tests and T-tests.

 Results:

Fig.1 Percent Coverage

The data collected shows the burned areas of the arboretum have not yet bounced back to their pre-burned plant densities. In the burned portions of the arboretum wooded coverage was much less in comparison to unburned.  The burned portions also displayed larger areas of open space likely due to burning. Burned areas also showed a greater diversity of plants and more biomass. These areas, granted with smaller numbers, contained species not found in the unburned areas, Opuntia humifusa, Ilex glabra, Baccharius hailmifolia. These areas also had larger open space and more grasses per transect than unburned areas.

Fig.2a Burned species list

Fig.2b Unburned Species Chart

 

Fig.3 Plot Data

The findings also determined mean canopy DBH values to be significantly larger in the burned areas. Shrub distance was also much shorter for the burned areas.

Discussion: 

 The data findings agree with the hypothesis that the unburned areas had less species diversity, considering burned areas had more plants not found in unburned areas. Sub-canopy species were also negatively affected in burned areas, the amount of open space was considerably larger in burned portions going along with the notion that controlled burning will negatively affect this portion of the property. This is mostly likely because burning limits abundance and decreases the growth and dispersal organisms. The graph data supports this point, the Sabel palmetto and Serenoa repens were observed to be much smaller in burned communities. There is a strong indication that these bushes may have experienced previous disturbances. This example is indicative of how some communities and species thrive with frequent controlled burns but not all are capable of handling them (Wall, 2012). Unburned areas could also suffer from loss of tree fecundity regarding how they’re dispersing in the environment after a disturbance, because, fires may positively or negatively affect the reproductive cycles of plants. The intensity and frequency are concerns as well, along with if the area is previously disturbed. These factors that can be applied to tree fecundity and possible loss. These ideas were previously discussed by Hamyes, who describes that a tree that has experienced several burns may have a different fecundity than one that has not experienced (Haymes, 2012). It is also worth mentioning that scientist have correlated fire with productivity and burn intensity showing heterogeneity characteristics in forest fires (Lyderson, 2012). Which describes that with an increase of trees in the flatwoods with the same type of diversity results in more forest burns. This key point is solidifying the hypothesis that burning increases plant diversity.  By analyzing tree fecundity, biodiversity and observing it in both burned and unburned environments, one could better understand and recognize fire patterns in these kinds of communities. In understanding these patterns, it becomes clear whether controlled burns are suitable for habitat rehabilitation. These findings may also lead to possible inside factors like types of moss, fungi or grasses that may cause certain environments to be more or less prone to forest fires. Giving a possible lead to better understanding wildlife conservation and obtaining for these environments. Moving forward, shrubs may influence the dominance and abundance of other species in unburned plant communities (Hawks, 2004). Though this is primarily substantial in only south eastern ecosystems where shrubs and fires are prevalent. Controlled burns are needed to measure these ecosystems. The consideration arises of natural vs. controlled burning, during repeated growing season burns, the abundance of established shrubs was not increased or reduced. But with long-term shifts in fire regimes, even pyrogenic environments may produce irreversible changes (Drewa, 2002). These studies show the necessity to protect and maintain these ecosystems. Maximizing habitats by means of controlling and maintaining biodiversity and vegetation. While the system I studied is a suitable candidate for using information to analyze southeastern fire patterns there is room for error, since most forest fires are naturally occurring and often highly unpredictable it is easy to disrupt data points and collection. Along with an areas likelihood of natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding. Modifying the experiment is possible but may also lead to tailored outcomes or different results, especially in different areas outside of Florida.

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 All in all, the experimental data justified a good portion of the hypothesis, it was able to measure and analyze burned and unburned areas and relate them to abundance, diversity and dispersal. Understanding many factors are in effect during a disturbance and each has its own place in determining ecosystem outcomes. Errors in the results may have stemmed from studying only one ecosystem area that is considered flatlands and had little range. The study was also short in length due to outside circumstances.

Literature Cited

Craig A. Harper, W. Mark Ford, Marcus A. Lashley, Christopher E. Moorman and Michael C Stambaugh, 2016, Fire effects on wildlife in Central Hardwoods and Appalachian regions, Fire Ecology, Vol. 12, Issue 2, 127-157pgs

Dornelas, M, 2010, Disturbance and Change in Biodiversity, Philosophical Transaction B, 365

Drewa et al, “Fire Effects On Resprouting of Shrubs In Headwaters of Southeastern Longleaf Pine Savannas” Ecology. 2002. 83:755–767

Haymes and Fox, “Variation Among Individuals In Cone Production In Pinus Palustris (Pinaceae)” American Journal of Botany. 2012. 99(4): 1–6.

Johnson, A.S., and P.E. Hale. 2002. The historical foundations of prescribed burning for wildlife: a southeastern perspective. Pages 11-23 in: W.M. Ford, K.R. Russell, and C.E. Moorman, editors, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA.

Lydersen and North, “Topographic Variation in Structure of Mixed-Conifer Forests Under an Active-Fire Regime” Ecosystems. 2012. 15: 1134–1146

Masters, R.E. 2006. The importance of shortleaf pine for wildlife and diversity in mixed oakpine  forest and pine-grassland woodlands. Pages 35–46 in: J.M. Kabrick, D.C. Dey, and D. Gwaze, editors. Shortleaf pine restoration and ecology in the Ozarks—proceedings of a symposium. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NRS-P-15, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA

Pardini, EA; Vickstrom, KE; Knight, TM, 2015, Early Successional Microhabitats Allow the Persistence of Endangered Plants in Coastal Sand Dunes, Plos One, Vol. 10, Issue 4

Stewart. J, Stahelin. G, Schadegg. P, Biplabendu. D, Department of Biology, 2018, Principles of Ecology Laboratory Manual. University of Central Florida

Wall et al, “Demographic Effects of Fire On Two Endemic Plant Species In the Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass Ecosystem” Plant Ecol. 2012. 213:1093–1104

Negative Effects of Media on Youth: Causal Effect Analysis

Natasha Nguyen
 
Why is it difficult to show that media causes harm to young people?
Introduction
The impact of the media on young people has long been an issue, with concern that younger audiences are negatively influenced by media. Effects research has been used to determine whether media causes harm on young people. However, media effects research has its difficulties in generating viable results. This paper will outline why it is difficult to show a direct causal effect from media resulting in negative outcomes and behaviours from young audiences. No media effects researchers believe in direct effects and a cohort of media scholars make valid claims supporting this statement. Barrie Gunter effectively explains the validity problems with media effects research, with Albert Bandura’s famous ‘Bobo Doll’ experiment as an example. David Gauntlett’s views on the flaws of the effects model are also relevant to the discussion and McQuail makes very constructive points on how audiences can choose how they let media affect them. To further justify that it is difficult to show that media causes harm to people, the ideas discussed will be related to the case study of the murder of 2 year old James Bulger.
Validity of Effects Research
Early media effects experiments, such as the Payne Fund Studies, consisted of children participants being placed in artificial environments (Gunter 2008,p.1085). They were fed dosages of media violence controlled by researchers who then exposed them to environments where they could behave in aggressive ways if they choose to (Gunter 2008,p.1085). However, these studies have been criticized by scholars for lacking validity (Sparks, Sparks & Sparks 2009,p.272). The experiments were too far-fetched to produce any feasible results about media effects as they were artificial; taking users out of their natural habitats, feeding them media they would not usually consume and using unrealistic representatives for real-life violence (Ruddock 2013,p.27). Gunter (2008) is especially adequate at explaining the problems with validity in effects studies. He outlines the issues with conducting experiments in artificial settings. Participants are aware of researchers and act accordingly, doing what they thought the researcher wanted (Gunter 2008,p.1088). Gunter (2008,p.1102) reports how the selection of media extracts fed to participants were devoid of their original context and could be interpreted differently when embedded in their original source. Media effects research cannot be discussed without referencing Bandura’s (1963) Bobo Doll experiment (Sparks, Sparks & Sparks 2009,p.272). The study illustrated that when watching a televised model commit aggressive actions, children were more likely to imitate the actions if the model was rewarded instead of punished (Sparks, Sparks & Sparks 2009,p.272). This suggests an association between aggressive media influences on the children to mimic the aggressive acts but Gunter (2008) cautioned against mistaking association for causation. There were many flaws to that experimentation, with even Bandura (2009,p.110) himself discussing the severe constraints tied to controlled experimentation.
Flaws in the “Effects Model”
In response to traditional media effects studies, Gauntlett (1998) discusses the flaws of media effects studies, outlining why it cannot be used to prove that media causes direct harm to young people. Firstly, he discredits effects research for coming to social problems backwards. Researchers start with violent media and attempt to find ways to connect it to social problems, such as aggression, instead of beginning with social problems to find their causes (Gauntlett 1998,p.214). Gauntlett (1998,p.216) also criticizes the effects model for treating children as inadequate and more manipulable than adults, being influenced into behavior adults wouldn’t be. He questions the validity of effects research by discussing the use of artificial studies, claiming that they are selective and based on the belief that the subjects will not change their behavior as a result of being observed (Gauntlett 1998,p.219). In examining some of the flaws that Gauntlett presents, it is clear that it is difficult to research media effects to show a direct causal effect as the methods traditionally used undermine the validity of the results.
Audience’s Choices on Effects
The influence media has commonly depends on audience motivations, as information conveyed is not what influences audiences but rather people’s self-determined reaction to this information (Petty, Brinol & Priester 2009,p.126). Pieslack (2007) delves into this concept through his studies of music and war. He states that people voluntarily expose themselves to the effects of media, citing soldiers at war as an example who become aggressive after listening to rap music because they want to become aggressive (Pieslack 2007,p.134). McQuail (1997,p.205) explains how typical effects models were perceived as a one-way process of causality, from media to consumer, where the audience was viewed as a passive recipient of media content. However, individuals have unique tastes in media, with some more inclined to expose themselves to media violence (McQuail 1997,p.206). This destroys the notion of media messages being forced upon individuals unwillingly, evidencing that young audiences knowingly visit effects upon themselves (Ruddock 2013,p.28). Young people often learn from media because they choose to (Bandura 2009,p.97). This demonstrates the difficulty in showing that media causes harm to young people as there may be a correlation between aggression but there is no proof of direct causation, with certain individuals choosing to let media influence them (Gunter 2008,p.1095).
Audiences Backgrounds
Media aggression does not have the same effects on everyone and some may be more susceptible than others to effects of media violence (Gunter 2008,p.1095). Individual media audiences have different psychological makeups that influence the way they respond to aggressive media (Gunter 2008,p.1112). The consumption of violence and aggression from media is complex and must account for the audience’s differing psychological profiles (Gunter 2008,p.1097). Media violence can produce aggression when paired with troubled social conditions (Ruddock 2013,p.35). We cannot assume that violence from media consumers is directly linked back to the media as there are many other influences which can cause aggression in individuals. Peer influences, family conflicts and other factors may all influence aggressive behaviour (Sparks, Sparks & Sparks 2009,p.273). It has also been reviewed that negative effects of media violence were mostly visible among the poor, less educated and socially disenfranchised (Ruddock 2013,p.35). This proves that violent media effects are mostly a risk for individuals whom already had difficult lives and as a result, it is difficult to prove a direct causal effect from violent media.
The James Bulger Murder
In 1993, controversy over media effects on children surfaced following the murder of two-year-old James Bulger by two ten-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. Bulger’s body was found mutilated on a railway line two days after his murder. Though no evidence of it was brought to trial, violence in videos was considered a possible stimulus. There were many links made by the press between the crime and events in a film called Childs Play 3 (Bignell 2002,p.134). Venable’s father had rented the film however, Venables did not live with his father and had never seen the film (Bignell 2002,p.134). There was no way to connect the crime to the film and direct effects were never proven and authorities concluded that the crime was the case of two disturbed individuals acting on dark impulses, rather than on the influence of violent media. Thompson grew up in a brutal environment, being assaulted by five older brothers and an alcoholic mother. His tough upbringings may have produced aggression when paired with violent media. He could have chosen to let aggressive media influence him voluntarily, wanting to become more aggressive to deal with his surroundings. This underlines Pieslack’s (2007) point about audiences voluntarily exposing themselves to media effects. The boys’ psychological makeup could account for their actions and their responses to aggressive media. Venables came from troubled family conditions, exhibited low self esteem and was temperamentally fragile. His difficult circumstances made him more vulnerable to the effects of media content, as discussed by Gunter (2008). It would be wrong to assume that violent media directly caused the boys to commit the crime as there was no direct proof and a range of other factors clearly had influence on the pair.
Concluding Remarks
It is difficult to show that media causes harm to young people and that a direct causal effect resulting in negative outcomes exists. The view that media has direct and powerful effects on audiences is more accepted by the general public than media effects scholars (Oliver & Krakowiak 2009,p.517). Some researchers acknowledge that media violence can influence viewers but not in all circumstances, all audiences and not directly (Gunter 2008,p.1063). Media effects scholars such as Gunter, Gauntlett, Pieslack and McQuail disagree with direct causal effects. In researching media effects through experimentation, results compiled are questioned for their validity as research conducted in artificial environment can encourage unnatural participant responses. Aggressive behaviour cannot be solely blamed on violent media content as there are many other factors which influence an individual’s motives for being violent. As seen through the James Blumer case study, an individual’s motives, psychological makeup and social background can influence the level of power media has over them and disproves the idea of direct effects.
Reference List

Gauntlett, D 1998, ‘Ten Things Wrong with the Effects Model’, in R Dickinson, R Harindranath & O Linne (ed.), Approaches to Audiences: A Reader, Arnold Publishers, London, pp.120-130
Gunter, B 2008, ‘Media Violence: Is There a Case for Causality?’, American Behavioural Scientist, vol. 51, no. 8, pp. 1061-1122
McQuail,
Oliver, M & Krakowiak, K 2009, ‘Individual Differences in Media Effects’, in J Bryant & M Oliver (ed.), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Routledge, New York, pp. 517-531
Petty, R, Brinol, P & Priester, J 2009, ‘Mass Media Attitude Change: Implications of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion’, in J Bryant & M Oliver (ed.), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Routledge, New York, pp. 517-531
Pieslack, J 2007, ‘Sound Targets: Music and the War in Iraq’, Journal of Musicological Research, vol.26, no. 2, pp. 129-149
Ruddock, A 2013, Youth and Media, SAGE Publications, London
Sparks, G, Sparks, C & Sparks, E 2009, ‘Media Violence’, in J Bryant & M Oliver (ed.), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Routledge, New York, pp. 269-286

 

Potential Negative Effects of Mining the Paramo de Santurban on the Sustainability of Colombia

Potential Negative Effects of Mining the Paramo de Santurban on the Sustainability of Colombia

Table of Contents

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. Method

4. Case Study

4.1 Background

4.2 Current state

4.3 Future impacts

5. Conclusion

6. Recommendations

References

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to show how mining can affect the main source of water in Colombia, Páramo the Santurbán, resulting in environmental, economic and social issues. Besides, this report gives some possible solutions or actions to prevent. The government has delimited 76 % of the Paramo de Santurban in 2014 until now (Castaño 2014). However, the mining company Minesa is trying to change this limitation (Ruiz 2018b), allowing more mining projects along the area, leading to a possible contamination of the water. In addition, illegal mining is also increasing due to this limitation (Ruiz 2018a). At the same time, different opinions between the community and miners have resulted in confrontations since Minesa and the Canadian company Greystar (now Eco Oro) are expecting to get at least 7.7 million ounces of gold (Ferreria 2018). As a result, economic and social sustainability are affected since some of the population around the region are trying to support the project while others are against it.  This report focuses on the growth of the problem, describe the current state with the current solutions and what could be the possible impacts in the future with some measures to take into account to avoid any other issue.

 

The data used for this research is secondary data. The information is obtained from online newspaper articles. The main articles were used from Vanguardia since it provides accurate and reliable information.

2.1     Background

Mining near regions with important water sources is a topic that has been polemic in Colombia for many years now, especially in the surroundings of the Páramo de Santurbán. Paramos are a vital ecosystem to maintain the water cycle that create the different lakes and rivers, which provide water to around 70% of the population in Colombia (CIEL 2017). Moreover, it mitigates the climate change and it has a hundred of threatened species like spectacled bear (AIDA n.d). The problem started since multinationals have been taking part of mining. Between 1990 and 2007, the Canadian company Greystar acquired permissions in the Angostura project, trying to exploit the region’s gold resource (CIEL 2017). In 2009, Greystar had a problem with the gully located in Móngora (Vetas). Their mining project in the zone resulted in the contamination of the water by mud due to an unexpected geologic fault (Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales 2018). In 2011, the environmental license was denied to Greystar, which changed its name to Eco Oro, together with the local company Minesa. This decision was influenced by AIDA, which is the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA 2013). Minesa and Greystar were trying to take more land of the paramo to extract, by their estimate, large amounts of gold without giving any security about the protection of the zone (Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales 2018). As a result, in 2014, the government decided to delimit the area as a possible solution to preserve it. However, since problems related to illegal mining and corruption have been increasing, the government has been trying to change this limitation, resulting in possible threats (Castaño 2014).

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2.2     Current state

 

During 2017, Minister of Mines Germán Arce, had a reunion with representatives from Mudabala, which is the group that provides economic support to Minesa. The purpose of the meeting was to look for an agreement to extract gold in an allowed area of the Páramo (Amorocho & Aguirre 2017). However, the environmentalist Nelson Vivas (as cited in Amorocho & Aguirre 2017) stated that the delimitation of the paramo was to protect nation water source. At the same time, Nestor Ocampo (as cited in Amorocho & Aguirre 2017) referred to this as ‘bad news’ because he noted that government is not paying attention to the community since they are benefiting the mining. He also stated that the problem is not if the mining is in an allowed zone, it is the paramo that provides water to most of the people in the country are in a high risk to be contaminated due to the mining project in the region.

At the of 2018, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, together with the Minister of Interior decided that in 2019 will start a new process to change the delimitation of the Páramo de Santurbán. This resulted from factors related to farms, agriculture and the mining sector, looking for increase the economy of the region. Resulting in a reunion where different communities can take part of it (Redacción Economía 2018).

2.3     Future impacts

In the Páramo de Santurbán, the complicated rock distribution, being caused by geological faults make the mining something difficult to do without polluting the water (Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales 2018). Consequently, if the projects are approved, mining will destroy numerous undocumented plants and animal species (Kraul 2014). Duque (2011) stated which the consequences are more likely to occur. Some of them are: modification of of the physic the topography and alteration and chemical components of the ground, causing infertility and allowing contaminants reach the water. She also noted that as a consequence, there will be some social issues. Migration and social conflicts are the main points, plus the impact that the pollution can bring to people health. As a result, mining represent a high risk since it has high degree to bring more problems than solutions.

In conclusion, the issues related to the mining in the Paramo de Santurban will continue due to the corruption and the influence of multinational companies. Althought mining projects have been reduced in the last years, the temptation of getting large amounts of money will be always the desire of a corrupted government. As a result, many people will be affected, resulting in confrontations, health problems

A number of recommendations are presented in this report to protect and prevent any future issues related to the contamination of the water in the Páramo de Santurbán. First of all, the completely delimitation of the area, causing the preservation of the biodiversity of the zone together with the nation main water source. Secondly, it is important to look for alternatives activities instead of mining for the people living around the region. Farming can be considered as a viable solution since it has less impact on the ground and for future generations. Another recommendation is to improve local companies since multinationals have been taking part of the issue, causing social and economic issues. Lastly, awareness campaigns to let the people know what the impacts of mining really are, plus awareness of how to use and preserve the water clean. Improving local business and campaigns will prevent people of doing illegal mining. Therefore, Páramos are important ecosystems that government and citizens should protect, if they really want to preserve a stable country.

Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense n.d, Protecting the Santurban Paramo from mining’s damages, AIDA, viewed 22 January 2019, https://aida-americas.org/en/protecting-santurban-p-ramo-minings-damages

Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense 2013, Protecting Andean ecosystems and communities from mining’s impact, AIDA, viewed 22 January 2019, https://aida-americas.org/en/protecting-andean-ecosystems-and-communities-minings-impact

Amorocho, J & Aguirre, R 2017, ‘Mining in Santurban continues, despite rejection by enviromentalists’, Elcolombiano, 14 November, viewed 21 January 2019, http://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/mineria-en-santurban-sigue-pese-a-rechazo-de-los-ambientalistas-XN7681707

Castaño, D 2014, ‘With the delimitation, mining has a ‘door’ ajar in Santurban’, Vanguardia, 20 December, viewed 19 January 2019, https://www.vanguardia.com/economia/local/con-la-delimitacion-la-mineria-tiene-una-puerta-entreabierta-en-santurban-DRVL292032

Center for International Environmental Law 2017, Protecting the Colombian Paramo from Eco Oro Mining, CIEL, viewed 22 January 2019, https://www.ciel.org/project-update/eco-oro/

Duque, M 2011, ‘Mining in the Paramo de Santurban: Not viable!’, Razonpublica, 24 January, viewed 21 January 2019, https://razonpublica.com/index.php/econom-y-sociedad-temas-29/1717-mineria-en-el-paramo-de-santurban-ino-viable.html

Ferreria, D 2018, ‘On Santurban: the wasteland, desperately’, El Espectador, 28 March, viewed 19 January 2019, https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/noticias-de-cultura/sobre-santurban-el-paramo-desesperadamente-articulo-747030

Kraul, C 2014, Mining Showdown in Andes Over Unique Paramo Lands, YaleEnvironment360, viewed 22 January 2019, https://e360.yale.edu/features/mining_showdown_in_andes_over_unique_paramo_lands

Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales 2018, ‘Small mining: cornerstone of the environmental conflict in Santurban?’, Semana Sostenible, 20 March, viewed 19 January 2019, https://sostenibilidad.semana.com/medio-ambiente/articulo/paramo-de-santurban-la-pequena-mineria-es-la-piedra-angular-del-conflicto-ambiental/39723

Redacción Economía 2018, ‘In January, the Paramo delimitation will be ‘socialized’’, Vanguardia, 22 Decemeber, viewed 21 January 2019, https://www.vanguardia.com/economia/local/en-enero-se-socializara-delimitacion-del-paramo-DCVL453660

Ruiz, L 2018a, ‘Law of Paramos leaves in suspense the small mines of Santander’, Vanguardia, 29 June, viewed 19 January 2019, https://www.vanguardia.com/economia/local/ley-de-paramos-deja-en-vilo-a-los-pequenos-mineros-de-santander-FEVL437367

Ruiz, L 2018b, ‘Community of Santurban asks that the right to participated not be violated’, Vanguardia, 10 October, viewed 19 January 2019, https://www.vanguardia.com/economia/local/comunidad-de-santurban-pide-que-no-se-vulnere-derecho-de-participacion-EBVL447355

Negative Effects Of Junk Food On Health Essay

Though your children may ask for junk food because they like the taste or because their friends are eating it, you undoubtedly already know that junk food can have negative effects on them. Junk food is typically is low in nutrients and high in calories from added sugars, starches or fats.
Processed and junk food lovers beware! There are many negative repercussions to persistent junk food eating habits, not just the obvious and inevitable weight gain. Below is a short list of how junk food negatively impacts our bodies. Think about it the next time you are reaching for your second helping of cheesy nachos that accompanies the double stacked hamburger sandwich and large soda.

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Weight Gain
A negative effect of junk food on children is rapid weight gain, often leading to excessive weight and sometimes obesity. This is because it often tastes good, is not very filling and is high calorie. Candy, soft drinks, French fries and other fried foods, pizza, burgers, baked goods and ice cream are examples of high-sugar or high-fat foods which provide hundreds of calories per day for the typical American youth ages 2 to 18, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Type 2 Diabetes
Junk food puts kids at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 diabetes occurs when you are not able to properly regulate your blood sugar level. Your risk increases when you are obese and when your diet is high in high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as sugars and refined starches in sweets, white bread and potatoes. Type 2 diabetes increases your risk for kidney failure.
Nutritional Deficiencies
Junk food can lead to nutritional deficiencies when your children eat it instead of healthy foods with essential nutrients. Healthy meals and snacks should provide essential nutrients, such as B vitamins; magnesium and iron from fortified, whole-grain cereals and grains; calcium from milk or yogurt; healthy fats from nuts and dietary fiber; and vitamin A and vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, children may miss out on these nutrients when settling for such things as breakfast sandwiches, potato chips, candy and soft drinks.
Cardiovascular Disease
Junk food is often high in saturated fat, which raises LDL cholesterol and may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Junk foods with saturated fat include pizza, ice cream, processed meats and full-fat cheese. High blood pressure is another risk factor for heart disease, and a high-sodium diet leads to high blood pressure. Children may be at risk for high blood pressure when eating salty junk food such as potato chips, French fries, pretzel
Obesity
Junk food enthusiasts are prone to put on weight, especially when they eat this kind of food very often. The fat and processed flour only make people fatter and unhealthier, as does the oil and grease that are used for fries, chips, donuts and other deep-fried foods. Statistics even show people who eat junk food tend to accompany it with sodas and alcohol, which are either laden with sugar or empty calories and both increase a person’s tendency to put on weight.
Lethargy
Processed food tends to bring down people’s energy levels and make them lethargic because they are filled with carbohydrates that spike blood sugar levels. Soon after junk food is consumed, people feel themselves lulled into a stupor because sugar levels would have risen and fallen dramatically. This makes people feel sleepy and less inclined to be active and alert. Reflexes and senses become duller by the day and people start to lead a more sedentary life.
Diseases
Junk food causes diseases like diabetes and heart ailments. People are more likely to get diabetes, especially if they are sedentary, do not exercise, and have a family history of this disease. The fat from junk food raises cholesterol levels and can clog arteries, which may cause heart attacks and bring on strokes which could debilitate, or worse, even a person. When someone is overweight, they tend to be prone to so many other diseases because of their shape and size.
Poor nutrition:
When people eat too much junk food, they neglect to eat the nutritious kind like fruits and vegetables and other wholesome food. This means that the body does not get the necessary nutrition it needs and people end up with a weak immune system. Eating too much junk food will leave people prone to illnesses like colds and fevers, which although not serious, tend to have a nagging effect on life. They prevent people from being as active and organized as they would like to be.
Constipation and other ills
Processed foods have no fiber content and that is why people feel constipated when they go on a junk food binge. Sodas and colas also contain phosphorous and other chemicals which ruin are extremely acidic to your body, and strip your teeth of the enamel, eat away at your bones, and make the entire skeletal structure weak. Over time, it will leave the body prone to frequent sprains and fractures.
Junk food is bad for people of all ages, but mostly for teenagers and young children because it ends up effectively ruining their health for good. Parents and other responsible adults should be extra aware to ensure that they set a good example and feed their children balanced and healthy diets.
 

Negative Effects Of Fertilisers On Our Environment

The scope of this report is to examine the negative effects of fertilisers on our environment. It will primarily focus on the Nitrogen Fertilisers, there effects and solutions to combat those effects. Synthetic N fertilisers are one of the biggest cause for eutrophcation. When excess fertiliser runs off to the water, it can causes algal blooms, fish kills etc. Excessive nitrogen in the drinking water also has negative effects on humans. The production and application process is one of the contributing factos to the Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) as well. The report touches on the other two primary elements in fertilisers, phosphate and potassium, however, we will not go into detail discussions.

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Fertiliser run-offs, mostly nitrogen, is a matter of great concern in Queensland where the run offs from adjacent sugar cane and cattle farms are polluting the water in the Great Barrier Reef. It is a great threat to the ecosystem of the Reef and measures needs to be considered to reduce this pollution and also ways to rehabilitate and conserve the ecosystem of the Reef.
Resultantly, in this report we discuss how an excise policy can help reduce these negative effects of N fertiliser. We look into ways of promoting organic fertilisers and hydroponics with the help of the excise, also keeping in mind that the internalisation of the external cost should be one of the major underlying policy issues. We look into financial rebates and assistance that may be available to farmers opting to use organic fertilisers and switch to hydroponics. Part of the excise revenue should be earmarked for these purposes. We consider regulations that should be introduced to compliment and magnify the effects of the excise. The N-Replacement is a program where the soil is tested and the application of N is confined to only the amount that is required. In the fullness of time, all farmers should have to participate in such programs.
Lastly, we examine the benefits and negative effects of the proposed excise on the manufacturers, farmers and consumers. We will also look at any administrative and compliance issues that may arise with the introduction of the new excise. The role of the proposed excise in helping us meet our commitments under the Kyoto Protocol is also examined.
Introduction
This report is about the effects that fertilizers have on our environment. While the use of synthetic fertilizers has ensured an enormous boom in the agricultural sector, it has had its negative effects on the environment as well. The effects are directly related to issues like global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, and much more. The three major elements of synthetic fertiliser are nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. The damages that fertilisers have on the environment can be divided into three broad categories; natural resources (water, soil and air), wildlife and ecosystem and human health. Nitrogen fertilisers have the worse effect on the environment with phosphate following closely. This report will primarily focus on Nitrogen (N) fertilisers. It is beyond the scope of this report to discuss all the elements in fertilisers and discuss their effects. This is because different elements have different environmental effects and to a varying degree. They all have different use in the agriculture industry as well. However, once the excise model for the N nitrogen is established, a similar model can be used to impose excise on all the other fertilisers.
Nitrogen Fertilisers
When applied to the to soil to nourish farming land, nitrate, a compound of nitrogen, can wash off the agriculture fields by means of rain or irrigation and can leach into the surface or ground water. Ground water is one of the sources of drinking water and excess nitrate in the drinking water can potentially cause cancer, respiratory distress in humans.
In surface water, extra nitrogen may cause eutrophication, process of nutrient over enrichment. This is the primary cause of depletion in the oxygen level in coastal water. Coastal waters that receive an inflow from polluted rivers are the most affected. Eutrophcation is one of the biggest causes for coastal fish kill; it is also responsible for the harmful algal blooms and imbalance in the coastal ecosystems.
In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is highly affected by diffuse pollutants. Most of it comes from nitrogen fertilizers used in cropping and grazing lands in relatively small areas of the adjacent catchments. According to a research conducted by the CSIRO on the Great Barrier Reef, experts found that … ‘Export of nitrogen and phosphorus is high and increased hillslope erosion rates have resulted in increased nutrient and sediment loads reaching and influencing inner shelf reef and benthic ecosystems. These pollutants are generated from diffuse sources and evidence from other geographical locations suggests that by the time their widespread effects are identified, the reef systems will be irreversibly damaged.’
Lastly, some of the nitrogen from the soil and water enters the atmosphere as nitric oxide and the green house gas nitrous oxide. This has a wide range of negative consequences, starting from acid rain to subtle shifts in dominant species and ecosystem function in forests and grassland ecosystems.
Phosphate Fertilisers
Phosphate is right behind nitrogen when it comes to negative effects to the environment. Fluoride has been and is the worse environmental liability that the phosphate fertiliser industry has passed on to the environment. Despite new advanced air pollution control technology which is resulting in less and less fluoride escaping into the atmosphere, the impact of fluoride emissions is still being felt. Amongst other things, the fluoride in the air has the potential to cause a number of disorders in livestock, The actual production process of phosphate is also harmful to the environment and humans equally.
Potassium Fertiliser
Potassium have not directly been related to any environmental pollution, even though it does have minor affect such as magnesium deficiency in crops and soil in the case of excessive application
As can be seen, the use of chemical fertilisers is very harmful to the environment. In attempting to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the State Government and the Commonwealth has initiated programs like the ‘Reef Plan’, the N – Replacement project. However, these government initiatives have been criticised by a many environmental agencies such as the World Wlidlife Fund (WWF) as being slow to achieve any real results. Government initiatives can only be effective when there is a drive from the general population to support those initiatives. The use of fertilisers in farming is essential to farmers as their profitability depends on the yield of the crops, which is predominantly the result of fertilisers. It is an essential resource to the farmers. In such a situation, the introduction of excise on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and other chemicals used to maximise crop yield, can be one of the tools to discourage the use of such fertilisers and at the same time promote and the use of more environment friendly, non-chemical fertilisers and other farming alternatives.
Regulation of the Fertiliser industry using excise
Excise tax can be used as one of the tools for the government to influence the agriculture industry and influence the level of demand for synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. By imposing excise, we create an artificial price differential between the synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and its organic counterpart. This has the effect of farmers being more mindful about over application of the N fertiliser and using it sparingly.
In case of blended fertilisers, where all three elements are present, the nitrogen component will be excisable. This is turn will promote the production of fertiliser that have a low synthetic N fertiliser content..
Apart from trying to promote consumption of low nitrogen content fertilizers, excise can also promote higher consumption of organic fertilisers. This can be done similar to the fuel excise system in Australia, where excise is imposed on both organic and synthetic fertilizers, however, a full rebate may be available to the users of the organic fertilisers, making the effective rate of excise for organic fertiliser zero.
In the fullness of time, when all fertilisers are included in the excise system, i.e. nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, differential excise rates may be introduced, where they all have different excise rate depend on the degree of severity of effects each of them on the environment. The idea is that, if an all purpose fertiliser is high in nitrogen than it will have a higher price tag (nitrogen is the most harmful element of the three) as opposed to an alternative blend that is high in potassium; the higher the content of the most harmful chemical (N), the higher the price of the end product.
There is an alternative to introducing fertilisers to the excise system. The government can promote and take active steps to make the agricultural industry consider hydroponic controlled environment agriculture. The principle advantage of hydroponics compared to tradition farming is the isolation of crops from the soil. As there is no soil involved there is no chance of drainage or problems associated with leeching of nitrogen to the ground or surface water. The fertilisers that are not used up by the plants are caught and reused.
Excise rates and underlying reasons
In setting the excise rate, we need to be mindful of the underlying policy objectives. The objectives are:
For the agriculture industry to use fertilisers that are less harmful to the environment.
To the use of alternative organic fertilisers
To promote hydroponics, an alternative method of farming.
Internalise the external cost that the fertiliser industry imposes on the environment
The external cost should be the main element that we should try to internalise via the introduction of the excise tax. ‘Charging consumers or producers for external costs, which should induce them to reduce their activities to the socially optimal level, is known as the Pigouvian prescription. This rule states that efficient consumption or production can be achieved through the tax system by imposing an excise on the activity equal to the marginal cost of the damage caused to other people.’ In trying to internalise the external cost of fertilizer pollution, many governments around the world are considering some form of environment tax. In China, a study was undertaken on the external cost and optimum use of nitrogen fertiliser on the paddy field system of the Dongting Lake are. The research showed that the nitrogen fertiliser application in the region well exceeded the required levels. Such that, an environmental tax was suggested on the excess use of nitrogen fertiliser.
In Australia, there is not much information available on the external cost of the agriculture industry. However, figures from other country gives us an idea of the external cost imposed by the industry. “A US study estimates the externalised costs of agricultural production (in natural resources, wildlife, biodiversity and human health) to be between $5.7 and $16.9 billion annually is a broad estimate, it is not Australian-specific, nor restricted specifically to agriculture, but it does highlight the need to understand the environmental impacts of agriculture better in the Australian context.
In Europe, the estimated external cost of nitrogen fertiliser is about 0.3 €/kg N, bearing in mind that the market price is of the fertiliser is about 0.5 €/kg N. This effectively means, that if the whole amount was internalised then the price of N fertilisers would rise by about 60%. For the purpose of this report we will use the European figures as, mentioned earlier, there is not much Australian specific data available on the external cost of fertilisers. Now 60% excise on N fertiliser may seem like a staggering figure, however, when this excise is placed is conjunction with other regulation and policies the net effective excise will drop considerably. These issues will be discussed in the next section.
Specific vs Ad valorem rate
The next issue in the rate setting process is to determine if this rate is going to be specific or ad valorem. The choice between the options depends on the underlying policy, i.e. to raise revenue, discourage consumption, improvement of quality etc. Ad valorem tax creates a price differential between similar excisable good base on quality where the high-quality products are dearer than the low-quality products. This is a good tax mechanism if revenue maximisation is the underlying policy objective. However, if the main focus is to reduce harmful levels of consumption of any product, then specific tax is more appropriate. “Specific or volumetric taxation is based upon the number of units sold, irrespective of their value and recognises that the potential for harm falls equally upon consumers or the community irrespective of the price of the item”.
Coming back to the topic in hand, specific tax is the appropriate rate to use as we are really interested on the internalising the external cost of N fertiliser on the basis of $/kg N. If the tax is imposed on the value or the cost of production of the fertilisers, it will not properly reflect the negative effects that the application of N fertiliser has on our environment.
Taxation vs Regulation
It is argued that taxation by itself will not always achieve the desired or complete results. Tax can influence the consumption pattern of consumers to a certain extent but regulations are needed to back up the tax. ‘High taxes on tobacco and drink reduce average and usually also excessive consumption. But a tobacco tax cannot deal in a cost effective way with the effects of passive smoking; (inflexible) bans on smoking in public places are necessary to deal with this externality. Similarly, the alcohol excise is an inadequate instrument to restrain people from getting behind the wheel of their car after they have had a drink. Drink-driving breath tests are better targeted to deal with this situation.’
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Regulations can be in many forms, it can be requirements imposed on the end users, i.e., farmers or it can be regulations on the fertiliser manufacturers. In Germany, farmers are required to calculate and report annual nutrient balances in the soil in order to demonstrate that they have not over or under applied fertilisers. Imposing regulations on the manufacturers may not be of much use apart from quality control. The regulations should focus on the farmers instead, with science based approaches to soil testing, promoting good agricultural practice and optimal use of nitrogen. This approach is in line with the new nitrogen management method ‘N Replacement’ and in time this along with any other similar programs should be made mandatory. Apart from being environmentally beneficial it is also beneficial to farmers as under this method they will need to purchase and apply only the amount of soil that is required by the soil, resulting in cost savings for the farmers.
Another method of regulation, could be the issue of tradeable permits. However, under this system the costs associated is rather uncertain, compared to the excise system. ‘A system of tradable permits guarantees the envisaged quantitative reduction in pollution but at an uncertain cost, while an environmental duty has an uncertain impact on the quantity of emissions but fixes the marginal cost of emission controls for polluters.’
Price elasticity and excise
Fertilisers are a vital part of the agricultural industry. There is a very strong connection between application of fertilisers and crop yield and profitability. Therefore, it will not be wrong to conclude that the demand for fertilisers within the agricultural industry is inelastic. Having said that a 60% excise on N fertiliser is going to affect the farmers the most. Because of the elasticity of demand, the economic incidence of the tax will fall on the farmers, where the fertiliser manufacturers will be able to pass on most of the tax burden to the farmers in form of higher prices. Therefore, it is important to come up with relief policies for the farmers as well, bearing in mind that we are also trying to promote the use of organic fertilisers and hydroponics method of productions at a large scale. This will be discussed in more details in the next section.
Exemptions/exception for the excise system and why
There should be exceptions, where the tax incidence for the farmers should be nil. Exemptions should be available to farmers in the form of a rebate. As one of the policy issue is to promote the use of organic fertilisers. Farmers should be entitled to a full or partial rebate depending on if the fertilisers are solely organic or substantially organic. Organic fertilisers are largely derived from plan plants or animals. Substantially organic fertilisers are product where some synthetic fertilisers have been added to boost the nutrient content of the fertiliser.
A rebate should also be available for farmers who pre dominantly practices or are in the process of adopting hydroponics method of production. There are two reasons behind this exemption. First of all, the nitrogen used in hydroponics has no effect on the environment. The plants are grown in a controlled environment, usually in a greenhouse, therefore, there are no emissions, run offs or leeching. This effectively means there are no external costs associated with the application of nitrogen fertilizer under this system. Secondly, the biggest drawback of converting to hydroponics from the traditional method of agriculture is the high capital set up costs associated. Since we are trying to encourage more and more farmers to consider hydroponics, it only makes sense to provide some sort of relief to them in the form of ongoing rebate to compensate for the high set up costs.
Lastly, a partial rebate should also be available to farmers who are participating in recommended programs such as the N- Replacement program. The N-Replacement program has the potential of reducing nitrogen inputs by almost one – third. The government can only have this rebate available till the program is fully tested and made mandatory. Till then farmers should be rewarded for voluntary participation in the program.
Positive and negative effects from this new excise
Positive effects
Lower demand for synthetic N fertiliser – The introduction of the excise on the nitrogen fertiliser will lower the demand for it. As discussed earlier, because of the low price elasticity of demand, the fertiliser manufacturers will be able to pass on most of the tax burden to the farmers in the form of higher price. Higher prices will mean that farmers will now be more mindful when it comes to the application of the fertiliser. More and more farmers will be forced to practice good farming methods, only applying the amount that is required in order to save on cost of fertilisers.
Less emission, leaching as a result – As farmers starts to pay more attention to the wastage level and apply the optimal amount of nitrogen required to replenish the soil, there is less leeching and emission.
Influx of excise revenue – One of the unavoidable effects of imposing excise duty is the inflow of revenue. The revenue that comes in from this particular excise should be hypothecated. It should be used to finance projects that will aid in cutting down the use of N fertiliser application. Some of the funds should also be earmarked for providing assistance to farmers switching to hydroponics.
Helps the government to meet other policy issue – As the application rate of the N fertilisers reduce, it helps the government meet other environmental related policies, such as Australia’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. This will be discussed in more details in the next setion.
Negative effects
Higher cost of production for the farmers, which may be passed on consumers – As discussed earlier, the imposition of excise will mean that the farmer will pay a higher price to purchase the fertilisers. Even if optimal applications of N fertiliser methods are implemented, there would still be an increase in the cost of production for the farmers. This in turn would mean that the increased cost of production for the farmers will be passed on to the final consumers in form of higher prices for fresh fruit, vegetable etc.
Loss of revenue for the fertiliser manufacturers – There will a significant loss of revenue for the fertilizer manufacturers, as they are the one who are actually liable for the excise payable. They will pass on the bulk of the tax to the agriculture industry, however, they will still loose out of a significant amount of profit.
How will this new excise interact with Australia’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol
Under the Kyoto Protocol, Australia is committed to reduce its greenhouse emissions to 108 percent of the level we were in 1990. This target has to be achieved by 2012 (2008 -2012 is known as the first commitment period). According to a report on climate change, in 2008 the emissions for the agriculture sector are projected to be 77 Mt CO2 of emission over the Kyoto period. This is a 4% decrease on the 1990 level. Most of the decrease is, however, attributable to the drought. Therefore, introduction of this new excise will ensure that there is a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Apart from gas emission after the application of the N fertiliser, it also emits greenhouse gas during the production process. ‘The production of fertilisers demands much energy and generates considerable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Kongshaug (1998) estimates that fertiliser
production consumes approximately 1.2% of the world’s energy and is responsible for
approximately 1.2% of the total GHG emissions.’ Therefore, when demand falls as a result of the new excise and regulations, the supply will eventually fall as well, with reduced production of synthetic N fertiliser. This, again, will result in reduced level of GHG emissions.
Impact of the new excise on;
Consumers – The excise will mean that the price of end products that are heavily dependant on the N fertiliser will increase. When excise is imposed on a commodity, even though the legal incidence lies with the producers, the ultimate tax burden falls on the end users of the finished product by means of higher price. Therefore, we need to be mindful of that while imposing the excise.
Business – The excise will not affect businesses much. Businesses or in this case, the retail shops are just middle men. Any part of the tax that they do pay in form of higher wholesale prices, they simply pass it on to the consumers.
Government revenues – At first glance, it can be said that government revenue will also increase with this proposed excise. However, if we are to put the revenue aside, hypothecate the funds for the sole purpose of funding programs and assisting farmers in adopting more sustainable methods of farming, then in essence it will not be wrong to say that the government revenue stays the same. There is not extra gain as such from the revenue perspective to the government. ‘Revenue generated from these policies could have an outcome on the effect of these policies, depending on how it is used. If revenues from a tax are added to the general treasury store then the wellbeing of those affected by the tax is negatively affected as modelled, but if the funds are ring-fenced for a relevant purpose such as assisting the fertilizer industry or farmers, then the welfare of those actors is not diminished by as much.’
Administration costs – There should not be any extra cost related to the administration of the new excise. Currently the Australian Taxation office is responsible for the administration of all excisable and excise equivalent goods. The ATO is already well equipped to deal with excise tax. Moreover, under the self assessment regime where businesses calculate there own excise liabilities, the incremental change on administration cost should be minimal. The taxing point should be fixed as the fertilisers are leaving the factory for delivery to wholesalers and/ or the domestic market. This will further ensure ease of administration of the excise tax.
Compliance activities – The compliance activities on behalf of the businesses should be fairly straightforward as well. Under the self assessment system, businesses keep records and fill out their own excise return. Another section maybe introduced to the excise return, where farmers are eligible for a rebate. However, it should all be part of the prevailing excise return system that we currently have.
Recommendation
After examining the effects of synthetic fertilisers on our environment, especially the N fertiliser, it is recommended that the excise tax of 60% at a specific rate should be imposed. It is true that the imposition of the tax may have a large impact on the fertiliser manufacturers and farmers. However, that is the initial impact. Along with the excise, we should also provide rebates for the farmers, who act in accordance with out other policy objective. Farmers who look at alternative organic fertilisers should be entitled to a rebate as negative effects from organic fertilisers are minimal compared to its synthetic counterpart. Further rebates should be available to farmers switching to hydroponics, as the nitrogen content in the nutrient solution has no effect on the environment. Lastly, assistance should be available to farmers who make voluntary participation in good farming practices i.e. take part in practices like the N-Replacement program.
Along with these financial laws, we should also implement some non financial regulations, which will ensure a superior result. Here, the goal is not make sure that the farmers are not applying excessive amount of synthetic N fertilisers to the soil and at the same time moving towards organic fertiliser. The tax will bring about that inclination in the farmers, they will want to apply the optimal amount of synthetic nitrogen in order to save cost on fertilisers and also look into cheaper alternatives which are more environmentally friendly. However, in the fullness of time, we need to introduce regulations, specially the one similar to Germany where the farmers needs to annually record and report the nutrient content of their farming land to the authorities. In the long run we should also make a N- Replacement plan mandatory, after it has been fully tested by CSIRO. We should also ear mark, some of the revenue from this new excise to help fund the programs and any similar programs.
The new proposed excise policy combined with the proposed regulations is a little step towards Australia meet its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. It is true the tax might hurt manufacturers, farmers and consumers, financially. However, we need to ensure that the external costs caused by the production and application of the fertiliser are being met, so that it reflects on the price. It is the responsible thing to do, to pay the price for the harm that the industry is causing the environment. It is a trade off we have to make to ensure a better world for the next generation. In order to stop global warming, bring balance back to our ecosystem, protect the Great Barrier Reef, it is a small price to pay.
 

Negative Aspects Of Nuclear Power Plants

There are many different types of power sources across the world that produce electricity in many different ways. There are methods that use the power of nature, such as: hydroelectric power which uses the power of water to spin a turbine, windmills that use the power of the wind to spin a generator, and solar power which uses the heat from the sun. There are also man-made methods such as: power plants that burn coal, generators that burn gasoline, and plants that burn wood to use the heat from the fires to produce electricity. There is also nuclear power, which uses the heat from a radioactive isotope to produce electricity.

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Nuclear power is formed by energy harnessed from a natural resource. It is produced in power plants or power houses. Nuclear power is efficient, uses fewer natural resources, and adds a minimal amount of pollution to the atmosphere (Wilcox 1996). In the same respects, nuclear power can be very dangerous and produce long term negative effects to the environment. Radioactivity is extremely harmful, not only to the environment, but also to the people who come in contact with it. This has long made it feared by people who live around nuclear power plants and made these power plants a target for terrorists.
The are at least two incidents involving nuclear power plants that had gone wrong within recent history. On April 26, 1987, Chernobyl nuclear facility’s number four reactor sustained catastrophic damage when a routine safety test went wrong. An explosion in the number four reactor spewed radioactive material miles into the air creating a radioactive situation 100 times worse than Hiroshima. The immediate death toll was 31, while thousands will have to live with the long term effects of the radioactivity (Chernobyl accident..2011). On March 28, 1979, Three Mile Island nuclear facility experienced an overheat condition in one of their nuclear reactors when operators noticed an increase in water flow to the reactor exceeding normal levels. They attempted to correct the problem, but only succeeded in making it worse. The incident was contained with minor exposure of radioactivity to the environment but not until after the radioactive fuel rods melted through the bottom of their HYPERLINK “../../../../../../../bio/Jennifer-Rosenberg-7900.htm”containers. During the process some radioactivity escaped into the atmosphere (Three mile..2010).
The examples of the disasters above show both the instability and destructive nature of the uranium used in nuclear power plants. Uranium and plutonium, the byproduct of nuclear fission, which is the process used to create nuclear energy, and are extremely unstable if not maintained perfectly in the correct conditions. The instability of these two radioactive elements can lead to both dangerous and destructive outcomes. As witnessed in the Three Mile Island disaster, when uranium is not properly cooled it can reach temperatures high enough to allow it to melt through it’s container causing the possible release of radioactive material into the environment. The outcome from the accidental release of radioactive material from a nuclear power plant into the environment is far more destructive and long term than the release of other energy producing materials, such as coal, oil, or other fossil fuels. Clean up is also a lot more difficult and hazardous. The effects of the release of radioactive material can last several billion years and can forever change the environment where it occurred. The after effects of an accidental release of fossil fuels, such as oil, from a typical power plant is far less dangerous (Diehl 2004). The wildlife repopulates and regrows quicker from the accidental release of fossil fuels than from the accidental release of nuclear energy. This shows how nuclear energy is dangerous to the health of the environment.
The mining process of uranium for a nuclear power plant causes the same environmental effects as the mining of coal, on a smaller scale. The mining process also produces lead, a hazardous material known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other human and environmental problems. Uranium, unlike many other sources of energy, such as wind, water, and sun, is a non renewable resource. During mining, to keep ground water from entering the underground mine, uranium contaminated water is often pumped into local rivers and lakes, polluting that water as well. After the mine is shut down, there is a great risk of ground water becoming contaminated. “Waste rock” which is rock removed from the mines that does not have enough usable material in it is removed from the mine and piled above the surface. This material usually contains higher than normal amounts of radiation. This waste rock is often turned into gravel used for cement and paving roads, spreading radioactive material across large areas (Diehl 2004). This shows how even the mining process is very destructive and dangerous to the environment.
While producing fewer greenhouse gases, nuclear power can hardly be considered an efficient, effective, cleaner alternative to the production of electricity. When compared to the amount of energy produced from the burning of fossil fuels, we see that the amount of power from a nuclear power plant is lower than that created from the burning of fossil fuels. It takes far more time and resources for nuclear power to equal the production from other sources such as fossil fuels (Linnerud 2011). In the increase in demand for energy from the nuclear power plants, the green house emissions also rise with the increase in production. This shows the inefficiency of nuclear power and the increase of greenhouse pollution. This proves that the increase of nuclear power in place of fossil fuels does not provide a reduction in climate changing effects during the production of energy (Lloyd 2006).
Resources
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident [homepage on the Internet]. World Nuclear Association; 2011 Mar..[cited 2011 Mar. 21]. Available from http://www.world-nuclear.org
Diehl P. Uranium Mining and Milling Wastes: An Introduction. [homepage on the Internet]. 2004 Aug.15..[cited 2011 Mar. 21]. Available from http://www.wise-uranium.org
Linnerud K. The Impact of Climate Change on Nuclear Power Supply, Energy Journal 2011; 32 (1): 149-168.
Lloyd B. Nuclear Power and the Greenhouse Effect [homepage on the Internet]. Darwin (NT): Parlamentary Library Service; 2006. [cited 2011 Mar. 21]. Available from http://www.ntl.nt.gov.au.
Three Mile Island Accident [homepage on the Internet]. World Nuclear Association; 2011 Mar..[cited 2010 Jan.]. Available from http://www.world-nuclear.org
Wilcox C. Powerhouse. Minneapolis (MN): Carolrhoda Books, Inc. 1996. 48p.
 

Negative Influences on McDonald’s Reputation

Introduction

McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food restaurant chains with franchising more than 36,000 restaurants around the world. It was founded in 1955 by Ray Kroc in San Bernardino, California, the United States and currently keep expanding its restaurant to all areas in over 100 countries. McDonald’s offers various kinds of menu, depending on the staple food in a country. For example, in several Asian countries, such as China, Thailand and Indonesia, McDonald’s offers fried chicken and rice in order to draw the more potential buyer in those countries. However, the main menus that it provides in each country are hamburger, soft drinks and french fries which are the most famous because of the quality and low prices.

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Despite the success, McDonald’s is still facing issues that affect its business operation. The problems may adversely influence McDonald’s income and image, especially to the stakeholders. The first issue is related to McDonald’s sustainable supply chain, when food safety scandal happened in 2014 in China. The supplier was accused of supplying expired meat. The second issue is related to modern slavery in management. There are several articles discussed low wages for the workers and led a difficulty to find enough workers. The last issue is related to gender and sustainability when sexual harassment scandal and discrimination appeared within McDonald’s business operation.

The objectives of this essay are to elaborate the issues happened, as well as the company’s and the stakeholder’s reactions towards the problems. Another aim was to analyse the issues with relevant theories from journals or articles and finally would be able to recommend to avoid and overcome the obstacles in the future.

Analysis

Sustainable Global Supply Chain

In July 2014, there was a food safety scandal which damaged McDonald’s reputation in China. Shanghai Husi Food, Co., Ltd., who supplied chicken and beef to McDonald’s, Yum Brands, KFC, Burger King, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Pizza Hut, was accused due to re-labelling or re-packaging expiry date of chicken and beef. In fact, the meats were one-year expired and were still being sold to several restaurants, including McDonald’s (Filloon, 2016). Shanghai Husi Food was suspended by health authorities and had been fined more than $3.6 million (Reuters, 2016). Also, ten employees of Shanghai Husi Food, who was involved in selling the expired meats to restaurants, were handed down prison sentences of up to three years (Filloon, 2016).

This scandal damaged McDonald’s reputation not only regionally in China, but also globally. After the scandal, McDonald’s global monthly sales fell by 2.5% and became the worst performance of the hamburger’s chain in the past ten years (Chibber, 2014). The drop was led globally by Asia, the Middle East and Africa countries which contribute 23% of net revenue. Moreover, McDonald’s had been facing five temporary shutdowns by food safety watchdog in Russia (Forbes, 2014). Not only specifically in Russia, but the supply chain problem within the operation also happened in Japan and Hongkong. Since McDonald’s in Japan and Hongkong bought the chicken product from the similar supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, the management had difficulties to cover the demand from customers. McDonald’s in Japan decided to buy chicken from another supplier from Thailand, whereas McDonald’s in Hong Kong took the chicken nuggets and chicken burger off from the menu (The Guardian, 2014). Overall, this scandal led significant influences not only to McDonald’s but also to another fast food restaurant, so they had to decide to overcome the bad reputation.

One of the restaurants, Yum Brands, has discontinued its operation with Shanghai Husi Food. In contrast, McDonald’s in China decided to keep continuing its 50-year-long business by changing to another plant in Henan Province, which still owned by Shanghai Husi Food’s parent company, OSI. McDonald’s still believes that the quality of meat is better than the local suppliers and keeps striving to ensure the quality, especially about the expiry date (Forbes, 2014).

Based on the scandal, McDonald’s may fail to achieve a sustainable global supply chain, regarding the negative impact in several countries. Moreover, according to Pedersen (2009), company which operate in emerging Asia-Pacific economies such as China, India and Vietnam may have less certain supplier compliance. This also may lead to more supply chain risks than other developed countries. It is clear that McDonald’s should retain its sustainable supply chain. Sustainability means that a company has achieved “a triple bottom line”, such as economic prosperity, environmental quality and social quality. Yu and Tseng (2014) also define sustainable supply chain as the management of material, information and capital flows, by companies cooperating along the supply chain. Sustainability also may emphasise the objectives on social responsibilities to employees, customers, suppliers, and community (Pedersen, 2009).

To be sustainable, in terms of economic prosperity, a company has to retain its supply chain process to produce a good quality product as well as sustainable income. Supplier selection plays a significant role to achieve a sustainable supply chain, also supported with quality audits, sustainability standards, and evaluation process. In the same vein, Luthra et al. (2017) also argue that managing supplier selection and proper implementation is significant to support a company’s validity and public image in an industry (Bai and Sarkins, 2010). Thus, if a company should manage the supplier selection properly which could help its business to achieve maximum economic benefits or economically sustainable (Kannan et al., 2014).

Based on literature reviews above, McDonald’s should more pay attention in evaluating and controlling the supplier process. For example, McDonald’s could settle sustainable global standards for its suppliers around the world. Regarding more supplier risks in Asia countries, the company could conduct regular evaluation and audit to control the quality of meats which the suppliers sell. These alternatives would avoid the scandal in the future as well as retain good cooperation with the current suppliers.

Furthermore, since the scandal adversely influenced McDonald’s reputation globally, the company should take a transparent action to get the trust back from customer or public about the meat quality. Even though reputational problems do not recover easily, McDonald’s should keep sending messages to the public that it would guarantee the meat quality, of course with the proper procedures (New, 2015). It may need a long time to mend the image, but as long as McDonald’s is consistent to be transparent, the public would notice and change their minds regarding the scandal.

Modern Slavery in Management

The second issue which McDonald’s faces is the low pay workers in England. The workers voted to strike a higher pay and zero-hours concerns (The Guardian, 2017). They were demanding at least GBP10 an hour and more secure working hours. Currently, the UK national living wage is GBP7.5 an hour, but it is lower than McDonald’s wage rate in the US which is USD15 or equals GBP11.65. In responding to the protest, McDonald’s in the UK announced in April 2017 that workers would be offered a choice of flexible or fixed contracts with the hourly pay increase 17%.

Unfortunately, the situation in the UK was not the same as it happened in the United States. Demonstrations also occurred by the 100 cooks and cashiers at the headquarters of McDonald’s in Chicago, the United States. They fought for the higher wages that the company had already promised in 2015. The promise is to pay the workers at least one dollar more than local minimum wages. However, that promise is not fulfilled until this year. In April 2018, several workers revealed pay rates are much lower than the company’s one-dollar-above promise (Madrid, 2018). Furthermore, only workers at corporate-owned locations obtained the raise, whereas the workers at franchisees were not required the rise of wages. As a matter of fact, there are just 10% of 14,000 McDonald’s locations in the United States that are owned by the corporation and the rest of restaurants are a franchise that they have their own worker problems and can make their own decision to solve the problems.

According to Madrid (2018), from the annual meeting, shareholders, as well as executives, fail to deal with the workers’ pay. Also, at the annual shareholder’s meeting 2018, there was no agenda to respond to the demonstrations. The schedule just discussed the elections of the board of directors, approval of new executive compensation packages, and votes on other shareholder proposals (Madrid, 2018).

It is clear that McDonald’s executives and shareholders in the United States have not concerned yet about the workers’ demand. According to UBS analyst, Dennis Geiger argued that labour is one of the most important concerns for the restaurant industry (Taylor, 2018). According to Craver (2016), this low wage issue, which is common in larger companies in the US, was caused by two factors: economics and politics. In terms of the economic factor, US unemployment rate has declined 4.1% in 2018; fast-food chains are struggling to hire and retain workers (Taylor, 2018). Craver (2016) mentioned that low national unemployment rate in the US leads employers to find it harder to recruit and workers with low pay. This also means that workers have choices to move to other companies that well-suited for them or could offer higher wages and benefits. Moreover, according to Glassdoor (2018), McDonald’s employee satisfaction was poorly rated, followed by other fast food companies, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s and KFC.

Secondly, in terms of political factor, there is no strict wage regulation control in every cities or state in the US. For instance, even though the national government has stated the minimum wage as high as USD15, there are still several areas or cities operating under the minimum wage (Craver, 2016). Larger companies would surely intend to set their own wage rates in those areas before the local governments are noticed and convinced by the national government to establish a higher rate. The companies could see the opportunities to pay the workers with low pay when the political environment is not strict to the regulation.

According to stakeholder theory by Freeman (2012), workers are one of the most critical stakeholders who directly impact a company’s business operation. To be able to achieve a successful business, maintaining a good relationship with workers is essential because business operation depends on the worker’s performance and contribution. Besides, Calnan (2016) mentioned that it is going to be difficult for employers to engage with the employee if the pay is too low. It is clear that companies should concern about the worker’s welfare to get their best performance that helps them to achieve business goals. Thus, maintaining workers’ satisfaction and ensuring workers’ welfare are crucial, obviously through the wage packages; otherwise McDonald’s could struggle to find enough workers to help McDonald’s keep serving good services to its customers. In the context of the issue in the United States, McDonald’s could be fair to pay workers with national minimum wage rate or give other benefits that could maximise their welfare as well. It could be any benefits such as health or vouchers, as long as can make employees feel valued and appreciated.

Gender and Ethics

The protest from the workers reflects McDonald’s last issue due to sexual harassment. The protest is led by the experience of ten current and former female McDonald’s employees from nine different cities in the United States who have taken legal action for the harassment by other workers and managers. The workers sent messages about an atmosphere of sexual harassment within McDonald’s activity should not be tolerated. They moved the protest to speak out that McDonald’s is not doing enough to prevent harassment (Elsesser, 2018). Since 2016, more than 20 McDonald’s workers have filed complaints with the US National Labor Relations Board, giving reports of harassment were ignored, mocked, or met with retaliation (BBC News, 2018). One of the victims is a 15-year-old girl who explained her experience of sexual harassment in the restaurant by another older male worker. Then she reported the incident to the manager, and she got no response from him.

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Moreover, most of the female workers described that they tend to be silent about the sexual harassing behaviour than report it to the manager because they are afraid to be ignored and even lose their jobs (Elsesser, 2018). The female workers feel that they do not have much power to speak up as well as do not feel secure in working in the restaurants. Responding to these protest and complaints, McDonald’s spokeswoman, Andrea Abate, confirmed that the company have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment (BBC News, 2018). However, until now, there is no announcement or clarification by McDonald’s to respond and solve the sexual harassment incidents that came up from the demonstration.

The common issue in several larger companies that similarly happened in McDonald’s is men do something sexually harassing, either in verbal or physic. According to Dawson (1995) in his research, females will be more ethical in the workplace. Women may more concern about morality and ethics compared to men. This is caused by men’s more significant interest in a competitive success that may cause them to be less ethical. On the other hand, women’s concern for relationships with people leads to more ethical behaviour. However, this different behaviour should not be an excuse for men can do anything harassing to women, especially at the workplace. The company has the primary role to prevent the harassment as well as to guarantee securities for all female workers.

Training about ethics and gender equality should be fully delivered to all workers, either male or female workers, also managers or workers. It could reduce the different ethical behaviour between male or female workers so that McDonald’s could create a respectful environment and ethical culture at all restaurants. Roxas and Stoneback (2004) argue that the more understanding about the relationship between gender and ethics, the better chance of education and training programs will be designed to improve ethical awareness and sensitivity. This means that the people in all positions of McDonald’s have to comprehend ethical behaviour in business, principally the people who are responsible for designing the training. As a result, they could ensure the ethical behaviour, mainly about gender and equality, could be understood and implemented by all workers. McCabe et al. (2006) suggested recommendations about building an ethical organisational culture. The main point of the training is not the difference between ethical or unethical behaviour, but it is a commitment to respect each other and sense of fairness.

McDonald’s still needs to respond to harassing incidents by action, not only at its own restaurants but also at its franchises. First, McDonald’s should send a message about gender equality and ethics to all workers that reducing harassment is the company’s main commitment and involve all the employees at the restaurants. After sending messages, strategies, such as training or workshops, to prevent sexual harassment should be established and addressed to all franchises which are 90% of total restaurants in the United States.

Conversely, McDonald’s may face difficulties in building ethical behaviour to reduce sexual harassment, such as time and costs. To address values through the training or workshops to all McDonald’s workers in the US is surely not that simple. It surely needs extra costs and a longer time. However, it would also generate economic benefits in the future. As already explained before, workers are one of the direct stakeholders in a business, so their contribution could significantly affect the company’s performances. If all the female workers feel secure to work in McDonald’s restaurants, they will perform well to serve the customers and finally, McDonald’s can get customer satisfaction based on the workers’ performances.

Conclusion

McDonald’s is one of the fast food larger companies from the United States. It has been growing since 1955 until now and keep expanding its restaurants to all areas worldwide. Despite the success, McDonald’s is still facing several problems within the business process. The first problem is related to a sustainable global supply chain, which happened in 2013. There was a food safety scandal in China because of the supplier’s misguided. The supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, was accused due to relabeling or repackaging the chicken and beef to a new expiry date. In fact, the meats were one-year expired, and the supplier kept selling them to several fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks. In the end, the supplier was fined by health authorities and the employees, who have involved the scandal, were handed down prison sentences of up to three years.

As a consequence, McDonald’s had a bad reputation, not only in China but also to several countries such as Russia, Japan and Hong Kong. Moreover, the monthly sales dropped after the incidents and became the worst performance in the last decade. From the scandal, McDonald’s fail to manage its sustainable supply chain. Pedersen (2009) describes sustainability as an achievement of “triple bottom line”, such as economic prosperity, environmental quality and social quality. McDonald’s did not succeed the economic sustainability due to lack of meat control from the supplier. McDonald’s should consider the process of supplier selection that helps to manage a sustainable supply chain. Also, McDonald’s could conduct regular evaluation and audit to control the quality of meats which the suppliers sell. Finally, McDonald’s has to overcome the bad reputation through the transparent action to get the trust back from the public around the world.

The second issue is related to modern slavery in management, which happened recently in the UK and US. The demonstration occurred by the workers to strike their demands of a higher wage rate. In the UK, workers wanted to get paid as high as the worker in the US. McDonald’s in the UK responded and finally announced that the workers would be paid with 17% above the current rate.

However, this unlikely happened in the US because the executive and shareholders did not seem aware and respond to the demonstration. The increasing rate might occur in several restaurants that company own. Therefore, for most restaurants that are owned by franchisees, has not increased the wage rate. If the workers are not satisfied with the pay and walk out of the restaurant, McDonald’s could face another problem, which is a difficulty to get enough workers. Since the national unemployment rate in the US was declining, workers have chances to find another company that can offer a higher rate. McDonald’s should consider a higher rate or another benefit that could support workers’ welfare as well as make them feel more appreciated. As a result, McDonald’s would be able to retain the workers and get the excellent performance from the workers.

The last issue is related to gender and ethics, which also happened in the US. The workers held a demonstration and insisted McDonald’s respond the sexual harassment incident at several restaurants. They thought that McDonald’s had not done much to solve the incident. A 15-year-old female worker confirmed that she was ignored by her manager when she reported the sexual harassment by another older male worker. McDonald’s should respond to this incident by building a more ethical behaviour in the business in every restaurant in the US, especially at the franchise restaurants. The ethical behaviour should be delivered to all employees or workers in every position within the McDonald’s. It is crucial for the social as well as economic sustainability of McDonald’s business in the future.

 

References

 

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