What is ecology?

The word ecology comes from two Greek words ‘Oikos’ means house or residence and ‘logos’ means knowledge. So ecology means knowledge about residence. In Bengali it is said ‘environmental science’. The word ‘ecology’ was first use in 1869 by German biologist Ernst Hackel. He defines ecology as the relationship of all animals with all organic and inorganic environments. In 1963 E. Odum said: “Ecology is the study of structure and function of nature.” In 1961 scientist Andrewarth said: “Ecology is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of organisms.” According to Charles J. Krebs (1994) : “Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution abundance of organisms.” Ecology is usually considered as a branch of biology, the general science that studies living organisms. It is associated with the highest levels of biological organization, including the individual organism, the population, the ecological community, the ecosystem and the biosphere as a whole. When referring to the study of a single species, a distinction is often made between its "ecology" and its "biology". For example, "polar bear biology" might include the study of the polar bear's physiology, morphology, pathology and ontogeny, whereas "polar bear ecology" would include a study of its prey species, its population and met population status, distribution, dependence on environmental conditions, etc. Because of its focus on the interrelations between organisms and their environment, ecology is a multidisciplinary science that draws on many other branches, including geology and geography, meteorology, soil science, genetics, chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics. Due to its breadth of scope, ecology is considered by some to be a holistic science, one that over-arches older disciplines such as biology which in this view become sub-disciplines contributing to ecological knowledge. It has been argued that the mechanistic models which have driven the development of most other sciences are inappropriate for unraveling the complex interactions in most ecosystems, and that progress in ecology is better served by a central paradigm driven by information theory and complexity theory. Ecology is also a highly applied science, especially with respect to issues of natural resource management. Efforts related to wildlife conservation, habitat management, mitigation of ecological impacts of environmental pollution, ecosystem restoration, species reintroductions, fisheries, forestry and game management is often the direct domain of applied ecology. Urban development, agricultural and public health issues are also often informed by ecological perspectives and analysis.

The science of ecology includes everything from global processes (above), the study of various marine and terrestrial habitats (middle) to individual inter specific interactions like predation and pollination (below). The environment of an organism includes all external factors, including abiotic ones such as climate and geology, and biotic factors, including members of the same species (conspecifics) and other species that share a habitat. If the general life science of biology is viewed as a hierarchy of levels of organization, from molecular processes, to cells, tissues and organs, and finally to the individual, the population and the ecosystem, then the study of the latter three levels belongs within the purview of ecology. Examples of objects of ecological study include: Population processes, including reproductive behavior, mortality, bioenergetics and migrations, inter-specific interactions such as predation, competition, parasitism and mutualism, plant and animal community structures and their function and resilience, and biogeochemical cycling. Because of its vast scope, ecological science is often closely related to other disciplines. Thus, molecular ecology addresses ecological questions using tools from genetics, pale ecology

uses tools from archeology, and theoretical ecologists use often highly complex mathematical models to explore how ecosystems and their elements function. Aside from pure scientific inquiry, ecology is also a highly applied science. Much of natural resource management, such as forestry, fisheries, wildlife management and habitat conservation is directly related to ecological sciences and many problems in agriculture, urban development and public health are informed by ecological considerations. The term "ecology" has also been appropriated for philosophical ideologies like social ecology and deep ecology and is sometimes used as a synonym for the natural environment or environmentalism. Likewise "ecological" is often taken in the sense of environmentally friendly. Aside from pure scientific inquiry, ecology is also a highly applied science. Much of natural resource management, such as forestry, fisheries, wildlife management and habitat conservation is directly related to ecological sciences and many problems in agriculture, urban development and public health are informed by ecological considerations. The term "ecology" has also been appropriated for philosophical ideologies like social ecology and deep ecology and is sometimes used as a synonym for the natural environment or environmentalism. Likewise "ecological" is often taken in the sense of environmentally friendly. Historical roots of ecology

Ernst Haeckel (left) and Eugenius Warming (right), two early founders of ecology. Ecology as a scientific discipline is relatively young, reaching prominence mostly in the second half of the 20th century. However, systematic ecological studies can trace roots to ancient times, with Aristotle and Theophrastus, for example, making early observations on animal migrations and plant biogeography respectively. Several notable 19th century scientists such as Alexander Humboldt (1769 – 1859), Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 – 1913) and Karl Möbius (1825 – 1908) made many important contributions, from laying down the foundation of biogeography to identifying an interacting groups of organisms as a functionally connected community (biocoenosis).

The term "ecology" itself (German: Oekologie) was first coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866, who defined it as "the comprehensive science of the relationship of the organism to the environment." The first significant textbook on the subject (together with the first university course) was written by the Danish botanist, Eugenius Warming. For this early work, Warming is sometimes identified as the founder of ecology. Disciplines Ecology is a broad discipline comprising many sub-disciplines. A common, broad classification, moving from lowest to highest complexity, where complexity is defined as the number of entities and processes in the system under study, is:
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Ecophysiology examines how the physiological functions of organisms influence the way they interact with the environment, both biotic and abiotic. Behavioral ecology examines the roles of behavior in enabling an animal to adapt to its environment. Population ecology studies the dynamics of populations of a single species. Community ecology (or synecology) focuses on the interactions between species within an ecological community. Ecosystem ecology studies the flows of energy and matter through the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. Systems ecology is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the study, development, and organization of ecological systems from a holistic perspective. Landscape ecology examines processes and relationship in a spatially explicit manner, often across multiple ecosystems or very large geographic areas. Evolutionary ecology studies ecology in a way that explicitly considers the evolutionary histories of species and their interactions. Political ecology connects politics and economy to problems of environmental control and ecological change.

Ecology can also be sub-divided according to the species of interest into fields such as animal ecology, plant ecology, insect ecology, and so on. Another frequent method of subdivision is by biome studied, e.g., Arctic ecology (or polar ecology), tropical ecology, desert ecology, marine ecology, etc. The primary technique used for investigation is often used to subdivide the discipline into groups such as chemical ecology, molecular ecology, field ecology, quantitative ecology, theoretical ecology, and so forth. Subdivisions of ecology are not mutually exclusive; indeed, very few exist in isolation. Many of them overlap, complement and inform each other. For example, the population ecology of an organism is a consequence of its behavioral ecology and intimately tied to its community ecology. Methods from molecular ecology might inform the study of the population, and all kinds of data are modeled and analyzed using quantitative ecology techniques, often motivated by basic results in theoretical ecology.

Fundamental principles Levels of organization

Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef Ecology can be studied at a wide range of levels, from large to small scale. These levels of ecological organization, as well as an example of a question ecologists would ask at each level, include:
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Biosphere: “What role does concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide play in the regulation of global temperature?" Region: "How has geological history influenced regional diversity within certain groups of organisms?" Landscape: "How do vegetated corridors affect the rate of movement by mammals among isolated fragments?" Ecosystem: "How does fire affect nutrient availability in grassland ecosystems?" Community: "How does disturbance influence the number of mammal species in African grasslands?" Interactions: "What evolutionary benefit do zebras gain by allowing birds to remove parasites?" Population: "What factors control zebra populations?" Individual Organism: "How do zebras regulate internal water balance?" o These levels range from broadest to most specific.


For modern ecologists, ecology can be studied at several levels: population level (individuals of the same species in the same or similar environment), biocoenosis level (or community of species), ecosystem level, and biosphere level. The outer layer of the planet Earth can be divided into several compartments: the hydrosphere (or sphere of water), the lithosphere (or sphere of soils and rocks), and the atmosphere (or sphere of the air). The biosphere (or sphere of life), sometimes described as "the fourth envelope," is all living matter on the planet or that portion of the planet occupied by life. It reaches well into the other three spheres, although there are no permanent inhabitants of the atmosphere. Relative to the volume of the Earth, the biosphere is only the very thin surface layer that extends from 11,000 meters below sea level to 15,000 meters above. It is thought that life first developed in the hydrosphere, at shallow depths, in the photic zone. (Recently, though, a competing theory has emerged, that life originated around hydrothermal vents in the deeper ocean. See Origin of life.) Multicellular organisms then appeared and colonized benthic zones. Photosynthetic organisms gradually produced the chemically unstable oxygen-rich atmosphere that characterizes our planet. Terrestrial life developed later, protected from UV rays by the ozone layer. Diversification of terrestrial species is thought to be increased by the continents drifting apart, or alternately, colliding. Biodiversity is expressed at the ecological level (ecosystem), population level (intraspecific diversity), species level (specific diversity), and genetic level. The biosphere contains great quantities of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. Other elements, such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, are also essential to life, yet are present in smaller amounts. At the ecosystem and biosphere levels, there is a continual recycling of all these elements, which alternate between the mineral and organic states. Although there is a slight input of geothermal energy, the bulk of the functioning of the ecosystem is based on the input of solar energy. Plants and photosynthetic microorganisms convert light into chemical energy by the process of photosynthesis, which creates glucose (a simple sugar) and releases free oxygen. Glucose thus becomes the secondary energy source that drives the ecosystem. Some of this glucose is used directly by other organisms for energy. Other sugar molecules can be converted to molecules such as amino acids. Plants use some of this sugar, concentrated in nectar, to entice pollinators to aid them in reproduction. Cellular respiration is the process by which organisms (like mammals) break the glucose back down into its constituents, water and carbon dioxide, thus regaining the stored energy the sun originally gave to the plants. The proportion of photosynthetic activity of plants and other photo synthesizers to the respiration of other organisms determines the specific composition of the Earth's atmosphere, particularly its oxygen level. Global air currents mix the atmosphere and maintain nearly the same balance of elements in areas of intense biological activity and areas of slight biological activity.

Water is also exchanged between the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere in regular cycles. The oceans are large tanks that store water, ensure thermal and climatic stability, and facilitate the transport of chemical elements thanks to large oceanic currents. For a better understanding of how the biosphere works, and various dysfunctions related to human activity, American scientists attempted to simulate the biosphere in a smallscale model, called Biosphere II. Ecosystem

The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia is an example of a forest ecosystem. A central principle of ecology is that each living organism has an ongoing and continual relationship with every other element that makes up its environment. The sum total of interacting living organisms (the biocoenosis) and their non-living environment (the biotope) in an area is termed an ecosystem. Studies of ecosystems usually focus on the movement of energy and matter through the system. Almost all ecosystems run on energy captured from the sun by primary producers via photosynthesis. This energy then flows through the food chains to primary consumers (herbivores who eat and digest the plants), and on to secondary and tertiary consumers (either carnivores or omnivores). Energy is lost to living organisms when it is used by the organisms to do work, or is lost as waste heat. Matter is incorporated into living organisms by the primary producers. Photosynthetic plants fix carbon from carbon dioxide and nitrogen from atmospheric nitrogen or nitrates present in the soil to produce amino acids. Much of the carbon and nitrogen contained in ecosystems is created by such plants, and is then consumed by secondary and tertiary consumers and incorporated into them selves. Nutrients are usually returned to the ecosystem via decomposition. The entire movement of chemicals in an ecosystem is termed a biogeochemical cycle, and includes the carbon and nitrogen cycle.

Ecosystems of any size can be studied; for example, a rock and the plant life growing on it might be considered an ecosystem. This rock might be within a plain, with many such rocks, small grass, and grazing animals -- also an ecosystem. This plain might be in the tundra, which is also an ecosystem (although once they are of this size, they are generally termed ecozones or biomes). In fact, the entire terrestrial surface of the earth, all the matter which composes it, the air that is directly above it, and all the living organisms living within it can be considered as one, large ecosystem. Ecosystems can be roughly divided into terrestrial ecosystems (including forest ecosystems, steppes, savannas, and so on), freshwater ecosystems (lakes, ponds and rivers), and marine ecosystems, depending on the dominant biotope. Dynamics and stability

Much attention has been given to preserving the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia, while allowing ample access for visitors. Ecological factors that affect dynamic change in a population or species in a given ecology or environments are usually divided into two groups: abiotic and biotic. Abiotic factors are geological, geographical, hydrological, and climatological parameters. A biotope is an environmentally uniform region characterized by a particular set of abiotic ecological factors. Specific abiotic factors include:
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Water, which is at the same time an essential element to life and a milieu. Air, which provides oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide to living species and allows the dissemination of pollen and spores Soil, at the same time a source of nutriment and physical support o Soil pH, salinity, nitrogen and phosphorus content, ability to retain water, and density are all influential Temperature, which should not exceed certain extremes, even if tolerance to heat is significant for some species Light, which provides energy to the ecosystem through photosynthesis Natural disasters can also be considered abiotic

Biocenose, or community, is a group of populations of plants, animals, microorganisms. Each population is the result of procreations between individuals of the same species and cohabitation in a given place and for a given time. When a population consists of an insufficient number of individuals, that population is threatened with extinction; the

extinction of a species can approach when all biocenoses composed of individuals of the species are in decline. In small populations, consanguinity (inbreeding) can result in reduced genetic diversity, which can further weaken the biocenose. Biotic ecological factors also influence biocenose viability; these factors are considered as either intraspecific or interspecific relations. Intraspecific relations are those that are established between individuals of the same species, forming a population. They are relations of cooperation or competition, with division of the territory, and sometimes organization in hierarchical societies.

An antlion lies in wait under its pit trap, built in dry dust under a building, awaiting unwary insects that fall in. Many pest insects are partly or wholly controlled by other insect predators. Inter-specific relations—interactions between different species—are numerous, and usually described according to their beneficial, detrimental, or neutral effect (for example, mutualism (relation ++) or competition (relation --). The most significant relation is the relation of predation (to eat or to be eaten), which leads to the essential concepts in ecology of food chains (for example, the grass is consumed by the herbivore, itself consumed by a carnivore, itself consumed by a carnivore of larger size). A high predator to prey ratio can have a negative influence on both the predator and prey biocenoses in that low availability of food and high death rate prior to sexual maturity can decrease (or prevent the increase of) populations of each, respectively. Selective hunting of species by humans that leads to population decline is one example of a high predator to prey ratio in action. Other inter-specific relations include parasitism, infectious disease, and competition for limited resources, which can occur when two species share the same ecological niche. The existing interactions between the various living beings go along with a permanent mixing of mineral and organic substances, absorbed by organisms for their growth, their maintenance, and their reproduction, to be finally rejected as waste. These permanent recycling of the elements (in particular carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen) as well as the water are called biogeochemical cycles. They guarantee a durable stability of the biosphere (at least when unchecked human influence and extreme weather or geological phenomena are left aside). This self-regulation, supported by negative feedback controls, ensures the potentiality of the ecosystems. It is shown by the very

stable concentrations of most elements of each compartment. This is referred to as homeostasis. The ecosystem also tends to evolve to a state of ideal balance, called the climax, which is reached after a succession of events (for example a pond can become a peat bog). Spatial relationships and subdivisions of land Ecosystems are not isolated from each other, but are interrelated. For example, water may circulate between ecosystems by means of a river or ocean current. Water itself, as a liquid medium, even defines ecosystems. Some species, such as salmon or freshwater eels, move between marine systems and fresh-water systems. These relationships between the ecosystems lead to the concept of a biome. A biome is a homogeneous ecological formation that exists over a large region, such as tundra or steppes. The biosphere comprises all of the Earth's biomes -- the entirety of places where life is possible -- from the highest mountains to the depths of the oceans. Biomes correspond rather well to subdivisions distributed along the latitudes, from the equator towards the poles, with differences based on the physical environment (for example, oceans or mountain ranges) and the climate. Their variation is generally related to the distribution of species according to their ability to tolerate temperature, dryness, or both. For example, one may find photosynthetic algae only in the photic part of the ocean (where light penetrates), whereas conifers are mostly found in mountains. Though this is a simplification of a more complicated scheme, latitude and altitude approximate a good representation of the distribution of biodiversity within the biosphere. Very generally, the richness of biodiversity (as well for animal as for plant species) is decreasing most rapidly near the equator and less rapidly as one approach the poles. The biosphere may also be divided into eco-zones, which are very well defined today and primarily follow the continental borders. The eco-zones are themselves divided into ecoregions, though there is not agreement on their limits.

Ecosystem productivity In an ecosystem, the connections between species are generally related to their role in the food chain. There are three categories of organisms:

The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants.

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Producers or Autotrophs -- Usually plants or cyanobacteria that are capable of photosynthesis but could be other organisms such as the bacteria near ocean vents that are capable of chemosynthesis. Consumers or Heterotrophs -- Animals, which can be primary consumers (herbivorous), or secondary or tertiary consumers (carnivorous and omnivores). Decomposers or Detritivores -- Bacteria, fungi, and insects which degrade organic matter of all types and restore nutrients to the environment. The producers will then consume the nutrients, completing the cycle.

These relations form sequences, in which each individual consumes the preceding one and is consumed by the one following, in what are called food chains or food networks. In a food network, there will be fewer organisms at each level as one follows the links of the network up the chain, forming a pyramid. These concepts lead to the idea of biomass (the total living matter in an ecosystem), primary productivity (the increase in organic compounds), and secondary productivity (the living matter produced by consumers and the decomposers in a given time).

Fig: An ecological pyramid These last two ideas are key, since they make it possible to evaluate the carrying capacity -- the number of organisms that can be supported by a given ecosystem. In any food network, the energy contained in the level of the producers is not completely transferred to the consumers. The higher up the chain, the more energy and resources are lost. Thus, from a purely energy and nutrient point of view, it is more efficient for humans to be primary consumers (to subsist from vegetables, grains, legumes, fruit, etc.) than to be

secondary consumers (consuming herbivores, omnivores, or their products) and still more so than as a tertiary consumer (consuming carnivores, omnivores, or their products). An ecosystem is unstable when the carrying capacity is overrun. The total productivity of ecosystems is sometimes estimated by comparing three types of land-based ecosystems and the total of aquatic ecosystems. Slightly over half of primary production is estimated to occur on land, and the rest in the ocean.
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The forests (1/3 of the Earth's land area) contain dense biomasses and are very productive. Savannas, meadows, and marshes (1/3 of the Earth's land area) contain less dense biomasses, but are productive. These ecosystems represent the major part of what humans depend on for food. Extreme ecosystems in the areas with more extreme climates -- deserts and semideserts, tundra, alpine meadows, and steppes -- (1/3 of the Earth's land area) have very sparse biomasses and low productivity Finally, the marine and fresh water ecosystems (3/4 of Earth's surface) contain very sparse biomasses (apart from the coastal zones).

Ecosystems differ in biomass (grams carbon per square meter) and productivity (grams carbon per square meter per day), and direct comparisons of biomass and productivity may not be valid. An ecosystem such as that found in taiga may be high in biomass, but slow growing and thus low in productivity. Ecosystems are often compared on the basis of their turnover (production ratio) or turnover time which is the reciprocal of turnover. Humanity's actions over the last few centuries have seriously reduced the amount of the Earth covered by forests (deforestation), and have increased agro-ecosystems. In recent decades, an increase in the areas occupied by extreme ecosystems has occurred, such as desertification.

Ecological crisis

Fig: The retreat of Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps (situation in 1979, 1991 and 2002), due to global warming. Generally, an ecological crisis occurs with the loss of adaptive capacity when the resilience of an environment or of a species or a population evolves in a way unfavourable to coping with perturbations that interfere with that ecosystem, landscape or species survival (Note: The concept of resilience is not universally accepted in ecology, and moreso represents a contingent within the field that take a holist view of the environment. There are also many ecologists that take a reductionistic perspective and that believe that the environment, at base, is indeterministic). It may be that the environment quality degrades compared to the species needs, after a change in an abiotic ecological factor (for example, an increase of temperature, less significant rainfalls)[citation needed] . It may be that the environment becomes unfavourable for the survival of a species (or a population) due to an increased pressure of predation (for example overfishing). Lastly, it may be that the situation becomes unfavourable to the quality of life of the species (or the population) due to a rise in the number of individuals (overpopulation). Ecological crises vary in length and severity, occurring within a few months or taking as long as a few million years. They can also be of natural or anthropic origin. They may relate to one unique species or to many species, as in an Extinction event. Lastly, an ecological crisis may be local (as an oil spill) or global (a rise in the sea level due to global warming). According to its degree of endemism, a local crisis will have more or less significant consequences, from the death of many individuals to the total extinction of a species. Whatever its origin, disappearance of one or several species often will involve a rupture in the food chain, further impacting the survival of other species. In the case of a global crisis, the consequences can be much more significant; some extinction events showed the disappearance of more than 90% of existing species at that time. However, it should be noted that the disappearance of certain species, such as the dinosaurs, by freeing an ecological niche, allowed the development and the diversification of the mammals. An ecological crisis thus paradoxically favoured biodiversity. Sometimes, an ecological crisis can be a specific and reversible phenomenon at the ecosystem scale. But more generally, the crises impact will last. Indeed, it rather is a connected series of events that occur till a final point. From this stage, no return to the

previous stable state is possible, and a new stable state will be set up gradually (see homeorhesy). Lastly, if an ecological crisis can cause extinction, it can also more simply reduce the quality of life of the remaining individuals. Thus, even if the diversity of the human population is sometimes considered threatened (see in particular indigenous people), few people envision human disappearance at short span. However, epidemic diseases, famines, impact on health of reduction of air quality, food crises, reduction of living space, accumulation of toxic or non degradable wastes, threats on keystone species (great apes, panda, whales) are also factors influencing the well-being of people. Due to the increases in technology and a rapidly increasing population, humans have more influence on their own environment than any other ecosystem engineer. Five Elements of Ecology The contemporary thinkers of the green movement are collectively developing an ecological world-view. It has five basic ingredients, or five key terms; they are: Gaia (James Lovelock), Deep Ecology (Arne Naess), Permaculture (Bill Mollison), Bioregionalism (Gary Snyder et al.) and Creation Spirituality (Matthew Fox). These five elements give us a structure for an integrated view of Nature. Gaia is a scientific explanation for understanding the Earth. The majority of scientists do not see the whole Earth as one living organism, or as an interdependent and interconnected whole. But the Gaia hypothesis is changing that. For example, my body is one system. On the top of my head I have my hair which is totally connected with the toe-nail in my foot. Similarly the whole Earth is one body — Gaia. The Earth as one system has been very graphically presented to us by the pictures of the Earth from space taken by astronauts. They saw, from space, this beautiful icon, looking like a great work of art, all of a piece; there is no division there; you don’t see Africa or Europe, white or black, Muslims or Christians, Arabs or Jews, poor or rich, human or non-human, living or non-living — there is no division. You don’t see the division between the rainforests, the oceans and the earth. All are part of one body — a planet home. I experienced that the living Earth as one organism in my own way when I walked around the world. Going across the continents and the countries, across the religious boundaries and the language boundaries, across deserts and wilderness, mountains and valleys, across rivers and forests, was quite an experience, a similar kind of experience as if I had gone into space and seen the Earth from space, because I saw that all those boundaries were artificially created out of fear by the human language. If we can transcend our perceptions and prejudices, we can see that the Earth is truly one. The Sanskrit scholars of India believed that vasudhaiva kutumbakam which means "the whole Earth is one family". So a tree is not a utilitarian object to build a house with, or

make furniture. A tree is a member of my family. Even a worm in the earth is not merely a creature to create nice soil for the food to grow. The worm is a member of my family. If we have this kind of thinking, we will not upset the balance of the Earth, we will not destroy the fabric of nature. Gaia is an emotional experience as well as a scientific discovery. It is a poetic expression as well as an intellectual concept. Scientists and ordinary people can relate to Gaia equally. Everyone knows that we depend on each other; not only on human beings, but we depend on the worm. If worms were not in the soil working for us, we would not be alive, we would not be able to speak, and we would not be able to stand. Whenever we eat our delicious meal we must thank the worms without which the food would not grow. Once we have understood that the whole Earth is one interconnected entity, and then Deep Ecology becomes the next step. The Gaia hypothesis will not be of much use without realizing that everything upon this Earth has intrinsic value — a tree, a worm, a river, all and everything are good in themselves. The tree is not good because it will make nice furniture, or a nice house, or nice firewood. Those are all useful but secondary aspects. The most important thing is that everything upon the Earth has a deep intrinsic value; all things maintain a deep intrinsic relationship to each other. They are good in themselves. We have no right to think that we human beings are more important than, say, rainforests. There are seven elements, from which this whole universe is made: the earth, fire, water and air are recognized as basic elements by most people in Europe, but for the Indians and Chinese the fifth element is space. Without space we cannot exist. And the sixth one is time; not clock time, but eternal time. And the seventh element is consciousness. Without consciousness we would not be able to relate to anything. Here I will not ponder on the question, whether consciousness came first and then Gaia emerged out of it, or whether Gaia came first and produced consciousness. Perhaps it is truly the chicken and egg problem. These seven elements are intrinsically and inherently good. Even an earthquake is good. It shows that in the short term it is very painful. But in the long term the Earth is managing, maintaining, correcting and balancing itself. Everything that naturally exists has its own natural balance and harmony; that is Deep Ecology. Once we accept that Gaia is good, how do we interact with it? We human beings need food; we have to cultivate land; and we have to fulfill our vital needs. We have to collect some trees to build our house; we have to take water from the river; we have to make clothes; we have to make fire to keep warm; we have to breathe air, and we have to use animals. What is the guiding principle upon which our relationship with Gaia is determined?

That principle is Permaculture — a culture of permanence, of sustainability.When we are tilling the soil, or making a product, whether it is paper or shoes or clothes or furniture or electricity or whatever we are producing, we need to do it in a sustainable way. Whether we are in business or farming, in politics, or industry, Permaculture is applicable in every field. The idea of permanence is very much an old idea. The American Indians believed that whatever you do, remember how your action is going to affect the seventh generation. Permaculture helps us to think of posterity, of our children and grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren, and how they are going to be affected by what we do today. So we cultivate the land, we produce goods, we run our economy, we run our business — we need to design all our activities in such a way that all designs for living contain the idea of permanence. In the back of our minds we need to keep the question, is it sustainable? Is it only for a short-term profit, or is it a long-term, continuous and durable design? The economics of permanence is Permaculture. Now, once we accept that our relationship with the Earth should be based on the principle of permanence, we need to develop a sense of the place. The Earth is a large planet. Can we depend on butter from New Zealand, coffee from Kenya and tea from India? The Japanese cars are exported to Britain and the British cars are exported to Japan; is this sustainable? Here we have the idea of Bioregions. Mahatma Gandhi called it swadesi. Bioregionalism is a decentralized, locally-based economy. Whatever things can be made locally and produced locally, we should use them first; and things which cannot be produced in our immediate locality should be imported from the nearer neighbourhoods and districts. If they are not available within that area and we still need some, and if it is a vital need, maybe we should get them from a national area. If we still need a few things — but only very, very few things — then we might get them from a continental area. But free World Trade is neither ecological nor sustainable — the amount of energy, the extent of bureaucracy, the amount of time, the degree of administration spent on import and export of goods is wasteful. We need to understand the carrying capacity of a local region, and maintain a stable population. We learn to celebrate the genius of a place. There are so many things growing without even cultivating, but we don’t know them — because we think that an exotic thing is exotic only when we get it from Africa or China. But there are also exotic things under our noses. We are always chasing the foreign market. Governments always say that the only way to develop and strengthen the economy is to find the export market — but what about the home market? They forget it, and they are chasing a competitive market abroad. A bioregional economy is a complementary to the concept of good and durable Gaia. Big institutions cannot be sustained in an ecological world. Bioregional Politics is also an important component. Present national boundaries are residues of past empires and military conquests. Gaian boundaries will be based on biological realities such as rivers, mountains, valleys, cultures and languages.

Gaia, Deep Ecology, Permaculture and Bioregions are practical ideas for an integrated view of nature. But the world cannot be sustained with practical ideas alone. It also needs the spirit. If we do not have a place for the spirit, we will lack meaning. Therefore Creation Spirituality which helps to develop a sense of the sacred is an essential part of an ecological world-view. What does Creation Spirituality mean? It is not a religion, it does not mean that you have to go to church or you have to read the Bible. It means that the human soul and the soil are imbued with the divine principle. Creation Spirituality helps us to see nature and ourselves differently. The Earth is sacred, trees are sacred, rivers and mountains are sacred. In India people say, "This is the holy river of Ganges". The river of Ganges symbolizes all rivers of the world and they are all sacred. In India there are lots of tree shrines. We don’t need to build temples, every tree is a shrine. Creation Spirituality develops a sense of reverence for all life, not just for human life but for all life. Most people accept that human life is sacred, but we cannot choose human life. We value a human being for what he or she is. We believe in the sanctity of human life; we have to extend it to all life. Within human relationships we accept help and service from others. On such occasions we say, "Thank you", and we express a sense of gratitude — that gratitude is Creation Spirituality. In the same way, when we select a fruit from the tree, or a branch from the tree to make fire, we should say, "Thank you, tree". Even if we don’t verbalize it, even if we don’t articulate it, it doesn’t matter. But deep in our heart if we have that sense of gratitude, then it is Creation Spirituality. If we have that sense because of our attitude of reverence, then we will never be able to pollute or destroy or deface nature. The modern industrial society doesn’t have that sense of reverence for nature, and it results in the pollution and degradation of the Earth. The crisis of environment comes out of a utilitarian, materialistic, non-sacred, non-spiritual world-view — "the Earth is there for us to use, for our comfort, for our convenience." As a consequence we have taken from nature without knowing its limits. When we have a sense of reverence, we shall take from nature only what meets our vital needs. And when we take something, we thank, we show gratitude — like we take milk from the mother’s breast; the mother is very happy to give her milk in the same way as the Earth is happy to give its fruits as long as we take only what we need. When the baby is full, he or she stops sucking and doesn’t go on sucking. Well, unfortunately we humans go on sucking the Earth. Mahatma Gandhi said, "There is enough for everybody’s need in this world, but not enough for anybody’s greed." So need and greed have to be differentiated. How can you differentiate them? A government cannot legislate for it. A dictator cannot force it. It has to emerge out of our own individual heart, from a sense of beauty, a sense of the divine. When we have that, then we take things from the Earth and always replenish her for what we have taken. In India every citizen was required to plant five trees and see them to maturity; take care of them, nurture them, look after them, and worship them. That was the pancavati of India. Those five trees were seen as a contribution every citizen was making as an act of replenishment, an act of yajna. They were for the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, and for posterity. The earth provides enough essence for the humans, animals and birds to eat, but also enough to return to the earth; the peels, the straw, the

pips, the skin, the fruits and vegetables have plenty of good for us to eat and plenty to put back into the compost which goes back into the earth. Thus the earth is replenished. A tree stands out naked, there all winter without leaves; the tree is now replenishing the earth with its leaves; all the leaves have gone back into the earth; they are rotting, making the soil fertile, so that the roots are nourished which in turn gives life to the leaves and to the fruits, a beautiful cycle of replenishment. Nature is our great teacher, and we can learn to replenish and not waste. There is no greater teacher than nature. Even the Buddha and the Christ learned wisdom from nature. Creation Spirituality is not dependent on any organized religion. It is a sense in your heart that there is much more to life than meets the eye; there is a greater mystery than we can know or measure; and there is greater meaning behind the world of appearance. The light is burning inside us. We need to close our eyes and look within, not in a temple, or in a mosque, or in a synagogue, or somewhere else. The light is not outside. The spiritual light is inside our soul. The world cannot be saved just by the technocrats, or by the shallow ecologists. They say, "We can manage the environment, we are clever people". But everyone knows that environment cannot be managed. We can only revere environment; we can only respect environment; and we can only see environment as part of us and us part of environment. This total unity can come only when you have a spiritual base and not just a utilitarian base. Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth are existential risks that could threaten humankind as a whole, have adverse consequences for the course of human civilization, or even cause the end of planet Earth. The concept is expressed in various phrases such as "End of the World", "Doomsday", "and Armageddon", and others.

Types of risks Various risks exist for humanity, but not all are equal. Risks can be roughly categorized into six types based on the scope (personal, regional, global) and the intensity (endurable or terminal). The following chart provides some examples: Typology of risk Endurable Global Terminal

Plate tectonics Nearby Gamma ray burst

Regional Flash flooding Permanent submersion Personal Assault Death

The risks discussed in this article are at least Global and Terminal in intensity. These types of risks are ones where an adverse outcome would either annihilate intelligent life, or permanently and drastically reduce its potential. Jamais Cascio made an alternative classification system. Future scenarios Many scenarios have been suggested. Some that will almost certainly end humanity are certain to occur, but on a very long timescale. Others are likely to happen on a shorter timescale, but will probably not completely destroy civilization. Still others are extremely unlikely, and may even be impossible. For example, Nick Bostrom writes: Some foreseen hazards (hence not members of the current category) which have been excluded from the list on grounds that they seem too unlikely to cause a global terminal disaster are: solar flares, supernovae, black hole explosions or mergers, gamma-ray bursts, galactic center outbursts, buildup of air pollution, gradual loss of human fertility, and various religious doomsday scenarios.

Cosmology and space On a very long time and distance scale, the ultimate fate of the universe is generally felt by scientists to be one that precludes the indefinite continuation of life. There are abroad spectrums of these predictive theories that fall in the realm of cosmology, but a longestablished and widely-accepted notion is the Heat death of the universe. Most notions involve time periods much greater than the generally accepted age of the universe of around 13 billion years. At the latest, in about 5 billion years, stellar evolution predicts our sun will exhaust its core hydrogen and become a red giant. In so doing, it will become thousands of times more luminous. As a red giant, the Sun will lose roughly 30% of its mass, so, without tidal effects, the Earth will be in an orbit 1.7 AU (250,000,000 km) from the Sun when the star reaches it maximum radius. Therefore, the planet is thought to escape envelopment by the expanded Sun's sparse outer atmosphere, though most (if not all) existing life would have been destroyed by the Sun's proximity to Earth. However, a more recent simulation indicates that Earth's orbit will decay due to tidal effects and drag, causing it to enter the red giant Sun's atmosphere and be destroyed. The Earth will likely be dragged into the Sun when it becomes an enlarged red giant by no later than about 7.6 billion years; before actual collision with the sun, the oceans would evaporate, and Earth could be destroyed by tidal forces. Alternatively, if the Sun shrinks to a white dwarf before consuming Earth, the Earth would be too frigid to sustain life. Meteorite impact In the timeframe of the geologically recent history of the Earth, say, 100 million years, several large meteorites have hit Earth. The Cretaceous-Tertiary asteroid, for example, is theorized to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. If such an object struck Earth it could have a serious impact on civilization. It is even possible that humanity would be completely destroyed; for this, the asteroid would need to be at least 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, but probably between 3–10 km (2–6 miles). Asteroids with a 1 km diameter impact the Earth every 500,000 years on average. Larger asteroids are less common. The last large (>10 km) impact happened 65 million years ago. So-called Near-Earth asteroids are regularly being observed. A star passage that will cause an increase of meteorites is the arrival of a star called Gliese 710. This star is probably moving on a collision course with the Solar System and will likely be at a distance 1.1 light years from the Sun in 1.4 million years. Some models predict that this will send large amounts of comets from the ort cloud to the Earth. Other models, such as the one by Garcia Sanchez, predict an increase of only 5%.

Less likely cosmic threats A number of other scenarios have been suggested. Massive objects, e.g., a star, large planet or black hole, could be catastrophic if a close encounter occurred in the solar system. (Gravity from the wandering objects might disrupt orbits and/or fling bodies into other objects, thus resulting in meteorite impacts or climate change. Also, heat from the wandering objects might cause extinctions; tidal forces could cause erosion along our coastlines.) Another threat might come from gamma ray bursts. Both are very unlikely. Still others see extraterrestrial life as a possible threat to mankind; although alien life has never been found, scientists such as Carl Sagan have postulated that the existence of extraterrestrial life is very likely. In 1969, the "Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law" was added to the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 14, Section 1211) in response to the possibility of biological contamination resulting from the US Apollo Space Program. It was removed in 1991. Scientists consider such a scenario technically possible, but unlikely. In April 2008, it was announced that two simulations of long-term planetary movement, one at Paris Observatory and the other at University of California, Santa Cruz indicate a 1% chance that Mercury's orbit could be made unstable by Jupiter's gravitational pull sometime during the lifespan of the sun. Were this to happen, the simulations suggest a collision with Earth could be one of four possible outcomes (the others being colliding with the Sun, colliding with Venus, or being ejected from the solar system altogether). If this were to happen, all life on Earth will be obliterated and the impact may displace enough matter into orbit to form another moon. Note that an asteroid just 15 km wide is said to have destroyed the dinosaurs; Mercury is some 5,000 km in diameter. Earth Global pandemic A less predictable scenario is a global pandemic. For example, if HIV were to mutate and become as transmissible as the common cold, the consequences would be disastrous.[17] This particular scenario would also contradict the observable tendency for pathogens to become less fatal over time as a function of natural selection. A pathogen that quickly kills its hosts will not likely have enough time to spread to new ones, while one that kills its hosts more slowly or not at all will allow carriers more time to spread the infection, and thus likely outcompete a more lethal species or strain. A real-life example of this process can be found in the historical evolution of syphilis towards a less virulent form. Also, as a virus mutates and becomes easily transmittable it often gives up much of its virulence in the process. This is not to say that a highly destructive and highly transmissible disease is not possible. Ebola, for example, is highly contagious and 90% fatal; the only reason it has not caused a worldwide crisis is because outbreaks usually occur in rural Africa. Of course, a pandemic resulting in human extinction need not arise naturally; the possibility of one caused by a deliberately-engineered pathogen cannot be ruled out.

Megatsunami Another possibility is a megatsunami. A megatsunami could, for example, destroy the entire east coast of the United States of America. The coastal areas of the entire world could also be flooded in case of the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.[18] While none of these scenarios are likely to destroy humanity completely, they could regionally threaten civilization. There has been one recent high-fatality tsunami, although it was not big enough to be a megatsunami. Pole shift theory An abrupt reorientation of Earth's axis of rotation could cause a new extinction event.[19] Climate Change & Global Warming Climate change is any long-term significant change in the expected patterns of average weather of a specific region (or, more relevantly to contemporary socio-political concerns, of the Earth as a whole) over an appropriately significant period of time. Climate change reflects abnormal variations to the expected climate within the Earth's atmosphere and subsequent effects on other parts of the Earth, such as in the ice caps over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. Directly linked to observe increases in the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, global warming and climate change are now considered key drivers behind rising global humanitarian and emergency relief needs. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago. These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag. In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade and the cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008. Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action. Ice age In the history of the Earth, many ice ages have occurred. More ice ages will almost certainly come at an interval of 40,000–100,000 years. This would have a serious impact on civilization, because vast areas of land (mainly in North America, Europe, and Asia) could become uninhabitable. It would still be possible to live in the tropical regions, but with possible loss of humidity/water. Currently, the world is existing in an interglacial period within a much older glacial event. The last glacial expansion ended about 10,000 years ago, and all civilizations, save a few hunter-gatherer populations, have come into existence during that time.

Ecological disaster An ecological disaster, such as world crop failure and collapse of ecosystem services, could be induced by the present trends of overpopulation, economic development, and non-sustainable agriculture. Most of these scenarios involve one or more of the following: Holocene extinction event, scarcity of water that could lead to approximately one half of the Earth's population being without safe drinking water, pollinator decline, over fishing, massive deforestation, desertification, climate change, or massive water pollution episodes. A very recent threat in this direction is colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that might foreshadow the imminent extinction of the Western honeybee. As the bee plays a vital role in pollination, its extinction would severely disrupt the food chain. World population and agricultural crisis The 20th century saw a rapid increase in human population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity made by the Green Revolution. Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by 250%. The Green Revolution in agriculture helped food production to keep pace with worldwide population growth or actually enabled population growth. The energy for the Green Revolution was provided by fossil fuels in the form of fertilizers (natural gas), pesticides (oil), and hydrocarbon fueled irrigation. David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University, and Mario Giampietro, senior researcher at the National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition (INRAN), place in their study Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy the maximum U.S. population for a sustainable economy at 200 million. To achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster, the United States must reduce its population by at least one-third, and world population will have to be reduced by two-thirds, says the study. The authors of this study believe that the mentioned agricultural crisis will only begin to impact us after 2020, and will not become critical until 2050. Geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer claims that coming decades could see spiraling food prices without relief and massive starvation on a global level such as never experienced before. Supervolcano When the supervolcano at Yellowstone last erupted 640,000 years ago, the magma and ash ejected from the caldera covered most of the United States west of the Mississippi river and part of northeastern Mexico. Another such eruption could threaten civilization. Such an eruption could also release large amounts of gases that could alter the balance of the planet's carbon dioxide and cause a runaway greenhouse effect, or enough pyroclastic debris and other material may be thrown into the atmosphere to partially block out the sun and cause a volcanic winter, as happened in 1816, the Year Without a Summer. Such an eruption may cause the immediate deaths of millions of people several hundred miles from the eruption, and perhaps billions of deaths worldwide due to the failure of the

monsoon as well as destruction of the "American breadbasket", causing starvation on a massive scale. Humanity Some threats for humanity come from humanity itself. The scenario that has been explored most is a nuclear war or another weapon with similar possibilities. It is difficult to predict whether it would exterminate humanity, but very certainly could alter civilization, in particular if there was a nuclear winter. Another category of disasters are unforeseen consequences of technology. It has been suggested that learning computers that rapidly become super intelligent may take unforeseen actions or that robots would out-compete humanity. Because of its exceptional scheduling and organizational capability and the range of novel technologies it could develop, it is possible that the first Earth super intelligence to emerge could rapidly become very, very powerful. Quite possibly, it would be matchless and unrivalled: conceivably it would be able to bring about almost any possible outcome, and be able to foil virtually any attempt that threatened to prevent it achieving its desires. It could eliminate, wiping out if it chose, any other challenging rival intellects, alternatively it might manipulate or persuade them to change their behaviors towards its own interests, or it may merely obstruct their attempts at interference. Biotechnology could lead to the creation of a pandemic, Nanotechnology could lead to grey goof in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all living matter on Earth while building more of themselves - in both cases, either deliberately or by accident. It has also been suggested that physical scientists might accidentally create a device that could destroy the earth and the solar system. Another kind of accident is the Ice-9 Type Transition, in which our planet including everything on it becomes a strange matter planet in a chain reaction. Some do not view this as a credible scenario. It has been suggested that runaway global warming might cause the climate on Earth to become like Venus, which would make it uninhabitable. In less extreme scenarios it could cause the end of civilization. According to a UN climate report, the Himalayan glaciers that are the sources of Asia's biggest rivers - Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Yellow - could disappear by 2035 as temperatures rise. Approximately 2.4 billion people live in the drainage basin of the Himalayan rivers. India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar could experience floods followed by droughts in coming decades. In India alone, the Ganges provides water for drinking and farming for more than 500 million people. The west coast of North America, which gets much of its water from glaciers in mountain ranges such as the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, also would be affected. According to the California Department of Water Resources, if more water supplies are not found by 2020, California residents will face a water shortfall nearly as great as the amount consumed today. Directly linked to observe increases in the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, global warming and climate change are now considered key drivers behind rising global

humanitarian and emergency relief needs. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), climate disasters are on the rise. Around 70 percent of disasters are now climate related – up from around 50 percent from two decades ago. These disasters take a heavier human toll and come with a higher price tag. In the last decade, 2.4 billion people were affected by climate related disasters, compared to 1.7 billion in the previous decade and the cost of responding to disasters has risen tenfold between 1992 and 2008. Destructive sudden heavy rains, intense tropical storms, repeated flooding and droughts are likely to increase, as will the vulnerability of local communities in the absence of strong concerted action. Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded. In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, in his book The Revenge of Gaia (2006), has suggested that the elimination of rain forests, and the falling planetary biodiversity is removing the homeostatic negative feedback mechanisms that maintain climate stability by reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions (particularly carbon dioxide). With the heating of the oceans, the extension of the thermo cline layer into Arctic and Antarctic waters is preventing the overturning and nutrient enrichment necessary for algal blooms of phytoplankton on which the ecosystems of these areas depend. With the loss of phytoplankton and tropical rain forests, two of the main carbon dioxide sinks for reducing global warming, he suggests a runaway positive feedback effect could cause tropical deserts to cover most of the world's tropical regions, and the disappearance of polar ice caps, posing a serious challenge to global civilization. Using scenario analysis, the Global scenario group (GSG), a coalition of international scientists convened by Paul Raskin, developed a series of possible futures for the world as it enters a Planetary Phase of Civilization. One scenario involves the complete breakdown of civilization as the effects of climate change become more pronounced, competition for scarce resources increases, and the rift between the poor and the wealthy widens. The GSG’s other scenarios, such as Policy Reform, Eco-Communalism, and Great Transition avoid this societal collapse and eventually result in environmental and social sustainability. They claim the outcome is dependent on human choice and the possible formation of a global citizen’s movement which could influence the trajectory of global development.

Other scenarios Peak oil Fossil Fuels attain a level of scarcity before an economically viable replacement is devised, leading firstly to economic strain, followed by the collapse of modern agriculture, then to mass-starvation. Antibiotic resistance Natural selection would create super bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, devastating the world population and causing a global collapse of civilization. Gulf Stream shutdown There is some speculation that global warming could, via a shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation, trigger localized cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling in that region. This would affect in particular areas like Ireland, the Nordic countries, and Britain that are warmed by the North Atlantic drift. Mutual assured destruction A full scale nuclear war could kill billions, and the resulting nuclear winter would effectively crush any form of civilization. Overpopulation Some scenarios of simultaneous ecological (food & water production) and economical (see f.e. below) collapses with overpopulation are presumed to lead to a global civil war, where the remaining habitable areas are destroyed by competing humans (so called 'Mad Max'-scenario). Famine As of late 2007, increased farming for use in biofuels, along with world oil prices at over $140 a barrel, has pushed up the price of grain used to feed poultry and dairy cows and other cattle, causing higher prices of wheat (up 58%), soybean (up 32%), and maize (up 11%) over the year. Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world. An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99 is currently spreading across Africa and into Asia and is causing major concern. Scientists say millions of people face starvation.

Experimental accident Investigations in nuclear and high energy physics, such as the Trinity test and more recently with the Large Hadron Collider, theoretical chain-reaction global disasters triggered by these unusual conditions were worried about by some but have not yet occurred. Historical futurist scenarios Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who was involved in alchemy and many other things in addition to science and mathematics, studied old texts and surmised that the end of the world would happen no earlier than 2060, although he was reluctant to put an exact date on it. Many believe that the Maya civilization's Long Count calendar ends abruptly on December 21, 2012. This misconception is due to the Maya practice of using only five places in Long Count Calendar inscriptions. On some monuments the Maya calculated dates far into the past and future but there is no end of the world date. There will be a Piktun ending (a cycle of 13 144,000 day Bak'tuns) on December 21, 2012. A Piktun marks the end of a 1,872,000 day or approximately 5125 year period and is a significant event in the Maya calendar. However, there is no historical or scientific evidence that the Mayas believed it would be a doomsday. There are six types of ecology. They are organismal, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and global.

Impact of Ecological environment on Agricultural industries of Bangladesh:
What is Renewable resources?
A natural resource qualifies as a renewable resource if it is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable or faster than its rate of consumption by humans. Solar radiation, tides, winds and hydroelectricity are perpetual resources that are in no danger of long-term availability. Renewable resources may also mean commodities such as wood, paper, and leather, if harvesting is performed in a sustainable manner. Some natural renewable resources such as geothermal power, fresh water, timber, and biomass must be carefully managed to avoid exceeding the world’s capacity to replenish them. A life cycle assessment provides a systematic means of evaluating renew ability. The term has a connotation of sustainability of the natural environment. Gasoline, coal, natural gas, diesel, and other commodities derived from fossil fuels are non-renewable. Unlike fossil fuels, a renewable resource can have a sustainable yield.

Renewable Energy

Fig: A wind farm.

Fig: Total solar (left), wind, hydropower and geothermal energy resources compared to global energy consumption (lower right).

How impact on agricultural industry:

Solar energy is the energy derived directly from the Sun. Along with nuclear energy, it is the most abundant source of energy on Earth. The fastest growing type of alternative energy, increasing at 50 percent a year, is the photovoltaic cell, which converts sunlight directly into electricity. The Sun yearly delivers more than 10,000 times the energy that humans currently use. The electricity that is produce by sun light is used in different agricultural field and industries. Wind power is derived from uneven heating of the Earth's surface from the Sun and the warm core. Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator. In windmills (a much older technology) wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, like crushing grain or pumping water for agricultural field and it also used in different agricultural industries. Hydropower is energy derived from the movement of water in rivers and oceans (or other energy differentials), can likewise be used to generate electricity using turbines, or can be used mechanically to do useful work. It is a very common resource. By this electricity we can produce more agricultural products and this energy can be use in processing of different agricultural products. Geothermal power directly harnesses the natural flow of heat from the ground. The available energy from natural decay of radioactive elements in the earths, crust, and mantle is approximately equal to that of incoming solar energy, especially during the day. Alcohol derived from corn, sugar cane, switch grass, etc. is also a renewable source of energy. Similarly, oils from plants and seeds can be used as a substitute for nonrenewable diesel. Methane is also considered as a renewable source of energy. Nuclear power, particularly a breeder reactor, is often considered renewable.

Renewable materials
Agricultural products
Techniques in agriculture which allow for minimal or controlled environmental damage qualify as sustainable agriculture. Products (foods, chemicals, biofuels, etc) from this type of agriculture may be considered "sustainable" when processing, logistics, etc. also have sustainable characteristics. Similarly, forest products such as lumber, plywood, paper and chemicals, can be renewable resources when produced by sustainable forestry techniques.


Water can qualify as a renewable material (also non-renewable) when carefully controlled usage, treatment, and release is followed. If not, it would become a nonrenewable resource at that location. For example, groundwater could be removed from an aquifer at a rate greater than the sustainable recharge. Removal of water from the pore spaces may cause permanent compaction (subsidence) that cannot be renewed. Water is a very essential element in agriculture. Without water no crop can grow. Water keeps a vital role in agricultural sector. The water is used in agriculture field and used to process the agricultural product.

Scrap metal dealers transfer scrap metal to companies so people can get money for their unwanted metal as well as keep its value down. The scrap metal is used in making different agricultural equipment that is helpful for agriculture.

What is Non renewable resource?
A non-renewable resource is a natural resource that cannot be produced, re-grown, regenerated, or reused on a scale which can sustain its consumption rate. These resources often exist in a fixed amount, or are consumed much faster than nature can recreate them. Fossil fuel (such as coal, petroleum and natural gas) is an example. In contrast, resources such as timber (when harvested sustain ably) or metals (which can be recycled) are considered resources. A non-renewable resource is always drawn down with anabolic processes that use up energy.

Fossil fuels

Fig: A temporary oil drilling rig.

How impact on Agricultural sector:

Natural resources such as coal, petroleum, oil and natural gas take millions of years to form naturally and cannot be replaced as fast as they are being consumed. Eventually natural resources will become too costly to harvest and humanity will need to find other sources of energy. At present, the main energy sources used by humans are nonrenewable. Some natural resources, called renewable resources, are replaced by natural processes given a reasonable amount of time. Soil, water, forests, plants, and animals are all renewable resources as long as they are properly conserved. Solar, wind, wave, and geothermal energies are based on renewable resources. Renewable resources such as the movement of water (hydropower, including tidal power; ocean surface waves used for wave power), wind (used for wind power), geothermal heat (used for geothermal power); and radiant energy (used for solar power) are practically infinite and cannot be depleted, unlike their non-renewable counterparts, which are likely to run out if not used wisely. Still, these technologies are not fully utilized. All the natural resources are used in agricultural sector. Coal, oil and natural gas are used in producing energy that is used in agricultural industry for watering in the field and the energy is used in running various agricultural equipments and processing the agricultural products. Animals and insects are helpful to keep the balance of soil. Soil is needed for producing agricultural products.

Acid rain
"Acid rain" is a popular term referring to the deposition of wet (rain, snow, sleet, fog and cloud water, dew) and dry (acidifying particles and gases) acidic components. A more accurate term is “acid deposition”. Distilled water, which contains no carbon dioxide, has a neutral pH of 7. Liquids with a pH less than 7 are acidic, and those with a pH greater than 7 are bases. “Clean” or unpolluted rain has a slightly acidic pH of about 5.2, because carbon dioxide and water in the air react together to form carbonic acid, a weak acid (pH 5.6 in distilled water), but unpolluted rain also contains other chemicals. H2O (l) + CO2 (g) → H2CO3 (aq) Carbonic acid then can ionize in water forming low concentrations of hydronium ions: 2H2O (l) + H2CO3 (aq) CO32- (aq) + 2H3O+(aq)

Since the Industrial Revolution, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides to the atmosphere have increased. In 1852, Robert Angus Smith was the first to show the relationship between acid rain and atmospheric pollution in Manchester, England. Though acidic rain was discovered in 1852, it was not until the late 1960s that scientists began widely observing and studying the phenomenon. The term "acid rain" was generated in 1972. Canadian Harold Harvey was among the first to research a "dead" lake. Public awareness of acid rain in the U.S increased in the 1970s after the New York

Times promulgated reports from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire of the myriad deleterious environmental effects demonstrated to result from it. Occasional pH readings in rain and fog water of well below 2.4 (the acidity of vinegar) have been reported in industrialized areas. Industrial acid rain is a substantial problem in Europe, China, Russia and areas down-wind from them. These areas all burn sulfur containing coal to generate heat and electricity. The problem of acid rain not only has increased with population and industrial growth, but has become more widespread. The use of tall smokestacks to reduce local pollution has contributed to the spread of acid rain by releasing gases into regional atmospheric circulation. Often deposition occurs a considerable distance downwind of the emissions, with mountainous regions tending to receive the greatest deposition (simply because of their higher rainfall). An example of this effect is the low pH of rain (compared to the local emissions) which falls in Scandinavia.

Emissions of chemicals leading to acidification
The most important gas which leads to acidification is sulfur dioxide. Emissions of nitrogen oxides which are oxidized to form nitric acid are of increasing importance due to stricter controls on emissions of sulfur containing compounds. 70 Tg(S) per year in the form of SO2 comes from fossil fuel combustion and industry, 2.8 Tg(S) from wildfires and 7-8 Tg(S) per year from volcanoes.

Natural phenomena
The principal natural phenomena that contribute acid-producing gases to the atmosphere are emissions from volcanoes and those from biological processes that occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans. The major biological source of sulfur containing compounds is diethyl sulfide. Acidic deposits have been detected in glacial ice thousands of years old in remote parts of the globe.

Human activity

Fig: The coal-fired Gavin Power Plant. The principal cause of acid rain is sulfur and nitrogen compounds from human sources, such as electricity generation, factories, and motor vehicles. Coal power plants are one of the most polluting. The gases can be carried hundreds of kilometers in the atmosphere before they are converted to acids and deposited. In the past, factories had short funnels to let out smoke, but this caused many problems locally; thus, factories now have taller smoke funnels. However, dispersal from these taller stacks causes pollutants to be carried farther, causing widespread ecological damage.

Chemical processes
Gas phase chemistry
In the gas phase sulfur dioxide is oxidized by reaction with the hydroxyl radical via an intermolecular reaction: SO2 + OH· → HOSO2· This is followed by: HOSO2· + O2 → HO2· + SO3 In the presence of water, sulfur trioxide (SO3) is converted rapidly to sulfuric acid: SO3(g) + H2O(l) → H2SO4(l) Nitric acid is formed by the reaction of OH with nitrogen dioxide: NO2 + OH· → HNO3

Chemistry in cloud droplets

When clouds are present, the loss rate of SO2 is faster than can be explained by gas phase chemistry alone. This is due to reactions in the liquid water droplets Hydrolysis Sulfur dioxide dissolves in water and then, like carbon dioxide, hydrolyses in a series of equilibrium reactions: SO2 (g)+ H2O SO2·H2O SO2·H2O H++HSO3HSO3- H++SO32Oxidation There are a large number of aqueous reactions that oxidize sulfur from S(IV) to S(VI), leading to the formation of sulfuric acid. The most important oxidation reactions are with ozone, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen (reactions with oxygen are catalyzed by iron and manganese in the cloud droplets).

Acid deposition

Fig: Processes involved in acid deposition (note that only SO2 and NOx play a significant role in acid rain).

How impact on agricultural industry:

Wet deposition
Wet deposition of acids occurs when any form of precipitation (rain, snow, etc.) removes acids from the atmosphere and delivers it to the Earth's surface. This can result from the deposition of acids produced in the raindrops (see aqueous phase chemistry above) or by the precipitation removing the acids either in clouds or below clouds. Wet removal of both gases and aerosols are both of importance for wet deposition. Wet deposition is harmful for agricultural sector because the green fields become destroy by it. As a result food crisis are seen in the world.

Dry deposition
Acid deposition also occurs via dry deposition in the absence of precipitation. This can be responsible for as much as 20 to 60% of total acid deposition. This occurs when particles and gases stick to the ground, plants or other surfaces. Acid deposition has also negative effect on agricultural sector. It causes the destroy of agricultural sector.

Adverse effects
This chart shows that not all fish, shellfish, or the insects that they eat can tolerate the same amount of acid; for example, frogs can tolerate water that is more acidic (i.e., has a lower pH) than trout. Acid rain has been shown to have adverse impacts on agriculture, forests, freshwaters and soils, killing insect and aquatic life-forms as well as causing damage to buildings and having impacts on human health.

Surface waters and aquatic animals

Both the lower pH and higher aluminum concentrations in surface water that occur as a result of acid rain can cause damage to fish and other aquatic animals. At pHs lower than 5 most fish eggs will not hatch and lower pHs can kill adult fish. As lakes and rivers become more acidic biodiversity is reduced. Acid rain has eliminated insect life that is helpful for increasing the soil health and some fish species, including the brook trout in some lakes, streams, and creeks in geographically sensitive areas, such as the Adirondack Mountains of the United States. However, the extent to which acid rain contributes directly or indirectly via runoff from the catchments to lake and river acidity (i.e., depending on characteristics of the surrounding watershed) is variable. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website states: "Of the lakes and streams surveyed, acid rain caused acidity in 75 percent of the acidic lakes and about 50 percent of the acidic streams".

Soil biology and chemistry can be seriously damaged by acid rain. Some microbes are unable to tolerate changes to low pHs and are killed. The enzymes of these microbes are denatured by the acid. The hydronium ions of acid rain also mobilize toxins, e.g. aluminum, and leach away essential nutrients and minerals. 2H+ (aq)+ Mg2+ (clay) 2H+ (clay)+ Mg2+(aq)

Soil chemistry can be dramatically changed when base cations, such as calcium and magnesium, are leached by acid rain thereby affecting sensitive species, such as sugar maple (Acer saccharum). The agricultural product is hampered for defect of soil.

Forests and other vegetation

Fig: Effect of acid rain on a forest. Adverse effects may be indirectly related to acid rain, like the acid's effects on soil (see above) or high concentration of gaseous precursors to acid rain. High altitude forests are especially vulnerable as they are often surrounded by clouds and fog which are more acidic than rain.

Other plants can also be damaged by acid rain but the effect on food crops is minimized by the application of lime and fertilizers to replace lost nutrients. In cultivated areas, limestone may also be added to increase the ability of the soil to keep the pH stable, but this tactic is largely unusable in the case of wilderness lands. When calcium is leached from the needles of red spruce, these trees become less cold tolerant and exhibit winter injury and even death.

Human health
Scientists have suggested direct links to human health. Fine particles, a large fraction of which are formed from the same gases as acid rain (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide), have been shown to cause illness and premature deaths such as cancer and other diseases. As the human health becomes damaged they can’t more productive. When human health becomes damaged then human beings are less interested to produce anything and their productivity become decreases. Their consumption also becomes decreases so balance of supply and demand also hampered.

Other adverse effects

Fig: Effect of acid rain on statues Acid rain can also cause damage to certain building materials and historical monuments. This results when the sulfuric acid in the rain chemically reacts with the calcium compounds in the stones (limestone, sandstone, marble and granite) to create gypsum, which then flakes off. It also damages the industry building that is used for agriculture. CaCO3 (s) + H2SO4 (aq) CaSO4 (aq) + CO2 (g) + H2O (l)

This result is also commonly seen on old gravestones where the acid rain can cause the inscription to become completely illegible. Acid rain also causes an increased rate of oxidation for iron. Visibility is also reduced by sulfate and nitrate aerosols and particles in the atmosphere.

What is Greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse effect refers to the change in the steady state temperature of a planet or moon by the presence of an atmosphere containing gas that absorbs and emits infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases, which include water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane, warm the atmosphere by efficiently absorbing thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, by the atmosphere itself, and by clouds. As a result of its warmth, the atmosphere also radiates thermal infrared in all directions, including downward to the Earth’s surface. Thus, greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system. This mechanism is fundamentally different from the mechanism of an actual greenhouse, which instead isolates air inside the structure so that the heat is not lost by convection and conduction, as discussed below. The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by John Tyndall in the year 1858 and first reported quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in his 1896 paper.

Fig: A schematic representation of the exchanges of energy between outer space, the Earth's atmosphere, and the Earth's surface. The ability of the atmosphere to capture and recycle energy emitted by the Earth surface is the defining characteristic of the greenhouse effect.

In the absence of the greenhouse effect and an atmosphere, the Earth's average surface temperature of 14 °C (57 °F) could be as low as −18 °C (−0.4 °F), the black body temperature of the Earth. Anthropogenic global warming (AGW), a recent warming of the Earth's lower atmosphere as evidenced by the global mean temperature anomaly trend, is believed to be the result of an "enhanced greenhouse effect" mainly due to human-produced increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and changes in the use of land. The greenhouse effect is one of several factors that affect the temperature of the Earth. Other positive and negative feedbacks dampen or amplify the greenhouse effect. In our solar system, Mars, Venus, and the moon Titan also exhibit greenhouse effects according to their respective environments. In addition, Titan has an anti-greenhouse effect and Pluto exhibits behavior similar to the anti-greenhouse effect.

Basic mechanism
The Earth receives energy from the Sun mostly in the form of visible light. The bulk of this energy is not absorbed by the atmosphere since the atmosphere is transparent to visible light. 50% of the sun's energy reaches the Earth and is absorbed by the surface as heat. Because of its temperature, the Earth's surface radiates energy in infrared range. The Greenhouse gases are not transparent to infrared radiation so they absorb infrared radiation. Infrared radiation is absorbed from all directions and is passed as heat to all gases in the atmosphere. The atmosphere also radiates in the infrared range (because of its temperature, in the same way the Earth's surface does) and does so in all directions. The surface and lower atmosphere are warmed because of the greenhouse gases and makes our life on earth possible.

Detailed explanation
The Earth receives energy from the Sun in the form of radiation. Most of the energy is in visible wavelengths and in infrared wavelengths that are near the visible range (often called "near infrared"). The Earth reflects about 30% of the incoming solar radiation. The remaining 70% is absorbed, warming the land, atmosphere and ocean. For the Earth's temperature to be in steady state so that the Earth does not rapidly heat or cool, this absorbed solar radiation must be very closely balanced by energy radiated back to space in the infrared wavelengths. Since the intensity of infrared radiation increases with increasing temperature, one can think of the Earth's temperature as being determined by the infrared flux needed to balance the absorbed solar flux.

Fig: Pattern of absorption bands generated by various greenhouse gases and their impact on both solar radiation and up going thermal radiation from the Earth's surface. A greater quantity of up going radiation is absorbed, which contributes to the greenhouse effect. The visible solar radiation mostly heats the surface, not the atmosphere, whereas most of the infrared radiation escaping to space is emitted from the upper atmosphere, not the surface. The infrared photons emitted by the surface are mostly absorbed in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases and clouds and do not escape directly to space. The reason this warms the surface is most easily understood by starting with a simplified model of a purely radiative greenhouse effect that ignores energy transfer in the atmosphere by convection (sensible heat transport, Sensible heat flux) and by the evaporation and condensation of water vapor (latent heat transport, Latent heat flux). In this purely radiative case, one can think of the atmosphere as emitting infrared radiation both upwards and downwards. The upward infrared flux emitted by the surface must balance not only the absorbed solar flux but also this downward infrared flux emitted by the atmosphere. The surface temperature will rise until it generates thermal radiation equivalent to the sum of the incoming solar and infrared radiation. A more realistic picture taking into account the convective and latent heat fluxes is somewhat more complex. But the following simple model captures the essence. The starting point is to note that the opacity of the atmosphere to infrared radiation determines the height in the atmosphere from which most of the photons are emitted into space. If the atmosphere is more opaque, the typical photon escaping to space will be emitted from higher in the atmosphere, because one then has to go to higher altitudes to see out to space in the infrared. Since the emission of infrared radiation is a function of temperature, it is the temperature of the atmosphere at this emission level that is effectively determined by the requirement that the emitted flux balance the absorbed solar flux.

But the temperature of the atmosphere generally decreases with height above the surface, at a rate of roughly 6.5 °C per kilometer on average, until one reaches the stratosphere 10–15 km above the surface. (Most infrared photons escaping to space are emitted by the troposphere, the region bounded by the surface and the stratosphere, so we can ignore the stratosphere in this simple picture.) A very simple model, but one that proves to be remarkably useful, involves the assumption that this temperature profile is simply fixed, by the non-radiative energy fluxes. Given the temperature at the emission level of the infrared flux escaping to space, one then computes the surface temperature by increasing temperature at the rate of 6.5 °C per kilometer, the environmental lapse rate, until one reaches the surface. The more opaque the atmosphere, and the higher the emission level of the escaping infrared radiation, the warmer the surface, since one then needs to follow this lapse rate over a larger distance in the vertical. While less intuitive than the purely radiative greenhouse effect, this less familiar radiative-convective picture is the starting point for most discussions of the greenhouse effect in the climate modeling literature.

Greenhouse gases
In order, Earth's most abundant greenhouse gases are:
• • • • • •

water vapor carbon dioxide methane nitrous oxide ozone CFCs

When these gases are ranked by their contribution to the greenhouse effect, the most important are:
• • • •

water vapor, which contributes 36–70% carbon dioxide, which contributes 9–26% methane, which contributes 4–9% ozone, which contributes 3–7%

The major non-gas contributor to the Earth's greenhouse effect, clouds, also absorbs and emits infrared radiation and thus has an effect on radiative properties of the greenhouse gases.

Runaway greenhouse effect

A runaway greenhouse effect occurs if positive feedbacks lead to the evaporation of all greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A runaway greenhouse effect involving carbon dioxide and water vapor may have occurred on Venus. It is not possible that such an event will occur on Earth as a result of anthropogenic perturbations, but other potential runaway climate change effects involving Arctic methane release from permafrost have been identified. Clathrates have also been identified as a major potential methane source capable of inducing a 'runaway' effect.

Anthropogenic greenhouse effect
Of the human-produced greenhouse gases, the one that contributes the bulk in terms of radiative forcing is carbon dioxide. CO2 production from increased industrial activity (fossil fuel burning) and other human activities such as cement production and tropical deforestation has increased the concentrations in the atmosphere. Measurements of CO2 from the Mauna Loa observatory show that concentrations have increased from about 313 ppm (mole fraction in dry air) in 1960 to about 375 ppm in 2005. The current observed amount of CO2 exceeds the geological record maxima (~300 ppm) from ice core data. The effect of combustion-produced carbon dioxide on the global climate, a special case of the greenhouse effect first demonstrated in the 1930s, may be called the Callendar effect. Because it is a greenhouse gas, elevated CO2 levels will contribute to additional absorption and emission of thermal infrared in the atmosphere, which could contribute to net warming. In fact, according to Assessment Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations". Over the past 800,000 years, ice core data shows unambiguously that carbon dioxide has varied from values as low as 180 parts per million (ppm) to the pre-industrial level of 270ppm. Certain paleoclimatologists consider variations in carbon dioxide to be a fundamental factor in controlling climate variations over this time scale. Responses to anthropogenic global warming fall into three categories:
• • •

Adaptation - dealing with the effects of global warming, such as by building flood defences Mitigation - reducing carbon emissions, such as by using renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Geoengineering - directly intervening in the climate using techniques such as solar radiation management

Real greenhouses

A modern Greenhouse in RHS Wisley The term "greenhouse effect" can be a source of confusion as actual greenhouses do not function by the same mechanism the atmosphere does. Various materials at times imply incorrectly that they do, or do not make the distinction between the processes of radiation and convection The term 'greenhouse effect' originally came from the greenhouses used for gardening, but as mentioned the mechanism for greenhouses operates differently. Many sources make the "heat trapping" analogy of how a greenhouse limits convection to how the atmosphere performs a similar function through the different mechanism of infrared absorbing gases. A greenhouse is usually built of glass, plastic, or a plastic-type material. It heats up mainly because the sun warms the ground inside it, which then warms the air in the greenhouse. The air continues to heat because it is confined within the greenhouse, unlike the environment outside the greenhouse where warm air near the surface rises and mixes with cooler air aloft. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature will drop considerably. It has also been demonstrated experimentally (Wood, 1909) that a "greenhouse" with a cover of rock salt heats up an enclosure similarly to one with a glass cover. Greenhouses thus work primarily by preventing convection; the atmospheric greenhouse effect however reduces radiation loss, not convection.

Impact on agricultural sector:
Ozone is a layer that situated around the earth. This layer work as a protection layer of the globe from various UV- rays those are harmful for human, animal and agriculture. When CFC and CO2 gas increases on a vast amount in the Ozone layer, then the ozone (O3) layer become destroy by chemical reaction with CFC. When the ozone layer become destroys then the UV- ray easily can enter into the earth. As a result the agricultural field become destroy, human, animals and other natural resources also become destroy

Declining amphibian populations:

Amphibians are particularly sensitive to changes in the environment. Amphibians have been described as a marker species or the equivalent of “canaries of the coal mines” meaning they provide an important signal to the health of biodiversity; when they are stressed and struggling, biodiversity may be under pressure. When they are doing well, biodiversity is probably healthy. Unfortunately, as has been feared for many years now, amphibian species are declining at an alarming rate.

Fig: The Golden Toad of Monteverde, Costa Rica was among the first casualties of amphibian declines. Formerly abundant, it was last seen in 1989. (Source: Wikipedia) Malcom MacCallum of the Biological Sciences Program, Texas A&M University calculated that the current extinction rate of amphibians could be 211 times the background amphibian extinction rate. He added that “If current estimates of amphibian species in imminent danger of extinction are included in these calculations, then the current amphibian extinction rate may range from 25,039–45,474 times the background extinction rate for amphibians. It is difficult to explain this unprecedented and accelerating rate of extinction as a natural phenomenon.”

Impact on agriculture:
The amphibian populations eat various insects in agricultural field. They keep a vital role to keep balance in the environment. If a small amphibian lost from our eco system, the total eco system must be destroying. For example: Goat eats tree, people eats goat, when people become die different virus, bacteria and insects live on taking different elements from dead body and nitrogen separate from human body that is helpful for growing tree. If any element lost from this eco system then the eco system become destroy.

Dwindling fish stocks
Mass extinctions of marine life due to industrialized fishing have been a concern for many years. Yet, it rarely makes mainstream headlines. However, a report warning of marine species loss becoming a threat to the entire global fishing industry did gain media attention.

(Image source: Wikipedia) A research article in the journal, Science, warned commercial fish and seafood species may all crash by 2048. At the current rate of loss, it is feared the oceans may never recover. Extensive coastal pollution, climate change, over-fishing and the enormously wasteful practice of deep-sea trawling are all contributing to the problem, as Inter Press Service (IPS) summarized. As also explained on biodiversity importance section, ecosystems are incredibly productive and efficient—when there is sufficient biodiversity. Each form of life works together with the surrounding environment to help recycle waste, maintain the ecosystem, and provide services that others—including humans—use and benefit from. For example, as Steve Palumbi of Stamford University (and one of the authors of the paper) noted, the ocean ecosystems can
• •

Take sewage and recycle it into nutrients; Scrub toxins out of the water;

• •

Produce food for many species, including humans Turns carbon dioxide into food and oxygen

With massive species loss, the report warns, at current rates, in less than 50 years, the ecosystems could reach the point of no return, where they would not be able to regenerate themselves. Dr. Boris Worm, one of the paper’s authors, and a world leader in ocean research, commented that: Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world’s ocean, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are—beyond anything we suspected. — Dr. Boris Worm, Losing species, Dalhousie University, November 3, 2006 “Current” is an important word, implying that while things look dire, there are solutions and it is not too late yet. The above report and the IPS article noted that protected areas show that biodiversity can be restored quickly. Unfortunately, “less than 1% of the global ocean is effectively protected right now” and “where [recovery has been observed] we see immediate economic benefits,” says Dr. Worm. Time is therefore of the essence. An example of over fishing that has a ripple-effect on the whole fish-food chain is shark hunting.

Fig: The Great White Shark is the largest predatory fish. (Source: Wikipedia) Millions of sharks are killed each year from over fishing and trade. Many die accidentally in fishing nets set for tuna and swordfish, while others are caught for their meat or just for their fins. A demand for shark-fin soup in places like China and Taiwan is decimating shark populations. Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy (not even a necessity) and can be

extremely lucrative. So much money can be obtained just from the fin that fishermen hunting sharks will simply catch sharks and cut off their fins while they are alive, tossing the wriggling shark back into the ocean (to die, as it cannot swim without its fin). This saves a lot of room on fishing boats. Some video footage shown on documentaries such as National Geographic reveal how barbaric and wasteful this practice is. Sharks in general are at the top of the food chain. Without sufficient shark numbers, the balance they provide to the ecosystem is threatened, as nature evolved this balance of many millennia. As WWF, the global conservation organization notes, “Contrary to popular belief, shark fins have little nutritional value and may even be harmful to your health over the long term as fins have been found to contain high levels of mercury.”

Declining Ocean Biodiversity
It is not just fish in the oceans that may be struggling, but most biodiversity in the seas. This includes mammals (e.g. whales, dolphins, polar bears), birds (e.g. penguins), and other creatures (e.g. krill). In the past century, commercial whaling has decimated numerous whale populations, many of which have struggled to recover.

Fig: Whaling stations like this one in the Faroe Islands is also used to hold hunted dolphins and other animals. (Image source: Wikipedia) Commercial whaling in the past was for whale oil. With no reason to use whale oil today, commercial whaling is mainly for food, while there is also some hunting for scientific research purposes. Large scale commercialized whaling was so destructive that in 1986 a moratorium on whaling was set up by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

As early as the mid-1930s, there were international attempts to recognize the impact of whaling and try and make it more sustainable, resulting in the actual set up of the IWC in 1946. Many commercial whaling nations have been part of this moratorium but have various objections and other pressures to try and resume whaling.

Fig: Japan often claims its whale-hunting is for scientific research; the general population is often quite skeptical of such claims. (Image source: © Greenpeace) Japan is the prime example of hunting whales for the stated aim of scientific research while a lot of skepticism says it is for food. Greenpeace and other organizations often release findings that argue Japan’s whaling to be excessive or primarily for food, and for research as secondary. General public negativity of commercial whaling has also led to a difference between traditional whaling communities in the arctic region and conservationists. Traditional indigenous communities have typically hunted whale in far smaller numbers commercially, mostly for local food consumption, but the impacts of large-scale commercial whaling has meant even their hunting is under pressure. Some have argued for whale hunting as a way to sustain other marine populations. National Geographic Wild aired a program called, A Life among Whales (broadcast June 14, 2008). It noted how a few decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were apparently threatening the fish supply. A chain of events eventually came full circle and led to a loss of jobs:

• • • •

The massive reduction in the local whale population meant the killer whales in that region (that usually preyed on the younger whales) moved to other animals such as seals As seal numbers declined, the killer whales targeted otters As otter numbers were decimated, the urchins and other targets of otters flourished These decimated the kelp forests where many fish larvae grew in relative protection The exposed fish larvae were easy pickings for a variety of sea life

Fishermen’s livelihoods were destroyed.

This may be a vivid example of humans interfering and altering the balance of ecosystems and misunderstanding the importance of biodiversity. Dr. Sylvia Earle, described as a “Living Legend” by the US Library of Congress, is a world-renowned oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. In the early 1990s she was the Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in the US. In 2009 she won the prestigious TED prize. As part of the prize, she was able to share a wish, which captured some major concerns about dwindling ocean biodiversity and its importance to all life on earth:

Impact on agricultural field:
When fish destroy from the eco system then the population those live depends on fish also destroy, like people. Then people also loss from the earth, when people loss then agriculture industry also destroy.

Loss of forests equates to a loss of many species

© Centre for Science and Environment, Campaign on Forests A 20-year study has shown that deforestation and introduction of non-native species has led to about 12.5% of the world’s plant species to become critically rare. (In fact, as an example, a study suggests that the Amazon damage is worse than previously thought, due to previously undetected types of selective logging and deforestation.)

A report from the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development suggests that the forests of the world have been exploited to the point of crisis and that major changes in global forest management strategies would be needed to avoid the devastation. What also makes this a problem is that many of the endangered species are only found in small areas of land, often within the borders of a single country. New species of animals and plants are still being discovered. In Papua New Guinea, 44 new species of animals were discovered recently in the forests. Logging may affect these animals’ habitats, though. The loss of rainforests around the world, where many species of life are found will mean that potential knowledge, whether medicinal, sustenance sources, or evolutionary and scientific information etc. could be lost. Brazil, which is estimated to have around 55,000 species of flora, amounting to some 22% of the world’s total and India for example, which has about 46,000 and some 81,000 animal species (amounting to some 8% of the world’s biodiversity), are also under various pressures, from corporate globalization, deforrestation, etc. So too are many other biodiverse regions, such as Indonesia, parts of Africa, and other tropical regions.

Sustainable Forests or Sustainable Profits?
The overly corporate-led form of globalization that we see today also affects how natural resources are used and what priorities they are used for. It is true that cutting down forests or converting natural forests into monocultures of pine and eucalyptus for industrial raw material generates revenues and growth. But this growth is based on robbing the forest of its biodiversity and its capacity to conserve soil and water. This growth is based on robbing forest communities of their sources of food, fodder, fuel, fiber, medicine, and security from floods and drought.

(Image source: Wikipedia) We hear more about sustainable forestry practices by the large logging multinationals. However, what does that really mean? Who is it sustainable for? Society and the

environment, or for the logging companies? By replanting trees that will grow quickly and allow them to be felled for “sustained” logging sounds like a good strategy. However, the trees that are favored for this (eucalyptus) require a lot of water to grow so quickly. Madeley continues by describing the impact that the use of chemicals to treat wood pulp from the eucalyptus has on local fisheries and on food production. This has had terrible effects on indigenous people within such regions.

Illegal Timber Trade on a Large Scale
Some government institutions even buy illegal timber from pristine forests. For example, it is claimed that UK buys all of its Mahogany from pristine forests in Brazil where 80% of all timber is traded illegally. Even though Brazil has now tried to introduce a moratorium on Mahogany logging for two years, this has been slammed by some as too little, too late.

Legal Timber Trade on a Large Scale
Under much secrecy, there is a push from USA and Asian economies to reduce tariffs for wood and paper products. Also at the WTO Ministerial meeting in November 1999, opening more markets for easier access was the agenda, which included forests.

People and Forests
Quite often we make blanket statements or generalized conclusions that people are the cause of deforestation. While that is true, unfortunately all people around the world are not equal, and it also follows that some are more responsible for deforestation than others. Often, in forests of the Amazon, Africa, or Asia, forest protection schemes have been promoted that go against indigenous peoples and cultures, rather than work with them. As Indian activist and scientist Vandana Shiva and others have shown in countless work, indigenous people often have their cultures and lifestyle structured in a way that works with nature and would not undermine their own resource base. For example, in her book Stolen Harvests she describes how their traditional knowledge has been beneficial to the environment and has been developed and geared towards this understanding and respect of the ecosystems around them. Yet because of blanket conclusions that humankind is responsible for deforestation, we risk assuming all types of societies are equally responsible for deforestation that is damaging to the environment. (This hints then, that for sustainable development projects, a more participatory approach can be accepted by local people, reducing the chance for conflict and distrust and therefore be more likely to succeed as well.)

Fig: Water falls, an example of trying to preserve nature while allowing tourism. As the cartoon, further above, from the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment notes, logging companies and others can often have a larger impact on deforestation. Industrial agriculture and beef production for example, is a major cause of deforestation in the Amazon, to raise cattle. This is not even for local needs, but to meet fast food restaurant demands in the Northern countries. A combination of geopolitics and economic agreements foster a scenario for such results to occur.

Impact on Agricultural industry:
Tree is a most important agricultural factor. It keeps balance in the environment. It takes the carbon - de- oxide (CO2) from the environment that we leave with our breadth. Deforestation is harmful for us. When

Evolution and meaning of bio diversity
Biodiversity is a portmanteau word, from biology and diversity, originating from and used interchangeably with "biological diversity." This term was used first by wildlife scientist and conservationist Raymond F. Dasmann in a lay book[3] advocating nature conservation. It was not widely adopted for more than a decade, when in the 1980s it and "biodiversity" came into common usage in science and environmental policy. Use of the term by Thomas Lovejoy in the Forward to the book[4] credited with launching the field of conservation biology introduced the term along with "conservation biology" to the scientific community. Until then the term "natural diversity" was used in conservation science circles, including by The Science Division of The Nature Conservancy in an important 1975 study, "The Preservation of Natural Diversity." By the early 1980s TNC's Science program and its head Robert E. Jenkins, Lovejoy, and other leading conservation scientists at the time in America advocated the use of "biological diversity" to embrace the object of biological conservation. Its contracted form biodiversity may have been coined by W.G. Rosen in 1985 while planning the National Forum on Biological Diversity organized by the National Research Council (NRC) which was to be held in 1986, and first misha appeared in a publication in 1988 when entomologist E. O. Wilson used it as the title of the proceedings[5] of that forum.[6] Since this period both terms and the concept have achieved widespread use among biologists, environmentalists, political leaders, and concerned citizens worldwide. It is generally used to equate to a concern for the natural environment and nature conservation. This use has coincided with the expansion of concern over extinction observed in the last decades of the 20th century. A similar concept in use in the United States, besides natural diversity, is the term "natural heritage." It pre-dates both terms though it is a less scientific term and more easily comprehended in some ways by the wider audience interested in conservation. "Natural Heritage" was used when Jimmy Carter set up the Georgia Heritage Trust while he was governor of Georgia; Carter's trust dealt with both natural and cultural heritage. It would appear that Carter picked the term up from Lyndon Johnson, who used it in a 1966 Message to Congress. "Natural Heritage" was picked up by the Science Division of the US Nature Conservancy when, under Jenkins, it launched in 1974 the network of State Natural Heritage Programs. When this network was extended outside the USA, the term "Conservation Data Center" was suggested by Guillermo Mann and came to be preferred.

Biologists most often define "biological diversity" or "biodiversity" as the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it

seems to describe most circumstances and present a unified view of the traditional three levels at which biological variety has been identified:
• • •

genetic diversity species diversity ecosystem diversity

This multilevel conception is consistent with the early use of "biological diversity" in Washington. D.C. and international conservation organizations in the late 1960s through 1970's, by Raymond F. Dasmann who apparently coined the term and Thomas E. Love joy who later introduced it to the wider conservation and science communities. An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Wilcox commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) for the 1982 World National Parks Conference in Bali [7] The definition Wilcox gave is "Biological diversity is the variety of life forms...at all levels of biological systems (i.e., molecular, organismic, population, species and ecosystem)..." Subsequently, the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro defined "biological diversity" as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, 'inter alia', terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems". This is, in fact, the closest thing to a single legally accepted definition of biodiversity, since it is the definition adopted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The current textbook definition of "biodiversity" is "variation of life at all levels of biological organization".[8] If the gene is the fundamental unit of natural selection, according to E. O. Wilson, the real biodiversity is genetic diversity. For geneticists, biodiversity is the diversity of genes and organisms. They study processes such as mutations, gene exchanges, and genome dynamics that occur at the DNA level and generate evolution. Consistent with this, along with the above definition the Wilcox paper stated "genes are the ultimate source of biological organization at all levels of biological systems..."


Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the north pole. Biodiversity is a broad concept, so a variety of objective measures have been created in order to empirically measure biodiversity. Each measure of biodiversity relates to a particular use of the data. For practical conservationists, this measure should quantify a value that is broadly shared among locally affected people. For others, a more economically defensible definition should allow the ensuring of continued possibilities for both adaptation and future use by people, assuring environmental sustainability. As a consequence, biologists argue that this measure is likely to be associated with the variety of genes. Since it cannot always be said which genes are more likely to prove beneficial, the best choice for conservation is to assure the persistence of as many genes as possible. For ecologists, this latter approach is sometimes considered too restrictive, as it prohibits ecological succession. Biodiversity is usually plotted as taxonomic richness of a geographic area, with some reference to a temporal scale. Whittaker[9] described three common metrics used to measure species-level biodiversity, encompassing attention to species richness or species evenness:
• • •

Species richness - the least sophisticated of the indices available. Simpson index Shannon-Wiener index

There are three other indices which are used by ecologists:

Alpha diversity refers to diversity within a particular area, community or ecosystem, and is measured by counting the number of taxa within the ecosystem (usually species) Beta diversity is species diversity between ecosystems; this involves comparing the number of taxa that are unique to each of the ecosystems.

Gamma diversity is a measurement of the overall diversity for different ecosystems within a region.


A conifer forest in the Swiss Alps (National Park). Selection bias continues to bedevil modern estimates of biodiversity. In 1768 Rev. Gilbert White succinctly observed of his Selborne, Hampshire "all nature is so full, that that district produces the most variety which is the most examined."[10] Nevertheless, biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth. It is consistently richer in the tropics and in other localized regions such as the Cape Floristic Province. As one approaches polar regions one generally finds fewer species. Flora and fauna diversity depends on climate, altitude, soils and the presence of other species. In the year 2006 large numbers of the Earth's species were formally classified as rare or endangered or threatened species; moreover, many scientists have estimated that there are millions more species actually endangered which have not yet been formally recognized. About 40 percent of the 40,177 species assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria, are now listed as threatened species with extinction - a total of 16,119 species.[11] Even though biodiversity declines from the equator to the poles in terrestrial ecoregions, whether this is so in aquatic ecosystems is still a hypothesis to be tested, especially in marine ecosystems where causes of this phenomenon are unclear [12]. In addition, particularly in marine ecosystems, there are several well stated cases where diversity in

higher latitudes actually increases. Therefore, the lack of information on biodiversity of Tropics and Polar Regions prevents scientific conclusions on the distribution of the world’s aquatic biodiversity. A biodiversity hotspot is a region with a high level of endemic species. These biodiversity hotspots were first identified by Dr. Norman Myers in two articles in the scientific journal The Environmentalist.[13][14] Dense human habitation tends to occur near hotspots. Most hotspots are located in the tropics and most of them are forests. Brazil's Atlantic Forest is considered a hotspot of biodiversity and contains roughly 20,000 plant species, 1350 vertebrates, and millions of insects, about half of which occur nowhere else in the world. The island of Madagascar including the unique Madagascar dry deciduous forests and lowland rainforests possess a very high ratio of species endemism and biodiversity, since the island separated from mainland Africa 65 million years ago, most of the species and ecosystems have evolved independently producing unique species different from those in other parts of Africa. Many regions of high biodiversity (as well as high endemism) arise from very specialized habitats which require unusual adaptation mechanisms. For example the peat bogs of Northern Europe.


Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic Eon. Biodiversity found on Earth today is the result of 4 billion years of evolution. The origin of life has not been definitely established by science, however some evidence suggests that life may already have been well-established a few hundred million years after the formation of the Earth. Until approximately 600 million years ago, all life consisted of archaea, bacteria, protozoans and similar single-celled organisms. The history of biodiversity during the Phanerozoic (the last 540 million years), starts with rapid growth during the Cambrian explosion—a period during which nearly every

phylum of multicellular organisms first appeared. Over the next 400 million years or so, global diversity showed little overall trend, but was marked by periodic, massive losses of diversity classified as mass extinction events. The apparent biodiversity shown in the fossil record suggests that the last few million years include the period of greatest biodiversity in the Earth's history. However, not all scientists support this view, since there is considerable uncertainty as to how strongly the fossil record is biased by the greater availability and preservation of recent geologic sections. Some (e.g. Alroy et al. 2001) argue that, corrected for sampling artifacts, modern biodiversity is not much different from biodiversity 300 million years ago.[15] Estimates of the present global macroscopic species diversity vary from 2 million to 100 million species, with a best estimate of somewhere near 13–14 million, the vast majority of them arthropods. Most biologists agree however that the period since the emergence of humans is part of a new mass extinction, the Holocene extinction event, caused primarily by the impact humans are having on the environment. It has been argued that the present rate of extinction is sufficient to eliminate most species on the planet Earth within 100 years.[17] New species are regularly discovered (on average between 5–10,000 new species each year, most of them insects) and many, though discovered, are not yet classified (estimates are that nearly 90% of all arthropods are not yet classified).[16] Most of the terrestrial diversity is found in tropical forests.

Human Benefits

Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). Biodiversity also supports a number of natural ecosystem processes and services. Some ecosystem services that benefit society are air quality, climate (both global CO2 sequestration and local), water purification, disease control, biological pest control, pollination and prevention of erosion. Biodiversity is also believed to create stability in ecosystems, allowing these ecosystems to continue providing services in the face of disturbances. Non-material benefits that are obtained from ecosystems include spiritual and aesthetic values, knowledge systems and the value of education. Biodiversity is also central to an ecocentric philosophy.

The economic value of the reservoir of genetic traits present in wild varieties and traditionally grown landraces is extremely important in improving crop performance. Important crops, such as the potato and coffee, are often derived from only a few genetic strains. Improvements in crop plants over the last 250 years have been largely due to harnessing the genetic diversity present in wild and domestic crop plants. Interbreeding crops strains with different beneficial traits has resulted in more than doubling crop production in the last 50 years as a result of the Green Revolution. Crop diversity is also necessary to help the system recover when the dominant crop type is attacked by a disease:

The Irish potato blight of 1846, which was a major factor in the deaths of a million people and migration of another million, was the result of planting only two potato varieties, both of which were vulnerable. When rice grassy stunt virus struck rice fields from Indonesia to India in the 1970s. 6273 varieties were tested for resistance.[18] One was found to be resistant, an Indian variety, known to science only since 1966.[18] This variety formed a hybrid with other varieties and is now widely grown.[18] Coffee rust attacked coffee plantations in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Central America in 1970. A resistant variety was found in Ethiopia.[19]

Although the diseases are themselves a form of biodiversity. Monoculture, the lack of biodiversity, was a contributing factor to several agricultural disasters in history, including the Irish Potato Famine, the European wine industry collapse in the late 1800s, and the US Southern Corn Leaf Blight epidemic of 1970.[20] See also: Agricultural biodiversity Higher biodiversity also controls the spread of certain diseases as pathogens will need to adapt to infect different species.

Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. Biodiversity provides food for humans. Although about 80 percent of our food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants, humans use at least 40,000 species of plants and animals a day. Many people around the world depend on these species for their food, shelter, and clothing. There is untapped potential for increasing the range of food products suitable for human consumption, provided that the high present extinction rate can be stopped.[17]

Human Health
The relevance of biodiversity to human health is becoming a major international political issue, as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of biodiversity loss. [21][22][23] This issue is closely linked with the issue of climate change, as many of the

anticipated health risks of climate change are associated with changes in biodiversity (e.g. changes in populations and distribution of disease vectors, scarcity of fresh water, impacts on agricultural biodiversity and food resources etc). Some of the health issues influenced by biodiversity include dietary health and nutrition security, infectious diseases, medical science and medicinal resources, social and psychological health, and spiritual well-being. Biodiversity is also known to have an important role in reducing disaster risk, and in post-disaster relief and recovery efforts.[24][25] One of the key health issues associated with biodiversity is that of drug discovery and the availability of medicinal resources. A significant proportion of drugs are derived, directly or indirectly, from biological sources; Chivian and Bernstein report that at least 50% of the pharmaceutical compounds on the market in the US are derived from natural compounds found in plants, animals, and microorganisms, while about 80% of the world population depends on medicines from nature (used in either modern or traditional medical practice) for primary healthcare.[26] Moreover, only a tiny proportion of the total diversity of wild species has been investigated for potential sources of new drugs. Through the field of bionics, considerable technological advancement has occurred which would not have without a rich biodiversity. It has been argued, based on evidence from market analysis and biodiversity science, that the decline in output from the pharmaceutical sector since the mid-1980s can be attributed to a move away from natural product exploration ("bioprospecting") in favour of R&D programmes based on genomics and synthetic chemistry, neither of which have yielded the expected product outputs; meanwhile, there is evidence that natural product chemistry can provide the basis for innovation which can yield significant economic and health benefits.[27][28]. Marine ecosystems are of particular interest in this regard[29], however unregulated and inappropriate bioprospecting can be considered a form of over-exploitation which has the potential to degrade ecosystems and increase biodiversity loss, as well as impacting on the rights of the communities and states from which the resources are taken.[30][31][32]

Business and Industry
A wide range of industrial materials are derived directly from biological resources. These include building materials, fibers, dyes, resirubber and oil. There is enormous potential for further research into sustainably utilizing materials from a wider diversity of organisms. In addition, biodivesity and the ecosystem goods and services it provides are considered to be fundamental to healthy economic systems. The degree to which biodiversity supports business varies between regions and between economic sectors, however the importance of biodiversity to issues of resource security (water quantity and quality, timber, paper and fibre, food and medicinal resources etc) are increasingly recognized as universal.[33][34][35] As a result, the loss of biodiversity is increasingly

recognized as a significant risk factor in business development and a threat to long term economic sustainability. A number of case studies recently compiled by the World Resources Institute demonstrate some of these risks as identified by specific industries.[36]

Eagle Creek, Oregon hiking

Other ecological services
Biodiversity provides many ecosystem services that are often not readily visible. It plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply. Biodiversity is directly involved in water purification, recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled environments have shown that humans cannot easily build ecosystems to support human needs; for example insect pollination cannot be mimicked by human-made construction, and that activity alone represents tens of billions of dollars in ecosystem services per annum to humankind. The stability of ecosystems is also related to biodiversity, with higher biodiversity producing greater stability over time, reducing the chance that ecosystem services will be disrupted as a result of disturbances such as extreme weather events or human exploitation.

Leisure, cultural and aesthetic value
Many people derive value from biodiversity through leisure activities such as hiking, birdwatching or natural history study. Biodiversity has inspired musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists. Many cultural groups view themselves as an integral part of the natural world and show respect for other living organisms.

Popular activities such as gardening, caring for aquariums and collecting butterflies are all strongly dependent on biodiversity. The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the great majority does not enter mainstream commercialism. The relationships between the original natural areas of these often 'exotic' animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood. It seems clear, however, that the general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms—they recognize their inherent value at some level. A family outing to the botanical garden or zoo is as much an aesthetic or cultural experience as it is an educational one. Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself. This idea can be used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because they may contain medicines or useful products. An interesting point is that evolved DNA embodies knowledge,[37] and therefore destroying a species resembles burning a book, with the caveat that the book is of uncertain depth and importance and may in fact be best used as fuel.

"External" redirects here. For other uses, see External (disambiguation). In economics, an externality or spillover of an economic transaction is an impact on a party that is not directly involved in the transaction. In such a case, prices do not reflect the full costs or benefits in production or consumption of a product or service. A positive impact is called an external benefit, while a negative impact is called an external cost. Producers and consumers in a market may either not bear all of the costs or not reap all of the benefits of the economic activity. For example, manufacturing that cause’s air pollution imposes costs on the whole society, while fire-proofing a home improves the fire safety of neighbors. In a competitive market, the existence of externalities would cause either too much or too little of the good to be produced or consumed in terms of overall costs and benefits to society. If there exist external costs such as pollution, the good will be overproduced by a competitive market, as the producer does not take into account the external costs when producing the good. If there are external benefits, such as in areas of education or public safety, too little of the good would be produced by private markets as producers and buyers do not take into account the external benefits to others. Here, overall cost and benefit to society is defined as the sum of the economic benefits and costs for all parties involved.

External costs and benefits

Standard economic theory states that any voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial to both parties involved in the trade. This is because if either the buyer or the seller would

not benefit from the trade, they would refuse it. However, an exchange can cause additional effects on third parties. From the perspective of those affected, these effects may be negative (pollution from a factory), or positive (honey bees that pollinate the garden). Welfare economics has shown that the existence of externalities result in outcomes that are not socially optimal. Those who suffer from external costs do so involuntarily, while those who enjoy external benefits do so at no cost. A voluntary exchange may reduce societal welfare if external costs exist. The person who is affected by the negative externality in the case of air pollution will see it as lowered utility: either subjective displeasure or potentially explicit costs, such as higher medical expenses. The externality may even be seen as a trespass on their lungs, violating their property rights. Thus, an external cost may pose an ethical or political problem. Alternatively, it might be seen as a case of poorly-defined property rights, as with, for example, pollution of bodies of water that may belong to no-one (either figuratively, in the case of publicly-owned, or literally, in some countries and/or legal traditions). On the other hand, an external benefit would increase the utility of third parties at no cost to them. Since collective societal welfare is improved, but the providers have no way of monetizing the benefit, less of the good will be produced than would be optimal for society as a whole. Goods with positive externalities include education (believed to increase societal productivity and well-being; but controversial, as these benefits may be internalized), health care (which may reduce the health risks and costs for third parties for such things as transmittable diseases) and law enforcement. Positive externalities are often associated with the free rider problem. For example, individuals who are vaccinated reduce the risk of contracting the relevant disease for all others around them, and at high levels of vaccination, society may receive large health and welfare benefits; but any one individual can refuse vaccination, still avoiding the disease by "free riding" on the costs borne by others. There are a number of potential means of improving overall social utility when externalities are involved. The market-driven approach to correcting externalities is to "internalize" third party costs and benefits, for example, by requiring a polluter to repair any damage caused. But, in many cases internalizing costs or benefits is not feasible, especially if the true monetary values cannot be determined. The monetary values of externalities are difficult to quantify, as they may reflect the ethical views and preferences of the entire population. It may not be clear whose preferences are most important, interests may conflict, the value of externalities may be difficult to determine, and all parties involved may try to influence the policy responses to their own benefit. An example is the externalities of the smoking of tobacco, which can cost or benefit society depending on the situation. Because it may not be feasible to monetize the costs and benefits, another method is needed to either impose solutions or aggregate the choices of society, when externalities are significant. This may be through some form of representative democracy or other means. Political economy is, in broad terms, the study of the means and results of aggregating those choices and benefits that are not limited to purely private transactions.

Laissez-faire economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman sometimes refer to externalities as "neighborhood effects" or "spillovers", although externalities are not necessarily minor or localized.

Many negative externalities (also called "external costs" or "external diseconomies") are related to the environmental consequences of production and use. The article on environmental economics also addresses externalities and how they may be addressed in the context of environmental issues.

Systemic risk describes the risks to the overall economy arising from the risks which the banking system takes. That the private costs of banking failure may be smaller than the social costs justifies banking regulations, although regulations could create a moral hazard.[1] Anthropogenic climate change is attributed to greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, gas, and coal. Global warming has been ranked as the #1 externality of all economic activity, in the magnitude of potential harms and yet remains unmitigated.[citation needed] Water pollution by industries that adds poisons to the water, which harm plants, animals, and humans. Industrial farm animal production, on the rise in the 20th century, resulted in farms that were easier to run, with fewer and often less-highly-skilled employees, and a greater output of uniform animal products. However, the externalities with these farms include "contributing to the increase in the pool of antibiotic-resistant bacteria because of the overuse of antibiotics; air quality problems; the contamination of rivers, streams, and coastal waters with concentrated animal waste; animal welfare problems, mainly as a result of the extremely close quarters in which the animals are housed." [2][3] The harvesting by one fishing company in the ocean depletes the stock of available fish for the other companies and overfishing may be the result. This is an example of a common property resource, sometimes referred to as the Tragedy of the commons. When car owners use roads, they impose congestion costs on all other users. A business may purposely underfund one part of their business, such as their pension funds, in order to push the costs onto someone else, creating an externality. Here, the "cost" is that of providing minimum social welfare or

• •

retirement income; economists more frequently attribute this problem to the category of moral hazards.

Consumption by one consumer causes prices to rise and therefore makes other consumers worse off, perhaps by reducing their consumption. These effects are sometimes called "pecuniary externalities". Many economists do not accept the concept of pecuniary externalities, attributing such problems to anti-competitive behavior, monopoly power, or other definitions of market failures. The consumption of alcohol by bar-goers in some cases leads to drinking and driving accidents which injure or kill pedestrians and other drivers. Commonized costs of declining health and vitality caused by smoking and/or alcohol abuse. Here, the "cost" is that of providing minimum social welfare. Economists more frequently attribute this problem to the category of moral hazards, the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way they would if they were fully exposed to the risk. For example, an individual with insurance against automobile theft may be less vigilant about locking his car, because the negative consequences of automobile theft are (partially) borne by the insurance company. The cost of storing nuclear waste from nuclear plants for more than 1,000 years (over 100,000 for some types of nuclear waste) is not included in the cost of the electricity the plant produces. If the nuclear waste is not handled properly it would be a problem for the coming generations, which is the third party in this instance.

In these situations the marginal social benefit of consumption is less than the marginal private benefit of consumption. (i.e. SMB < PMB) This leads to the good or service being over-consumed relative to the social optimum. Without intervention the good or service will be under-priced and the negative externalities will not be taken into account.

Examples of positive externalities (beneficial externality, external benefit, external economy, or Merit goods) include:

A beekeeper keeps the bees for their honey. A side effect or externality associated with his activity is the pollination of surrounding crops by the bees. The value generated by the pollination may be more important than the value of the harvested honey. An individual planting an attractive garden in front of his house may provide benefits to others living in the area, and even financial benefits in the form of increased property values for all property owners.

An individual buying a product that is interconnected in a network (e.g., a video cellphone) will increase the usefulness of such phones to other people who have a video cellphone. When each new user of a product increases the value of the same product owned by others, the phenomenon is called a network externality or a network effect. Network externalities often have "tipping points" where, suddenly, the product reaches general acceptance and near-universal usage, a phenomenon which can be seen in the near universal take-up of cellphones in some Scandinavian countries. Knowledge spillover of inventions and information - once an invention (or most other forms of practical information) is discovered or made more easily accessible, others benefit by exploiting the invention or information. Copyright and intellectual property law are mechanisms to allow the inventor or creator to benefit from a temporary, state-protected monopoly in return for "sharing" the information through publication or other means. Sometimes the better part of a benefit from a good comes from having the option to buy something rather than actually having to buy it. A private fire department that only charged people that had a fire, would arguably provide a positive externality at the expense of an unlucky few. Some form of insurance could be a solution in such cases, as long as people can accurately evaluate the benefit they have from the option. A family member buying a movie or game will provide a positive externality to the rest of the family, who then can watch the movie or play the game. An organization that purchases a large screen and projector will give benefits to those who may use the screen for various purposes. Home ownership creates a positive externality in that homeowners are more likely than renters to become actively involved in the local community. For this reason, in the US interest paid on a home mortgage is an available deduction from the income tax. Education creates a positive externality because more educated people are less likely to engage in violent crime, which makes everyone in the community, even people who are not well educated, better off.

As noted, externalities (or proposed solutions to externalities) may also imply political conflicts, rancorous lawsuits, and the like. This may make the problem of externalities too complex for the concept of Pareto optimality to handle. Similarly, if too many positive externalities fall outside the participants in a transaction, there will be too little incentive on parties to participate in activities that lead to the positive externalities.

Positional externalities refer to a special type of externality that depends on the relative rankings of actors in a situation. Because every actor is attempting to "one up" other actors, the consequences are unintended and economically inefficient. One example is the phenomenon of "overeducation" (referring to post-secondary education) in the North American labour market. In the 1960s, many young middle-class North Americans prepared for their careers by completing a bachelor's degree. However, by the 1990s, many people from the same social milieu were completing master's degrees, hoping to "one up" the other competitors in the job market by signalling their higher quality as potential employees. By the 2000s, some jobs which had previously only demanded bachelor's degrees, such as policy analysis posts, were requiring master's degrees. Some economists argue that this increase in educational requirements was above that which was efficient, and that it was a misuse of the societal and personal resources that go into the completion of these master's degrees. Another example is the buying of jewelry as a gift for another person, e.g. a spouse. For Husband A to show that he values Wife A more than Husband B values Wife B, Husband A must buy more expensive jewelry than Husband B. As in the first example, the cycle continues to get worse, because every actor positions him or herself in relation to the other actors. This is sometimes called Keeping up with the Joneses. One solution to such externalities is regulations imposed by an outside authority. For the first example, the government might pass a law against firms requiring master's degrees unless the job actually required these advanced skills.

Supply and demand

The price P of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price (supply S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand D). 2, along with a consequent increase in price and quantity Q sold of the product.

Supply and demand is an economic model based on price and quantity in a market. It predicts that in a competitive market, price will function to equalize the quantity demanded by consumers, and the quantity supplied by producers, resulting in an economic equilibrium of price and quantity. The model incorporates other factors changing equilibrium as a shift of demand and/or supply.

Demand schedule
In microeconomic theory, demand is defined as the willingness and ability of a consumer to purchase a given product in a given frame of time. The demand schedule, depicted graphically as the demand curve, represents the amount of goods that buyers are willing and able to purchase at various prices, assuming all other non-price factors remain the same. The demand curve is almost always represented as downwards-sloping, meaning that as price decreases, consumers will buy more of the good.[1] Just as the supply curves reflect marginal cost curves, demand curves can be described as marginal utility curves.[2] The main determinants of individual demand are: the price of the good, level of income, personal tastes, the population (number of people), the government policies, the price of substitute goods, and the price of complementary goods. The shape of the aggregate demand curve can be convex or concave, possibly depending on income distribution. As described above, the demand curve is generally downward sloping. There may be rare examples of goods that have upward sloping demand curves. Two different hypothetical types of goods with upward-sloping demand curves are a Giffen good (an inferior, but staple, good) and a Veblen good (a good made more fashionable by a higher price). Similar to the supply curve, movements along it are also named expansions and contractions. A move downward on the demand curve is called an expansion of demand, since the willingness and ability of consumers to buy a given good has increased, in tandem with a fall in its price. Conversely, a move up the demand curve is called a contraction of demand, since consumers are less willing and able to purchase quantities of the product in question.

Changes in market equilibrium
Practical uses of supply and demand analysis often center on the different variables that change equilibrium price and quantity, represented as shifts in the respective curves.

Comparative statics of such a shift traces the effects from the initial equilibrium to the new equilibrium.

Demand curve shifts

An out-ward or right-ward shift in demand increases both equilibrium price and quantity When consumers increase the quantity demanded at a given price, it is referred to as an increase in demand. Increased demand can be represented on the graph as the curve being shifted outward. At each price point, a greater quantity is demanded, as from the initial curve D1 to the new curve D2. More people wanting coffee is an example. In the diagram, this raises the equilibrium price from P1 to the higher P2. This raises the equilibrium quantity from Q1 to the higher Q2. A movement along the curve is described as a "change in the quantity demanded" to distinguish it from a "change in demand," that is, a shift of the curve. In the example above, there has been an increase in demand which has caused an increase in (equilibrium) quantity. The increase in demand could also come from changing tastes and fads, incomes, complementary and substitute price changes, market expectations, and number of buyers. This would cause the entire demand curve to shift changing the equilibrium price and quantity. If the demand decreases, then the opposite happens: an inward shift of the curve. If the demand starts at D2, and decreases to D1, the price will decrease, and the quantity will decrease. This is an effect of demand changing. The quantity supplied at each price is the same as before the demand shift (at both Q1 and Q2). The equilibrium quantity, price and demand are different. At each point, a greater amount is demanded (when there is a shift from D1 to D2). The demand curve "shifts" because a non-price determinant of demand has changed. Graphically the shift is due to a change in the x-intercept.

Supply curve shifts

An out-ward or right-ward shift in supply reduces equilibrium price but increases quantity When the suppliers' costs change for a given output, the supply curve shifts in the same direction. For example, assume that someone invents a better way of growing wheat so that the cost of wheat that can be grown for a given quantity will decrease. Otherwise stated, producers will be willing to supply more wheat at every price and this shifts the supply curve S1 outward, to S2—an increase in supply. This increase in supply causes the equilibrium price to decrease from P1 to P2. The equilibrium quantity increases from Q1 to Q2 as the quantity demanded extends at the new lower prices. In a supply curve shift, the price and the quantity move in opposite directions. If the quantity supplied decreases at a given price, the opposite happens. If the supply curve starts at S2, and shifts inward to S1, demand contracts, the equilibrium price will increase, and the equilibrium quantity will decrease. This is an effect of supply changing. The quantity demanded at each price is the same as before the supply shift (at both Q1 and Q2). The equilibrium quantity, price and supply changed. When there is a change in supply or demand, there are three possible movements. The demand curve can move inward or outward. The supply curve can also move inward or outward.

Supply and demand diagram
The usual economic analysis of externalities can be illustrated using a standard supply and demand diagram if the externality can be monetized and valued in terms of money. An extra supply or demand curve is added, as in the diagrams below. One of the curves is the private cost that consumers pay as individuals for additional quantities of the good, which in competitive markets, is the marginal private cost. The other curve is the true cost that society as a whole pays for production and consumption of increased production the good, or the marginal social cost. Similarly there might be two curves for the demand or benefit of the good. The social demand curve would reflect the benefit to society as a whole, while the normal demand

curve reflects the benefit to consumers as individuals and is reflected as effective demand in the market.

External costs
The graph below shows the effects of a negative externality. For example, the steel industry is assumed to be selling in a competitive market – before pollution-control laws were imposed and enforced (e.g. under laissez-faire). The marginal private cost is less than the marginal social or public cost by the amount of the external cost, i.e., the cost of air pollution and water pollution. This is represented by the vertical distance between the two supply curves. It is assumed that there are no external benefits, so that social benefit equals individual benefit.

Supply & Demand with external costs If the consumers only take into account their own private cost, they will end up at price Pp and quantity Qp, instead of the more efficient price Ps and quantity Qs. These latter reflect the idea that the marginal social benefit should equal the marginal social cost, that is that production should be increased only as long as the marginal social benefit exceeds the marginal social cost. The result is that a free market is inefficient since at the quantity Qp, the social benefit is less than the social cost, so society as a whole would be better off

if the goods between Qp and Qs had not been produced. The problem is that people are buying and consuming too much steel. This discussion implies that pollution is more than merely an ethical problem; it is more than just "greedy" and profit-maximizing firms. The problem is one of the disjuncture between marginal private and social costs that is not solved by the free market. There is a problem of societal communication and coordination to balance benefits and costs. This discussion also implies that pollution is not something solved by competitive markets. In fact, a monopoly might be able to use some of its excess profits to be benevolent and internalize the externality (pay the cost of the pollution). More likely, a monopoly would artificially restrict the quantity supplied in order to maximize profits. This would actually benefit society in this situation because it would mean less pollution than in the competitive case. Perfectly competitive firms have no choice but to produce according to market incentives or private costs: if one decides to internalize external costs, it implies that this producer would incur higher costs than those of its competitors and likely be forced to exit from the market. So some collective solution is needed, such as, government intervention banning or discouraging pollution, by means of economic incentives such as taxes, or an alternative economy such as participatory economics.

External benefits
The graph below shows the effects of a positive or beneficial externality. For example, the industry supplying smallpox vaccinations is assumed to be selling in a competitive market. The marginal private benefit of getting the vaccination is less than the marginal social or public benefit by the amount of the external benefit (for example, society as a whole is increasingly protected from smallpox by each vaccination, including those who refuse to participate). This marginal external benefit of getting a smallpox shot is represented by the vertical distance between the two demand curves. Assume there are no external costs, so that social cost equals individual cost.

Supply & Demand with external benefits If consumers only take into account their own private benefits from getting vaccinations, the market will end up at price Pp and quantity Qp as before, instead of the more efficient price Ps and quantity Qs. These latter again reflect the idea that the marginal social benefit should equal the marginal social cost, i.e., that production should be increased as long as the marginal social benefit exceeds the marginal social cost. The result in an unfettered market is inefficient since at the quantity Qp, the social benefit is greater than the societal cost, so society as a whole would be better off if more goods had been produced. The problem is that people are buying too few vaccinations. The issue of external benefits is related to that of public goods, which are goods where it is difficult if not impossible to exclude people from benefits. The production of a public good has beneficial externalities for all, or almost all, of the public. As with external costs, there is a problem here of societal communication and coordination to balance benefits and costs. This also implies that vaccination is not something solved by competitive markets. The government may have to step in with a collective solution, such as subsidizing or legally requiring vaccine use. If the government does this, the good is called a merit good.

Possible solutions
There are at least four general types of solutions to the problem of externalities:
• • • •

Criminalization: As with prostitution, addictive drugs, commercial fraud, and many types of environmental and public health laws. Civil Tort law: For example, class action by smokers, various product liability suits. Government provision: As with lighthouses, education, and national defense. Pigovian taxes or subsidies intended to redress economic injustices or imbalances.

Economists prefer Pigovian taxes and subsidies as being the least intrusive and potentially the most efficient method to resolve externalities. Government intervention may not always be needed. Traditional ways of life may have evolved as ways to deal with external costs and benefits. Alternatively, democraticallyrun communities can agree to deal with these costs and benefits in an amicable way. Externalities can sometimes be resolved by agreement between the parties involved. This resolution may even come about because of the threat of government action. The first, and most common type of agreement, is tacit agreement through the political process. Governments are elected to represent citizens and to strike political compromises between various interests. Normally governments pass laws and regulations to address pollution and other types of environmental harm. These laws and regulations can take the form of "command and control" regulation (such as setting standards, targets, or process requirements), or environmental pricing reform (such as ecotaxes or other pigovian taxes,

tradable pollution permits or the creation of markets for ecological services. The second type of resolution is a purely private agreement between the parties involved. Ronald Coase argued that if all parties involved can easily organize payments so as to pay each other for their actions, then an efficient outcome can be reached without government intervention. Some take this argument further, and make the political claim that government should restrict its role to facilitating bargaining among the affected groups or individuals and to enforcing any contracts that result. This result, often known as the Coase Theorem, requires that

• • •

Property rights are well defined People act rationally Transaction costs are minimal

If all of these conditions apply, the private parties can bargain to solve the problem of externalities. This theorem would not apply to the steel industry case discussed above. For example, with a steel factory that trespasses on the lungs of a large number of individuals with pollution, it is difficult if not impossible for any one person to negotiate with the producer, and there are large transaction costs. Hence the most common approach may be to regulate the firm (by imposing limits on the amount of pollution considered "acceptable") while paying for the regulation and enforcement with taxes. The case of the vaccinations would also not satisfy the requirements of the Coase Theorem. Since the potential external beneficiaries of vaccination are the people themselves, the people would have to self-organize to pay each other to be vaccinated. But such an organization that involves the entire populace would be indistinguishable from government action. In some cases, the Coase theorem is relevant. For example, if a logger is planning to clear-cut a forest in a way that has a negative impact on a nearby resort, the resort-owner and the logger could, in theory, get together to agree to a deal. For example, the resortowner could pay the logger not to clear-cut – or could buy the forest. The most problematic situation, from Coase's perspective, occurs when the forest literally does not belong to anyone; the question of "who" owns the forest is not important, as any specific owner will have an interest in coming to an agreement with the resort owner (if such an agreement is mutually beneficial).

Elasticity is a central concept in the theory of supply and demand. In this context, elasticity refers to how supply and demand respond to various factors. One way to define elasticity is the percentage change in one variable divided by the percentage change in another variable (known as arc elasticity, which calculates the elasticity over a range of

values, in contrast with point elasticity, which uses differential calculus to determine the elasticity at a specific point). It is a measure of relative changes. Often, it is useful to know how the quantity demanded or supplied will change when the price changes. This is known as the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity of supply. If a monopolist decides to increase the price of their product, how will this affect their sales revenue? Will the increased unit price offset the likely decrease in sales volume? If a government imposes a tax on a good, thereby increasing the effective price, how will this affect the quantity demanded? Elasticity corresponds to the slope of the line and is often expressed as a percentage. In other words, the units of measure (such as gallons vs. quarts, say for the response of quantity demanded of milk to a change in price) do not matter, only the slope. Since supply and demand can be curves as well as simple lines the slope, and hence the elasticity, can be different at different points on the line. Elasticity is calculated as the percentage change in quantity over the associated percentage change in price. For example, if the price moves from $1.00 to $1.05, and the quantity supplied goes from 100 pens to 102 pens, the slope is 2/0.05 or 40 pens per dollar. Since the elasticity depends on the percentages, the quantity of pens increased by 2%, and the price increased by 5%, so the price elasticity of supply is 2/5 or 0.4. Since the changes are in percentages, changing the unit of measurement or the currency will not affect the elasticity. If the quantity demanded or supplied changes a lot when the price changes a little, it is said to be elastic. If the quantity changes little when the prices changes a lot, it is said to be inelastic. An example of perfectly inelastic supply, or zero elasticity, is represented as a vertical supply curve. (See that section below) Elasticity in relation to variables other than price can also be considered. One of the most common to consider is income. How would the demand for a good change if income increased or decreased? This is known as the income elasticity of demand. For example, how much would the demand for a luxury car increase if average income increased by 10%? If it is positive, this increase in demand would be represented on a graph by a positive shift in the demand curve. At all price levels, more luxury cars would be demanded. Another elasticity sometimes considered is the cross elasticity of demand, which measures the responsiveness of the quantity demanded of a good to a change in the price of another good. This is often considered when looking at the relative changes in demand when studying complement and substitute goods. Complement goods are goods that are typically utilized together, where if one is consumed, usually the other is also. Substitute goods are those where one can be substituted for the other, and if the price of one good rises, one may purchase less of it and instead purchase its substitute. Cross elasticity of demand is measured as the percentage change in demand for the first good that occurs in response to a percentage change in price of the second good. For an

example with a complement good, if, in response to a 10% increase in the price of fuel, the quantity of new cars demanded decreased by 20%, the cross elasticity of demand would be -2.0. In a perfect economy, any market should be able to move to the equilibrium position instantly without travelling along the curve. Any change in market conditions would cause a jump from one equilibrium position to another at once. So the perfect economy is actually analogous to the quantum economy. Unfortunately in real economic systems, markets don't behave in this way, and both producers and consumers spend some time travelling along the curve before they reach equilibrium position. This is due to asymmetric, or at least imperfect, information, where no one economic agent could ever be expected to know every relevant condition in every market. Ultimately both producers and consumers must rely on trial and error as well as prediction and calculation to find an the true equilibrium of a market. But supply and demand curves can still serve as an excellent tool for making those kinds of predictions.

Vertical supply curve (Perfectly Inelastic Supply)

When demand D1 is in effect, the price will be P1. When D2 is occurring, the price will be P2. The quantity is always Q, any shifts in demand will only affect price. It is sometimes the case that a supply curve is vertical: that is the quantity supplied is fixed, no matter what the market price. For example, the surface area or land of the world is fixed. No matter how much someone would be willing to pay for an additional piece, the extra cannot be created. Also, even if no one wanted all the land, it still would exist. Land therefore has a vertical supply curve, giving it zero elasticity (i.e., no matter how large the change in price, the quantity supplied will not change). Supply-side economics argues that the aggregate supply function – the total supply function of the entire economy of a country – is relatively vertical. Thus, supply-siders argue against government stimulation of demand, which would only lead to inflation with a vertical supply curve.

Other markets
The model of supply and demand also applies to various specialty markets. The model applies to wages, which are determined by the market for labor. The typical roles of supplier and consumer are reversed. The suppliers are individuals, who try to sell their labor for the highest price. The consumers of labors are businesses, which try to buy the type of labor they need at the lowest price. The equilibrium price for a certain type of labor is the wage.[4] The model applies to interest rates, which are determined by the money market. In the short term, the money supply is a vertical supply curve, which the central bank of a country can influence through monetary policy. The demand for money intersects with the money supply to determine the interest rate.[5]

Other market forms
The supply and demand model is used to explain the behavior of perfectly competitive markets, but its usefulness as a standard of performance extends to other types of markets. In such markets, there may be no supply curve, such as above, except by analogy. Rather, the supplier or suppliers are modeled as interacting with demand to determine price and quantity. In particular, the decisions of the buyers and sellers are interdependent in a way different from a perfectly competitive market. A monopoly is the case of a single supplier that can adjust the supply or price of a good at will. The profit-maximizing monopolist is modeled as adjusting the price so that its profit is maximized given the amount that is demanded at that price. This price will be higher than in a competitive market. A similar analysis can be applied when a good has a single buyer, a monopsony, but many sellers. Oligopoly is a market with so few suppliers that they must take account of their actions on the market price or each other. Game theory may be used to analyze such a market. The supply curve does not have to be linear. However, if the supply is from a profitmaximizing firm, it can be proven that curves-downward sloping supply curves (i.e., a price decrease increasing the quantity supplied) are inconsistent with perfect competition in equilibrium. Then supply curves from profit-maximizing firms can be vertical, horizontal or upward sloping.

Positively sloped demand curves?
Standard microeconomic assumptions cannot be used to disprove the existence of upward-sloping demand curves. However, despite years of searching, no generally agreed upon example of a good that has an upward-sloping demand curve (also known as a Giffen good) has been found. Some suggest that luxury cosmetics can be classified as a Giffen good. As the price of a high end luxury cosmetic drops, consumers see it as a low

quality good compared to its peers. The price drop may indicate lower quality ingredients, thus consumers would not want to apply such an inferior product to their face. Some example of a Giffen good could be potatoes during the Irish famine. Lay economists sometimes believe that certain common goods have an upward-sloping curve. For example, people will sometimes buy a prestige good (eg. a luxury car) because it is expensive, a drop in price may actually reduce demand. However, in this case, the good purchased is actually prestige, and not the car itself. So, when the price of the luxury car decreases, it is actually decreasing the amount of prestige associated with the good (see also Veblen good). A similar example is the increased demand for assets in the growth phase of a speculative bubble (e.g., recent housing bubble), where higher prices drive up demand because of higher expected future prices. However, even with downward-sloping demand curves, it is possible that an increase in income may lead to a decrease in demand for a particular good, probably due to the existence of more attractive alternatives which become affordable: a good with this property is known as an inferior good.

Negatively sloped supply curve
There are cases where the price of goods gets cheaper, but more of those goods are produced. This is usually related to economies of scale and mass production. One example is computer software where creating the first instance of a given computer program has a high cost, but the marginal cost of copying this program and distributing it to many consumers is low (almost zero).

Empirical estimation
Demand and supply relations in a market can be statistically estimated from price, quantity, and other data with sufficient information in the model. This can be done with simultaneous-equation methods of estimation in econometrics. Such methods allow solving for the model-relevant "structural coefficients," the estimated algebraic counterparts of the theory. The Parameter identification problem is a common issue in "structural estimation." Typically, data on exogenous variables (that is, variables other than price and quantity, both of which are endogenous variables) are needed to perform such an estimation. An alternative to "structural estimation" is reduced-form estimation, which regresses each of the endogenous variables on the respective exogenous variables.

Macroeconomic uses of demand and supply
Demand and supply have also been generalized to explain macroeconomic variables in a market economy, including the quantity of total output and the general price level. The Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply model may be the most direct application of supply and demand to macroeconomics, but other macroeconomic models also use supply and demand. Compared to microeconomic uses of demand and supply, different (and more controversial) theoretical considerations apply to such macroeconomic

counterparts as aggregate demand and aggregate supply. Demand and supply may also be used in macroeconomic theory to relate money supply to demand and interest rates.

Demand shortfalls
A demand shortfall results from the actual demand for a given product being lower than the projected, or estimated, demand for that product. Demand shortfalls are caused by demand overestimation in the planning of new products. Demand overestimation is caused by optimism bias and/or strategic misrepresentation.

The power of supply and demand was understood to some extent by several early Muslim economists, such as Ibn Taymiyyah who illustrates: "If desire for goods increases while its availability decreases, its price rises. On the other hand, if availability of the good increases and the desire for it decreases, the price comes down."[6] The phrase "supply and demand" was first used by James Denham-Steuart in his Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy, published in 1767. Adam Smith used the phrase in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, and David Ricardo titled one chapter of his 1817 work Principles of Political Economy and Taxation "On the Influence of Demand and Supply on Price".[7] In The Wealth of Nations, Smith generally assumed that the supply price was fixed but that its "merit" (value) would decrease as its "scarcity" increased, in effect what was later called the law of demand. Ricardo, in Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, more rigorously laid down the idea of the assumptions that were used to build his ideas of supply and demand. Antoine Augustin Cournot first developed a mathematical model of supply and demand in his 1838 Researches on the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth. During the late 19th century the marginalist school of thought emerged. This field mainly was started by Stanley Jevons, Carl Menger, and Léon Walras. The key idea was that the price was set by the most expensive price, that is, the price at the margin. This was a substantial change from Adam Smith's thoughts on determining the supply price. In his 1870 essay "On the Graphical Representation of Supply and Demand", Fleeming Jenkin drew for the first time the popular graphic of supply and demand which, through Marshall, eventually would turn into the most famous graphic in economics. The model was further developed and popularized by Alfred Marshall in the 1890 textbook Principles of Economics.[7] Along with Léon Walras, Marshall looked at the

equilibrium point where the two curves crossed. They also began looking at the effect of markets on each other. Technical Abstract: We examined the influence of different ecological factors on outcrossing rate in populations of A. coerulea. Population size, distance between plants, number of flowers per plant, spatial distance between anther and stigma, abundance of bumblebees and hawkmoths, and outcrossing rate all varied among populations of this species. Pollinator abundance also varied over time within one population. We first tested the predictions expected between each ecological variable and outcrossing rate separately. We then compared models with different number of factors, contrasting their adjusted rsquare values and their Akaike information criteria (AIC) to identify the model that best explained the variation in outcrossing rate in A. coerulea. Hawkmoth abundance and total flowers per plant explained 87.6 % of the variation in outcrossing rate in this species and had one of the lowest AIC. Because hawkmoth behavior and floral display both influence the level of geitonogamy, the maintenance of mixed mating systems in populations of A. coerulea requires little adaptive explanation.

The theory of supply and demand
"Teach a parrot to say supply and demand and you have an economist. Discuss" (Question in a higher education final degree examination.) The concepts of supply and demand are central to the study of economics. The body of theory is substantial " standard undergraduate text books such as Lipsey"s An Introduction to Positive Economics deal with the subject over several hundred pages. Paper 4 requires the candidate to have an elementary understanding of supply and demand theory. It is important to understand basic concepts and then apply them to real-life situations. In doing so, some of the "nuts and bolts" of the theories may quite properly be overlooked. For example, the candidate may have to demonstrate an ability to analyse a situation using supply and demand curves without ever knowing - or needing to know how the curves are actually derived from first principles. Background Some regard Adam Smith as the founding father of economics. His famous book "The Wealth of Nations" (1776) touched upon his perceptions of markets and how they operate. Writing of the price system, which is built on the theories of supply and demand, Smith stated that it was the "invisible hand which guides the actions of consumers and producers".

Over a century later, Alfred Marshall proposed a more complex theory, focusing on micro-economic analysis. It was Marshall who first formally identified the determinants of supply and demand and then developed his concepts in diagrammatic form. The supply and demand curves used in micro-economics today depend directly on Marshall"s work. In the inter-war years, John Maynard Keynes drew inspiration from the work of Marshall in formulating his "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money". His theory of effective demand (now more commonly referred to as aggregate demand) is a direct extension of micro-economic analysis to macro-economic theory. Supply Supply is the flow of goods and services brought to the market place by producers in a given time period. Generally, the higher the price which can be obtained, the higher the quantity supplied. Economists represent the supply curve by measuring price on the vertical axis and quantity supplied on the horizontal axis, with the curve sloping upwards from left to right (Figure 1).

Determinants of supply The supply to a market will not be constant. The flow is influenced by several factors, all of which may change over time. Price: As mentioned above, a higher price will prompt producers to supply more.

Prices of other goods and services: Some goods and services display inter-dependency of supply. If the price of good A increases this may render the supply of a good whose price remains unchanged less attractive. An example of inter-dependency is gas bottles and gas heaters. Costs of factors of production: The factors of production (or productive resources) are the inputs to the production process. They therefore, directly influence the capability of producers to bring products to the market. These costs are those relating to land, labour, capital and the entrepreneur. If the cost of land increases, producers may shift production towards goods which rely less on land and more on other factors of production. Technological innovation: Advances in technology reduce the unit costs of production through economies of scale. This can increase supply capability at each price level. Producers" objectives: Micro-economic theory relies on an assumption of profit maximisation. In practice, producers can have many different objectives which distort our perception of how supply behaves. In addition, market supply can depend on a wider range of factors, including climate, action by the labour force and so on. Demand Demand is the flow of goods and services required by consumers over a given period of time. Generally, the higher the level of price, the lower the level of demand. The demand curve is therefore, usually represented as sloping downwards from left to right (Figure 2). There are exceptions to this. Some goods and services attract lower demand when the price falls, including many products where the price is a "badge" of exclusivity. These products are said to display a "downward-sloping demand curve".

Determinants of demand The determinants of demand are: Price: As mentioned above, the higher the price, the lower the level of quantity demanded. Prices of other goods and services: Some goods are substitutes for one another. If the price of one falls, the demand for the other should also fall as it becomes less attractive to the consumer. Holidays in Greece and Florida are good examples of this. Some goods are complementary " the demand for them moves in tandem. If the price of one of them falls, the quantity demanded of the other will rise. Examples of complementary goods are portable CD players and batteries. Income: This is the most important determinant of demand. Generally, as income increases, the quantity demanded should also increase. Again, there are exceptions to this. In poorer countries, there is evidence that some staple goods, such as rice, will become less popular even if their prices fall as incomes increase. Tastes and preferences: Consumer preferences have a major impact on the level of demand. These may be influenced by a wide range of factors, all difficult or impossible to quantify precisely. Changes in tastes and preferences can be permanent or temporary. Consider products such as ten-pin bowling (hugely successful in the 1960s), cinema, fashion and childrens"











Table 1: Determinants of supply and demand Determinants of supply Price Prices of other goods and services Costs of factors of production Technological innovation Producers objectives Determinants of demand Price Prices of other goods and services Income Tastes and preferences

The determinants of supply and demand are summarised in Table 1 above.

Price equilibrium Conventional micro-economic analysis states that the price of a good or service and the output level will be determined at the intersection of the supply and demand curves (Figure 3). This is called the equilibrium price. Any price above the equilibrium will result in a situation where the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded. As they are unable to "clear" the market, producers may reduce prices. Any price below the equilibrium will see the quantity demanded exceed the quantity supplied, bidding the price upwards.

Prices should always tend to settle at equilibrium unless artificial constraints are imposed by government, other outside agencies or by collusion between producers (cartels). Using supply and demand curves Your analysis of a situation posed by the examiner can be illustrated quite well by using supply and demand curves. Some are more comfortable with these than others. In many instances, a description in words is an adequate substitute. Care must be taken to distinguish between a movement of the whole supply/demand curve and a movement along a supply/demand curve. Remember the simple rule:
• •

if price changes, a movement will occur along the curve; if a determinant of supply or demand other than price changes, the whole curve will move.

Limitations In practice, of course, producers and consumers do not actually draw up or consult supply and demand curves. Nor could they. The theory is based on important assumptions, not least that in examining the relationship between price and quantity demanded, all other factors are assumed to remain constant (ceteris paribus). The micro-economic model is simply a useful starting point for examining economic behaviour from a theoretical viewpoint. Intervention Sometimes a maximum price is imposed for a good or service. The motive for this is usually to protect the consumer.

During the Second World War, maximum prices were declared by the government for essential foodstuffs and some other goods. The economic consequence is demonstrated in Figure 4. As quantity demanded outstrips quantity supplied, several problems can emerge. These were tackled during the war by a rationing system. Alternatives can be:
• • •

first come, first served; the strongest consumers gain and the weakest consumers lose; emergence of a black market alongside the "official" one.

One does not have to rely upon the wartime example to illustrate the impact of a maximum price. Exactly the same analysis can be applied to the ticket situation for the football World Cup in France 1998.

Conversely, a minimum price may be imposed to protect producers. If this price exceeds equilibrium, the situation demonstrated in Figure 5 emerges. Under the minimum price regime, there is a situation of over-supply. Producers cannot sell all they produce. This is vividly illustrated by the real-life problems which have intermittently afflicted the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union.

Elasticity The concept of elasticity is important in both micro-economics and macro-economics. Elasticity of supply is the responsiveness of quantity supplied to a change in price. It can be calculated by: Elasticity of = Change in quantity supplied / Change in price supply

Elasticity of demand is the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in price and can be calculated by: Elasticity of = Change in quantity demanded / Change in price demand

If a small change in supply (or demand) brings about a larger than proportionate change in quantity supplied (demanded), the supply (or demand) is said to be elastic. The importance of elasticity is best demonstrated by practical examples: Price discrimination: Consider the example of two petrol filling stations, directly opposite one another on a restricted access motorway junction. Petrol station A is on the slip road to the motorway from which the motorist cannot turn off. Petrol station B is on the exit side which leads to a town served by many similar businesses. The demand for petrol will be more elastic at petrol station B than petrol station A. Station B is competing with many others: station A on the other hand is the last chance for motorists to fill up before entering the motorway. As long as the two enterprises are physically separable, the responsiveness of quantity demanded to changes in price will be radically different. The Budget: Each year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers his Budget to Parliament. This sets out, amongst other things, the planned income, expenditure and borrowing plans for at least the coming year. One recurrent feature of the Budget is the review of rates of indirect taxes such as VAT. Indirect taxes are those which are imposed on expenditure. The "old favourites" for changes in VAT are alcohol and tobacco. The reason for this is that the demand for these products has always tended to be inelastic. A price increase through increased tax should therefore, yield more revenue to the Exchequer. The change in price brings about a relatively small change in quantity demanded. The government cannot assume that such trends will continue unabated. For example, the long-term trend against smoking (the proportion of the population smoking has reduced

by 50% in 30 years) and the cross-Channel traffic in "cheap booze" are both factors which will have increased the elasticity of demand over time, with consequences for projected revenues from VAT. Other concepts of elasticity: It is also worth having an understanding of two further measures of elasticity:
• •

cross-elasticity of demand is the responsiveness of quantity demanded of good A to a change in price of good B; income elasticity of demand is the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in income.

Application of supply and demand concepts in the examination Paper 4 can pose questions which test either straight text book theoretical knowledge or your ability to apply these concepts to given scenarios. In the past there have been questions on the nature of supply and demand, their determinants, movements of or along the curves, elasticity and so on. More practical questions have been set in relation to price intervention (agriculture, OPEC, etc.), practical applications of elasticity, as well as some of these concepts as they relate to the theory of the firm (perfect competition, oligopoly, etc.,).


To understand why its loss is important, you must first know what biodiversity is. The generic definition is: the number of species in an environment and the number of individuals in each species. To put it simply, it is the number of different species in one area and the quantity of each of these species. Newer definitions include genetic variation within a species and variations between types of biological communities on the earth. Functional diversity is also now studied. This is an analysis of the biological functions performed by a specific ecosystem. This is useful in deter- mining the consequences of human impact on an area. However, this is difficult to measure; and it is highly possible that important functions of an ecosystem may be overlooked in this measurement due to our ignorance of the processes involved (Thorne-Miller and Catena 9). The functioning of the biosphere (or our entire planet) is dependent on the combination of all existing ecosystems. Our very existence depends on this process functioning properly. Every organism has its niche in the environment. Once it is gone, it may not be able to be replaced by any other organism. What does this mean for us as humans? A whole host of things. First, loss of diversity in an ecosystem can cause environmental changes. Loss of one species may cause a chain reaction, resulting in a change to the ecosystem itself. As we do not know what each specific organism contributes to its environment, we cannot predict how the ecosystem will be affected. The whole ecosystem may be weakened by this process. Plants and animals produce defense mechanisms which are often chemicals used to either repel predators or to aid in elimination of their competition. These chemicals are vitally important to humans because many cures for human diseases have been found in these compounds. If a species is lost due to our interference in its ecosystem, we also lose the ability to study it for possible benefits to mankind. Secondly, the loss of diversity gives us less choice as humans. This involves several areas. If certain species are lost, they are no longer available to us either as food, as enjoyment, or as resources for things we may not even know about yet. For example, if we deplete all the yellowfin tuna in the ocean, we no longer have this species available for our consumption. If we are divers or underwater explorers, we no longer can see this fish in its own environment and receive pleasure from this act. The fewer animals left, the fewer we can see when we interact with nature. Other problems with loss of diversity are more subtle. When a species is depleted so that there are only a few organisms left, the genetic diversity in the species becomes very low. This lowers the survival rate of the species. If all the individuals left are weak, have

some form of abnormality, or are unable to survive in their environment, the species is doomed to extinction. Extinction is a natural process that has occurred for millions of years. The problem is that the rate of extinction has increased dramatically in recent years due to our impact as humans. The rate of change is perhaps as damaging as the effects of the changes. There is no time for organisms to adapt to their constantly-changing environment. One species may be necessary for the survival of another species. If an animal or plant is the main or only food source for another, its extinction will cause a domino effect. Other species will die out after the original one is lost. The oceans of the world are much more stable than the land. Changes here usually take a long time. The organisms which live here have adapted to meet this slow, gradual change. They cannot tolerate drastic, abrupt changes.


Loss of diversity in an ecosystem can cause environmental changes. Loss of one species may cause a chain reaction, resulting in a change to the ecosystem itself. Every organism has its niche in the environment. Once it is gone, it may not be able to be replaced by any other organism. As we do not know what each specific organism contributes to its environment, we cannot predict how the ecosystem will be affected. The whole ecosystem may be weakened by this process.

There are certain species which are known as “keystone” KEYSTONE SPECIES species. These species have unusually important roles in their ecosystems. Fluctuation in their population can cause dramatic effects on the entire system. In kelp ecosystems such as those off the coast of California there is a complex relationship between three keystone species: the sea otter, the sea urchin, and the kelp itself. If any one of these organisms declines severely in population, the whole ecosystem is changed. The otters keeps the urchin population in check. Without them, the urchins would devour the whole kelp forest. The kelp

provides homes for many other organisms which would suffer if it was destroyed. Yet, without sufficient sea urchins, the sea otter population would decline. It is a complex web which must be balanced properly for the system to thrive (Thorne-Miller and Catena 24-25).

A second important consideration is that plants and animals produce defense mechanisms. These are often chemicals used to either repel predators or to aid in elimination of their competition. These chemicals are vitally important to humans MEDICINAL BENEFITS because many cures for human diseases have been found in these compounds. If a species is lost due to our interference in its ecosystem, we also lose the ability to study it for possible benefits to mankind (see Terrestrial Ecosystems for more details).

An aspect not given much thought is that the loss of diversity gives us less choice as humans. If certain species are lost, they are no longer available to us either as food, as enjoyment, or as resources for things we may not even know about yet. For example, if we deplete all the yellowfin tuna in the ocean, we no longer have this species available for our LESS CHOICE consumption. If we are divers or underwater explorers, we no longer can see this fish in its own environment and receive pleasure from this act. We also no longer have the ability to study this species to see how it interacts with other species in its ecosystem.


A hundred years ago a whaling ship could capture 3540 whales in one three-year trip. Yet, in the 20th century at the peak of industrial whaling, the same amount of whales was processed in two weeks (Cousteau 215). This has caused the collapse of whale populations worldwide. Some are very near extinction. The International Whaling Commission has imposed limits on whale hunting, and some species are slowly recovering from our acts. However, as the species count rises again, countries are perched on the brink ready to lift the ban on whaling at the first moment that they possibly can. If this is done, our efforts will have been in vain for it will take very few years for us to be back in the same scenario where we found ourselves earlier this century. With more sophisticated technology like helicopters to track pods and floating factories to process the animals, the whales have little chance against our species.


Another way our terrestrial systems aid humans is that they can be forecasters of the future. When an ecosystem is disrupted and other species begin to disappear or to have problems, we can heed the warning. A classic example is the research done within the last few years on amphibians. There has been a major decline in the populations of frogs throughout the world, and of those which do survive many are deformed. It is believed that because their skin is the mode through which they respire, they are very susceptible to environmental changes. It is in our best interest to discover what is causing these problems before they seriously affect humans.

EXTINCTION: NATURAL VS. HUMAN-INDUCED Extinction is a natural process that has occurred for millions of years so why does it deserve so much attention now? The problem is that the rate of extinction has increased dramatically in recent years due to our impact as humans. The rate of change is perhaps as damaging as the effects of the changes. There is no time for organisms to adapt to their constantly-changing environment. It is currently estimated that if current environmental practices are not changed, we may lose 50% of all species globally (Myers 131). Extinction on such a scale may be catastrophic. In former large extinctions in the earth’s history, it has taken millions of years for the earth to recover. To put this in perspective, this is many times longer than humans have actually been on the earth! The main difference now is that, instead of having a mass extinction in one particular environment, we are losing huge numbers of species in several key environments at the same time. Not only are we depleting numerous animal and fish species, we are also depleting large portions of our terrestrial plant species. With so many plant species gone, there will be no resource base upon which to generate a recovery of animal species – including humans (Myers 133). As we are also depleting nutrients in our soil due to overuse, what chance do the few remaining plant species have of sustaining life? Refer to the Environmental Protection Agency website for details on the Endangered Species Act and other environmental regulations.

Marine Ecosystems

Causes of Diversity Loss


Why Care?




Whose Responsibility It?


Market environment
The market environment is a marketing term and refers to all of the forces outside of marketing that affect marketing management’s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers. The market environment consists of both the macro environment and the microenvironment. The microenvironment refers to the forces that are close to the company and affect its ability to serve its customers. It includes the company itself, its suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer markets, competitors, and publics. The company aspect of microenvironment refers to the internal environment of the company. This includes all departments, such as management, finance, research and development, purchasing, operations and accounting. Each of these departments has an impact on marketing decisions. For example, research and development have input as to the features a product can perform and accounting approves the financial side of marketing plans and budgets. The suppliers of a company are also an important aspect of the microenvironment because even the slightest delay in receiving supplies can result in customer dissatisfaction. Marketing managers must watch supply availability and other trends dealing with suppliers to ensure that product will be delivered to customers in the time frame required in order to maintain a strong customer relationship. Marketing intermediaries refers to resellers, physical distribution firms, marketing services agencies, and financial intermediaries. These are the people that help the company promote, sell, and distribute its products to final buyers. Resellers are those that hold and sell the company’s product. They match the distribution to the customers and include places such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. Physical distribution firms are places such as warehouses that store and transport the company’s product from its origin to its destination. Marketing services agencies are companies that offer services such as conducting marketing research, advertising, and consulting. Financial intermediaries are institutions such as banks, credit companies and insurance companies. Another aspect of microenvironment is the customers. There are different types of customer markets including consumer markets, business markets, government markets,

international markets, and reseller markets. The consumer market is made up of individuals who buy goods and services for their own personal use or use in their household. Business markets include those that buy goods and services for use in producing their own products to sell. This is different from the reseller market which includes businesses that purchase goods to resell as is for a profit. These are the same companies mentioned as market intermediaries. The government market consists of government agencies that buy goods to produce public services or transfer goods to others who need them. International markets include buyers in other countries and includes customers from the previous categories. Competitors are also a factor in the microenvironment and include companies with similar offerings for goods and services. To remain competitive a company must consider who their biggest competitors are while considering its own size and position in the industry. The company should develop a strategic advantage over their competitors. The final aspect of the microenvironment is publics, which is any group that has an interest in or impact on the organization’s ability to meet its goals. For example, financial publics can hinder a company’s ability to obtain funds affecting the level of credit a company has. Media publics include newspapers and magazines that can publish articles of interest regarding the company and editorials that may influence customers’ opinions. Government publics can affect the company by passing legislation and laws that put restrictions on the company’s actions. Citizen-action publics include environmental groups and minority groups and can question the actions of a company and put them in the public spotlight. Local publics are neighborhood and community organizations and will also question a company’s impact on the local area and the level of responsibility of their actions. The general public can greatly affect the company as any change in their attitude, whether positive or negative, can cause sales to go up or down because the general public is often the company’s customer base. And finally, the internal publics include all those who are employed within the company and deal with the organization and construction of the company’s product. The macro environment refers to all forces that are part of the larger society and affect the microenvironment. It includes concepts such as demography, economy, natural forces, technology, politics, and culture. Demography refers to studying human populations in terms of size, density, location, age, gender, race, and occupation. This is a very important factor to study for marketers and helps to divide the population into market segments and target markets. An example of demography is classifying groups of people according to the year they were born. These classifications can be referred to as baby boomers, who are born between 1946 and 1964, generation X, who are born between 1965 and 1976, and generation Y, who are born between 1977 and 1994. Each classification has different characteristics and causes they find important. This can be beneficial to a marketer as they can decide who their product would benefit most and tailor their marketing plan to attract that segment. Demography covers many aspects that are important to marketers including family dynamics, geographic shifts, work force changes, and levels of diversity in any given area.

Another aspect of the macro environment is the economic environment. This refers to the purchasing power of potential customers and the ways in which people spend their money. Within this area are two different economies, subsistence and industrialized. Subsistence economies are based more in agriculture and consume their own industrial output. Industrial economies have markets that are diverse and carry many different types of goods. Each is important to the marketer because each has a highly different spending pattern as well as different distribution of wealth. The natural environment is another important factor of the macro environment. This includes the natural resources that a company uses as inputs and affects their marketing activities. The concern in this area is the increased pollution, shortages of raw materials and increased governmental intervention. As raw materials become increasingly scarcer, the ability to create a company’s product gets much harder. Also, pollution can go as far as negatively affecting a company’s reputation if they are known for damaging the environment. The last concern, government intervention can make it increasingly harder for a company to fulfill their goals as requirements get more stringent. The technological environment is perhaps one of the fastest changing factors in the macro environment. This includes all developments from antibiotics and surgery to nuclear missiles and chemical weapons to automobiles and credit cards. As these markets develop it can create new markets and new uses for products. It also requires a company to stay ahead of others and update their own technology as it becomes outdated. They must stay informed of trends so they can be part of the next big thing, rather than becoming outdated and suffering the consequences financially. The political environment includes all laws, government agencies, and groups that influence or limit other organizations and individuals within a society. It is important for marketers to be aware of these restrictions as they can be complex. Some products are regulated by both state and federal laws. There are even restrictions for some products as to who the target market may be, for example, cigarettes should not be marketed to younger children. There are also many restrictions on subliminal messages and monopolies. As laws and regulations change often, this is a very important aspect for a marketer to monitor. The final aspect of the macro environment is the cultural environment, which consists of institutions and basic values and beliefs of a group of people. The values can also be further categorized into core beliefs, which passed on from generation to generation and very difficult to change, and secondary beliefs, which tend to be easier to influence. As a marketer, it is important to know the difference between the two and to focus your marketing campaign to reflect the values of a target audience. When dealing with the marketing environment it is important for a company to become proactive. By doing so, they can create the kind of environment that they will prosper in and can become more efficient by marketing in areas with the greatest customer potential. It is important to place equal emphasis on both the macro and microenvironment and to react accordingly to changes within them.

Massive Extinctions From Human Activity
As well as the need for biodiversity for continued ecosystem survival (as explained in the Who Cares? section on this web site), from a human perspective, from common drugs to possible cures for cancers, most of our medicine come from plants, many of which are now endangered. However, it has long been feared that human activity is causing massive extinctions. The previous link, to a report from Environment New Service (August 2, 1999) says that “The current extinction rate is now approaching 1,000 times the background rate and may climb to 10,000 times the background rate during the next century, if present trends continue. At this rate, one-third to two-thirds of all species of plants, animals, and other organisms would be lost during the second half of the next century, a loss that would easily equal those of past extinctions.” (Emphasis added) A huge report known as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, started in 2000, was released in March 2005. Amongst many warnings for humankind, it noted that there has been (as summarized from the BBC) a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, with some 10-30% of the mammal, bird and amphibian species currently threatened with extinction, all due to human actions. (See this site’s section on sustainable development for more on that assessment.) A report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2006 confirmed concerns from the previous year, noting that Already resources are depleting, with the report showing that vertebrate species populations have declined by about one-third in the 33 years from 1970 to 2003. At the same time, humanity’s Ecological Footprint—the demand people place upon the natural world—has increased to the point where the Earth is unable to keep up in the struggle to regenerate. — Human footprint too big for nature, WWF, October 24, 2006 (Emphasis added) Research of long term trends in the fossil record suggests that natural speed limits constrain how quickly biodiversity can rebound after waves of extinction. Hence, the rapid extinction rates mean that it could take a long time for nature to recover. Consider the following observations and conclusions from established experts and institutions summarized by Jaan Suurkula, M.D. and chairman of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology (PSRAST), noting the impact that global warming will have on ecosystems and biodiversity: The world environmental situation is likely to be further aggravated by the increasingly rapid, large scale global extinction of species. It occurred in the 20th century at a rate that was a thousand times higher than the average rate during the preceding 65 million years. This is likely to destabilize various ecosystems including agricultural systems.

…In a slow extinction, various balancing mechanisms can develop. Noone knows what will be the result of this extremely rapid extinction rate. What is known, for sure, is that the world ecological system has been kept in balance through a very complex and multifacetted interaction between a huge number of species. This rapid extinction is therefore likely to precitate collapses of ecolosystems at a global scale. This is predicted to create large-scale agricultural problems, threatening food supplies to hundreds of millions of people. This ecological prediction does not take into consideration the effects of global warming which will further aggravate the situation. Industrialized fishing has contributed importantly to mass extinction due to repeatedly failed attempts at limiting the fishing. A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world’s oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing. The study, which took 10 years to complete and was published in the international journal Nature, paints a grim picture of the Earth’s current populations of such species as sharks, swordfish, tuna and marlin. …The loss of predatory fishes is likely to cause multiple complex imbalances in marine ecology. Another cause for extensive fish extinction is the destruction of coral reefs. This is caused by a combination of causes, including warming of oceans, damage from fishing tools and a harmful infection of coral organisms promoted by ocean pollution. It will take hundreds of thousands of years to restore what is now being destroyed in a few decades. …According to the most comprehensive study done so far in this field, over a million species will be lost in the coming 50 years. The most important cause was found to be climate change. …NOTE: The above presentation encompasses only the most important and burning global environmental problems. There are several additional ones, especially in the field of chemical pollution that contribute to harm the environment or upset the ecological balance. — Jaan Suurkula, World-wide cooperation required to prevent global crisis; Part one— the problem, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, February 6, 2004 [Emphasis is original] Additionally, as reported by UC Berkeley, using DNA comparisons, scientists have discovered what they have termed as an “evolutionary concept called parallelism, a situation where two organisms independently come up with the same adaptation to a particular environment.” This has an additional ramification when it comes to protecting biodiversity and endangered species. This is because in the past what we may have considered to be one species could actually be many. But, as pointed out by scientists, by

putting them all in one group, it under-represents biodiversity, and these different evolutionarily species would not up getting the protection otherwise needed.

Supply-side economics
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created using incentives for people to produce (supply) goods and services, such as adjusting income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing regulation. Consumers will then benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices. The term supply-side economics was coined by journalist Jude Wanniski in 1975, and popularized the ideas of economists Robert Mundell and Arthur Laffer. Today, supplyside economics is often conflated with the politically rhetorical term "trickle-down economics."[1] The typical policy recommendation of supply-side economics is to achieve the proper level of marginal tax rates, which, by virtue of what most supply-side economists believe to be the high rate of taxes in general, equates to the cutting of taxes.[2] Maximum benefits are achieved by optimizing the marginal tax rates of those with high incomes and capital investments who are deemed most likely to increase supply and thus spur growth. Keynesian macroeconomics, by contrast, contends that tax cuts should be used to increase demand, not supply, and thus should be targeted at cash-strapped, lower-income earners, who are more likely to spend additional income. Many early proponents argued that the size of the economic growth would be significant enough that the increased government revenue from a faster growing economy would be sufficient to compensate completely for the short-term costs of a tax cut, and that tax cuts could, in fact, cause overall revenue to increase.[6]

Historical origins
Supply-side economics developed during the 1970s in response to the Keynesian dominance of economic policy, and in particular the failure of demand management to stabilize Western economies during the stagflation of the 1970s, in the wake of the oil crisis in 1973.[7] It drew on a range of non-Keynesian economic thought, particularly Austrian school thinking on entrepreneurship and new classical macroeconomics. The intellectual roots of supply-side economics have also been traced back to various early economic thinkers such as Ibn Khaldun, Jonathan Swift, David Hume, Adam Smith and Alexander Hamilton.[8] As in classical economics, supply-side economics proposed that production or supply is the key to economic prosperity and that consumption or demand is merely a secondary consequence. Early on this idea had been summarized in Say's Law of economics, which states: "A product is no sooner created, than it, from that instant, affords a market for

other products to the full extent of its own value." John Maynard Keynes, the founder of Keynesianism, summarized Say's Law as "supply creates its own demand." He turned Say's Law on its head in the 1930s by declaring that demand creates its own supply. [9] However, Say's Law does not state that production creates a demand for the product itself, but rather a demand for "other products to the full extent of its own value." A better formulation of the law is that the supply of one good constitutes demand for one or more other goods.[10] In 1978 Jude Wanniski published The Way the World Works in which he laid out the central thesis of supply-side economics and detailed the failure of high tax-rate progressive income tax systems and U.S. monetary policy under Nixon in the 1970s. Wanniski advocated lower tax rates and a return to some kind of gold standard, similar to the 1944-1971 Bretton Woods System that Nixon abandoned. In 1983, economist Victor Canto, a disciple of Arthur Laffer, published The Foundations of Supply-Side Economics. This theory focuses on the effects of marginal tax rates on the incentive to work and save, which affect the growth of the "supply side" or what Keynesians call potential output. While the latter focus on changes in the rate of supplyside growth in the long run, the "new" supply-siders often promised short-term results. The supply-siders were influenced strongly by the idea of the Laffer curve, which states that tax rates and tax revenues were distinct -- that tax rates too high or too low will not maximize tax revenues. Supply-siders felt that in a high tax rate environment, lowering taxes to the right level can raise revenue by causing faster economic growth. They pointed to the tax cuts of the Kennedy administration and the high rates of the Hoover and Nixon administrations in justification.[citation needed] This led the supply-siders to advocate large reductions in marginal income and capital gains tax rates to encourage allocation of assets to investment, which would produce more supply. Jude Wanniski and many others advocate a zero capital gains rate.[11][not in citation given] The increased aggregate supply would result in increased aggregate demand, hence the term "Supply-Side Economics". Furthermore, in response to inflation, supply-siders called for indexed marginal income tax rates, as monetary inflation had pushed wage earners into higher marginal income tax brackets that remained static; that is, as wages increased to maintain purchasing power with prices, income tax brackets were not adjusted accordingly and thus wage earners were pushed into higher income tax brackets than tax policy had intended. [7] Supply-side economics has been criticized as essentially politically conservative. Supplyside advocates claim that they are not following an ideology, but are reinstating classical economics. Yet, supply-siders such as Jude Wanniski have argued for lower tax rates to increase tax revenues, and that redistribution of income through taxation was essential to the health of the polity -- a fact which is anathema to traditional conservatives.

Some economists see similarities between supply-side proposals and Keynesian economics. If the result of changes to the tax structure is a fiscal deficit then the 'supplyside' policy is effectively stimulating demand through the Keynesian multiplier effect. Supply-side proponents would point out, in response, that the level of taxation and spending is important for economic incentives, not just the size of the deficit. The Reagan administration justified such changes in socioeconomic terms with the argument that "a rising tide lifts all boats".

Marx and Smith
Both supply-siders and their opponents have been keen to claim the mantles of thinkers as diverse as Karl Marx and Adam Smith. Jude Wanniski has claimed both as supply-side thinkers due to their advocacy of a gold monetary standard and more specifically their focus on the agents of production in an economy. Barton Biggs, chief investment strategist of Morgan Stanley, described Wanniski's book about supply-side economics, The Way the World Works, as the "most important" economic book published since Marx's writings. [12]

Supply-side vs. Monetarism
Supply-side supporters disagreed with Chicago school monetarist Milton Friedman by arguing that cutting tax rates alone would be sufficient to cause GDP to grow, lift tax revenues and balance the budget. Friedman, however, retained a more conventional monetarist view, believing that while tax cuts were on the whole desirable, money supply was the crucial variable.

Fiscal policy theory
Supply-side economics holds that increased taxation steadily reduces economic trade between economic participants within a nation and that it discourages investment. Taxes act as a type of trade barrier or tariff that causes economic participants to revert to less efficient means of satisfying their needs. As such, higher taxation lead to lower levels of specialization and lower economic efficiency. The idea is said to be illustrated by the Laffer curve. (Case & Fair, 1999: 780, 781). Crucial to the operation of supply-side theory is the expansion of free trade and free movement of capital. It is argued that free capital movement, in addition to the classical reasoning of comparative advantage, frequently allows an economic expansion. Lowering tax barriers to trade provides to the domestic economy all the advantages that the international economy gets from lower tariff barriers. Supply-side economists have less to say on the effects of deficits, and sometimes cite Robert Barro’s work that states that rational economic actors will buy bonds in sufficient quantities to reduce long term interest rates.[2] Critics argue that standard exchange rate

theory would predict, instead, a devaluation of the currency of the nation running the high budget deficit, and eventual "crowding out" of private investment. According to Mundell, "Fiscal discipline is a learned behavior." To put it another way, eventually the unfavourable effects of running persistent budget deficits will force governments to reduce spending in line with their levels of revenue. This view is also promoted by Victor Canto. The central issue at stake is the point of diminishing returns on liquidity in the investment sector: Is there a point where additional money is "pushing on a string"? To the supplyside economist, reallocation away from consumption to private investment, and most especially from public investment to private investment, will always yield superior economic results. In standard monetarist and Keynesian theory, however, there will be a point where increases in asset prices will produce no new supply, that is where investment demand will outrun potential investment supply, and produce instead, assets inflation, or in common terms a bubble. The existence of this point, and where it is should it exist, is the essential question of the efficacy of supply-side economics.

Monetary policy theory
Some supply-siders advocate that monetary policy should be based on a price rule. The aim of monetary policy should be to target a specific value of money irrespective of the quantity of money that must be created or withdrawn by the central bank to achieve this target. This contrasts with monetarism's focus on the quantity of money, and Keynesian theory's emphasis on real aggregate demand. The important difference is that to a monetarist the quantity of money, specifically represented by the money supply is the crucial determining variable for the relationship between the supply and demand for money, while to a Keynesian adequate demand to support the available money supply is important. Keynes famously remarked that "money doesn't matter". This is an area where supply-side theory has been particularly influential. Under macroeconomic theory, the general level of price was based on the strict increase in price of a basket of goods. Under supply-side theory, the rate of inflation should be based on the substitutions that individuals make in the market place, and should take into account the improved quality of goods. In the late 1980s and through the 1990s, under Presidents of both American political parties, shifts were made in the calculation of the broadly followed measure of inflation the "Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers", or CPIW, which reflected supply-side ideas on substitution. The argument for factoring in goods quality was not accepted, which has led supply-side economists to claim that the real CPI is actually between 0.5% and 1% lower than the stated rate. This area represents one of the points of contention between conservative economic theorists who argue for a quantity of money theory of inflation, including Austrian economics, many strict gold standard economists and traditional monetarists, and supplyside theorists. According to the increases in money supply during the 1990s, the real rate of inflation must be higher than is currently stated. These economists argue that the cost

of housing is understated in the CPI-W, and that the inflation rate should be between 0.5% and 1% higher. It is for this reason that many central bankers, investment analysts and economists follow the GDP deflator which measures the total output of the society and the prices paid for all goods, not merely consumer goods. Some supply-siders view gold as the best unit of account with which to measure the price of fiat money, which is defined as a money supply not directly limited by specie or hard assets. Hence the purest supply-siders are in general advocates of a gold standard. However the reverse is not true; many gold standard advocates are harsh critics of supply-side economics. Supply-side economists assert that the value of money is purely dictated by the supply and demand for money. In fiat money system the government has a legislated monopoly on the supply of base money. Hence it has some control over the value of money. Any decline in the value of money (or appreciation) is then viewed by some as the result of errant central bank policy.

Effect on Tax revenues
Many early proponents argued that the size of the economic growth would be significant enough that the increased government revenue from a faster growing economy would be sufficient to compensate completely for the short-term costs of a tax cut, and that tax cuts could, in fact, cause overall revenue to increase.[13] Some hold this was borne out during the 1980s when, advocates of supply-side economics (so-called “supply-siders") claim, tax cuts ultimately led to an overall increase in governmental revenue due to stronger economic growth. Other economists, however, dispute this assertion.[14][15] Some contemporary economists do not consider supply-side economics a tenable economic theory, with Alan Blinder calling it an "ill-fated" and perhaps "silly" school on the pages of a 2006 textbook. [4] Greg Mankiw, former chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, offered similarly sharp criticism of the school in the early editions of his introductory economics textbook.[16] In a 1992 article for the Harvard International Review, James Tobin wrote, "[The] idea that tax cuts would actually increase revenues turned out to deserve the ridicule…"[17] While few modern economists claim that tax cuts will completely pay for themselves, some empirical and theoretical research suggests that tax cuts do help to pay for themselves through increased economic growth, though the end result, even conservative economists contend, will be a significant reduction in revenues.[3] The Reagan administration was the first to implement supply-side policies and call them that. Some maintain that they failed to deliver the promised benefits.

Pollution from agriculture

What is Agricultural pollution?

Milk is therefore one of the worst pollutants to that could enter the river system with a A wide range of contaminants can reach the river biological oxygen demand of 140,000 mg/litre. either via groundwater or through drainage ditches, including artificial fertilizer residues, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and farmyard waste, all of which are potentially very harmful. Accidental milk spillage from dairies is a serious contaminant. Undiluted animal manure (slurry) is one hundred times more concentrated than domestic sewage, and can carry a parasite, Cryptosporidium, which is difficult to detect. Silage liquor (from fermented wet grass) is even stronger than slurry, with a low pH and very high BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand). With a low pH, silage liquor can be highly corrosive; it can attack synthetic materials, causing damage to storage equipment, and leading to accidental spillage. Milk spillage, silage liquor, cattle and pig slurry; these are all examples of point source pollution. Diffuse source pollution from agricultural fertilizers is more difficult to trace, monitor and control. High nitrate concentrations are found in groundwater and may reach 50mg/litre (the EU Directive limit). In ditches and river courses, nutrient pollution from fertilizers causes eutrophication. This is worse in winter, after autumn ploughing has released a surge of nitrates; winter rainfall is heavier increasing runoff and leaching, and there is lower plant uptake. Phytoplankton and algae thrive in the nutrient-rich water. Normally, blue-green algae are very important in the river ecosystem, photosynthesising sunlight energy, and liberating oxygen into the water. In large numbers, however, algae can become excessive, discolouring the water, giving an unpleasant smell and robbing the water of valuable oxygen as bacteria work overtime feeding on dead algae remains. Blue-green algae can also produce toxins, which kill wildlife, cause skin rashes, and cause pains and stomach upsets. Eutrophication is thus depriving the river of oxygen (called "oxygen debt"). As algae dominate and turn the water green, the growth of other water plants is suppressed; these die first, disrupting the food chain. Death of invertebrates and fish follow on, and their dead remains in turn lead to excess bacterial activity during decomposition, reducing oxygen levels still further. Water with high BOD figures are badly polluted, lower figures are better.

Consider the following BOD values of typical pollutants :
Silage liquor: up to 80,000 mg/litre Cattle slurry: up to 20,000 mg/litre Pig slurry: up to 30,000 mg/litre Milk: 140,000 mg/litre Vegetable washings 500-3000 mg/litre Liquid sewage sludge: 20,000 mg/litre Domestic sewage: 300-400 mg/litre Treated sewage: 20-60 mg/litre

Where is there arable farmland in the Great Stour Valley?
Intensive cereal and field vegetable cropping occurs on the Great Stour valley sides, using the more fertile and better-drained loam soils of the Chalk and river terraces.

Grazing marshes occur on the wetter clay and peat soils of the floodplain

How does arable agricultural pollution affect the river on a local scale?
There are high concentrations of nitrates in the local groundwater, especially to the north-east of Canterbury (in the Thanet area). This is a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ), where pollution levels exceed 50 mg/litre. The EU Drinking Water Directive set this limit for safe nitrate levels in 1980. In 1991, the EU issued another Nitrate Directive which required countries to identify NVZs where excessive nitrate pollution came from agricultural sources. Thanet is one of 68 NVZs in the UK. Locally, farming intensity is not as high as in Thanet, but eutrophication is bad in some of the marsh dykes (Stour Marshes). Excessive demand for water (farmers are licensed by the Environment Agency to abstract water directly from the river for spray irrigation) can result in low flows, reducing the dilution capacity of the river; this is worse in summer, and particularly in drought years. This is known as a dilution effect, i.e. concentration increases as flow decreases. In wet winters however, prolonged and heavy rainfall may result in organic pollution incidents, with increased runoff from fertilized fields and accidental overflow from slurry pits. This is known as a pumping effect, i.e. concentration increases as flow increases, flushing chemicals off the fields and farmyards. These two responses seem to work in opposite directions, making the evaluation of diffuse pollution quite difficult.

How can we try to prevent agricultural pollution?
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries - MAFF (now called The Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs -MEFRA) produced in 1991 a "Code of Good Agricultural Practice" for farmers giving detailed advice on the treating, storing and applying of animal livestock waste, the disposal of dirty water, fertilizers, fuel oil, sheep dip, pesticides, nitrates, disposal of animal carcasses, etc. With EA advice also, local farmers all have to produce a Farm Waste Management Plan to comply with pollution control regulations. Some examples of good practice are: • • • • • • • reducing ploughing in the autumn delaying the ploughing in of crop residues reducing the amount of fertilizers, manure and sewage sludge applied sowing autumn crops early sowing cover crops in winter to avoid bare ground careful management of disposal of farm waste Set-aside regulations will also have the beneficial effect of reducing intensity of farming in the local area, and thus lowering nitrate levels.

What about orchards?
Fruit farming locally forms part of the North Kent Fruit Belt. Orchards, small fruits and hops are all grown in this area, taking advantage of the lighter sandy soils of the Tertiary rocks, sandwiched between the heavier clay soils to the north and the Chalk loams to the south, (see geology.)

Are there pollution threats from orchards?

The potential threat to water pollution comes from the intensive use of pesticides. 'Pesticide' is a general term which includes herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. They are widely used for weed control in agriculture, but also on roadsides and railway embankments. Spray drift from pesticide application can enter water courses if orchards are located too close to the river. The main threat however comes, not from spraying, but from poor storage and accidental spillage, as a result of which pesticides may get into, and contaminate, the groundwater. Pesticides are persistent in the food chain, since the chemicals involved are non-degradable; they are said to 'bioaccumulate' in the food chain. Organochlorides are found to cause changes in the sexual and reproductive characteristics of wildlife. Top carnivores (in the river, fish) are especially affected. Since pesticides are found in very low concentrations in water, their detection and measurement is complex and expensive. The maximum admissible concentration (MAC) is extremely small - 100 ng/litre or 1 part in 10,000,000 for any one individual substance, but 500 ng/litre for total pesticide residues.

How does orchard pollution affect the river on a local scale?
Spray application has never been a problem locally. Triazines and Drins are representative groups of pesticide compounds, minute traces of which have been detected in the Great Stour. The following traces of pesticides were Bretts Bailey Bridge (GR 187602) on June 4th 1999: recorded in the river at

Endosulphan Malathion HCH DDT Drins Triazines Tributyltin Fenitrothion 8.0


TOTAL 89.5 ng/l

2.2 15.0 7.4It can be seen that this is well within the EU Directive of 500 ng/l 2.3and thus poses no threat to water supplies. There were no 2.5recorded failures in this category of water pollution in the period 1995-1997. It is interesting to note that certain banned 4.0substances are still detectable. The Water Act (1989) lists these pesticides which are now banned in the UK including DDT, Dieldrin, Fenitrothion, Malathion, Endosulphan, etc. Their presence in the river is testimony to their persistence, clearly pre-dating the 1989 ban.

How can we try to prevent orchard pollution?

Local farmers follow the MAFF "Code of Good Agricultural Practice" and are required to produce a "Farm Waste Management Plan" for the Environment Agency. See arable section on prevention of pollution for more details. Correct spraying techniques have to be observed, under safe weather conditions.

The inevitable escape of transgenic pollen from cultivated fields will lead to the emergence of transgenic crop-wild plant hybrids in natural patches of wild plants. The fate of these hybrids and that of the transgene depend on their ability to compete with their wild relatives. Here we study ecological factors that may enhance the fitness of genetically modified hybrids relative to wild plants for a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgene conferring resistance to insects. Mixed stands of wild plants and firstgeneration hybrids were grown under different conditions of herbivore pressure and density, with Bt oilseed rape (Brassica napes) as the crop and B. rapa as the wild recipient. Biomass and fitness components were measured from plant germination to the germination of their offspring. The frequency of transgenic seedlings in the offspring generation was estimated using the green fluorescent protein marker. The biomass of F1 Bt-transgenic hybrids relative to that of wild-type plants was found to be sensitive to both plant density and herbivore pressure, but herbivore pressure appeared as the major factor enhancing their relative fitnesses. In the absence of herbivore pressure, Bt hybrids produced 6.2-fold fewer seeds than their wild neighbors, and Bt plant frequency fell from 50% to 16% within a single generation. Under high herbivore pressure, Bt hybrids produced 1.4-fold more seeds, and Bt plant frequency was 42% in the offspring generation. We conclude that high-density patches of highly damaged wild plants are the most vulnerable to Bt-transgene invasion. They should be monitored early to detect potential transgene spread.

Prevention methods
Technical solutions
In the United States, many coal-burning power plants use Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) to remove sulfur-containing gases from their stack gases. An example of FGD is the wet scrubber which is commonly used in the U.S. and many other countries. A wet scrubber

is basically a reaction tower equipped with a fan that extracts hot smoke stack gases from a power plant into the tower. Lime or limestone in slurry form is also injected into the tower to mix with the stack gases and combine with the sulfur dioxide present. The calcium carbonate of the limestone produces pH-neutral calcium sulfate that is physically removed from the scrubber. That is, the scrubber turns sulfur pollution into industrial sulfates. In some areas the sulfates are sold to chemical companies as gypsum when the purity of calcium sulfate is high. In others, they are placed in landfill. However, the effects of acid rain can last for generations, as the effects of pH level change can stimulate the continued leaching of undesirable chemicals into otherwise pristine water sources, killing off vulnerable insect and fish species and blocking efforts to restore native life. Automobile emissions control reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides from motor vehicles.

International treaties
A number of international treaties on the long range transport of atmospheric pollutants have been agreed e.g. Sulphur Emissions Reduction Protocol under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

Emissions trading
In this regulatory scheme, every current polluting facility is given or may purchase on an open market an emissions allowance for each unit of a designated pollutant it emits. Operators can then install pollution control equipment, and sell portions of their emissions allowances they no longer need for their own operations, thereby recovering some of the capital cost of their investment in such equipment. The intention is to give operators economic incentives to install pollution controls. The first emissions trading market was established in the United States by enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The overall goal of the Acid Rain Program established by the Act is to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the primary causes of acid rain. To achieve this goal at the lowest cost to society, the program employs both regulatory and market based approaches for controlling air pollution.

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