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Portal:Environment

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PleuroziumPiceaBorealForest.JPG


Welcome to the Environment Portal
(image link)

Introduction

Land management has preserved the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia while allowing ample access for visitors.

The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally, meaning in this case not artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. This environment encompasses the interaction of all living species, climate, weather and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity. The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished as components:

In contrast to the natural environment is the built environment. In such areas where humans have fundamentally transformed landscapes such as urban settings and agricultural land conversion, the natural environment is greatly changed into a simplified human environment. Even acts which seem less extreme, such as building a mud hut or a photovoltaic system in the desert, the modified environment becomes an artificial one. Though many animals build things to provide a better environment for themselves, they are not human, hence beaver dams, and the works of mound-building termites, are thought of as natural.

People seldom find absolutely natural environments on Earth, and naturalness usually varies in a continuum, from 100% natural in one extreme to 0% natural in the other. More precisely, we can consider the different aspects or components of an environment, and see that their degree of naturalness is not uniform. If, for instance, in an agricultural field, the mineralogic composition and the structure of its soil are similar to those of an undisturbed forest soil, but the structure is quite different.

Natural environment is often used as a synonym for habitat, for instance, when we say that the natural environment of giraffes is the savanna. Read more...

A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.

The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency. Read more...

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A color photograph taken from the air of a portion of the Kissimmee River; visible is the outline of the C-38 canal, filled with water and grass as the natural bends of the river grow through the canal
A portion of the C-38 canal, finished in 1971, now backfilled to restore the Kissimmee River floodplain to a more natural state

The restoration of the Everglades is an ongoing effort to remedy damage inflicted on the environment of southern Florida during the 20th century. It is the most expensive and comprehensive environmental repair attempt in history. The degradation of the Everglades became an issue in the United States in the early 1970s after a proposal to construct an airport in the Big Cypress Swamp. Studies indicated the airport would have destroyed the ecosystem in South Florida and Everglades National Park. After decades of destructive practices, both state and federal agencies are looking for ways to balance the needs of the natural environment in South Florida with urban and agricultural centers that have recently and rapidly grown in and near the Everglades.

In response to floods caused by hurricanes in 1947, the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project (C&SF) was established to construct flood control devices in the Everglades. The C&SF built 1,400 miles (2,300 km) of canals and levees between the 1950s and 1971 throughout South Florida. Their last venture was the C-38 canal, which straightened the Kissimmee River and caused catastrophic damage to animal habitats, adversely affecting water quality in the region. The canal became the first C&SF project to revert when the 22-mile (35 km) canal began to be backfilled, or refilled with the material excavated from it, in the 1980s. Read more...
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London Smog
  • ... that the concept of reduce, re-use, and recycle as three equal options, but they are instead meant to be a hierarchy, in order of importance?

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NEV-BlueZENN-RSFQ0244.JPG
Credit: Leonard G

ZENN (Zero Emission, No Noise) is a 2-seated car that runs solely on battery. It has a range of up to 60 km and does not exceed 40 km/h. The fuel economy is few cents per kilometer and the MSRP is $12,000.

Although the company is headquartered in Canada and the car manufactured in Canada, the vehicle was first introduced in United States because at the time of vehicle's design phrase, Canadian laws prevents this car to be driven on the roads. Since 2000, British Columbia has allowed ZENN cars on its roads.

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Gary Edward Varner (born March 10, 1957) is an American philosopher specializing in environmental ethics, philosophical questions related to animal rights and animal welfare, and R. M. Hare's two-level utilitarianism. He is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Texas A&M University, and has been based at the university since 1990. He was educated at Arizona State University, the University of Georgia and the University of Wisconsin–Madison; at Madison, where he was supervised by Jon Morline, he wrote one of the first doctoral theses on environmental ethics. Varner's first monograph was In Nature's Interests?, which was published by Oxford University Press in 1998. In the book, Varner defended a form of biocentric individualism, according to which all living entities have morally considerable interests.

From 2001, Varner embarked on a research project exploring animals in Hare's two-level utilitarianism. Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition, published by Oxford University Press in 2012, was the first monograph arising from this project. In the book, Varner moved away from his biocentrism, instead endorsing a developed version of Hare's ethics. Varner draws a distinction between persons, near-persons and merely sentient beings; although all are morally considerable, the lives of persons are of the most significance, and the lives of merely sentient beings are of the least. The practical consequences of this view, though initial comments were offered in Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition, will be explored in Sustaining Animals, forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Read more...

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The Wildlife Trusts headquarters in Newark-on-Trent
The Wildlife Trusts headquarters in Newark-on-Trent

The Wildlife Trusts, the trading name of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is an organisation made up of 46 local Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Wildlife Trusts, between them, look after more than 2,300 nature reserves, covering around 98,500 hectares (243,000 acres). , the Trusts have a combined membership of over 850,000 members.

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) is an independent charity, with a membership formed of the 46 individual charitable Trusts. It acts as an umbrella group for the individual Wildlife Trusts, as well as operating a separate Grants Unit which administers a number of funds. Read more...

General images

The following are images from various environment-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Mwai Kibaki
"The Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System will provide the platform for our enforcement agencies to collect and share information on the trends and patterns of wildlife crime. Moreover, the cross-border nature of wild life crime underscores the need to enhance cooperation among our governments and to pool financial and human resources. I am confident that these measures will go a long way in enhancing our capacity to protect our wildlife resources."

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