Environmental Issues By Jenna Cottone and Ben Belden
Purpose Over the past 100 years, the environment has changed in many ways. People have caused the environment to change in both positive and negative ways. With the environment changing everyday, weather patterns have changed, the earth’s surface has changed, pollution has increased, and animals have become endangered. In today’s world, our culture has become very aware of the lasting affects we have had on our environment. Today, people have been inventing ways to change our living styles to help make our environment thrive for many years to come.
Purpose Because of this, we developed a driving question that would allow the students to not only examine the environment in its present state, but also reflect on how it has changed. Many students may not fully understand the context when people discuss problems with the environment, and by having them compare and contrast two different time periods, hopefully it will show them exactly why people are so concerned about the environment today and what changes they can expect in their future. What follows is a presentation designed as an example of what a typical fifth-grader might create in response to the driving question posed to them.
How has the environment changed over the past 100 years?
Ways The Environment Has Changed: <ul><li>Weather / climate </li></ul><ul><li>Animal populations </li></ul><ul><li>Areas inhabited by people </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul>
Weather / Climate <ul><li>100 years ago, weather was less severe than it is today. </li></ul><ul><li>Summers have been getting hotter and winters have been getting colder. </li></ul><ul><li>Storms like hurricanes and tsunamis have increased and some people think they are getting more powerful. </li></ul>
CHANGING CLIMATES Large cities can produce almost half as much energy as the sun. This energy is added to the sun’s energy and can greatly change the weather in areas. CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO In addition, the increased release of gases like carbon dioxide can affect the climate in an area in severe ways. These changes in weather are a result of new cities and more people living in previously uninhabited areas. (Discovery Education streaming, 2002) (Discovery Education streaming, 2002)
SEVERE WEATHER <ul><li>According to scientists from the Carnegie Institution, between 1979 and 2001 evidence shows that the jet streams over the oceans have shifted. </li></ul><ul><li>The jet streams carry storms like hurricanes and because of the shift, storms in North America are shifting northward. The storms are also increasing in both number and intensity. </li></ul>(Carnegie Institution, 2008)
Animal Populations <ul><li>100 years ago, animal populations were much different than they are today. </li></ul><ul><li>Some animals that existed 100 years ago have become extinct and no longer exist. </li></ul><ul><li>Many animals that once had large populations are now endangered. </li></ul><ul><li>Some animal populations have increased too much and now we have to do things like hunt them to control their numbers. </li></ul>
BISON <ul><li>At their height, the population of bison in North America was between 20 and 30 million . </li></ul><ul><li>During the 1870s as settlers explored the land, they nearly wiped all of the bison out. By 1889 the bison population was estimated at around 1,100 TOTAL . </li></ul><ul><li>Because of conservation efforts over the past 100 years, there are now more than 500,000 bison living in North America. </li></ul><ul><li>This example show both how destructive people can be on animal populations if not careful and how we can also help to fix problems if we work at them. </li></ul>CLICK ON THE BISON TO HEAR THE SOUND OF THEIR CALL! (Defenders.org, 2009)
Areas Inhabited By People <ul><li>In the last 100 years the places where people live has really changed. </li></ul><ul><li>There are now states and countries that didn’t exist 100 years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Many areas that were once wilderness now have cities built on them. </li></ul><ul><li>The human population has greatly increased and gets bigger every day. </li></ul>
Pollution <ul><li>Pollution has become a much larger issue than it was 100 years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Resources that were once abundant are now being destroyed or can’t be used. </li></ul><ul><li>Illnesses and other health problems affect many more people. </li></ul><ul><li>New programs such as recycling have been created to address these issues. </li></ul>
**ATTENTION** Smoke and smog from factories, cars, and trucks. <ul><li>The first car was invented in 1672, and no one ever thought about the amount of pollution a car can make. </li></ul><ul><li>The smoke, fumes, and gases that come not only from cars, but also something as simple as barbeques and lawnmowers makes up the poisonous ‘Smog’ that people can get sick from. </li></ul>
Pollution on the Rise “ Power plants are the nation ’ s largest industrial source of air pollution, fueling global warming and causing other serious public health and environmental problems. ” (Corrigan, 2005) Many of the nation’s largest power plants were built decades ago and use few modern pollution controls. (Corrigan, 2005) Rank State 2003 CO2 Emissions (Tons) 1 Texas 253,984,102 2 Ohio 137,142,616 3 Florida 136,441,856 4 Indiana 128,961,200 5 Pennsylvania 114,621,138
Citations <ul><li>How the Energy of Large Cities Affects Weather and Climate. Discovery Education. (2002). Retrieved July 22, 2009, from Discovery Education: http://streaming.discoveryeducation.c </li></ul><ul><li>Carnegie Institution (2008, April 17). Jet Streams Are Shifting And May Alter Paths Of Storms And Hurricanes. ScienceDaily . Retrieved July 23, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com / releases/2008/04/080416153558.htm om/ </li></ul><ul><li>Defenders.org (2009). Bison. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from Defenders Of Wildlife Web site: http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/bison.php </li></ul><ul><li>Corrigan, Zachary (2005).Pollution on the Rise: Local Trends in Power Plant </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution, 1-10. </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution. Retrieved July 22, 2009, from Tiki the Penguin Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>http://tiki.oneworld.net/pollution/pollution_home.html </li></ul>