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The Big Picture

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by

Linda Guo

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of The Big Picture

OUT OF SIGHT SHOULDN'T MEAN OUT OF MIND. Factory emissions include heavy metals, such as mercury, which are severely detrimental to ones' health. It accumulates in tissues and attacks organs, leading to irreversible mental or physical damage.

Major air pollutants, also produced in man-made conditions, include harmful sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ground level ozone (O3). These can contribute to respiratory system defects, smog, acid rain, enhanced greenhouse effect (global warming), and eventual death. Solution for Air/Water Pollution Garbage and Plastics While efforts are made to recycle plastic, further measures are not put into place, as recycling is costly to the economy. Indeed, to recycle one tonne of plastic requires $4000, but the new material can only be sold for a value of $32. ... because it's not. Invisible particles of toxic chemicals caused by human activities are spread by wind and water throughout the entire world.

Air is often taken for granted because of its accessibility and easy access. Life would not exist without oxygen. Does this air look clean? B PICTURE Linda And yet, we are poisoning ourselves with each breath we take and every bite we eat. THE I G Plastic does not biodegrade. It can only be broken into smaller particles via photolysis (using the sun), which is then ingested by various aquatic or land animals, allowing the toxins to move up the food chain. Approximately
1 000 000 birds and
100 000 sea mammals
die each year due to plastic ingestion. On average, each Canadian produces 2.2 kg of waste per day. And while North America only accounts for 8% of the worldwide population, it uses up 1/3 of the world's natural resources. Although pollution is a severe and imminent issue in our current society, it is not without solutions. Canada spends about $8 billion dollars per year to treat medical conditions caused by pollution contamination. Only 4% of tax dollars are currently used towards conservation and protection of the environment. Canada can take money out of the health care programs and invest in new or developing technologies that will reduce factory emissions. Ontario estimates that half of Canada's airborne pollution is blown in from the USA. Pollution recognizes no borders, and as a result, Canada's government must strike negotiations with its neighbors to limit the amount of emissions coming from other countries' industrial plants and factories. Impacts Smog is also a severe health problem for some people. The US has updated their air quality regulations, but Canada still uses the ones originating from the 1970's, when pollution and contamination was not strictly controlled. The government needs to set new indexes and regulations in order to meet the needs of modern Canada. According to David Suzuki, Canada's air pollution is responsible for 21 000 premature deaths, 92 000 emergency room visits, and 620 000 doctor's visits per year. Economic costs adds up to more than $ 8 000 000 000 per year, money that can be used towards alleviating Canada's mounting debt, resulting in a possible decrease in taxes for consumers.

With new regulations promoting less pollution, the amount of hospital trips will go down. The wait times to see specialists and doctors will also decrease. Working families will have more money to spend elsewhere, further circulating the economy and keeping it healthy. Encouraged by the government, youths entering the workforce may be inclined to consider a career involving the design of new environmental technology, successfully bringing fresh ideas into the field. Doctors and medical staff will not be in such a large demand as before, but this can prove to be beneficial. Without an excessive amount of patients to treat, waiting times will be shorter. The government will have need for more jobs to regulate and control these new laws and see their upholding, as well as to revise any old ones. Potential immigrants and working age citizens will create a boost in Canada's economy, reducing the unemployment rate. Solution for Garbage Pollution Garbage —especially plastic— has been able to worm its way into every nook and cranny of the earth. Being man-made, it is unable to be broken down by natural conventions. However, with this problem are some simpler solutions. Impacts Many people do not go to the bottle depot simply because it is inconvenient. If the municipal government were to build small machines at street corners and busy intersections that gave out a quarter for every bottle inserted, there would be a drastic increase in the amount of recycled material. In Switzerland, "garbage stickers" must be attached to all solid waste before being taken out to the curb. The more people throw out, the more they must pay. Coincidentally, Switzerland also has the highest recycling rate in the world. Canada could borrow this idea and strengthen it further. People who attempt to evade the law by littering or throwing out garbage in private disposal bins will be fined $350 and warned. Failure to comply may result in prosecution or a heavier fine. It is estimated that the process of recycling, composting, and re-using waste materials is enough to create up to 10X the amount of jobs that incineration plants use. This will increase the amount of money being circulated through the economy and will decrease the unemployment rate of Canada. Similarly, these jobs are not difficult to learn and carry out, yet are drastically beneficial to all. Each Canadian produces an average of 837 kg of solid waste per year. Up to 20% is recycled. The rest is buried in landfills or incinerated, where it could eventually make its way back to the environment. The government needs to "R"ethink its policies and laws on garbage control and adjust them accordingly. The money from the garbage stickers will cover the costs of recycling, ensuring that those who wish to do good for the environment will be supported by the government. Political Social Economics Citizens will have to think proactively and adapt to the changes set by the government. For example, they may wish to start a composting bin in the backyard to alleviate the need to throw out organic waste. If they have a garden, compost is an excellent fertilizer.

Bringing reusable bags when shopping for groceries is another way to prevent more plastic from being disposed of inappropriately.

While the government is the one who sets out the laws, it is the Canadian citizens who implement them. Social Political Economical
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