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This is a€?Nuclear Reactionsa€?, section 20.2 from the book Principles of General Chemistry (v.
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The two general kinds of nuclear reactions are nuclear decay reactions and nuclear transmutation reactions. Nuclear decay reactions occur spontaneously under all conditions, whereas nuclear transmutation reactions are induced.
Nuclear decay reactions always produce daughter nuclei that have a more favorable neutron-to- proton ratio and hence are more stable than the parent nucleus. Just as we use the number and type of atoms present to balance a chemical equation, we can use the number and type of nucleons present to write a balanced nuclear equation for a nuclear decay reaction.
To describe nuclear decay reactions, chemists have extended the XZA notation for nuclides to include radioactive emissions. Like the notation used to indicate isotopes, the upper left superscript in the symbol for a particle gives the mass number, which is the total number of protons and neutrons. There are six fundamentally different kinds of nuclear decay reactions, and each releases a different kind of particle or energy.
Because nucleons are conserved in this and all other nuclear reactions, the sum of the mass numbers of the products, 222 + 4 = 226, equals the mass number of the parent.
Just as the total number of atoms is conserved in a chemical reaction, the total number of nucleons is conserved in a nuclear reaction.
Although beta decay does not change the mass number of the nucleus, it does result in an increase of +1 in the atomic number because of the addition of a proton in the daughter nucleus.
Because a positron has the same mass as an electron but opposite charge, positron emissionA nuclear decay reaction in which a proton is transformed into a neutron, and a high-energy positron is emitted.
When a second electron moves from an outer shell to take the place of the lower-energy electron that was absorbed by the nucleus, an x-ray is emitted.
Electron capture does not change the mass number of the nucleus because both the proton that is lost and the neutron that is formed have a mass number of 1.
The atomic numbers of the parent and daughter nuclides differ in Equation 20.11, although the mass numbers are the same.
Both positron emission and electron capture are usually observed for nuclides with low neutron-to-proton ratios, but the decay rates for the two processes can be very different. Many nuclear decay reactions produce daughter nuclei that are in a nuclear excited state, which is similar to an atom in which an electron has been excited to a higher-energy orbital to give an electronic excited state. Because I? rays are energy, their emission does not affect either the mass number or the atomic number of the daughter nuclide.
Only very massive nuclei with high neutron-to-proton ratios can undergo spontaneous fissionA nuclear decay reaction in which the nucleus breaks into two pieces with different atomic numbers and atomic masses., in which the nucleus breaks into two pieces that have different atomic numbers and atomic masses.
B Use the values of A and Z to identify any missing components needed to balance the equation. B Because both protons and neutrons must be conserved in a nuclear reaction, the unknown product must have a mass number of A = 35 a?’ 0 = 35 and an atomic number of Z = 16 a?’ (a?’1) = 17. B Both protons and neutrons are conserved, so the mass number of the product must be A = 201 + 0 = 201, and the atomic number of the product must be Z = 80 + (a?’1) = 79, which corresponds to the element gold.
A As in part (a), we are given the identities of the reactant and one of the productsa€”in this case, a positron. B The mass number of the second product is A = 30 a?’ 0 = 30, and its atomic number is Z = 15 a?’ 1 = 14, which corresponds to silicon.
This chapter examines the range of human consequences of, and responses to, global environmental change. This complex causal structure makes projecting the human consequences of global change a trickier task than is sometimes imagined.
Building these scenarios, identifying the most probable ones, and assessing their outcomes would be an overwhelming analytic task.
In our judgment, understanding human responses is key to understanding the human consequences of global change.
People and social institutions may respond to environmental change as it is experienced (post facto) or as it is anticipated.
Changes in society that incidentally affect human responses to global change are important both directly and because they could become tomorrow's deliberate responses. Response to global change may be coordinated, as through the policies of governments or trade associations aimed at eliciting the same action from many actors, or uncoordinated, as with independent actions of households or small firms. Figure 4-1 elaborates on Figure 2-2 to show how human action can intervene at any point in the cycle of interaction between human and environmental systems to protect against threats to what humans value.
The term mitigation is generally used to describe interventions on the human causes side of the diagram. For example, global warming is the direct result of a change in the earth's radiative balance; humans can mitigate global warming by any actions that slow the rate of change or limit the ultimate amount of change in the radiative balance. Mitigation of ozone depletion might, in principle, involve release of substances that interact chemically with CFCs, producing compounds with benign effects on the stratospheric ozone layer (type E), limiting emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other gases that deplete ozone (type P), or developing alternative methods of cooling buildings that do not rely on CFCs (type H). Another type of adaptive response is to prevent or compensate for losses of welfare that would otherwise result from global change. Yet another type of response, sometimes called anticipatory adaptation, aims to improve the robustness of social systems, so that an unchecked environmental change would produce less reduction of values than would otherwise be the case. All social systems are vulnerable to environmental change, and modern industrial societies have different vulnerabilities from earlier social forms. An important consequence of global environmental change is conflict, because global change affects what humans value, and different people value different things.
One of the most heated policy debates about responses to a global change is between advocates of immediate efforts to mitigate global warming and those who would postpone such action. In one view, the wise course of action on global warming is to conduct research on the phenomenon but not to take action to slow or mitigate it until the phenomenon is better understood.
Social science can help illuminate the nature of environmental controversies and evaluate ways of managing them.
Social scientists specializing in conflict have developed generalizations that might be more thoroughly applied to environmental conflict. More research seems warranted to use existing knowledge about conflict to illuminate the ways social conflict may result from global environmental change.
Research on Conflict Resolution and Management Social scientists have also identified a number of approaches for resolving or managing policy disputes, some of which are beginning to be studied in the context of environmental conflicts.
The nature of technological conflicts suggests, however, that over the long term, management is a more realistic goal than stable resolution.
You are a mathematically-sophisticated bacterium, and at 11:56 you recognize the impending disaster. Just before disaster strikes… a bacterial space program discovers three more bottles in the lab. Politicians and Economists don't seem to understand that constant growth (of even a percent or two) is not possible. As everyone expected, the National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended that the Canadian Government approve Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion through the most populated area of British Columbia.
If the Trudeau Government agrees and the project goes forward, the number of tankers carrying diluted bitumen out of the Greater Vancouver area could increase from 1 or 2 a week to 10. As a perceived friend and political ally of Prime Minister Trudeau’s, some might expect Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to be more circumspect in his response. There are strong concerns about the emissions entailed by a further build-out of the oil sands infrastructure at a time when the extreme weather events associated with climate change (increased wildfires, droughts, hurricanes) are increasing. A recent study of historic tree ring data, from the University of Victoria, points to rising temperatures as one of the ingredients for a mega-sized drought in the province’s future. British Columbia must receive a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits from any proposed heavy-oil projects. He added, “What I do think is people have to show up this summer and be absolutely steadfast in our opposition to this pipeline.
At last count, there were 57 First Nations that will be affected if this project goes forward, and a number of them expressed concerns during the NEB hearings.
McCartney is under the impression that most, if not all, Coastal First Nations are opposed to the pipeline proposal. The Dogwood Initiative is preparing for the possibility that both the Federal and Provincial Governments will approve this pipeline project.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. The toxic, tar sands should never be permitted to reach Burnaby, because there is no equipment to clean-up a spill.
I am a Canadian, and in looking at the map, I wonder why they don’t think of running a pipeline to Hudson Bay and building a terminal somewhere in Manitoba. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
In a nuclear decay reactionA nuclear reaction that occurs when an unstable nucleus emits radiation and is transformed into the nucleus of one or more other elements., also called radioactive decay, an unstable nucleus emits radiation and is transformed into the nucleus of one or more other elements. The nuclei on the upper left side of the band of stable nuclei in Figure 20.2 "The Relationship between Nuclear Stability and the Neutron-to-Proton Ratio" have a neutron-to-proton ratio that is too high to give a stable nucleus. Nuclei on the lower right side of the band of stable nuclei have a neutron-to-proton ratio that is too low to give a stable nucleus.
With very few exceptions, heavy nuclei (those with A a‰? 200) are intrinsically unstable regardless of the neutron-to-proton ratio, and all nuclei with Z > 83 are unstable. This procedure also allows us to predict the identity of either the parent or the daughter nucleus if the identity of only one is known.
Table 20.1 "Nuclear Decay Emissions and Their Symbols" lists the name and symbol for each type of emitted radiation. The essential features of each reaction are shown in Figure 20.4 "Common Modes of Nuclear Decay". Thus I±-particle emission produces a daughter nucleus with a mass number A a?’ 4 and a nuclear charge Z a?’ 2 compared to the parent nucleus.
Similarly, the sum of the atomic numbers of the products, 86 + 2 = 88, equals the atomic number of the parent. Thus beta decay decreases the neutron-to-proton ratio, moving the nucleus toward the band of stable nuclei. The parent and the daughter nuclei have the same mass number, 14, and the sum of the atomic numbers of the products is 6, which is the same as the atomic number of the carbon-14 parent. In this case, however, the atomic number of the daughter nucleus is lower by 1 than that of the parent. The mass number, 11, does not change, and the sum of the atomic numbers of the products is 6, the same as the atomic number of the parent carbon-11 nuclide. As with positron emission, however, the atomic number of the daughter nucleus is lower by 1 than that of the parent.
Just as an electron in an electronic excited state emits energy in the form of a photon when it returns to the ground state, a nucleus in an excited state releases energy in the form of a photon when it returns to the ground state.
For example, technetium-99m has a half-life of about 6 hours before emitting a I? ray to form technetium-99.
Gamma-ray emission is therefore the only kind of radiation that does not necessarily involve the conversion of one element to another, although it is almost always observed in conjunction with some other nuclear decay reaction.
Thus the sum of the mass numbers of the products (118 + 132 + 4 = 254) equals the mass number of the reactant.


In consequence, people have migrated or changed their ways of living as polar ice advanced and retreated, endured crop failures or altered their crops when temperature and rainfall patterns changed, and made numerous other adjustments in individual and collective behavior. We begin by developing the concept of human consequences and showing why, to understand them, it is critical to understand the variety of human responses to global change. One way in which the actions that cause global change are different from most of these is that the effects take decades to centuries to be realized. It is misleading to picture human impacts as if global change were like a meteorite striking an inert planet, because social systems are always changing and are capable of anticipation. Assume that four sets of scenarios are developed for the futures of the natural environment, social and economic organization, values, and policies.
Rather than trying to set a research agenda for that task, we undertake in this chapter a less demanding but still very difficult task: to focus on human responses to global change broadly conceived.
We do not mean to downplay the importance of certain kinds of research that do not focus explicitly on responses. We consider the following analytic distinctions useful for thinking about the range of responses available. For instance, people can build dikes to keep out rising seas or reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate global warming. For example, gasoline taxes, which were not initiated with the global environment as a consideration, could be increased to cut CO2 emissions. Both types of response can be either anticipatory or post facto; both can affect global change either deliberately or incidentally. Mitigation includes all actions that prevent, limit, delay, or slow the rate of undesired impacts by acting directly or indirectly on environmental systems. Such actions are sometimes generically called adaptation, but there are important distinctions among them. This debate arose within the committee, even though we were not charged with recommending strategies for response to global change.
The nature and extent of global warming in the future is highly uncertain because of incomplete knowledge of the relevant properties of the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, and other relevant systems. One pits Third World countries against the developed countries that are now becoming concerned with limiting use of fossil fuels and restricting the felling of tropical forests. True, some of the disagreements might fade with better knowledge about the global environment and the likely effects of different feasible responses. This research would investigate the ways environmental changes may affect organized social groups and their resource bases and would hypothesize links between those effects and conflict. Relatively little is known about the structure of particular conflicts about global change at the local, national, and international levels or about which means will be most effective in dealing with them. You immediately jump on your soapbox and warn that unless your fellow bacteria slow their growth dramatically, the end is just four minutes away. With a population redistribution program, how much time do the 3 new bottles buy the colony?
Pipelines and tar sands are not compatible with the climate leadership Canadians celebrated in Paris,” said Larissa Standie of Sierra Club BC. There will be protests, civil disobedience and massive opposition,” said said Peter McCartney of the Wilderness Committee. It will likely be awhile before that is the average temperature, but it is a fact that should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. They understand this is a political hot potato and they are facing an election less than a year away.
The next step in this process is for the province to issue a Section 11 order to set out the scope and process for an environmental assessment. Kinder Morgan will not be able to proceed until it receives an environmental certificate. Some of them are less public, on the advice of their lawyers, because they don’t want to taint their chances in an appeal by speaking out about the process. Every one of these communities has the option to say no and we need to respect that,” he said.
At maximum, these people are on a four year time frame and they are thinking about the next election. He is a research junkie who has written over a thousand articles since he was first published in 1982. With global warming and the northwest passage opening up, Hudson bay would be navigable most of the year.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (147 MB) or just this chapter (6 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). The resulting daughter nuclei have a lower mass and are lower in energy (more stable) than the parent nucleus that decayed. These nuclei decay by a process that converts a neutron to a proton, thereby decreasing the neutron-to-proton ratio. These nuclei decay by processes that have the net effect of converting a proton to a neutron, thereby increasing the neutron-to-proton ratio. This is presumably due to the cumulative effects of electrostatic repulsions between the large number of positively charged protons, which cannot be totally overcome by the strong nuclear force, regardless of the number of neutrons present. Regardless of the mode of decay, the total number of nucleons is conserved in all nuclear reactions. We introduced the most common of these, I± and I? particles and I? rays, in Chapter 1 "Introduction to Chemistry" and Chapter 14 "Chemical Kinetics". Because neither an electron nor a positron contains protons or neutrons, its mass number is 0.
The most common are alpha and beta decay and gamma emission, but the others are essential to an understanding of nuclear decay reactions. Thus the neutron-to-proton ratio has increased, again moving the nucleus closer to the band of stable nuclei. Once again, the neutron-to-proton ratio has increased, moving the nucleus toward the band of stable nuclei. Spontaneous fission is invariably accompanied by the release of large amounts of energy, and it is usually accompanied by the emission of several neutrons as well. Until very recently, people have responded to global phenomena as if they were local, have not organized their responses as government policies, and have not been able to respond by deliberately altering the course of the global changes themselves. We then offer a framework for thinking about human responses and discuss the pivotal role of conflict. This fact causes many concerned people to consider taking action now to protect the values of those who might be affected by global environmental change in years to come. So, for example, an estimate of the number of homes that would be inundated by a one-meter rise in sea level and the associated loss of life and property may be useful for alerting decision makers to potentially important issues, but it should not be taken as a prediction, because humans always react.
Joining together all combinations of one scenario from each set, and adding assumptions about people's immediate responses, would generate an extensive set of grand scenarios. We do not discuss ways to improve forecasts of the state of the natural environment; that topic is outside the range of human dimensions. Policy makers and others are now faced with a variety of options, some of which involve anticipatory action and some of which depend on awaiting the experience of global change. Human actions can also affect human responses to global change incidentally to their intended purposes. Studies of the incidental effects of such actions might inform decision makers about what could happen without deliberate intervention and about which present policies might make societies more robust in the face of global change. Moreover, coordinated and uncoordinated responses can be connected to each other, in that coordinated actions by governments and industries can create new options for uncoordinated actors, prohibit responses, or raise or lower their costs. They can intervene in the proximate causes (type P), by regulating automobile use or engine design to cut carbon dioxide emissions or limiting the use of certain nitrogen fertilizers to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. One type of response, which can be called blocking, prevents undesired proximate effects of environmental systems on what humans value. It can be distinguished, at least in theory, from type H mitigation in that it does not necessarily alter the driving forces of global change.
Although these complex sociotechnical systems contain great flexibility through the operation of global markets, they may have vulnerabilities that reveal themselves in the face of the changes that these systems have helped create.
The far side of vulnerability is also little studied: When a system fails to resist environmental pressure, under what conditions does it return to its previous state? It is wasteful for society to expend resources to prevent changes that will not occur anyway. Human systems can adjust to global climate changes much faster than they are likely to occur.
It makes no sense to act like the generals who built the Maginot Line for the wrong war or to construct dikes for cities whose populations will have moved or dams to water crops that will be grown elsewhere.
Further research may identify more effective and less costly interventions than those now available. Actions that can be postponed will be less burdensome because of continuing economic progress. It is in the nature of exponential growth processes that the earlier the growth rate decreases, the greater the final effect. Mitigation in the face of possibly catastrophic outcomes is like taking out insurance against flood and fire. Humans are now conducting large-scale uncontrolled experiments on the global environment by changing the face of the earth and the flows of critical materials at unprecedented rates. The discount-rate argument is specious in the general case because the costs and benefits of postponing action are not always commensurable.
A good example is investments in energy efficiency that provide an excellent return on investment even with narrow economic calculations. The Third World position, of course, is that other countries used fossil fuels and undeveloped frontiers for their economic development, and fairness dictates that the poorer nations now have their turn.
As it became clear that expected global warming over the next 50 years could not cause the breakup of the West Antarctic icecap, the flood-prevention rationale for slowing greenhouse gas emissions became considerably weaker. And even when new knowledge reduces uncertainty, controversies persist because not only facts, but also important interests and values, are at stake. Defining an environmental conflict as either one of understanding or one of interests and values affects which groups and arguments are considered legitimate in policy debates (Dietz et al., 1989). A first step is to construct an analytical framework for identifying the possible routes from particular environmental changes to particular types of conflict. This work suggests that institutions responsible for decisions about global change will also have to manage conflict.
Therefore, we recommend increased empirical research, including both field studies and laboratory-simulation studies, to clarify the sources and structures of particular environmental conflicts and to test the efficacy of alternative techniques for their resolution and institutions for their management. The timing is pretty sticky, in terms of having this land back on their laps after the Federal decision in December.
The panel will be consulting further with First Nations and affected communities, so there will certainly be room to be heard further there. Whereas people in BC have to live with the consequences of this project for decades to come.
Vote, from which it intends to launch a formal initiative to force a province-wide referendum. The pipeline running over flat prairie would be shorter and cheaper and easier to construct, and not be close to population or cities in any numbers. In contrast, in a nuclear transmutation reactionA nuclear reaction in which a nucleus reacts with a subatomic particle or another nuleus to give a product nucleus that is more massive than the starting material., a nucleus reacts with a subatomic particle or another nucleus to form a product nucleus that is more massive than the starting material. Such nuclei tend to decay by emitting an I± particle (a helium nucleus, H24e), which decreases the number of protons and neutrons in the original nucleus by 2. The most notable addition is the positron, a particle that has the same mass as an electron but a positive charge rather than a negative charge. The numbers should not be taken literally, however, as meaning that these particles have zero mass; ejection of a beta particle (an electron) simply has a negligible effect on the mass of a nucleus.
Gamma (I?) emissionA nuclear decay reaction that results when a nucleus in an excited state releases energy in the form of a high-energy photon (a I? ray) when it returns to the ground state.
The next section examines three cases that illustrate many of the major factors influencing the human consequences of global change.


But because of uncertainty about how global environmental systems work, and because the people affected will probably live in circumstances very much different from those of today and may have different values, it is hard to know how present-day actions will affect them. Before the sea level rises, people may migrate, build dikes, or buy insurance, and the society and economy may have changed so that people's immediate responses--and therefore the costs of global change--may be different from what they would be in the present. The human consequences of global change could then be defined as the difference between the state of humanity at the end of one grand scenario and the state of humanity at the end of a base case or reference scenario with a different natural-environment component. Neither do we devote much attention to improving forecasts of social and economic organization or of human values, even though these topics clearly belong to the social sciences and are critical to understanding the effects of global change. The impact-assessment tradition involves projecting the human consequences of a range of natural-environment scenarios under given assumptions about human response. For example, European settlement of the Americas gave Europeans and, later, others access to a wider variety of food crops, making human survival less dependent, at least in principle, on a small number of staples that might be vulnerable to altered growing conditions caused by environmental change. It may involve direct interventions in the environment (type E in the figure) to counteract the effects of other human actions, direct interventions in the proximate human causes (type P), and interventions in the human systems (type H) that drive global change, intended to have an indirect or downstream effect on the proximate causes. They can intervene in human systems (type H) and indirectly control the proximate causes, by investing in research on renewable energy technologies to replace fossil fuel or providing tax incentives for more compact settlements to lower demand for transportation. Examples include evacuation from areas stricken with flood or drought, food shipments or financial assistance to those remaining in such areas, and development of synthetic substitutes for products previously obtained from extinct species. For instance, modern societies have become highly dependent on fossil fuels and vulnerable to a serious disruption of supply or distribution systems.
They may express a desire--or even claim a right--to influence the choices of people or governments continents away.
The projected doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will take place about 80 years from now.
Technological and social changes often eliminate problems without any specific mitigation efforts by changing the offending technology or making it obsolete. For example, it has recently been suggested that adding iron to the oceans to fertilize phytoplankton that would absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere may be a way to address the greenhouse effect (Martin et al., 1990). If people living in the 1890s had invested in preventing today's environmental problems, their expense on our behalf would probably have been made on the wrong problems, and it would have been an inequitable transfer of resources from a poorer generation to a richer one. Bringing down the birth rate in India to two children per couple in 1995 rather than in 2005 can make a difference of 300 million people by the time the Indian population stabilizes (Meadows, 19851. By the time it becomes clear that a response is needed, it may be too late to prevent catastrophe if the change is proceeding rapidly. It is prudent to limit the pace and extent of such experiments because of the likelihood of unanticipated consequences. Some important and meaningful tradeoffs can be made on economic grounds, for instance, between investing in renewable energy development and in directly limiting the burning of fossil fuels.
Such actions can achieve the benefits of mitigation at no extra cost, while providing other benefits. Many analysts believe that if large-scale climate change results from human activities, the poorer countries are likely to suffer most because they lack resources they could use to adapt.
A response such as dike building seems much more appropriate when the sea threatens only a few areas.
Informed people disagree because the remaining uncertainty leaves room for judgment, because they may assume different scenarios about the future of society, and because an outcome that harms what one person values may enhance what another values.
These institutions will need to provide accurate information, but should not expect information to resolve conflict. The ultimate decision will be made by the Trudeau cabinet, and if they decide to go ahead, a challenge in court by the Tsleil-Waututh is inevitable,” emailed George Hoberg, Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Policy at the University of British Columbia. The depth of opposition is actually a lot deeper than you would get from reading the newspapers,” said Nagata. This is a decision should be in the hands of First Nations and the people of BC, who have to live with the consequences,” said Nagata. As we shall see, nuclear decay reactions occur spontaneously under all conditions, but nuclear transmutation reactions occur only under very special conditions, such as the collision of a beam of highly energetic particles with a target nucleus or in the interior of stars. Because the neutron-to-proton ratio in an I± particle is 1, the net result of alpha emission is an increase in the neutron-to-proton ratio.
The following sections describe the human systems that are affected by or respond to global change, and how they interrelate. By this definition, a particular change in the natural environment has different consequences depending on the scenarios assumed for society, values, and responses. We bypass these issues because the need for improved social, economic, and political forecasting is generic in the social sciences, and addressing this broad need would take us far beyond our charge to focus on human-environment interactions. The tradition of post hoc case analysis involves assessing the actual human outcomes after past environmental changes land given the responses that actually occurred), in the hope of drawing more general conclusions.
World markets have subsequently reduced the number of major staple foods so that, in practice, people may eat no larger a variety of foods than before (Plotkin, 1988). If global climate change produces sufficient warming and drying (drought) on a regional scale, it may threaten the region's crops; development and adoption of drought-resistant crops or crop strains can break the connection between environmental change (drought) and famine by preventing crop failure. Farmers, regions, and countries that rely on a range of crops with different requirements for growth may or may not produce less greenhouse or ozone-depleting gases than monoculturists. They also support much larger and denser populations than ever before; such populations may be vulnerable to ecological changes affecting the viability of their food supplies. And the people or countries subjected to those claims may resist, especially when they feel that changing their behavior will mean suffering. By contrast, financial markets adjust in minutes, administered-market prices in weeks, labor markets in years, and the economic long run is usually reckoned at no more than two decades.
For example, boilers no longer explode on trains because they no longer use steam engines; horses are no longer the main polluters of urban streets. That proposal, whatever its ultimate feasibility or desirability (Lloyd, 1991), demonstrates that improved understanding of biogeochemical systems might generate promising new proposals for mitigating global change. It probably makes no more sense for the current generation to sacrifice to benefit a future, even wealthier generation. To achieve the same effect by starting later would impose greater restrictions on the people living at that time.
Even if catastrophe is unlikely, mitigation that slows the rate of change makes it more likely that adjustments can be made in time. If species are valued for themselves, their loss is irretrievable; even if they are valued only for what benefits they may have for humanity, species loss may be irretrievable. Like natural mutations, most of these experiments are probably destined to fail, and there is only one global environment to experiment on. And if it became clear what each policy option--at the local, national, and international levels--would accomplish if enacted, some of them could easily be rejected.
Case analyses of past social conflicts can be used to assess hypotheses drawn from such analytic frameworks. The institutions will need to make a place for the stakeholders to be represented from the earliest stages of the decision process, ensure openness in processes of policy decision, include mechanisms for the main actors to have access to relevant information from sources they trust, and use the conflicting perspectives and interpretations of current knowledge and uncertainty to inform the ongoing debate (National Research Council, 1989b; Stern, 1991). And any tanker disasters in Hudsons Bay, were they to happen, would be somewhat easier to manage given that they would be on the windward (sheltered) side on the bay, and in a remote area.
We begin this section by considering the different classes of radioactive nuclei, along with their characteristic nuclear decay reactions and the radiation they emit.
In some cases, two different symbols are used for particles that are identical but produced in different ways. We conclude by offering some general principles for research and some research implications. We offer only limited discussion of how future global change might proximally affect what humans value, because the variety of possible global changes and the uncertainty about the effects of each make it far too difficult to go into detail. Research in these traditions, combined with analysis of human response, can offer valuable insights into the human consequences of global change. High taxes on gasoline in Europe and Japan, enacted for reasons unrelated to the global environment, encouraged development and purchase of small, fuel-efficient automobiles that incidentally slow the pace of global warming. Similarly, loss of stratospheric ozone threatens light-skinned humans with skin cancer, through exposure to ultraviolet radiation; avoidance of extreme exposure to sun and application of sunscreens help prevent cancer, although they do not mitigate the destruction of the ozone layer.
But polycultures are more robust in the face of drought, acid deposition, and ozone depletion.
The further global change proceeds, the more likely it seems that it will be a source of conflict, including international conflict, over who has a right to influence the activities implicated as causes, who will pay the costs of responding, and how disputes will be settled. The implication for action is that what individuals and organizations do on their own in anticipating climate change may be sufficiently successful that organized, governmental responses will be superfluous.
Concern about the greenhouse effects of fossil fuel burning will prove premature if development of fusion or solar energy technology can replace most fossil fuel use over the next 50 years.
Improved understanding of social systems has reasonable potential to discover other classes of effective response.
It is therefore easier to mitigate the effects of exponential growth the sooner the effort is made. This is clearly the case for nonhuman organisms, such as tree species that can adjust to climatic change by migrating, as seedlings move to more favorable locations.
Other environmental values, such as loss of the life-supporting capacity of wetlands or large bodies of water, may also be irretrievable; often we do not know until the values are lost. As the extent of human intervention in the global environment continues to increase, so does the strength of this argument.
If current economic activity destroys the life-support systems on which human life depends, what investment at compound interest could ever recoup this cost? For example, the symbol ea?’10, which is usually simplified to ea?’, represents a free electron or an electron associated with an atom, whereas the symbol I?a?’10, which is often simplified to I?a?’, denotes an electron that originates from within the nucleus, which is a I? particle. Instead, we review basic knowledge about how human systems respond to external stresses, in the context of discussing human responses. By bringing about technological change, these taxes also incidentally have helped make it easier for all countries--even those without high gasoline taxes or companies that produce fuel-efficient automobiles--to respond to the challenge of global warming with improved energy efficiency .
Tropical deforestation threatens species with extinction by eliminating their habitats; creation of forest preserves would provide many species sufficient habitat to survive, while doing little to slow net deforestation.
The impact of climate change will reach people through slow price increases for the factors of production; in reasonably well-functioning markets, economic actors adapt readily to such changes.
It assumes that expenditures made now could otherwise be invested at compound interest in improvements in human well-being. Such species have a maximum rate of migration, so can adjust to climatic change below that rate.
The argument supports mitigation efforts that slow ongoing human interventions in the environment, but generally not those that would stop greenhouse warming by new interventions in the global environment. Economic arguments also cannot deal with some things--including the balance of nature--on which people place intrinsic or spiritual value. In short, the debates are not only about the workings of human and environmental systems, but also about political and economic interests, conflicting values and faiths, differing assumptions about the future, and different judgments about resiliency in the face of the unexpected.
Similarly, H24e2+ refers to the nucleus of a helium atom, and I±24 denotes an identical particle that has been ejected from a heavier nucleus. Similarly, families and communities that have both agricultural and nonagricultural income are harmed less by the same threats than purely agricultural groups.
They invent industrial processes that economize on scarce inputs, find substitutes, purchase energy-efficient equipment when energy prices are rising, and so forth. If the growth rate for such investment exceeds the average rate at which environmental problems develop, people will be better off in the future if they do not spend on mitigation now. To the extent people want to preserve such values, mitigation is the only acceptable approach.
In the past, such adjustments have contributed to human progress, and there is every reason to expect that pattern to continue. Moreover, economic accountings systematically undervalue things--such as genetic resources--for which there are few property rights or for which economic value is only potential.



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