Showing posts with label Physical Geography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Physical Geography. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Basic Principles and Demographic Aspects: Concept of Sustainable Development, population dynamics, urbanization, environmental pollution, and health issues

The concept of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development:
The future of our planet is a matter of great concern. Environmental issues have been part of human society from the beginning. Sustainable development has become a recognized goal for human society since the deterioration of environmental conditions in many parts of the world (Bossel, 1999).
The sustainable development of society refers to three major components of human existence: economical, ecological and human.
According to International Institute for Sustainable Development (SSID) "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Sustainability can be defined as the practice of maintaining processes of productivity indefinitely—natural or human made—by replacing resources used with resources of equal or greater value without degrading or endangering natural biotic systems. (Wikipedia)
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
Ø  The concept of 'needs', in particular, the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
Ø   The idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs.  (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)
The importance of sustainable development
The use of renewable resources does not exceed their rate of regeneration with emphasis on preservation of natural resources. In this eco-centric approach, natural resources are assigned an intrinsic value, independently of their usefulness to human beings. It is a romantic vision that sees nature as an antidote to industrialized society.
The use of renewable resources cannot exceed the replacement rate. In this case the emphasis is on conservation of natural resources. This approach is deeply anthropocentric - nature has value to the extent that sustains life and human activity is prevalent even today.
The release of harmful substances shall not exceed the capacity of natural systems to absorb and compensate. In this case the general welfare of the ecosystem should be the first priority, and human aspirations and needs to be resized and re-evaluated by the fact that they are not a priority, but a small element among many other items.
Components of Sustainable Development:
Economic component:
Economic development desired to produce a maximum flow of income in terms of rational use, resource efficiency, particularly scarce resources. The main concern of economic development is related to how countries develop their economies. Rapid economic growth with obtaining maximum benefits creates a heavy burden on the ability of the planet to support. From the perspective of sustainable development, economic growth should be such that negative environmental impact is limited. Economic development must conceive that aims at accelerating economic growth, reducing inequality and poverty eradication. On the one hand, the economic dimension aims to ensure a balanced and sustainable economic environment by producing goods and services continuously to maintain manageable levels of government and external debt and avoid extreme sectoral imbalances affecting agriculture and production industrial, and in order to achieve needed training a competitive industry, diversification of industrial production and attracting investment. (Duran et al 2015) 
Ecological component:
Ecological development is closely correlated growth and interrelation with environmental laws, the ecological balance. In other words, environmental development is the capacity to grow and to bring the environment and its peculiarities, while ensuring the protection and renewal of natural resources and environmental heritage. Environmental protection is considering physical and biological system stability, developing their capacity to adapt to change and less conservation status considered ideal (Bran, 1991). Economic growth should not affect the environment in order to talk about sustainable development. International organizations have proposed environmental policy, but there are a lot of people who do not like the actions targeting the environment, on the issue as a political commonplace.
Human component:
Human component aimed at socio-cultural stability, achieve fairness both at the same time a generation is concerned maintaining cultural diversity as the prevention or cure of diseases, reduce the lacking of job satisfaction, the end of the history of uncertainties about the nearer future etc. It is imperative to protect and improve the state of the environment that represents the possibility to create and maintain the welfare of both the present generation and those to come.
Minica and Frant (2008) synthesize the human aspect of sustainable development worldwide involves the following objectives:
v  Promotion of education, training and public support for the environment
v  Protecting and promoting human health (focused on access to medical facilities, especially in rural areas, control of infectious diseases, risks pollution and ecological risk).
v   Fight against poverty (through access of the poor to sustainable livelihoods, promoting human development and integrated policy investment in human capital).
v  Demographic threatening sustainable development (focusing on population growth, especially in developing countries).
Population Dynamics
A population is a group of individuals (all members of a single species) who live together in the same habitat and are likely to interbreed.  Each population has a unique physical distribution in time and space.  It may contain individuals of different ages and its size (density) is likely to change over time, growing or shrinking according to the reproductive success of its members.
Population Dynamics is the changes in the populations of organisms over time. Population ecology is the study of populations. Their size, density, distribution and changes over time. By doing this ecologists are able to gather data that can help them predict growth trends, health, manage sizes. The study of population dynamics focuses on these changes -- how, when, and why they occur. 

Dynamic characteristics of populations
§  Population
§  Population size, Number of Individuals(N)
§  Density(N/Area)
§  Age Distribution
§  Dispersion
·         Random
·         Uniform
·         Clumped
Urbanization is the process by which there is an increase in the proportion of people living in urban area. Accordingly, urbanization is very common in developing and developed worlds as more and more people have the tendency of moving closer to towns and cities to acquire “privileged” social and economic services as well as benefits. These include social and economic advantages such as better education, health care, sanitation, housing, business opportunities, and transportation.
§  Urbanization occurs because people move from rural areas (countryside) to urban areas (town and cities)
§  Amongst the first countries to become urbanized were Great Britain and some European countries
§  Their urbanization was relatively slow, allowing governments time to plan and provide for the needs of increasing urban populations.
The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. More than half of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities, and by 2030 this number will swell to about 5 billion. Much of this urbanization will unfold in Africa and Asia, bringing huge social, economic and environmental transformations.
Urbanization has the potential to usher in a new era of well-being, resource efficiency and economic growth. But cities are also home to high concentrations of poverty. Nowhere is the rise of inequality clearer than in urban areas, where wealthy communities coexist alongside, and separate from, slums and informal settlements.
UNFPA works with partners in government, the UN system and civil society to advocate for the welfare and sustainability of rapidly urbanizing communities. UNFPA’s works includes ensuring people’s access to essential services, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, as they move to and live in urban areas.

Causes of Urbanization

Ø  Industrial Revolution
Ø  Industrialization following the Industrial Revolution
Ø  Emergence of large manufacturing centers
Ø  Job Opportunities
Ø  Availability of easy transportation
Ø  Migration
Ø  Commercialization
Ø  Social benefits and services
Ø  Rural urban transformation
Ø  Modernization and changes in the mode of living
Effects of Urbanization
Positive Effects:

Ø  Cities act as beacons for the rural population because they represent a higher standard of living
Ø  Benefits include reduced transport costs, exchange of ideas, and sharing of natural resources.
Ø  Cities offer opportunities to people not available in the countryside
Ø  Social & Religious taboos/ sanctions disappearing
Ø  Education is a tool to eradicate social evils
Ø  Industrialization, Urbanization, Education, Legislation, Secularization-sequence of development
Ø  Diffusion of urban culture to rural areas

Negative Effects:

Ø  Housing problems
Ø  Overcrowding
Ø  Unemployment
Ø  Development of slums
Ø  Water and sanitation problems
Ø  Poor health and spread of diseases
Ø  Traffic congestion
Ø  Urban crime

Solutions of Urbanization
Ø  Building sustainable and environmentally friendly cities
Ø  Provision of essential services
Ø  Creation of more jobs
Ø  Population control
Environmental Pollution
The term Pollution can be defined as influence of any substance causing nuisance, harmful effects, and uneasiness to the organisms. Any substance causing Nuisance or harmful effects or uneasiness to the organisms, then that particular substance may be called as the Pollutant.
Environmental Pollution occurs when pollutants contaminate the surroundings; which brings about changes that affect our normal lifestyles adversely. Pollutants are the key elements or components of pollution which are generally waste materials of different forms. Pollution disturbs our ecosystem and the balance in the environment. With modernization and development in our lives pollution has reached its peak; giving rise to global warming and human illness. Environmental pollution had been a fact of life for many centuries but it became a real problem since the start of the industrial revolution.
Renowned author Miguel A. Santos identifies at least three general characteristics of environmental pollutants:
·         Pollutants don't recognize boundaries, i.e. they are transboundary;
·         Many of them can't be degraded by living organisms and therefore stay in the ecosphere for many years; and
·         They destroy biota and habitat.
Types of Environment Pollution:
Environmental Pollution occurs in different forms; air, water, soil, radioactive, noise, heat/ thermal and light. Every form of pollution has two sources of occurrence; the point and the non-point sources. The point sources are easy to identify, monitor and control, whereas the non-point sources are hard to control. Generally speaking, there are many types of environmental pollution but the most important ones are:
·         Air pollution
·         Water pollution
·         Soil pollution (contamination)
Some of the most notable air pollutants are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and airborne particles, with radioactive pollutants probably among the most destructive ones (specifically when produced by nuclear explosions).
Water pollutants include insecticides and herbicides, food processing waste, pollutants from livestock operations, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, chemical waste and others.
Some soil pollutants are: hydrocarbons, solvents and heavy metals.
Sources and Causes of Environmental Pollution
The sources and causes of environmental pollution includes the following:
Industrial activities: The industries all over the world that brought prosperity and affluence, made inroads in the biosphere and disturbed the ecological balances. The pall of smoke, the swirling gases, industrial effluents and the fall-out of scientific experiments became constant health hazards, polluting and contaminating both air and water. The improper disposals of industrial wastes are the sources of soil and water pollution. Chemical waste resulting from industry can pollute lakes, rivers and seas and soil too as well as releasing fumes.
Dumping solid waste: Household and commercial waste pollutes the environment when not disposed of properly.
Vehicles: The smoke emitted by vehicles using petrol and diesel and the cooking coal also pollutes the environment. The multiplication of vehicles, emitting black smoke that, being free and unfettered, spreads out and mixes with the air we breathe. The harmful smoke of these vehicles causes air pollution. Further, the sounds produced by these vehicles produce causes noise-pollution.
Rapid urbanization and industrialization: The urbanization and the rapid growth of industrialization are causing through environmental pollution the greatest harm to the plant life, which in turn causing harm to the animal kingdom and the human lives.
Population overgrowth: Due to the increase in population, particularly in developing countries, there has been surge in demand for basic food, occupation and shelter. The world has witnessed massive deforestation to expand absorb the growing population and their demands.
Combustion of fossil fuels: The combustion of fossil fuels pollutes the air, the soil and the water with noxious gases such as CO2 and CO.
Agricultural waste: Fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture are key causes of environmental pollution.

Health Issue
A Health Issue is a health related matter that is of interest, importance or worry to someone, who may be the patient, patient's family or patient's health care provider .The "Health Issue" concept is often used interchangeably with "Condition" or "Issue"
Health issue is the level of functional and metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental, psychological and social changes with environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
·        A health issue  may be identified from different perspectives:
- Patient
- Family member/career
- Providers (physician, surgeon, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, nutritionist, health educator, social worker, etc.)

Most Common Health Issues

Physical Activity and Nutrition
Research indicates that staying physically active can help prevent or delay certain diseases, including some cancers, heart disease and diabetes, and also relieve depression and improve mood. Inactivity often accompanies advancing age, but it doesn't have to. Check with your local churches or synagogues, senior centers, and shopping malls for exercise and walking programs. Like exercise, your eating habits are often not good if you live and eat alone. It's important for successful aging to eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid the empty calories in candy and sweets.

Overweight and Obesity
Being overweight or obese increases your chances of dying from hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, dyslipidemia and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. In-depth guides and practical advice about obesity are available from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
Tobacco is the single greatest preventable cause of illness and premature death in the U.S. Tobacco use is now called "Tobacco dependence disease." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that smokers who try to quit are more successful when they have the support of their physician.

Substance Abuse
Substance abuse usually means drugs and alcohol. These are two areas we don't often associate with seniors, but seniors, like young people, may self-medicate using legal and illegal drugs and alcohol, which can lead to serious health consequences. In addition, seniors may deliberately or unknowingly mix medications and use alcohol. Because of our stereotypes about senior citizens, many medical people fail to ask seniors about possible substance abuse.
Between 11 and 15% of U.S. AIDS cases occur in seniors over age 50. Between 1991 and 1996, AIDS in adults over 50 rose more than twice as fast as in younger adults. Seniors are unlikely to use condoms, have immune systems that naturally weaken with age, and HIV symptoms (fatigue, weight loss, dementia, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes) are similar to symptoms that can accompany old age. Again, stereotypes about aging in terms of sexual activity and drug use keep this problem largely unrecognized. That's why seniors are not well represented in research, clinical drug trials, prevention programs and efforts at intervention.
Mental Health
Dementia is not part of aging. Dementia can be caused by disease, reactions to medications, vision and hearing problems, infections, nutritional imbalances, diabetes, and renal failure. There are many forms of dementia (including Alzheimer's Disease) and some can be temporary. With accurate diagnosis comes management and help. The most common late-in-life mental health condition is depression. If left untreated, depression in the elderly can lead to suicide. Here's a surprising fact: The rate of suicide is higher for elderly white men than for any other age group, including adolescents.
Injury and Violence
Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of injuries, hospital admissions for trauma, and deaths due to injury. One in every three seniors (age 65 and older) will fall each year. Strategies to reduce injury include exercises to improve balance and strength and medication review. Home modifications can help reduce injury. Home security is needed to prevent intrusion. Home-based fire prevention devices should be in place and easy to use. People aged 65 and older are twice as likely to die in a home fire as the general population.

Environmental Quality
Even though pollution affects all of us, government studies have indicated that low-income, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in areas where they face environmental risks. Compared to the general population, a higher proportion of elderly are living just over the poverty threshold.
Influenza and pneumonia and are among the top 10 causes of death for older adults. Emphasis on Influenza vaccination for seniors has helped. Pneumonia remains one of the most serious infections, especially among women and the very old.
Access to Health Care
Seniors frequently don't monitor their health as seriously as they should. While a shortage of geriatricians has been noted nationwide, URMC has one of the largest groups of geriatricians and geriatric specialists of any medical community in the country. Your access to health care is as close as URMC, offering a menu of services at several hospital settings, including the VA Hospital in Canandaigua, in senior housing, and in your community.

§  Bossel, H., (1999). Indicators for sustainable development: theory, method, applications. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development.
§  Duran et al. (2015),  The components of sustainable development - a possible approach , Procedia Economics and Finance 26 ( 2015 ) 806 – 81
§  Minica; M., Franţ, F., (2008). The dimensions of durable development. Annals of the University of Craiova Economic Science XXXVI7, 34323439.
§  Soloman, Maurice E. Population Dynamics. London: Edward Arnold, 1969.
§  Santos, M. A. (1990). Managing Planet Earth: Perspectives on Population, Ecology, and the Law. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, p. 44.
§  Ibid, pp. 44 – 45
§ face book/fields/2212.html


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Solar System

planets in solar system

Solar System

The Solar System comprises the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of substances with relatively high melting points (compared with hydrogen and helium), called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as "ice giants". All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane.
The Solar System also contains a number of regions populated by smaller objects.The asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter, is similar to the terrestrial planets as it mostly contains objects composed of rock and metal. Beyond Neptune's orbit lie the Kuiper belt and scattered disc, linked populations of trans-Neptunian objects composed mostly of ices. Within these populations are several dozen to more than ten thousand objects that may be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity. Such objects are referred to as dwarf planets. Identified dwarf planets include the asteroid Ceres and the trans-Neptunian objects Pluto, Eris , Haumea, and Makemake. In addition to these two regions, various other small-body populations includingcomets, centaurs and interplanetary dust freely travel between regions. Six of the planets, at least three of the dwarf planets, and many of the smaller bodies are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed "moons" after Earth's Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other small objects.
The solar wind, a flow of plasma from the Sun, creates a bubble in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere, which extends out to the edge of the scattered disc. The Oort cloud, which is believed to be the source for long-period comets, may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times further than the heliosphere. The heliopause is the point at which pressure from the solar wind is equal to the opposing pressure of interstellar wind. The Solar System is located within one of the outer arms of the Milky Way galaxy, which contains about 200 billion stars.

source : wikipedia


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