Table of contents
About this book
We are witnessing an increased awareness of the earth's environment. Examples are easily seen in the rise of 'Green Parties' across Europe, North America, Australasia, and lately Eastern Europe. The public outcry following industrial mishaps in Alaska, Chernobyl, Basel, and Bhopal, as well as the renewed legislative activity, such as the Clean Air Act in the USA and the European Community directive to member nation concerning the control of release of genetically engineered organisms are further examples of the general interest in the biosphere. The 'Ozone hole', 'Greenhouse gases', and 'Genetically engineered Microorganisms' have gained public profiles, and are discussed widely in newspapers, magazines and the electronic media. A recent educational survey of nations, belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that school children are more literate with ecological terms (as listed above) than with 'pure' scientific terms, like 'phloem', 'mitosis', 'proton', or 'Jurasic period'. Perhaps the increase in awareness is cyclical, being fed by non-scientific, sociological and economic advances. The late 1960s/early 1970s saw a major increase in environmental consciousness. Anti-pollution groups were founded, healthfood shops and naturopathy became acceptable as did recycling, the use of lead-free gasoline, and the reduced usage of environmental toxins, like DDT and PCB. For example, Monsanto Chemical Company instigated a self-imposed halt to the manufacture of PCB in the mid-seventies. Chemical companies started to look at biodegradable herbicides, slow release fertilizers, and specifically targeted pesticides.
Europe Recycling chemistry control development education engine environment evolution health hydrogen microorganism pesticide pollution toxin