Environmental Definitions

  • Ecological Footprint - The total ecosystem area that is essential to the maintenance of a given human individual or settlement.
  • The Energy Grid - The system of high tension cables by which electrical power is distributed throughout a region. The electricity can be generated at various points:
  • Fair Trade - Sometimes called alternative trade, this term refers to more equitable, less exploitative dealings with producers in developing countries. Fair Trade encourages long-term business relationships with farmer cooperatives (through such practices as fair pricing and small loans) as well as sustainable practices.
  • Global Warming -There is strong evidence that the average temperature of the earth is rising at an increasing rate due to the large amounts of gasses that are given off by the activities of modernized societies. These gasses stay in the atmosphere and trap heat, which leads to disruptions in normal climate patterns: droughts, flooding caused by rising sea levels, stronger and more frequent hurricanes. The most common of the "greenhouse gasses" are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The main solution to global warning offered by environmentalists is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Renewable Energy Resources - These resources are virtually inexhaustible but limited in the amount of energy available per unit of time. Examples are biomass, geothermal, solar and wind. In the future we may also be able to use ocean thermal, wave, and tidal action. The amount of renewable energy that can be generated over a given period of time depends on local geological and weather conditions.
  • Sustainable - Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
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