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University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
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Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE


Two cooling towers throw huge clouds of stem into the skyIntroduction


Pollution may be defined as:

Open quoteThe presence in the environment of substances or energy in quantities that endanger human health, harm living organisms, diminish the amenity value of the environment or interfere with the natural functioning of ecosystems.Close quote (Ecology – advanced Biology readers – Peter Chenn)

Causes and classification:

Pollution can arise from the activities of humans (anthropogenic) or be caused by natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions.

There are many forms of pollution and they can be broadly classified under the following headings:

  • Atmospheric or air pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Radioactive pollution
  • Thermal pollution

This section will investigate pollution from the ‘human activity’ perspective and concentrate on the main issues that are covered by ‘A’ level examination boards.

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NOT RATED HAMMER Sacha 20-05-16 12:30
I read all the articles about Environment and Pollution. The topic informs the readers about the major changes of view on our environment. We share our living habitat with other species. Becoming conscious about the damage we have caused during our expansion as the dominating species, represents the first step to a new way of life. Human history shows a clear relationship between evolution of technology and the degradation of our environments. We have chosen the industrial and manufacturing path to primarily meet our needs. As a result, monoculture, deforestation, pesticide and a lot more cause massive species extinction and the decrease on our health conditions. of course, lot of people have mobilized through NGO in order to inform people about alternatives which are eco-friendlier. But still our technology doesn’t have the necessary level to establish a sustainable development. Neither legislation or executive institutions are equipped to allow a fundamental recovery of our natural resources and biodiversity.
Note: the idea of conservation is just a temporally solution. For example, a prohibition for ivory products will not end the hunt of elephants but more likely increase the extinction rate because of unprofessional hunting ways and manufacturing methods.
Furthermore, the conservation managed by humans is a good idea as long as we do not interfere with the forces of evolution. If we just preserve what we can see, the unseen might one day destroy our established ecological system. Our present way of life is more convenient as other alternatives. People take the easier way even with adequate education. For example, the emission of cars and their production pollutes our living space. Still we will take the car to go to work, school, hobby and so on.

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