Environment, definition of

Environment

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Related Tags: environment, biosphere

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Environmental Ethics

A search for moral values and ethical principles in human relations with the natural world.

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  • Can Pope Francis halt climate change with new papal document?
    Pope Francis is causing quite a stir with news that he will soon publish a historic document that details the Catholic imperative to curb global warming. While some pundits believe the encyclical, which will be published in early summer, has more power
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Environmental Fate

Where a substance ends up after it is released into the environment. Environmental fate depends on many factors, including transport (e.g., wind, runoff) and transformation processes (e.g., degradation).

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Environmental Impact

Any change to the environment whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from human activity, industry or natural disasters.

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Environmental Management System

A environmental management system (EMS) is a standard system of business operation that considers all aspects of sustainable business in the day to day running of a business, such as ISO 14001.


Related Tags: green business, business

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Environmental Medium

A major environmental category that surrounds or contacts humans, animals, plants, and other organisms (e.g. surface water, ground water, soil or air) and through which chemicals or pollutants move.

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Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution refers to the presence or introduction of known pollutants into an environment that result in a degrading of the environmental biosphere in terms of size, variety and longevity/sustainability.


In particular such pollution tends to stay within an environment for an extended period of time (many years) without specific steps to reduce or remove it. In essence the natural ability of the environment to 'clean itself' is unable to cope with the pollution and significant damage results.

Examples of such pollution includes (but not limited to):
  • Fertilizer runoff - where fertilizer escapes from farmed land into wild environments and modifies the native/weed balance.
  • Pesticides residue - pesticides can make their way into the food chain and become concentrated.
  • Heavy metals/plastics - again can be concentrated in the food chain and have an adverse effect on longevity and reproduction.
  • Tailing spills - mining bi-products leaching.
  • Waste dump leaching - not properly isolated from the water table or illegal dumping.
A key aspect of such pollution is that it tends to accumulative and can be multi-factored, in that one act of pollution can cause a chain reaction that degrades multiple biospheres over time. Also such pollution can be readily attributed to a specific pollution act or occurrence, e.g. there is a clear provable chain of cause and effect.

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Environmental Racism

Racial discrimination takes many insidious forms. This term refers to a situation in which industrial operations, environmental policymaking, and the enforcement (or lack of enforcement) of environmental laws unfairly impact a particular race of people, either intentionally or unintentionally. Examples include the locating of hazardous waste landfills in minority communities, and the exclusion of minorities in environmental policy-making leadership.

News & Blog articles where 'Environment' used:
  • How will Los Angeles' 2028 Olympics impact the environment?
    Hosting the Olympics is a huge honor for cities. At the same time, it's an expensive burden. As Los Angeles plans for its summer 2028 games, many people say the event will be neither as sustainable or equitable as city leaders have promised.[...]
  • New environmental racism scorecard calls out ExxonMobil
    The grading period has ended, and it’s time to find out who got the high scores and who’s failing the class. According to a new environmental racism scorecard released by shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, ExxonMobil came in...
  • New study reveals tree disparities across the US
    As anybody who has ever sat under a tree has noticed, these tall, leafy plants provide shade. But what about people who live in neighborhoods without a heat-blocking tree canopy? They're going to be a lot hotter and could possibly face worse health outcomes....
  • Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project
    Starting in the years after World War II, Black neighborhoods around the U.S. were destroyed and replaced with highways in the name of urban renewal. But people in Harris County, Texas have had enough. The county is suing the state to stop an I-45 expansion...
  • Could a private car ban make NYC more livable?
    When COVID-19 brought New York City’s traffic to a shadow of itself, Vishaan Chakrabarti, former New York City urban-planning official and founder of Manhattan-based design firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), drafted an ambitious plan...
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Environmentally Preferable

Products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment.

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A free Android app containing all these definitions is now available, called the Green Dictionary. Click here to see the entry on the Android market; or click here if on an Android phone.