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Latin American Environmental Issues

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Presentation on theme: "Latin American Environmental Issues"— Presentation transcript:

1 Latin American Environmental Issues
Air Pollution in Mexico City, Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, and Oil Related Pollution in Venezuela © 2011 Clairmont Press

2 Mexico City and Air Pollution
Over 100 years ago, Mexico City was famous for its snow capped mountain views and crystal blue skies. Today, it is known as one of the most air polluted cities in the world. Geography combined with human technology cause major amounts of smog, a combination of smoke and fog. Mexico city sits in a valley surrounded by mountains. Lake Texcoco sits in the middle of the valley which receives tremendous amounts of precipitation. The air does not easily escape the valley and the humidity is very high. The population of Mexico City is nearly double that of the entire state of Georgia. This population explosion combined with the increase in number of cars and trucks burning fossil fuels created an environmental and healthcare disaster. Did you know that on heavily polluted days in the summer, Mexico City’s children have to wear ventilated masks in order to prevent them from developing lung problems? An Aerial view of smog hanging over Mexico City Image by Fidel Gonzales on Wikimedia Commons

3 Mexico City and Air Pollution
Government Actions Rotating driving days for citizens of the city Providing green public transportation (non-fossil fuel) Promoting higher fuel efficiency cars Limiting fossil fuel consumption What are some solutions that you can come up with that may help Mexico City? Mexico City’s dilemmas: many cannot afford new cars; higher taxes are needed for green public transportation Population of Mexico City is growing because of the availability of higher paying jobs Refer to page 15 in the CRCT Test Prep book for further reading. Image by Alarhu on Wikimedia Commons

4 Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil
A rainforest hill is clear-cut behind a village in Brazil. Over half of Brazil, the largest nation in South America and fifth largest in the world, is covered by the Amazon Rainforest. The rainforest is a valuable resource: Medicinal plants used worldwide in pharmaceuticals Brazil nuts, cocoa, and rubber Hardwood trees used in expensive furniture Does your family own any mahogany furniture? Job creation: the Amazon Rainforest provides millions of jobs worldwide because of the vast resources available. Deforestation: the clear cutting of timber in the Amazon is destroying the habitats of animals and is ruining the natural environment. Debate: Many scientists disagree with each other over the effect of deforestation on climate change relating to the greenhouse effect. Image by Alex del Rios on WikiMedia Commons

5 Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil
A satellite view from NASA of massive deforestation of a region of the Amazon Government actions: The government of Brazil has become increasingly proactive in the limitation of clear cutting. The government of Brazil has many international scientists and governments pressuring it to stop utilizing its greatest resource. Brazil’s dilemma: Should they continue to utilize the resources of the Amazon and improve the modern lifestyle of Brazil or submit to international pressure and make the Amazon a national park as it has done in many places? Refer to page 16 in the CRCT Test Prep book for further reading. Image by NASA on WikiMedia Commons

6 Oil Related Pollution in Venezuela
A false-color image highlights massive oil slicks on Lake Maracaibo Venezuela is the world’s fifth-largest producer of oil and has produced oil for about a hundred years. Venezuelan oil production is destroying the Caribbean coastline and Lake Maracaibo. As in Mexico City, air pollution is a problem near refineries. Venezuela’s dilemma: The economy relies heavily on the government’s production of oil. The government of Venezuela heavily subsidizes healthcare, living expenses, and other economic aspects of its people using money from oil production even as this production causes environmental and health damage. The environment damage along Venezuela’s coasts has devastated the fishing industry and placed inhabitants of Lake Maracaibo in danger because its coastline is sinking due to oil removal. See page 19 of the CRCT Test Prep book for further reading. Image by NASA on WikiMedia Commons

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