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In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis reiterated each person’s duty to protect the environment for future generations. His assertion that climate change is a moral issue poses the question of how leaders and citizens can respond to the challenges of global warming.

The Office of Environmental Justice interacts with New York State's nine recognized Indian Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Tonawanda Seneca, Tuscarora, Shinnecock and Unkechaug. Because DEC and the Nations share mutual interests related to environmental and cultural resources, OEJ advocates on the Nations' behalf, ensuring that their concerns are addressed. New York's environment has cultural and spiritual significance to Indian Nations, and DEC is committed to collaborating with them to protect their rights and ensure the protection and management of the State's resources.

Pollution and negative environmental impacts pose a serious threat to public health. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to air pollution and can suffer greatly from respiratory problems, eye and skin irritation, and sinus issues.

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A mechanism suggested for tackling climate change and warming has been the idea of using to soak up carbon dioxide. To aid in this, reforestation, or planting of new forests, have been suggested. This is a popular strategy for the logging industry and nations with large forests interests. While there may be some potential in this solution, it cannot be effective on its own. This is because it legitimizes continued destruction of old-growth and pristine forests which are rich ecosystems and have an established biodiversity base (albeit shrinking now) that naturally maintain the environment (at no cost!). Creating new forest areas would require the creation of entire ecosystems. It is also criticized for being a quick fix that does not tackle the root causes effectively and does not lead to, or promote actual emissions reduction.

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Finch’s commentary on the issue of nuclear waste disposal is quite intriguing. By all appearances it is well researched, well thought out, and fairly reliable. Finch includes huge amounts of scientific data to support his ideal site for disposal of nuclear waste. He includes figures from sources such as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Nuclear Energy Institute (through Steven Kraft) that seem to reflect solid scientific thought. While he may not address all potential issues, he raises a number of environmental and political concerns to waste disposal and is able to provide satisfactory evidence to show that the Yucca Mountain site holds much promise. Of course, his commentary also shows through. This is entertaining and is the source for much of his persuasive strength. Yet it also means that I as a reader would feel compelled to compare his information with other sources before fully evaluating the potential environmental consequences of his decisions. He also doesn’t give much mention to the potential negative environmental impacts should such a program fail. What are the impacts that nuclear waste could have upon the Yucca Mountain environment should the storage system be subjected to some unplanned failure? Still, I think he makes strong enough points about waste storage sites near major cities to convince readers that the current state of nuclear waste is unacceptable. Certainly he falls back on reputable scientific sources at any points of contention in his piece to lend credence to his argument. Overall I feel that his piece is presentable and flows well. His personal voice shines through strongly, perhaps a bit too much to consider him a completely reliable source, but his arguments seem to be based primarily on rational decisions, not only on political views.
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Ethics & the Environment publishes papers on all topics encompassed by the broad term environmental ethics. Double-spaced manuscripts may be submitted at any time, and preference will be given to those of 35 pages or less, including an abstract of fewer than 150 words. Ethics & the Environment uses the Chicago Manual of Style's author/date system of citing references (see a published issue for specific examples). Notes should be on a separate sheet at the end of the manuscript. Authors should submit two copies of a manuscript, one completely blinded and one including all author contact information as well as an author bio of approximately 75 words. The submission process is entirely electronic and all correspondence should be sent to the managing editor at .

“Disney Vet Brings Elephant Vasectomies to Africa”
I enjoyed this article. By bringing up the issue of elephant population control, it evokes the larger issues of human control of nature. At the same time the topic is hilarious in its absurdity, which is probably why it was reported in the first place.

As a piece of environmental writing, the article is thought-provoking and fun to read. It manages this without using imagery or directly addressing philosophical issues. The writer does not take a stand, but it does provide the opinions of various scientists. I would have preferred that it go into more detail in examining the extent and types of problems surrounding a large elephant population instead of just mentioning that there is controversy about the issue. However it is a short article so that can be expected.

It did serve to get me thinking about elephant population control and since the goal of environmental writing is in part to make the reader think about and question their views of the environment, the article is a success. After reading the article I went from having no opinions on elephant vasectomies to being an opponent of them.

Beyond questioning whether the elephant population needs to be controlled, the article explores other methods of population control: killing and culling. The killing option is not discussed at length but the article does mentioned that around the world, elephants are viewed as a symbol for conservation efforts and so perhaps killing elephants is not something the people in power want to talk about. Culling is cited as being disruptive to the social structure of the elephant population and also a cause of violence towards humans from elephants. So I gather from the article that birth-control is the politically safe way of dealing with the problem. But of course it is an absurd, even criminal solution, considering the health-care shortages around the world. If the elephant population level is truly a problem, then it should be dealt with in the most cost-effective way. I conclude from this that the final outcome of the elephant situation will be a program to shoot elephants in a quiet way. However, with this new vasectomy procedure available, and articles being written about the subject, it will now be hard to keep any solutions to the problem quiet. This could result in the population not being controlled –perhaps resulting in larger nature parks and more nature. Even though the author does not seem to have an agenda, by reporting on the topic they are increasing nature awareness and possibly the existence of natural places.

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