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Whole Earth Discipline Research Paper

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The existence of Urban heat islands has become a growing concern over the years. An urban heat island is formed when industrial and urban areas produce and retain heat. Much of the solar energy that reaches rural areas is consumed by evaporation of water from vegetation and soil. In cities, where there is less vegetation and exposed soil, most of the sun's energy is instead absorbed by buildings and asphalt; leading to higher surface temperatures. Vehicles, factories and industrial and domestic heating and cooling units release even more heat.[28] As a result, cities are often 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) warmer than surrounding landscapes.[29] Impacts also include reducing soil moisture and a reduction in reabsorption of carbon dioxide emissions.[30]…show more content…
When rain occurs in these large cities, the rain filters down the pollutants such as CO2 and other green house gases in the air onto the ground below. Then, those chemicals are washed directly into rivers, streams and oceans, causing a decline in water quality and damaging marine ecosystems.[11]

In his book Whole Earth Discipline, Stewart Brand argues that the effects of urbanization are primarily positive for the environment. First, the birth rate of new urban dwellers falls immediately to replacement rate, and keeps falling, reducing environmental stresses caused by population growth. Secondly, emigration from rural areas reduces destructive subsistence farming techniques, such as improperly implemented slash and burn agriculture.

In July 2013 a report issued by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs[31] warned that with 2.4 billion more people by 2050, the amount of food produced will have to increase by 70%, straining food resources, especially in countries already facing food insecurity due to changing environmental conditions. The mix of changing environmental conditions and the growing population of urban regions, according to UN experts, will strain basic sanitation systems and health care, and potentially cause a humanitarian and environmental
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