Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Why Is Soil Conservation Important Environmental Sciences Essay

Why Is Soil Conservation Important Environmental Sciences Essay Quantitative determination of the extent and impact of soil erosion by water in the tropics have been sketchy. However all available evidence indicates that accelerated erosion is a problem of serious magnitude and with a multitude of negative effects in many tropical countries. The awareness to conserve soil began approximately nine thousand years ago when human civilization shifted from nomadic hunting and gathering experience to a more permanent, settled and intensive soil-dependent plant and animal farming systems (Miller, Rasmussen and Meyer, 1985). Soil provides the medium from which most of the sustenance for humankind is derived. This thin, complex, crustal carpet uniquely integrates many attributes of the lithosphere, atomosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere (Miller, Rasmussen and Meyer 1985). Soil is regarded as a nonrenewable source since its formation from the parent rock material to an agriculturally productive growth medium is a very slow process (Lal 1990). The top soil is where most of the living activities of both flora and fauna take place. According to Brady and Weil 1999, the top soil is the upper most part of the soil ordinarily moved in tillage or its equivalent in uncultivated soils which range in depth from 7 to 25 cm (the plow layer). Removal of this plant nutrient enriched topsoil due to soil erosion would result in lowering of soil fertility through losses of both organic matter and nutrients which would result in decline of crop yields (Lal 1986; Rose and Dalal 1988). This loss in soil productivity due to erosion is serious in caribbean countries where fertilizer substitute for the lost plant nutrients is not affordable. This would lead to poorer soil profile characteristics such as low organic matter levels (Rose 1989;Rose 1998). Soil Erosion is perhaps the most serious form of land degradation throughout the world. For the tropics specifically, while it is acknowledged that erosion is more serious than else where, no analytical or systematic studies have been undertaken to document the problem, it consequences or potential solutions. Soil erosion results in lost water and plant nutrients at rates even greater than those occurring naturally through leaching ( Brady and Weil 1999). If there are no conservation practices present, soil erosion will occur and land degradation, reduced productivity due to loos of top soil, increased runoff and off site sedimentation problems (such as siltation of bodies of water and damage to crops and roads) will occur. The consequent socio-economic costs of sometimes more obvious off site damage are commonly easier to identify and quantify (Chrisholm 1987; Rose 1993). 1.2 Soil Conservation Strategies The caribbean is characterized by steep slopes. The degrees of steepness and the proportion of the land area classified as steep may vary. In Trinidad and Tobago, a larger propotion of steep slopes is still covered with natural vegetation which reduces the soil washed off the surface. Trinidad is marked with a long dry season in the early part of the year and then followed by an intense wet season. Most erosion occurs when the land is cleared of vegetation for farming. This usually occurs just before the rainy season. It is important to note however that most food crop production in Trinidad as well as the rest of the Caribbean, is carried out by small farmers on sloping land with no attention to soil conservation practices. This is the main reason for severe soil erosion in Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Caribbean. Soil conservation is understood as not only involving the control of loss of soil material due to erosion but also the decline in fertility (chemical, physical and biological breakdown of the soil). (Young 1984). The adverse effect of soil erosion is not confined only to decrease in soil depth but ultimately to the loss loss of organic matter and plant nutrients and consequently to degradation of soil physical properties and crop yield decline ( Young 1984). It is important to note however that treating the benefits of soil conservation in isolation from other agricultural improvements does not assure adoption of the soil conservation practice (Young 1984). Integration of soil conservation is important ( Douglas 1988; Shaxson 1988). Sheng and Meiman (1988) stated reasons for the difficulty of farmers in adopting soil conservation practice. The reasons are as follows: i) long time for the result of soil conservation to be realized, ii) identification of benefits from soil conservation and iii) the need for big investments by farmers. It is important to note however that Williams and Walter (1988), in a terracing project in Venezuela, found that improvement in the living incomes and opportunites for employment, increases the difficulty of motivating the farmers to adopt soil conservation practices. Apparently when low income and underemployment prevail, farmers easily participate in soil conservation programmes (Williams and Walter 1988; Liao et al 1988). The adverse effect of soil erosion is not confined only to loss of soil particles but also the loss of organic matter and plant nutrients. As a result of this crop yield decline will occur (Young 1984). Conservation farming should serve as the basis for counteracting the problem of soil erosion. To carry out this approach in developing countries, novel approaches in extension and research are needed. The majority of the soil conservation techniques were developed in the United States of America under condtions different from the other parts of the world experiencing erosion (Sheng, 1982; Hudson 1988; Sheng 1988). The techniques that worked well in the United States were extrapolated to the tropics in the 1930s and 1940s. It took fifty years to realize that these methods were unsuitable for the tropics ( Hudson,1987; Hudson 1988). The dominant traditional farming system in the tropics are the shifting cultivation and related bush fallow systems (Okigbo and Greenland, 1976). The non-ac ceptance of the many recommendations on soil conservation methods is attributed to their in appropriateness and incompatibility with the farmers operating environment (Douglas, 1988). The following agricultural conditions in the United States of America paved the way for the development of soil conservation activities (Hudson,1982;Hudson 1987): Combined good topography and favourable climate Low population pressure for intensive land use Strong and sustained government support well educated and informed agriculture sector Readily available credit and financial support Reliable prices and market outlets for agricultural produce Highly developed and highly mechanized agricultural industry. According to Hudson (1987), the absence of these conditions in most developing countries made the North American approach to soil conseration in appropriate. The absence of political will, or the limitations in or lack of resources often hindered soil conservation programmes in developing countries. The main aim of soil conservation should be preventation rather than cure. Soil conservation activity should be focused mainly on preserving good land rather than reclaiming damaged land. Without waiting for visible soil erosion damage, farmers should be encouraged to understand that there is a need for soil conservation due to continuing reduction in agricultural yield (Hudson, 1987). Loss of agricultural productivity should be emphasized in any soil conservation programme. For sometime, soil erosion research activities had almost been exclusively directed towards uantfying soil loss, hence data on the effect of soil erosion on agriculture productivity is seriously lacking (Crosson and Stout, 1983; ASAE,1985; Follet and Stewart, 1985; Stocking, 1985). Removal of topsoil resulted in decline of yield of a variety of agricultural crops (El-Swaify, Dangler and Amstrong 1982). Factors like type of soil, depth of soil, fertility status, topography, and type of crop affected the size of the decline in agricultural yield (Frye et al, 1982; Langdale and Schrader, 1982; Schertz 1983). There is limited data for soil and crops in the tropics (Lal, 1977). The effects of soil erosion on soil productivity in the tropics are move severe than for temperate countries (Moberg, 1972). This is because of highly weathered soils, fragile fertility status and most crop nutrents are found in the topmost layer of the soil. There is also significant deterioration of physical qualities of the soil as a growing medium after soil erosion (Lo, 1990). Higher erosion rates, the more severe changes in chemical qualities resulting from erosion and the inability of the farmer to provide the necessary inputs for restoring those qualities to a sufficient level were the primary reasons given for these conclusions (El-Swaify, 1990). The benefits of soil conservation are not immediately realized in every case and may initially result in crop yield reductions (John 1988). Improvement in agricultural production, rather than mitigating soil erosion, is of more significance and desirable for the farmer, while prevention of soil loss is an unreal concept for them (Hudson, 1987). The new approach of soil conservation will be a mixture of both agronomy measures as well as mechanical works ( Tracy, 1988). Mechanical systems are frequently expensive, consume space and time, need regular maintenance and do not assure improved crop production (Roose, 1988). Too much emphasis put into mechanical works discourages effective soil conservation policies (Rose, 1989). Conservation farming systems include improved farming, with mechanical protection works being a component of last resort. This approach is consistent with the principle that improved agricultural production should lead to better soil erosion control (Hudson 1988). Biological measures provide immediately recognizable short term benefits to farmers. Any mechanical work involved in soil conservation must m aximize the use of locally available experts, minimize, the use of structures and required labour. Community involvement must be involved (Hudson, 1987). To gain acceptance by farmers, any proposed soil conservation strategy should offer short-term, apparent, rapid or immediately recognizable, directly effective benefits and positive results, particularly for subsistence farmers who work in a short-time scale and who comprise a large percentage of farmers in less developed countries (Harper and El-Swaify 1988; Hudson,1988; Lovejoy and Naiper, 1988; Sanders, 1988; Thomas 1988; Tracy, 1988; Wenner, 1988; Williams and Walter, 1988). Soil conservation techniques recommended for farmers should be simple, easily understood and demonstrated, low cost, productive, sustainable and acceptable (Douglas, 1988;Vonk 1988). Conservation measures should involve principles that can be applied to more than one situation. However, methods and techniques are often site specific and caution should be exercised in extrapolating them to other sites (Saunders 1988). Adoption of soil conservation technology is assured if the farmers have full understanding, support and participation in all the stages of the project, from planning, implementation to maintenance (Harper and El-Swaify, 1988; Sanders, 1988; Vonk 1988; Tracy 1988). Farmers full participation is ensured if they are convinced that their relevant and important needs can be adequately met (Sanders 1988). Thus the farmer needs to be recognized as part of the solution rather than a part of the problem (Hudson,1987; Hudson,1988). The three (3) main objectives of this study are: To investigate the effect of slope angle and rainfall intensities on soil erosion under controlled conditions using four distinct soil types To compare this data with that for a cropped plot. To highlight an approach at estimating erosion risk and nutrient loss for Trinidad and Tobago.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Essay --

As I began my research for this essay, it became clearly obvious that there is no consensus on the roots of nations. From Gellner to Smith, a million little points in time and space can be credited for the creation of a nation, which in itself carries various meanings and connotations. Believing that both modernists, who interpret nationalism as being associated with industrial economy and centralized authority, and primordialists, who argue nations are ancient and natural phenomena, make valid points, I have opted to adhere to Michael Mann’s explanation that the structure of nations ‘had multiple causes and stages cascading on top of each other in unexpected and unfortunate ways. They were contingent because different causal chains, each of which we can trace and explain quite well, came together in a way that we cannot explain in terms of either of them, yet which proved timely for the outcome’ (Mann 2012: 3). Nevertheless, despite the range of explanations for nationalism, one concept is reoccurring. Humans, either in their local, state or international societies, are driven by power, and those who have the ability to force their decisions upon others yield power. Regardless of the fact that colonialism and imperialism are no longer recognized as current practices, international society still exists under the umbrella of neo-colonial influences, of which globalization is a product of. In this essay, I will explore the status of the nation and nationalism as it currently exists under neo-colonial influences. For long-term survival, human cultures, and therefore nations, have had to adapt to different environments and shifting conditions. Today’s technological growth has challenged nations to adjust at an ever-faster pace, unse... ...each into the international community. This is evident in the types of nationalism I’ve explored, both new nationalism and cosmopolitanism. They are opposing views of what nationalism is or can become in the future, but both have qualities that allow smaller nations to continue their existence in the international society. I have inadvertently expressed my opinion that nations are structurally political and that it is in the interest of their leaders to appeal to their unique traditions in order to maintain their power. Either way, the choice between these two approaches rests on the hands of the nation and its relationship with the international society. Globalization does not hinder the existence of the nation but rather helps it establish a place in the structure of power in a world which is still dominated by politically and economically dominant super powers.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Business Model Comparison Essay

The transportation and logistics industry is a six hundred and seventy billion dollar a year industry according to SJ Consulting Group. A logistics company helps transport people, cargo, and merchandise, by land, or sea. It consists of many channels of transportation, which include freight trains, cargo ships, and planes. Logistics and transportation companies are an important part of everyday business and life. The need of exports and imports on an international scale can only happen through a transportation company. If a family decides to move cross-country or over seas, it is planned through a transportations company. What has made the difference in most popular logistics companies is the difference in their business models and what logistic purpose they are here to meet. Locally we have two carriers that are an everyday household name; lets understand the difference if any in there set up, and business matrix. When people think of transportation delivery services there are two na mes that come to mind and that is UPS and FedEx. These two brands are leaders and competitors in the transportation industry and have built a sustainable competitive advantage. When looking at these companies they seem to operate in the same manner, but there are differences that separate them in business. Business Model Forms Business model for FedEx is something that has shown to have controversy within the industry. FedEx currently uses the contractor base business model. This is where each employee is basically a contractor for FedEx. FedEx is largely credited with having pioneered the â€Å"independent contractor† work model in the logistics industry. Under this system, workers function as self-employed drivers with their own routes, covering the costs of their own trucks, gasoline, uniforms and so forth. While corporations claim the contractor system gives drivers flexibility and strong incentives as â€Å"small businesses,† critics say it’s simply a way to shift the costs of employment onto workers and avoid payroll taxes and workers’-compensation costs. (  Reagan Appointee ‘Unravels FedEx’s Business Model’ In Court Ruling) United Parcel Service (UPS) has been in business for 66 years longer than FedEx. Its longevity gives the company seniority in delivery services over FedEx. When looking at UPS you can see their ability to partner with businesses throughout the years across the globe being their key source in transporting their products. â€Å"For a global book wholesaler, green business is good business. When the company wanted to reduce the amount of paper it used in its supply chain, it turned to long-time provider UPS to find the answer. UPS developed the world’s first paperless solution for generating international shipping documentation digitally, which not only helped the company meet its environmental goals but also improved the wholesaler’s order accuracy while saving time and money (â€Å"There Is Huge Competitive Advantage in Logistics†, 2010). † Staying innovative is UPS’ competitive advantage. FedEx is a business that operates with over 300,000 employees and has managed to grow this big in less than half a century. With its recent approach towards bettering the environment with using eco-friendly products throughout the company FedEx is showing a care for the world as a competitive advantage. They are using equipment that produces less pollution along with staff that strategically planned shorter routes to minimize equipment use. The products used to ship products, such as boxes; envelopes and FedEx office store supplies are recycled and reused. Advantages and Disadvantages Two companies like Fed Ex and UPS are the biggest type of ownership in business. They are both publicly traded companies and have a huge part on the stock market. Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of this type of ownership. Going public is an expensive, time-consuming process. A corporation must put its affairs in order and prepare reports and disclosures that comply with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations concerning initial public offerings. Taking your company public increases the potential liability of the company and its officers and directors for mismanagement. By law, a public corporation has an obligation  to its shareholders to maximize shareholder profits and disclose operational information. The capital of a public company is generally raised from the public. People belonging to all walks of life throughout the country can buy shares, which are priced at low levels. The liability of members of a public company is limited. They have to face limited risk. The shares of a public company are freely transferable. This makes investment in the shares liquid and an investor is not bound to remain with the company. There is unlimited scope for growth and expansion of business. New shares can be used to raise additional capital. Experts can be employed to manage the increasing business activities. Conclusion Longevity and innovation is definitely the name of the game in any type of business model. Both FedEx and UPS have met their match in the logistics industry. FedEx gives a more liberal way of business by giving the drivers a small business set up, and UPS is looking to stay a few steps ahead of the game with trends like being environmental friendly, saving natural resources, cutting costs, and using technology to make logistics run more efficiently. Combined parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS are growing vigorously because of solid matrix models and the need of their existence. It is imperative in the scope of businesses that its components are solid, smooth sailing, and always one step ahead of the game. References A Better Future. (1995-2012). Retrieved from http://earthsmart.van.fedex.com/ This is a hanging indent. To keep the Reagan Appointee ‘Unravels FedEx’s Business Model’ In Court Ruling) There is Huge Competitive Advantage in Logistics. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.ogilvy.com/News/Press-Releases/September-2010-New-UPS-Campaign.aspx U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Going Public http://www.preservearticles.com/2012022823825/what-are-the-advantages-of-a-public-company.html

Friday, January 3, 2020

My Experience At High School - 849 Words

When I entered ninth grade, I was someone totally different from the person I am today. The experiences I have gained during these long four years of high school have shaped me into the young adult I am. I have had to learn many lessons about myself and friends. Many failures have had to be taken in stride, and I am glad to say that I overcome and dealt with them all in the name of evolution. Many of the hardest lessons I have had to learn about myself, I learned them in Terry High School. I was used to being able to excel easily, and this was not the case all of the time in my high school courses. I struggled to keep my grades above a B average in ninth grade while trying to figure out who I wanted to be as I progressed into adulthood. I would be lying if I said that the progression happened smoothly. In fact, it was one of the hardest times of my life. I was like many of my peers. We were all stuck in the teenage phase of not really knowing whether or not we wanted to be an adult a nd be independent or if we wanted to allow our parents to handle everything like they did for us when we were younger. This phase in my life was dark, and I often wanted to just end it all. After one attempt, I realized the damage I would have caused within my family, and I was ashamed. It was then that I realized something that continues to get me through rough times. Now I am able to push myself forward by telling myself that if is the lowest point in my life, I might as well keep goingShow MoreRelatedMy Experience In High School952 Words   |  4 Pages High school is a time where young minded teenagers are encouraged to explore their interests and what type of character they want to become when graduation rolls in. My high school experience was an interesting time with choices that have changed my life and some that I wish I could take back. 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