The Environment and Man- Can we ever tame it?

Done by the Five Leaf Clover Newsgroup/ Posted: 26 August 2010 0937h

The environment and man have been constantly at war. Man becomes more technologically advanced with each passing minute while the environment becomes fiercer, bombarding Man with earthquakes, tornadoes and many other natural disasters. Can this war ever end? Will Man ever realize the mistake of damaging the environment? The Five Leaf Clover newsgroup will be investigating this question.

Bp oil spill crisis

An introduction to the problem

Done by Tan Jing Ling/Posted 26 August 2010 1105h

In 2009, the United Nations estimated the human population to reach 7 billion in 2011. There is only an estimated human population of 1 billion in 1804. This figure shows the rapid increase in human population. With the human population increasing rapidly, demand for housing, food, buildings, car, and other appliances also increase. To meet these demands, more and more natural resources need to be used. These natural resources include fossil fuels and trees. Fossil fuels are limited and trees are essential to the environment. With human deforestation, animals habitats might be affected, soil erosion might occur, and there will be less oxygen produced by trees. Buildings, vehicles and any other electrical machines cause a lot of air pollution as they produce smoke. Human are also polluting the environment, in ways such as littering and even large-scale events like the Olympic Games causes a lot of pollution. Water pollution is also a major concern as there are oil spills quite often, and littering in rivers also causes deaths of many marine organisms. If we do not protect our environment, the consequences can be quite severe. In recent years, there are more natural disasters and unusual weather patterns have been observed, such as snowing during summer time.


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Copyright of the pictures © BP p.l.c

Effects of the oil spill

Done by Sheu Xiang, compiled by yuyang/ Posted: 26 August 2010 1122h

The oil spill caused some tremendous impacts to the environment. Many beaches around the world are tainted by he black sticky oil. The oil spill coat the clear blue waters of oceans and caused devastating destruction to both marine life and the animals that live near the sea. Sea plants such as kelp are unable to absorb sunlight as the oil has coated the water, thus resulting in a lack of oxygen underwater. Also, oil will stick to the feathers of sea birds which cause the feathers to be unable to store heat and thus the bird will either drown or freeze to death. The oil is also quite poisonous to the animals who come into contact or consume it.

In total, 783 birds, 353 sea turtles and 41 mammals died but the number of dead organisms is surprisingly small considering the size of the disaster.
This is very little as compared to the Alaskan oil spill disaster.



Done by Lim Yu Yang/ Posted: 26 August 2010 1108

After the initial attempts to stem the leak, a customized containment cap was fitted to the well in early June, from which oil was piped to the Discover Enterprise vessel. A second containment system was installed in mid-June, using a manifold and hoses to carry oil and gas to the Q4000 vessel on the surface. By early July these two systems were collecting or flaring around 25,000 barrels of oil a day.

On July 12, a new sealing cap was installed and on July 15, a well integrity test began in which the cap’s three ram capping stack was closed, effectively shutting in the well and all sub-sea containment systems.

On August 5, BP completed cementing operations at the MC252 well, as part of the static kill procedure. Monitoring of the well has confirmed that the static kill procedure was effective. BP continues the ongoing relief well operations. Depending upon weather conditions, mid-August is the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will intercept the Macondo well annulus.

The Bp are fighting the oil spill at sea by skimming oil from the surface, carrying out controlled burns and spraying dispersant. Hundreds of miles of protective boom has been laid too help the cleanup effort.
BP and its partners have recruited a series of teams to clean up the shoreline wherever oil is spotted. Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams - or SCATs - patrol the coast daily looking for any oil - whether large volumes or tiny specks. Then, wherever oil is found, task forces are deployed to clean it up.

Teams and equipment are organised at 17 staging areas across the four states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. In some places teams work 24/7 and use ‘Sandboni’ machines to scoop up the oil. Workers receive safety training before they can be dispatched to wetlands, beaches or any other coastal areas that need protecting.

Lots of manpower and effort has been put in to stop the oil spill from spreading further. The amount of money, time and effort to contain the oil spill is huge.

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Copyright of the pictures © BP p.l.c


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Posted by yuyang/Posted: 26 August 2010 1159h

Can Man ever tame the environment?

Done by Lim Yu Yang /Posted 26 August 2010 1137h

Man has done so much hurt to the environment for a long time. Since a decade ago, Man has relize that his actions have severe consequences on the environment. There has been more reported natural disasters and also man-made disasters. Man has caused severe pollution to the environment. The BP oil spills an example of a man- made disaster. And because of this disaster, many animals and organisms have lost their lives. natural disasters cannot be avoided but the pollution that man has caused to this blue planet is too much. Therefore, we often hear of natural disasters quite often these days, China experiencing severe winter, India experiencing drought and Singapore experiencing floods. the increase in carbon dioxide has resulted in global warming and the melting of the ice bergs in the North and South Poles.

However, Man has realizes his mistakes and tries to make his change. We see more environmentally friendly products on the supermarket shelves, ban on the products that causes harmful effects to the environment and also planting trees, reforestation and finally, reduce in carbon emissions. Man has been trying very hard to maintain, sustain and also protect the environment. Man has been having lots of technological advances that will help the environment. man hopes that by protecting the environment, he can tame it. Man has also been developing technology that will tame the environment too. Such technology are the earthquake detectors. satellites to detect monsoons and also volcano inspectors. However, these technology cannot reduce the effects that the disasters cause to mankind to be zero, it can only be minimized. So far, the situation remains the same. So, if Man wants to tame the environment, he either needs to have better technology or live together with the environment and stop destroying the environment just for his own means.


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CO2 emission report

Done by YuYang/ Posted 26 August 2010 1212h

Percent change
Carbon dioxide( thousand metric tons)

US total

Output rate

US average



Posted by Yu ZhuoXin/ Posted 26 August 2010 1202h

It is not a problem whether human beings can tame the environment or not. It depends on itself. If human beings are determined to tame the environment, it would be definitely possible. However, we must realize it is no an easy job to tame the environment. Although the technology and science develop rapidly, we still can see that the power of it is not strong enough to control the environment, like earthquakes volcanoes and etc. Meanwhile we can see that the environment problems and the fortunes in the environment stimulate the human beings to tame it. But what would human beings benefit if they tame the environment. They may run out of all the natural resources like oils, nothing would be left for future generations. Also, despite the human beings would be able to tame the environment, they can control the earthquake, tsunami and volcano one day in the future, no one can ensure that no new nature disasters would be created. Hence, in my opinion, we can predict human beings would have ability to tame the environment but we also realize the costs behind it. If human beings tame the environment in the future but they do not benefit from it, it would be quite ridiculous. In this way, why not conduct another peaceful method with our environment.

Further critical analysis

Done by YuZhuoXin/ Posted: 26 August 2010 1219h

Environment, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world or material world. “Environment” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general.

Man’s appreciation of environment and the quest to understand her is well known. We can also see the ambition of man to tame it. For example, the America built the Panama Canal in 1914, China built the three gorge dam in this century and etc.

“The counterfeit and counterpart of environment is reproduced in art.” we find several noteworthy accomplishments in the fields of science and technology that in the past have made and in future promises to make impacts to the lifestyle of modern man, like the modern aviation industry is a result of multiple attempts of several individuals to mimic the ability to fly as birds. For the negative impact, pollution, deforestation, and disasters such as oil spills are quite common nowadays. However, it is the time to re-define the relationship between human beings and environment. Could the man tame the environment? It could well be so, especially when we consider the age old wisdom of living in harmony with environment being a proven ideology. This should not, however, be misunderstood as being conservative at exploring the possibilities of tapping the resources of environment.

It’s clear we’re missing something in our attempts to harness the laws of nature for our own purposes. In a long term way, man must learn the ‘peace formula’. In nature we see this principle at work. Nature’s arrangement, set up by the Lord, maintains the birds and beasts: the elephant eats his fifty kilos per day, the ant his few grains. If man doesn’t interfere, the natural balance sustains all creatures. Man can not be so selfish that want all the natural resources. Conservation is necessary. When man are using the environment to benefit themselves, they also need to take good care of nature but not tame it.

Creative Rendition

Copyright of the Five Leaf Clover Newsgroup 2010
Edited by Lim Yu Yang
Presented by Lim Yu Yang, Yu Zhuoxin, Leong Sheu Xiang, Tan Jing Ling, Wong Yi-wen