Using and Managing the LithosphereThis is a featured page

Title of Media Piece: Brown calls for EU unity over Russia
Medium: Online News Services, Internet
Additional Sources:
-Planet for Life, World Oil Peak, April 8, 2006,

To fully understand the media article provided, the following terms have been defined in the context they appeared:
Sleepwalking: - heading mindlessly or without thinking into a situation
Turn of the tap: - stop providing oil and natural gas
Review root and branch: - reconsider previous agreements and spread out

With Russia’s military involvement in Georgia, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has unavoidably realized the need to reconsider the EU’s dependence on oil and natural gas from Russia. However, the way in which he wants to do this is by making a collaborative EU deal with Russia rather than having several separate deals. It is not actually described how this will specifically be of help, but since Brown refers to a ‘collective bargaining power’, it can be assumed that he intends to put pressure on Russia by creating a single deal rather than several smaller ones which would be easier to maintain and less problematic if they were to be terminated.

Critically, this is not an entirely intelligent action. By putting pressure on Russia, they may be able to stop the conflict with Georgia, but by instead completely or partially stopping independence on Russia by increasing reliance on alternative energy sources within their own countries, a greater pressure of halted trade is given to Russia. This is also much more wise in the long term since oil and gas are estimated to run out in near decades which would create another situation in which dependence on these fuels must be avoided. Gordon Brown already mentioned Russia’s unreliability as a trade partner and by using alternative energy sources, dependence can be kept within countries more easily.World Peak Oil Production

The article clearly illustrates the global consequences of the over-exploitation and depletion of fossil fuel reserves. The image shows that peak oil production has been reached in most areas of the world and is now decreasing. Because of the risk of oil and gas running out, the situation with Russia as a trade partner to members of the EU becomes much more delicate. There is a certain need to rely on Russia for oil and gas due to dwindling reserves and this creates a problem when dependence must be avoided.

The article is definitely reliable to a certain degree with several quotes to avoid ambiguity in interpretations. However, the vagueness of phrases, such as ‘review root and branch’, allow for different interpretations which could result in some uncertainty of actual meanings.

Title of Media Piece: Amazon Indian Iron, Diamonds in Brazil May Turn Legal to Mine
Medium: Online Information, News & Media Services, Internet
Additional Sources:
-Mercury, September 4, 2008,
-Meech, John, Mercury Balance in Amalgamation in Poconé, Brazil, September 4, 2008,

To fully understand the media article provided the following term has been defined:
Garimpeiro: - native term for the ‘wildcat miners’, miners characterized by reckless actions with neither control or regulation

According to the article, lawmakers are weighing the option of giving mining companies permission to ‘tap unexplored lands’ because of recent rises in mineral prices. Marcelo Esteves Almeida states that although a mineral prospecting has not been conducted, there are ‘indications that large-scale deposits exist’. These two phrases point out both the lack of evidence of actual deposits as well as the companies’ willingness to mine areas without actual proof of existing deposits. This ambiguity is cause to distrust the actual intent of companies claiming that mineral demands have risen.

The article’s constantly changing reference to the minerals that can be obtained further reveals the unreliability of any claims of mineral deposits that may exist. The article states that Latin America’s biggest iron, nickel and diamond deposits are close to the lands of the native people. Once again, the lands are supposedly unexplored and therefore the actual mineral deposits and their sizes should not be known.
Statistics given are sketchily unrelated and seem to be more for creating a mindset of the increased need for more mining of certain minerals. The prices of copper and tin are said to double. Copper was never mentioned in the article otherwise leading one to believe that copper deposits do not actually exist in the area. Therefore copper’s price increase, no matter how high, is unrelated. Tin, although mentioned as one mineral that is illegally mined, was not said to exist in large quantities. Therefore, tin’s price increase plays a minimal influence in the actual need to legalize mining.

The process of using mercury to separate gold from grainy substances, like gravel or sand, includes adding mercury to the mixture of substances. Gold amalgamates with the mercury, or in other words sticks physically to the mercury. The remaining waste ore is often much less dense than the mercury and floats to the top. The mercury mixture is then passed down a long copper trough in which the gold mercury amalgamation leaves a thin coating on the trough and the waste ore is transferred away down the trough. The layer is then collected and refined to remove mercury, leaving a high purity of gold. The image shows this same method with slight modifications when used on a larger scale. However, the general process is the same with first the amalgamation and then the collection of the gold mercury mixture and finally the removal of the mercury.
Amalgamation with Mercury
This method was mostly discontinued because of the risks it poses to health of miners and the environment since the waste still containing mercury is often dumped. However, on small-scales, particularly in developing areas, this method is still in use. By using this method when mining in areas of Brazil, areas of the Amazon are greatly damaged. Trees and soil become poisoned by the dumped waste. The natives way of life is disrupted since the area becomes poisoned and plants or crops are either poisoned or unable to grow.

The continuation of illegal digs results in the use of hazardous methods which endanger the health of people in surrounding areas as well as their lifestyles. However, by legalizing the mining of the unconfirmed deposits, the environment would be destroyed on an even larger scale with deforestation and waste dumps. The disrupted balance of the environment would hinder the natives’ way of life which depends on the environment.
Although the article is able to inform the reader of the situation, while explaining both sides of the argument, there is an obvious lack of proof to back up the arguments of those who approve the mining. The information that has been collected is contradictory and can therefore not be trusted. The processes mentioned in the article are only explained briefly. The accuracy cannot therefore be distrusted but simply seen as incomplete.

Title of Media: Nevtah / Black Sands - Oil Extraction System
Medium: Online News Services, Internet

In this video there are no terms or vocabulary that has to be defined in order to fully understand the video.
The need for oil has increased in the US over the last decades. It's a major component of the economy and because the consumption is larger than the produce of oil, America is forced to import over 12 million barrels of oil each and everyday. It's been known for years that there's a massive resource for additional oil, its called oil sands. Unfortunately extracting these oils from oil sands has not been economically fees able until now. It has taken more than ten years, but there is now a company and its partner who have created an extraction system in Utah. This video describes in great detail how the oil is extracted from the oil sands. This method of extracting is unlike other extraction technologies flexible because it doesn't require water or gas during the extraction process. There are no greenhouse gas emissions and the solvency is recovered and recycled. Another positive factor from this extraction method is that the sand that has been extracted and no longer has oil in it is clean, pure and environmentally safe. Sand of this quality is in high demand so it can easily be sold. This is a graph showing the barrels of oil sands in different countries.

As you can see on the graph, even though America has great succes with extraction oil from oil sands at this point, in some years they probably won't have enough to depend on this method for oil.

Using and Managing the Lithosphere - Environmental Management

As described above, America is in great need of oil and therefore has to think alternatively according to energy. This means that there's focus on extraction oil differently than methods used before. A side affect to this process is the fact that this is more environmentally friendly as there are no green house gas emissions and no use of water. So estimated from the information given from the video it seems that the short and long term impact on the environment is only positive. At the current price of oil, the future for an economically viable extraction process for tar sand oil has never been better.

This video seems reliable as the information seems to be based on objective facts and fairly thorough. The video conveys the information of the extraction system in a very clear way. Using video animation to show how to extract the oil from the oil sands makes the whole process quite comprehensible. However, the tone of the video makes it sound like an advertisement, more explaining the economical feasibility of extracting oil from oil sands. It states that sand is returned cleaner and that solvents used are unharmful to the environment. However, Nothing is said about the change in the environment because of the extraction of the soil. If soil is taken and instead sold after it comes out clean, then there will be a dramatic change in the landscape. Also, it is not told whether oil from oil sands has low or high sulphur content which would lead to the release of harmful sulphur dioxide gas when it is burnt. Upon 'cleaning' the soil, nutrients in the soil may have been lost resulting in clean but infertile soil. Overall. the video explains the process of sand oil extraction well but fails to develop and give details of all possible harms.

Title of media: Mineral dig may diversify mining in state
Medium: Online News Services, Internet

To fully understand the media article provided, the following terms have been defined:
Molybdenum: is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo.

Nevada is renowned worldwide as one of the leading producers of gold and silver. By 2010 it may become known as one of the world's top producers of a mineral few people know much about, molybdenum. Molybdenum is a mineral used as an agent to harden construction steel and develop stainless steel materials used in oil exploration and pipelines and in the refining of crude oil. General Moly, a mining company, is working to acquire land and environmental permits to develop an open-pit mine about 20 miles north of central Nevada. If successful, this would turn the tourism-dependent town of 500 people into a small boomtown with high-paying jobs that would give the county and the state a healthy economic boost and improve with the addition of housing and improvements to the infrastructure and the local school district footed by General Moly. The mine is predicted to have a 44-year life, one of the longest in Nevada mining history. In pit mining, it's a drill and blast, truck and shuttle operation. General Moly expects to dig 60,000 tons of rock a day that would be crushed, ground and reduced to rock size. Holes are drilled and filled with explosives. After the charges are detonated, the boulders are broken into smaller sizes and loaded on 240-ton capacity haul trucks. An on-site assay lab determines if there's enough molybdenum to be economically processed. The molybdenum-filled boulders are processed; the rest go to a waste pile. The boulders that are saved are crushed, ground and reduced to slurry that is placed in tanks. A flotation reagent - pine oil - is added and air is injected. Because of the action of the reagent, the molybdenum adheres to the surface of the bubbles produced. The top of the tank becomes a froth, which is decanted, dried, filtered, leeched and roasted to become the finished product, ready for shipment. Because the mine is just a mile from a state highway, it will be relatively easy for the company to ship the product. In addition, a major east-west railroad line is about 40 miles away.
This is a computer drawing of an open-pit mine to show how it works.
Using and Managing the Lithosphere - Environmental Management

Unfortunately the environmental issues are not described at all, which is a weakness in the article. The article describes the economic impact on the society, but as a reader you are also very interested in knowing the consequences of the environmental impact.

I do not think this article is very reliable as it only focuses on the positives and is biased which doesn't give a reliable impression. You can easily sense that Richard N. Velotta, the writer, is trying to sell this idea and not explain the impacts and consequences of it.

Oil Reserves In the World

The above picture shows the amount of oil, in major places on the earth in billions of barrells. As you can see the most amount of oil is found near the gulf. Which is approximately 266.8 billion barrells.

This website is quite biased, firstly the author demonstrates only positive comments towards the article, only showing that people are starting to add investments to conserving oil. On one site people invested $1.4 Billion to conserve oil so that peopl will not dig it out of the ground. To find the site more reliable, firstly it should come from a pretty well known media site and it should be completely unbiased so the whole truth is told.

Title of Media:Aluminium recycling helps Africa
Medium: Online News Services

From what I have read I feel that there is no vocabulary that cannot be understood. Everything is well crafted and quite general; which demonstrates that it is easily comprehended. I have chosen this web page because from the web pages that I have researched on this web page is the most relative and informative on a specific topic that I am researching one which is recycling. This website is showing on the progress that the people have made on how much they have recycled. In the last 12 months the world has recycled 88 tonnes of aluminum. Usually any recycled aluminum is either used to make drink cans or used as extra car parts. Spokesmen have said that recycling aluminum materials is a lot more beneficial than producing fresh aluminum. It is very cost-effective with every kg that is recycled saving 14 kW of electricity. This could mean drastic changes of power shortages within long period of time. The issue that this creates if the rate of recycling decreases is that there will be a lot more power shortages. The amount of oil reserves will be a lot less if people weren't recycling over the years since fossil fuels would be used to generate the large amounst of energy required to produce aluminium.

The media used on this website is BBC. This website is very short but informative, which is why it is very useful. This website conveys my topic very well. It contains all the main aspects and surrounding information on to making a website which fulfills the questions that lie unanswered in a part of my topic. This website is addressing only on the positive effects that have been committed. Such as how much the world has recycled and how much it could help the environment. However this does not discredit the information since there cannot be said to be any disadvantages to recylcing. Recycling results in sustainable development by limiting the depletion of aluminium in the Earth by simply using what has already been taken out. The article is indirectly related to the very current problem of fossil fuel reserve depletion. With this recent recycling project, energy and aluminium as a resource are saved. The reliability of the article is enhanced by the quotes given, taken from councillor Charles Gerrish. This means that the information provided in the article was not twisted in anyway to give different meanings and came straight from its source.

Using and Managing the Lithosphere - Environmental Management This picture shows how much USA has recycled and how much they produced through 29 years (1972-2001). As you can see the amount cans produced is not so much higher than cans recycled near the 1970’s, altough when seen as a percentage, less cans were recycled in the earlier years. But as time went on the amount of cans recycled has had a drastic change. The amount of cans produced is just a little lower than double of what is recycled. Although the number of cans produced had remained about the same during the last 8 years, the number of cans recycled has shown a very slight decrease.

Title of Media: Beyond Fossil Fuels

Media: Online Newspaper Article

This website was chosen because it is reliable and well crafted, proving its reliability. The author, Dr. B Semple has talked about the world’s current state and what should be done for the environment to stay more stable for the coming generations. If we take Dr. B Semple’s opinion and method there will be a lot more conservation of oil, there will be less pollution in the atmosphere and global warming will reduce drastically. This could have a severe change in the short and long term impacts of the world. The environmental issue has already been told in his analysis on conservation of oil. Dr. B Semple has been discussing the world's need for a renewable resource that can generate a lot of power with out damaging our world further. It also needs to be cheap and easy to set up as well as reliable and effective for fulfilling the electricity demand of the people. Dr. B Semple has listed many different ways in approaching this renewable resource. One well known alternative with much potential is solar power. It does not need power to work, only solar panels, which directly convert the rays from the sun into electricity (photovoltaic cells). This renewable resource has a high set up cost due to the expensive panels but is very effective in the long term. This website is very useful on conveying my topic question because it answers all the points on conserving oil allowing us to study the advantages and disadvantages of alternative resources.

Using and Managing the Lithosphere - Environmental Management

This is picture shows the cost of the solar power in use in the world. Visibly, the solar power costs less compared to the average utility costs. However solar power does not create enough energy to fulfill the demand of the people. So the solar power need more improvement to support the demand of electricity. The SPS (Solar Power Satellite) are satellites that are in orbit around the earth. In the graph the SPS shows how much electricity is sent down to the earth which is then converted into energy through solar panels. The initial set up cost can be seen followed by a gradual increase in the graph representing further costs to maintain the utilities and the SPS.

As the time goes by, there is a higher demand of power. So to compensate for their demand there needs to be more SPS's in orbit, so more electricity can be formed. Although there are more SPS's in orbit there are not enough to fulfill the people demand. If solar power is to be used as an alternative resource more globally, then research must be done to improve the efficiency of the solar panels.

Written by someone with a PhD and coming from a reasonably well known online newspaper service, the New York Times, this article can be seen as reliable in the information it gives. However, when examining the actual content of the article, the overall sense is biased. Only positive information concerning the alternative resources mentioned are given. The article fails to give a full description of all the drawbacks and disadvantages involved. Because of this, a complete understanding of the situation of using alternative resources cannot be gained and for this to happen, further unbiased information must be found.

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