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1.2: Converting to geometric form

You have seen how any vector given in geometric form, in terms of magnitude and direction, can be written in component form. You will now see how conversion in the opposite sense may be achieved, starting from component form. In other words, given a vector a = a 1 i + a 2 j, what are its magnitude |a| and direction θ?

The first part of this question is dealt with using Pythagoras’ Theorem: the magnitude of a v
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1.3.6 Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias can be useful reference texts to use to start your research. There are some available online, such as Wikipedia, which is a freely available collaborative encyclopedia.


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1.3.5 Journals

Journals and articles written by academics or experts are an excellent source of information. Journals are usually published monthly or quarterly, and contain a selection of articles providing details of recent research. Often they will also contain reviews of relevant books. They are usually published more quickly than books, and so are often more up to date.

To access content of journals, most publishers require a subscription. There are, however, some journals which you can freely ac
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1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although both search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by
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References

Baggott, S. L., Cardenas, L., Garnett, E., Jackson, J., Mobbs, D. C., Murrells, T., Passant, N., Thomson, A. and Watterson, J. D. (2007) UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 1990 to 2005, Harwell, Oxfordshire, AEA Technology.
Brower, M. and Leon, W. (1999) The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, New York, Three Rivers Press.
Cabinet Office (2007) Po
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1.3.1 The vertical ‘structure’ of the atmosphere

The atmosphere is not a simple, uniform slab of absorbing material. On the contrary, it gets progressively ‘thinner’ or less dense with increasing altitude (height above mean sea level); i.e. the total number of molecules in a given volume of air is lower, and so is the pressure. About 80% of the total mass of the atmosphere is within some 10 km of the surface; 99.9% lies below 50 km.

The important corollary is that the key greenhouse gas molecules (H2O and CO
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1.2.6 Defining global markets

Global markets for manufactured goods, as opposed to, say, primary commodities such as oil and timber, arose largely in the second half of the twentieth century as trade between countries intensified. The lowering of transport costs and the relative fall in trade barriers enabled firms in one country to compete with a domestic rival in another. The supply of manufactured goods across the globe as a result of worldwide demand, principally from the affluent economies, thus heightened competitio
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1.1.2 Activity 1

You have already glanced at Figure 1 and some of the worki
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6.6.2 The World Energy Council scenarios

What are the possibilities for radical changes in our energy systems when viewed from a world perspective? There have been numerous studies of the various future options for the world's energy systems. One of the most recent and most comprehensive was produced in 1998 by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the World Energy Council (WEC), a version of which was published in 2000 as part of the United Nations’ World Energy Assessment (United Nations Dev
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5.3 Emergency planning as a formal requirement

Several pieces of legislation make the preparation of emergency plans a statutory requirement. The European Directive on the control of major accident hazards (Council of the European Union, 1996a), the ‘Seveso II Directive’, outlines the planning requirements for industrial sites with large inventories of hazardous substances. In the UK, the requirements of this directive have been incorporated into the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (Health and Safety Executive, 1999a). I
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References

Blackmore, R. and Reddish, A. (eds.) (1996) Global Environmental Issues, Hodder & Stoughton in association with the Open University.
Blowers, A. (ed.) (1993) Planning for a Sustainable Environment, A report by the Town and Country Planning Association, London: Earthscan.
Brezet, J.C. and Van Hemel, C. (eds) (1997) Ecodesign, a promising approach to sustainable produc
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4.2 The US experience: wasteful innovation?

In the 1950s and 1960s many industrialised countries experienced a prolonged period of economic expansion which, together with the rise of consumerism, created an increased demand for domestic appliances. With ready access to cheap supplies of fuel, there was little or no incentive for manufacturers or consumers to worry about energy conservation. Nowhere was this more evident than in the US, as the following extract from the influential book Factor Four of the design developments in d
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Learning outcomes

When you have completed this unit you should have:

  • developed an awareness of different ways in which our use of technology can affect the environment

  • developed your own skills in reading and interpreting texts and diagrams containing some technical descriptions


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6.4 International retributive justice

A further difference between communitarians and cosmopolitans arises over the question of retributive justice. Communitarians think that it is the responsibility of each state to uphold justice. Collectively, states can pursue international justice through the auspices of the UN, and are answerable to each other, to public opinion and to NGOs. However, there is no basis for claims to universal jurisdiction, and to deal with matters not found in specific states (such as piracy), or that cross
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6.3 International distributive justice

While communitarians strongly support an interpretation of the UN postwar settlement based on the principle of national self-determination, many cosmopolitans seek to go beyond that settlement. Those who endorse cosmopolitanism look forward to a further development and structuring of global relations, governed by the principle of universal rights, in which the exercise of national sovereignty is conditional on respect for human rights. Some, but not all, cosmopolitans wish to institutionalise
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2.2 Climate change in a globalised world

As you will recall from Reading 1A, the people of Tuvalu are now arguing that larger and more affluent nations should take responsibility for the climatic changes threatening their country. As Paani Laupepa from the Tuvalu environment ministry put it: ‘We are on the front line … through no fault of our own. The industrialised countries caused the problem, but we are suffering the consequences’ (Lynas, 2003). Before we look more closely at this charge, and the scientific evidence that is
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2.1 Issues of responsibility

The aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami saw an unprecedented aid effort to assist the affected regions. In the early days after the disaster, pledges of financial assistance from overseas governments were often outstripped by the generosity of their own populaces. This was a case when ordinary people around the world saw and were moved by the tragic circumstances of others far away (Rose, 2006), and they responded with gifts of money and provisions, and even with offers of their own sk
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4.3 Asymmetry between labour and capital

Finally, stepping back to get a broader picture, I would like to point to the asymmetry built into the emerging institutional framework governing international economic relations, of which the WTO is one important pillar. The various WTO agreements encourage free movement of goods and certain kinds of services. Possible agreements on cross-border investment and competition policy may allow for freer international movement of capital, already encouraged by the IMF. Yet there is no move towards
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3.2.3 Fighting on too many fronts

Although I have dwelt on the agreements relating to agriculture, textiles, and intellectual property, there are some two dozen others, each involving intricate legal and technical details. These include agreements on:

  • Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures: these are standards applied to imported agricultural products so as to protect plants, animals and humans in the importing country. However, these standards are often arbitrarily used to restric
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4.3 Thermally activated processes

Thermally activated processes are those that get going not because of average effects, but because the fraction of particles in the tail of the distribution increases with temperature. This is a basic property of the thermal distribution we have been discussing. For instance, what would take 30 000 years at room temperature may happen in under one second at 1000 K if it depends on how many particles have an energy in excess of 1 eV.

The next step in the study of energy distribu
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