Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AP Environmental Science Prompt

AP Environmental Science
2011 Free-Response Question

4. The Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on Alaska's North Slope is frequently in the news because petroleum geologists estimate that there are billions of barrels of economically recoverable oil beneath the surface of its frozen tundra.  According to a 1998 US Geological Survey (USGS)  estimate, ANWR could contain up to 10 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.  Oil company officials advocate opening the refuge to oil exploration and the subsequent development of its petroleum resources.  Environmentalists argue that oil exploration and development will damage this fragile ecosystem and urge Congress to protect ANWR by designating it as a wilderness area. 

(a) The US consumes approximately 20 million barrels of oil per day.  According to the USGS estimate, for how many days would the technically recoverable oil resource in ANWR supply the total US demand for oil?

What the hell is this?  Numbers?  Calculating?  I didn't take AP Calc for a reason dumbasses.  This is AP Environmental Science.  Aren't you supposed to ask me some question about what we use oil for or what purpose do clouds serve?  Both are easy answers.  What do we use oil for?  Well, gee wizz, we use it to loosen the Tin Man's joints.  What purpose do clouds serve?  Entertainment.  Oh my, I think I see a cloud in the shape of an angler fish. 

(b) Describe TWO characteristics of arctic tundra that make it fragile and explain how these two characteristics make the tundra particularly susceptible to damage from human impacts. 

I don't like this question.  So, I'm answering my own.  I think we should save the tundra because with out the North Pole, Santa Clause would not have a place to live and he would die fat and alone because reindeer can't live in tropical locations and if they die, then Santa can't drive his sleigh which means he's not only out of a paycheck, but also out of a reason for existing.  All the elves would lose their job too.  Is crippling a local economy really worth drilling for oil so we can loosen the Tin Man's joints?  He doesn't even have a heart and he agrees with me. 

(c) Identify TWO activities that would be associated with the development of ANWR petroleum resources and describe a substantial environmental impact of each in ANWR.

Ow.  My hands hurt.

(d) Identify and describe TWO major end uses of the 20 million barrels of oil that the US consumes each day and for each use describe a conservation measure that would substantially reduce US consumption.

As stated earlier, we use oil to loosen the Tin Man's joints.  We also use oil to cook with, such as vegetable oil and extra virgin olive oil.  As for a conversation measure:
"Hey Bob, I think we should substantially reduce our consumption."
"Bill, I totally agree with you.  I've been consuming far too many donuts.  Any ideas on how we could consume less?"
"Why yes Bob.  We can just not eat donuts."
"Brilliant idea."
That conversation measures about two inches. 


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