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Past Year Question Essay

PART A

Public Awareness is the Key to Fight Pollution Pollution in the most basic form – littering of rubbish or clogged drains – to that of higher level such as dumping of hazardous waste and illegal logging, is chiefly attributed to lack of public awareness, so contends Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. As Malaysia joins the ranks of industrialized nations, pollution is fast becoming a menace that the country has to cope with. ‘No amount of law can succeed in deterring people from polluting the environment so long as they are unaware about the adverse consequences of their action,’ he said. ‘Although we have come down hard on the culprits, we can never be satisfied as we keep on raising the bar by benchmarking against developed nations in the likes of Japan, Sweden and New Zealand where every citizen is fully aware of their role in environmental preservation,’ he adds. As for water pollution, once a source of drinking water, many rivers in Malaysia have become dumping grounds for various types of hazardous wastes. Of all natural resources, water is the most severely threatened by pollution in this country. In 2006, gypsum, oil and hydrocarbon, dross, heavy metal sludge, mineral sludge and e-waste were the main categories of waste produced in the country. Of the total wastes produced, 110,814 metric tonnes were treated and disposed at Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd, 9,360 metric tonnes (0.8%) at Trinekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and 11,364 metric tonnes were incinerated at licensed off-site facilities. Source: Malaysian Business 16/9/2007

QUESTION 1

a)

“As Malaysia joins the ranks of industrialised nations, pollution is fast becoming a menace that the country has to cope with”. Based on your knowledge on the Materials Balance Model, explain this statement. (5 marks)

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b)

Water pollution in Malaysia is caused by point and non-point sources. What is the difference between the two? Which classification does the group of water pollution sources mentioned in the last paragraph of the article belong to? (5 marks) What type of pollution control method can be implied from paragraphs 2 and 3 in the article? Describe the method and give an example. (5 marks) “Pollution … is chiefly attributed to lack of public awareness”. Assuming you are an environmental economist, do you agree or disagree with the statement? Elaborate. (5 marks)

c)

d)

e)

What is the difference between positive and normative economics? Suggest one sentence in the article that reflects a positive statement. (5 marks)

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QUESTION 1

a)

What is sustainable development? Define and illustrate with an example. (5 marks)

b)

How is green gross domestic product (GDP) different from the traditional GDP? What are the arguments for the use of green GDP as growth indicator? (10 marks) With the help of relevant diagram, explain social welfare in the form of consumer surplus. (10 marks)

c)

QUESTION 2

a)

What is meant by allocative efficiency? Explain. (5 marks)

b)

How does a deposit-refund system work in controlling domestic solid waste disposal? Explain with the assistance of a diagram. (10 marks) Define deforestation and its causes. Why is accelerated deforestation a concern in many countries? (10 marks)

c)

QUESTION 3

a)

Describe the occurrence of global warming. (5 marks)

b)

What are the challenges faced by countries in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their countries? Explain. (10 marks) Explain the efforts done at international level to reduce ozone depletion problem. (10 marks)

c)

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CONFIDENTIAL QUESTION 4

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a)

Market failure can be associated with externalities. Define market failure and externalities. (5 marks) Explain how free-ridership leads to market failure of a public good such as clean air. (10 marks)

b)

c)

Palm oil refineries generate social cost to society in the form of smoke and particles. Explain and model in a diagram the efficient equilibrium for palm
oil in the presence of these atmospheric emissions. (10 marks)

QUESTION 5

Briefly explain the following:

a) b) c) d) e)

Explicit and implicit environmental costs (5 marks) Coase theorem (5 marks) Environmental Kuznets curve (5 marks) Polluter-Pay-Principle (5 marks) Acid deposition (5 marks)

END OF QUESTION PAPER

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