Environmental science

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1) The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment primarily characterized human impact on:

A) atmospheric carbon dioxide levels B) degradation of the ozone layer C) ecosystem services D) plate tectonics

2) The Fourth Assessment Report, released in 2007 concluded that global climate change is caused at least in part by the:

A) human use of fossil fuels to generate electricity and power engines B) human use of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigeration systems C) harvesting of millions of acres of corn, wheat, and soybeans around the world every year D) depletion of groundwater supplies

3) Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to global warming by:

A) transmitting visible light and absorbing infrared radiation B) transmitting infrared radiation and absorbing visible light C) transmitting infrared radiation and visible light D) absorbing infrared radiation and visible light

4) The Doha Round of WTO meetings have failed to reach agreement about:

A) currency exchange B) converting the economies of developed nation from green to brown C) farm subsidies and trade barriers D) how to control public protests at future WTO meetings

5) The classical economic paradigm and the new ecological economic paradigm differ in the way that:

A) each views the land, either as a resource within the human economy (classical) or as something that encompasses the economy (ecological) B) the value of capital is assessed, either in dollars (classical) or as resources that can be mined from the Earth (ecological) C) labor is determined, either as the number of people who are unemployed, not counting farmers (classical), or the number of people who are unemployed counting farmers (ecological) D) labor and capital are assessed, either counting the total labor and capital resources available (classical) or that which is in use in operations (ecological)

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

6) The ecological economic paradigm argues that the environment encompasses the economy because the environment is essential to provide:

A) the energy necessary to run our homes and factories. B) solar energy needed for plants and to light our environment during the day. C) transportation along highways, railways, rivers, and oceans. D) vital raw materials and ecosystem services and absorb wastes.

7) The ecological economists’ view emphasizes the role of:

A) amount and quality of capital available to industry. B) abundance of well-trained, well-educated labor that is available. C) natural ecosystems. D) public’s understanding of the natural environment.

8) In some deserts, there are mice and lizards that are about the same size. The mice eat grains and the lizards feed on insects. Given this information, we would expect that the biomass of the:

A) lizards would be about the same as the mice. B) lizards would be greater than the mice. C) mice would be greater than the lizards. D) lizards and mice would be about 10 times greater than the organisms that they consume.

9) Why are there so few ecosystems with more than four levels of consumers?

A) because biomass decreases by about 90% at each trophic level moving up B) because top consumers compete with and kill each other with increasing population size C) because consumers at these highest trophic levels typically form social groups that stop reproducing at high densities D) because predators at the highest trophic levels simply are not intelligent enough to hunt other top predators

10) The information of an energy pyramid reveals that:

A) it is expensive and inefficient to get most of your dietary calories from meats. B) it is expensive and inefficient to get most of your dietary calories from grains. C) consumers at lower trophic levels do not have as many calories as consumers at higher trophic levels. D) consumers at higher trophic levels are usually more abundant than consumers at lower trophic levels.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

11) Modern civilization and population growth had their origins in which revolution?

A) Industrial Revolution B) Medical Revolution C) Green Revolution D) Neolithic Revolution

12) More efficient technologies, better urban and regional planning, policy and industrial changes will be required to drive which revolution?

A) Industrial Revolution B) Medical Revolution C) Green Revolution D) Environmental Revolution

13) Name the two most recent of the revolutions affecting the global human population.

A) Green Revolution and Environmental Revolution B) Neolithic Revolution and Industrial Revolution C) Medical Revolution and Neolithic Revolution D) Medical Revolution and Green Revolution

14) The transition from high death rates to low death rates in population is a result of the :

A) Industrial Revolution. B) Medical Revolution. C) Green Revolution, D) Environmental Revolution.

15) The five main revolutions of human history have all resulted in:

A) a greater reliance upon fossil fuels. B) an increase in human carrying capacity. C) a reduction in the spread of disease. D) increased need for transportation.

16) Developing countries have increasingly become involved in the integrated global economy primarily due to:

A) increased use of vaccinations. B) improvements in sewage and sanitation. C) constructions of dams and irrigation canals. D) increased use of technology.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

17) A study is conducted to understand how some developing countries have made social and economic progress. Which of the following would be a surprising finding in such a study?

A) decreased fertility rates B) increased availability of clean drinking water C) decreased support of education D) a decline in extreme poverty

18) Which of the following descriptions is most characteristic of the world’s poorest people?

A) On her way to high school, a young girl walks along a path at the edge of a rice field. B) Filling a pot with clean water from a community water reserve, a mother prepares to make a meal of rice. C) A man in his 80s, smoking a cigarette, makes his way to cast a ballot in a national election. D) In a large city, a 12 year-old boy sits under a stack of tin he calls home.

19) In general, which of the following would best help to reduce extreme poverty?

A) programs specifically targeted to bring the poorest nations into the development process B) international efforts to promote economic growth in countries with the greatest poverty C) increased development of environmental protection in countries with the greatest poverty D) adoption of cultural programs that shift populations from rural to urban locations

20) Distilling salt water to make fresh water relies upon the processes of:

A) precipitation and infiltration. B) transpiration and evaporation. C) evaporation and condensation. D) condensation and transpiration.

21) Some lakes have river and stream tributaries but no outlet, losing water mainly through evaporation. Over time, we expect that such lakes will:

A) increase their fishing productivity. B) become deeper. C) become saltier. D) be good sources of drinking water.

22) Which of the following would we expect on the leeward sides of high mountain ranges?

A) rainforests B) deserts C) wetlands D) deciduous forests

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

23) The greatest worldwide use of water is for:

A) irrigation. B) industry. C) human consumption. D) washing and flushing toilets.

24) The single greatest threat to irrigated agriculture is:

A) groundwater depletion. B) global warming. C) flooding. D) None of the above

25) We would expect that soil leaching would be most severe in regions where:

A) there is little rainfall and no irrigation of crops. B) there is heavy rainfall. C) mollisols are abundant and farmers rarely plow. D) cattle are grazed and natural grasses cover the land.

26) In which of the following agricultural situations are fertilizers least needed?

A) A pumpkin patch is harvested only in the fall, and the vines remain behind. B) 1,000 acres of corn are raised and harvested for export from a midwestern farm. C) A natural prairie pasture where cattle feed and defecate. D) A field where a farmer applies cow manure after harvesting hay.

27) A farm field that has used only inorganic fertilizer for the past 20 years is most likely to have:

A) fewer soil organisms and less soil structure but increased nutrient holding capacity. B) fewer soil organisms, less soil structure, and decreased nutrient holding capacity. C) more soil organisms, more soil structure, and increased nutrient holding capacity. D) more soil organisms, less soil structure, and decreased nutrient holding capacity.

28) The charitable organization, Heifer International, uses donations to provide people in developing nations with farm animals to help feed hungry families. Heifer International is therefore contributing to:

A) the Green Revolution. B) subsistence farming. C) the Industrial Revolution. D) high impact farming.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

29) Many people in the developing world primarily rely upon a diet of rice. Such a diet, even with plenty of rice available to meet the daily calorie requirements, runs the risk of:

A) malnutrition. B) overnourishment. C) undernourishment. D) obesity.

30) Regularly providing food to regions with chronic hunger in developing countries can aggravate the problem of food supplies by:

A) changing the types of native foods consumed by the local people. B) causing nutritional deficiencies associated with a new type of food. C) causing overnourishment and the health problems associated with obesity. D) decreasing the local production of food and disrupting the local economy.

31) Even using the best methods for sustainable agriculture, Green Revolution grain crops in developed nations are ultimately limited by:

A) weather. B) pests. C) soil degradation. D) problems with transportation and storage.

32) In sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the major nutritional problems relate to:

A) inadequate exercise. B) malnutrition in pregnant women. C) undernourishment of adults. D) malnutrition and undernourishment, especially in children.

33) In the past 40 years, pesticide use has tripled yet pests still cause extensive damage to crops. Why has this increased use of pesticides not been more effective?

A) The pesticides in use today are much less powerful due to government regulations. B) The pesticides available are no longer suited for the most common types of pests. C) Increases in ultraviolet radiation and global warming break down pesticides faster. D) The widespread use of pesticides has resulted in the evolution of pesticide resistant pests

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

34) The goals of biotechnology currently include:

A) growing crops that are more resistant to drought and disease. B) producing greater crop yields in plants that can grow without water. C) altering plants to increase the production of coal. D) creating plants that do not need sunlight to grow.

35) As demands for electricity push the limits of existing electric-power-generating plants in the United States, when is it most likely that a brown-out or blackout will disrupt electricity to your home computer?

A) during a weekend in the winter B) during a weekday in the winter C) during a weekend in the summer D) during a weekday in the summer

36) A blackout like the eight-state blackout of 2003 could be prevented by:

A) using energy efficient lights in most businesses. B) a self-healing smart electrical grid. C) switching from coal to natural gas for electrical generation. D) greater use of electricity during the work week instead of weekends.

37) Fossil fuels represent:

A) a large amount of paleozoic and mesozoic biomass buried anaerobically millions of years ago. B) natural deposits of organic materials that formed long before life on Earth evolved. C) the remains of fossil animals that lived a few thousand years ago. D) sustainable sources of energy that are underused today.

38) The use of enhanced recovery by an oil company:

A) primarily depends upon the current market price of oil. B) is usually more cost effective than recovering oil using secondary recovery. C) has not yet been used because oil reserves remain abundant. D) is now routine, as every bit of oil is extracted from all available wells.

39) Currently, the greatest supply of natural gas in the United States is:

A) associated with petroleum deposits. B) in gas-rich shale. C) obtained by chemically converting petroleum into methane. D) in deposits of coal lying under Arizona and California.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

40) The Obama administration has recently revised the CAFE standards affecting fuel economy:

A) higher mileage four years sooner, in 2016. B) higher mileage in the same period, in 2020. C) lower mileage in the same period, in 2020. D) lower mileage about four years later, in 2024.

41) Nuclear power plants are especially expensive because they:

A) require the highest levels of security. B) usually cost as much to decommission as they did to build. C) have so many parts that must be coated in gold. D) are constructed of many thick layers of concrete.

42) Over the past 50 years, interest in nuclear power:

A) rose, decreased, and now is increasing again. B) decreased, rose, and now is decreasing again. C) has remained high around the world. D) was high but then declined and continues to decline worldwide.

43) About 17,000 Russian nuclear warheads have been:

A) stored widely in the former Soviet Union where they remain today with minimal protection. B) dismantled, but their nuclear waste remains in Russian facilities with minimal security. C) dismantled, with the nuclear fuel purchased by the United States for its nuclear power plants. D) concentrated in two centralized Russian locations with high levels of security, awaiting long-term storage.

44) Looking at the number of nuclear power plants under construction in 2010:

A) the largest numbers have been in the United States, Canada, and France. B) China, the Russian Federation and India are in the lead. C) nuclear power is on the way out globally, with coal-fired plants rising steeply. D) the IAEA predicts that the current trend will be reversed.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

45) Which of the following is a clear advantage in the use of nuclear power instead of fossil fuels?

A) Nuclear plants are cheaper to build than power plants that burn fossil fuels. B) Nuclear power can be used today to power most forms of public transportation. C) Nuclear power contributes less to global climate change. D) Nuclear power generates fewer wastes with lower health risks.

46) New buildings that receive the energy star rating are recognized for using:

A) solar or geothermal for at least 30% of the building’s energy needs. B) solar power for at least 50% of the building’s energy needs. C) wind power for at least 20% of the building’s energy needs. D) 40% less energy than other buildings in their class.

47) Photovoltaic cells are commonly used to power:

A) lawn mowers. B) lighthouses. C) calculators. D) industrial manufacturing.

48) Although they have tremendous advantages, wind turbines:

A) cause thousands of bird deaths each year. B) are known to dry out the soil in the surrounding region. C) make the surrounding region unsuitable for farming or ranching. D) generate greenhouse gases when producing electricity.

49) Buses and cars using fuel cells are:

A) not yet possible because the technology to safely store hydrogen is still not resolved. B) not yet available because the fuel cell generates unsafe levels of heat. C) still inefficient, largely because the fuel cells are large and heavy. D) already in use and ready for commercial production.

50) Which one of the following produces the least air pollution?

A) an automobile burning hydrogen as a fuel B) an automobile running on a hydrogen fuel cell C) a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle D) a car running on natural gas

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

51) A tidal barrage would be used to generate electricity:

A) at the mouth of a bay. B) at the bottom of a large lake. C) near the tip of an ocean peninsula. D) in the open ocean.

52)Some milk becomes contaminated with mercury. If each of the following people consume 16 ounces of this contaminated milk each day for a month, who will most likely be impacted by this poison?

A) an 82-year-old woman B) a fetus inside a mother who drinks this contaminated milk C) a 12-year-old girl D) a 51-year-old man

53) In general, countries that enjoy the best health have:

A) the warmest climates. B) diets primarily based on eating grains. C) the largest families. D) good educational systems, particularly for women.

54) Malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever are most common in:

A) North America. B) Australia and New Zealand. C) countries in the tropics. D) countries that are located nearest the poles.

55) The most effective antimalarial strategies involve the use of:

A) DDT, bed nets, and quick access to drug treatment. B) DDT, immunization, and the drainage of all standing water in a region. C) immunizations, surgery, and a change in diet. D) sterilization of mosquitoes, treatment of mosquito breeding sites, and antibiotics.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

56) Risk assessment by the EPA currently follows four sequential steps. In order, these are:

A) exposure determination, dose-response determination, hazard control, and risk identi- fication. B) risk identification, hazard characterization, dose-response determination, and expo- sure control. C) hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk char- acterization. D) risk characterization, exposure assessment, dose-response assessment, and hazard assessment.

57) The EPA’s new Tox-Cast program:

A) uses enhanced animal testing to screen potentially toxic chemicals. B) uses human cells such as stem cells to rapidly screen potentially toxic chemicals. C) has initiated media campaigns to alert the public to toxic chemicals. D) uses human cancer patients to screen potential allegins in the workplace.

58) The inside of a car or greenhouse would not heat up as much in the presence of sunshine if:

A) air was circulated within the car or within the greenhouse. B) infrared radiation passed through glass as easily as sunlight. C) infrared radiation could not pass through glass as easily as sunlight. D) sunlight could pass through glass more easily than through air.

59) Global warming is raising sea levels because of:

A) melting ice and thermal expansion. B) ocean basins compressed by continental drift. C) greatly increased precipitation. D) increased use of irrigation and drainage of wetlands on land.

60) Which one of the following has been declining globally over the past several decades?

A) nitrous oxide levels in the troposphere B) methane levels in the troposphere C) mean global temperature D) pH of the world’s oceans

61) When generally comparing life in suburban sprawl and life in the inner city, people living in the inner city:

A) walk more and shop locally. B) have larger homes and better city services. C) experience lower crime rates. D) enjoy lower-density residential living.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

62) Tired of the traffic jams downtown, Roxanne decides that she wants to move out to the suburbs; then she won’t have to spend so much time in the car. One major problem with this decision is that on average, people living in suburbs:

A) have to pay much more money for housing. B) spend much more time walking to their destinations. C) are faced with higher crime rates that add many more problems. D) spend as much time commuting as people living closer to the city.

63) The choices to live in ever-expanding suburbs, despite the costs to society and the environment, reflects a choice that places greater value on:

A) personal good over common good. B) common good over personal good. C) resource services over environmental services. D) environmental services over human services.

64) Organizations such as the Shack/Slum Dwellers International are helping the people who live in the vast slums surrounding major cities by:

A) helping them dig wells for drinking water and grow vegetable gardens near their homes. B) representing them to institutions such as the World Bank and city governments. C) constructing public transportation systems within developing cities. D) relocating them into the rural countryside where jobs are abundant.

65) One of the most common and essential ways that modern cities have become more livable is by:

A) decreasing the density of the population throughout the cities. B) shifting emphasis from personal automobiles to public transportation.

C) eliminating all city taxes and instead relying upon federal aid. D) requiring all citizens to perform monthly community service.

66) The changes in behavior of the fishermen on Tangier Island since 1997 best reflects:

A) values-based stewardship. B) personal gain. C) sound science. D) sustainable use of energy.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

67) In a chemical reaction:

A) atoms are destroyed. B) atoms are rearranged to form different kinds of matter. C) new atoms are formed. D) new elements are formed.

68) Which of the following would most likely cause the greatest harm to wild Giant Panda populations in China?

A) captive breeding of giant pandas already in zoos throughout the world B) restricting logging in regions within the current Giant Panda range C) promoting the giant panda as a national symbol of China D) the introduction of beetles that eat bamboo

69) Which one of the following statements is correct?

A) Atoms are composed of protons and compounds are composed of neutrons and electrons. B) Atoms are the smallest components of an element that have the element’s properties. C) Solids are made of elements, liquids and gases are made of compounds. D) Water is an element made from two compounds.

70) Which one of the following is a molecule but not a compound?

A) O2 B) H2O C) CO2 D) CH4

71) Most organisms use water in:

A) liquid form. B) the form of rain. C) solid form. D) gaseous form.

72) Most of the energy captured by photosynthesis is stored in chemical bonds in:

A) oxygen. B) carbon dioxide. C) water. D) glucose.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

73) In general, K-strategists have a:

A) type I survivorship pattern, and r-strategists have a type III survivorship pattern. B) type II survivorship pattern, and r-strategists have a type I survivorship pattern. C) type II survivorship pattern, and r-strategists have a type III survivorship pattern. D) type III survivorship pattern, and r-strategists have a type II survivorship pattern.

74) In general, it is rare for a parasite to:

A) feed on a host. B) kill its host. C) spread from one host to another. D) compete with other parasites for access to a host.

75) Rabbits in Australia:

A) have recently been eliminated by introducing a lethal rabbit virus. B) are an example of the disastrously high biotic potential of some introduced species. C) evolved with marsupials and are a natural part of the Australian landscape. D) have now evolved into three new species as the rabbits have adapt to their new environments.

76) Which one of the following illustrates intraspecific competition?

A) a butterfly feeding on the nectar of a daffodil flower B) a sea gull swooping down to snatch a fish from the water’s surface C) a tick and a flea sharing a dog’s back D) male red-winged blackbirds defending nesting sites from other males

77) The concept of fitness is based on two separate abilities. These are the ability to:

A) survive and reproduce. B) find a mate and have offspring. C) defend against enemies and find food. D) produce and defend a family.

78) Which one of the following is characteristic of a K-selected species?

A) fast reproductive rate B) large body size C) short life span D) production of large numbers of offspring

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

79) Rachel Carson was particularly critical of the use of DDT to:

A) eradicate mosquitoes in wetland areas. B) control the spread of Dutch elm disease. C) control pests in national parks. D) fertilize large areas of corn and soy crops.

80) The global human population in 2013 was more than:

A) 10 billion and is increasing at an annual rate of 5%. B) 2.2 billion and is no longer growing. C) 7.1 billion and is growing at a rate of 1.2%. D) 13 billion and is decreasing at a rate of 3% in developing nations.

81) 40) Because of the modern environmental movement: A) world population has remained stable. B) coal power plants are the main source of our electricity. C) federal government is less involved in environmental policy. D) solved some pollution problems.

82) The statement, “The Earth was not given to you by your parents, it was lent to you from your children” best reflects:

A) junk science. B) higher rates of consumption of non-renewable materials. C) stewardship. D) the need for a strong central or military government.

83) Which of the following has been most negatively impacted by globalization?

A) local cultures’ religious and dietary traditions B) agricultural practices C) public-health practices D) the exchange of information

84) The foundation of all science and scientific discovery is:

A) an already accepted theory. B) experiments. C) multiple hypotheses, some of which are unanswerable. D) observations.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

85) In the classical view of economic activity, households:

A) are paid for goods and services. B) pay for most of the labor. C) consume goods and services. D) provide most of the products.

86) Which is an example of produced capital?

A) stocks and bonds B) laws and policies C) organically grown mangoes D) fisheries

87) Environmental public policy is intended to:

A) promote the harvesting of natural resources. B) improve human welfare and protect the natural world. C) ensure access to natural resources for industry. D) measure the impact of industrial wastes on the environment.

88) Today, DDT is no longer used in the United States because it is banned by law. At this point, the issue has reached the:

A) control stage. B) implementation stage. C) formulation stage. D) recognition stage.

89) The modern U.S. environmental movement began as a:

A) very partisan, divided effort, but now has broad bipartisan support. B) very partisan effort, which remains partisan and highly contested today. C) broad bipartisan effort, which remains in effect today. D) broad bipartisan effort but has fractured into a very contentious partisan debate with intense lobbying.

90) The Obama administration:

A) now censors scientific study that conflicts with its position. B) now encourages the development of renewable energy and reduction of carbon emissions. C) no longer requires consultation with wildlife experts before approving projects potentially harming endangered species. D) has slashed the EPA’s budget so that little enforcement is possible.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

91) Which biome is characterized by permafrost?

A) tundra B) high latitude temperate forests C) cold deserts D) high latitude coniferous forests

92) This stage of succession starts with preexisting soil:

A) aquatic to terrestrial succession. B) primary succession. C) intermediate succession. D) secondary succession.

93) Which of the following represents a resilience mechanism?

A) crown fires resulting from many years of fire suppression B) the emergence of a meadow in a recently burned forest C) soil erosion resulting from burned soil washing away from a forest floor D) burned trees accumulating on a forest floor after a fire

94) Energy transfer between trophic levels in aquatic systems is generally:

A) less efficient than terrestrial food pyramids. B) less efficient than a detritus food web because aquatic systems lack fungi. C) inverted, in which more energy is transferred from one trophic level up to the next. D) more efficient than terrestrial systems.

95) About 40% of the land’s primary production on Earth:

A) has been destroyed by global climate change. B) has been appropriated to meet human needs. C) uses more oxygen than it produces. D) has been lost just to build enough homes for all of the people on Earth.

96) The social and economic changes in Thailand over the past 50 years have:

A) caused the population to decline by 20%. B) been at the expense of poorer nutrition for children. C) slowed population growth significantly. D) shown that the nation has yet to undergo the fertility transition.

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Final Examination

GED 108 Environmental Science

97) Two conflicting approaches to helping countries through the demographic transition require different types of aid. An attempt to provide aid using both approaches might include:

A) desalination plants to bring in more fresh water and distribution of vaccines. B) shipments of large amounts of food and improvements in sanitation systems. C) construction of recycling plants and investment in pollution control systems. D) investments in banks and distribution of birth control.

98) The most recent Cairo population conference in 1994 found widespread agreement that the greatest way to help developing countries was to:

A) limit their population growth. B) increase their use of modern medicine. C) improve their agricultural productivity. D) limit their environmental degradation.

99) The window of opportunity presented by the demographic dividend generally ends as:

A) people start having larger families. B) people live longer. C) economic pressures require more people to work. D) rural populations increase.

100) The Millennium Development Goals were wide ranging, but did not specifically address:

A) communicable disease. B) maternal health and child mortality. C) higher secondary and college education. D) environmental sustainability.

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