Glossary of Environmental Terms

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Sagebrush Rebellion - a movement started by ranchers and miners during the late 1970s in response to efforts of the Bureau of Land Management (B.L.M.) to improve management of federal lands. While its announced goal was to give the lands "back" to the western states, its real goal -- and the one it achieved -- was to force the B.L.M. to abandon its new approach to public land management.

salvage logging - the logging of dead or diseased trees in order to improve overall forest health; used by timber companies as a rationalization to log otherwise protected areas.

second-growth forests - forests that have grown back after being logged.

SERP (Super Efficient Refrigerator Program) - an organization of 24 U.S. utilities that developed a $30 million competition to produce a refrigerator at least 25% lower in energy use and 85% lower in ozone depletion than projected 1994 models. The winning product, produced by Whirlpool, cut energy use by 40% in 1995.

sick building syndrome - a human health condition where infections linger, caused by exposure to contaminants within a building as a result of poor ventilation.

silos - fixed vertical underground structures made of steel and concrete that house an ICBM and its launch support equipment.

SIP (State Implementation Plan) - mandate for achieving health-based air quality standards.

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SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) - a ballistic missile carried by and launched from a submarine.

smog - a dense, discolored radiation fog containing large quanities of soot, ash, and gaseous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, responsible for human respiratory ailments. Most industrialized nations have implemented legislation to promote the use of smokeless fuel and reduce emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

solar energy - energy derived from sunlight.

solid waste - non-liquid, non gaseous category of waste from non-toxic household and commercial sources.

soot - a fine, sticky powder, comprised mostly of carbon, formed by the burning of fossil fuels.

Speaker - the leader of the House of Representatives, who controls debate and the order of discussion; chosen by vote of the majority party.

spotted owl - reclusive bird, found in the American West, requiring old-growth forest habitat to survive.

sprawl - the area taken up by a large or expanding development or city.

state land - land owned and administered by the state in which it is located.

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state parks - parks and recreation areas owned and administered by the state in which they are located.

stockpile - nuclear weapons and components under custody of the U.S. Department of Defense.

straddling stocks - fish populations that straddle a boundary between domestic and international waters.

stratosphere - the upper portion of the atmosphere (approximately 11 km to 50 km above the surface of the earth).

strip mining - mining technique in which the land and vegetation covering the mineral being sought are stripped away by huge machines, usually damaging the land severely and limiting subsequent uses.

sulfur dioxide (SO2) - a heavy, smelly gas which can be condensed into a clear liquid; used to make sulfuric acid, bleaching agents, preservatives and refrigerants; a major source of air pollution in industrial areas.

surface water - water located above ground (e.g., rivers, lakes).

sustainable communities - communities capable of maintaining their present levels of growth without damaging effects.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
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