Updated Environmental Quiz 2014

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Updated Environmental Quiz 2014 - Quiz

Over 10,000 college and high school students, boy scouts, general audiences of adults, forest industry employees, and even community and legislative leaders have taken the quiz over the past 23 years. Now available on-line as an interactive tool, the quiz is easier than ever to use. Those who take the on-line version receive immediate feedback upon completion. More information about the quiz is available HERE.

So what is your environmental IQ? Take the quiz today – then challenge your friends, classmates or co-workers to try their hand as well.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    True (T) or False (F). The United States is a net exporter of most raw materials used by industry today.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. The U.S. is today a net IMPORTER of most categories of industrial raw materials, including metals, Portland and masonry cement, petroleum (the basis for plastics), and wood and wood products.

    Rate this question:

  • 2. 

    True (T) or False (F). Energy consumption per capita (per person) in the United States is twice that of the European Union.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. Per capita consumption of energy is also significantly higher than in several nations often listed as offering a higher or comparable quality of life as in the United States.

    Rate this question:

  • 3. 

    The number one cause of tropical deforestation worldwide is:

    • A.

      Commercial logging

    • B.

      Wildfire

    • C.

      Clearing of lands for agricultural use

    • D.

      Gathering of firewood

    • E.

      Building of roads and cities

    Correct Answer
    C. Clearing of lands for agricultural use
    Explanation
    Clearing of lands for agricultural use (c) is by far the leading cause of tropical deforestation worldwide.

    Rate this question:

  • 4. 

    True (T) or False (F). Growing trees capture carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. In the process of photosynthesis, water from the ground is combined in the leaves with carbon dioxide from the air to form glucose and other sugars, and oxygen that is released to the atmosphere. The sugars are used to form wood.

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  • 5. 

    True (T) or False (F). As originally established, it was never intended that the National Forests of the United States would be periodically harvested to obtain timber that would be used in meeting the nation's need for wood.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. One of the specifically stated reasons for establishment of the National Forests was to ensure a continuous supply of wood for U.S. citizens.

    Rate this question:

  • 6. 

    True (T) or False (F). At current rates of deforestation, 40 percent of current forests in the United States will be lost by 2050.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. Forests actually increased in area coverage in the United States between 1985 and 2012. However, a 2012 assessment of U.S. forests predicted that 2-5% of the current area of forest land in the U.S. may be converted to non-forest uses by 2060.

    Rate this question:

  • 7. 

    True (T) or False (F). In the U.S., more species of plants and animals have been driven to extinction by logging activity than any other activity of humankind.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. There is no documented evidence of even one plant or animal species having been driven to extinction by logging activity in the United States.

    Rate this question:

  • 8. 

    True (T) or False (F). Under current United States law, forest harvesting is allowed within federally designated wilderness areas.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. Forest harvesting is not allowed in federally designated wilderness areas.

    Rate this question:

  • 9. 

    True (T) or False (F). Considering the total annual harvest of forests in the United States and the total consumption of wood and wood fiber products within our country, the U.S. is a net importer of wood and wood products.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. The United States is a net importer of about 25% of the softwood lumber consumed annually within the country. When all products are considered, including exports of logs, and chips, the U.S. is a net importer of about 9% of the total wood and wood fiber consumed within its borders. Prior to the recent recession, U.S. net imports of wood were 15-20% of domestic consumption. The United States has been a net importer of wood for over 45 years.

    Rate this question:

  • 10. 

    True (T) or False (F). Reduced paper consumption is likely to result in a greater extent of forest cover in the United States.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    This statement is very likely False. The vast majority of wood used for papermaking in the United States comes from privately-owned forest land, two-thirds of which is in the Southeastern part of the country. Should consumption of paper, and thus pulpwood, decline markedly many forest owners are likely to convert their forested lands to agriculture or some other non-forest use.

    Rate this question:

  • 11. 

    True (T) or False (F). Consumption of mineral resources globally has increased sharply over the past 30 years.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. Rapidly rising consumption in China and other developing countries has sharply increased demand for mineral, timber, and fuel resources, with consumption of minerals rising globally more rapidly than the rate of population growth.

    Rate this question:

  • 12. 

    True (T) or False (F). The raw material that is used in the greatest quantity in the United States today, and which accounts for almost one-third (by weight) of the total raw materials used annually, is steel.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    B. False (F)
    Explanation
    False. More wood is consumed annually in the United States, on both a volume and weight basis, than ALL metals and ALL types of plastics combined.

    Rate this question:

  • 13. 

    True (T) or False (F). Globally, the area of forests is declining, mostly due to human activity.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. About 12-13 million acres of forest are converted to non-forest uses annually, primarily in the tropical regions where population growth is greatest. In some areas of the world, such as the United States and in Europe, forest cover is increasing.

    Rate this question:

  • 14. 

    The population of the world in 1950 was about 2.6 billion. The world population is currently about:

    • A.

      3.4 billion

    • B.

      7.2 billion

    • C.

      9.3 billion

    • D.

      11.5 billion

    Correct Answer
    B. 7.2 billion
    Explanation
    As of July 1st, 2014 the world population was estimated to be 7.2 billion (b).

    Rate this question:

  • 15. 

    The population of the world is currently increasing at a rate of 8,900 people per _______.

    • A.

      Month

    • B.

      Week

    • C.

      Day

    • D.

      Hour

    Correct Answer
    D. Hour
    Explanation
    The world population is currently increasing at an estimated rate of 8,880 per hour (d).

    Rate this question:

  • 16. 

    The estimated world population in the year 2050 is about:

    • A.

      3.4 billion

    • B.

      6.8 billion

    • C.

      9.4 billion

    • D.

      11.5 billion

    Correct Answer
    C. 9.4 billion
    Explanation
    The medium projection of world population for the year 2050 by the International Programs Center of the U.S. Census Bureau is 9.4 billion (c). The Population Reference Bureau estimate for the year 2050 is 9.6 billion.

    Rate this question:

  • 17. 

    The population of the United States in 1960 (54 years ago) was 181 million. On July 1st, 2014 the U.S. population was estimated to be ________________.

    • A.

      187 million

    • B.

      220 million

    • C.

      319 million

    • D.

      420 million

    • E.

      511 million

    Correct Answer
    C. 319 million
    Explanation
    The population of the United States July 1st, 2014 was about 319 million (c).

    Rate this question:

  • 18. 

    The area covered by forests in the United States today is approximately _______ of the forested area that existed in 1600.

    • A.

      73 percent

    • B.

      50 percent

    • C.

      33 percent

    • D.

      17 percent

    Correct Answer
    A. 73 percent
    Explanation
    There are 766 million acres of forests in the U.S. today, about 73% (a) of the 1.044 billion acres of forests estimated to have covered what is now the United States in the year 1600.

    Rate this question:

  • 19. 

    True (T) or False (F). The geographic area that encompasses the United States today has greater forest coverage than the same geographic area did in 1920.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. In 1920 there were an estimated 732 million acres of forest covering the area that now comprises the United States. Today there are 766 million acres of forest. The current forested area is within one percent of the forest area of approximately 755 to 760 million acres that existed in 1907.

    Rate this question:

  • 20. 

    Which of the following statements most accurately describes United States forests:

    • A.

      Forest harvest exceeds net growth by 20 percent.

    • B.

      Forest harvest exceeds net growth by 5 percent.

    • C.

      Forest harvest roughly equals net growth.

    • D.

      Net forest growth exceeds harvest by 29 percent.

    • E.

      Net forest growth exceeds harvest by more than 100 percent.

    Correct Answer
    E. Net forest growth exceeds harvest by more than 100 percent.
    Explanation
    Net growth of forests in the United States substantially exceeds harvest. In the most recent assessment of U.S. forest land (USDA-Forest Service, RPA Assessment 2012) net growth was estimated to exceed removals by 105% (e) – i.e. net growth is more than double net removals. These figures do not include growth within areas designated as parks, reserves, or wilderness areas. If growing on all lands were counted the net growth figure would likely be higher than that indicated above.

    Rate this question:

  • 21. 

    As a percentage of all the paper consumed in the United States in 2013, ________ was recovered for reuse.

    • A.

      15 percent

    • B.

      38 percent

    • C.

      63 percent

    • D.

      81 percent

    Correct Answer
    C. 63 percent
    Explanation
    In 2013 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 63.5 percent (c) of all paper used in the United States was collected for reuse.

    Rate this question:

  • 22. 

    Recovered paper provided _____ of the fiber used in manufacturing paper in the United States in 2013.

    • A.

      15 percent

    • B.

      38 percent

    • C.

      63 percent

    • D.

      81 percent

    Correct Answer
    B. 38 percent
    Explanation
    Recovered paper provided about 38.8 percent of the U.S. paper industry's fiber in 2013 (b). The difference between the wastepaper collection rate (63 percent) and the recovered paper use rate (38 percent) is largely traceable to the fact that the United States is the world's largest exporter of waste paper. Virtually all exported wastepaper is also used in making paper and paperboard.

    Rate this question:

  • 23. 

    True (T) or False (F).  The manufacture of wood construction materials generally results in far lower environmental impacts than when similar construction materials are manufactured from steel, aluminum, plastic, or concrete.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. Well-documented environmental life cycle inventories of various raw materials production processes conducted by research organizations around the world show that wood products can be manufactured with relatively little environmental impact compared to potential alternatives. Even when wood products are compared to cement-based and recycled metal products, energy consumption and associated environmental impacts associated with wood-based materials manufacture are generally substantially lower.

    Rate this question:

  • 24. 

    True (T) or False (F). The world's most economically developed countries consume a far larger share of the world's industrial raw materials than their collective share of world population.

    • A.

      True (T)

    • B.

      False (F)

    Correct Answer
    A. True (T)
    Explanation
    True. As an example of this, a 2004 study commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) found that just five countries – the United States, UK, France, Germany, and Japan – that together accounted for 10.2% of the world population, consumed 28, 33, 40, 44, 45, 45, and 47%, respectively, of the world’s iron, crude steel, zinc, tin, copper, aluminum, and nickel. Cement and wood consumption on a per capita basis was also significantly greater.

    Recently, the world’s second most populous country – China – until recently classed as economically underdeveloped,
    has begun to consume vast quantities of raw materials. Addition of China to the list above would yield truly stunning consumption numbers.

    Rate this question:

  • 25. 

    China's emissions of carbon dioxide in 2012 were greater than those of any other nation, and 90% greater than those of the United States. In that same year, China's per capita emissions of carbon dioxide were:

    • A.

      35 percent greater than the U.S.

    • B.

      15 percent greater than the U.S.

    • C.

      About the same as in the U.S.

    • D.

      Less than one-half those of the U.S.

    • E.

      Less than one-third those of the U.S.

    Correct Answer
    D. Less than one-half those of the U.S.
    Explanation
    Carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 for China, the European Union, and the United States were estimated at 9.9, 7.4, and 5.2 billion metric tons, respectively. China’s per capita CO2 emissions in that same year were 7.1 metric tons while emissions for the E.U. were 7.4 metric tons and those of the U.S. 16.4 metric tons. Consequently, China’s per capita CO2 emissions were less than one-half of those of the U.S. in 2012 (d).

    Rate this question:

  • 26. 

    The medium (most likely) estimate of the U.S. population in the year 2060 is:

    • A.

      220 million

    • B.

      319 million

    • C.

      420 million

    • D.

      511 million

    Correct Answer
    C. 420 million
    Explanation
    The projected population of the U.S. in 2060 is 420 million (c), an increase of just over 100 million from mid-year 2014. The population of the U.S. in 1914 was about 99 million.

    Rate this question:

  • 27. 

    China’s current population (mid-year 2014) is 1.36 billion. Assuming a continuation of the current U.S. population growth (0.72% annually), how many years would it take for the U.S. population to become equal to the current population of China?

    • A.

      50

    • B.

      100

    • C.

      200

    • D.

      400

    • E.

      1,000

    Correct Answer
    C. 200
    Explanation
    If the U.S. population were to continue growing at a rate of 0.72% annually the U.S. population would surpass China’s current population level in 200 years, or by 2214. At that point the U.S. population would be 4 times larger than it is today.

    If the U.S. population were to continue its current rate of growth (a rate of growth that many people would say is negligible) for the next 400 years, the population would increase to over 5.1 billion (the current world population is 7.2 billion). Continuation of the current rate of growth for the next 1,000 years would result in a U.S. population of over 326 billion!

    China’s population is also growing, currently at an annual rate of 0.48% annually. If this rate of growth were to continue, China’s population in the year 2100 would approximate 2 billion (as compared to 1.36 billion in 2014).

    Rate this question:

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