Journal of Environmental Protection, 2011, 2, 395-398
doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.24044 Published Online June 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JEP
The Constitutional Transformation and a Threat
of the Environment in Poland
Krzysztof R. Mazurski
The Wrocław University of Technology, Wrocław, Poland.
Received February 15th, 2011; revised March 27th, 2011; accepted May 7th, 2011.
The article concerns a problem of the quantitative seizure of a threat to natural environment. Applied taxonomic
methodleading to so called synthetic index of threat and basing on earlier tests, showed the large usefulness for
analyses in time and space. Additionally, it was undertaken analysis of connections with economic-political situation in
Poland as a result of the constitutional transformation after 1989. It was found that the intensity of anthropic pressure
had clearly decreased, but this does not have the statistical relationship with the variable size of inputs for the envi-
ronment protection.
Keywords: Environment, Measures, Th reat , Transformation, Poland
1. Introduction
The negative influence of industry is generally regarded
as a basic factor of negative anthropic pressure on natural
environment. The problem has been eased in many coun-
tries while remaining a serious concern in some of the
largest e.g. China, which develops its industry at heavy
environmental cost [1]. Presumably this follows the
Marxist idea that such matters are unimportant and the
environment has no economic value. So the natural en-
vironment has been exploited without concern over
negative results [2], but neglect of the such dangers has
caused serious problems for many societies.
Events in Poland in 1980 initiated the process which
led to the disintegration of the Soviet camp and the com-
mencement of deep transformations regarding the politi-
cal and economic system. As a result Poland has begun a
shaping of a democratic system and a free-market econ-
omy since 1989 [3]. Thereby the interesting question
appears, whether the transformation—leading a real au-
thority to the society in the system of territorial self-
governments, contributed to the improvement of the
situation within a state of the environment. For that pur-
pose investigations, carried out for the decline of the so-
cialist period in Poland, were used for the trend analysis
in the formation of the synthetic indicator of threat—fur-
ther being cited as SIT, which refers to the natural envi-
ronment of any particular country.
2. Research Methodology
Generally it should be found, that there is a fundamental
difficulty over the objective indicators to be applied in
order to ensure comparability. The answer indicates
quantitative parameters. This brings following matters, as
which features of the threat should be used,
how to lead to their comparability to the fact of an
expression of parameters in different physical units.
Our database has used the published resources of the
Polish Statistical Head Office (GUS) available since
1979. In reference to the state of environment one can
speak about stimulants and destimulants, with the latter
relating to threats. It was necessary to use the same cal-
culation methods and indices to get exactly comparable
results. The basic step has included a choosing procedure
of such parameters which are conspicuous with a value
above the significance level. Weaver's method [4] was
applied for that purpose, but after its simplification and
making real by K. Doi [5]. Finally some modifications
were accepted, introduced by K. Bielecka [6]. This was
tied in with an assignment of weights to the parameters
appropriate to the relevant locations [7]. The following
parameters were used:
the population density in persons /km2,
the emission of untreated sewage in 0,1 ths. m3/km2,
the emission of industrial dusts in thousands Mg/km2,
the emission of industrial gases in thousands Mg/km2,
The Constitutional Transformation and a Threat of the Environment in Poland
the accumulation of industrial waste in thousands
Above parameters do not picture the whole of the
threat and do not include whole emission of particular
factors, for example related to a communication or to a
housekeeping. Their use was limited by a set of officially
published statistical data and their unbroken series. This
was impossible also to state synergic relationships among
them, though the statistical correlation factor appears
most strongly in reference to the population density, be-
ing square with common sense too. The author is con-
scious also that results of direct observations should be
treated too with some caution, as there is a lack of a cali-
bration of many measuring instruments, a manipulation
in a data recording, a variable quantity of registered
sources of emission and so on [8]. The emission itself is
not effective also like a real imission.
The next step has included a use of such statistical
method which would be able to make an aggregation of
heteronymous parameters. As a choice Hellwig's method
was chosen [9]. It relies on the statistical definition of a
taxonomic distance between the adopted value-average,
median et caetera, and real values from a taken popula-
tion and a settlement of the final value for this population.
Then it behaves to the aggregation of the value for all
populations of the data taken into account. The final
value is closed in the compartment +1 and –1—at the
regard of destimulants, what is easy for the expression in
percentages and helps to interpret the state of threat to
natural environment. For the first time Hellwig's method
was applied by author for the quantitative evaluation of
live conditions in so called areas of the ecological threat
—then the abbreviation AET was used, in Poland in
1992 [10]. This has brought interesting and promising
results which showed the diverse degree of such threat,
and then—different tendencies of a change of the syn-
thetic indicator of threat SIT in time, just in years
1982-1992 [11]. Namely, for example, the fall was shown
in the Turoszów AET at 48.53% down to 39.29% when
the growth in the Legnica AET from 43.74% down to
51.11%. The indicator renders so both a spatial dynamics,
and a time one as well. This has engaged presentings of
SIT on the world arena also [12].
3. Results and Analysis
Basing on adopted premises it was decided to check,
whether a change of the system—called the transforma-
tion or transition, has affected a state of threat on Po-
land's nature. For that purpose the continuation of earlier
researches was used. They showed for example that the
threat by negative anthropic pressure had increased in
years 1986-1989 from the level 13.72% up to 14.29%
[13]. For further calculations the same parameters have
been used. Results are visible in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Changes of synthetic index of threat SIT in percentage for Poland during the years 1979-2009.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JEP
The Constitutional Transformation and a Threat of the Environment in Poland397
It is possible to mark off several characteristic phases
with the formation of the SIT value. The first phase
shows a rapid decrease until 1982—till about 7.5%. The
explanation stays in the serious economic crisis which
was initiated at the end of the 1970s, and with the com-
mencement of the wide strike wave as an expression of
the rebellion to the governing party. After its suppression
in the way of the war state—being kept since the end of
1981 until mid-1983, the Polish economy increased its
efficiency, which meant too the increase of emission of
threats to natural environment. This can be called “the
last paroxysm of the socialist economy”. The next phase
—the fall of SIT, was joined with the commencement of
the modernization of Polish industry, and with the liqui-
dation of many works. The second half of the 1990s
brought new investments and the growth of production,
what at once appeared with the following culmination of
SIT. The liquidation of outdated technologies and grow-
ing protection requirements of the natural environment
have led to the reduction of negative anthropic pressure
and its stabilization on level lower by about 7.5% in
comparison to 1979. In spite of the revealed culminations
of SIT, changes are generally small, because the standard
deviation for the period 1979-2009 amounts only 0.042%.
The 2009 SIT implicates following data:
the population density 122 P/km2,
the emission of untreated sewage 4.2 ths. m3/km2,
the emission of industrial dusts 1.34 Mg/km2,
the emission of industrial gases 10.4 Mg/km2,
accumulated industrial waste 5.52 Mg/km2.
The question then has appeared, whether the transfor-
mation influenced on SIT—which points the state of
threat to natural environment, by changes in financial
inputs on the environment protection. It could be inter-
preted also as the effect of a greater self-governing of the
society and the transformation of the approach of au-
thorities to the importance of a environment quality for
life standards of the nation. Figure 2 shows the lack of
the statistical relationship between SIT and with inputs
on the environment protection.
The lack of the dependence is seen also in the high
standard deviation 3.489 bln. PLN/circa 1.25 bln. USD,
when the maximum of inputs appeared in 2007 - 39.7 bln.
PLN, afterwards they began to fall. It is necessary to no-
tice that into the composition of these inputs among other
such things go like expenses on a flood protection, water
retention, ecological education and so on, so not bringing
direct effects, which would have been joining with the
counted SIT.
4. Conclusions
In spite of notified limitations, SIT method effectively
pictures changes in the state of nature threat in relation to
changes of the Poland’s economy. This is a useful indi-
cator which permits to apply a possibly objective proce-
dure of the analysis in a dynamic seizure in time and
space. It is suitable so for comparative application among
different countries. The accomplished analysis showed at
Figure 2. Changes of synthetic index of threat SIT vs. Polish inputs on nature protection during years 2000-2009. Seria
1:Value of SIT in percentage, Seria 2: inputs in bln. PLN.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JEP
The Constitutional Transformation and a Threat of the Environment in Poland
the same time a significant fall of the degree of negative
anthopic pressure and its stabilization during the recent
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