Environmental science: A global concern
â€¢ Cunningham, W. P. & Cunningham, M. A. ( 2011). Environmental science: A global concern (12 ed.).:
â€¢ Cunningham & Cunningham Text: Chapter 14
1. Activity: Hydrolic Fracturing
a. What is hydraulic fracturing and does it affect you? This is a method to extract natural gas from deep wells. The well is drilled and then millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are injected to open fissures that let the gas free. Opponents to this method claim that it contaminates drinking water for many people in this country while supporters of fracking claims it to be harmless. Decide for yourself.
b. Watch the movie GASLAND or at least the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8
c. Here is also a link to an interview with the director Josh Fox:http://video.pbs.org/video/1452296560/
d. Warning; this information is very disturbing! You can probably order the movie from your local library or look at the homepage for the screenings and TV showings (http://gaslandthemovie.com/about-the-film).
e.Does your electricity come from burning of coal from mountain top removal? There is a way to find out! Go to http://www.ilovemountains.org/myconnection/and enter zip code 80916. You will find out how and if you are connected to this destructive practice and what you can do about it.
2. Critical Thinking
a. This answer should be no more than two (2) pages in length.
b. If mining for gold and diamonds is causing environmental and social destruction, should we as consumers stop buying these products? Even though we enjoy wearing this kind of jewelry, it is not essential to our survival. What is the responsibility of the individual citizen and can you think of options to buy more environmentally sound jewelry?
After visiting the ilovemountains site listed under Activities (http://www.ilovemountains.org/myconnection), look at the photos of mountain top removal at: <http://www.ohvec.org/galleries/mountaintop_removal/007/>Then answer these questions:
Is it possible to phase out mountaintop removal? What can we do to stop mountaintop removal?Expand on your answers
Climate and Air Pollution
â€¢ Cunningham & Cunningham Text:Chapter 15-16
1. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
a. Gather up your family and sit down to see the most terrifying movie you will ever see by Davis Guggenheim about global climate change and the work of Al Gore. The movie may be available at your local library or online.
2. Flight Behavior
a. Read Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel Flight behavior (2014) about a young mother’s encounter with the very real and beautifully told story of climate change and wonders of nature.
3. Critical Thinking
a. This answer should be no more than two (2) pages in length.
b. Scientists are researching how species of animals can be affected by increased global temperatures. It is suggested that many populations will be sharply reduced and even go extinct. For example, Kirtland’s Warblers is an endangered bird species that only nests underneath young Jack Pines in northern Michigan. If this area ends up with less rain and hotter weather,
Jack Pines will not survive, and as a consequence, the Kirtland’s Warblers will lose their nesting habitat. It is predicted that such a scenario would cause extinction of the bird species. Your assigned text describes how AdÃ©lie penguin population numbers are reduced due to increasing temperatures in the Antarctica. For this essay, you will identify another species whose population size could be reduced because of projected global warming. Describe the species and its habitat, and explain how you think increasing temperatures could affect it.
4. A Closer Look
a. This answer should be about two (2) pages in length.
b. The United States and global climate change â€“ should the United States regulate greenhouse gas emissions?
c. Greenhouse gases are warming the world. Experts agree on that. Most experts also agree that humans are the culprit and that the consequences will be severe. In February 2007, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report where they showed firm evidence that changes around the world’s atmosphere, oceans, and glaciers show undeniably that the world is warming.
This report was written by 600 authors from 40 countries as well as 620 expert reviewers and representatives from 113 governments, and it confirms that the increases in greenhouse gases by human activities is causing the world to warm. The scientists and government officials warn that we will experience more extreme temperatures and heat waves, more droughts in some areas, flooding and storms in other areas, and maybe most alarming the rise is sea levels around the world due to the rapid melting of the ice sheets around the poles.
Global warming is believed to be one of the most serious environmental challenges of today. The trend of increasing global temperatures is exacerbated by the increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere â€“ mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Most agree that we must reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases in order to protect human health and the future of the planet. However, some scientists disagree and claim that global warming is a natural phenomenon, and part of the Earth’s natural cycle.
Yet, there seems to be no disagreement that the world has been emitting greenhouse gases at extremely high rates and over the years. Until the early 1990s, there were no or few signs of reducing greenhouse gas emission. The world took the first step to decrease the emissions of these gases in 1990 when the United States and 174 other countries signed onto the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control. This treaty eventually developed into the Kyoto Protocol which calls for mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for participating nations.
President George W. Bush and Congress decided not continue the support of this treaty and withdrew in year 2000 while 175 other countries ratified the Protocol. In December, 2009 world leaders met for a new set of negotiations on reducing global warming pollution. While few â€“ if any real â€“ goals came out of the Copenhagen summit at least it was a starting point but many people around the world were disappointed that our leaders could not produce a stronger commitment to this crisis. While many countries in Europe have reduced emissions and set the goals of decreasing emissions by
20% by year 2020, emission of greenhouse gases by the United States has increased by 17% between 1990 and 2007 and are projected to increase by 1% annually. The U.S. emits 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases and yet we have not made any commitment to decrease emissions. Several states have, on the other hand, taken great strides toward this. California and Massachusetts are leading the way for many other States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions â€“ and maybe our whole country will follow at some point
d. Do you think that the United States government should regulate carbon dioxide emissions? If so, how should this be done? If not, why not? And what factors do you think influence the people who argue (despite the large amount of data available) that there is no climate change?
e. Argue your views in a two-page position paper. In discussing the policy debate involved in regulating greenhouse gases and the major players contributing to global climate change,
please review the related pages in your text in aIDition to research on the Internet. A wealth of information about the issue is available on the Internet. Please try to find the most current information. Again, please cite all sources, including who is responsible for an Internet site. Also include a couple of sentences of critique on each source cited.
Many want price of gasoline at the pump to go down. Is it reasonable to be concerned about global warming and wanting lower prices at the pump?
One analyst suggests selling gas at a stable higher end price (eg $4.00/gallon â€“ still lower than in much of Europe) and have the excess $ (fluctuating depending on oil prices) go to developing cleaner technology. What do you think?Expand on your answers
â€¢ Cunningham & Cunningham Text:Chapters 17 & 18
1. What is your water footprint and what can you do to reduce it?
a. While many of us are working toward reducing our carbon footprints, water footprints are often overlooked. Some of us are concerned enough to reduce our domestic usage, but are you aware that85% of potable freshwater is related to our consumption of agricultural products â€“ especially animal products?
b. Read more about your water usage and effects at http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=cal/WaterFootprintCalculator#result and then use their calculator.
2. The business of bottled water â€“ biggest business scam ever?-give your thought and expand on your answer
a. American people buy 29 million bottles of water every year!!! Not only is it big business, the bottled water business has huge negatives impacts on our environment and our health! The movie Tapped (by Stephanie Soechtig) gives you the picture that may change how you drink your water.
b. Watch the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7xgirfdqvQ
c. If you, like me, want to watch the entire movie you can ask your local library or rent it online.
3. Critical Thinking
a.This answer should be no more than two pages in length.
b. Describe your water usage habits. Do you use water as an infinite resource or do your practice conservation? How could you and we as a country use less water? How? What could motivate you and your neighbors to use less water?
Take the waterfootprint quiz and tell us how we can reduce it: