environment

Set 1

1. Logging in national forests is very controversial. Describe how preservationist and

conservationist views on this issue would likely differ.

2. A community wishes to build a new elementary school to meet the needs of its growing

population. The most convenient site for this new school happens to be one of the few remaining

tracts of forest within the city. On what criteria would virtue ethicists, consequence-based

ethicists, and duty-based ethicists decide if cutting this forest to locate the school was right?

3. In very dry years or when winters are very cold, the food supply for elk in the Yellowstone

wilderness may be limited, and weak or old animals are likely to die. Some argue that park

managers should provide supplemental feeding stations to prevent such deaths. What is your

view on this matter, and on what ethical framework would you base it?

4. Give an example of an environmental justice issue in your community. How do you feel disputes

over such matters should be resolved?

5. Some economists argue that ecological valuation of ecosystem services does not reflect their true value in an economic system. What is their reasoning?

6. Describe two examples of actions that countries might take that increase their GDP while

diminishing their GPI. Give an example of actions that would likely increase both GDP and GPI.

Set 2

1.What factors might influence trophic level efficiency?

2.Sharks are considered to be important keystone species in some marine communities. Why might this be the case?

3.Why have conservationists been particularly interested in the restoration of carnivore populations?

4.What factors influence differences in NPP from one place to another in terrestrial ecosystems? How do those factors compare with the factors that influence NPP in marine ecosystems?

5.Describe how human land use is contributing to the increased flux of CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere?

6.Fossil fuels such as oil and coal are the NEP of a distant time. Explain.

7.How might they influence the biodiversity of the landscapes within which they occur?

Set 3

1.Describe the factors influencing landscape diversity for a park, national forest, or rangeland near your home(Philadelphia).

2.Structural complexity of ecological communities is often correlated with species richness.Explain why this is so, using a specific community as an example.

3.Describe two reasons why ecosystem functions, such as productivity, may increase as species richness increase.

4.Describe three ways in which biodiversity contributes to the economic well-being of communities.

5.What habitats are disappearing near your home(Philadelphia)? What species might be threatened by the loss of these habitats?

6.Give a example of a non-native invasive species that is influencing biodiversity in ecosystems near your home(Philadelphia). What factors contribute to its invasiveness?

Set 4

1.What caused concentrations of CO2 to decline during cold glacial periods in the Pleistocene?

2.Scientists say that changes in Earth’s snow and ice cover are both a cause and consequence of changes in climate.Explain what they mean.

3.What molecules absorb infrared light, but water vapor is not believed to contribute to global warming. Why not?

4.In what ways does deforestation contribute to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

5.What is responsible for the seasonal changes in CO2 concentrations observed in data from the Mauna Loa Observatory?

6.The melting of continental glaciers causes sea level to rise, but the melting of Arctic sea ice does not. Why is this so?

7.Global warming is having a significant effect on populations of many plant and animal species.Describe three ways in which this is occurring.

 
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environment

1.What caused concentrations of CO2 to decline during cold glacial periods in the Pleistocene?

2.Scientists say that changes in Earth’s snow and ice cover are both a cause and consequence of changes in climate.Explain what they mean.

3.What molecules absorb infrared light, but water vapor is not believed to contribute to global warming. Why not?

4.In what ways does deforestation contribute to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

5.What is responsible for the seasonal changes in CO2 concentrations observed in data from the Mauna Loa Observatory?

6.The melting of continental glaciers causes sea level to rise, but the melting of Arctic sea ice does not. Why is this so?

7.Global warming is having a significant effect on populations of many plant and animal species.Describe three ways in which this is occurring.

 
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Environment

  1. How has modern society dramatically altered the carbon cycle?
  2. Without the greenhouse effect, life on Earth would not exist. But too much of a good
    thing can spell trouble. Explain.
  3. How is the “free-rider” problem so potentially vexing to the challenge of mitigating
    climate change?
  4. How does a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions differ from the traditional
    regulatory approach?
  5. Describe the example given of the market-based “solution” to climate change that
    exacerbated global uneven development. Did this program at least achieve its stated environmental goals?

Exercise 9.1 The Ethics of CO2

In this chapter, we have reviewed how the puzzle of CO2 might be addressed by markets, institutions, and political economy. Explain how you might understand this problem using an ethics framework (as described in Chapter 5). How might an anthropocentric approach differ from an ecocentric one? Do polar bears have intrinsic value? How might pragmatism and utilitarianism be employed to consider options for the control of carbon? What are the limits of an ethical approach to CO2?

Exercise 9.2 Can You Do Better than the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?

Outline an international climate treaty that would reduce emissions around the world to their 1990 levels. Things you will want to consider include whether stipulations will be the same for all countries, whether emissions or consumption of carbon is targeted, whether there will be trading or other kinds of flexibility, whether there will be monitoring or enforcement? How? Will offsets be allowed from forests or other efforts at sequestration? Once you have a sketch of what your treaty might look like, consider the following: What are the weaknesses in the treaty? What nations are more or less likely to sign on to your treaty? Why? What kinds of further compromises might be necessary to achieve a treaty that maximizes participation?

Exercise 9.3 Should Cities Think about Climate Change?

Visit and read the Climate Action Plan for the City of Seattle (http://www.seattle.gov/ environment/climate_plan.htm). What kinds of steps does that city envision for itself? To what degree are their efforts directed toward reducing greenhouse emissions and to what degree are they about adapting to change? Given this is a “global problem,” what motivates the city to address these issues at all? Do you think cities can make a difference in climate change, or is this something that requires a coordinated global action? Why or why not? What is the role of cities in governing climate change?

 
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