The enviorment now and then
THE FOLLOWING MUST BE DONE IN THE FORM OF A RESEARCH PAPER.
READ THE Time article from February 2nd, 1970, “Fighting to Save the Earth from Man” on the link above. The assignment is to write a paper comparing and contrasting the environmental situation as outlined in the article in 1970, with that of today.
paper should be 12 point, double-spaced and fully referenced in APA format. Any and all statistics, quotes or references must come from reputable sources and be cited appropriately.
The paper must specifically address the following points:
Wherever there are statistics on environmental pollution, wherever possible, update those statistics for today and discuss how they correlate (better/worse) with the situation as it prevails in 2012.
The second paragraph begins, “The environment may well be the gut issue that can unify a polarized nation in the 1970s. It may also divide people who are appalled by the mess from those who have adapted to it.” In the context of current world politics, analyze to what extent this statement is still valid.
On what basis might ecology be called “the subversive science”?
People in 1970 were not as concerned or conscious of climate change as a global threat (though even in 1970, it gets a mention), but the much more tangible and immediate polluting effects of industrialized civilization, about which they were very concerned. Have people become more or less aware of environmental problems since 1970? How has that awareness changed and what impact do you believe the movement of the late 1960’s and 1970’s impacted on our understanding of environmental problems today? You must cite evidence, polls etc to support any claims you make with regard to these questions.
According to the article, the balance of nature is “governed by distinct laws of life and balance” which “Man has violated.” To what extent do you believe this statement to be valid? Support your answer with at least two specific examples.
“Variety is nature’s grand tactic of survival”. Comment on the validity of this statement with reference to an ecosystem of your choice. Contrast it with a practice from industrialized society which seems to contradict this.
What is meant when Paul Ehrlich is described as a “Neo-Malthusian”? To what extent were Ehrlich’s predictions borne out?
“If technology got man into this mess, surely technology can get him out of it again.” To what extent do you agree with the validity of this statement? Support your answer with specific evidence of technology solving and/or exacerbating an environmental problem.
The article posits that there are a, “few deeply ingrained assumptions” such as: “nature exists primarily for man to conquer”, “nature is endlessly bountiful” and civilization should always seek to “produce more than you can consume, so that you can produce more.” Cite examples to illustrate whether these are widely held assumptions today. Analyze to what extent these are false or dangerous assumptions.
The article concludes with a list of possible solutions, indicating that the “biggest need may be a change in values.” What kind of values need to be changed and what values should replace them?
The late, great citizen scientist and ecologist, Barry Commoner, who passed away this year, is quoted as saying “We have the time – perhaps a generation – in which to save the environment from the final effects of the violence we have done to it.” More than a generation has now passed by, indeed almost two generations since he said this. How much time do we have left?
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