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SOCS 325 Environmental Sociology

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SOCS 325 Environmental Sociology 1. Question : (TCO 1) Climatologists continue to debate global warming. Which of the following is NOT an argument against the global warming hypothesis? Stude... nt Answer: Climate variations are normal, cyclical processes. The sun may be putting out more radiation then in the measurable past. Sunspot activity demonstrates cyclical patterns of activity. Average temperatures worldwide have actually been dropping slightly. Instructor Explanation: Chapter 1, page 7. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 2. Question : (TCO 2) The Conservation Reserve Program was funded in the United States to conserve which of the following precious resources? Student Answer: Water Soil Petroleum Recyclable plastics Instructor Explanation: Chapter 1, page 15. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 3. Question : (TCO 3) Environmental goods and environmental bads are: Student Answer: on the whole, evenly distributed among the peoples of the earth. disproportionately distributed so that the middle-class must foot the bill. unevenly distributed so that those with the least power get the most pollution. distributed in a way that those who gain the most benefit also experience the most cost. Instructor Explanation: Chapter 1, pages 19-21. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 4. Question : (TCO 4) According to the economist Fred Hirsch, a "positional good" is a good or commodity: Student Answer: that places you in a high status position relative to those who don't possess it. that is desirable because of short supply or limited access. that is desirable because it has a high price tag. All of the above Instructor Explanation: Chapter 2, page 42. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 5. Question : (TCO 5) Although we know that money can't buy happiness, research in Britain and the United States suggests that: Student Answer: unskilled and partly skilled workers at the bottom of the pay scale are happier than other workers. skilled manual workers from lower middle pay scale are happier than better-paid, nonmanual professional workers. middle-class workers are happier than their wealthy counterparts. the wealthy express the least level of happiness with their standard of living. Instructor Explanation: Chapter 2, page 53. Points Received: 0 of 5 Comments: Question 6. Question : (TCO 6) According to your text, automobiles are implicated in which of the following environmental problems? Student Answer: Acid rain Reduced fertility in animal species Oil spills All of the above Instructor Explanation: Chapter 3, pages 77-78. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 7. Question : (TCO 7) Amartya Sen argues that famine is the result of: Student Answer: drought. pestilence. lack of money to buy food. the breakdown in food entitlement systems. Instructor Explanation: Chapter 4, page 97. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 8. Question : (TCO 7) What percentage of the world's current population growth is taking place in poor countries? Student Answer: Only about 10%, because infant mortality rates are so high in these countries About 25% due mostly to immigration patterns from poor countries to rich countries About half, nearly 50% Over 90% Instructor Explanation: Chapter 4, page 91. Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 9. Question : (TCO 3) What percentage of the world's original forests remain? Student Answer: 100% 68% 50% 0% Instructor Explanation: Chapter 1, Pages 15-16 Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: Question 10. Question : (TCO 5) The story of the National City Line (NCL) demonstrates: Student Answer: the obvious superiority of buses to electric streetcars. the limitations of streetcars for inter-urban transportation. a reasonable corporate strategy to develop a market. the role played by powerful lobbies to ensure the continuous flow of hidden subsidies. Instructor Explanation: Chapter 3, Pages 79-80 Points Received: 5 of 5 Comments: 1. Question : (TCO 1) What environmental threats and issues does environmental sociology and environmental sociologists try to solve? List some. Which are short-term and long-term issues? Pick one of these threats and or issues and describe how you would try to solve it as an environmental sociologist. Student Answer: Environmental sociologists study and try to understand how our society sees enviornmental problems. For example, some of these problems would be climate change, global warming, pollution, deforestation, species going extinct due to our impact, and spills of toxic waste. I would personally try to stop deforestation. There is no reason to clear as many forests as we do. It impacts everything from animals to our air! Yet for some reason very few people seem to be concerned. In order to stop deforestation I would go the government and social media route. Write a bill that states each company is only allowed to cut down a certain amount of trees every year from certain places, UNLESS they grow them on private land themselves. Instructor Explanation: &#-107;Climate change &#-107;Global warming &#-107;Acid rain &#-107;Depletion of the ozone layer &#-107;Soil, air, and water pollution &#-107;Smog &#-107;Soil and land erosion &#-107;Nuclear and toxic waste and spills &#-107;Deforestation &#-107;Species extinction due to human influence and impact Points Received: 25 of 30 Comments: Good answer! Just not enough detail for full credit. Question 2. Question : (TCO 2) Describe the environmental impact of industry and how it influences human health. Provide a few examples of these impacts. Also, describe in detail how some of these environmental risks and disasters impact human health by causing illness and even death. Student Answer: While business is important for our economy, it takes a devastating toll on the earth. I'm going to use the nuclear power plant leaking in Japan as my example. That sentence alone would scare most people, but the facts are even worse... The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has been leaking radioactive water leaks for FIVE YEARS and apparently it's going to take until 2020 before it's all fixed. "The final step, though, remains contentious: Getting permission to release the water into the sea, after it has been treated to remove most radioactive elements." (SOURCE: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fukushima-dai-ichi-nuclear-plant-leaking-radioactive-japan-earthquake-tsunami/ ) The most disturbing thing about that article is that it states that they want to release the remaining water into the OCEAN after MOST of the radioactive elements are removed. We should not allow this! There is no telling what kind of impact that would have to aquatic life or to human life, even. Speaking of human life impacted by the leak, children cancer rate has risen since the disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami. 116 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer (Source: "The latest figures bring the total confirmed cases to 116 and suspected to 50 and are likely to raise further..." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/12160794/Fukushima-disaster-Children-cancer-rates-rise-with-16-new-cases.html ) in the poor children that live near-ish the area. If we're not going to protect the future, our children, what are we doing? There is absolutely no reason for nuclear technology. Instructor Explanation: Environmental Sociology and Environmental Sociologists are very interested in how the environmental impact of industry influences overall human health. For example, are cancer rates in humans higher in areas closer to coal and nuclear power plants? Industry does impact the land and water which gets into the food chain and causes large scale environmental health problems. One prime example of this was the recent Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill which impacted the overall health of all living things in this region. It may take a few more years to fully understand how this industrial oil spill has impacted this region, but one only needs to study the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska to see how much damage it did to the local health and ecology of all living things in Prince William Sound and beyond. Local economies also suffer from incidents like these. Points Received: 30 of 30 Comments: Question 3. Question : (TCO 4) Describe in detail what consumption is and how it relates to marketing and capitalism. Provide a few examples. Compare and contrast some of the positive and negative aspects of capitalism. How does this relate to free markets? Student Answer: Consumption is the way we use the materials from our environment for our own gain and benefit. Consumption is destroying our world in more ways than one. We mine coal, cut down trees, pollute the soil with our horrible habits just to make money. Unfortunately, with this money making focus, the price of food has skyrocketed and become less available to those in less developed countries who have little to no money. It's even happening in the United states. Drive into any city and you'll see skinny homeless people holding signs up asking for food. We're so concerned with making money, that stores will let food rot and throw it out rather than donate it just for a chance that someone might buy it if they put it at a discounted rate. Instructor Explanation: Consumption is basically how humans and our society use these materials. Some people eat these materials in the form of food. Of course, the over consumption of food often causes obesity issues which is currently a major global epidemic. The overconsumption and abuse of any material is obviously not good for our society and global environment. How can we prevent this global overconsumption? Each year global consumption rates increase at expediential and alarming rates. This is largely due to more and more countries becoming more industrialized as well as the global population gradually increasing. How much is too much and do you think we will ever run out of certain materials? Food? Resources? Then what? We must also ask what makes people consume all of these materials. Large scale marketing and global Capitalism causes people to want all of these material goods. Supply and demand largely control consumption and global consumption rates. Many people often desire what they can't get. For example, when Wii first came out, everyone wanted one but Nintendo could not produce them fast enough. Another example would be the Tickle me Elmo Dolls and The Cabbage Patch Kids. Most industrial nations today base their overall economies and success on Capitalism and the creation, marketing, trading/selling, and consuming of material goods. The next question we must ask is how can we continue to have a positive and successful global economy through Capitalism, but at the same time not stress and strain the Earth's physical environment? Points Received: 26 of 30 Comments: Good answer! Just not enough detail for full credit. Question 4. Question : (TCO 6) Describe the economics and politics of implementing green technology in our society. Why are we so slow to move toward this type of green technology and away from petroleum? Compare and contrast which forms of green technology might realistically be built in the next 10 years. Which ones do you think need to wait until a future to be built, and why? Student Answer: I think the reason we're so slow to implement, research, and develop green technology is a very simple one. Money. I'll give some examples. It's cheaper for me to pay for electricity and gas (at the moment, since clean energy takes years to save money) than it is to have my roof covered in solar panels. The installation cost alone is more than a month of my bill for electricity and gas, so it's something most people aren't able to consider. I believe this is done for a reason. Big companies don't want to lose their profits in things like the coal industry, so they sell their products cheaper than the green technology ones to make it look more appealing to consumers. Let's put it this way... If you had ONLY $50, would you buy 50 microwave meals from Wal-mart or would you spend the $50 on 10 healthy meals? Logically, 99% of people would chose the microwave meals simply because you get more for your dollar. Instructor Explanation: Petroleum (oil, natural gas, and coal) companies are some of the richest companies in the world. Companies like BP, Shell, Exxon Mobile, and many companies in the Middle East are examples. They use a lot of their economic and political power along with advertising and marketing to make sure that the world sticks with their product. Some believe that the War in Iraq was all about oil and not the people. Why does our society continue to give into these oil companies? Why doesn't our society resist these companies and move toward more green technologies? How can we motivate our society to do this? Many people are against non-green technologies but no movement is ever really strong enough to make any headway to changing or transitioning into more green technologies. Some economists worry that changing from non-green technologies to more green technologies might stump or block global economic growth. But, the current state of our global economy does create worldwide economic inequality which only adds to our overconsumption of goods and resulting materialism. Would going to a more green technology economy limit overconsumption and materialism? How will changing from a carbon based global economy to a more green economy impact Capitalism? Can we use technology and more specifically, green technology to create social change? Technology should always be thought of and used as a tool, a tool that no one should ever abuse. Technology can be viewed just like information. Those who control technology, controls the world. What are some of the negative aspects of technology, more specifically, when we allow technology to control us? One example of this concept can be seen in the automobile. Almost everyone has one. It is very beneficial for transportation, but when abused can become a weapon in killing other humans and even animals. Also most cars today still run on petroleum which pollutes the environment and causes acid rain and global warming. This pollution also causes death. We can limit all of this as a global society by creating cars of the future that don't use petroleum as well as cars that are computer guided (GPS). But, people's love affair with driving and freedom may detour this idea. The car has been one of the most political global technologies ever created. Points Received: 30 of 30 Comments: Question 5. Question : (TCO 7) Describe in detail our population's impact on the environment. Provide a few detailed examples. Also, compare and contrast population rates in different parts of the world. Which areas are increasing more than others, and why? Do you think the human population will continue to always increase? Student Answer: Overpopulation is destroying the world. It's very simple, as the population increases, so does things that harm our world. Carbon emissions from cars used, waste production increasing landfills, and even the amount of land cleared to make more room for houses, apartments, condos, and so on. This harms our environment in many ways. Clearing more land means more animals without homes, less plant life to filter our air, and more pollution from the homes being built. Instructor Explanation: Obviously, as any living population increases in any ecosystem, it causes stress on the environment. These stresses sometimes include space, over population, and over use of food and resources. This stress can often cause disruptions in the ecological food chains. This sometimes impacts the environment as well. This impact often causes many different forms of pollution and even is believed to be one of the causes of Global Warming and Climate Change. The global ecosystem is set up only to allow so much of a population to be successful. This involves energy through the food chain. When certain populations get too big, nature usually has its own control methods to balance it out. But, over the years humans have interfered with many of these controls thus creating many problems. For example, humans have accidently introduced the Zebra Mussel, Sea Lamprey, and many other species into the Great Lakes which has taken over and caused the near extinction of the natural species in that region. The introductions of new species of fauna and flora into regions often disrupt this balance and the predator and prey relationships and ratios. Sometimes some fauna and flora are introduced that have no natural predators, which causes their populations to sometimes explode and others to either decrease or even go extinct. Incidents like these usually occur in geographically isolated regions like islands. Australia is a good example of this as well as many of the islands on in the Pacific Rim. For example, a few species of mice and rats have been introduced to Australia which only caused their populations to explode and eat up crops and spread disease. Another example in the USA would be the introduction of the possum as well as many other species that people bring over for pets which escape. There are stories of crocodiles living in the NYC Subways! [Show More]

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