Develop an appreciation for the impacts of consumption on the stocks of natural resources.
This is a new sub discipline in environmental sciences and Canadian researchers are taking a lead role. Ecological Footprint indicator: It is critical that you understand what is being measured with the Ecological
Footprint Accounting Tools – and conversely what is not being measured.
Some background reading: http://geog.utm.utoronto.ca/conway/ecofoot/efacurrent.htm ; and
%20Dev.pdf (there will be plenty of other sources ... http://fes.yorku.ca/faculty/fulltime/profile/5174 Dr. Peter Victor Assignment
A. Calculate your own ecological footprint -- at least three versions -- at least one of these, and find others! They may also be called “Carbon Footprint”
http://footprint.wwf.org.uk (This is the one I showed you in class) http://www.ecologicalfootprint.org/Global%20Footprint%20Calculator/GFPCalc.html http://www.myfootprint.org/en/ (Last year, two quizzes at this site.) http://www.earthday.net/footprint/flash.html
Save your results. (Some results can be e-mailed, otherwise save or print the results page.) Attach results as appendices to this assignment.
B. Reflect and Explore:
Compare and contrast the quizzes. (Results, presentation, suitability of questions ...........).
Include figures (diagrams, tables, photographs, graphs) that add to your discussion as needed.
350-400 words, plus figures (including captions, citations etc .. use a2 instructions as a model, sections, headings etc etc)
Not looking for “right answers,” but rather for thoughtful, well-expressed ideas about the usefulness and the challenges of using an ecological footprint model ... (“Global village”).
Many of you asked for an assignment that involves some reading and research, then critical discussion of your findings -- I am trying to keep the instructions open -- take this work where it leads you, keep in mind it is an assignment worth 5%
Here are some questions from previous versions of this assignment to guide your thinking and inquires. These are not the assignment parameters, just some ideas to motivate your investigations!
Compare the ecological footprint of Canada as a whole with three countries of your choosing. Then you will compare your personal “food” footprint with those three countries.
a. Locate the data for Canada ..... Find data for additional countries. Pick countries from different regions.
b. Add together the categories for “Cropland,” Pasture,” and “Fisheries” for Canada and each of the countries you
have chosen and record this number as a proxy for those countries’ “food” footprint.
..... explain why the designers of the Ecological Footprint indicator decided to use hectares as the unit of measurement for the results? What does this number represent? In your opinion, is it a useful number or not? (They could have used units of energy consumption, tons of grain equivalents, barrels of oil, etc., but they didn’t choose to. Why not, do you suppose?)
Discuss York University's involvement as described in a recent YorkU media release. Are the claims made by York media people accurate? Follow up and report on this media release and the people doing EFA work at York and the Canadian effort, and any other pertinent information that you may discover in this investigation.
What lessons can you gather from the comparisons from other countries? Remember that the footprint calculation only takes into account consumption, but the “ecological balance” calculation also takes into account biological capacity. Should countries that have fewer biological resources be required to have commensurately smaller footprints?
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