Environment

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  1. Using the example of hurricanes, support the statement (from page 84) that “most hazards fall in between natural and anthropogenic.”
  2. To what degree are your perceptions of risk similar to, or different from, those of the culture around you? Support your answer with some specific examples.
  3. Residents and governments of Europe have been much more critical of genetically modified crops and foods than have residents and governments of the United States. To what degree is this a cultural difference? (Bonus: Supplement your answer using political economy.)
  4. Why do toxic-waste dumps usually represent examples of environmental injustice? (Think: Who chooses to live near a toxic-waste dump?)

5Examine the list of precautions and risks on the label of an over-the-counter insecticide or herbicide (check one out at your local home and garden shop if you do not have any at home). How would this list differ in the absence of governmental regulations? To what degree do you believe this information impacts consumer and user decisions? Why?


6Visit the World Resources Institute “Aqueduct” page, where risks of water stress are mapped in an interactive digital atlas (http://insights.wri.org/aqueduct/atlas). Explore the global maps they provide there. Spcifically compare two different global maps: 1) the map of “Baseline Water Stress” (a map of the degree to which freshwater availability is an ongoing concern) and 2) the map of “Three Year Socioeconomic Drought” (a map of areas where available freshwater supplies are insufficient to support normal water withdrawals over a three-year period). To what degree is the risk of socioeconomic drought a close match to basic underlying water stress and scarcity? Where is the risk of drought less than underlying stress and where is it equal to or greater than basic stress? What might account for the differences you see here? What might cause drought risks to be higher or lower than basic scarcity of water? What might this tell you about environmental risks more generally? To what degree are they determined by basic environmental conditions and to what degree are they influenced by human factors?

  • Posted: a year ago
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  • Budget: $10
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