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Assignment Questions

Discussion on Water Conservation and Water Supply

These are forum discussions that I have run out of time to complete due to work schedule. I have up to the 26th of November to complete east coast time. I will attach text resources for some of the topics to reference to. If you need anything else please let me know. It may take a day or two to get back with you because of the time zone for which I work in(overseas).

WEEK 1
Part I: Questions
Discuss water conservation and water supply by responding to the questions below in your initial forum post of a minimum of 250 words due by Thursday.

Water Conservation Water conservation is key to reaching a sustainable waterbalance. Please respond to these questions:

What is your perspective on the availability and use of water in your area? (?Your perspective on water differs whether you live near the Great Lakes, in the arid west, or by the coast.?(McCarthy, 2009)
Outline a brief water conservation plan for your own daily use. How will these changes affect your personal life? What impact will it have on your local water supply?

Water Supply In order to supply water to humans certain technologies must be utilized. Pick one of the following water supply solutions that you think should be pursued and describe the pros and cons of the solution and why you chose it. Use reference sources in your research and discussion.

Reclaimed/ Recycled Water
Desalination

Dams and diversions
Part II: Participation:
Respond to at least two (preferably more) classmates’ or instructor posts prior to Sunday. Your follow-up posts should add additional insight to your classmates? opinions and can challenge their opinions. Check back throughout the week to respond to ideas and comments.

References
United States Geologic Survey (USGS). n.d. Where is Earth’s water located? Retrieved from http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html.

McCarthy, J. (2009). Saving Some For The Fishes And Rethinking The Future of Our Water Supply. Retrieved from http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2009/07/10/mccarthy-wetlands/.

WEEK 2
This discussion group will focus on global climate change. Many scientists think this is the number one environmental issue the world faces today. In order to have a useful and enlightened discussion, it is important to understand data behind global climate change.

Part I. Questions:
Please choose one or more credible reference sources of your own or from the Global Climate Readings and Activities section below and then post a thoughtful 250 word minimum response about global climate change no later than Thursday. You may use any of these questions in your response:
What are the most serious aspects to global climate change in your opinion? What data do you find most and least compelling?
What do you think are feasible solutions to global climate change, if any (e.g., carbon banks , manufacturing plant emissions upgrades, reducing vehicle emissions, etc. (see Berg et al. 2011 Chapter 9)?
Is the United States doing enough to reduce carbon emissions?
Will the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference do anything to slow global climate change?
Do you agree with President Obama?s proposed commitments during the Copenhagen Climate Conference?
Explain, with sufficient detail, the reasons and thoughts behind why you chose your responses to each of these questions. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers only ones without sufficient data and/or thought.

Part II. Participation:
Respond to at least two (preferably more) classmates regarding their ideas about global climate change and solutions no later than Sunday. Your follow-up posts should add additional insight to your classmates? opinions and can challenge their opinions. Check back throughout the week to respond to ideas and comments.

Research and Reference Citations:

Global Climate Readings and Activities-Choose One to Two

Reading: Berg et al. 2011 Chapter 9 [textbook]

Reading: U.S. EPA website with lots of information on global climate change (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/)

Reading: National Science Foundation funded project describing global climate change (http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/climate/GCclimate1.html )

Reading: NASA sponsored project for teachers about global climate change
(http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/climate/GCclimate1.html)

Reading: National Geographic overview of global warming (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/global-warming/gw-overview/)

Reading: Manufacturing efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/climate-change/4340042)

Reading:International Energy Agency (2007) on manufacturing efficiency (http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/tracking2007SUM.pdf)

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/carbonwatch/moneytree/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-impacts-interactive/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/quiz-global-warming/

WEEK 3
In Berg, et al. (2011) Chapter 14, genetic engineering is described. Farmers, animal breeders, and scientists have been making genetic selections for desirable characteristics in farm plants and animals for centuries using traditional breeding methods. Genetic engineering has the potential to accomplish this in a fraction of the time. However, the production of genetically modified plants and farm animals using the new techniques in molecular biology is controversial. Furthermore, the development of genetic engineering technology opens possibility of cloning human body parts or even individuals. This U.S. government website (http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/cloning.shtml) contains a cloning fact sheet, and links to other interesting information and news regarding genetic engineering and cloning.

Part I. Questions:
After reviewing your text, the website on cloning technology, and any other credible reference sources, explain your opinion of two or more of the following questions in a 250 minimum response no later than Thursday:
Is genetic engineering fundamentally different than traditional plant and livestock breeding? Does that matter?

What is your opinion on creating, growing, and consuming genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
What is your opinion about using genetic engineering to develop “better” farm animals?
Can genetic technology offer a solution to world food shortages (an environmental problem)?

Optional: Often with a discussion of genetic technology other scientific and medical applications are brought up. If you would like you may also include your opinion about (A) using genetic engineering to cure human diseases (gene mapping and pharmaceutical development) and (B) using genetic engineering to clone human body cells, tissues, organs, limbs (therapeutic cloning).

There are not right or wrong answers, what is important for our discussion is how you explain your position

WEEK 4
Part I. Questions:
Environmental topics are in the news every day. Focus, both in our classroom and the media, is often on the major environmental problems. Too often the positive success stories go unnoticed.

Choose a success story related to the environment utilizing at least one reference source. Write and post a 250 word minimum discussion of the success story prior to Thursday. Include these areas in your discussion in sufficient detail:
Background to the success story
Summary of the success
Application of the success to other environmental issues or problems

WEEK 5
F#3 Constitution Day

Part I: Questions

The preamble of the US Constitution directs the Federal Government to “promote the general welfare”….”secure the blessings of liberty” ..and protect “ourselves and our posterity”. When thinking about our obligation to protect the environment, can a case be made that we are constitutionally bound to do so based on the quotes I gave you? What do you think? If so, how does that play into our responsibility to conserve and lessen our ecological footprint? If not, why not?

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