Study Guide, People and the Environment, 2:00 large group, spring 2011


1. What is the Precautionary Principle?  How might the government use this concept in its decision to address, a) global climate change, b) electronic waste, and c) mercury contamination of our lakes and streams?  List at least two ways you can use the Precautionary Principle in your own life.


2. Describe the difference between point and nonpoint water pollution and provide two examples of each.  Which do you think would be more difficult to control? Why?  Describe two ways to industry could conserve water and two ways individuals could conserve water in their home.


3. Discuss the difference between ozone depletion and global warming.   In your discussion please include the pollutants responsible for each, two environmental hazards associated with each and the international policy response to each.  Name both policies and outline two important provisions in each agreement.


4.  Someone comments, “Global warming is just a theory. Investing in renewable energy is a waste of money.”  Use what you’ve learned in this class to comment in ten to fifteen sentences.


5.  If developing countries can make a profit by recycling electronic waste, why are so many people and governments opposed to exporting e-waste from developed countries to developing countries?  (Discuss at least 4 reasons)  How do you plan to safely and responsibly dispose of your own e-waste?


6. List and discuss at least 4 ways that extracting and using fossil fuels negatively impacts the environment.  How can we reduce the negative impacts of fossil fuels?


7. Describe three forms of non-renewable energy sources, and three forms of renewable energy sources.  What are four advantages and disadvantages associated with each energy source?  Describe three ways to promote a more environmentally friendly energy sector.


8. Some believe the next world wars will be fought over water.  Do you agree with this statement?  Why or why not?  Describe the current locations of the Earth’s fresh water, and describe three ways communities could obtain fresh water.  Is bottled water a good environmental choice for fresh water in the United States?  Explain.


9. Define what is meant by the phrase “Built Environment.”  Discuss 2 specific barriers to human health that are a result of “built” environmental factors?  Discuss 2 examples of how the built environment can positively influence human health as well as 2 factors that can positively impact the sustainability of the planet? Define Smart Growth and discuss 2 principles or tools of Smart Growth. 


10. What was the message of the “I will be a hummingbird” video ( ?  Explain how this message applies to environmental issues discussed in this class and (some of) the sustainability dozen mentioned in your textbook.  How could you choose to “be a hummingbird” in your life to improve your environmental footprint (give at least 4 examples)?