21 Sep Overview of Global ENMT Issues and Basis of ENMT
ENMT495 Global Environmental
Week 1 Discussion
DQ1 Overview of Global ENMT Issues and Basis of ENMT
My name is Jessica Schrader and I will be leading this topic discussion on overview of global ENMT issues and basis of ENMT.
Many of these questions you should have thought about as part of this week’s readings and viewings from the PDF file made available to you under Content, Week 1. Here is your chance to share your reflections and delve deeper and learn from different perspectives by participating in the discussion of one or more of the following questions:
Have you experienced any of those global issues discussed in this week’s readings and viewings? If so, which ones and in what way were they manifested in your life?
o Be as specific as you can. For example, can you describe the source of acidification of oceans versus acid rain? Why are the molecular sources of those two issues different?
· Can you name the source(s) for each of the global issues mentioned in the power point Overview of Global Environmental Issues? You should be able to discuss the basics for various pollutants (such as their source and various ways to mitigate these pollutants and their human and environmental effects at different concentrations) including the six criteria pollutants.
o Why is CO2 not a criteria pollutant?
· We reviewed how environmental impact is a combination of population growth, use of affluence, and technology use. Can you name an environmental issue and relate it to population growth, use of affluence, and technology use?
o Can you imagine what this world would be like if fossil fuels cost ten times as much as it does now?
· Do you agree that the future of environmental management is a question of ethics? Why or why not?
· What did you think about the presentation on the basis of ENMT? Do you agree that environmental management is essentially managing humans to not destroy the very ecosystems we depend upon? Explain why or why not.
· What have you learned about best practices to manage people? How has that affected your own work and personal life?
· What are the major themes that you have learned in this environmental management program? What themes do you think we should have covered that we have not? And what approaches to environmental management have you used?
Fell free to integrate as many of these questions as you wish! I will come back to comment and integrate as needed.
DQ2 How we got here and what can we learn from our past?
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Search Topic 2: How we got here and what can we learn from our past?
Topic 2: How we got here and what can we learn from our past?
Hi again. My name is Jessica Schrader and I will lead the discussion this week on how we got to the environmental state we are in and what we can learn from the path we have taken.
We need to understand how we got where we are today if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of our past. Please draw on what you have learned in history and what you have seen in your lifetime and what you have heard from your parents and grandparents to enrich this discussion that should have different perspectives on where we have been.
Some questions below to help us discuss this complex topic:
This week, we look at two past cases that helped to propel the creation of the EPA. What other events led to the creation of the EPA?
In general, why has U.S. environmental legislations been enacted? Would you characterize our drive for environmental legislation as reactive or proactive? How does the U.S. approach differ from the European approach to regulating chemicals?
In one of my presentations, I stated that traditionally, greater economic impact led to greater environmental impact. Why is that? Would we be able to change that – and if so, how?
How are economic, environmental, technological, political, and social trends related to national capital and ecosystem services? What are potential climate tipping elements and how do they relate to systemic risk?
Have you observed the “Jevons Paradox” or “the rebound effect” in your lifetime?
Sustainability is a complex topic and one of your readings this week chose to tie it to humanity and the environment. Do you agree with the authors’ take on sustainability in a modern context? Why is sustainability so much more complex today than it was 400 years ago?
How do you think sustainability is related to our economy, ecology, and social values? The Basis of ENMT presentation as well as the textbook “Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation” shows one possible relationship between society, ecology, and economy sustainability – where the three forms of sustainability intersect as true sustainability:
· I also presented another way to view economic, social, and environmental sustainability:
What would we need to change in order to have the second figure represent our economic relationship to our social values and ecological goods and services?
· How doe the two figures above relate to the questions I have asked about how we might reach sustainability?
Again, feel free to integrate as many of these questions as you wish. The questions are a starting point towards class discussions that should provide both breath of perspectives and depth of understanding and connections.
DQ3 Clearly articulating key terms and concepts, and critical thinking questions
One of the habits some UMGC students appear to hang onto, even up to ENMT 495, is googling to answer questions. And then cutting and pasting bits of what they find. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! First of all, this action does not usually address the actual question asked, and I am a seasoned enough teacher that I can see when this occurs. Secondly, I will be flagging such content as a form of academic dishonesty.
I really do need each of you to tell me what you are thinking so that I can see if I can clarify any confusions you have. If you are a student who can help to clarify, please DO so! You get credit in my class for all gentle clarifications. And in fact, if the mistake is mine, you get more than brownie points! I break my “no extra credit” rule when students are able to point out content error in any of my classes!
SO let’s have a vigorous, intellectual discussion as this is the capstone course and you should be showing off what you have learned!
Here are some key terms to connect as well as critical thinking questions to address:
How is the biosphere related to biogeochemical cycles? Provide a specific example to support your connection.
How are ecosystem services related to environmental management? Again, provide a specific example to support your connection.
Provide one example of an international environmental treaty success. You should have learned about this one in ENMT 301 if not in other classes as well.
What are some facts that we know now in science and some of their consequences?
Given what you have reviewed about ecosystems this week, how would you define waste from an ecosystems perspective?
Explain how ecosystem destruction is related to national security.
As always, add to the present discussion with connections and synthesis, and do not post in isolation to what your classmates have discussed.
DQ4 Some quantitative analysis
Part of the ENMT degree requires analytical thinking using basic algebra. Below are some problems to assess your ability to use basic algebra when applicable, and helpful towards getting you to use quantitative analysis as part of critical thinking.
· Using a simple analysis first order analysis of environmental impact, please explain that would occur to our environmental impact if we could use technology to reduce our impact by 20% but the population increases by 30% and the world GDP increases by 10%.
· A cubic meter of air sample was sampled at 1.0 atm and 20 C. An ion chromatographic analysis of that sample found it to contain 8.0 micrograms of NO2. How many ppb of NO2 is in that air? Is this in violation of NAAQS?
· Public health is a central theme you should have seen in your ENMT studies. Essential to public health is potable water. Calculate the amount of chlorine needed to disinfect 50 ML water to a residual dose of 0.3 mg/L. You need to add an additional 0.4 mg/L to the water in order to reach the breakpoint for chlorine addition based upon jar tests for this particular drinking water. Explain what the breakpoint is and why you would want a residual 0.3 mg/L of chlorine in your water.
· One of the themes in ENMT is the management of natural resources for human use. If we are to work toward sustainability, we need to think of ways that humans can live comfortably with minimal waste. One of the themes you should have seen in your ENMT study is the disproportionate amount of resource use per person that rich countries have over poor countries, and discussed in much of the readings on I=PAT this week. Let’s see how we might address some of this using some actual data on what Americans use, beginning with water use: EPA data (http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/docs/ws_indoor508.pdf and http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/outdoor.html) indicates that the average American uses 30% of his/her domestic water use is for watering our lawns and gardens and 22% of our indoor water use is due to washing clothes. Of the 30% of domestic water use for outdoor water, about 50% is estimated to be wasteful water such as the water that ends up running down the sidewalk or down the hill and has no effect on the lawn upkeep. The water for washing clothes can be cut by about 30% simply by washing full loads of clothes in place of partial loads. How much would these two simple changes affect domestic water use on a percentage basis? How much freshwater use per day would a nation of about 324,000,000 people (population of U.S. in 2015) save if these two changes were the new social norm? (Please base your calculations on a domestic water use of 300 L/day for the average American.
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