Discussion: Organizing to Improve Environmental Health
Organizing to address environmental challenges and improve environmental health
Have you considered the ways that you affect the environment around you or how you, your family, or our society might mitigate those effects? Humans have a decided effect on the Earth’s environment and can put in motion actions that positively or negatively affect it. Unintended negative consequences now include air and water pollution, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, ocean acidification, the extinction of many species, toxic chemicals in rivers, lakes, and in many of the fish we eat, and an alarming loss of wetland and forest habitats.
Many people today are looking more closely at the global issues we face and asking themselves: How can I help address the threats facing our environment? What leverage can I apply to improve the condition of the natural world? In communities around the world people are joining together with others in organizations to help protect or improve the health of the environment.
This Discussion will focus on environmental organizations that are helping to confront the environmental challenges that you and your colleagues identify.
To prepare for this Discussion
- Review the Interactive Units for this week as well as the links posted by your professor and then conduct your own independent research.
- Identify two organizations or groups that are addressing some of the environmental challenges that you find compelling or serious enough to warrant your attention. Choose at least one group that is addressing environmental challenges relevant to your local community. Alternatively you can focus your post on two groups that are causing environmental problems that you find compelling.
- Reflect on how these dilemmas might be addressed, and what solutions you and other individuals can incorporate into your daily lives.
With these thoughts in mind, complete the following:
Spark Response Post (20 points):
By Day 2
Post a two or more paragraph response to the Discussion Spark posted by your professor in the Week 1 discussion forum on Monday (Day 1). Notice that your responses to the Discussion Spark, the primary research-based Discussion Topic, and your colleagues or professor will be graded together.
Primary Research-based Post (35 points):
By Day 4
Post: four or more paragraphs in which you describe two environmental groups that you examined and explain how each group addresses at least one of the environmental concerns or challenges that you find compelling. Please be sure to mention why you chose each group, what they are doing that you appreciate, and include a link to their website. You may also want to comment on solutions that you would advocate be adapted society wide or solutions that you and other individuals can incorporate into your life at home. Cite at least two reference sources beyond the Interactive Units for this week (e.g. the websites of the two groups that you post about).
Read a selection of your colleagues’ and professor’s postings.
Response Posts (15 points):
By Day 5 and 7
Respond by to at least two of your colleagues’ or professor’s postings in a substantive manner, meaning a minimum of 1 full paragraph. Simple “I agree,” “Good post,” or one-line question posts are not enough for full credit. Be substantive as you engage your colleagues.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial research- based posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Research Requirement: Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to authoritative scientific information sources. Every week you are expected to conduct independent research (beyond the course resources). Cite your research sources and include links whenever possible.
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