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    Global environmental issues

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    Using authoritative resources, research either global population increases or how best to share the natural resources in our oceans, and answer the following in a 2 - 3-page position paper.

    If you were a Federal (US) government secretary (maybe the EPA director?) or a delegate to the United Nations in charge of doing something about either global population increases or how to best share the natural resources in our oceans, what would be your recommendations?

    In your position paper, take a clear stance, supported by evidence that either confirms or questions the importance or urgency of this global issue. Using this evidence, clearly define the background of the issue and your positions. Are there impacts if action is not taken? Then make recommendations about how to proceed to address this global issue. What policies would you implement? Why? Are there impacts if action is not taken? Explain.

    When you write this paper you are asked to take the position of either a Federal (US) government secretary (maybe the EPA director?) or a minister in the United Nations. Choose one to frame your paper and make it clear who you are. Introduce yourself!

    You can choose either global population increases or how best to share marine resources. Choose one of these two... no other topics can be substituted. Please, Do not write about both topics.

    Note: this is a research paper. You will use references and use information and data from your references, listing all references used, and giving credit to your sources with in-text citations.

    Talk about the background of the issue, the impacts if nothing is done and your recommendations.

    Please remember: demonstrate your understanding of the topic by summarizing in your own words, and by coming up with your thoughts and recommendations on the topic. This is a position paper and you need to take a clear stand that you explain and support.
    Use of authoritative references to support your answers. Wikipedia is not an authoritative reference and should not be used. 5%

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    Solution Preview

    First, you should review your options for the essay, and then choose the one that seems the most interesting to you. As the EPA director, you will want to focus your talk on US policy. As a UN delegate, your focus will be global.

    To make your position especially realistic, you can consider the UN current position on population growth. It is available here: http://www.un.org/popin/icpd/recommendations/other/43.html.

    There is a great deal of controversy about the real carrying capacity for humans on the earth. Some argue that the advent of new technologies, and the reduced birthrate the accompanies industrialization, will permit sustainable human populations to reach 10 million. Bjørn Lomborg argues this in his book "The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World." Criticism of this point of view stems from its treatment of some factors as exponential, while "technologies for expanding resources and controlling pollution are permitted to grow, if at all, only in discrete increments."(Newsweek, March 13, 1972, page 103). Books such as "Limits to Growth" indicate that human populations will increase exponentially, resulting in disastrous results, unless measures are taken.

    (Limits to Growth was a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome. Its authors were Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III.)

    The Union of Concerned Scientists, Scientific American, and Nature find problems with Lomborg's work as well. For example even though the earth is not currently at carrying capacity, food distribution problems leave 850 million people currently malnourished or starving. For these arguments, see
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ...