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Identifying Serious Environmental Threats to the Commons

Which of the current threats to the "commons" (global warming, acid rain, etc.) do you feel is the most serious? Explain why. To what extent do you think citizens of the developed world are aware of these threats and to what extent are they responsible to alleviate these threats? Are the United States and other developed countries responsible to protect less developed countries and their indigenous peoples (e.g., the responsibility of the Brazilian government to protect the Amazon rain forest and the few remaining uncontacted native peoples who live there)?

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Your first step is to pick an environmental issue that has worldwide implications. For instance, the reduction of wetlands environment in the Florida Everglades, or logging in the Canadian wilderness, might eventually impact the entire world, but right now it is more of a local problem. I think your "best" possibilities for global threats (in addition to global warming and acid rain) are deforestation, toxic waste, air pollution, and ozone depletion. You could also go for slightly more specific (but still global) concerns, like overfishing or the greenhouse effect. Two good sites for summaries of the greatest global threats are:

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/threats (National Geographic's summary)

http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/threats.htm (good summary from an organization dedicated to protecting oceans, but talks ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a narrative/discussion on the topic of the threat to the commons. National and international responsibility is included, with climate change taking center stage in the discussion. 55 words with sources linked.

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