2.Reflect on the causes for the transitions in U.S. history from one type of environmental policy to another. Now peer into the future, and think about how life might be different in 25, 50, or 100 years. What would you speculate about the environmental policy of the future? What issues might it address? Do you predict we will have more or less environmental policy?
3. Do you think that all of today’s developing nations will complete the demographic transition and come to enjoy a permanent state of low birth and death rates? Why or why not? What steps might we as a global society take to help ensure that they do? Now think about developed nations such as the United States and Canada. Do you think these nations will continue to lower and stabilize their birth and death rates in a state of prosperity? What factors might affect whether they do so?
4. People in developed nations are fond of warning people in developing nations to stop destroying rainforest. People of developing nations often respond that this is hypocritical, because the developed nations became wealthy by deforesting their land and exploiting its resources in the past. What would you say to the president of a developing nation, such as Indonesia, in which a great deal of forest is being cleared?
5. Describe some environmental health hazards that you think you may be living with indoors. How do you think you may have been affected by indoor or outdoor hazards in the past? How could you best deal with these hazards in the future?
6. Describe how and why emissions of major pollutants have been reduced by over 50% in the United States since 1970, despite increases in population, energy use, and economic activity.
7. What impacts might you expect on your lifestyle once our society arrives at peak oil? What lessons do you think we can take from the conservation methods adopted by the United States in response to the “energy crisis” of 1973-1974? What steps do you think we should take to avoid energy shortages in a post-peak-oil future?
8. How much waste do you generate? Look into your waste bin at the end of the day, and categorize and measure the waste there. List all other waste you may have generated in other places throughout the day. How much of this waste could you have avoided generating?? How much could have been reused or recycled?