Review Guide for (Final) Exam #3 PHL/EVS 354
Pojman & Pojman, Environmental Ethics
Robert Heilbronner, “What has posterity ever done for me?”
1. Present his Argument from Anguish over Being Responsible for Extinguishing Humankind.
2. Does he give a reason to care about posterity? If not, then are his claims justified? If so, then is he providing a rational justification for caring about, and acting to benefit, future human beings?
3. Does he contradict himself? (See #2 above)
Garrett Hardin, “Who Cares for Posterity?”
1. Tell the story of the hungry peasant and the well-fed priest. What is the moral of the story, according to Hardin?
2. Present his Argument for Not Diminishing Special Privileges in Poor Countries.
1. About how big was the global human population in AD (CE) 1?
2. About what year did the global human population reach 1 billion? 2 billion? 3 billion? 4 billion? 5 billion?
3. What was the global human population in 2006?
4. What is the projected population in 2050?
5. Explain the idea of consumption overpopulation. Give examples.
6. Contrast doomsdayers, cornucopians, and cautious optimists.
7. Briefly describe the benign demographic theory.
McKibben, “A Special Moment in History: The Challenge of Overpopulation and
1. What projection does the U.N. offer of the peak human population?
2. What does McK say about the population of NYC, that of Mexico, and that of India?
3. What does he say about population growth since 1950?
4. What does he say is “all that matters”? (p. 379)
5. Present his argument (4steps?) which concludes “we live on a new Earth that requires we adopt wise environmental practices for our own long-term good.”
Clark Wolf, “Population and the Environment”
1. Who was Antoine-Nicolas Condorcet? What did ANC argue?
2. What does Wolf think women gaining fully equal rights will result in?
3. Who was Thomas Malthus? What was the title of his 1798 book? What does he argue in that book?
4. Briefly explain Malthus’ ideas about positive & preventive checks. What does he say about moral restraint?
5. Briefly explain the idea of carrying capacity.
6. Are people resources? Discuss in an essay.
7. What does Wolf think about Julian Simon’s claim about creativity?
8. What does Wolf think about the promise of technology?
9. Explain the FOUR most effective means for increasing the opportunity cost of fertility.
10. What recommendations does Wolf make for addressing overpopulation?
Mylan Engel, Jr.,
“Hunger, Duty, and Ecology: On What We Owe Starving Humans”
1. Who does E consider to be affluent and moderately affluent people?
2. What two central obligations does E argue such people have?
3. Describe in an essay his (long) argument for the first obligation. Be detailed.
4. Describe in an essay his (very long) argument for the second obligation. Be detailed. What bakery example does he use in this argument? Explain it.
“The World Food Supply: The Damage Done by Cattle-Raising”
1. Present his Argument (8 steps?) against the Livestock Industry.
2. Present the sub-argument (10-steps?) for his premise that “The global livestock industry is bad for ecosystems.” In other words, describe in detail specific ecological harms the livestock industry causes.
Mark Bittman, “Rethinking
the Meat-Guzzler,” The New York Times, January 27,
1. Which two commodities does B compare? How are they similar?
2. How much (red) meat do Americans (on average) eat?
3. What percentage of the world population are Americans?
4. How many animals do we “process” a year?
5. What estimated percentage of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the U.N.’s Food & Agriculture Organization?
6. How does livestock production compare to transportation on greenhouse gases emitted?
7. What portion of water-quality problems in the rivers and streams of the U.S. result from growing grain for animal feed, according to the E.P.A.?
8. What are the stomachs of cattle meant (evolved) to digest?
9. Who is fed by the majority of corn and soy grown in the world?
10. How many pounds of meat, poultry, and fish per capita per year are Americans eating? How much protein is the recommended daily allowance set by the federal government? How many grams of protein do Americans consume daily?
11. What does Michael Pollan suggest in his book In Defense of Food?
Michael Allen Fox,
“Vegetarianism and Treading Lightly on the Earth”
1. Present Fox’s Argument (6 steps?) for Less Meaty Societies.
2. How are we conditioned to view what we purchase, according to Fox? (p. 497)
3. List six groups of people who are interested in promoting the freedom-without-consequence view.
4. What has happened to smaller-scale family farms? What effect has this had? (p. 498)
5. Present the Argument (4 steps?) that Ecologically Informed Ethical Thinkers become Vegetarians.
6. How are deforestation and over-fishing relevant? How does harvesting forest products sustainably compare to clearing forests? (500)
7. How large an area of Amazonian rain forest is being cleared every minute to create grazing land?
8. Which ancient civilization does Alan Weisman in TWWU mention as practicing sustainable agriculture inside forests?
9. List NINE (9) things rain forests are cleared for.
10. What three things does Fox say imported beef becomes in the U.S.? (501)
11. Why don’t the vast majority of people wish to visit slaughterhouses? How would they feel about any animal they care about being treated the way food animals are? (502) Discuss these tensions in an essay.
Climate Change and Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “Understanding the
Causes of Global Climate Change”
1. Explain the basic mechanism of the greenhouse effect. Which elements contribute to this effect? (p. 568)
2. What has the Earth’s average temperature been for the past 8000 years?
3. Summarize the Pew Center essay. Which factors influence climate? What changes have occurred in the 20th century?
4. Was Katrina’s power a product of global warming? (p. 572)
5. What conclusions are reached by the PC? (p. 573)
Stephen Gardiner, “Ethics and Climate Change”
1. What is his thesis?
2. What four fields of knowledge does studying climate change require?
3. What kind of a shift will successfully addressing climate change require?
4. Present his Argument (11 steps or so?) for his thesis.
5. What does he say about uncertainty regarding some aspects of climate change?
6. What is the WAIS? Why does it matter?
7. How well do traditional economic models apply to climate change?
8. Which 21st century virtues may we need to develop (to address ecological problems)? (583)
9. Briefly explain the precautionary principle. (583)
10. What does G say about a “a subsistence emission”? (587)
11. What does Singer say would make the poor of the world better off? (588)
9. Explain Gardiner’s analysis (and criticisms) of the Kyoto Protocol.
10. What does G say has “a seriously tragic structure”? (591)
Environment: CFCs and the Ozone Layer
1. Compare the total CFC production of the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, France, Spain, China, India, Argentina, Venezuela, South Korea, and Greece in 1986 with those countries’ CFC production in 2006.
Paul Roberts, Prologue to The End of Food
1. What does R say about E. coli outbreaks?
2. What does R say about the executives at Kroger, Safeway, Costco, and other grocery chains and U.S. produce companies? (p. x)
3. What does R say about food-borne pathogens and avian flu? (p. xi)
4. What does R say is dominant in a global food culture? (p. xii)
5. Briefly describe how R understands our food system to be an economic system. (p. xiii)
6. What does R say was our first form of wealth? (p. xiii)
7. According to R, when and where was capitalism probably invented? (p. xiii)
8. R says that in the food sector there is a widening discrepancy between what is demanded and what is actually supplied. Explain what he means, including examples. (p. xiv–xv)
9. Explain what R say about hunger, malnutrition, and overnutrition? (p. xvii)
10. How do mainstream consumers react to learning about the external (real total) costs of food? What inclination to they have about paying for food? (p. xxii)
11. What does R say about synthetic food? (p. xxiii)
Alan Weisman, The World without Us
1. Write an essay summarizing each major section of this book.
2. What “draconian” yet “intelligent” solution does Weisman report on in the last chapter?
3. What does Nick Bostrom say about human extinction? (p. 241)
4. What does W say it is perhaps not unreasonable to think might eventually find their way back to Earth?
“Mother Earth’s Comeback,” The Utne Reader, Sept.-Oct. 2008
1. What are biopolymers? How are they used?
2. Explain cradle-to-cradle design.
3. Explain what piezoelectricity is and how it works.
4. Briefly explain building techniques using recycled automobile tires, straw bales, adobe, compressed earth, cordwood, and cob. Briefly explain the advantages of each one.
5. What is grey-water? How is it used?
6. Explain what is meant by “energy intelligence.” Give an example of such a device.
7. What is Masdar City? Where is it? How is it designed?
8. What is biochar? How is it important?
9. What are poriferans? What kinds of impurities can they filter from water? What other animals can filter impurities from water?
10. Briefly explain what polyculture is. What benefits does it have?
11. What kind of bees have disappeared? What kind of native bee species can take their place pollinating certain crops? Name those crops.
12. What federal law suit was filed in February (2008), as reported in The Atlantic (June 2008)?