ENV 322 ENTIRE COURSE
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Gaia Hypothesis. In Chapter 3, the Gaia hypothesis is introduced. It addresses two hypotheses; (1) life, since its inception, has greatly affected the planetary environment and (2) life has altered Earth’s environment in ways that have allowed life to persist. Do you agree with these two hypotheses? Why or why not?
Energy and Food Supplies. The underlying theme of this course is energy. As a whole, the global society needs to find ways to reduce our energy consumption. The food pyramid is a prime example of energy transfer within individual ecosystems and the biosphere. As you increase the trophic levels, a greater amount of energy is lost. Some environmentalists argue that humans should eat a vegetarian diet in order to conserve energy.
What are some of the pros and cons of this action? Consider the impact to the agricultural industry? How low on the food chain do you eat? Would you consider eating lower?
Model Ecosystems. Review the virtual lab in Model Ecosystems. Within this laboratory exercise you will categorize various organisms into the correct trophic level for five different ecosystems. Once completed, you will calculate the amount of energy transferred between levels. Record your observations. Answer the journal questions and upload it as a Word document into the online course.
Energy Policy. The U.S. Energy Policy is currently being reviewed and six main recommendations are listed, by Botkin and Keller (2011, p. 298). Discuss whether or not each recommendation will lead us to a sustainable society. Defend your position by discussing the benefits and drawbacks. Provide substantive evidence from outside sources if necessary.
Fossil Fuel Reserves. Fossil fuels reserves are rapidly depleting in the United States. The oil industry is lobbying the United States government to grant permission to allow drilling in several untapped areas. Select one of the areas below…