Are there other considerations concerning the relation between population and the environment that neither author has addressed
Answer ONE of the following questions in a thoughtful and well-organized essay. Your essay should have a thesis statement and support your claim with a coherent narrative; it should not be a list of responses to the questions of the prompt. Essays should demonstrate familiarity with the course readings and discussions; the use of additional sources is not required.
- Arne Naess argues in favor of preserving wilderness areas and limiting human interference with them for ecological reasons. Going farther, Jack Turner recommends that we rediscover our “residency in wild nature” and learn to live in the wild without taming or destroying it. But Ramachandra Guha criticizes wilderness preservation as an American obsession that is harmful when exported to other parts of the globe. For Guha, environmentalists should focus instead on equity, social justice, and integrating environmental concerns with livelihood and work. Explain and evaluate these different perspectives on wilderness preservation. Should wilderness preservation be a major goal of environmentalism today, and if so why? How should this be balanced with meeting the environmental needs of the poor?
- According to Garrett Hardin’s “lifeboat ethics,” the United States should close its borders to immigrants from poor countries and refrain from providing these countries with aid, since this would only exacerbate their population problems. Clark Wolf criticizes the Malthusian assumptions of Hardin’s argument and recommends grass-roots development and collaborative policies to lower fertility rates in poor areas. Briefly summarize these positions and contrast their views. Which do you find more compelling and why? Are there other considerations concerning the relation between population and the environment that neither author has addressed? Explain your position.
- As an alternative to current land use policies, Peter Wenz proposes a system of “LULU points” that he believes would promote distributive justice, reduce environmental racism, and discourage the production of toxic hazards. Explain Wenz’s proposal and the justification that he offers for it, including how it follows from his “Principle of Commensurate Burdens and Benefits” and his account of why toxic hazards are currently produced. Would Wenz’s proposal be a fair way to redistribute environmental harms? Would it achieve the goal of discouraging the production of toxics? Why or why not? If Wenz’s view has shortcomings, what alternative would you propose to achieve distributive justice and counter environmental racism?
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