Population Growth Assignment
Select one of the six paper ideas listed at the bottom of this page. For the one you have chosen, do the following:
● In a page or two, provide a technical summary of the issue, including the science behind the issue. You may use your textbook as the initial source of information, but you must include at least 3 other scientific sources. The sources should be peer-reviewed, scientific journals, not merely sites on the Internet. There are many sources to choose from; for example, Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic, Science, etc. Document your sources correctly in APA style.
● In addition to your technical summary, prepare a paper of approximately 10 pages (approximately 2500 words). This paper should effectively provide an answer to the question you chose. Include in your paper a critique of the four sources of information you researched. Do you agree or disagree with their position(s) on the topic?
Choose one of the following paper topics for your final project. (If you need clarification on a topic, speak to your mentor.)
1. Climate Disruption Weren’t scientists warning of an imminent ice age decades ago? Here is a headline from the New York Times, May 21, 1975: “Scientists ask why world’s climate is changing; major cooling may be ahead.” Now, 35 years later, we continue to hear about icebergs melting, shorelines receding, and catastrophic weather events. Many geologists believe this is a natural process and people should not be concerned. What do you think? Include in your answer scientific evidence to support your position.
2. Nuclear Power Is nuclear power a clean, safe, energy choice that could be the predominant source of electricity in 2020? What impact, if any, have the two most serious accidents–accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986–had on the viability of nuclear power now and in the future? Since 1986 there haven’t been any significant nuclear power plant accidents reported. In fact, many countries, most notably France, have embraced the use of nuclear power as their principal fuel source. What is your opinion regarding the feasibility of using nuclear power? Provide a summary of the process as well as an analysis of the advantages as you argue your position.
3. Endangered Species Many species of animals have been placed on the endangered species list worldwide. Polar bears may be the next species to be added to the list. What change(s) to their environment have caused this dilemma? In addition, what caused the changes to their environment?
4. Population Growth Population growth, worldwide, is increasing at an alarming rate, at least according to some of the experts in the field. Ultimately, they believe, this will result in depletion of freshwater and forests leading to famine, increased poverty, and so on. What is your view on this issue? Should countries, other than China, enforce population control policies?
5. Wilderness Areas There is an area of land in northeastern Alaska (19.6 million acres) known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR. ANWR was created to preserve wildlife and wilderness, but oil has been recovered here since the 1970s. (The area appears to be a repository for a significant amount of crude oil.) What is your opinion about drilling and transporting the oil from this area to the lower states? Is this necessary? What are the effects on the wildlife and the wilderness? What should be done?
6. Tropical Rainforests Much of the tropical rainforest in Central and South America has been cleared for various types of development. Having fewer rainforests slows the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, results in the extinction of species, dislocation of indigenous populations, and, overall, the destruction of the ecosystem. This is often done in the “name of progress.” Discuss fully the impact of continued deforestation. Then analyze solutions, considering social, political, and ethical issues involved.
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