Save the Economy or the Earth?

12 Oct

In writing this Paper, it will be well to keep in mind  the Jewish prayer, “Thanks God for bringing forth bread, which exists due to the productive collaboration of humans and nature.” (Cited by Vogel in Chapter 14 of Perspectives, “How Green is Judaism?…” assigned reading for Week 10).  In other words, while answering the three question posed below, you are to consider economic and industrial development as public goods on a par with traditionally recognized public goods such as a pristine natural environment, with measures in place to ensure its long-term viability.

1.Given the time-worn maxim of, “the economy or the environment” – with the Trump political platform being only its most recent reiteration—does the possibility nonetheless exist for mankind to both respect the environment and pursue economic and industrial development?  Your answer must set forth in detail why or why not; and must be supported by logical reasoning and empirical evidence.

qMandatory reference sources for this Question 1: (a) Christian Science Monitor article linked on Slide 4 (“Saving a Moribund Coal Industry”); and (b) the Caring for Mexican Forests video linked on Slide 5.

  1. Should the scale be tipped in favor of protecting the environment where indigenous peoples lacking both political clout and social capital are fighting development in order to protect their traditional way of life in native homelands that they deem sacred? In answering this question–no matter which position you take–you are to speak directly to the following real-life situations: (a) the indigenous people in the Chichinautzin Corridor, (b) the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who protested by means of an “occupation” of government lands to try to stave off the Dakota Access Pipeline; and (c) the Colville Indians who lost “an entire indigenous culture oriented around the river and the salmon” when the Grand Coulee Dam was constructed on the Columbia River without building a salmon ladder (Perspectives, pp. 290 – 291, Chapter 15 – assigned reading for Week 10).

Additional Mandatory reference sources for this Question 2:  (a) Newsweek Article on Dakota Access Pipeline at <>; and (b) the Columbia River Watershed Video at  <>

3.Does the fact that protection of the environment is a global issue make it foolhardy to speak of the economy vs. the environment as a domestic issue to be viewed from the perspective of stakeholders within a given country?  In answering this question, deal specifically with the fact that the Emissions Trading policy of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) allows credits to Western industrialized nations that improve the environment in less-developed nations (LDNs) in lieu of reducing carbon emissions in their own countries.  The reasoning is that environmental degradation is a global problem and thus a reduction in carbon emissions anywhere on earth is beneficial to humankind in the aggregate.  Learn how emissions trading works by viewing this YouTube video: Emissions Trading

qMandatory Reference Sources for this Question 3:  (All articles by Prof A and uploaded on D2L under “Supplementary Material”):  (a) “Global Polluters and Transnational Watchdogs”; (b) “Copenhagen, Denmark”; and (c)  “Not Just Hot Air.”

qMandatory Analytical Concepts to use in Answering this Question:  (a) NIMBY, and (b) Tragedy of the Commons.  (See Slides 6 and 7 below.)

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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in Academic Writing



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