Discussion Questions

  1. Read this article--https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/science/climate-change-poll-pew.html--and respond to the following questions: (1) what might make someone more likely to believe in climate change, and to deny it; (2) what social factors, either discussed in this article or not, do you believe contribute most to one’s views on climate change; (3) for those that firmly believe in climate change, why might this belief not be transformed into action; (4) how might ignoring scientific evidence of climate change affect society?
  2. Watch this film--https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/529137/environmental-racism-is-the-new-jim-crow/--and respond to the following questions: (1) according to the author, what is the relationship between environmental factors and racial discrimination; (2) how might the trend of disproportionate amounts of African Americans living in areas of high pollution be driven by political factors; (3) why, even after learning of the potential for exposure to hazardous waste, do many people continue to live in these areas; (4) what can the average citizen of the United States do to reduce this trend?
  3. Read this article--https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/upshot/conspicuous-consumption-yes-but-its-not-crazy.html--and respond to the following questions: (1) what is conspicuous consumption; (2) how is conspicuous consumption related to environmental issues; (3) why might people pressure others to make environmentally conscious purchases; (4) for those who are unable to afford pricier “green” alternatives to food, transportation, and clothing, how might they be labeled by the privileged class of people who are more able to dedicate their finances to this issue?
  4. Read this article--https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northdakota-pipeline-dapl/federal-judge-orders-more-environmental-analysis-of-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN19538I--and respond to the following questions: (1) what is the relationship between capitalism and environmentalism; (2) is it possible for both to coexist, and why or why not; (3) explain some of the primary objections to this pipeline held by tribal members who live in its path; (4) what is the role of the judicial system in the effort to protect the environment in this case, and should governments be encouraged to intervene in such matters, or not? Explain.