Overproduction of Waste in the Inuit Town in the Arctic Discussion Paper

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Real-World Scenarios

These questions are designed to get you thinking about how to apply what you have learned – the concepts, methods, models and techniques – to real-world problems.


I will share you all information including the note and the textbook. Make sure you can answer these questions before budgeting.

Imagine you want to find out what kinds of problems exist in these places. Take what you have learned from our class, and describe what models/approaches/concepts you would use, and what data you would collect. Think of the models and concepts we have covered in our four major topics, and when you are imagining the scenario(s), figure out what we have covered that is relevant.

2.1 Scenario 1 – Overproduction of waste/pollution: “Inuit Town” in the Arctic [20 points]

Inuit people and the ecosystems they inhabit are being slowly but systematically polluted by some of the most persistent, bio-accumulating and toxic chemicals. “Inuit Town” illustrates one of the World’s most serious environmental injustice scenarios: the toxics come from industrial countries far to the south, and from an abandoned military base nearby.

You are an environmental scientist/researcher who is part of a team. How would you and your team use the concepts and approaches we have learned about in our class to undertake a baseline field assessment of environmental pollution and potential associated health risks? Be specific about the approaches and how you apply them to different aspects of the overall problem in this context/location. Write no more than one single-spaced page.

2.2 Scenario 2 – Resource exploitation and pollution: Coal Production & GHG emissions in China [20 points]

China is the most rapidly developing urban-industrial country, with new coal-fired power stations going online at a very fast rate, fueled by domestic coal resources: 39 gigawatts were added in 2014, or three 1000MW units every four weeks, up from 36 gigawatts in 2013. This is driven by population growth and economic growth, drivers that are to some degree counter-balanced by advances in technology. For example, China’s renewable energy program is growing too, which in some way offsets the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the coal plants.

You are an environmental science and policy researcher. How would you use the concepts and approaches we have learned about in our class to model coal production, and scenarios of energy demand and GHG emissions out to 2050. Once again, be specific about the approaches and how you apply them to different aspects of the overall problem in this context. Equations will help in this case, but situate them in a qualitative description. Write no more than one single- spaced page.

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