EASC3300 Global Solutions for Sustainability
1. Read the Case in Point on Hurricane Katrina on page 79 of your textbook as well as from
external resources. Then, use Google Maps to investigate the region and try to identify
hills/mountains nearby, if any are present (you may benefit from the street view function).
Based on numbers given in the text, and the prospect of more severe hurricanes due to
climate change, comment on the potential outcomes of the next hurricane, supposing it
hits in 2050. By keeping in mind the reasons why the city was built in its current location in
the first place, propose a sustainable solution to the problem.
2. Billions of barrels of oil are transported over water bodies for nations to run their
economies. Inevitably, mistakes/accidents happen and the end result may be disastrous.
a. Investigate the 1989 Alaskan oil spill through online sources. Do you think the end
result of the lawsuit was fair in terms of its societal, environmental, and economic
b. Next, investigate the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Do you think the end result of
the lawsuit was fair in terms of its societal, environmental, and economic impacts?
c. Further investigate the chemical dispersant used during clean-up efforts and discuss
whether it was a good decision made by BP.
d. Next, give examples of oil spills that occur outside the U.S. (i.e. internationally) and
compare the actions of affected governments/societies, and oil companies involved.
3. Read “The American Dust Bowl” on page 296 of your textbook as well as from external
a. Use a satellite imaging software (e.g. Google Earth/Maps) and explain what you see in
the affected area shown in Figure 14.11. Also, comment on how climate change is
expected to affect precipitation and temperature patterns at the same location (go back
and check the lecture on climate change).
b. Back when it happened, California was not as populated as it is today and survivors
were able to migrate at the expense of leaving everything behind. If aquifers of the
region feeding agriculture were to dry up or become contaminated, what do you think
would happen? (This is not a remote possibility when you consider slide 32 in the
‘water’ lecture slides)
c. Now suppose a similar environmental problem occurred in a different part of the world
and national boundaries prevent people from moving to neighboring states/countries.
What do you think would happen then?
4. Bangladesh had a population of a little over 150 million in 2011, and a population density
of 1046 people per square mile. 81% of its population lived on less than $2/day, after
adjusting for purchasing power. As a comparison, the U.S. population was close to 312
million in the same year, with a population density of 32 people per square mile, and
negligible (less than 0.5%) portion of the population living on less than $2/day (adjusted for
Majority of plains in Bangladesh have elevations less than 10 m (33 ft) above sea level, and
the elevation of the coastal south is at sea level. Look at the figure on page 18 of your
textbook for per capita energy use, and hence contribution to global warming. As sea
levels rise and more frequent storms are observed in the region, it may be possible that
millions of people will become refugees.
a. Look up the term ‘climate refugee’ from Wikipedia and describe what it means in your
own words. Do you think this scenario would qualify those people as climate refugees?
b. What do you think will happen to those people who lost their homes to rising sea
levels, or cannot find food as agricultural areas are inundated with seawater?
c. While some people believe that they will be unaffected by such events occurring in
distant foreign countries, others believe that they will be directly or indirectly affected
by it. Discuss your opinion.
d. By comparing the predicted effects of climate change from previous lectures
(temperature, precipitation, agricultural yields, water etc.), identify other critical
regions/countries that may experience similar problems. (You may also benefit from the
2011 world population data sheet posted under additional readings, or the one that
came together with your textbook)
Your report should not exceed 4 pages, single spaced, with 1 inch margins, 11-12 point font,
common font. Homework is to be submitted via Turnitin.
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