ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PUBLISHED FOR EVERYBODY ROUND THE EARTH
1. Questions to be answered individually or in groups
a) A high standard of living implies consumption of a large number of goods. How does our consumption of goods affect our climate?
b) Imagine that you buy a blue cotton sweater made in China. Summarise the various parts of the production process, transportation, marketing and sale of the sweater and how each part uses energy.
c) Taxes that make fuel for lorries, ships and aeroplanes more expensive may reduce the use of these forms of transport and therefore reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. These taxes, however, also make goods imported from other countries more expensive. Do you think it's OK if imported goods such as food, clothes and electronics increase in price, provided this results in a decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases?
1. Image: Microsoft clipart
2. Check your local environment!
Find out how your local community encourages (or discourages?) a "climate-friendly" lifestyle: Does it have well-functioning public transport systems, bicycle paths, recycling bins, etc.?
2. Image: Microsoft clipart
3. Discussion in class or in groups
Climate change is related to energy use, and energy use is connected to our daily consumption. A suggested contribution for solving the climate problem is that we consume less. If we consume less, every individual will save money. What should we spend this money on? Go for an exotic holiday? Go to the theatre? Give the money to someone who needs it? Should we work less and be paid less?
Discuss with your classmates how we can make sure that reducing our use of one thing doesn't lead to an increased consumption of another and how we can ensure that we reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases?
4. Economic growth and our standard of living
Do you think the government should try to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases even if it slows down or reduces our standard of living?
a) Which of the following answers do you think is the best one?
1) No, I don’t think the government should make any effort to reduce these emissions
2) No, the government should only take measures to reduce emissions that do not harm business or slow down growth.
3) Yes, measures that leads to a slight reduction in growth are worth it as long as we still get richer year by year
4) Yes, we should do whatever it takes to reduce these emissions even if it costs us quite a bit
b) Write a text (100–300 words) explaining your answer. What will be the likely consequences for our way of life?
About this page:
Authors: Ellen K. Henriksen and Camilla Schreiner - University of Oslo - Norway.
Scientific reviewer: Andreas Tjernshaugen - CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo) - Norway - 2004-01-20
Educational reviewer: Nina Arnesen - Marienlyst school in Oslo - Norway - 2004-03-10.
Last update: 2004-03-27.