Population, environment and agricultural issues

Purpose: To think critically about population, environment and agricultural issues by applying concepts from class to current events.

Instructions: Choose a substantive, but brief article from a newspaper, magazine or journal from the past year relating to a topic covered in class, or use one of the assigned readings. It’s nice to have some information that you identify.

Write a two to three page, double-space paper summarizing and critically analyzing the article. A reaction paper should be more than a simple summary of the material; it should contain your opinion or reaction to reading the material. The paper should have three sections: summary of article, initial reaction to the article, and thoughtful analysis, relating class concepts and readings to the article chosen. Attach the article to your paper when you submit it. Please use 12 point font.

Your grade will be determined by: quality of article chosen, summary and critical analysis, and writing style, including grammar (but relatively little weight on style and grammar – but do your best).


Summary – a short, concise paragraph of the main points of the article.
The New York Times reported on March 24, 2006 that the World Meteorological Association (WMO) continues to find evidence linking global warming and hurricanes. The WMO reported that greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide — blamed for global warming and climate change — had reached their highest levels in the atmosphere. Noting that 2006 was a record year for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, the WMO said there is no consensus in the scientific community on the link between hurricanes and global warming, but there are leads. Research into the link between climate change and hurricanes could take up to five years.
Initial Reaction – a paragraph on why this article is important.

Hurricane Katrina is said to be one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States. It devastated thousands of people, causing over two thousand deaths and billions in economic damage. According to the WMO, disasters like Katrina have become more frequent and catastrophic because of global warming. In addition, many scientists find that global warming is correlated to other natural disasters. For example, El Nino, caused by interaction between abnormally warm or cool seas and the atmosphere, typically triggers drought in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia, and floods in western parts of North and South America. Thus, global warming is a serious problem that will only worsen with increases in atmospheric temperature.

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