Supplemental Materials includes links to additional online resources from the Choices Program, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.
This online ballot is designed for use after working with the Choices Program's curriculum unit, The U.S. Role in a Changing World or other related topics from our Current Issues series.
Global Environmental Problems: Implications for U.S. Policy
Thirteenth edition. February 2009.
Until recently, concern about the environment revolved almost exclusively around local and national problems. In the past thirty years, scientists increasingly have focused attention on more far-reaching environmental threats that transcend national boundaries. A new concept - global environmental problems - has entered the public arena, especially in the area of foreign policy and economic matters.
Global Environmental Problems: Implications for U.S. Policy explores the relationship between public policy in the United States and the ecological health of the planet.
Global Environmental Problems: Implications for U.S. Policy is recommended by the National Science Teachers Association in NSTA Recommends.
The background readings outline the causes and effects of climate change, ozone depletion, acid rain and water pollution, deforestation and desertification, and the decline of biodiversity. Part II explains resources, their consumption, and how developed countries, the former Soviet bloc, newly-industrializing countries, and developing countries each pose distinct threats to the global environment. Part III discusses the environmental agenda of the international community and examines key components of the controversy over environmental policy in the United States.
The Choices Role Play
At the core of this curriculum unit are four distinct policy options designed to help students clarify their thoughts and, ultimately, articulate their own views. Each option is grounded in a clearly defined philosophy about the U.S. relationship with the international community and the balance between environmental protection and economic health.
Global Environmental Problems and Local Concerns
Students consider competing interests in the Amazon Basin through the perspectives of stakeholders in the region. They define environmental problems and weigh the challenges and trade-offs involved in protecting the environment.
Exploring the Amazon Using Google Earth
Students explore the Amazon Basin using Google Earth. They investigate the intersection of geography, ecology, and economic development.
Global Environmental Problems in the International Arena
Students use the readings and videos to develop presentations from the perspectives of four regions in the world to help them understand the international aspect of environmental challenges and the needs and approaches of different regions.
Understanding the Carbon Cycle
Through analysis of multiple charts and graphs, students assess humanity's impact on the global carbon cycle.
Role-Playing the Four Options
Working cooperatively to develop and present different U.S. policy options to members of a presidential advisory panel, students are able to clarify and evaluate alternative policy recommendations.
Looking Into the Future
Armed with historical knowledge and a sense of their own values, students deliberate the options presented. They articulate recommendations for U.S. policy and assess the Kyoto Protocol in the context of their proposal.