Delta State University

SOC 422/522 COD 522

Spring Semester 2004


Study Questions, Week 13


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Topics for the Week:


Air & Water:  Personal Strategies


Readings for the Week:


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service webpages:

Conserving the Nature of America.

Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge.


Schnaiberg & Gould, ch. 6 & 7.



(1)  What is the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?  How does it carry out this mission? What are the main goals at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge?


(2)  What is the difference between preservation and conservation?  On p. 143, Schnaiberg and Gould quote Groves as follows: “If a single lesson can be drawn from the early history of conservation, it is that states will act to prevent environmental degradation only when their economic interests are shown to be directly affected.”  What does this suggest for the possibilities of conservation?  Of preservation?


(3)  How would a preservationist define “sustainability?”  How would a conservationist define “sustainability?”  What is the relationship between each approach and the treadmill of production?


(4)  How might your choice of career affect the environment?  Is this only pertinent if you choose a career that deals directly with the environment (e.g. environmental educator)?


(5)  What is the relationship between debt, credit, and the environment?  Is this only a matter of personal choice, or are there social costs as well?  How does the national debt mimic individual debt, and how are the two different?


(6)  What is meant by the term “durable goods?”  Why might manufacturers have a prejudice against durable goods?  Generally speaking, are durable goods good or bad for the environment?  Why?


(7)  Schnaiberg and Gould observe that at the same time people have become concerned about the environment, they have also become concerned about physical fitness.  What factors might explain this correlation?  How is the “physical fitness” craze damaging to the environment?  What might be done to change this?


(8)  In what ways does recycling damage the environment?  How can we implement recycling programs that make them truly environmental?


(9)  Schnaiberg and Gould assert that “only when social and political resistance become more organized, in some collective forms of resistance, will the environmental and social equity agendas come into some serious conflict with the dominant group” (p. 139).  How would you respond to their subsequent question: “what does this imply for you as an individual?”


(10)  What role does science play in modern environmental movement organizations?  What role does politics play?


(11)  Distinguish seven types of environmental movements and identify the goals of each.  To what do Schnaiberg and Gould attribute the lack of a unifying goal among environmental movement organizations?  Has the environmental movement been a success or a failure?  What evidence supports your contention?


(12)  Why, according to Schnaiberg and Gould, does the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. remain polluted, while the Potomac River has been cleaned up?  What are some consequences of the pollution in the Anacostia?