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Bio 321, Building an Eco-Economy Discussion Questions Week 1

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Discussion Questions Week 1, BIO 321 - Building an Eco-economy
Timothy McCauley, 10/21/2013
1) What is the main cause for the fall of past civilizations?

As archeologists take time to study civilizations from the past, one factor stands clear, resource exploitation was their downfall. Studies of, Easter Island, Petra and the Anasazi Indians near Chico Canyon, the ancient people that once populated these locations took from Mother earth everything she had to offer without regard to the future. Taking from the land, this way seems to be the major reason for the downfall of civilizations past.

2) How stable do you think our current economy and civilization is?

Our world is slowly grinding to a halt. Governments are falling on shaky ground financially as the economy is destroying the support systems needed to survive. We continue to take from the limited amount of natural resources without regard to the future. There appears to be less cropland available to meet the growing demands of a hungry and ever-increasing population. Pastures are being over-grazed creating more and more desert. The fossil fuel diet of the world is consuming oil faster than any other time in history. Fish are being harvested from the oceans beyond the ability of nature to replenish them. Finally, it has been noted that clean water is at an all time low.

3) How feasible is it to change from “business as usual” to a more sustainable eco-economy? How long will this process take?

Everyone agrees that a change from the “business and usual” model to something better, is fast becoming necessary in order to slow the destruction of our world. It is also equally evident that the existing industrial economic model cannot sustain economic progress. One of the problems is that we spend a too much time worrying about our economic deficits and not enough time taking action. Listening to the world leaders make excuses but do nothing to help fix the problems our world is facing. Many countries are at war from within. This only makes the current situation worse and puts more people in danger. The technology is available to offer our future generations hope but, unless drastic change is made soon, there may not be enough time to make the necessary changes to save future generations and the destruction of our world. 4) What is meant by the indirect costs of goods and services? What are the consequences of not including these in the market price?

Indirect costs for goods and services include items such as utilities, research, and transportation. Many consumable goods are subsidized by the Federal Government. This is an indirect cost, in an effort to keep the actual price lowered for consumers. Milk is one such commodity. The USDA provides money to dairies for production and distribution of milk and other dairy products offered to the local market. By not including these costs to the actual market price, consumers pay less than the true cost associated with the production of a product.

5) What changes can you make as an individual to help turn things around?

1. Take some responsibility for our personal consumption needs.
2. Recycle everything.
3. Use less water.
4. Planting trees increases oxygen to the earth.
5. Grow food for yourself and the local community
6. Re-use, Up-cycle and Re-purpose items to keep them out of landfills.…...

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