Portfolio Assignment sample essay

1. “The assets of the three richest people in the world match the combined annual GDP’s of the 48 poorest countries.” My personal opinion on this statement is most closely described by: a. Good for them – they worked hard to get their wealth

b. The only problem I have with this is that this money is in their bank account and not in mine c. No problem with this – many of these people give huge amounts to charities d. I think that it is morally wrong for anyone to have that much money e. I think that active steps should be taken to correct such immoral wealth imbalances Choice now: A: Good for them – they worked hard to get their wealth Choice in assignment 1: B: The only problem I have with this is that this money is in their bank account and not mine. Notes:

I changed my option because I was not well conversant with the word ‘sustainability’. I have learned that Sustainability is about what we must want to achieve. These people achieved by working hard. We must not be greed. They worked hard to achieve their desires. We all have to work hard if we need to be successful in life. I know that some will say that there should be fair distribution of wealth and allocation of resources among diverse members of the community (distributive justice). In reality, you cannot sit and do nothing, at the end of the month you expect to be paid like all others who worked so hard.

What we have to do as a nation, we have to create a conducive environment for everyone by creating jobs, health care centers, ensure that all children are educated for the benefit of their future, by this we would be creating a better future. Inequality could not be detrimental to the interests of the poorest of the poor (Permissible inequality) ‘John Raws’. John Raws indicated that the poor do not get opportunity to go to proper schools or even better education so that their future can at least be bright, if we ensure that there is proper education, it would be a good foundation for the kids and these would reduce poverty and no one will complain about the salary or wealth of others.

2. “Unless fossil-fuel use slows dramatically, the earth’s average temperature could rise by six degrees Celsius in the next 100 years.” My personal opinion on this statement is most closely described by: a. Who cares?

b. I don’t believe this climate change nonsense
c. Six degrees will make winters much more bearable to me personally d. I’m a bit concerned about this, but there is nothing that I can do about it e. I’m a bit concerned about this, but why should I invest my personal time, effort or money in solving a general social problem. f. I think that individually we can and should strive to solve this problem for the greater good Choice now:

Choice in assignment 1: F: I think that individually we can and should strive to solve this problem for the greater good. Notes:
I’m still picking option ‘F’ because I have learned that when the temperature rises, there is a higher chance of diseases being transmitted through insects. One disease that was spread throughout the United States and Canada because of heat increase was the West Nile virus. Other animals such as rats might change their habitats in hot weather and can cause the spread of diseases. This is how the disease Hantavirus is transmitted. Heat waves can cause droughts. As a result, water levels decrease, lowering water quality and increasing the opportunity for disease transmission. Heat waves also increase health problems in humans. Average surface temperature will increase. Sea level will rise from melting ice around the world. This could be as much as a meter, or much more if melting accelerates or destabilizes major ice sheets (there is unexpected and recent evidence of Greenland and West Antarctica becoming destabilized.) Melting or destabilization of either could raise sea level world-wide by 25 feet. Deaths will increase as a result of heat waves, drought, and flooding.

We have to begin to strive to solve this problem now as it takes time to lower concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, individual and collective action – communities, states, nations, businesses and government are needed. We have to learn about our “carbon” footprint and how to reduce it by wasting less energy and pushing for solutions that would reduce carbon emissions per unit of energy used. The less fossil fuel’s used the better.

Sources: Heat Waves and Unusually Warm Weather. 8/10/05. Union of Concerned Science. 12/23/05. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/early-warning-signs-of-global-warming-heat-waves.html Consequences of Global Warming. 1/3/06. Natural
Defense Resource Council. 12/23/05. http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/fcons.asp

3. “If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.” My personal opinion on this statement is most closely described by: a. I don’t believe this tale of doom.

b. Yes we are consuming natural resources too fast, but I don’t think this is a problem as there is plenty of time to find technological solutions to problems that emerge c. Yes we are consuming natural resources too fast. The first priority in solving this is to put the brakes on human population growth. d. Yes we are consuming natural resources too fast. The first priority in solving this is for rich people to reduce their consumption significantly. e. Yes we are consuming natural resources too fast. And frankly I don’t see any solution because increasing consumption is the basis of our economic growth. Choice now:

Choice in assignment 1: B: ‘Yes we are consuming natural resources too fast, but I do not think this is a problem as there is plenty of time to find technological solution to problems that emerge. Notes:

I still chose option ‘B’ because I think as a human race we are up to the challenge. We have capable scientists who will come up with a solution to this problem. I think that a better world is possible, and that the acceptance of physical limits is the first step toward getting there.

4. “If arctic ice melting continues, we are likely to see the loss of two thirds of the world’s polar bear population within 50 years.” My personal opinion on this statement is most closely described by: a. Who cares?

b. If it boils down choosing between driving a luxury SUV and worrying about polar bears I’ll take the car any day. c. While this is sad, polar bears aren’t really very important to my personal welfare which is my primary concern. d. While this is sad, polar bears aren’t really very important to general human social welfare. e. I don’t think polar bears are all that important to human welfare. However, their plight is a symptom of climate change which is a big problem to future human welfare. f. I think this it is morally unacceptable for humans to put their interests ahead of the rights of other species like polar bears. Choice now: C: While this is sad, polar bears aren’t really very important to my personal welfare which is my primary concern’.

Choice in assignment 1: F: I think this is morally unacceptable for humans to put their interests ahead of the rights of other species like polar bears. Notes:

I don’t have to worry about Polar bears because they live In the Arctic in areas where they can hunt seals at openings in the sea ice called leads. There are five nations with polar bears: U.S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. So, I really don’t think it is necessary for me

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