GED 108 California Coast University Environmental Science Essays

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GED 108

California Coast University




Please utilize/reference the following textbook:

Essential Environment: The Science Behind the Stories

Jay Withgott & Matthew Laposata, 2018


ISBN.13: 978-0-134-71488-2

GED 108 - Environmental Science


You only need to select one question from the list below:

Compare and contrast the philosophies of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot.

Discuss the role of humans in regulating carrying capacity for the human species and in altering the carrying capacity for other species.

List the three major trophic categories in a food web. What types of organisms are found in each level? At what levels are the autotrophs and heterotrophs found? Discuss the significance of each level for the integral functioning of the food web.


You only need to select one question from the list below:

What is the main goal of environmental policy? Describe the "tragedy of the commons" and external costs, and explain why environmental policy would focus on these problems.

What are the arguments for and against genetically modified crops? Discuss the scientific, economic, and political issues.

Is extinction natural? How has the extinction rate changed over time? Why are extinction rates today different from past extinction rates?


You only need to select one question from the list below:

How has the Smokey the Bear campaign, which attempted to eliminate wildfires from forested areas altogether, damaged forest health? What is the importance of fire in ecosystem management? What is the cost of fire suppression for ecosystem health? What is the alternative to fire suppression?

Explain risk assessment and risk management. Discuss how risk management combines science and other social factors.

Define water pollution, point source pollution, and non-point-source pollution. Which of the two (point source or non-point-source) is easier to identify? Which is easier to legislate? Which currently poses the greatest threat to fresh water?


You only need to select one question from the list below:

Why is the concept of radiative forcing critical to understanding the causes of global climate change?

If reducing waste can increase efficiency, why is the output of industrial waste still so great? What is the application of industrial ecology and life-cycle analysis to these problems?

Why do urbanized societies need stretches of uninhabited and undeveloped land?

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Environmental Essays



Environmental Essays

2. Discuss the role of humans in regulating carrying capacity for the human species and in
altering the carrying capacity for other species.
The carrying size denotes the extreme number of species that can survive in a given
habitat. Generally, if the population of the species is at equilibrium with the carrying capacity of
its ecosystem, it means that the rate of births and deaths is equal, and the population size does not
change (Maclin, 2019). Consequently, larger populations above the carrying capacity cannot be
sustained and will degrade that particular habitat. The idea of carrying capacity is essential
because it highlights the fact that all species are subject to environmental limitations depending
on population sizes that can be sustained by an ecosystem.
Human beings play a significant part in changing the carrying volume for themselves as
well as in shifting the carrying capacity of other animals. Like all the other organisms, humans
can only maintain their populations by exploiting the services and products within their
environment (Withgott & Laposata, 2018). In the process, they access the resources of other
species and their habitats. However, due to technological advancements, humans can use the
ecosystems’ carrying capacity to support their activities. For instance, humans have learned how
to utilize various tools such as weapons increasing their effectiveness in hunting and gathering
food. In doing so, they have increased the carrying capacity of their species in the ecosystem.
The same goes for the increased advancements in the field of agriculture, medicine, and
industrial technology.



Apart from humans increasing their populations, they have also increased the carrying
size of some other animals in the setting. These include species that live in mutual benefit with
humans (Maclin, 2019). Some of these species include animals such as cows, dogs, and goats, as
well as specific plants such as maize, rice, and wheat. Therefore, humans and these species
maintain a mutual relationship, and both have benefited through active management of the
environment’s carrying capacity.
On the other hand, the carrying capacity of a large number of different species has been
altered. For instance, some of these species have been made extinct or displaced through the loss
of habitat due to other human activities. Some of the human activities have led to adverse
ecological changes such as climate chang...

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