Sociology450 Solutions to Global Issues (Whitepaper on the impact of population growth)

 
Assignment 1: Whitepaper on the Impact of Population  
Due Week 4 and worth 110 points
There is no question  that the world’s population will grow dramatically in the next decade.  The members of the United Nations are working to understand the impact  that population growth has in developing countries. For this assignment,  imagine you have been hired by the UN to help assess the social impact  of population growth. Your first project as a consultant with the UN is  to develop a whitepaper on three issues related to the population growth  faced by a developing country of your choosing. Read the overview  below, then write a whitepaper addressing the questions below. 
I. Overview        

Our obsession  with continual economic growth deters us from studying the role that an  expanding population plays in global warming. (1)
About  3 billion years ago, the earth suffered a mass extinction caused by  catastrophic volcanic activity in Siberia and wildfires that covered the  entire planet. Since then, four more mass extinction events eradicated  up to 80% of all species each time. The world’s community of  climatologists and scientists overwhelmingly agree that we are now on  the verge of a sixth mass event that, over the next few tens of  thousands of years, will wipe out nearly all living species on Earth,  including mankind. This is not the stuff of science fiction or  speculation, but rather the studied view of the experts who are most  qualified to make this kind of assessment. As anthropologist Richard  Leaky, author of The Sixth Extinction, wrote in 1995, “Homo sapiens might not only be the agent of the sixth extinction, but also risks being one of its victims” (2).
This leaves us with two issues worth reflecting on:  
1. Does the rate at which people are reproducing need to be controlled to save the environment?  
2. To what extent does human population growth impact global warming, and what can be done about it (3)? 
The  answer to the first is quite simply “yes,” but the solution to the  second is more problematic. The damage humans do to the climate is  ruining the atmosphere surrounding the planet; at the rate this damage  is increasing, there will eventually be no atmosphere left to protect  life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Compared with other  planets in our solar system, Earth has mild temperatures, thanks largely  to an atmosphere protected from harmful gases. However, since the  beginning of the Industrial Revolution (around 1775), damaging gases  have become stuck in the atmosphere. This causes some of the heat  radiating from the sun—that which does not exit into space—to reflect  back to Earth. The result is that oceans have become warmer, and  glaciers are melting, including parts of Antarctica. If we think of  Antarctica as the stopper in a bottle, its disappearance by melting away  will release the water it holds, raising sea levels to uncontrollable  levels and flooding coastal regions for miles inland. The two main  culprits for this warming trend are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).  These gases, called “greenhouse gases,” are trapped by the earth’s  atmosphere and, in turn, heat up the entire planet. It is worth noting  that warming oceans are killing off kelp beds throughout the earth’s  oceans and coastlines at a prodigious rate. Not only do hundreds of  millions of people depend on the fish that thrive on this ecosystem, but  kelp is a natural absorbent of CO2 and purifies both the water and the air we breathe.
A  growing population that consumes natural resources is partially to  blame for the release of greenhouse gases, as are deforestation, soil  erosion, and farming (overturned dirt releases CO2). However, the real issue is the burning of fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) such as coal  oil and natural gas, which is produced by the organic remains of  prehistoric organisms. The release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as  refrigerants, propellants in aerosol sprays, and solvents contributes  heavily to the depletion of the ozone layer in the earth’s stratosphere.  At the current rate at which these gases and CFCs are released into the  atmosphere, affecting the earth’s ecosystems and level of biodiversity,  the earth’s surface temperature will increase by about two degrees  Fahrenheit. This will cause a change weather patterns across the globe.  In December 2017, the World Bank stated, “Climate  change is an acute threat to global development and efforts to end  poverty. Without urgent action, climate impacts could push an additional  100 million people into poverty by 2030” (4). 
Sources:
1. George Gitlitz. 2018. Opinion: The pernicious climate dictum–don’t mention population. https://www.berkeleyside.com/2018/06/19/opinion-the-pernicious-climate-dictum-dont-mention-population 
2. Gemma Tarlach. 2018. Mass Extinctions. http://discovermagazine.com/2018/jul-aug/mass-extinctions 
3. Larry LeDoux. 2018. Does Population Growth Impact Climate Change. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-growth-climate-change/ 
4. Bill McKibben. 2018. A Very Grim Forecast. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/11/22/global-warming-very-grim-forecast/ 
II. Assessment
The  world’s population is expanding at a such a fast rate that some natural  resources are being stripped from the environment. Global institutions  are working to prevent both the loss of these resources and the  consequences of not having access to them.
In  this first assignment, research the impact of population growth on  society. Write a whitepaper for the UN that consists of a minimum of four pages (not including the cover letter). Your  assignment is to assess the impact of population growth, citing at  least five credible sources in your research. As you compose the  whitepaper, review the United Nations list of developing countries  (available on the United Nations website). 
Select one  country from the United Nations list of developing countries to use as  an example throughout your assignment. The completed version of this  assignment will include the following items: 

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Cover page: Include  your name, course title, the country you have selected from the UN list  of developing countries, current date, and the name of your instructor.
Introduction: Introduce the topic of the whitepaper (half-page minimum). 
One-page (minimum) answers (for a total of three pages) to each of the following questions: 

What are greenhouse gases, and how do they contribute to global warming? 
What  economic, security, political, and other challenges do these emissions  pose to the people of the developing world, and who are the biggest  offenders? 
Is there a way to control the growth of population on a global level?

Note: Give examples in your responses to each of the above questions as it relates to the developing country you have chosen. 

Conclusion: Provide a minimum of a one-half page conclusion.

Cite  at least five credible sources excluding Wikipedia, dictionaries, and  encyclopedias for your assessment. A brief list of suggested resources  has been provided at the end of the course guide. 
This course requires use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS).  The format is different compared to other Strayer University courses.  Please take a moment to review ​the SWS documentation for details. (Note: You’ll be prompted to enter your Blackboard login credentials to view these standards.)
The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

Evaluate the impacts of population growth and its negative impacts on global societies while considering multiple perspectives. 

Grading  for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization  of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following  rubric:

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