Discussion Questions

1.    As human demand for energy grew, what factors contributed to energy crises in the past? What factors could lead to fewer energy crises in the future?

2.    Why is it important to use the same scale (units of measure) in different product assessments in order to determine the largest environmental impact of the various components?

3.    It has been calculated in the UK that lettuce has a greater environmental-resource impact than bacon. This is not true in many locations in the United States; explain why.

4.    What geographic comparative advantages should be considered when purchasing food, as well as food miles, for maximizing food production efficiency and minimizing its negative environmental impact?

5.    Explain the implications for Earth’s environment as average global biocapacity decreases while the average annual global carbon footprint increases.

6.    What reasonable action could you take that would have the largest impact in reducing your ecological footprint? 

7.    Explain the difference between debtor nations and creditor nations from an ecological-footprint perspective. What factors lead to uneven consumption?  

8.    Which single issue did the 2018 EPI identify as the leading global environmental health risk?

9.    Is considering the triple bottom line sufficient to avoid greenwashing, or should industry also adhere to the systems-thinking approach and quantitative tools such as lifecycle assessments?

10. Explain the components of the value chain in a company’s product.

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