In each class, split the following two options between team members (in a class that has two team members in the same learning team, each should do a different option). The first option is an article about overpopulation dealing with some controversial issues facing South Asia and the globe as a whole. The second is a video about weather in the region, a cyclone that hit Cambodia, and what the people in the region are doing to protect themselves. Jot down notes while reading or watching and then write a multi-paragraph response considering the guiding questions.
The Last Taboo: There are 7 billion humans on Earth, so why can’t we talk about population
Consider the following questions in writing a response to the article, “The Last Taboo.”
- What is life like in the region surrounding Calcutta? How densely populated is it? What is the quality of life?
- How do so many people live in this area? What sustains life?
- What is ecological overshoot? What does it have to do with overpopulation? What does it have to do with overconsumption?
- How can we solve ecological overshoot and what would that mean for some of our most pressing global issues?
- Why is overpopulation a taboo topic?
- What is “the girl effect,” and how is related to education and micro-loans?
- Why is the issue of overpopulation particularly important to India and Bangladesh? How is it also important to the United States, but in a different way?
- The author mentions a new, poorly understood, 5th stage of the demographic transion model where devloped countries with increasing wealth, education, and gender equality are experiencing increased birth rates. Why is this a disturbing trend when in the context of global population and ecological overshoot? How does this relate to the paradox: “the fastest way to slow our population growth is to reduce poverty, yet the fastest way to run out of resources is to increase wealth”?
Bangladesh: Living with Flooding
Consider the following questions in writing a response to the video, “Bangladesh: Living with Flooding.”
- What is the experience of the family in the video?
- How do people in this coastal area of Bangladesh live? Why do so many people live here?
- This area is in danger of flooding from annual Monsoons, Cyclones, and Tsunamis. Describe each of these dangers.
- Why was the 1991 Cyclone so devastating? Were the people prepared?
- How are the people here improving protection from flooding? What is the importance of Mangrove forests, and why are replanting efforts so important to coastal areas in South Asia?