You must pick any TWO of these three questions to answer. Once you have chosen your questions please do the following:

1. Create a word document and save it using the following format: “your name_GEO316_Midterm”

2. Copy the two questions you will respond to into your document. 

3. Compile your exam responses in word (and be sure to save your work frequently). Using Word will hopefully resolve the issue of losing text as a result of a poor or unstable internet connection.

4. Consult the rubric attached to make sure you have answered all components of the question and put forward an argument.

5. Upload your final responses onto CANVAS before 11:59 PM on March 10th. 

Remember, all work in this class is graded for written expression, argument, engagement with course themes as well as factual content. Organize and express your thoughts carefully. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. These essay questions can be answered well in 6-7 good paragraphs. Citations and mention of relevant people (i.e. authors read and case studies discussed in class) are highly encouraged.  These questions deliberately go beyond my mini-lectures. You are encouraged to research them on your own as well as read all relevant material in the module. To do well on this exam will require reading, digging, and integration on your part. You are expected to know something, not just wave your hands in the air. Initiative on your part will be rewarded!

Please note that your responses will be submitted to the database to be reviewed for plagiarism. So please make sure everything you submit is in your own words or includes appropriate citations. Any exam that includes plagiarized material will be reported and automatically receive a zero (refer to the syllabus for university policy on plagiarism). 



What is the linear materials economy (LME) and why do many scholars argue that it is incompatible with sustainable development? Identify (a) at least two ways that a linear materials economy produces environmental problems, give examples, and be explicit. (b) explain why critics of the LME argue that recycling is necessary but not sufficient to solve our environmental problems (c) Conclude with your own personal evaluation of how we might transform the materials economy to be more sustainable?

A possible approach: 

  1. Explain the linear materials economy? (1 paragraph)
  2. Put forward an argument about whether you think it is incompatible with sustainable development. In your response, discuss 2-3 ways that it produces environmental problems and why recycling (or downstream interventions) are not sufficient to resolve our current problems (4-5 paragraphs)
  3. Conclude with a paragraph on how we might transform the materials economy to be more sustainable? (1-2 paragraphs)
Question 2: 

Do you think economic growth is compatible with sustainable development? (i.e. Do you think it is possible to have economic growth that does not transgress planetary boundaries?) In your response, assess the value of using markets and technology to resolve environmental problems. In your opinion how well have they worked thus far and what are some of their limits? Use examples. be explicit.

A possible approach: 

  1. Put forward an argument about whether you think economic growth is compatible with sustainable development (1 paragraph)
  2. As part of this argument assess the value-added of using growth, markets, and technology to resolve environment problems (discuss some examples and their strengths and weaknesses, where did they work, where did they fall short.) (4-5 paragraphs)
  3. Conclude with a discussion on where you weigh in (yes, no, somewhere in between) and what your argument means for how we respond to the problem of unsustainable development? (2-3 paragraphs)

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