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Benefits of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech prohibits the government from arbitrarily or unnecessarily interfering with
ones personal opinion, or speech for that matter. As stated in the constitution, every citizen
has the opportunity to censure the federal government to support their ostracized, bizarre ideas,
which may be offensive to those around you.
1. Shared responsibility
For starters, freedom of speech gives a person a certain level of responsibility, enhanced trust,
frankness, and better sense of liability. n addition, free speech acts a tool in nurturing social
evolution. !evertheless, in order to ensure that we all en"oy freedom of speech, the government
must put measures into place to stop groups that promote offensive views, such as racism,
fascism, se#ism and terrorism.
2. Enhances self-esteem
Another reason why the government should encourage freedom of speech is to help people
develop poise to e#press their views without fear of being condemned or punished. $y doing so,
people can challenge the rules and laws and fight for what they believe is right. %uch inspired
folks are usually front&runners in economic development.
3. New ideas foster development
'he benefits of freedom of speech are somewhat obvious, for instance, sharing of ideas can
enhance productivity at the workplace, not to mention that it fosters social relationship. Although
the benefits of freedom of speech are evident, some groups may abuse this privilege by
promoting racist views, as well as fascism.
4. Encora!es social evoltion
(hile it is not prudent to restrict freedom of speech, the government should set up laws to ensure
all individuals have the chance to e#press their views without any discrimination, especially
when the laws are enforced by the federal government. Also, it protects your rights of e#pression
and information in cases of war like circumstances.
Freedom of speech has its limitations when a group of individuals promote biased ideas, like
se#ism, fascism, terrorism, and racism.
1) nformaton on how to make/obtan weapons (homemade bombs for exampe)
ready avaabe
2) nctng peope to voent acton s possbe (hate speech versus a certan
3) prvacy s compromsed, sometmes unknowngy (do a search for
"facebook persona nformaton" for an exceent case n pont)
4) propaganda/msnformaton s easy to spread va the Internet
5) peope are not hed accountabe for what they say (peope are anonymous
when on the Internet, though ths s aso one of the man puses about the
Environment "odel Essay
) *+on,uest without conscience.- 'o what e#tent would you agree with this assessment of our
relationship to the environment.
/umans are the 0masters1 of the 2arth today. +learly, it is not due to our physical prowess that
gave us such a title. t is our intellect, innovation and creativity that have allowed the human race
to rise in power against all the other animal species that are more physically advanced compared
to us. t is through innovation that has allowed us to win the con,uest against the animal species,
bending them over to our will and sub"ecting these animals to whatever we please. %ince
cavemen con,uered the animal species, humans have become bolder. 2ven in today-s modern
world, con,uests are made, in the form of the uncountable inventions appearing daily, to improve
the ,uality of life. /owever, the negative effects of the numerous *battles- we have held to
become more technologically advanced over the centuries is showing in the home we reside in,
3other 2arth. 'hese *battles-, regrettably, are still fought daily, and we show almost no effort to
stop. n my opinion, feel that *+on,uest without conscience- is an accurate description of the
humans- relationship to the environment. !umerous acts by humans clearly "ustify my view.
First, there is the act of pollution. 3any of the daily tasks that we do in our everyday life involve
polluting the environment. 'hese tasks take up a ma"ority of our lives and are often done without
a second thought to spare for the environment. +hina, a country that has up to 4.5 billion people
is one of the largest contributors to pollution. t is not only due to the large number of people
living in the country that causes the pollution to be high. 6ne of the main reasons that have
singled +hina out is due to their burning of coal to generate electrical power for the masses. 'he
usage of coal is highly polluting and the main reason on why +hina uses it is due to the cost
effectiveness of coal. 'he more e#pensive but cleaner alternative of fossil fuels, however, is
adopted in many countries around the world. 'he usage of coal to generate electrical power for
so many people is significant to the global emission levels of carbon mono#ide gas. 'his selfish
act of rating cost effectiveness over the harm caused to the environment shows how the humans
are involved with the notion of a con,uest for advancement without conscience. 3other 2arth is
then made to inhale so much more of these to#ic gases at the e#pense of coal being cheaper than
fossil fuels. 7ollution is the result our never&ending need for cheaper energy to power our never&
ending consumption of resources.
%econd, deforestation too, leads to air pollution. 8eforestation is deemed as necessary for many
countries as it is the only way for more land to be developed for industrial purposes and for
housing. As a result, large areas of woodland are cleared on a regular basis to ensure that there is
more space for development to occur. n many countries, there is a more eco&friendly approach
in uprooting the trees such that another tree is planted in another region. /owever, in the case of
ndonesia, the deforestation techni,ue is to burn the forest by large areas such that large areas of
land can be cleared at once. 'he usage of this slash&and&burn techni,ue to clear the land, more
notably by poor farmers, causes mass pollution for the country of ndonesia. 'he haze generated
by the fire is then blown by the wind over to %outh 2ast Asian countries, causing an
inconvenience to the locals living there and affecting the air ,uality in these countries. %uch acts
by the ndonesians further support the claim on how con,uests by the humans are made without
conscience. 'he ndonesians, in the con,uest to clear more land, not only contributes to the
pollution, but also seriously inconveniencing the locals in the %outheast Asian countries. /ence,
their selfish methods of clearing land for development illustrates the little conscience they have
in the con,uest for land for development purposes.
2ven in the world of medicine, the statement is relevant. n medicine, new drugs are formulated
daily in order to battle against the many sicknesses and illnesses that cause harm to humans.
/owever, due to the reluctance of humans in trying out the drug for fear of adverse side effects,
the scientists turn to animals. n laboratories that deal with medicine, rats are bred, for the sole
purpose of testing the drug on them. 'hese rats are first in"ected with the virus, then with the
drug and kept under observation. t is only when the rat is close to death that is it put to sleep.
'hese animals form part of our environment, and yet are sub"ected to pain and misery due to our
con,uest against diseases. 9ittle thought is spared for how the animal may be feeling during the
process of being in"ected with the virus. /ence, in the con,uest against illness and diseases, the
humans are too, without conscience and do not mind doing the species that share the planet with
us, harm.
/owever, as our daily activities contribute increasingly to harming the environment, we too,
have been trying to make up for our wrong doings and lessening the impact of our rash
con,uests. First, countries are working together on a global scale to scale down the effects of
their global emissions on a regular basis. n :;;), a summit was held at +openhagen and it was
attended by almost every country in the world to discuss issues regarding global emissions and
what can be done by each and every country to scale down their carbon emissions. At the
summit, many countries, notably +hina, had each made an effort to reduce the impact of our
con,uests on the environment. %uch acts by the leaders of the countries of the world then
demonstrates that although pollution is not going to stop any time soon, the negative effects of
pollution to the environment have been recognised and something is being done about it. 2ven in
the upcoming world e#po that is going to be held in %hanghai this year, e#hibits of the countries
are to have a *green- theme to them, raising awareness on the need to cut down pollution. /ence,
there is a conscience present for the environmental damage caused and things are being done
about it.
Also, other than global efforts, even automobile companies are starting to play their part in
showing their regret in harming the 2arth. 3ore environmentally friendly cars are emerging as
automobile companies try to cut down global emissions due to their cars. 'hese new cars, many
of them hybrid cars, can run on the conventional fuel for convenience sake and too, can run on
the bio&diesel that is ,uoted to be environmentally&friendly. %uch acts by the giants in the
automobile industry will demonstrate how the harm caused to the environment is noted and that
the owners of the automobile industry recognise that part of the fault is theirs and something is
being done about it. 'here is then a conscience present in these car&makers such that they are
willing to do something for the harm they have caused in their con,uest.
All in all, great amount of harm is being dealt to the environment in our con,uest for a more
advanced and easier life. /owever, this harm is being compensated for by a few
environmentally&mind individuals that actively care for the environment. 'hese are the people,
sadly to say, the minority that possess a conscience for the various con,uests made.
#o what e$tent shold rich nations bear responsibility for solvin! environmental problems%
< bear responsibility
criteria =cause, ability, self&interest>
&eneric (command)'
2#tent ,uestion ? re,uires student to acknowledge that responsibility is shared
rich, developed nations
implied ? developing nations
cutting back & reducing consumption and production
active measures ? reforestation, alternative energy,
mitigation@adaptation ? coping with conse,uences
*hat environmental problems%
Apart from global warming, these problems include deforestation,
loss of biodiversity, air, water, and land pollution.
+ow to measre e$tent of responsibility%
=4> /ow much of the damage were their doing.
=:> /ow able are they to solve the problems.
=5> /ow much is at stake for them.
+riteriaA +AB%2
Cich nations 8eveloping nations ndustries =3!+s, '!+s>
+ause /istorically, rich nations are
primary contributors to global
warming due to past industrial
7er capita consumption
patterns are highest in the
developed world.
+urrently, some of the
developing nations who
are the larger
contributors to global
n the future, it is the
current rapidly
developing nations that
will be the primary
contributors to global
&&(hile it may appear that some
of the developing nations are
greater contributors to carbon
emissions today, much of such
emissions are from industrial
activity from companies owned
by rich nations.
&&7hysical location is thus not as
important as national
Ability t is the rich nations who
possess most of the
technological know&how and
financial means to deal with
environmental catastrophe and
to research possible alternative
energy solutions.
t is the developing
nations who hold the
key to solving
environmental problems
because they make up
most of the world-s
population and control
t is also the rich nations who
are able to most help the
developing nations when it
comes to coping with the
conse,uences of global
most of the world-s
'his means that they
have the potential ability
to help address
environmental issues.
Cich nations are not spared
from the ill&effects of global
warming. 3oreover, they have
significant interests in business
development in the developing
8eveloping nations have
an obvious stake in
resolving environmental
issues because they
suffer the brunt of
global warming.
*hile developed nations shold bear more responsibility, developin! nations shold also
play their part in solvin! the environmental problems.
Assuming rich nations have =4> caused environmental problems, =:> the ability and =5> are self&
interest, they should bear more responsibility to solve the environmental problems.
Although they have a moral obligation, it would be unfair for them to bear full responsibility.
'his is because developing nations are increasingly =4> causing environmental problems, =:>
gaining the ability and =5> are self&interested to make amends.
Bltimately for the environmental problems to be solved, this would re,uire the commitment and
cooperation of both nations.
Det, developing nations are increasingly =4> causing environmental problems, =:> gaining the
ability and =5> are self&interested to make amends.
#he -oncept of .ossibility
s it possible to protect the environment when many countries re,uire increasing amounts of
energy to progress.
possible =realistic, difficult, long term probability, short term probability> ? re,uires discussion of
impediments =acknowledging condition and trade&offA increasing amounts of energy
consumption have an impact on the environment, human will and determination, human
ingenuity, international cooperation>
protect the environment =conservation, mitigating conse,uences of global warming,
reforestation, alternative energy, etc>, countries that re,uire increasing amounts of energy to
progress =undeveloped, developing, developed>
'he increasing amount of energy that is re,uired to progress has a damaging effect on the
n order to protect the environment, countries need to cut back on the amount of energy use.
t is possible
=4> the obstacles are manageable
=:> the solutions can be maintained and enforced
t is not possible asA
=4> the obstacles are overwhelming
=:> rendering the solutions insignificant
t is possible but e#tremely difficult
=4> acknowledge there are solutions
=:> but the obstacles are overwhelming
=5> rendering the solutions ineffective
*hy is it possible bt e$tremely difficlt%
.ossible 0bstacle
'he use of alternative energy sources has already been proven to be
economically viable. =i.e., increasing energy use need not be harmful to
the environment>
8ependency of many
countries on fossil
fuels that are highly
polluting to fuel
economic growth
As the conse,uences of global warming become more severe,
governments around the world will be under pressure to work together
and seek solutions to protect the environment while at the same time
ensure progress for their people. Furthermore, there appears to be a lot
9ack of will
9ack of cooperation
of 0e#cess capacity1, i.e., there may not be a need for drastic cuts or
changes in lifestyles ? what is needed are merely more efficient ways
of energy production and use. =!eed not cut back on energy
$ased on current trends in science and technology, 3an is likely to
invent more ingenuous ways of protecting the environment while at the
same time en"oying economic progress.
3an appears to have
reached the limits of
his intellectual
7rotecting the environment can also be economically viable as
evidenced by eco&tourism and "obs in the alternative energy market.
3an-s Ereed
t is increasingly possible to protect the environment because of the use of alternative energy
resources, the increased pressure from governments to work together to seek solutions, the more
ingenuous ways of protecting the environment and the economically viable pursuits.
/owever, the overwhelming obstacles such as the heavy reliance on fossil fuels, lack of will and
cooperation, 3an-s Ereed and the appearance that 3an has reached his intellectual limits ..........
Not .ossible 0bstacle
3any governments are unwilling to adopt alternative sources of
energy due to the high costs associated and the hassle that comes
with changing e#isting infrastructures.
7eople-s fears that such modern forms of technology may have ill
8ependency of many
countries on fossil fuels
that are highly polluting to
fuel economic growth
8ependency of many
countries on e#ploiting
natural resources to fuel
certain industries
3an is inherently selfish and greedy. +ountries are likely to
cooperate when there appears to be little incentive for them to take
the first step.
9ack of cooperation, lack
of will
3an appears to have reached the limits of his intellectual abilities.
'here is little alternative left e#cept to cut back on energy use.
/uman ingenuity
2co&tourism is not as *environmentally friendly- as it seems and
money channeled into such pro"ects could have been better used
elsewhere. Fobs in alternative energy markets are unstable,
uncertain and not as lucrative
+hanging lifestyles
How to use The Flipside:
The Flipside offers you two views on a given issue. In many cases, the views are polar opposites.
In some cases, the second view is merely an alternative perspective. These contradictory views
are presented in full to facilitate discussion and to offer a more objective take on issues. The
graduating GP student should be well aware that no view can ever be balanced in an essay with
the polar opposite. The result is a thoroughly contradictory essay.
Instead, the student should adopt one point of view (the stand), while alan!in" his
views # a!$nowled"in" so%e&pa'tial t'uth in the alte'native view(
The student %a# also !hoose to alan!e # sa#in" that the'e a'e e)!eptions to his stand
whi!h appl# unde' !e'tain !onditions(
The student %a# also !hoose to p'esent the alte'native offe'ed he'e in o'de' to
suse*uentl# 'eut it(
To illustrate we have crafted sample paragraphs in ection !.
1. -oncept12sse' Cesponding to Elobal (arming
3estion' /ow responsible is 3ankind in protecting the environment.
/nswer' 3ankind is responsible in protecting the environment to a large e#tent. Eranted,
there have been efforts on the part of individuals, non&governmental organisations,
governments and international organisations towards protecting the environment. /owever,
these efforts to change the environmental situation have been cosmetic at best. 'his
shortcoming is a result of some who remain adamant and apathetic to take up the
responsibility of protecting the environment. As long as people recognise their roles and are
responsible in protecting the environment, those efforts would remain concerted and
maintained in the long run.
/r!ments /lternative views
'here are governments who recognise the
impact of traditional sources of energy and are
turning to cleaner and greener alternatives such
as nuclear energy. n :;;G, taly announced
that within five years it planned to resume
building nuclear energy plants out of a growing
concern over the warming effects of carbon
emissions from fossil fuels.
8espite adopting an alternative source of
energy, i.e. nuclear energy, some governments
are undermining other solutions to climate
change by diverting urgently needed resources
away from the true renewable and energy&
efficient solutions that governments who are
serious about climate change need to invest in.
$ig businesses are also more receptive to the
call to look after the environment. ncreasingly,
there are companies who e#ercise corporate
social responsibility =+%C> as they are
reinvesting in their workforce, communities
and the environment. 6ne such company is
%ome companies stray away from their
responsibilities to the environment as they
falsely believe that developing sustainably
would reduce their profits.
%tarbucks who is committed to supporting
programmes that facilitate farmers- access to
carbon markets, allowing them to generate
additional income while helping to prevent
2stablished outside of political parties,
=nongovernmental organisations> !E6s
voluntarily are responsible for advocating
public-s concerns and pressurising
governments to do a better "ob. +onservation
nternational has worked with the +ambodian
government to create a one&million acre
protected area and sponsored scientific
research of coral reefs off ndonesia.
As dedicated as !E6s are in protecting the
environment, a small minority are more radical
in their approach. Adherents of radical
environmentalism and ecological anarchism
are involved in direct action campaigns to
protect the environment. %ome campaigns have
employed controversial tactics including
sabotage, blockades and arson.
2. -oncept12sse' Cesponding to Elobal (arming
3estion' 8o the rich and privileged hold a greater responsibility to tackle environmental
/nswer' According to 3aslow-s /ierarchy of !eeds, protecting the environment would be a
concern of the rich and privileged because of their emphasis on the ,uality of life. Eiven this
concern and their ability to afford the skills, technology and costs of protecting the
environment, the rich and privileged are often placed with greater responsibility to protect the
environment. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, their influential position in the world
renders them even more responsible. 'herefore, with their economic advantage and political
clout, the rich and privileged do hold a greater responsibility to tackle the environmental
/r!ments /lternative views
t is the affluent and developed nations that are
often to blame for the problems plaguing the
environment. t is the way the rich lives, and in
particular the e#cesses of the very rich, that is
doing most of the real damage. 'he
(orldwatch nstitute in its annual report, tate
of the "orld #$$%, addressed the devastating
toll on the 2arthHs water supplies, natural
resources, and ecosystems e#acted by a
plethora of disposable cameras, plastic garbage
bags, and other cheaply made goods with built
in product&obsolescence, and cheaply made
manufactured goods that lead to a Ithrow
awayI mentality.
6ther developing nations are fast becoming the
ma"or contributors to environmental problems.
ncreasingly, developing countries are catching
up rapidly to the detriment of the environment,
health, and happiness. For years, the streets of
+hinaHs ma"or cities were characterized by a
virtual sea of people on bicycles, and :J years
ago there were barely any private cars in
+hina. $y :;;;, J million cars moved people
and goodsK the number is e#pected to reach :L
million by the end of ne#t year.
Cich nations have the financial resources and 7oor countries also have an important
the political clout in their own countries and in
the international arena.
responsibility towards the world.
3any environmental problems respect no
national bordersK environmental problems in
one country can easily cross physical borders
and affect not only the country of origin.
3. -oncept12sse' 2nvironment and 2conomy
3estion' (ill economic development always be carried out at the e#pense of the
/nswer' %ince the 4)G;s, there has been a growing body of evidence to suggest that
industrialisation is having an effect on the climate of the planet. 'ill today, industrialisation
with its countless new machines and technologies continue to e#acerbate the e#ploitation of
the environment. f this were to go on, economic development would always eclipse
protection of the environment. /owever the picture is not as bleak as it seems. ncreasingly
today there is a growing awareness and effort on the part of governments to develop
sustainably. As long as governments are moving away from traditional methods of
development and are developing sustainably, economic development would not always be
carried out at the e#pense of the environment.
/r!ments /lternative views
8eveloped countries are unwilling to slow
down economic growth for the environment.
Cich countries led by Cussia, Australia and the
2B have been accused of trying to cheat their
way out of reducing their greenhouse gas
emissions by creating IdishonestI forestry
accounting loopholes.
/owever, while economic development has
brought about environmental degradation, it
need not always be at the detriment of the
environment. 3any business corporations have
succeeded and yet have committed to the
environmental cause.
8eveloped and in particular developing
countries are still dependent on polluting
energy sources like fossil fuels for its
economic growth.
Although ecotourism is intended for small
groups, even a modest increase in population,
however temporary, puts e#tra pressure on the
local environment and necessitates the
development of additional infrastructure and
amenities. 'he construction of water treatment
plants, sanitation facilities, and lodges come
with the e#ploitation of non&renewable energy
sources and the utilization of already limited
local resources. 'he conversion of natural land
to such tourist infrastructure is implicated in
deforestation and habitat deterioration of
2co&tourism channels resources away from
other pro"ects that could contribute more
sustainable and realistic solutions to pressing
environmental problems. 7acuare 2co 9odge,
located near 'urrialba, in the heart of +osta
CicaHs rainforest claims that they have
attempted to stick to the highest standards of
sustainable construction. !o trees were cut
during the building of the property and the
local ndian community was involved during
the construction. 'he staff has also been drawn
from the local community. 2lectricity is not
butterflies in 3e#ico and s,uirrel monkeys in
+osta Cica.
used and all fuel re,uirements are fulfilled
using solar panels and a water&run generator.
%ome countries adopt a wrong attitude,
believing that the earth is resilient ? it has
always and will always be able to cope with
our callous actions. 'herefore, there is no
urgency and effort to change and develop
(ith the awareness that environmental
problems are global problems, more countries
and international organizations like B!27
would see the need help people in developing
countries to find alternative work without
having to rely on traditional activities that
endanger the earth.
4. -oncept12sse' 'he Fallacy of Elobal (arming
3estion' s the threat of global warming e#aggerated.
/nswer' n his new book, 'he %tate of Fear, 3ichael +richton argues that the threat of
global warming has been e#aggerated by environmentalists. (hile there are many who
,uestion how unrealistically magnified global warming has been, the effects of climate
change may be increasingly palpable but measures and solutions are in place to control this
/r!ments /lternative views
'he threat posed by global warming is likely to
be e#aggerated as the rise in the world
temperature and supposed rise in sea levels is
not uniform worldwide.
'he threat posed by global warming is indeed
true as the rise in the world temperature is
found to have direct correlation with the rise in
sea levels, and this may "eopardise the safety of
some places in the world.
'he possible risks brought about by the surge in
the 2arth-s temperature are difficult to be
verified, even with the use of supposedly
advanced methods.
'he possible impact caused by the increase in
the world temperature is likely to be true as
scientists and climatologists use rather reliable
and advanced methods to prove their
'he dangers which are supposedly brought
about by the rise in world temperature are not
new, as reflected in the history of mankindK they
are "ust natural phenomenon that happen
especially when mankind did not take sufficient
precautionary measures.
'he potential dangers brought about by the rise
in temperature across the globe are not at all
e#aggerated as they are very real. 8irect
manifestations of a widespread and long&term
trend toward warmer global temperatures have
already surfaced, especially in the past J years.
'he supposed harbingers of the negative
conse,uences may also be brought about by
other changes in our climate, not "ust global
'he threat posed by the rise in the 2arth-s
temperature is not e#aggerated as we do have
,uite a number of events that serve as
harbingers of the likely impact of continued
'he threat may have been e#aggerated because
not all governments across the world are taking
it very seriouslyK if some of them can afford to
pay lip&service to this threat in their ,uest for
more economic development and
unprecedented or sustained industrialisation, the
situation may not be all that worrying.
'he threat presented by the rise in global
temperature is definitely not overestimated as it
is on the agenda of many important
international and regional meetings throughout
the world, at the governmental and
organisational level.
5. -oncept12sse' 2nergy +risisM!uclear vs Cenewable %ources
3estion' s nuclear power the best way to meet the ever&increasing energy needs of 3other
Answer: Nucear accdents n Chernoby and Three Me Isand have not
swayed some countres from reyng on nucear energy to meet ther
energy needs. Despte the ncdence of nucear accdents, ths gradua
dependance on nucear energy s dues to t beng a more envronmentay
frendy aternatve to the tradtona sources such as coa and foss fue.
However, gven the rsks nvoved wth nucear energy, t does not make
for the best way to meet the ncreasng energy needs of Manknd. Apart
from nucear energy, there are other equay or more envronmentay
frendy aternatves that are abe to meet ths ncreasng energy needs.
/r!ments /lternative views
+ompared to fossil fuels, nuclear energy is
clean. Bnlike coal, natural gas, and petroleum, it
does not release carbon dio#ide into the
atmosphere in the process of generating
electricity. At a time when there is growing
concern about the link between carbon dio#ide
and other greenhouses gases on the one hand
and the warming of our planet on the other, this
advantage of nuclear power has begun to loom
!uclear energy is economical only under a
very restricted analysis & by the time you have
factored in the costs of construction,
insurance, waste disposal and
decommissioning, you need huge subsidies.
!uclear waste can be safely stored away. 'he
best long&term solution for the disposal of the
BNHs nuclear waste should be to bury it deep in
the ground, 'he +ommittee on Cadioactive
(aste 3anagement =+oC(3>, an advisory
group has said. 'he final disposal facility, or
facilities, would be located several hundred
metres underground. 'he waste would be
encased in tough materials and would use the
surrounding rock as a barrier to prevent
radioactive leakage into the environment.
'here is no secure, risk&free way to store
nuclear waste. 'he +hernobyl disaster was a
nuclear accident of catastrophic proportions
that occurred on :O April 4)GO, at the
+hernobyl !uclear 7ower 7lant in Bkraine. t
is considered the worst nuclear power plant
accident in history and is the only level P
event on the nternational !uclear 2vent
!uclear accidents are a result of human error,
which can be avoided.
!uclear power e#pansion increases the risk of
an accident.
nternational organisations are preventing
countries from obtaining nuclear weapons.
2#panding nuclear power internationally
would hugely increase the risks from
terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.
(hile nuclear power reactors are e#pensive to
build, they are relatively cheap to operate.
!uclear energy is an e#pensive diversion from
the task of developing and deploying
renewable energy and energy efficiency
re,uired for a low carbon future.
Sample para!raphs'
3estion' 0(e have not been good guardians of the 2arth.1 /ow far do you agree with this
&'() 'here are governments who recognise the impact of traditional sources of energy and are
turning to cleaner and greener alternatives such as nuclear energy. n :;;G, taly announced that
within five years it planned to resume building nuclear energy plants out of a growing concern
over the warming effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Naysayers s!!est &note that the
'( is clearly signposted as the '( and not your view) that some governments are undermining
other solutions to climate change by diverting urgently needed resources away from the true
renewable and energy&efficient solutions that governments who are serious about climate change
need to invest in.
&*ain view and rebuttal) !evertheless, we should note that the world is in a state of flu# as
increasingly, not only are the policy makers reflecting greater awareness and concern for the
environment but so are the 3!+s &'( is countered). 'oday, big businesses are also more
receptive to the call to look after the environment. ncreasingly, there are companies who
e#ercise corporate social responsibility =+%C> as they are reinvesting in their workforce,
communities and the environment. 6ne such company is %tarbucks who is committed to
supporting programmes that facilitate farmers- access to carbon markets, allowing them to
generate additional income while helping to prevent deforestation.
&*ain view and rebuttal) !evertheless, we should note that the world is in a state of flu# as
increasingly, the policy makers are reflecting greater awareness and concern for the environment
by relying on renewable and energy&efficient solutions &'( is countered). 'oday, governments
are pushing for the passage of a renewable energy law to regulate and ensure the development of
alternative sources of energy. %ingapore-s green building movement is an e#ample of how a
combination of legislation and government incentive helped to spur the green building industry.
n %cotland, QJGJ,;;; from the 2uropean %ocial Fund is providing training courses that are to be
delivered through %kills 8evelopment %cotland, which will enable employers, with fewer than
:J; staff to boost the skills of employees in low&carbon technologies. 'hese developments
reflect that we are increasingly being protective of the environment.
+ ,iofuel Type of renewable resource that is produced from biomass, a recently
living element such as animals, plantlife or wood. ,ne of the biggest
potential forms of biofuel is biodiesel, which lessens cars- dependence on
# -a'on
The tangible impact someone-s activities will have on the environment,
measured in units of carbon dio.ide produced.
/ -a'on offset ,ne way to compensate for a carbon footprint, essentially by investing
money in a project that will benefit the environment and cancel out the
emission of carbon dio.ide from a certain activity.
% -a'pool Form of transportation by which two or more people travel to the same
destination together to reduce the emissions of travelling.
! -li%ate
Term for a significant change from one climatic condition to another, such
as temperature of the 0arth over time. In some cases, it has been used
synonymously with global warming.
1 -onse'vation The wise use of natural resources &nutrients, minerals, water, plants,
animals, etc). Planned or non2action to preserve living and non2living
3 Envi'on%enta
l P'ote!tion
4ommonly referred to as the 0P', a government agency founded in +53$
that protects human health and the environment through programs for
consumers and businesses.
6 .#oto
'n international agreement between +/6 &and growing) developed
countries to work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause
climate change. It was originally passes in +553 in 7yoto, 8apan and is
set to e.pire in #$+#. The 9nited tates has signed but not ratified the
agreement, meaning it is non2binding in the 9.
5 -openha"en
It s a document that deegates at the 15th sesson of the
Conference of Partes (COP 15) to the Unted Natons Framework
Conventon on Cmate agreed to "take note of" at the na
penary on 18 December 2009. The Accord s not egay bndng
and does not commt countres to agree to a bndng successor
to the Kyoto Protoco, whose present round ends n 2012.
It s deveopment that meets the needs of the present wthout
compromsng the abty of future generatons to meet ther own
needs. It contans wthn t two key concepts:
the concept of needs, n partcuar the essenta needs of
the word's poor, to whch overrdng prorty shoud be
gven; and
the dea of limitations mposed by the state of technoogy
and soca organzaton on the envronment's abty to
meet present and future needs."
,iodive'sit# The varety of fe on Earth, ts boogca dversty, s commony
referred to as bodversty. The number of speces of pants,
anmas, and mcroorgansms, the enormous dversty of genes
n these speces, the dherent ecosystems on the panet, such as
deserts, ranforests and cora reefs are a part of a boogcay
dverse Earth.
It s a human rghts organsaton formed n 1969 that campagns
for the rghts of ndgenous trba peope and uncontacted
peope, whch seeks to hep them to determne ther own future.
Its campagns generay focus on trba peopes' ght to keep
ther ancestra ands, cuture and ther own way of vng. Ths
organsaton works for the peope whom are caed "some of the
most vunerabe on earth". A part of ts msson s to educate
peope from msconceptons that hep |ustfy voatons of human
rghts aganst ndgenous peope, and the rsks that they face
from the advancement of corporatons, governments and aso
good ntentons based on an dea of "deveopment" that s
forced upon them.
It beeves that n fact ther aternatve way of vng s not
ackng because they represent a mode of sustanabty n the
envronment that they are a part of and they possess a rch
cuture from whch the rest of the word coud earn.
0'eenpea!e Greenpeace organses pubc campagns:
for preventng cmate change by endng our addcton to
poutng fues and promotng cean, renewabe and
emcent energy
for the protecton of oceans and ancent forests
for the emnaton of toxc chemcas
aganst the reease of genetcay moded organsms nto
for nucear dsarmament and an end to nucear
Greenpeace does not soct or accept fundng from
governments, corporatons or potca partes. Greenpeace
nether seeks nor accepts donatons whch coud compromse
our ndependence, ams, ob|ectves or ntegrty. Greenpeace
rees on the vountary donatons of ndvdua supporters, and
on grant-support from foundatons.
The Earth is doomed. There is nothing man can do about it. Comment
Mans actons envronmenta probems mpendng demse of Earth
Mans soutons fas to sove probems Earth st doomed
This question could be dealt with as containing a single- or multi-part absolute
proposition. Students could challenge doomed and nothing. A balanced approach is
Note that Earth world!societ"# and $an limits students to en%ironmental problems
caused b" mans actions. Social problems and natural disasters are not rele%ant.
See below.
&hile $an re'ers to man(ind as a whole) students ought to pinpoint the parties crucial
to alle%iating en%ironmental problems in general and speci'icall"*
The indi%idual
Supranational organisations
N+,s operating at national and international le%els
Earth doomed
Students ought to loo( at how recent e%ents seem to -usti'" this pessimistic claim. &hile
the" need to concede that Earth would 'ace its demise e%entuall" because o' the 'ast
deteriorating en%ironment problems) armageddon is not impending. The" need to loo(
at the status quo in a reasonable manner. .alance is necessar".
Such is the transboundar" nature o' en%ironmental problems that while students can
argue that some de%eloping countries are in worse!terrible states) other nations are in
not reall" better o'' in the 'oreseeable 'uture. Earth as a whole su''ers the
/redit is gi%en to essa"s that ran( the problems in terms o' se%erit" and -usti'" the
Nothng can be done
Students ought to loo( at how 'ailed measures seem to -usti'" this pessimistic claim.
The" need to ac(nowledge damage that is irre%ersible or will continue to hasten Earth
towards its doom despite remedial action. 0owe%er) the" ought to argue 'or the speci'ic
measures that can repair!slow down the de%astation caused b" each problem. .alance
is crucial to pre%ent downpla"ing the se%erit" o' the problems.
Such is the transboundar" nature o' en%ironmental problems that students can argue 'or
a''luent de%eloped countries to help sol%e other countries problems. ,therwise) Earth
as a whole su''ers the consequences.
/redit is gi%en to essa"s that e%aluate the e''ecti%eness o' the measures in tac(ling
each en%ironmental problem and the obstacles that obstruct their implementation.
/redit should be gi%en to essa"s that present specific and varied examples. 0owe%er)
e1amples do not substitute 'or reasoning.
Problem Measures Effective?
habitat loss
due to
3 impact on
4egulations to control illegal
4egulations could be in place)
but en'orcement is
hampered b" corruption or
di''icult" in monitoring such
acti%ities e.g. 5ndonesia#
6ollution 7
6enalties 'or industries
discharging to1ic
9ehicles chec(ed to ma(e
sure emissions meet
acceptable standards
5ntroduction o' cleaner 'uels
Some people pre'er or can
onl" a''ord cheaper 'uel
which howe%er is less
en%ironment 'riendl"
+o%ernments unwilling to
en'orce stricter controls due
to pressure 'rom industr"
lobb" groups e.g. :SA not
rati'"ing ;"oto 6rotocol#
2epletion o'
e.g. 'ossil
Switch to renewable
sources o' energ". e.g.*
h"dropower) wind energ")
solar energ"#
Not cost-e''ecti%e in some
cases or 'easible in others
e.g. opportunit" costs o'
building Three +orges 2am
in /hina#
warming 3 its
problems e.g.
erratic climate<
rising sea
4educe the e1cess
production o' greenhouse
5mpose quota but allow
countries to sell their
unused units to those who
need more
See abo%e notes on pollution.
Content Grading
E =-># * 5rrele%ant or mostl" out o' point e.g. describes en%ironmental
problems and!or measures#.
2 ?-@A# * $ore description than argument. 8ow#
No re'erence to speci'ic problems or solutions 8ow#
8imited scope. ,ne problem and corresponding measures $id#.
8imited depth. $ore than one problem but super'icial solutions $id-
,nl" one part o' the proposition addressed. $id-0igh#
/ @B-@C# * 8imited scope and depth. Two or more problems and corresponding
measures. 8ow-$id#
8imited scope and depth. $ore than two problems and corresponding
measures. Some e1amples. $id-0igh#
. @D-AE# * Se%eral problems and their measures presented with insight.
E%aluation see outline# done. 4ele%ant illustration. .alanced.
A A>-B=# * 4e'er to standard descriptors.
5. Environmental degradation is inevitable. To !hat e"tent is this true?
5ne%itable* impossible to a%oid or to pre%ent 'rom happening
General &emar's%
This is N,T a +eograph" essa". &e will N,T be impressed b" the mere
regurgitation o' what "ou still remember o' "our , or A le%els e1am preparations.
This is N,T a 6roblem-Solution essa") i.e. &hats wrong with the en%ironment
and how can we sol%e itF.
This 5S a /ause-E''ect essa") i.e. &hat are the causes o' en%ironmental
degradation e''ect#) and are these causes so 'undamental that the" cannot be
remo%ed ine%itable#F
(iscussion of the )remise%
8eading causes o' pollution 7 industrialisation) population growth
E1plain how these cause the earths pollution
Need to show that if industrialisation / population growth is inevitable, then
pollution is inevitable) i.e. assuming that there are no technological
ad%ances which would reduce pollution
&h" pollution ma" not be ine%itable) e.g. technological ad%ances) rising
awareness o' people about pollution) international agreements to reduce
Need to gi%e concrete e1amples o' where and when pollution has been ine%itable.
9ague descriptions o' Americas air pollution or de'orestation o' the 'orests will
not do.
Good Essa$s
@. Showed a good awareness o' the (e" words. A discussion o' the notion o' ine%itable
is mandator". The 'ocus cannot solel" rest on a discussion o' the %arious
en%ironmental problems.
A. Answers that were well structured and organised and consistentl" reiterated the (e"
words o' the question. Each paragraph clearl" de'ined around a single problem that
shows how it ma(es en%ironmental degradation ine%itable.
B. Answers that had a good range o' well elaborated e1amples that were not %ague i.e.
some!most countries or more!less de%eloped nations#.
G. Able to argue competentl" that the notion o' en%ironmental degradation is actuall"
largel" ine%itable because the direction most nations are ta(ing and the nature o'
human practices.
Problematic Essa$s
@. Essa"s that merel" 'ocused on listing en%ironmental problems and going into great
depths o' e1plaining the processes o' en%ironmental degradation.
A. No discussion or re'lection o' the notion ine%itable.
B. Essa"s that lac(ed concrete e1amples. :se o' generalised or h"pothetical e1amples
was generall" seen as not ha%ing a good grasp o' the topic.
G. 5nstances in essa"s that discussed wh" en%ironmental degradation ma" not be
ine%itable were also problematic. Hou should not be highlighting proposals!
measures that indicate how en%ironmental degradation /AN .E slowed down or
made less ine%itable .:T rather &0AT 0AS A/T:A88H .EEN 2,NE to address
the problem.
E. Tone o' the essa"* There were man" instances o' tal(ing scripts that highlights an
inabilit" to handle writing in a 'ormal academic register. This is important as it also
re'lects on "our command and sophistication o' language. 4emember* 2o N,T tal(
to the mar(er-readerI
>. ,ccasional instances o' blatant contradictions. Hour stand is toppled b" the rest o'
"our essa" which argues the opposite.
?. 6lanning is essential* E%idence o' abrupt endings.
C. 6aragraph de%elopment must be clear. Each paragraph o'ten deals with di''erent
things thus con'using mar(ers and the point that "ou aiming to get across. :sing a
clear topic sentence would be quintessential in this respect but was howe%er) most
We have not been good guardians of the Earth. Do you agree?
FocusA /ave we been careless with the only home we know as we carry out our
2conomic and leisure activities. Are we taking measures to look after our
2arth or are we treating the earth as one giant supermarket that can supply for
6ur endless needs.
*e have been !ood !ardians4 *e have not been !ood !ardians4
&'here are various earth summits to discuss &(e have not balanced our need for wealth
ways to look after the earth ? eg. 'he Nyoto
7rotocol that calls for the ban on the use of
substances, that harms the environment like
+F+, to reduce green house gas emissions.
=possible counter point that students may bring
up as evaluationA %ome countries are not
cooperative if it is against their economic
interest to do so.>
&'here are environmentalists and various
movements like the Ereen 7eace 3ovement
that act as watchdogs for the preservation of the
environment. =A counter&point that may be
raisedA many such movements lack credibility
as they have other agenda besides protecting the
environment & motivated possibly by politics.>
&%cientists are working to repair the damage
done earlier like repairing the ozone layer or
working with energy that is pollution free.
&ndustries are also more receptive to the call to
look after the environment as they e#ploit
resources. %ome even pump money back into
research to help the environment.
&'here is also global effort to encourage people
to recycle, reuse and to conserve.
with our e#ploitation of the resources. (e
have regarded the resources as if they are
infinite. 'here is no vision to see that
enough is left for future generations ? there
is over&hunting, over fishing, overuse or
e#ploitation of our fossil fuel, water etc.
&(e pollute our land, seas and sky. (e
dump indiscriminately =waste from
domestic and industrial@ agricultural
activities> on our lands and seas, rivers,
ponds making them *dead-.
&(e have taken away the habitat of our
fellow creatures that share the earth thus
contributing to their endangered or e#tinct
&(e pollute the sky with emissions from
industries and vehicles. (e even pollute the
air with airwaves from handphones etc.
making it unsafe for all creatures.
&(e have caused havoc with the climate like
global warming by releasing green house
gases and bringing about the Ereen house
effect and global warming. 2l !ino, long
droughts and winter cold spells to name a
&(rong attitude that the earth is resilient ? it
has always and will always be able to cope
with our callous actions. 'herefore, there is
no urgency and effort to change and help to
manage the earth better.
7ossible conclusionA %tudents can touch on the fact that economic gains will always eclipse
environmental issuesK poorer countries eager to get rich or those with no other alternatives will
continue to cut down trees to sell or for land to build industries or poach rhino horns. 'here is
more awareness but we are still apathetic and our activities are still e#erting tremendous pressure
on the environment.
%tudents may choose to take the other stand.
1. Do you agree that it is the responsibility of richer nations to tackle global
environmental problems?
&lobal environment problems eg global warming; pollution esp the discharge of toxic
waste materials into the air, waterways;
Tackle : resolve, eradicate, alleviate -> implies that the rich nations have the clout
political, financial, legal eg international summits in which they could lean on others to
adopt certain policies eg yoto !rotocol, cancellation of debts of world"s poorest
'!#()E T*$D %
YE, it is the responsibility of richer nations because
#ich nations have the resources eg financial resources, the political clout$ +ill in their
own countries and in the international arena eg at the %&, %' (ummits ) the legal
means to implement ) enforce policies eg reducing tax for green cars eg
the *( is a large consumer of oil -> !resident +ush could have pushed to raise fuel-
efficiency standards for passenger cars when he signed the latest energy +ill ,-ul
.//012 This could have encouraged or 3forced" the car industry to develop the
technology to burn cleaner fuels eg biofuels, hydrogen -> this would have gone a
long way towards alleviating current environmental problems2
#ich nations -> main contributors of greenhouse gases ) pollutants eg *( responsible for
about a 4uarter of global emissions ) but has persistently refused to ratify the yoto
!rotocol; now the fear is that the !rotocol would not come into force if #ussia refuses to
ratify it too2
$!, rich nations are not the only ones responsible for the global environmental problems;
every country should also help tackle these global environmental problems because
5any environmental problems respect no national borders; an environmental problem in
one country can easily cross physical borders and affect not only the country of origin
but also its neighbours ) internationally
eg latest 6ndonesian ha7e -> had affected 5alaysia for about 8 month esp 9 badly )
!enang eg !(6 was above 8// for some days; fear economic loss eg 8::& ha7e cost
5alaysia abt *(;'-8/ million in lost revenue as a result of closed workplaces, sick days
and medical bills, lost tourism, crop damage and disrupted transport; hence countries
need to co-operate with one another to protect the environment
<ther developing nations are fast becoming the ma=or contributors to environmental
problems eg >hina"s rapid industrialisation -> huge demand for lands -> desertification
> 3brown cloud" blown across the ?tlantic <cean towards the >alifornian coast -> had
affected those living along the @est >oast of the *(; hence unfair to pin blame on any
rich nation eg even though Aurope is also a ma=or emitter of greenhouse gases, many
A* countries, prime movers in environmental protection, have ratified the yoto !rotocol
!oor countries also have an important responsibility towards the world eg resource-rich
but poor countries must prevent the exploitation of their natural resources eg insist that
5B>s are using more environmentally friendly methods of mining the earth"s precious
elements eg gold, copper that would not create toxic wastes to be discharged into open
water sources eg waterways; regulate the logging industry eg ?ma7on basin -> illegal
logging a huge problem -> displacement of native tribes ) enforce the renewal of this
natural resource
#est of the world may not be ma=or contributors to the environmental problems but as
long as they are consumers, have a moral obligation to ensure that they do their bit )
do not aggravate the environmental problems
.reservin! the environment is more important than economic development. 5o yo a!ree%
Ruestion Analysis
'opicA the environment
ssueA (hether conservation of the environment is more important than economic progress
Ney (ordsA 07reserving the environment1, 0more important than1 =comparison re,uired>, 0economic development1.
+onte#tA Bnspecified
7ossible standsA
%tudentshave to show how the approach they support is more
beneficial than theother.
AgreeA 7reserving the environment is more important
: 8isagreeA 2conomic development is more important
5 8isagreeA $oth are e,ually important ? students have to show that mankind can-t do without either, and valuing
any one over the other will bring e,ually disadvantageous results
.oint 6eason E$ample
.reservin! the environment is more important
preservation affects
economic growth
/ow much society can sustain economic
growth actually bears a co&relation to
environmental preservation and
prudence in the use of resources.
2nvironmental degradation can result in
high costs to economic growth.
+hina & According to +hina-s deputy
environmental minister, due to air and
water pollution, +hina is losing G&4JS
of E87. P;&G;S of cancer cases are
environmentally&related ? loss of
productivity of the workforce.
2nvironmentA 9evels
of pollution are highK
resources will be
irreplaceable if
depletion rates are not
f the current levels of pollution are left
unchecked, the planet may not be able to
sustain life in a few generations- time.
2conomic development and affluence
would be valueless then. 'he loss of
clean air and water and the depletion of
resources such as fuel and food, together
with drastic climate changes will make
survival very difficult, if not impossible.
According to !ick $rooks ='yndall
+enter for +limate +hange Cesearch,
2ast Anglia>A I$y the end of this
century it is likely that greenhouse
gases will have doubled and the
average global temperature will have
risen by at least :+... n the worst
case scenario it could completely alter
the climate in many regions of the
world. 'his could lead to global food
insecurity and the widespread collapse
of e#isting social systems, causing
mass migration and conflict over
resources as some parts of the world
become much less habitable.1
7reservation of
historical sitesA 9oss
of culture and history
f sites and buildings of historical
significance are sacrificed for the sake
of new developments, part of the history
and heritage of the place will be lost,
and such loss is irreversible. 'he people
will gradually lose their sense of history,
identity and belonging as their city looks
more and more like any other city which
is bent on development and
%ingaporeA the nation-s first and oldest
condominium, $everly 3ai, will be
demolished as the land which it stands
on is worth much more than the
building itself.
8emolishing old
buildings may
eventually cost
society more than
embarking on a new
7reserving old buildings can create
more employment and increase local
household income more than the
building of new developments. 'he
employment created can be of longer
term benefits as related industries such
as heritage tourism can flourish.
n !orway, historical rehabilitation of
old buildings creates 4O.JS more "obs
new constructionK every direct "ob in
the cultural heritage sector creates
:O.P indirect "obs, compared to the
auto industry-s ratio of O.5A4.
n Tirginia, B%AA heritage tourists
spend :.J times more and stay longer
than other visitors.
=Info from 0uropean 4ultural
:eritage Forum #$$!>
Economic development is more important
development is
essential to ensure the
survival of the
millions living in
poverty in developing
'he huge numbers of people living
below the poverty line is in itself a
social disaster and action should be
taken to enable them to get out of
poverty as soon as possible. %olutions to
poverty such as education, fair trade and
social stability depends on economic
According to the 9; :uman
<evelopment =eport #$$!A 0n the
midst of an increasingly prosperous
global economy, 4;.P million children
every year do not live to see their fifth
birthday, and more than 4 billion
people survive in ab"ect poverty on
less than U4 a day.1 'hese people
should be helped and allowing them to
have a share of the world-s economic
development pie is the most evident
'he cost of
compliance with
regulations is high for
developing countries
t costs more for developing countries,
than it does for developed countries to
comply with the regulations, placing
them at a competitive disadvantage.
Celuctance of developing countries to
ratify the Nyoto 7rotocol and they
perceive it as unfair that obstacles are
being put in their way towards
economic development through
There is nothing otimisti! about the future of our
environment." Do you agree?
@. nothing J no wa" at all
A. optimistic J 'a%ourable outcome
Parameters of discussion *
-Students need to challenge the word nothing and show that there is at least
one optimistic thing about the 'uture o' the en%ironment
- Students need to e1plain the steps being ta(en to impro%e the en%ironment
6ossible stands ! theses*
There should be o)timism about the future because*
4. science and technolog" has enabled us to come up with measures to
protect the en%ironment and wa"s o' alternati%e sources 7 tap on solar)
geothermal or h"droelectric sources) new options being de%eloped b"
the automobile industr") such as the so-called h"brid cars) which
combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor
:. go%ernmental e''orts to protect the en%ironment 7 in /hina) millions o'
trees are planted each "ear in a bid to help sa%e the en%ironment
5. people are made aware o' the problems the en%ironment is 'acing and
are encouraged to conser%e and rec"cle
L. nature has a wa" o' presenting solutions to human(ind 7 'or instance) as
global warming melts the ice caps in the Arctic ,cean) se%eral countries
are planning on tapping into the Arctic 'or rich reser%es o' energ"
J. ingenuit" o' human(ind to conser%e the en%ironment 7 eg. /it" o' /opsa
$ica was terribl" polluted in the @DC=s but the area has success'ull"
been cleared o' pollution in recent "ears
O. new a%enues are being e1plored and positi%e initiati%es to protect the
en%ironment are ta(ing place 7 'or e1ample) wa"s ha%e been de%eloped
to use parts o' trees that once went up in smo(e in beehi%e burners.
.ar( and sawdust) 'or instance) once considered useless 'or building
purposes) are used in new composite wood products
There should be )essimism about the future because *
@. natural resources are being depleted quic(l" - within the ne1t @== "ears)
anal"sts predict that our reser%es o' oil will deplete) rate o'
replenishment cannot (eep up with the speed at which the" are
destro"ed - e%er" da") se%eral 'ootball 'ield siKe plots o' rain'orest are
chopped down to ma(e paper
A. 'requenc" o' earthqua(es) 'loods) t"phoons and hurricanes ha%e
signi'icantl" increased since the dawn o' the A=th centur" $a-or
earthqua(es) 'or e1ample) occurred merel" once e%er" centur" be'ore
the A=th centur". Now earthqua(es that measure more than C on the
4ichter scale happen e%er" "ear# problem is not li(el" to be resol%ed in
the 'uture since seismologists and other e1perts are still piti'ull" clueless
to the pre%ention o' such disasters
B. some countries are more concerned with economic progress than
en%ironmental well-being. Lor e1ample) the reason behind the :SAs
pull-out o' ;"oto 6rotocol was perhaps one moti%ated b" economic gain.
Do you agree that envronmenta protecton s a uxury of the
$inimum requirements o' the question
@. environmental )rotection% Show a clear understanding o' the e''orts and
moti%ations to sa'eguard the natural en%ironment air) water and land#) the
interests o' inhabitants and human health
A. lu"ur$% Show the negati%e connotation in this word* Something e1pensi%e and
inessential but conduci%e to pleasure and com'ort< implies that en%ironmental
protection is not a priorit" and not necessar"
B. of the rich% /onsider i' onl" the a''luent indi%iduals 7 and nations 7 can concern
themsel%es with ta(ing care o' the en%ironment
@. There is some truth to this statement 7 using $aslows 0ierarch" o' Needs) we
can reason that en%ironmentalism is a concern o' the rich and more de%eloped
nations because o' their emphasis on qualit" o' li'e. The poor are more
concerned with ma(ing ends meet and de%eloping nations pa" more attention to
industrialiKation opportunities.
A. /onsideration o' the %iew that it is not a lu1ur" but a necessar" course o' action
b" the rich to lead the wa" in sa'eguarding the interests o' the other people
especiall" 'or those who do not ha%e the resources to better their own li%ing
B. Such a thought is dangerous because en%ironmental protection must be seen as
e%er"ones priorit"* an"one and e%er"one has a part to pla" 7 a concerted e''ort
is required to sa%e planet earth.
G. 5t not the lu1ur" o' the rich* 5t is the a''luent and de%eloped nations that are o'ten
to blame 'or the problems plaguing the en%ironment. The" there'ore should bear
responsibilit" to 'i1 the problems 7 and also model the wa" 'or the rest who one
da" will -oin the league o' e1panding industries# to e1ercise responsibilit" towards
the en%ironment.
6otential pit'alls
8imited understanding o' lu1ur"
2igression into other areas o' lu1ur" o' the rich
2escripti%e essa" o' reasons and wa"s to protect the en%ironment) without
consideration o' wh" en%ironmental protection is a lu1ur" o' the rich.
6ossible arguments
,nl" the rich and rich nations ha%e the resources 'inancial resources and
political clout# to tac(le en%ironmental problems.
The poor and the middle-income groups ha%e di''erent priorities* to ma(e a better
En%ironmental protection is potentiall" costl" as it entails the changing o'
mindsets and attitudes. This means a lot o' mone" in%ested in public education.
2e%eloping countries will not ha%e the resources to do so.
$an" en%ironmental problems respect no national borders< an en%ironmental
problem in one countr" can easil" cross ph"sical borders and a''ect not onl" the
countr" o' origin. eg 5ndonesian haKe. En%ironmental protection is thus not a
lu1ur" and de'initel" not onl" the responsibilit" o' the rich.
,ther de%eloping nations are 'ast becoming the ma-or contributors to
en%ironmental problems e.g. /hinas rapid industrialiKation. The" can no longer
sa" that protecting the en%ironment is a lu1ur" the" can ill a''ord.
4esource-rich but poor countries must also be more proacti%e in pre%enting the
e1ploitation o' their natural resources and insist that $N/s be en%ironmentall"
'riendl". These go%ernments must thus ta(e charge.
All o' us are consumers and thus ha%e a moral obligation to ensure that we do
our bit and not aggra%ate the en%ironmental problems
The %iewpoint is also a problematic one as it suggests that en%ironmental
protection is not essential. 5n 'act) all parts o' societ" 7 communities) indi%iduals)
business) state and local go%ernments) tribal go%ernments 7 must ha%e access
to accurate in'ormation su''icient to e''ecti%el" participate in managing human
health and en%ironmental ris(s.
Another %iew is that en%ironmental protection is not the lu1ur") but the
responsibilit") o' the rich. E.g. 4ich nations are main contributors o' greenhouse
gases and pollutants
+e are heading for an ecological disaster. ,o! far do $ou agree !ith this vie!?
- . ,o! far
T . ecological
# . disaster
Premise given b$ the /uestion
heading 'or 7 Are we in the process o' destro"ing the earthF /an this disaster be
0uggested a))roach to the /uestion
5n the light o' current situation) ta(ing into account global warming and its e''ects
changes in weather conditions) melting o' ice caps and the brea(ing awa" o' the ice
plate in Antarctica etc#) loss o' natural resources e.g. AmaKon 'orest 7 loss o' animal
and plant species# as well as the e''orts underta(en b" go%ernments! organiKations!
indi%iduals) perhaps we could onl" dela" the disaster but would not be able the a%oid it
1re !e heading for an ecological disaster? +h$?
2epletion o' natural resources due to e1cessi%e acti%ities underta(en b" human
beings e.g. e1cessi%e! illegal logging AmaKon rain'orest) 5ndonesia#
o 8ess %egetation 7 thus unable to process the amount o' carbon dio1ide
gas produced as a result o' $ans acti%ities e.g. industrialiKation)
o 5ncrease in greenhouse gases lead to global warming 7 climatic changes.
The ice plate in the Antarctic has bro(en awa" and is melting 'aster than
what scientists ha%e predicted be'ore 7 low-l"ing areas e.g. Shanghai)
.angladesh# might be submerged in time to come.
Such changes a''ect the ecos"stem 7 loss o' natural habitat 'or animals and
insects thus leading to e1tinction e.g. the $onarch bees and certain species o'
'rogs#. The 'ood chain is li(el" to be disrupted as a result. The melting o' the ice
caps could also lead to the e1tinction o' polar bears in time to come.
6ollution 7 2ue to industrialiKation) there is e1cessi%e use o' chemicals and
'ertiliKers and it has caused land and water pollution because o' inappropriate
disposal methods especiall" in de%eloping countries e.g /hina.
+hat are !e doing to avoid the disaster? 1re the methods effective?
;"oto 6rotocol ;6# 7 8oo(ing at the current situation) we are 'ar 'rom achie%ing
what the ;6 set out to achie%e since its inception. 5n the past) :SA was the top
carbon dio1ide producer and had shunned the ;6 'or 'ear o' economic
repercussions. Although it has since committed itsel' again to the ;6 in April
A==C) the current top carbon dio1ide producer) /hina) is reluctant to be part o'
the ;6) hence the e''ecti%eness o' the ;6 is undermined.
4ec"cling o' electronic waste can reduce e1cessi%e mining thus minimiKing
5mposition o' 'ines 'or companies who %iolate regulation 7 e.g. 5n 5ndonesia) the
go%ernment has 'inall" imposed penalties 'or companies who 'ailed to adhere to
legal logging methods. The e''ecti%eness o' such penalt" is a uncertain as o' now
7 there is decrease in 'orest 'ires but it would be di''icult to pre%ent all companies
'rom %iolating the laws.
The go%ernment !organisations ta(ing a more acti%e role in encouraging the
public to be more eco-'riendl" e.g. 5n Singapore) rebates are gi%en 'or new car
bu"ers to con%ert their petrol-'uelled car to use /ompressed Natural +as /N+#.
8imited scope with candidates de'ining ecological disaster being about the
destruction o' ecological s"stems) 'ood chains and animals onl") thus strictl"
restricting the discussion to the endangering the li%es o' animals and their
possible e1tinction due to de'orestation) poaching etc.
Lailure to mention our most serious threat toda" 7 global warming 7 and 'ocusing
the discussion on e%er" other threat.
#an$ind is a !an!er uon the Earth. Do you agree?
Important dentons to note/address before attemptng the queston:
Cancer: A sef-repcatng condton wth uncontroed growth that feeds oh ts
host wthout gvng anythng back.
Manknd as cancer presupposes that Man s vng oh and expotng hs
envronment wthout any attempt to preserve t or renew t.
Ponts to note:
The queston requres one to anayse the reatonshp between Man and hs
envronment (Earth).
Students shoud be abe to breakdown f and how each party benets from
that reatonshp.
The queston presupposes that Manknd s not vng "n harmony" wth hs
surroundngs and as a resut, has caused an mbaance that damages the
envronment (or hs host) and utmatey hmsef; |ust as a person who s
termnay w eventuay succumb, deprvng the cancerous organsm of a
Industrasm-perod between 1900s-present day, move from
agrcuture to manufacturng, coa as a fue, pouton-the proferaton
of ctes, change n festye, ncreased energy requrements, the
evouton of transport( the combuston engne), goba warmng
Students shoud not merey st or descrbe the varous envronmenta
probems that Man causes, but must show how these processes are not
symbotc n nature. Eg, n the takng of foss fues, how does manknd
renew hs envronment? The ncrease of carbon doxde n the
atmosphere (eadng to a greenhouse ehect), does manknd do
anythng to reverse the process? Can the earth catch up/ do anythng
to address the mbaance?
Students coud compare ths wth other organsms that nhabt the
same space. Anmas (and pants!) are part of natura cyce that eaves
tte to waste. Everythng s used/recyced/goes back nto the earth
and benets the envronment around them. Can we say the same for
Apparent exaggeratons of envronmenta probems - our actons have
not resuted n an ang Earth.
Man has addressed some of the probems he has ncted - eg.
technoogy has reduced the mpact of ndustrasm/pouton.
Manknd has earnt/s earnng to contro popuaton - our growth s not
%. E&treme !onsumerism is the main !ause of environmental
degradation. Do you agree?
Consumersm contrbutes to envronmenta degradaton.
There are other contrbutors to envronmenta degradaton.
Carcaton of Terms:
Extreme: degree of extremty s mportant (not ony consumersm, but
unnecessary consumersm to a very arge extent)
Consumerism: consumpton and buyng of goods
Main: prmary, contrbutes the most, cause of the most severe mpact -
aso suggests that there are other factors that contrbute to t (e.g.
toursm, ndustra, agrcuture, overshng, o sps, unforeseen human
actons, DDT, GM foods, genetc pouton, greenhouse gases,
aternatve fues, dumpng n poor countres as a cheaper aternatve
Environmental degradation: destructon and reducton n the quaty of
the envronment
Possbe nterpretatons / Approaches
Yes, extreme consumersm s the man cause of envronmenta
No, extreme consumersm s not the man cause of envronmenta
Possbe Ponts:
Yes, extreme consumersm s the man
cause of envronmenta degradaton.
No, extreme consumersm s not the
man cause of envronment
Any human actvty w compromse
the envronment. Extreme
consumersm s an ntenscaton of
human actvty as peope consume
more wth hgher standards of vng
and greater economc deveopment.
The words resources can keep up wth
our needs but not such extreme and
excessve consumersm.
Instead of extreme consumersm, t s
the nabty of the earths resources to
keep up wth the basc needs of the
growng popuaton of the word (such
as ntense ndustrazaton and
economc actvty) that has
contrbuted to the deteroraton of the
Extreme consumersm eads to a
throw-away cuture, or a negected
cause for thrft. Goods are dscarded
wth changng trends, there are hgher
demands for consumer goods, and
even ncreased demands for mted
Even f the consumpton of peope has
gone up, there s aso a growng
awareness of the deteroratng state
of the envronment, whch has ed to
many green movements such as
reusng, recycng and reducng.
However, there are other unforeseen
human actons that have ed to
envronment degradaton. Exampes
of such unforeseen human actons are
genetc pouton, ndustra chemca
eaks, o sps, etc.
It can be sad that excessve
consumersm (.e. takng from the
envronment more than t can oher)
eads to envronmenta degradaton.
However, the mpact of extreme
consumersm s nsgncant
compared to worse cases of
envronmenta degradaton such as
bad dsposa methods of chemcas
and wastes and persstent producton
of posonous products such as DDT
and toxc pestcdes by corporatons.
Extreme consumersm does not
necessary ead to envronmenta
degradaton such as the depeton of
natura resources. Many products are
now made by envronmentay-frendy
methods (e.g. usng recyced
materas, organc foodstuh).
'an we rely on s!ien!e and te!hnology to solve our environmental roblems?
Vercaton of key terms:
scence and technoogy
Scence: The nvestgaton of natura phenomena through observaton, theoretca
expanaton, and expermentaton, or the knowedge produced by such nvestgaton.
Technoogy: The appcaton of scence, especay to ndustra or commerca
Rey : Depend/ trust
Sove: Fnd the souton to/ reduce/ entrey get rd of our probems
Scence and technoogy can be used to sove envronmenta probems
It s dmcut to sove envronmenta probems
Possbe Approaches:
We can rey on scence and technoogy to sove our envronmenta probems
We can rey on scence and technoogy to sove our envronmenta probems so ong as
there are other supportng factors
We cannot rey on scence and technoogy to sove our envronmenta probems
Possbe Ponts:
'an rely on s!ien!e and te!hnology 'annot rely on s!ien!e and te!hnology
Scence and technoogy have ed to the
creaton of new nventons whch are ceaner
and more emcent. E.g. hydrogen powered
cars, aternatve energy sources, coa that
burns more emcenty such that ess
resdue/emssons are produced.
We can rey on scence and technoogy as
ong as we get other knds of support. E.g.
support from concerned ndvduas, groups,
communtes. NGOs wordwde work for the
cause of savng the Earth.
We can rey on emcent technoogy as ong
as there s ncreasng awareness about
conservaton towards achevng sustanabe
deveopment. Many countres now recognze
the need to treat the envronment as shared
hertage and hence are wng to work
towards conservaton on a goba scae.
Scence and technoogy s more reabe than
other possbe soutons to envronmenta
probems. Athough envronmenta treates
whch were sgned and rated, they have not
been abded. E.g. Amerca has not kept to ts
part of bargan wth regard to the terms of
the Kyoto Protoco.
Scence and technoogy s the man cuprt of
envronmenta probems; Man shoud be
thankfu f scence and technoogy stops
addng on to the probem, never mnd
sovng t.
The pace of envronmenta probems has
aways moved faster than the soutons that
scentc and technoogca advances can
oher. And ths stuaton s unkey to change.
Scentc & technoogca advances are too
expensve. It has not been cost emcent or t
s too expensve for companes and
(deveopng) countres whch do not have
the nanca abty to dedcate to the
envronmenta cause. Bread and butter
ssues are st very rea for peope n varous
parts of the word.
Sovng the probem requres ong term ehort
from a partes and at a eves. E.g.
governments/ grassroots partcpaton/
consumers/ schoos.
It s hard to arrve at an agenda for
conservaton as dherent natons face
dherent envronmenta probems and have
dherent approaches. The deveopments n
scence and technoogy have not resoved
these dherences.
2. ,o! far do $ou agree that our current environmental !oes are of our ma'ing?
E"amine the /uestion%
&hat are some current en%ironmental woesF
Are these largel" o' mans ma(ingF
Current environmental !oes
global warming and its related woes 7 e1treme weather e%ents) erratic weather
patterns) rising sea le%el
acid rain
air pollution
smog and haKe
haKardous waste
rain 'orest destruction
depletion o' natural resources 7 'ood) water) 'uels
species loss
3es . largel$ of mans ma'ing
tremendous pressure on the earth placed b" the demands o' an e1ponentiall"
growing world population and the rapid industrialiKation o' the worlds most
populous countr"
mans indiscriminate and irresponsible use o' the en%ironment
4o . not 5full$6 of mans ma'ing
A natural condition
- global warming attributed to %ariations in solar acti%it"
- 6re-human climate %ariations suggest that the warming and cooling o' earths
temperatures can ta(e place independent o' mans acti%ities
These are but e1aggerated claims!alarmist %iews
- e.g. The S(eptical En%ironmentalist) 8omborg) A==@ 7 though he was accused
o' scienti'ic dishonest"
Attempt b" man to reduce the impact o' en%ironmental woes certainl" does not
e1onerate man) though the desire to carr" out reparation can be seen as a
mitigating 'actor#
7. E"amine the claim that environmental conservation is much ado about
$uch ado about nothing - a phrase to describe a situation in which there has been a lot
o' 'uss and e1citement about something that is tri%ial and not reall" important.
The statement suggests en%ironmental conser%ation is actuall" a tri%ial matter that has
been blown out o' proportion.
Hes) en%ironmental conser%ation is much ado about nothing
@. The medias incessant proli'eration o' negati%e news about the en%ironment tends to
e1acerbate the situation and ma(e the issue o' en%ironmental degradation worse than it
seems. &e are constantl" bombarded b" such news that we are allocating more time
and mone" on pro-ects and campaigns e.g. Earth 2a") +reen &ee(# than is necessar".
A. The actions o' en%ironmental acti%ists ha%e enlarged the issue o' en%ironmental
conser%ation. N+,s ha%e repeatedl" called 'or action to be ta(en and some
go%ernmental campaigns ha%e become part and parcel o' peoples dail" acti%ities e.g.
sa%e water) the B4 campaign#. All this h"pe and attention could actuall" amount to
nothing i' the en%ironment is actuall" not in such a bad state as we imagine it to be.
B. There is a strong belie' among people that no matter how much time and e''ort are
put in to conser%e the en%ironment) all o' it is in %ain and 'utile because o' the rate o'
consumption o' the natural resources and peoples apathetic attitude towards
en%ironmental conser%ation amongst other reasons.
G. Nature has the tendenc" 'or sel'-correction where depletion o' resources will be made
up in one wa" or another. 5n addition) mans e''orts to adapt to the en%ironment ha%e
seen him using alternati%e resources when one is lac(ing or depleted. e.g. alternati%e
sources 'or energ" besides coal and natural gas#
No) en%ironmental conser%ation is a serious matter altogether
@. E%idence has pointed to the gra%e state o' the en%ironment. 4elease o' more
greenhouse gases and the harsher global climate all point to the ecological disaster that
awaits humanit" i' insu''icient action is ta(en to tac(le the issue o' en%ironmental
A. The news re'lecting the current condition o' the en%ironment is not alarmist to
increase ratings 'or the media companies but re'lects the actual dire state o' the
B. The preser%ation o' 'lora and 'auna) the search 'or renewable energ" sources) etc are
all pertinent issues that require our time and attention and are not tri%ial matters to be
swept under the carpet. :ltimatel") this issue is about the sur%i%al o' the species that
populate Earth.
Toi! The envronment
.uestion How far s recycng the answer to the probem of
Writer Andy Tay, CG 01/07
/!hool T|C
Wth the rse n word popuaton and consumpton, the probem of waste has
worsened. In our attempt to curb ths probem, soutons such as recycng,
usng of ands and ncnerators, educatona campagns and reguatons
have been wdey adopted. In my opnon, recycng s certany one of the
answers to the probem of waste. However, nherent probems such as the
hgh cost of recycng and advanced technoogy have made recycng
economcay unfeasbe especay for the ess deveoped countres.
Nevertheess, recycng as compared to other ways to mnmze the probem
of waste s much more envronmentay frender and s east ob|ectonabe.
As such, I fee that recycng must be adopted and used n tandem wth other
measures such as educatona campagns and aws. These soutons woud
then be abe to compement as we as suppement the mtatons of
recycng, makng the approach to the probem of waste a more ehectve
Recycng can be a feasbe answer to the probem of waste but t s many
targeted at deveoped countres that possess the necessary advanced
technoogy and are abe to ahord the hgh costs assocated wth recycng.
Despte the advancement n technoogy, recycng today s st an expensve
too as compared to other measures ke and ng and ncneraton.
Therefore to ess deveoped natons, recycng s smpy economcay
unfeasbe. Accordng to the Genune Progress Index, a research group that
has spent a decade montorng the recycng programmes n Nova Scota,
recycng cost the provnce US$18 mon a year more as compared to
throwng the waste nto ands. Smary n Caforna and New |ersey, oca
pubc uttes authortes have reported that recycng cost the country over
haf a mon doars more n 1995. Hence to the ess deveoped countres,
recycng s smpy beyond ther reach due to the popuatons generay ow
average ncome, preventng them from ahordng recycng programmes n
ther budgets. Even though recycng may be a feasbe answer to the
probem of waste to the deveoped countres, ths s certany not the case for
the ess deveoped countres. In ths ght, technoogy must mprove to
reduce the cost of recycng before t can be embraced even by ess
deveoped countres.
Recycng can be a vabe souton to the probem of waste n the
envronmenta sense because, reatve to other methods, t creates ess
pouton and s more sustanabe over a onger perod of tme. Over the
years, the magntude of envronmenta degradaton has ncreased, and wth
goba warmng, recycng, a method that s envronmentay frendy seems
east ob|ectonabe as compared to other conventona forms of waste
treatment. For exampe, ncneraton reeases huge amounts of carbon
doxde as we as other toxc gases nto the atmosphere, acceeratng goba
warmng and adversey ahectng our heath. Smary, and ng can resut
n water pouton and ahects the ecoogy negatvey. Greenpeace, a word
envronmenta research group, dscovered that the ma|or wes n the
Phppnes contaned a hgh eve of meta content beyond the safe drnkng
mts set by the Word Heath Organsaton. Ths unfortunate pouton woud
not have occurred f not for the ands stuated near the wes. The metas
bured n the ands managed to dssove and seep nto the ground water,
causng water pouton. In ths ght, t s rather cear that recycng s a much
better too to sove the probem of waste. Ths s because studes have
shown that for every ton of paper recyced, 17 sma trees are saved and ar
pouton s greaty reduced. An exampe to ustrate the envronmenta-
frendness of recycng can be seen n the success of recycng programmes
n the Unted States. The country managed to save 1.3 mon tons of ron
ore, 8.2 mon trees and successfuy reduced greenhouse gas emssons by
two mon metrc tons n 2004 due to the natonwde recycng programmes
that the country mpemented. Therefore, n my opnon, recycng s certany
a good answer to the probem of waste especay n todays word, where
envronmenta conservaton s ncreasngy embraced by most countres.
Recycng s certany one of the vabe answers to the probem of waste n
countres wth mted and. Recycng as compared to ands takes up ess
space and s therefore sutabe for countres wth a sma and area. A good
exampe to ustrate the nuence of physca factors on the choce of
measures to the probem of waste s Sngapore. Sngapore has a mted and
area but an escaatng quantty of waste. There was a 2.09 mon tonnes
ncrease n the amount of waste from 1970 to 2005. To make thngs worse,
the fespan of the Puau Semakau and of Sngapore s expected to ast t
ony 2030, and ths s provded that the present generaton does not
generate more waste per capta. Hence the country mpemented the
Natona Recycng Programme n 2001 to mnmze the amount of waste
dsposed to the mted ands, proongng the fespan of the ands. By
2004, the rate of partcpaton by househods n ths natonwde programme
has more than trped to 51%. Therefore from the exampe of Sngapore, t s
evdent that recycng s ndeed a feasbe answer to the probem of waste
snce t occupes ess space as compared to conventona measures ke
ands. Hence recycng s certany one of the soutons to the probem of
waste n deveoped countres that has mted and area.
Athough recycng s one of the east ob|ectonabe answers to the probem
of waste, t has to be used n tandem wth campagns and aws that tacke
the root of the probem - the excessve wastage of resources. The over-
consumng socetes of the deveoped word w contnue to waste more
resources excessvey f recycng s not encouraged, made more convenent
or appeang as an opton. In Sngapore for nstance, the Natona
Envronment Agency (NEA) organzes road shows and puts up posters to
encourage recycng. In addton, NEA together wth the Sngapore
Envronment Counc mpemented Brng Your Own Bag Day to further
strengthen ther actvtes. An addtona 10 cents s charged on these days
for every pastc bag used, and the money coected s used for
envronmenta pro|ects. Smary n Chna, the government has taken a step
further to ban the use of dsposabe pastc bags natonwde due to the
massve probem of accumuated unbodegradabe waste caused by pastc
bags. In the UK, the Brtsh government has passed a b ndcatng that
charges woud be mposed on snge-use carrer bags uness retaers take
acton vountary to cut down on the baoonng pouton caused by the use
of pastc bags. These are |ust some exampes to ustrate the dea that n
order for recycng to be ehectve, consumers have to be educated and
nformed on the consequences of excessve wastage of resources and how
they can pay a roe to mnmze the probem of waste. Furthermore, aw and
reguatons shoud aso be ntroduced and passed to prevent the probem of
waste from ntensfyng. Other compementary measures woud be to make
usng reusabe bags and the recycng of materas more attractve, such as
savng costs on bags or even makng recycng bns more accessbe. Hence
whe I agree that recycng s one ehectve answer to the probem of waste,
t has to be used smutaneousy wth educatona campagns and reguatons
as that woud compement recycng and mtgate ts mtatons.
Recycng s certany a good souton to the probem of waste. However, we
must acknowedge that due to the hgh costs and advanced technoogy
needed for recycng, deveoped countres are therefore n a better poston
to embrace recycng as compared to far ess deveoped countres. Athough
recycng s sutabe for sma countres wth sma and area and s more
envronmentay frendy, t does not emnate the underyng cause to the
probem of waste. Hence recycng shoud be mpemented together wth
educatona campagns and reguatons for t to be most ehectve.
Toi! The envronment
.uestion Envronment dsasters - who s to bame?
Writer Mchee Wong, CG 04/07
/!hool T|C
Envronmenta dsasters - a phrase whch commony con|ures up mages of
the devastatng ehects of the wrath of Mother Nature upon human es.
However, upon further cose scrutny, one woud reaze that so much more s
at stake than a few thousand ves ost. The exstence of everythng around
us s n |eopardy because of envronmenta dsasters. Especay when the
dversty and quaty of fe, wth drastc cmate changes, rsng water eves,
and the many varetes of vng organsms are wped oh the face of the
earth, how much more hts can the panet Earth take from us? Whe the
arge ma|orty of the human popuaton s to bame for wastng resources n
the day course of our es, the man cuprt woud be the ruthess
ndustrasts who put prot-makng on the top of ther prortes, regardess
of ts sacrces, and many word eaders (governments) who have the power
and means to stop them.
Drastc cmate changes and temperature uctuatons are one of the sde
ehects from the excessve reease of greenhouse gas emssons. Thrty years
ago (1970s), the earth experenced a coong ehect due to the ntroducton of
aerosos nto the market. Now, wth refrgerators, chorouorocarbon
emssons are breakng down the ozone ayer. Consumers as we as
rresponsbe manufacturers are dentey to bame for ths cmate crss.
Despte knowng that aerosos and CFCs are degradng the envronment,
educated consumers are st fueng the market for such products.
Another envronmenta dsaster s a resut of what the market consumers
have created - the extncton and endangerment of anmas. Whe poachers
and prvate busnesses camour to meet the demands of consumers, they
have caused varous speces of tgers and foxes to be reduced to beng
endangered speces. Whe poar bears are not yet under that, they mght
soon |on them. Wth poar caps metng due to the rse n temperature, there
have been many reports of poar bears and other mammas drownng from
exhauston when they coud not nd and to rest on. Instead of rsng to
protest aganst green house gas emssons, there are peope who actuay
beeve these are concdences whch shoud be gnored. Whe
envronmentasts and potcans ke A Gore are pettonng to save the
panet, there are many who mock them through forums and the Internet.
We-ntentoned organzatons are partay to bame for ther ncompetence
and nemcency as we. Despte havng reguar meetngs such as the APEC
Word Summt, they are consstenty formng vague concusons ke "w take
a step towards reducng greenhouse gas emssons". Whe many prvate
organzatons are pettonng, and fundng these envronmenta conservaton
campagns, these nternatona envronment conservaton groups have yet to
make any sgncant mpact.
Another envronmenta dsaster that happens frequenty s o spage. Petro
companes as we as the mtary are to bame. In 1991, the Guf War o
sps were the worst n hstory wth an estmated 1.5 mon tonnes of crude
o dumped nto the sea. The envronmenta mpcatons were dsastrous as
many forms of sea fe pershed and ts ngerng after-ehects can st be
observed a decade ater. The toxc vapours ked marne fe whe the o
posoned the brds when t was ngested by accdent. The worst part of a
was that the o spage was ntentona. The countres aong the coast
dumped tonnes of crude o nto ther waters n an attempt to deter US
marne shps from enterng ther habours. The o sck was 4 nches thck for
mes, and the wdfe there has never recovered snce. Ths shows that
potcs have a part to pay n envronmenta degradaton.
The ght to becomng the most amuent between countres has aso ed to
countres refusa to acknowedge that envronment dsasters are a pressng
concern. Wth a mxture of potca and economc reasons, the Unted States
of Amerca refused to sgn the Kyoto Protoco. Despte nternatona taks of
sustanabe economc growth, many countres are not wng to sow down or
compromse ther producton to nvest n envronmenta conservaton
As A Gore mentoned n hs move - "An Inconvenent Truth" - f Earths
resources are depeted or destroyed, fe woud not be sustanabe, et aone
matera weath. If a few percent of economc growth must be sacrced to
preserve the ony panet we e on, then so be t. It s such a pty that there
are so many partes whch do not reaze that. If future envronmenta
dsasters are to be presented, t woud take a ot more than the ehorts of a
few campagn organzatons. The cooperaton of word eaders woud be
Toi! The environment
.uestion Is t possbe to protect the envronment when many
countres requre ncreasng amounts of energy to
Writer Dary Cha, CG 08/07
/!hool T|C
In todays word, where word popuaton, ndustra producton and economc
growth are surgng at breakneck pace, energy consumpton s expandng and
manknds nsatabe desre for energy, arabe and and natura resources are
both depetng natura resources and damagng the envronment. I beeve
that economc progress today necesstates manknds utsaton of the
Earths resources and damage of the envronment. However, I beeve that t
s possbe to both en|oy economc progress and protect the envronment at
the same tme, especay wth advances n aternatve energy technoogy
and a greater nvovement of the pubc, government and pubc rms n the
protecton of the envronment.
There s, argey, a fase dchotomy between economc progress and
protectng the envronment. Ths s because, among other reasons, of the
avaabty of aternatve sources of energy - not that of crude o or coa -
whch can power ndustres and drve economc progress whe protectng or
dong ony mnma damage to the envronment. Such technoogy ncudes
nucear energy, whch use does not emt carbon and where by-products can
be stored underground wthout damage to the envronment. Other forms of
aternatve energy aso ncude that of wnd and soar energy, where
athough some mght seem prohbtve and capabe of provdng ony sma
amounts of energy, may actuay aow entre towns to be powered f
harnessed and dstrbuted emcenty. Ths s the case of Sant Dads, a town
n Southern Waes, whch successfuy everaged on such technoogy to
reduce ts househod carbon footprnt to amost zero - a testament to how
technoogy can aow an economy to functon and progress whe protectng
the envronment at the same tme. However, despte the emcacy of such
technoogy, I conceded that aternatve energy sources are no panacea for
todays trade-oh between progress and the envronment as yet and ths s
why the word st consumes 85 mon barres of drty-burnng crude o
today. Ths s because aternatve energy sources are st, n genera, not as
cheap as drng for o and hence are not wdey adopted. However, I beeve
that n the near future, wth todays pace n the advancement of aternatve
energy technoogy and n order to crcumvent the predcted dsaster of o
runnng out by 2050, aternatve energy w become cheaper and wdey
used to the pont that t drves economc progress whe protectng the
envronment at the same tme - a very possbe eventua outcome.
Another reason why I beeve that protectng the envronment and economc
progress s possbe and become ever ess mutuay excusve s the ncrease
n envronmenta awareness and desre to protect the envronment, whether
for atrustc reasons or for sef-nterest. Today, 30 percent of paper and
pastc waste n the Unted States of Amerca (USA), as stated by the U.S.
Envronmenta Agency, s recyced. Ths s despte the fact that recycng s
often a ow prot margn busness that requres government subsdes to
operate. A 30 percent recycng rate s an achevement that shows how a
government can push for both progress and envronmenta protecton at the
same tme wth enough potca w. Aso, ar trave, the boodnes of the
word economc machne, s begnnng to become ceaner wth the foray of
rms such as Frances Cmat Mund, whch encourages ar traveers and
gves them a medum to compensate for the carbon they had caused to be
emtted durng ther ghts. Ths s done by payng an extra but sma sum
over the ar tckets prce, whch then goes to fund tree-pantng events and
to repace the drty-burnng wood stoves of poor Sub-Saharan Afrcans wth
ceaner eectrc or petroeum stoves. Of course, dssenters woud say that
such schemes ony appy to atrustc peope and governments whch are few
and far between. However, I beeve that such choces are ncreasngy
becomng ones that are made based on sef-nterest as peope are feeng the
negatve ehects of envronmenta damage. For nstance, n October 2008,
we after the Oympc and Paraympc Games concuded, Be|ng re-mposed
car quotas because t was n ts nterest to reduce pouton eves to protect
peopes heath and to attract toursts and nvestors. Thus, I beeve that sef-
nterest and atrusm are, more than ever, eadng to "green" decsons beng
made whch protect the envronment whe not or nsgncanty nhbtng
economc progress.
The na reason why I beeve progress and envronmenta protecton may go
hand-n-hand s that of the system of Captasm and the desre of busnesses
to maxmze prots. The ncrease n envronmenta conscousness and the
desre of consumers to purchase "green" products and ceaner cars have ed
to a paradgm shft n markets where companes are now ncentvzed to
produce green products or to sponsor green movements. Companes such as
Toyota and Honda have taken advantage of such a change n drvers
preferences by creatng smaer, ceaner cars and hydroeectrc cards,
eadng them to "progress" and turn prots whe protectng the envronment
at the same tme, unke Ford and Genera Motors, whch gas-guzzng cars
have ed them nto busness osses n the order of bons of U.S. doars n
2008. Appearng green s aso a trend for companes whch are n the servce
sector. Wa Street research rm Standard and Poors has concuded n 2008
that "green" corporate ctzenshp adds prots to a companys baance sheet.
Ths coud expan why hghy respected Wa Street rms Godman Sachs and
the Bank of Amerca have been sponsorng envronmenta reform pro|ects n
Chna, ensurng that they do not provde oans to ega oggers and
promotng themseves as "green banks". Thus, t s seen that captasm and
busnesses nherent desre for prots can and s ncreasngy eadng to rms
both progressng and protectng the envronment at the same tme. The
envronmentay sustanabe growth of busnesses coud qute possby be the
wave of the near future.
I beeve that t s possbe to protect the envronment whe strvng for
economc progress, notwthstandng the atter requrng ncreasngy more
energy to accompsh. Ths, though, s contngent on the fact that the
deveopment of aternatve energy sources and the ncrease n
envronmenta conscousness among peope, governments and busnesses
are sustaned at the current pace. To do ths, I woud suggest that more
weght be paced on the advce gven by the Unted Natons (UN) and the
Intergovernmenta Pane on Cmate Change (IPCC) to ncude the deveopng
natons n Annex I of the Kyoto Protoco and for more countres to adopt the
European Cmate Exchanges system of pouton permt tradng. Wth that,
the possbty of economc progress and envronmenta protecton w be
ncreasngy cose to beng reazed.
Conquest without conscience. To what extent would you agree with this assessment of our
relationship to the environment?
Humans are the masters of the !arth today. Clearly" it is not due to our physical prowess that gave
us such a title. #t is our intellect" innovation and creativity that have allowed the human race to rise
in power against all the other animal species that are more physically advanced compared to us. #t is
through innovation that has allowed us to win the conquest against the animal species" $ending them
over to our will and su$%ecting these animals to whatever we please. &ince cavemen conquered the
animal species" humans have $ecome $older. !ven in todays modern world" conquests are made" in
the form of the uncounta$le inventions appearing daily" to improve the quality of life. However" the
negative effects of the numerous $attles we have held to $ecome more technologically advanced
over the centuries is showing in the home we reside in" 'other !arth. These $attles" regretta$ly" are
still fought daily" and we show almost no effort to stop. #n my opinion" # feel that Conquest without
conscience is an accurate description of the humans relationship to the environment. (umerous
acts $y humans clearly %ustify my view.
)irst" there is the act of pollution. 'any of the daily tas*s that we do in our everyday life involve
polluting the environment. These tas*s ta*e up a ma%ority of our lives and are often done without a
second thought to spare for the environment. China" a country that has up to +., $illion people is one
of the largest contri$utors to pollution. #t is not only due to the large num$er of people living in the
country that causes the pollution to $e high. -ne of the main reasons that # have singled China out is
due to their $urning of coal to generate electrical power for the masses. The usage of coal is highly
polluting and the main reason on why China uses it is due to the cost effectiveness of coal. The more
expensive $ut cleaner alternative of fossil fuels" however" is adopted in many countries around the
world. The usage of coal to generate electrical power for so many people is significant to the glo$al
emission levels of car$on monoxide gas. This selfish act of rating cost effectiveness over the harm
caused to the environment shows how the humans are involved with the notion of a conquest for
advancement without conscience. 'other !arth is then made to inhale so much more of these toxic
gases at the expense of coal $eing cheaper than fossil fuels. .ollution is the result our never/ending
need for cheaper energy to power our never/ending consumption of resources.
&econd" deforestation too" leads to air pollution. 0eforestation is deemed as necessary for many
countries as it is the only way for more land to $e developed for industrial purposes and for housing.
1s a result" large areas of woodland are cleared on a regular $asis to ensure that there is more space
for development to occur. #n many countries" there is a more eco/friendly approach in uprooting the
trees such that another tree is planted in another region. However" in the case of #ndonesia" the
deforestation technique is to $urn the forest $y large areas such that large areas of land can $e
cleared at once. The usage of this slash/and/$urn technique to clear the land" more nota$ly $y poor
farmers" causes mass pollution for the country of #ndonesia. The ha2e generated $y the fire is then
$lown $y the wind over to &outh !ast 1sian countries" causing an inconvenience to the locals living
there and affecting the air quality in these countries. &uch acts $y the #ndonesians further support
the claim on how conquests $y the humans are made without conscience. The #ndonesians" in the
conquest to clear more land" not only contri$utes to the pollution" $ut also seriously inconveniencing
the locals in the &outheast 1sian countries. Hence" their selfish methods of clearing land for
development illustrates the little conscience they have in the conquest for land for development
!ven in the world of medicine" the statement is relevant. #n medicine" new drugs are formulated
daily in order to $attle against the many sic*nesses and illnesses that cause harm to humans.
However" due to the reluctance of humans in trying out the drug for fear of adverse side effects" the
scientists turn to animals. #n la$oratories that deal with medicine" rats are $red" for the sole purpose
of testing the drug on them. These rats are first in%ected with the virus" then with the drug and *ept
under o$servation. #t is only when the rat is close to death that is it put to sleep. These animals form
part of our environment" and yet are su$%ected to pain and misery due to our conquest against
diseases. 3ittle thought is spared for how the animal may $e feeling during the process of $eing
in%ected with the virus. Hence" in the conquest against illness and diseases" the humans are too"
without conscience and do not mind doing the species that share the planet with us" harm.
However" as our daily activities contri$ute increasingly to harming the environment" we too" have
$een trying to ma*e up for our wrong doings and lessening the impact of our rash conquests. )irst"
countries are wor*ing together on a glo$al scale to scale down the effects of their glo$al emissions on
a regular $asis. #n 4556" a summit was held at Copenhagen and it was attended $y almost every
country in the world to discuss issues regarding glo$al emissions and what can $e done $y each and
every country to scale down their car$on emissions. 1t the summit" many countries" nota$ly China"
had each made an effort to reduce the impact of our conquests on the environment. &uch acts $y the
leaders of the countries of the world then demonstrates that although pollution is not going to stop
any time soon" the negative effects of pollution to the environment have $een recognised and
something is $eing done a$out it. !ven in the upcoming world expo that is going to $e held in
&hanghai this year" exhi$its of the countries are to have a green theme to them" raising awareness
on the need to cut down pollution. Hence" there is a conscience present for the environmental
damage caused and things are $eing done a$out it.
1lso" other than glo$al efforts" even automo$ile companies are starting to play their part in showing
their regret in harming the !arth. 'ore environmentally friendly cars are emerging as automo$ile
companies try to cut down glo$al emissions due to their cars. These new cars" many of them hy$rid
cars" can run on the conventional fuel for convenience sa*e and too" can run on the $io/diesel that is
quoted to $e environmentally/friendly. &uch acts $y the giants in the automo$ile industry will
demonstrate how the harm caused to the environment is noted and that the owners of the
automo$ile industry recognise that part of the fault is theirs and something is $eing done a$out it.
There is then a conscience present in these car/ma*ers such that they are willing to do something for
the harm they have caused in their conquest.
1ll in all" great amount of harm is $eing dealt to the environment in our conquest for a more
advanced and easier life. However" this harm is $eing compensated for $y a few environmentally/
mind individuals that actively care for the environment. These are the people" sadly to say" the
minority that possess a conscience for the various conquests made
. Does the presence of a foregn power ever hep a country wth probems?
Presence: drect and ndrect nterventon, coonasm ( potca/ economc
Foregn Power: Mtary forces, corporatons (MNCs), nternatona potca
Probems: cv unrest, dsaster-ht areas (humantaran), poverty and |obessness,
potca and soca nstabty etc.
Oueston Requrements
-Student shoud try to |ustfy why the nterventon of a foregn power may aevate,
accentuate, or smpy be hepess n assstng a country wth probems.
-Students shoud specfy the dherent types of foregn nterventon: potca, ad-
reef, corporatons etc.
-Students shoud specfy the probems that a country may have, rather than
generay dscuss the advantages and dsadvantages of the presence of a foregn
-Student shoud support arguments wth specc exampes.
Yes, the presence of a foregn power does hep a country wth probems.
1. Settng up of nfrastructure n coona countres, whch heped n the ack of
structure and deveopment n coonzed socetes (e.g |udca system n Sngapore)
2. Heped to unfy a country: backash to coonasm ed to natonastc movements
n Asa (e.g Indonesa was a very fragmented country before coonasm but t was
uned n ther ght for ndependence from the Dutch)
3. Potca nterventon does hep to rase awareness for human rghts (e.g. Iraq
under Saddem Hussen, Afghanstan under the Taban).
4. The presence of foregn corporatons brng expertse, nfrastructure and |obs to
the country (benets of goba expanson)
5. Presence of foregn powers hep n humantaran ssues e.g natura dsasters and
famnes (eg Schuan Earthquake, Cycone Nagrs, educaton provded by NGOs or
nternatona organzatons etc)
No, the presence of a foregn power does not hep a country wth probems, and
may even accentuate them.
1. Dvde and rue pocy utzed by the coona masters may resut further
fragmentaton of socety and cv wars after coonzaton, rather than to unfy the
country. Ths probem can be seen n the advent of many cv wars n Afrca after
2. The presence of foregn corporatons expot the natura resources of the country
at the expense of the ocas, accentuatng ther poverty n the ong run (e.g.
depeton of natura resources wthout repenshng or conservaton, dspacement of
ocas, ow wages and the expotaton of abor).
3. Foregn nterventon n anothers economy may worsen the economc stuaton
due to the ack of understandng of the unqueness of each economy / soco-cutura
constrants (e.g. faure of IMF)
4. Potca probems have to be utmatey deat wth by the country tsef, for
nterventon of a foregn power may be perceved as an nfrngement of natona
soveregnty, or the ehects may be short-ved. (e.g. The resurgence of the Taban
after beng overthrown by the US n Afghanstan n 2001)
Good Scrpts
Students are abe to provde hstorca and current sgncant exampes. Canddates
understand that there w be mtatons even f rea soutons are provded; the
country n queston has to pay an mportant roe as we. Students consder the
context of the country n queston; severty of the probem and atttude of
governments n the recpent countres determne the success or faure of foregn
nterventon. Students demonstrate that there are usuay uteror motves to foregn
Genera dscusson on the pros and cons of foregn nterventon, wthout nkng t to
how t may or may not address the probems that these countres are facng.
Arguments and exampes are restrcted to war or potca nterventon
2. How mportant are dreams?
Importance: sgncance, drvng force (motvaton)
Dreams: tera dreams, goas and aspratons, daydreamng (mnor pont)
Oueston Requrements
-Students shoud measure the mportance of dreams n terms of ther actuazaton.
-Student shoud recognse that dreams can be destructve, as we as ther
Yes, dreams are mportant
1. Dreams provde the foca pont or aspraton for potcans and vsonary eaders
to acheve goas for socety. (e.g. Neson Mandeas dream of aboshng aparthed,
MLKs dream of equaty for a, Barack Obamas dream of beng the rst back
presdent, Daa Lamas dream of havng an ndependent Tbet, Ronad Reagans
dream of the end of the Cod War and the fa of the Bern War)
2. Dreams provde the motvaton for persona achevements and goas (sports
taents ke Mchae Pheps, Tger Woods dream and constanty strve to break ther
own records and be ther persona best)
3. Vsonary busnessmen and entrepreneurs acheve great economc success due to
ther snge-mnded focus on achevement (e.g. Ova Lum form Hyux, Sm Wong
Hoo from Creatve, B Gates of Mcrosoft, Coco Chane of Chane. These peope
embody the mportance and potency of dreams for they but ther busness empres
from scratch )
4. Dreams are mportant for they provde a vson for a better word, drvng
ndvduas to ehect soca changes, e.g. busnessmen and actvsts who set up
soca enterprses or non-prot organzatons to hep dsenfranchsed groups of
peope, ke the Gates Foundaton, Grameen Bank and mcrocredt to assst women
and fames, Mother Theresa who dreamt of hepng the poorest of the poor and
spent her whoe fe achevng t).
5. Daydreams are very often the catayst for creatvty, and they have the vauabe
and ntangbe vaue of revvng or refreshng the ndvdua.
No, the mportance of dreams s mted
1. Though dreams may be mportant, they may msre wth terrbe consequences,
when they are pursued excessvey wthout consderaton for others or ethcs (e.g.
Hter, megomanas, Madoh)
2. Though dreams are mportant, favorabe envronmenta or soca factors have to
be n pace (e.g. dreams of prosperty cannot be dvorced from potca stabty and
stabe nfrastructure, dreams of persona achevements are hard to attan for a gr
n a staunchy conservatve or patrarcha socety)
3. Dreams have to be accompaned by acton and determnaton.
4. Faure of fung dreams or re|ecton of dreams can ead to greater
5. Daydreams can become a reason for nerta and ndoence!!
Good Scrpts
Students are abe to dscuss the psychoogca mpcatons of dreams (e.g. Freud
and the subconscous n dreams). They are abe to anayse the motvatons or
reasons for the dreams, rather than merey descrbng them.
Students merey st a cataogue of dreams wthout expanng the motvatons or
reasons behnd dreams or measurng ts consequences or mpact.
-student merey harps on persona dreams and aspratons wthout nkng them to
wder soca or potca sgncance.
3. The more scence advances, the more regon w decne. To what extent do
you agree?
scence: pursut of knowedge by scentsts n varous scentc eds
regon: a set of beefs concernng the cause, nature and purpose of the unverse.
Ths may nvove the creaton of a superhuman agency or agences, devotona and
rtua observances and often contan a mora code governng the conduct of human
advances: deveops and mproves
decne: decreases n ts mportance
Oueston Requrements
The On requres an understandng of how scentc advances w ahect the spread
and nuence of regon. An adequate essay w evauate how specc advances (n
stated scentc contexts) w cause a re-evauaton of the
roes/mportance/sgncance of regon to ndvduas, groups or even socetes. A
good essay may rase the ssue that there s a fase dchotomy or the two contexts
need not be mutuay excusve. The assumpton that current-day socety w be
more ahected/nuenced by scentc advances cannot be chaenged. Ths s a
stuaton that s aready happenng.
Lstng the mportance of regon wthout nkng back to address the qn.
Faure to draw cause-ehect nk; ookng at the ssue from 2 separate contexts.
The more scence advances, the more regon w decne.
Regon w become ess sgncant as scence advances. In many cases, Scence
coud progress faster wthout regon. In fact, regon coud make Scence 'ame', by
hnderng ts movement and hence the progress of socety. Ths s especay so f
regons (such as the Roman Cathocsm) advocate a banket ban on practces that
are deemed to devaue and desecrate fe. For exampe, n Itay, no preventve
dagnoss can be made on the embryos and they cannot be destroyed, even f t s
known that the parents carry genes that coud pass a fata dsease to ther chd. Is
ths respectng the sanctty of fe then?
The abty of Scence to provde us wth nsghts nto the physca word has
empowered us n many ways. Regons, on the other hand, are practsed based on
fath. By ts nature, regon thus acks ratonaty and arguaby wsdom. For
exampe, regon was used to expan many natura phenomena and the uncertanty
as we as supersttous beefs struck fear n many. Ths has ed many pragmatc
ndvduas, organsatons and even countres to pace greater emphass and vaue
on the mportance of scentc research rather than regon to sove probems.
As scence advances, regon w not necessary decne.
Scence needs regon to provde ethca parameters so that manknd does not
progress at the expense of humanty. Regon shoud contnue to be the vanguard
aganst experments or research that woud devaue human fe. Ths s especay
pertnent for medca scence, snce t deas drecty wth matters of fe and death.
Hence, peope w contnue to use regous vaues to draw parameters or
boundares for scentc practces.
As scence advances, regon w n fact gan mportance/sgncance.
Where Scence s not abe to provde expanatons, regon s the gap. For
exampe, regon can hep to answer the 'bg questons' about fe and death, fate
and destny.
Whe much of earer debates about Scence vs regon seem to suggest that
they are dchotomous and ant-thess, the dscusson suggests otherwse. In fact, t
seems that they share a symbotc reatonshp. Regon (or ethcs for that matter)
acts as the mora conscence of Scence and socety whe Scence heps to
remove/aay any rratona fear brought about by regon's faed attempt to make
sense of the word.
4. How far do physca features, such as sze and ocaton, determne a countrys
physca features: natura andforms/characterstcs
sze: magntude as measured n area of and mass
Locaton: poston (vs--vs other countres)
Determne: shape/nuence/determne
Progress: advancement, gradua mprovement, growth or deveopment;
Oueston Requrements
The qn requres an anayss of how physca features determne the advancement of
a country. An assumpton s that physca features w and have payed an mportant
roe n brngng about progress. Advancements w refer to more than economc,
tangbe or measurabe growth.
An assumpton that physca features are the ony determnants.
Over-use of Geography |argon.
Over-reance on sub|ect specc knowedge (Geography)
Wrong focus on "other factors" - a case of h|ackng the queston.
Physca features, such as sze and ocaton do sgncanty determne a countrys
- Bg countres wth natura resource endowments have more potenta for economc
and potca deveopment. These two forms of deveopment combned to gve the
country domnance on a regona/goba scae. Ths sze of ther economes can
ahect tradng patterns. Ths advantage can be further enhanced f countres have a
arge sked workforce. An exampe s Chna.
- The converse can be true. A sma country can be easer to manage and the
popuaton becomes the soca capta of the country. For exampe, Sngapore s
successfu because of the focus on nche ndustres and a sked workforce.
- A countrys unque ocaton vs--vs surroundng natons may gve t added
advantage as t can serve as the extended hnterand/ actvty hub from whch
goods and especay servces can be transacted. An exampe s Swtzerand. At the
same tme, countres mght be and-ocked and hence do not have access to such
nfrastructura advantage. An exampe s Myanmar. In ths case, the probem s
further worsened by the presence of the mtary |unta.
- Countres that come together to form an assocaton of natons have the
combned advantage that comprses the strengths of many natons. Some exampes
are the European Unon and ASEAN.
A countrys geo-potca ocaton can ahect postvey or negatvey ts
- Israes poston n the mdst of domnant Musm natons compeed t to adopt a
fary aggressve mtary stance to ensure ts economc survva. It has to carve an
aance wth sympathetc countres such as the Unted States. Tbets poston as a
buher between Inda and Chna seaed ts potca fate, resutng n unque present-
day status. (Tbet s admnstered by the PRC, camed by the ROC (Tawan) n ts
consttuton whe a sma part, accordng to the PRC and the ROC, s controed by
- The unque context of North-South Korea wth ts ensung and at tmes escaatng
conct creates a staemate. These two Koreas are deveopng at such dherent
speeds and wth such dherent emphass that reconcaton seems to become more
- Some Afrcan countres, whch are mred n nterna concts and strfe, may have
porous borders through whch the ctzens can ee. Ths depeton of human
popuaton handcaps the countrys growth.
- A tradtona exampe woud be how Sngapore progressed n the 1900s because of
her strategc poston between Inda and Chna.
- Some countres depend on natura resources to grow and a arge part of the GDP s
contrbuted by one or a few cruca ndustres.
- Some exampes:
- Austraa has a huge toursm ndustry based many on the natura beauty of ts
natura beauty. Her many tourst attractons ncude beautfu coastnes, an awe-
nsprng Outback and her marne bomes. New Zeaand s another smar exampe.
- The Guf States are o-rch and many OPEC natons have captased on o money
(snce 1900s) to bud magncent ctes (ke Duba). Her peope are among the
rchest n the word.
- Russa has vast natura gas reserves and ths resource , when t s more fuy
tapped, w |umpstart Russas economy and gve her more nuence (both
potcay and economcay) over neghbourng countres. Ths s especay
pertnent f one consders how qucky tradtona foss fue reserves are beng
depeted and how the probem w ony become more pressng n comng years as
the words demand for energy ncreases.
Whe physca features w ahect progress, other factors ke good governance,
mndset of the popuaton, cutura/soca capta w come nto pay (to acheve
In the gobased context, the tradtona advantages of tradtona factors of
producton (and and resources) may be reduced as more and more peope across
the gobe trade, ve and transact n a goba economy. The goba context s the
nternatona abour market, emporum, payground and actvty hub.
Focus on Governance
Systems wth sound and far prncpes, transparency, uncorrupt governance and
focus on the rue of aw provde the most conducve envronment for growth.
Sngapore has ths form of soca/cutura capta and these condtons are very
sutabe for the growth of ndustres ke bankng, nance and teecommuncatons.
Focus on Servces
- Swtzerand, despte beng andocked and havng very few natura resources
depended on an nternatona bankng system to generate weath.
- Iceand but on the strength of ts teecommuncatons systems and bankng to
gve her ctzens one of the hghest per capta GDP n the word.
Focus on Ideas/vaues (soft power)
- Amerca, wth her hegemony over goba meda, exports her cutura deas, trends
and vaues wordwde, to the extent that ths equates to cutura mperasm.
- South Afrca has contnued to grow as the rchest country n the Afrcan sub-
contnent after she denounced state-sanctoned aparthed.
- Deng Xaopeng ed Chna towards market economcs through the ntroducton of
"Four Modernzatons(meanng advances n agrcuture, ndustry, scence and
technoogy). The new brand of socast thnkng (Socasm wth Chnese
characterstcs/ Chnese economc reform) opened Chna to the goba market n
successve stages.
5. "Nowadays, the peasure of readng can never compete wth the peasure of
vsua entertanment." To what extent do you agree?
Nowadays: modern day context, 21st Century (nference: comparson to the past
peasure: en|oyment, esure, |oy, nteectua stmuus
readng: books, magaznes, newspapers, comcs, perodcas etc.
vsua entertanment: moves, teevson programmes, Internet meda (YouTube
etc.), movng mages (non-text)
never compete: mpossbe to contest/rva/chaenge (absoute term)
Oueston Requrements
Ths an absoute queston but students are gven room to take a cear stand for or
aganst ths statement WHILE showng awareness of counterarguments. Instead of a
pece-mea descrpton of how readng or vsua-entertanment s peasurabe,
BETTER scrpts w actvey compare both genres smutaneousy. Better scrpts w
aso acknowedge that wth technoogca progress, there s ncreasng convergence
between text and vsua eements.
Students, beng more meda-savvy, may be too eager to ceebrate vsua
entertanment wthout seeng the merts of conventona mode of readng.
Readng CANNOT RIVAL peasure from vsua entertanment
Readng may be text ntensve, thus aborous, tme consumng vs seeng the
entre story n a 3-hour move/ 1-hour TV drama. E.g. Dckens noves (500 pages or
more) vs a move adaptaton.
Language s a barrer (ssue of teracy) vs pcture pants a thousand words
- medeva Engsh
Vsua meda concretses the abstract.
- to ad academc earnng, especay of abstract theores, vsua depcton heps n
the understandng of the phenomenon e.g. HIV vrus spread n the body, the
concept of how DNA spcng occurs.
TV vewng or a move outng often a soca event that encourages bondng, hence
a popuar form of esure.
Vsua meda such as onne-gamng enhances the eve of nteractvty, whe
readng s more passve.
Readng CAN BE MORE peasurabe than vsua entertanment
Text aows readers to exercse creatve magnaton, emotona connecton.
Conventona prnt meda may aso be more convenent for the mobe reader
Some readers have the sensora preference for prnted books (sme, touch of the
pages, the experenta peasure of terature shoppng etc.)
Certan genres of terature foster ntmacy between reader and wrter e.g.
bographe may be ost when tod va vsua medum (e.g. bad actng or weak pot
Readng and vsua entertanment both |ust as peasurabe
Humans are mut-dmensona, ndvduas derve en|oyment possby from both
forms of entertanment, hence the 2 meda are not mutuay excusve. The Internet
(bogs, You-Tube, soca networkng stes ke Facebook and Twtter) encourages the
use of vdeo upoads to compment text, aowng more tota sensora experence of
the netzens.
Many noves and short stores have been adapted nto screenpays and have
acheved both box-omce success and theren encouragng the saes of the orgna
books to be on natona best-seers st. E.g "Brokeback Mountan", "Sense &
Sensbtes" etc.
6. To what extent does the mgraton of peope have a postve ehect?
Mgraton of peope - movement/mobty of ppe, urban-rura mgraton,
transmgraton (Note: exc. overseas postng or studes, traveng, movement of
empoyees to 3rd Word countres due to openng up of MNCs, foregn ad workers)
Postve ehect - benets, advantages, gans to groups, ndvduas, host natons and
countres of orgn. Students are to ncude the negatve ehects as we.
Oueston Requrements
The queston requres an understandng of the detrments and advantages of the
mgraton of peope permanenty on the ndvdua mgrant, the countres of orgn
and the host countres. Better scrpts w be abe to consder the mpcatons of
mgraton from the perspectves of the ndvdua AND the states nvoved. They
woud aso dherentate themseves by the quaty and orgnaty of ther exampes.
Students fa to gve specc egs to substantate assertons. Students mudde the
denton of mgraton to ncude short term empoyment postngs & overseas
Postve ehects of the mgraton of peope.
1. Economc benets
ncrease n strength/numbers of workforce eg. Spore, Hong Kong, Austraa
ncrease n quaty of workforce eg foregn taent who take up ctzenshp of host
countres "bran-gan" especay n the technoogy and IT ndustry
n deveoped countres, where bue-coared |obs have a ow take-up rate, mgrant
workforce n these gaps
hgher pay packages for mgrant workers than n countres of orgn
remttance of pay from mgrant workforce to ther home country
hstorca perspectve: mgraton n SEA heped deveop emergng economes and
teray bud natons eg the tradng actvtes n the Maay Archpeago, Chnese
samsu women who but Sngapores roads and budngs.
2. Cutura Benets:
cosmopotan socety whch s attractve to foregn nvestors (mpct assumpton
that the socety s more acceptng of dherences and work practces, aso an
economc benet)
unqueness of Msa and Spore for toursm purposes cutura dversty eg
dherent races/ethncty n SEA
exchange of deas between mgrants and ocas
broadenng of horzons of ctzens of host natons/ respect and acceptance of other
eg Canada, among the EU member countres (transmgraton)
3. Other benets:
deveops potenta/ sef-actuasaton due to greater opportuntes to deveop
taents n host countres, whch are not avaabe n country of orgn.
host countres are abe to tap on foregn taents. Anaogous to bg sh n sma
pond (n host countres) vs sma sh n bg pond (n countres of orgn eg Chna &
Inda) eg. tabe tenns ths may notstars n Spore who won the sver meda at the
Oympcs be possbe f they stayed n ther own countres.
Negatve ehects of the mgraton of peope.
1. Soco-Potca:
as a resut of cutura dversty, there may arse dvsveness, eadng to possbe
tensons or xenophoba eg Paune Hansons xenophobc poces n response to
excessve mgrant numbers
ethnc encaves: aenates mgrant groups from ocas, owers the kehood of
ntegraton because of the strong sense of beongng to these groups. Eg of tte
Itay, Chnatown n many deveoped countres ke the UK, Canada whch are rather
excusve to others, who are the ocas
bran-dran: countres of orgn, especay those from 3rd word natons, do not
contrbute back to ther home countres eg foregn students who decde to stay on
n countres where they have been educated n eg. Indan and Vetnamese IT
schoars who stay n Scon Vaey (taents are utzed)
excessve competton posed by foregn workers and students may cause
dsgruntement among natve ctzens (but ths may aso spur ocas to work harder
to do better than them)
eg. Ctzens are unhappy that mgrants are gven oca |obs when ocas are
struggng to nd work, equa benets accorded to Germany (Afrcans mgrate and
are dscrmnated aganst)mgrants
eg. Students n Sngapore fee extensve pressures n oca schoos due to the
nux of Chnese mgrant students n ther mdst, who do exceptonay we n Maths
and Scence as compared to oca students. Parents of oca students compan n the
Loss of dentty/cutura duton
- anguage: second generaton mgrant unabe to speak natve tongue eg Amercan-
born Chnese
- tradtona beefs and practces: no onger practced or meanng s ost on or
unapprecated by the younger generaton, and nstead take up host countres
vaues and tradtons
- patrotsm/ oyaty to state s chaenged: Indans who mgrate to the UK thnk of
themseves more Engsh than Indan, Sngaporean Chnese who fee more
Sngaporean than Chnese
7. Ar trave shoud be dscouraged, not promoted. To what extent do you agree?
Ar trave: Use of arpanes for trave, whether for prvate or commerca use, or by
governmenta/nternatona organzatons.
Shoud be dscouraged, not promoted: Shoud be curtaed/ controed/ reduced
rather than beng expanded further.
Oueston Requrements
Students shoud understand the context n whch ths comment s made .e. n the
ght of probems created by the rapd expanson of ar trave today, t s tmey to
evauate the costs/ consequences of promotng ar trave.
Merey stng the benets/ dsadvantages of ar trave wthout consderng the
compextes nvoved n takng advantage of the benets and promotng ar trave,
or reactng to the probems caused by ar trave and dscouragng t.
Ar trave resuts n probems (therefore t shoud be dscouraged)
1. Ar trave resuts n arge amounts of carbon emssons from the arge quanttes
of fue burnt, addng on to the probem of goba warmng and cmate change.
2. Expanson of ar trave eads to the expanson of arports, whch ahect and use
around the arport. Budngs around the arport are generay 5 stores or ower,
resutng n nemcent and use.
3. Wth the expanson of ar trave, the threat of terrorsts h|ackng arcraft or usng
t as a weapon for destructon ncreases. The expanson of ar trave aso makes the
montorng of terrorsm more dmcut.
Ar trave has ts advantages (therefore shoud be promoted)
1. It s cruca for busness: conferences, exhbtons, negotatons etc.
2. Internatona co-operaton, word governance etc. factated by ar trave, eg.
meetng of word eaders, evacuaton of refugees, arftng of emergency ad.
3. Ar trave promotes educaton - nternatonazaton of educaton, advancng
knowedge - ncrease n foregn students n unverstes, research and advanced
4. Promotes toursm - advantageous to ndvduas, broaden outook and
experences; and countres that depend on toursm for economc growth.
Ar trave s a necessary ev. Its contnued use shoud be promoted; the souton s
to nd ways around the probems created by ts contnued use.
1. The benets of ar trave far outwegh the probems ts presents.
2. The probems created by ar trave can be reduced; the key s emcent use,
montorng carbon footprnt, potca w.
3. Ar trave has come under attack many because of concerns about carbon
emssons and goba warmng, as we as toursm causng envronmenta
degradaton. However, these probems resut argey from other causes.
4. In an age of gobazaton, there s no turnng back. The key s not dscouragng
but responsbe use.
8. Many deveoped countes are payng ncreasng attenton to the needs of the
dsadvantaged. How far s ths true n Sngapore?
Deveoped countres: havng acheved economc status recognzed as advanced and
acqurng the trats assocated wth countres of such standng.
Increasng attenton: acknowedgng the rghts of such groups to be ncorporated
nto manstream fe, preventng them from beng margnazed; dong more than
|ust tokenstc acknowedgement.
Needs of the dsadvantaged: dentfyng dsadvantaged to refer to mnorty groups
that are margnazed because of physca mparment, but aso ncudng those who
suher setbacks not of ther own dong, and therefore requrng hep.
Oueston Requrements
Students need to dentfy whch groups consttute the dsadvantaged n socety
and what ther needs are.
Students shoud argue that the state s responsbe for the dsadvantaged mnorty
and shoud go beyond smpy caterng for the needs of the genera popuace.
Students shoud aso hghght that the progress of a country s aso measured by
ts compasson for and ts abty to cater to the mnorty groups such as the
underprveged and dsadvantaged.
Students shoud aso recognse that the needs of the dsadvantaged shoud not be
met by |ust the government aone, but aso by socety as we as nsttutons wthn
the country.
Denton of dsadvantaged beng mted n scope - eg. referrng merey to those
who have ost ther |obs n the current economc recesson.
Merey descrbng what s beng done for the dsadvantaged wthout any
evauaton of whether ths s n ne wth expectatons of what a deveoped country
s moray obged to provde.
Faure to provde a far and baanced vewpont - .e. takng the vew that nothng
s beng done, or more than enough has been done; restrctng evauaton ony to
roe of the government n caterng to these needs.
Yes, t s true that Sngapore, |ust ke many deveoped countes, s payng ncreasng
attenton to the needs of the dsadvantaged.
1. Sngapores status as a deveoped naton - gong beyond mere survva and
caterng to the needs of the dsadvantaged mnorty.
Government-ed ntatves eg. ncreased fundng, upgraded factes for schoos, as
we as tranng of personne caterng to speca needs n Sngapore; factes
caterng to the physcay handcapped and the aged n housng estates, pubc
transport etc. (amost $60 mon n fundng for programmes caterng to the
dsadvantaged as we the edery, amost $100 mon n fundng for re-ntegraton
programmes for |uvene denquents as we as an ncrease n nanca assstance
for those unabe to ahord schoo fees. The amount set asde n every Government
Budget to hep the dsadvantaged n socety has aso been ncreasng year on year).
2. Pragmatsm n natona pannng - no country can contnue to prosper wthout
ntegratng mnorty groups nto manstream socety; the cost of aowng them to be
margnazed and then caterng to ther needs s too hgh.
3. Internatona respect/stature n ne wth deveoped status, not merey appeasng
crtcsms of cv rghts groups, brngs other benets, tangbe as we as ntangbe
4. Socetys changng atttudes - gracousness/compasson/recognsng the rghts of
a ndvduas rrespectve of ther abty (or the ack of) to be treated wth respect -
trats that are vaued as hamark of a deveoped naton - one that s amuent and
better educated. Beng dsadvantaged no onger seen as a stgma.
5. Rse of Vountary Wefare Organsatons (VWOs) - over the years, the number of
VWOs caterng to the dsadvantaged n Sngapore has ncreased. VWOs are aso
movng out of the tradtona spheres of work such as hepng the edery and
dsabed to more non-tradtona spheres such as famy dspute medaton as we as
hepng |uvene denquents or youth at rsk.
Not true. Attempts to engage and to provde for the needs of the dsadvantaged are
st mted n scope / tokenstc:
1. The nature of mertocracy means that etsm s to be expected, thus the
dsadvantaged woud naturay have a esser standng n such a socety. The focus
has aways been on exceence, resutng n the dsadvantaged mnorty beng
dspaced and treated as second cass ctzens.
2. Government fundng and factes for the dsadvantaged n socety s
substantay mted compared to those n the manstream eg. speca schoos
caterng for the nteectuay dsabed have far ess factes compared to
manstream schoos.
3. Fundng for the dsadvantaged s ower compared to other countres athough ths
s changng n Sngapore. (It must be recognzed aso that these countres are
argey wefare states).
4. Recent scandas nvovng hgh proe chartes (Natona Kdney Foundaton,
Renc Hospta) caterng to these dsadvantaged members n socety are setbacks.
Caterng to the wefare of the dsadvantaged s part and parce of a countrys
progress. As a country becomes more deveoped, democratc deas w nevtaby
seek to brng about greater equty and to emnate unnecessary nes of dvson.
9. Dscuss the vew that too much fath s paced on statstcs.
Too much: excessve, more than necessary
Fath: Beef, trust, vaue
Statstcs: Fgures, facts, rankngs, mathematca data
Oueston requrements
Students need to evauate the term statstcs on a wde scope, consderng areas
ke economcs, envronment and potcs. The mtatons of ths representaton have
to be anaysed n accordance to predctabty and the eventua resuts shown.
Concrete exampes of such phenomenon shoud be provded.
Students can reconce the vew to show that there can be vaue n statstcs as t s
at east somewhat of a concrete measure n provdng drecton for certan poces
and decsons, but there must be consderaton not to pace too much fath n them
as we, as statstcs hod ther own nherent mtatons.
A faure to dene crtera wthn the phrase too much fath or too tte fath and
evauate |udgment of statstcs accordng to these features.
Yes, too much fath s paced on statstcs.
Economcs - GDP, per capta ncome, teracy rates etc are a quanttatve
measures and are the easest to use and compare, to reect the wefare of the
ctzens n the country (eg. denton of "Deveoped Country status"). Yet, these
statstcs are mted n terms of reectng other factors that may be more dmcut to
measure (eg. quaty of educaton, happness eve etc).
Envronment - especay n terms of goba warmng. An over-reance on statstcs
may not present an accurate pcture because trends may not contnue n a near
fashon and coud make governments/countres take unnecessary actons to combat
the predcted envronmenta degradaton. Statstcs do not take nto account the
unpredctabty of nature (eg. ehect of natura dsasters, how unforeseen changes
ahect each other etc)
Potcs - over-reance durng eectons may nuence peopes decsons
especay before a bg eecton. Pos that demonstrate the popuarty of a canddate
may not be accurate and f a person s undecded about canddate choce, the
statstcs from a po may unnecessary nuence a persons decson.
Rankng of unverstes, arports, ctes, etc - these statstcs do not take nto
account mutpe factors, and present a snge statstc representatve of the entre
nsttuton. Other statstcs may be unquantabe, for nstance, happness and
quaty. They may aso ead to sef-fung propheces as these nsttutons may fee
The accuracy of onne pos such as Gaup may be mted because they appea to
a certan demographc of peope ony (e.g. peope who have access to the nternet).
Statstcs n research may not take nto account standard error and may not be
representatve of the entre popuaton when presentng the resuts of surveys. Due
to cost constrants, t s often mpossbe to take nto account the resuts of the
entre popuaton when dong such research.
Possbty of corrupton of statstcs (eg. Iran eectons n 2009 were suspected of
beng rgged). Accusatons of rggng, or of vote-buyng (eg. Thaands eectons)
suggest to us that one shoud not pace any fath on eecton statstcs, especay n
countres accused of beng corrupt.
Educaton - The system of mertocracy dctates that peope are rewarded based
on mert and ths s often determned by academc resuts, quantabe
achevements. Ths often eaves out the more ntangbe factors (eg. nterpersona
sks, persuasve technques, creatvty etc)
No, adequate fath s paced on statstcs.
Statstcs present concrete proof such as n economc terms and aow for poces
and decsons to be subsequenty taken. For some ssues such as the economc
recesson, envronmenta probems, statstcs may be the ony way for pocy makers
for whch to base ther next moves on.
Statstcs can be an accurate measure of certan phenomenon such as popuaton
demographcs, e.g. what percentage of women there are n the workforce, and
hence gve an evauaton of whether or not certan aws/poces are workng.
Modern surveys can ensure a wde target audence to mnmze any resuts bas or
under-representaton of any segment of the popuaton (eg. the pre-eecton surveys
n Amerca n 2008)
Mertocracy s an emcent measure of a persons abty by academc statstcs.
Because ths compares resuts from the same examnaton, ths s the farest way of
coparng canddates
No, too tte fath s paced on statstcs.
Envronment - Naysayers do not take heed of the statstcs that show sgns of
goba warmng, and contnue to poute the envronment
Corrupton/ Bas - There w aways be those who dsregard eecton or survey
resuts especay when t threatens the status quo, domnance or decsons of those
n power. (eg. Burmas mtary |unta whch gnored Aung San Suu Kys eecton
success n 1990 and chose to mprson her.
Skeptcsm - Irans 2009 eecton resuts were suspected of beng rgged and ths
resuted n rots n |une 2009, upsettng the countrys peace and stabty.
Humantaran ad - The UN has advsed that rch countres shoud gve at east
0.7% of ther GNP to Omca Deveopmenta Assstance (ODA) n order to aevate
poverty n deveopng countres, but at east 18 out of the 22 dented rch
countres have chosen to dsregard these statstcs and donate ess than 0.7% GNP.
10. Contemporary musc has no artstc vaue. Is ths a far comment?
Contemporary musc: Modern genres of musc eg. rap, rock, pop, hphop, nde
bands, remx (D|s/ bedroom D|s), techno, bues etc
Artstc Vaue: Deveops the genre further, aesthetcay peasng, showcasng
creatvty - to be determned by musc crtcs/ genera popuace/ n comparson to
cassca canon?
Oueston Requrements
The On requres that students dscuss a range of modern genres, hghghtng ther
merts and benets n reaton to ts artstc vaue or ack thereof. Ths must aso be
baanced by a dscusson how contemporary musc s perceved to be shaow,
unorgna, mass-produced, not contrbutng to the rchness of musc. A competent
scrpt shoud dene crtera wthn the phrase artstc vaue and evauate peces
and groups accordng to these features.
- An assumpton that the On was seekng a defence of cassca musc per se
- Lackng exampes
Contemporary musc has tte artstc vaue:
Rock musc s often |arrng wth cashng tones, often payed at a voume that s
above the heathy eve for humans
Rap s often monotonous wth a repettve beat, whch seems to ack creatvty
Mass-produced musc often caters to the mass market. Many peces are mere
mtatons of prevous successfuy-marketed songs & abums (bubbegum pop)
Proferaton of sef-created musc (eg. mxng own musc/ sngng own songs to
upoad to Youtube) whch does not requre any musca tranng or ngenuty/ No
quaty contro
A ot of songs are merey cover versons of od songs, suggestng a ack of
Contemporary cassca musc can be qute |arrng and atona, n stark contrast to
the yrca baanced muscaty of more tradtona cassca (eg. Bach etc)
Contemporary muscans seem more mage-conscous, or are marketed n a way
that seems more about the aure, sex appea, sensatonazed festyes of the
artste (eg. Pars Hton, Brtney Spears), rather than the artstc vaue of the
muscans work
Contemporary musc has artstc vaue:
New genres of musc are extremey orgna (eg. The hgh-ptched qurky tunes of
Mka, surrea tones of Iceandc band Sgur Ros etc) except that they may not be
apprecated due to dherng tastes. Very often those who are |udgng whether the
musc has artstc vaue or not are oder experenced crtcs who are accustomed to
earer forms of musc
Even musc produced for the masses sounds peasng & t s en|oyed - shoud be
|udged as havng artstc vaue n ts own rght (eg. Mey Cyrus, Key Carkson etc)
Cover versons are vaued when they are sung n an nnovatve and creatve way
(eg. Amercan Idos versons of songs that showcase the new stye of the snger,
such as Davd Cooks husky verson of Marah Careys "I Aways Be Your Baby" and
Adam Lamberts verson of "Mad Word" orgnay by Tears for Fears). New forms of
art aways bud on od ones - ths need not make t any ess artstc.
The term artstc vaue s a sub|ectve one that s mpossbe to quantfy:
Artstc vaue, ke art s mpossbe to dene. What s artstc to one coud be
shaow, formess nose to another. What the crtcs consder the canon of artstc
muscaty coud be od-fashoned and du to another. Each generaton shoud be
aowed to dene ts own artstc vaue and |udge ts works by that. Some works may
ony be apprecated by ater generatons for ts contrbuton to musca
11. How far s t possbe to ensure that a producers of food and goods are fary
a producers of food and goods: farmers, manufacturers
fary rewarded: equtabe source of ncome
Oueston Requrements
Canddates must have a fary good knowedge of the noton of "far trade".
Canddates w gve a range of exampes of countres/ producers of dherent food
and goods. Baance must be provded to show that there are systems n pace to
ensure far trade and that there s a greater soca/potca/economc awareness of
the case for far trade.
Yes, t s possbe that producers of food and goods are fary rewarded.
Non-governmenta organsatons (NGOs) have been dong ther part to ensure that
far trade appes to Thrd Word producers who are often expoted. NGOs such as
Oxfam and Amnesty Internatona have been provdng market access to producers,
cuttng out mdde-men, provdng product certcaton.
Producers n deveopng countres have aso formed organsatons to protect ther
rghts. E.g. The Fartrade Labeng Organzatons Internatona (FLO), created n
1997, s an assocaton of three producer networks and twenty natona abeng
ntatves that promote and market the Far trade Certcaton Mark n ther
countres. The FLO abeng system s the argest and most wdey recognzed
standard settng and certcaton body for abeed Far trade. It reguary nspects
and certes producer organzatons n more than 50 countres n Afrca, Asa, and
Latn Amerca.
Deveoped countres whch have been argey responsbe for the expotaton of
the Thrd Word have aso taken acton to champon far trade. E.g. In 2006, the
European Parament unanmousy adopted a resouton on Far Trade, recognzng
the benets acheved by the Far Trade movement, suggestng the deveopment of
an EU-wde pocy on Far Trade, denng crtera that need to be fued under Far
Trade to protect t from abuse and cang for greater support to Far Trade.
Consumers have easy access to nformaton (even nformaton onne), so they can
make nformed choces about the goods they purchase e.g. the Wne Economst
Bog on "Far Trade Wne"
Consumer themseves pressure companes they patronze and therefore
companes w make more concerted ehorts to rase standards e.g. by partcpatng
n ntatves such as the Ethca Tradng Intatve n the UK and the Workers' Rghts
Consortum n the US.
No, t s not possbe for producers of food and goods to be fary rewarded.
Practce of protectonsm by the deveoped word to protect ther own domestc
producers e.g. subsdes to farmers n the EU and the US, tarhs and quotas on
mported stee n the US, etc. E.g. Due to trade berasaton poces, subsdsed rce
from hghy emcent producer countres, such as the US and |apan, s dumped n
foregn markets at prces beow producton costs.
Expotaton of Thrd Word farmers by the deveoped word E.g. The agrcuture
sector and sma farmers n deveopng countres are beng adversey ahected by a
web of goba trade rues that roncay protect bg farms n rch countres but
pressurze the deveopng countres to open up ther markets.
Producers are forced to se ther products to ntermedares at unreasonaby ow
prce because of the mted avaabe channes n ther soated ocaton.
It s very dmcut to montor every process n the producton of goods and
servces. E.g. Even f there s ehectve montorng of the condtons for cotton
farmers--n tsef a dmcut task--there s no guarantee that workers are not beng
expoted at other steps n the producton process. Consumers who thnk they are
choosng an ethcay untanted product mght actuay be buyng cothng sewn wth
chd abour or nshed n a dangerous overheated factory.
Fuctuatons of prces of commodtes are not wthn the contro of any naton or
organsaton especay f ths s the resut of demand or suppy changes. E.g.
oversuppy of cohee depressng cohee prces even further.
Ironcay, the movement for far trade can worsen the stuaton. Far trade
attempts to set a prce oor for a good that s n many cases above the market prce
and therefore encourages, as far trade opponents cam, exstng producers to
produce more and new producers to enter the market, eadng to excess suppy.
Students focus on answerng the merts and detrments of free trade versus
protectonsm, fang to recognse that the queston s focused on the ssue of far
12. To what extent s desgn mportant n your socety?
desgn: the aesthetca aspects concerned wth beauty, ergonomcs
mportant: of vaue, sgncant, cruca, ntegra
your socety: canddates country
Oueston Requrements
Canddate shoud examne the mportance of desgn n the context of hs socety
and tacke the "extent" of ts mportance. The essay shoud be baanced.
Canddates shoud use a range of exampes n terms of the dherent areas of desgn
such as fashon, advertsng, budngs of varous types and pubc pro|ects.
Yes, desgn s mportant n my socety.
Desgn serves aesthetc purposes and heps to beautfy the andscape e.g.
andscaped HDB estates, Hortcuture Park (HortPark).
Desgn s an mportant dentty marker of the socety and the socetys dherent
cutures e.g. Espanade, Chang Arport, Marna Bay, ted Chnese roofs, mnaret,
ethnc attre, SIA unform
Desgn s mportant for the oca creatve ndustres and enhances busness
compettveness n todays crowded marketpace e.g. dgta meda ndustry, oca
fashon desgners such as Thomas Wee and Ashey Isham, the arts and cutura
Desgn nspres creatvty and new forms of expresson e.g. work ofts n Essex
Estate n Portsdown area whch are popuar wth the creatve communty of artsts,
desgners, photographers, archtects, and actors etc.
Desgn s an expresson of an ndvduas unqueness and an avenue by whch one
can stand out and attract attenton e.g. desgn of persona bogs, the desgn of
onne busness webstes
No, desgn s not mportant n my socety.
Functonaty/Useabty s more mportant than aesthetc merts. E.g. The new
termna 3 n Chang Arport has a "buttery" roof archtecture whch aows soft
natura ght nto the budng whe keepng the tropca heat out.
Deveopment of the creatve ndustry st ags behnd other tradtona ndustres
such as nance and bomedcne because of the governments focus on what t
regards as more economcay vauabe trades that woud gve Sngapore the
comparatve advantage over others. E.g. The nance ndustry accounts for 13% of
Sngapores GDP vs ess than 2% for the creatve ndustry accordng to 2007 gures
from the Mnstry of Trade and Industry.
Sngapore subscrbes to a pragmatc and practca deoogy whch manfests tsef
n our governmenta poces such as educatona poces whch favour "practca"
sub|ects n Scences and Mathematcs over aesthetca sub|ects such as Art and
Desgn. Therefore, Sngaporeans have conventonay shunned careers n aesthetcs
or are unabe to apprecate them.
Canddates may not have sumcent exampes or have a mted nterpretaton of the
noton of desgn. It s aso key that weaker canddates may not be abe to provde