Coward Chapter 1 Discussion Questions “Roots and Values Inherent in Modern Development”

Coward Chapter 1
Discussion Questions
“Roots and Values Inherent in Modern Development”
1. How does the author characterize the environmental standard of the Pacific rim?
2. What is the author’s thesis?
3. The author talks about the meaning of the word development. What do you think of when
you think of development?
4. How did we get to our current understanding of development?
5. Previous development was limited by energy, but do we have those constraints now?
6. Author mentions the romantics, whom we discussed, but he brings up a new group we
haven’t that was occurring around the same time, the Industrialists. What did the
Industrialists believe?
7. Bottom of page 16, author talks about three things that lead to an “amorphous society.”
What does he mean and how do these things lead to that kind of society
8. Page 17, author states, “…it may be argued that environmental sustainability as an attainable
goal will be achieved much less as a result of society’s choices of economic activity than it
will upon the sense of value its inhabitants attach to the integrity and beauty of their natural
surroundings.” Is this true?
9. Later quote on page 17,” Unless peoples throughout the Pacific Basic believe…” Is this
10. The author has an interesting hypothesis for why we don’t believe in global warming. He
states that “we are not yet prepared as individuals to acknowledge that the human species
has been so successful in harnessing sources of power to mechanical devices that Nature is
now subject to the vicissitudes of humans, and no longer the reverse.” Can we all admit
11. Author states that we must see the planet as more than “restaurant, playground, and zoo.”
12. The author on page 19 talks about how environmental assessment has gotten much better
over the past half century (satellites, email, communication), but then globalization often
equals more development. So, what do we think, is globalization good or bad for the
environment on the whole?
13. Author argues that governmental structures are archaic (old), do you agree, why or why not?
14. He goes on to say that governments are structured like universities, which in turn, are
structured off of military arrangements, there are departments and hierarchies. There is a
push among the faculty to restructure the core curricula for the college and perhaps even
restructure the entire university. How else could you organize the structure of a university?
15. Last section begins with two challenges facing governments of the Pacific Rim today, (quote
page 23…The first is accommodation of human activity to the natural constraints of the
planetary biosphere. The second is the management of a rapidly multiplying and
increasingly pluralistic global society. How can this be accomplished?
16. Further, the author says there must be a shift from materialist concepts and consumption
goals. How?
17. Change our definition of development.
18. Next page criticizes the measure of GNP. For journal, what is GNP and is it a good
measure of success, if we are to measure development in a social context, what other
measures of success can we use?