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Archive for the ‘Editorial Cartoons and Questions’ Category

Frogs and Global Warming

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. Why is the Earth represented as a frog in this cartoon?
2. What is happening to the frog species on the planet? Why?
3. What recent research indicates the connection between global warming and the extinction of the frogs?
4. Protection of their habitats has been shown to be an ineffective method of saving the frog species from extinction. Can you think of another way to help the frogs?
5. How is the fate of the frogs connected with the fate of all other species on Earth? Does the description “canaries in a coal mine” apply here? Why?
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Genetic Engineering

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. Do you think that certain advances in science and technology today are not worth the time and effort put into them? Are there better uses for our limited resources? Do you think the cartoon fairly characterizes the behavior of biotech researchers, or is it a gross caricature?
2. The ethical and moral responsibility of doctors and scientists has never been greater than it is today. Do you think doctors and scientists need to pay more attention than they currently do to the implications of their research?
3. It seems inconceivable that a human/trout/turnip hybrid could offer any benefits. Can you, however, think of any surprisingly beneficial developments in medical research?
4. What does this cartoon suggest about the biotech industry?
5. The title of the cartoon is “The March of Progress”? What is this cartoon’s attitude toward progress?

In Case Of Global Warming

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. What do you think the cartoonist is parodying? Why did he choose to use a fire extinguisher in the cartoon? Who does the figure on the right represent?
2. What possible shortcomings in the response to global warming does the cartoon address?
3. Do you think there will ever be a consensus about global warming? Is it important for everyone to agree about how to address a problem?
4. According to the cartoonist, what, if any, influence did the United Nations report on global warming have on U.S. policy?

Pluto

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. Why does the man in the cartoon feel vindicated about skipping Pluto on his quiz? What recent developments is the cartoonist referring to?
2. What different criteria have been suggested for defining what a planet is? What definition did the International Astronomical Union decide upon?
3. Many people have strong reactions to the Pluto controversy. Why do you think people respond emotionally to this scientific issue? Does the cartoon hint at a reason for these emotional responses?
4. Do you agree or disagree with the new designation for Pluto? Explain your reasoning.

Evolution and Global Warming

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. The cartoon shows one fish washed up on land, while two others swim in water too shallow to completely cover them. What is the connection between global warming and water levels?
2. Is there any link between global warming and evolution? How could global warming affect the course of evolution? Have similar climate changes affected evolution in the past?
3. Can a single organism evolve? What is the timescale of evolution?
4. What kinds of organisms are most threatened by global warming?

Cloning Snoopy

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. The dogs appear identical, in looks and behavior. How true is this for clones?
2. Based on Doggy Double, do you think many dog owners would try to clone their pets?
3. What opinion do you think the cartoonist has regarding cloning?
4. The cartoonist is Marlette. Under his signature, he writes “(after Schultz)”. What does this mean?
5. Draw balloons coming from each dog’s head, and show inside—in words or pictures—what each dog is dreaming. Will you make it the same for the two dogs, or different? Why?

Weapons of Mass Destruction

July 18, 2009 Leave a comment

1. The phrase “weapons of mass destruction” is a reference to the concern that motivated the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In this cartoon, what are the “weapons of mass destruction,” and what threat do they pose?
2. What is the relationship between, on the one hand, automobiles, industry and power plants, and on the other, global warming?
3. Scientists frequently inform us of the environmental cost of industry and economic progress—do you think there is an inherent conflict between nature and industry, or not? Can you think of natural events that have had significant environmental impacts?
4. In the box, the cartoon alludes to a British study that calls for “instant” action on global warming to prevent devastating economic consequences. What specific economic problems might arise from global warming? Scientists studying global warming often talk in terms of decades or longer time periods for significant increases in average temperature—why, then, is “instant” action needed?
5. Some political leaders say that the threat of global warming has been over-played, and that those who stress the dangers of global warming are not acknowledging how much is still unknown. Do you find this reasoning persuasive? Given that individuals, organizations and countries must often act on the basis of less-than-perfect knowledge, what criteria do you think should be used in deciding what actions to take?