Table Topic questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"Battle for balance"
- The cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens gave Puget Sounders a taste of geologic reality. Has awareness that we live astride a volcanic eruption and earthquake fault zone changed your lifestyle or level of disaster preparedness? If you've ever experienced a natural disaster, how did it affect you? Has the eruption zone ecosystem come back to life? How long do you think full recovery takes?
- The regional oil spill off the Olympic Peninsula was echoed by the larger disaster of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Are we now protected from a recurrence of a similar accident? Why are oil spills so dangerous to the environment? What are the economic consequences of spoiled waterways?
- During your lifetime, how has the environment changed, for better or worse, and what are some of the causes? How have you changed your life to protect the environment? Is there something particular that you long to preserve for your great-grandchildren, like wild salmon runs or old-growth forest? What environmental problems concern you the most now? What responsibility does the government have? What responsibility do individuals have?
- Environmental protections have cost some people their jobs. Is protecting the environment worth this kind of human sacrifice? Should government or industry be responsible for retraining or relocating those who've lost their work? As a society, how should we balance concern for the economy and the environment?
- The spotted owl became a regional symbol of two things: the notion of an inter-related ecosystem and the conflict between jobs and environment. What's your gut reaction to a spotted owl photo? Do you see a threatened habitat or unemployed loggers? How has the timber industry managed to maintain the resource?
Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company