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8-1 Quality of Life

The Quality of Your Life

Meet with a small group of your classmates and decide what items your group would put on a quality-of-life list. Your group might select items such as personal health, economic security, political freedom, companionship, high level of education, and others. Work with your group to put the list in order of priority. If the population doubled, decide among yourselves which of the items on your list would be affected. Describe what might happen. Which of the items on your list can be measured? For those that can’t be measured easily can your group suggest a method of measuring them? Have a reporter in your group keep the list with notes on your decisions. After your group work is complete compare your results with those of the rest of the class. Can the class establish a list that all can agree on?

Interview your parents or any two adults and help them to establish a quality-of-life list of their own.

How is the list produced by your interview with adults similar to the list created by your class? How is it different?

Compare a simple fisherman with a hand net to a giant Japanese trawler with miles of drift nets. It is a common story. A single man with the inventions and techniques of an industrialized civilization can have a greater impact on the environment than hundreds of individuals who live in a nonindustrialized way.

The same technological innovations that have, for many people, made life longer and richer than at any previous time in human history have done so at a cost. The cost is the impact on the environment.