This weeks reading by Brian Clegg, Armageddon Science, really demonstrates how interconnected the world of science and the social studies are. The book discusses possible causes of the end of the world including man made causes and natural causes. What interests me most is natural causes and climate change. Natural disasters and climate change have already shown their effects and are something the government and society are intricately involved in. For example, Hurricane Katrina was widely discussed as being severely mismanaged by government organizations. Not only was the city not prepared for such a large scale disaster, but relief efforts were not as efficient as they could have been. Then take the earthquake in Haiti. Another terrible tragedy caused by a natural disaster that no one was prepared for. My opinion is that climate change is the scenario that we need to be most concerned about. We have already seen the devastation that these disasters can cause, destroying entire cities and even countries. A tsunami has already even damaged a nuclear disaster in Japan showing that one of these natural disasters even has the ability to release a man made disaster on top of that. I believe students should understand the role the government has in collaborating in an attempt to reduce pollution and human causes of weather change. They should also understand how their own habits can effect weather change.
Discussion Question #2:
Based on the concept of "mutually assured destruction", do you believe if all countries had a nuclear weapon and were equally armed, there would be safety and security? Think about areas where everyone can carry a gun, you never want to cause problems because you don't know who is armed.
I do think that this scenario would allow for some safety. If every country had an equal quantity of nuclear weaponry, any nation who used their weapons would face retaliation and cause a nuclear world war... maybe Armageddon. It is less likely that a nation would take that risk however I find many problems with this scenario. First, most nation will not simply settle on having an equal amount of nuclear weapons. Power is an integral part of humanity and politics. The graph shown in the Prezi reveals just how important having more nuclear weapons than other nations is. Second, all it takes is one wrong decision for something disastrous to happen. The United States has no control over the governments of other nations. If all nations have nuclear arms we are basically trusting that the rulers of every nation will not make the decision to use their weapons. Finally, I believe that even though the technicalities of the situation may logically make the situation safer, there would be a culture of fear throughout the world knowing that all of our enemies have access to technology that can literally destroy the world. The average citizen may begin to live in fear whenever there was some conflict. It would be an unhealthy (mentally and emotionally) culture.
It is obvious that these topics of science should definitely be discussed in a social studies class. This topic lends itself perfectly to collaboration between a social studies and science class.