Current Environmental Issues (CEI) - Middle School

The North Carolina Envirothon, through its Current Environmental Issues component, provides middle and high school students the opportunity to explore the most urgent and controversial issues facing North Carolinian's today. Many of these issues are the same issues being studied and publicly debated across the country and the world.

To improve issue awareness, analysis and critical thinking skills, Envirothon students are assigned a variety of articles and editorials written by individuals, academia, environmental organizations, business and industry, conservation agencies, the Internet, and the general media from various subject areas:

  • Earth’s Natural Resources - soil, water, air, plants and animals
  • Issues At Home and the World Over - global climate change, biodiversity, endangered species, exotic species, habitat
  • Our Global Family –people, population growth, resource consumption
  • Annual Issue - as selected by the International Canon Envirothon each year

The purpose of these readings is twofold: 1) to introduce students to the science behind the issues and their social, economic, political and ecological implications; and 2) to expose them to opposing viewpoints to stimulate thinking and to help them better understand the public debate on a variety of North Carolina and global issues.

While students are tested on their reading comprehension of each article’s content, they are encouraged to draw their own conclusions and form their own informed opinions with sound justification. The NC Envirothon State Steering Committee strives to provide a balance of perspectives. The opinions presented are not necessarily those of the NC Envirothon State Steering Committee or the NC Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts.

Articles 2016-2017

CORE INFORMATION - To help Advisors and Students understand the importance of critical evaluation of information received through the internet and other media sources.

1. Introduction to Current Environmental Issues

2. Decision Making Under Scientific Uncertainty; Michael S. Spranger, Washington Sea Grant Program

3. Mixed messages obscure the importance of action; David Suzuki, Science Matters, September 5, 2003

The remainder of the articles for the 2016-2017 competition will be posted soon. Remember, the Core 3 CEI articles (above) are subject to being on the CEI test and have not changed from the prior year.

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