ASB MOD 3 Learning Objectives
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
Define and contrast ‘public goods’ vs ‘private goods’.
Describe how ecological public goods influence population health.
Summarize global concerns over the future of ecological public goods for health in the 21st Century.
The central thesis of this course is that population health is primarily ‘produced’ by human extraction, processing, and consumption of goods. The universal source of goods for health is natural ecosystems. These are goods such as wild foods, air, water, soil, firewood (in past populations), and fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution.
Ecological goods for health have interesting properties. First and foremost, they were ‘public goods’ for thousands of years of human evolution. These are goods that cannot be monopolized by individuals. Also, one person’s consumption of the good does not affect another person’s access and use of the same good. For example, among hunter-gatherers, models of early human societies, ‘fire’ is a public good. Men and women make fires. They also carry firebrands from one camp to the next. No one in the band excludes others from borrowing firebrands to start their fire, or taking a piece of the burning wood from someone else’s fire hearth. Water is also a public good. No one can monopolize natural sources of water, and everyone collects what they need to take back to camp.
In present-day societies, interconnected by globalization, air, sunlight, and soils appear to be the only ecological goods that are still public goods. Individuals cannot monopolize them or keep others from having access to them.
In this module, we will learn about the difference between public and private goods for health and how ecological public goods like water have become private in present-day large scale societies. Moreover, we will consider if the human microbiome-a recently discovered contributor to population health-is a type of ecological public good.
We will also learn about exponential population growth and the emergence of the Anthropocene Epoch. The combination of the two put humans at the helm of geophysical forces, a new role that could destroy networks of natural ecosystems. Such destruction could have devastating effects on population health over the remainder of the 21st Century. The Greenhouse Effect of CO2 and methane emissions and the large ecological footprints of developed nations have become crucial epidemiological concerns. The World Health Organization and the United Nations have made calls for a new level of awareness and urgency. Human populations worldwide now need protection from scaled-up humanitarian crises never seen before in human history.
Before you view my PowerPoint presentation for this module and proceed to the learning materials page, I would like you to watch a video on Ecological Goods and Services for population health, and another on a current event you may have heard about: the destruction of one of the Earth’s most important ecological public good – the forests of the Amazon region of South America.
Give yourself time to engage your curiosity and creative minds, and take note of points that are most significant to you. IN THIS PINNED QUESTION FOR MODULE 3, WRITE AN ANSWER TO THE DISCUSSION ESSAY PROMPT BELOW (500 WORDS) AND AN ANSWER TO THE REFLECTION JOURNAL ESSAY PROMPT BELOW (300 WORDS)
1) DISCUSSION ESSAY PROMPT – MOD-3 DP ESSAY: the built environment and pandemics?
Imagine that the World Health Organization sends out a call for reports on the built environment and pandemics in the 21st Century. You are a scientist who has a lot to say about the topic. What is the main thesis of your report, and what sources of data will you use to substantiate it??(500 words)
2) REFLECTION JOURNAL ESSAY PROMPT – COPY AND PASTE “MOD-3 RJ ESSAY: WHAT’S INTERESTING?”
What did I find most interesting in the Built Environment Goods for Population Health and why? (300 words).