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AP Env Sci – Avatar worksheet
Consider the following aspects of the course:
Patterns of human use of ecosystems i.e. consumptive vs. productive use of resources,
The “three revolutions” of human habitation of the biosphere, Exploitive overuse of
natural resources, Preservation vs. conservation, Ecosystem capital (goods & services),
Preservation of biological wealth together with the instrumental vs. intrinsic value of
biodiversity, Justice and equity, and the three themes of sustainability, stewardship &
Write an essay that addresses the following, striving to incorporate as many of the above
aspects as possible:
1.) Begin by comparing the Pandoran biosphere with that of Earth’s. 2.) Discuss the
apparent differences between current human and the fictitious Na’vi interrelationships
with their respective environments. 3.) In what stage of development do the Na’vi seem
to be? Does it conform to any one of the stages that humans have passed through?
Consider the historical record of contact between technologically advanced and less
advanced cultures. 4.) Compare that with how the movie portrays the clash of human and
Na’vi cultures. 5.) How does the movie’s portrayal of scientists seem to both mitigate
but also exacerbate the dysfunctional manners of humans toward the Na’vi? Does this
seem like a fair portrayal of science? Explain. 6.) What could a scientific perspective
ideally provide in situations like this? Can science provide a complete approach or are
there other perspectives that might necessarily need to be incorporated into the human
worldview that would allow successful cooperation between two such technologically
diverse cultures?
Consider current human exploitation of natural resources. 7.) Are there any analogs to
Pandora that exist on Earth? If so, what are some examples? 8.) How do current
activities regarding the Earth’s natural resources mirror the dysfunctional processes
portrayed in the film? 9.) What group(s) on Earth currently are most like the scientists on
Pandora? What group(s) are most like the corporation?
Consider Jake Sully’s prayer at the Tree of Souls. When he pleads for Eywa to intervene,
he says that his race had destroyed its own home and that there was nothing green left.
How realistic is this idea? What needs to happen now to prevent this prayer from being a
prophecy of future things?