Discussion Assignment



After completing your Discussion Assignment, don't forget to take the Module 7 Quiz. If you didn't answer the Learning Checkpoint questions, take a few minutes to complete them now. They will help you study for the quiz and you may even see a few of those questions on the quiz!

Discussion Question


Analyze the Not In My Back Yard ("NIMBY") mentality by finding an recent example (something from the last 3 years) online and sharing it with the class. Why is it easier for many people to accept an abstract idea of resource extraction or power generation somewhere in the world than it is to see it happening in their own communities? Is it reasonable to imagine that all of our power needs can be met without venturing into anyone's backyard?


  • Find reliable sources of information on the internet
  • Communicate scientific ideas in language non-scientists can understand


Many of us understand that our own progress, prosperity, security, and comfort are all built upon access to energy. We also know that no means of producing energy is entirely without side effects. Burning fossil fuels dumps CO2 into the atmosphere, fracking produces toxic brine, wind turbines disrupt bird migration patterns and ruin the view, nuclear generates radioactive waste and is vulnerable to meltdowns. How do we rationalize our reliance on energy with our desire to live in clean, scenic, non-toxic communities? It isn't easy, and for some of us, this results in what is sometimes referred to as NIMBY syndrome - the idea that ugly things like resource exploitation and waste management have to happen somewhere in the world, but we would prefer for that somewhere to be far away from us.

Find a recent example of the NIMBY mentality in an article online. If possible, try to find something that is happening near you - a proposed nuclear power plant, natural gas fracking, offshore oil drilling, wind farms. If you can't find something near you, find a NIMBY controversy you are interested in or have heard something about.

Once you find an article (remember — it should be a recent one) you would like to share, write 3-4 sentences summarizing the content. Why are people opposed? What are the alternatives? Then write an additional 2-3 sentences expressing your thoughts on the NIMBY mentality. Explain in your own words why you think it is or is not possible to maintain our current standard of living without venturing into someone's backyard.


Your discussion post should include a link to the article you have chosen, a summary 100-150 words in length, and a personal commentary 75-100 words in length. Your original post must be submitted by Wednesday. In addition, you are required to comment on one of your peers' posts by Sunday. You can comment on as many posts as you like, but please try to make your first comment to a post that does not have any other comments yet. Once you have an idea of what you want your post to be, go to the course discussion for your campus and create a new post.

Scoring Information and Rubric

The discussion post is worth a total of 20 points. The comment is worth an additional 5 points.

Scoring Rubric
Description Possible Points
link to appropriate article posted 5
summary provides a clear description of the article content (100-150 words) 10
well-reasoned comment on the NIMBY mentality (75-100 words) 5
well-reasoned comment on someone else's article and post (75-100 words) 5