Assess your environmental literacy: Take the eco-IQ test!


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A number of things have made me think about the impact I have on this planet. There is the incredible prominence that environmental issues have nowadays in the news; Then there was Dan Millman’s blog post about the impact that my choice not to be a vegetarian has on carbon emissions. And yesterday, I was listening to one of my favourite Colombian music groups (Bacilos), and noticed that one of their songs is filled with comments about the ecology.
So I asked myself: How responsible am I with the environment? Well, a short quiz would tell me, I thought. I collected a variety of ideas from many sources, and pulled together this resource for my readers. I hope this tool will help you assess how much you really know about the threats to our environment.

The Eco-IQ Test: Finding out how much you really know about environmental issues

INSTRUCTIONS: Answer questions in order, one at a time. Write your answers on a piece of paper (e.g. 1-a, 2-c, etc). At the end of the quiz, check against the correct answers, and follow the instructions for how to score.

QUESTION 1 – When you hear about ‘The Environment’, you think of

a. Petrol prices at the station and global warming
b. The crazy weather we are experiencing of late
c. The plants, animals, and minerals that exist on the earth
d. Our oceans, forests, creeks, river systems, and the Amazon
e. All of the above

QUESTION 2 – Reducing carbon emissions important for the environment because…

a. If we emit too much carbon dioxide, there won’t be enough oxygen for us all to be able to breathe
b. More carbon dioxide in the ocean creates bigger waves and increases the chances of Tsunamis
c. Carbon emissions create a blanket over the atmosphere which overheats our planet
d. Petrol prices are related to carbon emissions, so more carbon means more expensive petrol
e. The ozone layer is depleted by carbon emissions and that is a real problem

QUESTION 3 – More severe droughts and pollution of our rivers are a problem because…
a. Without them we will not have food at prices we can afford
b. We will continue to have water restrictions and our gardens will die
c. Water prices will increase and the economy will suffer
d. Our supplies of bottled water will decrease and we will have more health problems
e. More water pollution creates more air pollution

QUESTION 4 – Which of the following practices does not
alleviate our impact on the environment?

a. Having shorter, colder showers
b. Buying light bulbs of lower wattage
c. Walking to the station instead of driving
d. Using clothes lines instead of clothes driers
e. Reducing infections at home by always using anti-bacterial products
f. None – they all are positive for the environment

QUESTIONS 5 – Which of the following environmental problems were you aware of before reading this post? (Tick all that apply)
a. Global Warming
b. The melting of the polar caps
c. The increase in the number of species that are extinct, or at risk of extinction
d. Global deforestation
e. Peak Oil
f. Extreme Weather conditions – especially droughts and floods

Scoring your eco-IQ test

Allocate points according to the following scales:

Response

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Question 4

Question 5

a

0

-5

3

-2

1

b

0

-5

-1

-2

2

c

3

3

0

-10

2

d

3

-2

-3

-5

1

e

5

-2

-3

5

3

f

n/a

n/a

n/a

0

1

Interpreting the score


Below 0: Hommo Ignoble
Your level of ignorance about environmental issues is unacceptable for this day and age. Visit one (or many!) of the links below; watch the Al-Gore’s film “An inconvenient truth“; listen to the radio programs “Life Matters or “The Science Show(or download their podcasts from the podcast section on the Radio National web site) on a weekly basis; and grab some books on the topic. Then come back and test yourself to see if all of that made a difference.

Between 0-5: Hommo Indifferentus
You have listened but not tuned into the environmental debate. With a very basic understanding of the topic, you are missing out on the majority of the ‘big picture’ issues. Wake up to the fact that our current lifestyle is based on un-sustainable practices, and take personal responsibility. Follow the same suggestions as for the previous score, and your understanding of the issues will be greatly enhanced.

Make sure you take individual action on the basis of this knowledge. Without that critical step, your understanding is unlikely to make any difference – except, maybe, to keep you awake at night, scared of what the future holds.

Between 6 and 14: Hommo Sapiens
You have a solid grasp of the environmental issues we are facing. If you are not already taking action, consider transitioning to a more active role in solving our environmental issues. Help others understand why these problems are of such relevance for all of us. Instil in your children (if you have any!) a sense of respect for our planet. Get active!

15 or Higher: Hommo Excelsius
What are you doing reading blogs on environmental issues? You already know it all!! Spend your time in your environmental activism instead – it will make a far larger difference that trying to learn about that extra 0.05% that you haven’t heard about yet!

 

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