Essay Ideas 21 to 25
21. Strong Opinions
A badger group managed a public relations event at a very prestigious
farming event in the North of England. At that event they happened to
upset many farmers, because they very strongly criticised the use of
highly-intensive farming methods (like battery farms, etc). Some months
later the badger group are holding their own fund raising event, which
is shouted down by farmers saying "Kill badgers before they give
your children tuberculosis". There has never been a single proven
case of a badger giving tuberculosis to a human, and the farmers know
- What motivates the badger group and the farmers to take such
- Is there any morality in trying to shout down an opponent, even if
they are wrong?
- Is it "free speech", if your intention is to do no more
than shout-down an opponent or to damage their event?
- Is there ever any justification to lie to a journalist, in order
to get your point across or to damage your opponents views?
22. Compensation or not?
If a window of a state school gets broken, the school has to pay for it to be
repaired out of its own funds. However, if the school is burned down, it
is rebuilt using government funds. As the school would be covered by an
insurance policy, the government will then be able to reclaim most of
the rebuilding costs from an insurance company.
In contrast, an independent school would always have to pay for its
own repair bills; and the government would never provide any compensation
if the building burnt down.
The average cost of
damage caused by badgers in the UK is about £12 per farm per
year.On rare occasions badgers may cause more substantial
damage. That said, most farmers are run as independent businesses. Some
people say that independent businesses (such as farmers) should
get no state financial aid at all.
- Compare the treatment of compensation for financial losses for
state schools, private schools and for farmers.
- In what circumstances should farmers be able to recover the cost
of badger-related damage from the government?
- Should the government ever pay subsidies to independent
23. Chemical deterrents
A golf course keeps getting their lawns dug up by badgers looking for
food. There have also been several complaints that the greens have also
been damaged by deposits of dog-dirt too.
To keep the badgers and the dogs off the greens, the golf course
spray around the edge of the green with a legal chemical called
Renardine. This smells so bad, that badgers and dogs can't stand to be
within about 6 feet of it, so they stay off the greens. Discuss whether
the golf course has rightly balanced the needs of the badgers and their
- Would they be right to treat the fairways with Renardine too?
- What if the badgers used the fairways to gather food?
- Should golf-courses be managed as wildlife-free areas or as green
- What if the chemical deterrent effectively stopped people coming on to the
golf course with Guide Dogs for the Blind or Hearing Dogs for the
24. Conflict of Interest?
A badger group (who are a registered charity) provide free advice to
people who are interested in badgers. They also provide a fixed fee
service (which costs a one-off £25) to advise on planning applications and cases
of subsidence. One of their members is a badger consultant who charges
£25 per hour for advice work; and a minimum of £1000 for advising on a
planning application by a property developer.
- Discuss the pros and cons of the badger consultant being on the
management committee of the badger group.
- Should there be any rules about how he deals with enquiries?
- Should he be on the committee at all?
25. Problems with natural predators?
On a remote Scottish island, there is a serious problem as
ground-nesting birds are being made extinct by the hedgehogs which eat
their eggs. The hedgehogs are not natural to the island, but were
brought over by several residents as garden "pets". Knowing
that badgers kill hedgehogs, some people have suggested that a few
badgers should be shipped over so that can kill the hedgehogs by a
- What are the pros and cons of using badgers in this way; and what
other information might you need?