Using the blog in this way is an idea I got from Rob Loftis, whose blog also files away his teaching ideas and notes from the AAPT conferences. I think I'll modify this one to use in my Intro to Philosophy class this fall, and I've thought about--but never actually stolen--his exercises on Twelve Angry Men.
Last time I taught Environmental Philosophy, we spent a week talking about deforestation at the end of the course. It's a messy environmental/economic issue that offered an opportunity to review and integrate a number of the theoretical topics from earlier in the course. To provide background, I assigned this New Yorker article about illegal logging. Now, a news story that gives a swift update.
In essence, illegal logging may have decreased in the past decade (by 22% globally). That would be good news. But, then again, if no one has any idea how much timber is passing from the tropics and Siberia into China, then how can this report be accurate?