This is a long introduction, but I think it will help you understand some key class concepts as well as stimulate good comments. I hope so. MH
Later this week, we will be discussing the following terms.
“Conditions”: situations accepted as inevitable or unchangeable – such as weather, traditionally. We just tolerate or find ways to adjust to conditions but we do not actually seek to change the conditions themselves. If something is a condition, then we do not attempt to change it.
“Problems”: situations that people seek to change.
“Private problems”: situations people seek to change on their own. You might work to alter your employability by seeking education or training. You might try to improve your health by exercise and diet. But if you had a truly incurable disease, it would be a condition. Libertarians say most social problems are personal problems that people should solve for themselves.
“Public problems”: situations people seek to have the government help change. Higher education is a public problem for people who think the government should reduce the difficulty and expense of receiving higher education. Cultural conservatives think abortion is a public problem that the government should decide for people.
People and groups disagree on whether particular issues are conditions, private problems, or public problems, and they therefore disagree on what the government should do about specific situations. Groups and individuals try to get others to accept their views so government will act as the groups want. So the fossil fuel industry would like people to believe that burning fossil fuels is a condition of modern society and we cannot change it in response to climate change, so we should view climate change (or at least the use of fossil fuels) as a condition we cannot change. Environmentalists disagree. Some say we need to get individuals to voluntarily change their consumption habits, essentially viewing it as a private problem. Others say we need broad government action since it is a public problem.
Identify the topic of your paper.
Analyze and explain whether some aspect of the issue can be viewed as condition, a private problem, or a public problem. I have done this above with greenhouse gases.