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This essay has one key objective: to encourage you to reflect on what you’ve learned the second part of this class and think creatively about a future without global warming and without global environmental crisis. This is an opportunity for you to articulate your own environmental ethics, your own “good” society based on the class material.
It must be 8 pages (double-spaced with 12point font)
Use at least 3 sources that I have attached in the files.
It is a three-part essay. In the first part, you will need to give a brief summary of at least 3 of the major environmental paradigms and make an argument for the one(s) that you consider most convincing. The major paradigms include conquest mentalities, preservation and conservation, modern mainstream environmentalism, environmental justice, and the various meanings of sustainability (such as Brundtland’s sustainable development vision and free-market/corporate environmentalism). Note: it might behoove you to conclude that more than one is very convincing, but instead of defending them separately, use your critical thinking skills to bring them together to form your own environmental ethics. Be sure that if you synthesize two or more paradigms that your new formulation does not have contradictions. For instance, in an extreme case, the conquest paradigm does not square very well with modern environmentalism for reasons that should be evident from lecture and readings.
In the second part, you must define and discuss two of the alternative visions/proposed solutions that we have been covering during weeks 8 and 9. These are current political (or technological) projects/visions with origins in the existing paradigms listed above. You do not need to discuss all of these projects/visions, but you must describe at least 2 of them and explain which one of all of them aligns best with the paradigm you’ve defended from part 1.
The third part is connected to the first two. Let your answers to parts 1 and 2 to guide you in this part. You will answer the following question: You have just read Oreskes and Conway’s bleak dystopian global prediction regarding climate change (a future all the more possible in the Age of Trump and widespread climate change denial in the U.S.). Let’s now turn the tables. Reflecting on and using as evidence (where appropriate) lectures, readings, notes, and class discussions, etc., what would a global society without disastrous climate change and acute environmental crisis look like? How would we get there? In other words, who would be the agents bringing about your new more environmentally ethical future and what obstacles would need to be overcome? What kind of polity (that is, government) would it require? How would people interact with their environment? How would people need to relate to one another? How would social relations be organized (for example, relations between, say, nations, classes, or ethnicities)? You might opt to be utopian or idealistic in your thinking, you might opt to be more pragmatic, or some synthesis of the two.
Suggested page length for each part:
Part I: 3.5-4 pages
Part II: 1-2 pages
Part II: 2-3 pages
Total: 7-8 pages
You will need to use concrete evidence from lectures, readings, and discussions to substantiate your arguments and defend your claims. Do not lean too heavily on readings over lecture, and vice versa. You should strike a balance.
Think carefully and consider and weigh the class material, that is, the different environmental paradigms and political projects that seek to solve the climate and environmental crisis. Make connections across lectures and readings to devise your stance and to articulate your own “alternative world case”. This is your essay. Use your imagination in the second part, an imagination that stems from your knowledge gained in this class. This is your opportunity (humanity’s only opportunity?) to dream big! Think for yourself, employing material and evidence drawn from the second half of the class.
In general, Please cite all evidence that you use, including lectures, within the text.
Here are some examples: (Oreskes and Conway, 33-5); (Guha, 87); (“Clean Energy Plays Dirty”); (Merchants of Doubt); (Lecture, “Modern Environmentalism”)