Essay #5: Global Environment
Context: We have now read and analyzed several essays that discuss issues connected to the environment (an article from our unit will be one of your sources). You will then do a bit of outside research and will choose 5-7 outside sources. These sources must be credible sources. At least one of the outside sources must be an academic source from a library database. After you have done the research you will be ready to write a 6-7 page essay that makes an argument in response to your research question.
Minimum Requirements to Earn a 70+ (note that fulfilling all of these requirements does not guarantee a 70+):
• 6 FULL pages (1-inch margins all around; 12-point font; double-spaced)
• Responds fully to the prompt
• Includes engagement with at least one of the assigned readings from unit 4
• Includes the use of 5-7 outside sources, one of which must be an electronic, academic journal
• Includes a works cited page
• Has sentence-level comprehensibility
Things to Shoot for:
• Include a clear and focused thesis that makes an argument
• Support that thesis with appropriate and specific evidence from the sources you use and from your own experience and observations
• Incorporate the outside sources meaningfully into your analysis (vs. plopping in quotes)
Readings from the text you may use:
• Carolyn Merchant “Eden Commodified” (p.732)
• Despair Not Sandra Steingraber (p. 743)
• Why Bother? Michael Pollan (p. 763)
• The Climate Change at the End of Our Fork (p. 702-712)
• Any other article from our Environmental Studies unit (p. 692-773)
Option 1. In Unit 4 we have discussed how individual choices impact our greater communities and the world. Research a current climate or environmental movement/organization and evaluate its benefit to the environment. Based on your research, create a question about this topic. Your answer will act as your thesis (we will revise them together). Reminder that you need outside sources for this option as well.
Possible Climate/environmental movements/organizations:
1) Greta Thurnberg
2) Indigenous writers/activists-Standing Rock
3) Alberta shale oil fields
4) Alliance to resist Keystone pipeline
5) Tiny house movement (many have both environmental and social benefits ie there are many compact living projects to benefit low-income individuals)
6) Zero Waste movement
7) Fast fashion
9) Benefits of plant-based diet
10) Ocean conservation organizations (i.e. Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Defenders Alliance)
11) Iceland’s use of thermal energy
12) Others (let’s brainstorm)
Option 2: For this researched argument, you will first choose your own topic that stems from one of the readings for this unit. Then, you will craft a research question related to environmental issues to guide your research and writing. Similar to Option 1 you will need outside sources.
Possible Research Questions
(please choose one below or create your own. How you answer the question, based on the articles and your research, will be your thesis statement).
1) How do social inequalities and/or equity gaps contribute to the environmental health of red-line areas/neighborhoods? (intersectional environmentalism) ie can consider access to green areas, air quality/pollution, increased Covid rates, etc.
2) How is the government taking steps to slow environmental concerns?
3) How are organizations taking steps to slow environmental concerns?
4) How do feelings of denial/helplessness/fear contribute to these problems? (can easily synthesize sources from essay 4 here)
5) How willing are people to become eco-friendly to slow climate change?
6) Do our individual needs and/or our needs as consumers outweigh our planet’s stability?
7) How does censorship and/or media affect the public’s perception of climate change or other environmental concerns?
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