The world is constantly being regarded as existing currently in a state of environmental emergency. Alarmist and factual claims of an inevitable and irreversible deterioration of our environment and wildlife all add to a massive wave of panic among the population. We live on a planet that is entirely dependent on “dirty” methods of energy production, methods which also have a finite availability of resources. Furthermore, we are expected to continue the exponential growth prediction of our world population within the next century with great concerns of sustaining this much life.
This assignment is designed to enable critical and efficient research among students who will ultimately decide what the effects are of the worlds current ways of supporting life, if there are any. Students are free to claim whatever they feel is the right opinion, however they must substantially back their claims with credible and persuasive evidence. This course is not only intended for the enhancement of research habits, but it is also intended to teach the art of persuasion.
Important aspects to consider in research include:
- Diets around the world and their related environmental footprint
- Affluence of nations and their pollution levels
- Industrial practices and their sustainability
- Current pending issues pertaining to agriculture
- Population growth
- Displacement, migration, “urban sprawl”
Students will ultimately put together a thesis which looks at all aspects of sustainability and methods which will allow for the support of the next century of population growth. Any methods researched should include a comprehensive analysis of practicality, pros, cons, and implementation time. This thesis should be thoroughly research based, but also must focus heavily on being argumentative to convince readers. Refrain from being opinionated without evidential claims to support statements.
Research is certainly going to need to be accredited. Refrain from using websites which are speculative with no real evidence to support their argument (“pseudo-science”). The best sources for research will certainly be credible scholarly articles, scientific journals, and professional studies conducted by universities/ research organizations/ government bureaus.
Students will have one month to produce a quality, convincing thesis paper which will take a look at all aspects of the sustainability crisis the world is currently facing. Students can either choose to work in groups or work alone, the primary graded component will be the credibility and power of persuasive writing conventions.
The bulk of the work will be done outside of class, however several days within the month-long period will be designated towards revision among peers and also with the help of me.
Sources to begin research include:
“World Population Projected to Reach 9.7 Billion by 2050” by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
“Renewable Energy Can Provide 80% of U.S Electricity by 2050” by the Union of Concerned Scientists