This essay must be a historical narrative and explanation of an environmental problem (ecosystem devastation, pollution or health problem, climate change concern, or something similar) that has affected you and/or your hometown in some way (Los Angeles, California or Santa Barbara, California or Montecito, California). Think specifically about something that has happened, or is happening now, in or near where you live or grew up. You will then use the course material and at least one outside academic source to do the following in this order:
1. Discuss the origins of the problem locally and within a national and/or global context.
2. Discuss who has been affected most by the problem
3. Explain what kinds of efforts have been undertaken to address the problem and how effective these actions have been. Are/were the actions taken equitable? Are/were they sufficient?
The objective of this assignment is for you to deepen your comprehension of the course material up to this point and be able to bring together the material from the midterm with the most recent material on environmental ideas and environmentalisms. This essay is also a way for you to make this class more personal: we all depend on our environment in all kinds of ways. This is an opportunity for you to engage with environmental ideas and how recent history makes our contemporary moment. Moreover, the essay is good preparation for your final essay.
You will be expected to use course material (lecture and/or readings) to write this essay, but you are also expected to use at least one outside academic source that has not been assigned in this course. Once you have identified the environmental problem you will study, you need to consult a library search engine, for books and/or A-Z databases for academic articles. Jstor and Academic Search Complete are good databases for questions of environmental politics. This outside source needs to deal directly with or relate to your environmental problem. It might be that your source deals with the very specific local problem you chose, or its wider regional or global context. It always helps if the source specifically addresses the problem and how people have sought to resolve or mitigate it. Look for this kind of source(s) first. However, if you do not find one because no research has been done on it or its research you cannot access, you may use another that examines the general context/causality of your problem at a regional/national/international level. If you find little directly related to your chosen environmental problem, you may choose to select another problem easier to research. Alternatively, you may decide to keep the one you originally chose and conduct some additional research on the three parts of the problem listed above. These additional sources might be newspaper or journalistic/media reports or interviews you do with family or friends. While a bit more of a challenge, this route might be highly rewarding to you!
To cite lecture, course readings, and your outside source(s) in the text, you must use parenthetical references of author and page numbers. For example, (Guha, 123-5) or (Martinez Alier, 27). You do need to provide a full bibliography at the end for all outside sources you use. MLA…