EM SC 240N
Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture

Summary and Final Tasks



That's it for this week!  Please make sure you complete the two required assignments listed at the beginning of this lesson. This week, we applied a lot of the concepts in Lessons 1 and 2 to key sustainability issues. You should be able to do the following after completing the Lesson 3 activities:

  • utilize characteristics of critical thinking;
  • analyze the credibility of information sources;
  • identify characteristics of the Anthropocene;
  • explain how the greenhouse effect increases the average surface temperature of the earth;
  • identify evidence for anthropogenic climate change;
  • analyze equity impacts of sustainability considerations, such as climate change and water scarcity;
  • identify characteristics of the 6th Mass Extinction;
  • critique the credibility of information sources;
  • explain the benefits of biodiversity;
  • analyze sustainability impacts of freshwater availability;
  • identify equity implications of access to fresh water;
  • analyze the sustainability implications of coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy; and
  • apply the precautionary principle to sustainability considerations.

The Language of Sustainability

We went over a lot of fairly heavy concepts this week. Hopefully, this list will help spark some memories of the content, both now and as we move forward:

  • defining characteristics of critical thinking (I suggest referring back to this "Critical Thinking" page frequently)
  • evaluating information sources
  • ecosystem services, Anthropocene, biosphere
  • greenhouse effect, enhanced greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas, anthropogenic, anthropogenic climate change, methane vs. carbon dioxide as greenhouse gas, the precautionary principle
  • biodiversity, 6th Mass Extinction, background extinction rate
  • freshwater, economic water scarcity, physical water scarcity, major users of water, water footprint, desalination

Reminder - Complete all of the lesson tasks!

You have finished Lesson 3. Check the list of requirements on the first page of this lesson and the syllabus to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed before the due date. Once you've ensured that you've completed everything, you can begin reviewing Lesson 4 (or take a break!).

Complete all activities in Lesson 3, located under the Lessons tab in Canvas. The quiz may include a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, multiple select, ordering, matching, true/false and "essay" (in some cases these require independent research and may be quantitative). Be sure to read each question carefully.

Unless specifically instructed otherwise, the answers to all questions come from the material presented in the course lesson. Do NOT go "Googling around" to find an answer. To complete the Activity successfully, you will need to read the lesson, and all required readings, fully and carefully.

Each week, a few questions may involve research beyond the material presented in the course lesson. This "research" requirement will be made clear in the question instructions. Be sure to allow yourself time for this! You will be graded on the correctness and quality of your answers. Make your answers as orderly and clear as possible. Help me understand what you are thinking and include data where relevant.

For any other assignments (e.g. journal or discussion board), it will be helpful to look at the rubric before answering. You will see a button that allows you to view it below the assignment.

These activities are to be done individually and are to represent YOUR OWN WORK. (See Academic Integrity and Research Ethics for a full description of the College's policy related to Academic Integrity and penalties for violation.)

The activities are not timed but do close at 11:59 pm EST on the due date as shown in Canvas.

If you have questions about the assignment, please post them to the "HAVE A QUESTION?" Discussion Forum. I am happy to provide clarification and guidance to help you understand the material and questions. Of course, it is best to ask early.