GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment

Current Event Essay 3: Climate Justice


Your last Current Event Essay will be on one of the real-life impacts of Climate Change. As always, this is just the prompt. The submission is due Thursday of Week 9 at 11:59PM- for Fall 2018 students, this essay is only due if you did not hand in Essay 2.

Since 2014 or earlier there has been a steady flow of news stories about the impact of sea leave rise on island communities in the Pacific and more recently on coastal communities around the world, including in America. The uneven impacts of climate change forms the basis of the concept of climate justice. This topic is an ideal topic for you to engage with for you last Current Event Essay as it allows you to link to many of the topics we have covered thought out the course so far, including some of the more complicated issues such as discourse and environmental justice.  It will also help you think about some of the topics coming up in our last few weeks. For example, do you remember what the film “Before the Flood” said about the predicted impact of Climate Change on coral reefs? 

Below is a set of articles for you to draw on regarding the concept of climate justice. In addition to these articles, feel free to do your own research on the topic. Remember to include at least one additional academic source.

In response to these articles and drawing on content we have covered throughout the course, consider the following questions in your response:

  • How does thinking like a human-environment geographer help us to understand climate change and climate justice differently, relative to other ways of thinking? Are there approaches or tools we have learned about in the course that you can apply to this topic?
  • Can you disentangle the linkages between a globally governed resource (atmospheric carbon and climate) and local impacts (think about geographic scale)? How are people in different places contributing to and impacted by climate change? And how does this relate to roles and responsibilities?
  • What tools have you learned about during the course that helps you understand the ways climate change is discussed, portrayed, and thought about by different people?
  • Have you experienced the impacts of climate change? Relative to the communities in these news stories, how do your current and future potential experience of climate change compare?

For this essay, you will write a 1000 word response to the questions.

Remember: we are looking to see you demonstrate that you are thinking critically about what you have learned throughout the course. This means that you can and should be looking for discrepancies between various approaches and authors and questioning the material. You should be supporting your ideas and questions with credible sources (peer-reviewed, published in a scientific venue, available of google scholar). For this essay, in particular, we will be looking SYNTHESIS, to see that you can bring together and ideas from across the course and from other sources as well.

Make sure to:

  1. Draw specifically on course materials (articles, videos, etc.) in your responses. Do not use them for just statistical facts, or just for borrowing a line. Think about the viewpoints and concepts of the materials and try to apply them in interpreting/analyzing what's happening in this specific current event.
  2. Make sure to use proper citations!

Avoid common mistakes:

  1. Use citation software WITH CAUTION. These often generate citations that are missing important components. Study the citation guide yourself and make sure to include author names on newspaper articles, include journal volume and issue information).
  1. Do not exclusively cite the news articles above. Include other resources (e.g., course materials, another scholarly article).

Good luck on your last Current Event Essay!