Causes of the current ecological crisis


Consider one category of causes of the current ecological crisis—where this crisis is understood to include the interrelated phenomena that are depleting the Earth, poisoning life, and exacerbating poverty and inequality. In particular, consider either: • Technological causes, • Economic and political causes, or • Psychological, ideological, and ethical causes Technological causes could include factors such as the use of fossil fuels, modern transportation technologies, improved sanitation and health technologies, or industrial agricultural methods (this is not an exhaustive list). Economic and political causes could include factors such as growth-based (GDP) economics, the nature of modern corporations and their political power, global finance and debt, models of development, governance based on short-term timeframes, etc. Psychological and ethical causes could include ideologies of domination (including anthropocentrism) and colonisation, individualism, materialism and consumerism, etc. Begin your 1000-1200 word paper (word count excludes title and reference list) with a brief description of the nature of the current ecological crisis, identify the main category that you will be analysing, and provide an overview of the key points you will make in your paper (about 150-200 words). Whichever category you choose, provide three (distinct) concrete examples of ways that (technology, political and economic systems, or psychological and ethical factors) have contributed to the current ecological crisis (currently and/or historically). For each example, also provide least one interaction with a cause from one of the other two categories (particularly those that may have amplified negative effects). The description and analysis of each key example, along with at least one key interaction, should be approximately 225-300 words long.

The best papers will analyse at least one interaction with each of the other two categories. (i.e. If you were examining technology, in at least one example you would look at an interaction with an economic or political factor, and in at least one other example a psychological or ethical interaction.) Conclude your paper (150-200 words) by describing at least one possible way that the ecological crisis could be addressed based on the analysis of causes described previously in the paper. One example of an interaction Note that this interaction should not be used in your assignment. Modern transportation technologies, including ships, trains, and planes, facilitate global trade and economic globalization. Economic globalization can also contribute to a psychological distancing and denial since the environmental and social costs of production (pollution, exploited labour, etc.) may be very distant and nearly invisible to the user of a service or product… Hence, they can remain unaware of the real costs of using a product… Use of Course Materials Over the course of your paper, make sure that you draw on course references (and, optionally, additional academic references) to support your argument.


At a minimum, draw on two different course lectures and four different core course readings (from at least three different weeks of the course). The best papers will draw on a great diversity of course sources and may also include additional academic references or optional readings. Referencing Style Reference your paper using a simplified APA style, but make sure that all in-text citations include a page or slide number (even if it is not a direct quote). • Books are cited in the format (Authors, pp. #) • Lectures may be cited more simply in the format (Lecture 1, slide #) • In-class videos may be referenced using the video title, lecture number, and video time index: ex. (Welcome to the Anthropocene, Lecture 1, 2:00-2:20). Make sure to include a reference list in simplified APA format: • Books should be referenced as in the syllabus (or in proper APA). • Lectures may be referenced simply as “Lecture #, date” • In-class videos in the form “Video Title, Lecture #.” Please note that in-class videos are essentially considered as part of the lecture and do not count as a source distinct from lecture. Important: Naming your File Name your file in the following format: • Begin with the TA code corresponding to your tutorial’s TA: B for Brennus, L for Lauren, J for Janina, or P for Peter • Your Tutorial code: ex. 201A (no initial “0”, no “TUT”) • The comes your name in the form LastnameFirstname • Then comes Assignment1 • Separate each with a hyphen Example: B-201A-JonesMila-Assignment1.doc Submit your assignment on Quercus in doc, docx, or rtf (not pdf) format

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