The ‘Environment’ Question…

Aside from technology questions, many have also expressed a desire to try the ‘environment’ question. I’m no expert on it, but I would like to remind you to please keep your essays argumentative and focus on addressing the issue instead of abusing the question as an opportunity to regurgitate your geographical knowledge. You would need to think about the various players involved (i.e. supra-national bodies, governments, companies, NGOS, consumers, farmers and so on), modern trends/contexts (capitalism, modern consumerism, ethical consumerism, green movements, globalization and spread of ideas, trade and long-distance transport, hydro-politics, developed/developing/emerging economics) and focus on debates surrounding key issues like food and water security, climate change, renewable energy, corporate social responsibility, greenwashing etc. If all you can mention in an environment essay are catalytic convertors and the Kyoto Protocol, then I suggest you avoid the environment question.

Some key resources or sites that may aid your last minute revision:

– The CJC lecture for a start

– Some short articles on the advantages of various energy types from Wise Geek.

– The environment sections from the National GeographicNew York Times, The Guardian, MSNBC and the BBC

– Debatepedia’s Climate change and clean energy portal. Of particular interest are the sections on the obligations of more developed countries and the competing priorities with poverty. Also check out the debate on nuclear energy.

– More on the business side, check out the issue of greenwashing and green rankings from Business Pundit and The Daily Beast 

– On a political side, check out reports on climate change and global security, persistent Republican denial of climate change, opposition to Carbon Tax laws in Australia and reported failures and successes regarding Copenhagen 2009 and Cancun 2010 climate change conferences

– Bringing it home, check out the Sustainable Development Portal

These are just resources. To really prepare for such a question, ready some arguments by attempting small mind maps or outlines covering the range of questions from the Prelim 2011 Question List

Have fun trying to save the earth! 

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