Environmental Attitudes and the Environmental Course

| January 22, 2015

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write a reaction/ response to David Quammen, “Planet of Weeds,” OR Barry Lopez, “A Presentation of Whales,” as found in the course text (pp. 874-97 or pp 696-715 respectively). Both these essays raise large questions about environmental attitudes and the environmental course on which the world is set. Although Quammen begins, in a sense deep in geological time, it is pointed to questions that are of great concern to many contemporary scholars, questions about habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, and the fate of the planet. In rather different vein, Lopez offers a finely observed essay about the stranding of a group of whales but brings readers to contemplate this incident from a variety of angles, all of which tell us something about ways of thinking about the environment Read either (or both) of these pieces and learn – about effective writing as well as about the parameters of an important set of concerns. Then weigh your reactions to either Quammen’s arguments and his exposition of them., or Lopez’s description and what it conveys about attitudes toward nature Successful responses (which should be 750 words long) will take many forms. There is no template—other than that we are going to reward clear thinking, careful reflection, well-organized argument and lucid prose.
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