Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Debate: Monbiot vs. Ecomodernists, an advanced discussion, for EII and ESS

Most students in both classes are trying to get their heads around the root environmental ideas, I know, but if you're sitting there already understanding everything, and want to read something a little deeper and more advanced, this opportunity is for you.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Physics lab notes grading rubric

Item/Level of Achievement
Does not meet
Is there a research question?
No question or wrong question
Logical question, not narrow enough
Logical, well-stated and narrow question
Identifies materials and quantities?
No/inadequate materials list, incorrectly I.D. of materials
Adequate but minimal details
Expanded, complete, relevant details
Drawing or sketch?
No/poor sketch
Labeled, clear, concise
Labeled, clear, concise, neat and organized
Procedures (narrative)
Missing steps or no procedure
All steps present, could be better explained, more specific
Complete, relevant, well-worded explanation

Friday, September 18, 2015

ESS first take-home exam

Environmental Scenarios and Solutions
First Midterm (Take Home) Exam
Professor Womersley
(Worth 15% of final grade)
Due Friday October 2nd by email or hard copy.

Answer both questions. If you don’t know an answer, put down what you do know.
You may research answers. Give diagrams if needed. Cite important research other than material given in class or in the texts for the class. You must work alone.

1.     Microeconomic applications

You are a staffer working for New Vermaineshire state government in the Fish and Wildlife Division. You are asked to prepare an analysis of a proposal in the legislature to regulate moose permits using an online bidding system (similar to eBay) instead of the existing lottery. The same number of permits will be issued, only via open bidding. The only requirement to bid is that the bidder be a US resident and have taken a hunter safety course.

Specify in plain English, using diagrams if necessary, the effects on state revenue, on the price of permits, and which sections of the public will be either winners or losers as a result. State whether or not, in your own opinion as an experienced staffer, this policy is likely to be successful, reasoning from the available evidence and what you know of the local culture.

2.     Macroeconomic applications

If the state of New Vermaineshire chooses to implement the above policy, what would be the general macroeconomic effects to the state’s economy? List and detail these. Use diagrams if necessary.

Common Ground Fair assignment for EII

The fair is an all-around good time, so you should need no incentive to go; however, the following notes are added to help you along:

Note: Regular class is cancelled Friday 25th September.

Assignment instructions:
  1. You are assigned to go to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Common Ground Country Fair held Friday through Sunday September 25-27 right here in Unity, and then to complete the response paper detailed below
  2. You may get into the fair for free if you volunteer. Be sure to do so well ahead of time. See the MOFGA webpage for details
  3. If you are a MOFGA member you already get in for free. Check to see if your parents have a family membership
  4. For those of you who were planning to go home, or who cannot attend the fair for any other valid reason, such as work or a medical appointment, your alternative assignment is to visit a local or organic food outlet, such as a farmer's market or food cooperative, or any other food source that seems likely to be able to give you the provenance information that will be needed, and complete the same assignment as the fair-goers (below)
The fair/local/organic food response paper:
  1. Obtain food for a meal at the fair, at some local or organic food outlet, or from a friend's or relative's kitchen garden. Be sure to find out where each ingredient comes from
  2. Make and eat the meal. (If you live in the residence halls and otherwise eat on the meal plan, the meal can just be a snack.)
  3. Describe the meal and track the ingredients geographically and ecologically in a short informal essay. Explain why this was (or was not) a good meal. Humor and/or pathos are optional
  4. Due Friday October 2nd in class via email
  5. This is the first check-in opportunity for me to evaluate your writing and critical thinking skills. Be sure to do your best, or you may find yourself getting unexpected remedial attention!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Black Earth

There's been a buzz in the papers lately about this fellow Tim Snyder who has written a book, Black Earth, directly comparing the Holocaust to climate change.

Here's a couple examples, the first one, from the NYT, sent in by Jake from our EII class, the other from the Grauniad.

You can find a lot of material in the pages of this blog and annex where I look at climate change through the lens of twentieth century history. WWII is an important comparative case, but so, I tend to think, is the Cold War.

More on this later in class.

Monday, September 14, 2015

North Woods National Park, for ESS

(As an example of macroeconomic arguments for and against environmental action.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fessing up

A French spy has confessed to bombing the Rainbow Warrior in 1985. As a just-starting environmentalist, this was an incident that had a huge effect on me at the time: