New And Precise Journal 10: Course Synthesis

New And Precise Journal 10: Course Synthesis

ENVS 100 – Journal 10 – Course Synthesis

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Note: Everyone must do both parts of Journal 10 (This cannot be the Journal grade that you drop.)

! Preliminary Readings

Read some of the following, considering the writers’ perspectives. Also reflect on the information you have learned in our class throughout the quarter. Then turn to the next page for the instructions for your last journalling! ☺

“To live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” —Howard Zinn, historian and author

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” —Aldous Huxley

Just So Much And No More

Precautionary Principle

Environmental Justice

Consumerism Criticism

Meet the Radical Homemakers

Why “Green” Consumer Choices Aren’t Enough george-lakey

The Good Life Doesn’t Have to Cost the Planet to-cost-the-planet

Having a Voice Makes People Happy happy

“Is God Green?” Citizens’ Classes — Religion & Environment; Common Ground?; Religion & Politics; Your Environment

Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf — Tables & Figures

Just the Facts: Corporate Food



PART A – Course Reflection 1+ single-spaced page

Reflect on the course, and write about what insights you have gained from it. Answer these questions (and other insights): o What is the most interesting thing you learned in this class? o What is the most important thing you learned here? o What is something you learned from a classmate (her/his service project, journal, Q&A, or other assignment)? o What is a connection between 2 concepts or processes you learned, that before this course you would not have thought were

connected. Include a diagram or concept map to help illustrate the connection.


PART B – Putting It Into Action (choose one) 2+ single-spaced pages of text (figures, tables, and references list will add to that length)

Nothing exists in a vacuum. This class is about applying science to society and everyday life. So the real test of what you learned is whether you understand some science and can use it to make positive changes in your life and in the wider world. It’s easy to point out problems, but the important thing is to get involved and do something toward solving them. Your experiences (classes, jobs, volunteer experiences, family background, etc) give you a unique set of information and skills to bring to the “solution table”. In this part of the exam, consider the big picture, and incorporate insights that would help address one selected issue – for real! Make CONNECTIONS with our course readings and assignments. Include SCIENCE content from our course modules and reputable outside sources.

Either OPTION B-1 – YES! Lower-Impact Week o Download the YES! No Impact Experiment: A One-Week Carbon Cleanse PDF file:

• From our course page: • or From this link:

o Complete each activity on a different day. (“Monday” in the handout might be your “Friday” [or whichever day you decide to start on. You are welcome to take more than one day per activity. The point is to not rush through and try to do more than one activity on any given day – Take time to think, feel, research, reflect.)

o Keep your daily notes in your Journal. Write about the day’s tasks that night, while fresh in your mind. (The point is to not try to remember everything days later.) Connect it with our readings and assignments.

o Conclude with a synthesis reflection essay about the experience. (What were you able to achieve? What were you not, and why? How do you feel about the experience? What will you do after this quarter, to reduce your impact, and the impacts of your family and others? What ideas for impact-reduction do you have that were not mentioned? etc.)

or OPTION B-2 – Practical Plan o Select ONE environmental issue that you think is important. Think about these questions when choosing your topic: What is a

pressing issue? What touches you personally? What is significant globally? What do you feel called to change, and why? How will you accomplish this? How might you create a “plan of action” that includes scientific information? As is probably clear by now, most natural-science processes – and thus issues – are interconnected, so you may end up modifying the focus as you research and write.

o Now, research your issue. You must be able to support your recommendations with legitimate, current facts and credible scientific sources. Check the “About Us” section of websites. Check the publication dates of books.

o Now you are ready to write and send your Practical Plan. Your goal is to make people aware of an important issue and to suggest possible solutions to deal with it. Apply what you have learned to the policies, plans, and actions that you suggest. You need to have a comprehensive, well-thought-out goal in mind – Who are your readers, and what are you trying to get across to them? It should be passionate (show your audience why this is so important for them to know), yet it needs to be backed up with SCIENCE. People don’t take “rants” seriously. Here are some potential formats (or…?): • Article, editorial, or letter to the editor for a real newspaper or magazine (& send it) • Letter to one of your real elected officials (& send it) • Public comment/testimony for a real public meeting • Video segment or public-service announcement for a real TV station or nonprofit organization • Curriculum unit for a classroom (such as your former __th grade science teacher’s) • Plan for “greening” a building (such as your workplace or faith community) • Grant proposal (such as Pepsi Refresh)

Actually send out your Practical Plan! If you want comments first, I would be happy to give you some feedback.

Bonuses You may answer any, all, or none of these questions…



XC#1: What’s your impact? Do ANY parts of ANY of the following (just one, or a bunch – it’s completely up to you!). Discuss your data. What were you surprised by? What changes will you make, and why?

XC#2: Create a fun and educational demo that is somehow related to this course. Be creative! Have fun with it! (List your references, of course.

XC#3: Use your creativity (poem, song, painting, photograph, etc) to express yourself about something interesting, profound, and/or fundamental you learned in this course. Explain your piece of art and what it means to you.

XC#4: Discuss a quotation you like, that speaks to something you learned in this course. Tell me what it is, why you chose it, and what it means. (Select one of these, or find one you prefer and tell me its source and author.)

• We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / 
 Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time. –T.S. Eliot, “Four Quartets”

• Give me silence, water, hope / Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes –Pablo Neruda • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens

can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead • There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation,

hard work, and learning from failure. –Colin Powell


In closing, I want to thank you for participating in this class. I hope it was informative. I hope it was interesting. I hope you’ll keep in touch, and: (from a song by Lee Ann Womack)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger… I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens… I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance… And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

Buy, Use, Toss Curriculum

Green Guide Quizzes

Footprint Calculators • • • • • • •

light-bulb-savings-calculator •


10 Little & Big Things You Can Do