As we continue our discussion of the Environment in preparation for the Q1 Synthesis essay, I’ve asked you to read a series of essays that focus on three types of environmental perspectives: In Lewis Thomas’ essay ‘Natural Man’, we see Thomas defining what it means to be a ‘natural man’ in the 21st century; in E.O. Wilson’s ‘The Future of Life’, we see an optimistic perspective on humanity’s relationship with the environment and the steps needed to maintain that healthy relationship, while in Bill McKibben’s ‘The End of Nature’, we see a very pessimistic viewpoint on the relationship between mankind and the environment and the future of that relationship.
Remember, in preparation for Socratic Seminar you need to focus on this following questions in regard to these articles, and the more specific questions targeted towards these articles in green below:
- Do we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment?
- How is this topic actually a larger discussion of ethics?
- Is it too late to protect the environment from the changes we’ve already wrought?
- Do we have a responsibility to ensure equitable access to food and water for our fellow-man?
- How can we address this issue in a realistic way that takes into account our excesses in production and the finite resources we have access to?
- How do we work towards greater environmental awareness and stewardship?
- How can the average citizen effectively discuss issues impacting the human/environment relationship in a way that can target both pro and anti environmentalist?
As you prepare to discuss any questions you may have had about the articles themselves (either literal, evaluative or qualifying questions), you will also need to bring at least one additional reliable resource you’ve found on the topic. Remember, find something in these articles that appeals to you personally – either because you agree or disagree strongly with the statements made by the author, or because you genuinely found a part of the articles and the information therein interesting. The additional resource you bring to Socratic seminar should be used to DEFEND yours or a classmates’ assertions about the article, to CHALLENGE a classmates’ assertions about the article or the QUALIFY a statement made by a classmate.
This article asks you to revise your ideas about environmentalism and the ethics of environmentalism, as well as to consider a new global perspective on mankind’s relationship, dependence and responsibility to the environment. I look forward to your discussion Wednesday!