Instructions for the Report
Due: Thu 23rd October 2015
2000 words, 40% of grades
TOPIC: Choose one organisation that has made a significant contribution to debate on the issue of climate change and critically assess the connection between its values and interests, its advocacy positions and its use of science. To what extent do you support its views?
NOTE: The organisation may be, for example: a business, corporation or industry body; a community-based environmental group or major environmental advocacy body; a political party, or; a research institute. In selecting an organisation, first establish that there is a sufficient information base on their charter, goals and environmental policies and positions. You should use a range of sources including: reference literature; organisational publications; web-based information; speeches by members of the organisation; media reports; submissions to public enquiries (where available) and, if desired; interviews undertaken by you with members of the organisation and/or with their opponents. In your report be sure to cover all parts of the topic.
Make sure you draw on the appropriate academic literature, including unit readings, follow essay style writing, use consistent and clear formatting, have a coherent structure for your argument and follow proper academic referencing, including in-text referencing and a bibliography at the end.
If in doubt check out the Sociology reference guide:
Please submit your assignment as an electronic copy, through Turnitin (on iLearn).
Assignments are NOT accepted through email or in class. Late assignments will receive a 5% of overall grade penalty on the first day of being late, then 1% of subsequent days.
Extensions need to be sought via the Arts Faculty portal or via email, preferably before the due date and will be granted only when there is significant hardship or illness for at least 3 days or more, and you can provide certificates that show evidence of cause. This is university policy and will be applied consistently for fairness and equality.
List of organisations to choose from:
Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change http://www.ipcc.ch/
Indigenous People’s Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions http://www.c2es.org/
Climate Council https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/
International Institute for Environment and Development
The Climate Institute http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/
Beyond Zero Emissions http://bze.org.au/
Idle No More http://www.idlenomore.ca/
Oxfam International (make sure you focus on their climate change related activities) http://www.oxfam.org/
Greenpeace Australia Pacific http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/
You can use a different organisation, but please check first with your tutor!
When it comes to researching and writing your essay, there is extra help. Many helpful documents have been put up on iLearn under Web Links, and the university has a helpful page too:
Now let’s look at how you can go about this assignment in more detail….
TOPIC: Choose one organisation (from the list below) that has made a significant contribution to debate on the issue of climate change and critically assess the connection between its values and interests, its advocacy positions and its use of science. To what extent do you support its views and why?
1. How do you choose an organisation? These are some of the considerations: how much material there is about this organisation and therefore how easy/hard it will be to find out its position on global warming and science. Which organisation and their values are you passionate about or familiar with?
You can always choose an organisation that is not on the list, but please consult your tutor or lecturer first to make sure it is an appropriate one.
2. Next you want to research the organisation and find out what their position is on global warming and climate change, what advocacy positions they have, where the organisation’s values are located on the values continuum we have been using throughout all the lectures, what interest does this organisation represent, and how they make use of relevant science? Do you support their views, on what basis? Critically asses the relationship between their values and their interests… do they serve a particular constituency which means their views are biased or constructed in a specific way, do they present ideas relating to climate change in a particular light because there are vested interests that compel them to do so?
If you have trouble finding enough materials or the organisation doesn’t suit this analysis you may be better off finding another organisation with lots of materials.
NOTE: You should use a range of sources on your organisation including: their own website(s); reference literature via Google Scholar or the library; offline organisational publications; other web-based information; speeches by members of the organisation; media reports; submissions to public enquiries (where available). In your report be sure to cover all parts of the topic.
You should make use of all the resource we have given you in this unit: especially the core readings and recommended readings from the select list. These should be used to provide the conceptual underpinnings of your report: social construction, policy concepts, deep ecology, managerialism, conventional materialism, interdependency, sustainability, limits to growth, risk society. Many of these concepts would be relevant for your essay and it is your task to connect them with your organisation’s outlook, values, pronouncements etc. Not all these may be relevant, but some should be used both to demonstrate your learning in the unit and to complete your assignment better, going to a conceptual level that is deeper and richer than just skimming bits of information floating online.
Make sure you use good sources from the chosen organisation: information on their website, their own reference literature, organisational publications, media reports in which they feature prominently, submissions they have made to public enquiries etc. Make sure you have covered the organisation in good enough detail so you are certain of their values, interests, position on climate change.
• Plan your assignment, sketch your argument ahead
• If stuck, talk to someone about it, talking it through helps structure your ideas
• Make sure you edit it and look at it again before submitting, it’s best if you go back to it a number of times
• You can always email Niko, come to consult hours on Tue afternoon or talk to someone at the Teaching and Learning Centre to help you with your assignments
• If you are a non-native English speaker, please see the StudySkills people on campus for help!!
• There are several resources on essay writing on iLearn under ‘Web links’, please make use of these!