Environmental ethics writing paper

Purpose:The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to voice your convictions about a particular environmental issue and present a concise, compelling, ethical argument for how or why the issue should be addressed. It is your chance to wield the tools of critical reasoning and evidence with rhetorical flair and to develop an important outreach and awareness-raising skill that may be useful in engaging others to think more deeply and act to make change.

Background:An Op-Ed is an opinion piece intended to be distributed publicly and read by a wide audience, although it is often directed to a particular individual or group. The purpose can be to criticize a public official’s views, state one’s own views about an issue, educate the public about an issue, stimulate public dialogue about an issue, incite others to action, and so forth. The Op-Ed should indicate to whom it is addressed. Typically, Op-Eds are submitted to various kinds of news publications, such as The Register Guard, The New York Times, Time Magazine, or another print or online publication. For our class, though, you may choose to submit an “open letter” to a particular person, company, agency, or other sort of entity. Part of your assignment will be to specify an audience/recipient for your work.

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For this assignment, the purpose is to identify an environment ethical issue, analyze and describe the ethical issues involved, and propose an argument for how the issue can be addressed or resolved according to a particular ethical perspective. The focus here is on identifying the underlying ethical and moral perspectives or commitments that are driving a particular issue and proposing an argument about these ethical and moral perspectives. Here we are focusing on the “why” of an environmental issue more than the “what”. For example, one might believe that old growth forests should be protected. This assignment asks you to contemplate why. In other words, what ethical argument can be made for the protection of old growth forests. In this class, we have been exposed to several different perspectives on why one might want to protect old growth forests, including because they are sacred to various groups of people, because they are critical habitat for endangered species, and because future generations should be able to enjoy them. Notice here that we are not focusing on the “what” part of the issue, but rather, we are deeply considered what sorts of ethical commitments inform the way people relate to their worlds.

Part 3: Op-Ed/Open Letter

Document Format Requirements:DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE FILE YOU UPLOAD. I prefer to grade anonymously to provide some measure of objectivity for the scoring. Please use a standard 12-point font and one inch margins. The body of the Op-Ed should not exceed 750 words, but it must be at least 600 words. Please write in complete sentences. Proofread your writing, and check for correct spelling. Part of your score will be based on the quality of your writing.

Assignment Requirements:The final Op-Ed/open letter must: (1) identify an environmental ethical problem, describe it briefly, and indicate why it is significant, (2) explain and analyze current approaches to the issue and why you find them to be inadequate, and (3) present an argument for an ethical approach that you believe would be preferable to the status quo. In other words, you will attempt to convince your audience/recipient about a particular ethical obligation related to the issue you choose.

You can include statistics in your Op-Ed; if you do, please include the source of the statistic in a separate section after the Op-Ed (this section is for our benefit, not your public readers). Your proposed approach/solution needs to be specific/particular. In short, don’t simply complain about a problem or propose a vague solution – your aim is to put forward a constructive, solution-oriented approach that can make a real difference in the way people perceive and behave toward a specific situation..

In terms of style, write in a way that you feel will appeal to your particular audience and compel them to rethink the problem or issue you are addressing and potentially make a change, i.e. they will want to begin advocating for and adopting the alternative you propose after reading your Op-Ed/Open Letter. Remember that this is a persuasive essay – your goal is to inspire people to take action!

You have 750 words maximum to make your case; submissions of fewer than 600 words will not be accepted.

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