Background: So far this semester, we have explored the theme of education, reading “Learning from Leonardo” from Walter Isaacson’s book Leonardo Da Vinci, Malala Yousafai’s memoir I Am XXXXXXX. Lately, we’ve watched the documentary Before the Flood, and have been reading essays by William E. Rees, the ecological economist who coined the term “ecological footprint,” Richard Manning, an award-winning environmental journalist, and Michael Pollan, the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. The film and the essays aim to educate people about the causes and effects of climate change. What to do: Write an essay of 4 – 5 pages in which you choose something from daily life, find out about its effects on climate, and teach us. Your thesis will answer this question: is this thing sustainable in its present form? How to do it: Choose something that interests you, that you want to know more about. Go through the alphabet looking for things: Architecture? Building? Cosmetics? Dogs? Fur? Garbage? Hot dogs? (You get the idea—something you love that depends on the planet for its existence).) Begin your paper with background information that uses at least two of our sources (the film and three essays) for support. Then, tell us about your topic, everything that you already know. Next, start searching, using the library sources (required—no Wikipedia or plain old Google-style stuff) and find out all you can about it. Use the 5 Ws and H to guide your questioning. Can we go on eating, owning, or doing whatever it is we do with this thing without causing damage to the planet?
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