Anthropocence

Approximately 2 pages, double spaced, 12 point font. If you need a bit more space for your answers, feel free to take it but be aware that write succinctly is important. Please be sure to answer each question asked and organize your answers by labeling the parts with the letters A-E, corresponding to the questions]. (A) Demarcation of the Anthropocene Epoch is an important intellectual development rapidly sweeping through a wide variety of scientific fields and branches of the policy sciences and humanities, including Management. What does the term Anthropocene mean? What does it signal about the balance between humanity and the rest of nature? The Anthropocene has often been referred to as the “Age of Acceleration.” Why? What is accelerating? Are the functions for change (with passage of time graphed on the X axis) best described as linear or exponential? Give examples of two important accelerations and briefly explain their importance (6 Points). (B) During the first part of the course, we referred repeatedly to influential research conducted by Johan Rockstrom, Will Steffen, Diana Liverman and colleagues on changes in the earth’s systems. In this research, they present a conceptual framework useful for thinking about and tracking human impacts on nine major planetary systems and they develop the concept of a planetary boundary. Using their framework, precisely define the concept of a planetary boundary. According to these experts, which planetary boundaries have definitely been breached by humanity, resulting in high risk? Based on their framework, how would you characterize the risk associated with atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations? In addressing the question about risks facing humanity associated with CO2, define and make use of the concept of a tipping point. Relatedly, define ‘Hothouse Earth (HHE).’ Is HHE inevitable? Why or why not? (6 Points) (C) One useful source of ideas for addressing climate change is Global Green Shift, by John Mathews (2017). In Chapter 1 of this book, Mathews elaborates the green shift idea by discussing ecomodernization strategies, stating that these strategies are leading to “the greatest transformation of our global industrial system [ever]” (p. 18). According to Mathews, what is ecomodernization? Is China’s growth strategy (often referred to as ‘Green GDPism’) a good, large scale example of ecomodernization? Why or why not? Support your answer with reference to specific targets for renewable energy generation in China’s 13th Five Year Plan and in their promotion of electric vehicles (see video, “China’s drive to dominate the electric car industry”). For perspective, the United States had about 230 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity at the beginning of 2018—Source: U.S. Department of Energy. (6 points) (D) Another useful source of ideas for addressing climate change is Hot, Flat & Crowded, by Tom Friedman. In Chapter 14 of this book, Friedman develops the theme “If it isn’t boring, it isn’t green.” Briefly summarize this chapter (based on the theme statement) and give two examples that illustrate the theme. Consistent with this theme, the U.S. state of California is often advanced as a stellar example of how going green (radically reducing greenhouse gas emissions via government mandates) benefits all. In a few sentences and using material presented in class, explain in specific terms what clean energy advocates find encouraging about California’s recent history (2000-2019) (6 points). (E) Finally, what is the most controversial and provocative idea you have encountered in this course so far? Elaborate the idea in a couple of sentences. What emotions did the idea evoke (e.g., anger, joy, fear, anxiety, hope, …)? Briefly, what thoughts did the idea stimulate as you considered it? Note: in this part of the question, you are asked about two different but possibly related responses: emotions and thoughts (6 points).

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