my final essay


Question Description

Read carefully. There is a lot of detail here, so be sure you are addressing all aspects of the prompt.

This final essay has one key objective: to encourage you to reflect on what you’ve learned the second part of this class and think creatively about a future without global warming and without global environmental crisis. This is an opportunity for you to articulate your own environmental ethics, your own “good” society based on the class material. Like the midterm, you must employ ideas and examples from both lectures and readings (and multimedia, if appropriate).

The essay is worth 30% of your grade. It must be 7-8 pages (double-spaced with 12point font), due Tuesday, March 20 by 3pm. Points will be deducted if it exceeds 8 pages or is less than 7 pages. You will submit a digital copy to the Turn-it-in assignment on Tritoned. A physical copy is not required unless your TA has specifically requested it. MLA format

It is a three-part essay. In the first part, you will need to give a brief summary of at least 3 of the major environmental paradigms covered in the class and make an argument for the one(s) that you consider most convincing. The major paradigms were covered in lecture. They include conquest mentalities, preservation and conservation, modern mainstream environmentalism, environmental justice, and the various meanings of sustainability (such as Brundtland’s sustainable development vision and free-market/corporate environmentalism). Note: it might behoove you to conclude that more than one is very convincing, but instead of defending them separately, use your critical thinking skills to bring them together to form your own environmental ethics. Be sure that if you synthesize two or more paradigms that your new formulation does not have contradictions. For instance, in an extreme case, the conquest paradigm does not square very well with modern environmentalism for reasons that should be evident from lecture and readings.

In the second part, you must define and discuss two of the alternative visions/proposed solutions that we have been covering during weeks 8 and 9. These are current political (or technological) projects/visions with origins in the existing paradigms listed above. You do not need to discuss all of these projects/visions, but you must describe at least 2 of them and explain which one of all of them aligns best with the paradigm you’ve defended from part 1.

The third part is connected to the first two. Let your answers to parts 1 and 2 to guide you in this part. You will answer the following question: You have just read Oreskes and Conway’s bleak dystopian global prediction regarding climate change (a future all the more possible in the Age of Trump and widespread climate change denial in the U.S.). Let’s now turn the tables. Reflecting on and using as evidence (where appropriate) lectures, readings, notes, and class discussions, etc., what would a global society without disastrous climate change and acute environmental crisis look like? How would we get there? In other words, who would be the agents bringing about your new more environmentally ethical future and what obstacles would need to be overcome? What kind of polity (that is, government) would it require? How would people interact with their environment? How would people need to relate to one another? How would social relations be organized (for example, relations between, say, nations, classes, or ethnicities)? You might opt to be utopian or idealistic in your thinking, you might opt to be more pragmatic, or some synthesis of the two.

Suggested page length for each part:

Part I: 3.5-4 pages

Part II: 1-2 pages

Part II: 2-3 pages

Total: 7-8 pages

You will need to use concrete evidence from lectures, readings, and discussions to substantiate your arguments and defend your claims. Do not lean too heavily on readings over lecture, and vice versa. You should strike a balance.

Think carefully and consider and weigh the class material, that is, the different environmental paradigms and political projects that seek to solve the climate and environmental crisis. Make connections across lectures and readings to devise your stance and to articulate your own “alternative world case”. This is your essay. Use your imagination in the second part, an imagination that stems from your knowledge gained in this class. This is your opportunity (humanity’s only opportunity?) to dream big! Think for yourself, employing material and evidence drawn from the second half of the class.

You may use outside material, but like last time, only to complement material from this class. Not to replace it. If you bring in an outside source(s), please provide a works cited page (bibliography) of those sources.

In general, Please cite all evidence that you use, including lectures, within the text.

CLASS READINGS are either attached or in a link below:👇




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The Anthropology of Oil: The Impact of the Oil Industry on a Fishing Community in the Niger Delta Author(s): Alicia Fentiman Source: Social Justice, Vol. 23, No. 4 (66), Environmental Victims (Winter 1996), pp. 87-99 Published by: Social Justice/Global Options Stable URL: Accessed: 12-01-2017 19:41 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at Social Justice/Global Options is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Social Justice This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to Part Two The Anthropology of Oil: The Impact of the Oil Industry on a Fishing Community in the Niger Delta Dr. Alicia Fentiman Introduction THE AIM OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO EXAMINE, WITH SOME PARTICULARITY, THE IMPACT of oil upon the lives of people in a small fishing community in the Niger Delta.1 It is hoped that this data will contribute to the scarce literature available on the Niger Delta and help shed light on the various ways in which oil has affected the institutions of at least one ethnic group. Although it is a detailed descriptive study of one community, the basic problems and tensions discernible in the case study apply to much of the Niger Delta. Ethnographic Background My focus is on the village of Oloma, a rural fishing community on the Island of Bonny in the Eastern Niger Delta. Ethnically, the village's population consists almost entirely of the Ibani-Ijo. The population of Bonny Island is centered in Bonny Town with a number of satellite villages, of which Oloma is one, and several fishing ports dispersed throughout the meandering creeks and waterways. The island is situated within the tidal mangrove swamps of the Eastern Niger Delta. It is bounded by other Ijaw communities, such as those of the Elem Kalahari to the west, the Okrikans to the north, and the Andoni, Opobo, and Ogoni to the east. Bonny is located approximately 50 kilometers southeast of the industrial and commercial center of Port Harcourt. Tributaries of the Bonny River dissect the flat surface of the island, creating swamps and creeks that are bordered by mangrove trees. Much of the land is uninhabitable; fresh water resources are scarce. Dr. Alicia Fentiman is a social anthropologist and Research Associate at the African Studies Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3RE, England. She has done extensive fieldwork in southern Nigeria and northern Ghana. Social Justice Vol. 23, No. 4 87 This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to 88 Fentiman Historical Overview Traditionally, the Ibani were fisherfolk dependent on the creeks, waterways, and swamps of the Niger Delta for their livelihood. Fish were found in abundance, and salt was evaporated from the sea water trapped in the roots of the mangrove tree. The Ibani traded their fish and salt to the Ibo hinterland in exchange for agricultural produce. This interzonal dependency created the initial trade routes between the Ijo fisherfolk and the hinterland agriculturists. This internal trade network was well established before European contact and provided the mercan? tile infrastructure on which the success of Bonny's European trade was founded. Bonny's coastal location certainly contributed to her involvement in the burgeoning trade2 that followed the advent of European adventurers in Bonny as early as the 15th century. Bonny had a pivotal role as the fulcrum of a two-way trade between the Ibo hinterland and the Ibani, on the one hand, and the Ibani and the European traders on the other. Food, livestock, and, most importantly, slaves that came from the hinterland markets were brought to Bonny to be traded. The growing European demand for slaves assured the role of Bonny traders as middlemen in the West African-European trade. This lasted until the 19th century. In the 19th century, the slave trade was abolished and during this period Bonny's merchants turned their attention from slaves to palm oil. The palm oil trade particularly flourished because this new commodity was easily traded along the old channels involving the same personnel. Fortuitously, palm oil became at the same time an important export item because of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Palm oil was in great demand as a lubricant for machinery as well as for making soap and candles. Bonny prospered during the palm oil trade. Such was its success that the Bonny and Kalahari areas became know as the "Oil Rivers." However, in the 20th century, the prosperity of Bonny began to decline.3 The major factor was the discovery of coal in commercially viable quantities further inland. A new mainland port was built by the British colonial administration, to exploit better the new coal fields. In 1913, a new industrial city, Port Harcourt, located 50 kilometers up Bonny River was opened. Bonny's pivotal trading role was bypassed. "Business gradually moved away from Bonny and Bonny only saw ships passing their way up river. In 1916, there was a great exodus and Bonny faded away to join the ranks of other ports of the past" (Earl, 1962: 31). Bonny also lost its leading position with the colonial government as the center for the administra? tive, commercial, and religious headquarters of the Niger Delta. By 1930, Bonny was observed to be in a "state of decay and utter stagnation" (Webber, 1931: 52) and in 1938 moves were made to abolish the third-class township that was accorded to Bonny. Bonny became an economically depressed area and its isolation from the mainland further contributed to her decline. The creation of Port Harcourt provided the Ibani with two alternatives; one was to remain in Bonny and return This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to The Impact of Oil on the Niger Delta 89 to the subsistence economy of fishing; the second option was to migrate to Port Harcourt and compete for jobs in the urban sector. Revival of Bonny: Discovery of Oil Although Bonny declined as a port in the first half of the century, the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities led to Bonny's revival. Evacuation and production facilities to process the crude oil and move it to world markets were needed. At first, a temporary export station was built at Port Harcourt; however, it proved unsatisfactory because only small tankers could visit Port Harcourt and even then they could load only half their capacity. Bonny became the ideal alternative because of its strategic location and its ability to cater to both inshore and offshore loading facilities. By 1961, the Shell Petroleum Development Company completed the first phase of the Bonny Terminal. Further terminals were added throughout the 1960s. The establishment of the oil terminal in Bonny had a tremendous impact on the infrastructure of Bonny Town. There was an influx of people who migrated there, and by 1963 the population had risen to 7,740 people. Skilled jobs, however, were given predominantly to Europeans, whereas the unskilled jobs were given to Nigerians. A study conducted in Bonny on the spatial organization of the oil terminal revealed that most migrants to Bonny were from Rivers State, but were not necessarily Ibani indigenes.4 A large proportion of Bonny people works outside Bonny due to the lack of employment opportunities within the town and environs (Green, 1982: 11). The educational system in Bonny Town was revived. In 1966, Shell helped to fund new departments in the Bonny secondary school. In 1977, the Finima Girl's Secondary School was opened, which provided further education for females. In addition, a teacher training college was reestablished, and it once again became an important educational center. Money generated from the oil industry contributed to new commercial developments in Bonny. New buildings were constructed, such as a post office, a divisional office, Pan African Bank, a police station, and maritime clearing and forwarding houses. In addition, a new hospital was built. Transportation from Bonny Town to Port Harcourt was improved, thus ensuring better communication between Bonny and the mainland. An intermittent supply of electricity was provided by Shell to the main town, but the peripheral Bonny villages still went without. Indeed, the surrounding fishing villages did not enjoy the benefits that the inhabitants of Bonny Town experienced. Although it may appear that Bonny Town improved with the new opportunities that were a result of the oil industry, there were many detrimental aspects associated with the establishment of the oil industry in Bonny, which often go unrecorded. The lives of the average Bonny person, especially those residing in the fishing villages, have deteriorated because of the impact of oil. This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to 90 Fentiman Case Study Oloma, Bonny: The Seen and Unseen Effects of Oil What of the effect of such changes on a fishing community? The environmen? tal impact of oil in and around Oloma is clearly visible. Throughout the surround? ing creeks and waterways, the intrusion of oil and oil excavation are markedly evident, The canalization and dredging of creeks by oil companies have signifi? cantly altered the landscape. A flow station is located at the end of the creek. Sea trucks pass daily to and from the flow station; the gas flares emit light 24 hours per day. Pipes meander throughout the swamps, and signboards scattered throughout the area alert the villagers of "danger." These are the visible effects of oil. The presence of oil is all pervading. However there is another aspect of the impact of oil that often goes unrecorded. This is the way in which the culture of the people has been affected, The institutions, central to the identity of the Ibani fishing community, need to be discussed to understand the overall effect of oil. The community has experienced both environmental and cultural degradation. The former is seen, the latter unseen. In the course of my research, I frequently asked: How has Oloma changed? Each respondent mentioned that the oil industry has affected their economic livelihood and that oil has interfered with many aspects of their lives. The following interview with a senior male elder vividly portrays the various ways oil has affected the lives of the people of Oloma. He was asked what impact oil has had on the inhabitants of Oloma. It wasn't until Shell started dredging the creek that everything started to go badly. For example, erosion of land. Before, there was a beautiful sandy beach; but look, it no longer exists. In the back of my house there was a big playground called ogbo-ngelege, but that land has eroded, and now our houses are eroding. Our traditional livelihood is fishing, but there are no more fish. We now buy tinned fish or stock fish. The chemicals from oil spillage have ruined the fish as well as the esem (periwinkles) and mgbe (mangrove oysters). We receive nothing from Shell. For example, no electricity, no piped water, no health facilities, nothing to make us happy. They were supposed to build a fish pond, but look around you, there is nothing. They destroyed our land and dredged our creek. Behind Ayaminima, the neighboring village, there used to be a small creek that was used when there was a storm and during the rainy season when the Bonny River was rough. But now Shell has closed it; they dredged it and filled it up with all their oil pipes. They put up a sign and did not think that many of our people are illiterate. Even if they could read English, the paint has worn off and the message alerting people of danger is no longer visible. Our people are told not to go there, so now we have to go to the main creek every time to get to Bonny. This has caused great problems because the sea becomes very rough and danger This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to The Impact of Oil on the Niger Delta 91 ous during the rains, and we no longer have an alternative route. Shell promised to fill in our embankment; they came this year and look what the rains have done. It is already washing away. They put a sign on our soil saying that Oloma is part of their development project; but we have suffered. This is not development, but underdevelopment. They don't care about us. Some of the mangrove trees used for firewood spark and blow up. It used to be the village's major energy source; now women are scared and are going into the bush to find fuel; this is not traditional, and it takes so long. Land where we have our shrines to the gods has been taken away. Parasu, a sacred area near Oloma where we performed Owu (masquerades and sacrifices), has been lost. We were forced to give the government our sacred land and our farmland. Economic trees such as mango, coconut, banana, plantain, paw-paw, and palm fruit have been taken away by the government for the oil industry. At the end of our creek there is a houseboat and flow station; the gas flares scare our fish and the noise of the sea trucks scares our gods and our fish. Sometimes we fish at night depending on the tide, and the sea trucks travel very fast up and down our creek, causing many of us to capsize in our canoes and lose our gear. Those of us who fish often find our nets destroyed and our traps broken; it is so hard to find fish. What are we to do? Such a view highlights many issues that are associated with the impact of oil on the community. Every aspect of people's lives has been influenced by oil ? their economic, political, social, and ritual institutions have all been affected. Indeed, the very institutions that make them culturally unique are eroding at an alarming pace. Changes in the Fishing Economy A model of the economy of the past would show that the major economic activity of the inhabitants of the Eastern Niger Delta was fishing. In Oloma, there was very little farming because the soil was poor and inadequate. Although most families farmed small plots of land, they did not yield enough for subsistence. However, fish were plentiful and salt was abundant. As a result, the Ibani fishermen and women were able to barter their fish and salt with the hinterland markets in exchange for agricultural produce. The fishing economy was unique in many ways and was structured very differently from any agricultural economy. Most obviously, the private owner? ship of land was unimportant for the village's prosperity. Instead, the Oloma villagers' economic livelihood was dependent on common assets: on the creeks, waterways, and fishing ports that were owned by the village as a whole rather This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to 92 Fentiman than by individuals. Therefore, there was communal ownership of the productive resources. The village claimed exclusive rights of access to certain waterways and creeks. This system united village members across lineage boundaries. It was thus important for it to remain a united community in order to protect its holdings from competing neighboring villages. The fishing grounds were not susceptible to demarcation as farmlands were; they were used by all members of the village without reference to lineage differentiation (see Alagoa, 1970; Horton, 1969). However, the fishing economy in Oioma has dramatically changed. There are two prime reasons for this: one has been outward migration to urban areas in search of education and wage labor and the other is oil. It was reported: [In the past] it was not unusual to see young and old beaming with smiles as they return home with canoe load of fishes of various description. That was the days of yore when fishing was really a worthwhile venture in this part of the country (Niger Delta).... Fishing has become a very poor economic activity due mainly to rural-urban migration of able-bodied youths and oil pollution (Tide, February 27, 1982). Migration from Oloma to Port Harcourt and other urban centers is frequent. The lack of young men in the community was observed while conducting fieldwork. A census survey revealed that the composition of the village consisted primarily of women, children, and the elderly. Men often migrated to Port Harcourt and other mainland towns in search of wage labor. The men who resided in the village commented that they can no longer rely solely on fishing as an economically viable occupation as they had done in the past. They therefore must leave the village. Those who remain behind encounter many obstacles, often attributable to the oil industry. Fishing as a way of life is becoming more and more difficult. Some of the problems they encounter are described below. Damage by Sea Trucks: One of the major obstacles to traditional fishing methods in the creeks and waterways is a result of the constant movement of the sea trucks traveling to and from the flow station located at the end of the creek. Fishing lines, nets, and traps are often torn; the sea trucks continually destroy property despite protests from the community. The operators of the sea trucks appear to have very little concern or compassion for the fishermen, fisherwomen, and children. Although there are speed restrictions, it appears that they are often not enforced. Canoes are often capsized as a result of the waves from the sea trucks. The noise generated by the sea trucks is attributed by the local commu? nity as a prime reason for scaring away the fish, which is evidenced by low fish yields. Oil Pollution: Spillage: Despite arguments that over-fishing and overpopu? lation are responsible for low fish yields, the community believes oil pollution has affected their fishing economy. In Oloma, fewer people reside in the community This content downloaded from on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:41:58 UTC All use subject to The Impact of Oil on the Niger Delta 93 than in the past and fewer people are fishing. As mentioned above, migration to urban areas has become the sought-after choice and necessity by many. This is consistent with remarks made in the local Bonny magazine, Ogolo. Bonny people like other rivering people depend mainly on their water resources for their livelihood. But in the operation of the oil companies, all waste products are dumped into the rivers. The water is thus polluted, fishes are killed, and the fishermen are forced to find alternative sources of livelihood ? which in Bonny is very difficult. Gradually people migrate out of the community to other areas to seek beneficial employ? ment, which has led to increasing depopulation of Bonny (Green, 1982: 10-11). However, those who are left behind in the communities try to survive by fishing; there are no alternatives. They are responsible for feeding their house? holds, but are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. The catches are low, and more and more time is spent gathering shellfish. A greater burden has been placed upon the women because of the massive outward migration of men. Each day, women spend hours in the mangrove swamps gathering shellfish such as winkles and mangrove oysters. As one ...
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Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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