UNIT 5: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSION -- Topic 1: Local and Global Community
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
Global environmental awareness is a comparatively recent phenomenon that which emerged with the development of mass air travel and the introduction of new technologies after the Second World War. At the same time our ideas about the Earth were radically transformed by the space programme that furnished images of the earth as a blue and white globe floating in the deep darkness of space. Modern electronic communications now link the world as never before and consequently the local and global are becoming increasingly intertwined.
We are also aware to the extent that the modern world is fractured and divided with especially marked disparities between modern industrialised nations and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, there are long-term regional conflicts in some areas which it can be argued are signs of environmental stress and political inequality. People have always moved around the world throughout human history but the current pressure of human numbers and the signs that economic growth means that migration and the movement of refugees is a highly contentious issue for the local and global communities.
Students should understand that although they cannot trace the impact of their actions, what they do and the things that they buy have an impact on other people and the environment around the world.ACTIVITIES:
There are different ways in which people and the environment are connected at a global level. Students will find issues which link local activities to global outcomes. Examples might include:
how air pollution created by industry and traffic in developed countries contributes to climate change around the world
hunting endangered animals in one part of the world to use in other places can lead to their extinction disrupting ecological systems
the impact of water pollution, irrigation and hydro-electric dams on the upper regions of a river such as the Nile affects people downstream
how lack of water, food and environmental problems are sometimes the root cause of international migration
the potential for solar energy invented in one part of the world to be adopted globally to reduce fossil fuel consumption
how international action to ban the use of CFC gasses from factories and home use has succeeded in stopping the growth of the ozone hole which has begun to disappear
Activity 2: The class will discuss the problem of global migration In terms of local environmental problems and its global impact.
Koser, K. (2007). International Migration: A very short introduction. Oxford: London.
Collins (2012). World Watch. Collins: London