Diana Gu: Topic 2

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I partially agree with Ausubel that crises of government are partly to blame for failures to mitigate climate change and is definitely more to blame than failures of science and technology. I would even argue that reliance on science and technology to ‘fix’ climate change would be a mere band aid on an overall deeply embedded cultural and moral issue that is worsened by broken, weak, or misguided governments that fail to prioritize the environment and thus climate change in their policies and international dialogues. The example of the light-water nuclear reactors is one of many examples of how our reliance and blind following of the newest and readily available methods and approaches to obtaining what we envision as progressive resources or ways of living has distracted us from the most fundamental answer or rather moral question we must ask ourselves and pursue—how do we live better? Instead of “how can we have more?” Failures of our government to realize long-term measures to protect the environment and our climate emphasizes our deepest weaknesses as a society. The average student lives in a country where environmental education is not required by the state/government. Basic understanding of ecology and thermodynamics is rarely reached—no wonder our governments cannot find the motivation to address these problems when our education system is bereft of environmental value and attempts to create workers and money-makers instead of global, empathetic, and informed citizens. Thus, I would disagree that resolutions for climate would not ‘fit’ into a dichotomy of government and technology but rather is a problem between culture and education. 

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2 responses »

  1. You point about the underlying problems of culture and morality is very effective and is something I did not consider when writing about this prompt. It is entirely true that the problems we are perceiving may be the symptoms of deeper, underlying issues (such as culture, morality, and the state of education) rather than the seemingly simple explanation (technology or government). While government can influence cultural norms and certainly education policy, I strongly agree that these factors are more influential than technology or government alone.

  2. That is an excellent point and I think it does a great job at tying the issue into a larger context of our society. When looking at how our cultural and political values came to be, our nation has been ingrained with the notions of individualism since its founding and unbridled economic growth for decades. To change our culture and these ways of thinking, I wholeheartedly agree that a change in our education and values is by and far the best step to affect change in our government and technology.

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