PROC2086: Environmental and Hazard Analysis
Environmental Ethics: Assoc. Prof. Gavin M. Mudd
Assignment: Ethical Case Study / Example
There are many examples of major ethical dilemmas across the discipline of Environmental Engineering – on issues such as hazard waste, pollution, technology choice, risk analyses, etc. Sometimes the cases are clear examples of the trade-offs made between people, the environment and costs (e.g. recent tailing dam failures, Ok Tedi mine), others poor safety assessment (e.g. the Bhopal or Deepwater Horizon tragedies), perceptions of risks (e.g. nuclear vs solar power), and occasionally even difficult decisions with no obvious answer (e.g, mercury in compact fluorescent lamps). A great deal is always learned in hindsight from disasters or mistakes in technology choices (especially chemical safety) – the challenge is to make sure we do learn and choose better!
Choose an example of an ethical issue for a large engineering project or technology. This could be a specific company (e.g. mining, petroleum, chemicals, construction, etc.), technology (e.g. nuclear power, geothermal, hydraulic fracturing, etc.), or recent disaster (e.g. Samarco, Brumadinho, Deepwater Horizon, etc). Next, do some background reading and research related to your ethical case study, such as journal papers, reputable online sources or research reports. Finally, write up your report in an essay style!
Key Assessment Criteria:
• Individual issue / example for every student – this will be confirmed in class by the end of week 2 of classes (or via email if needed; deadline same time). Any student not on the lecturer’s list who turns out to have the same issue or example as another student who already has this listed will lose 10% of their mark for this assignment.
• Thorough background research – every student should ensure their essay demonstrates sound knowledge of their ethical issue / example, through reading and possible citation of the main text (or similar texts) as well as use of journal papers and other relevant credible sources (e.g. Wikipedia is RARELY EVER A RELIABLE SOURCE !!!).
• Clearly Expressed and Logical Essay – the essay should be presented logically, well written and presented in a professional layout (including correct use of citations and syntax).
• Essay Length – whilst there is no specific length, the essay is expected to be between 4 to 6 pages. The emphasis must be on quality of thinking, arguments and evidence – and of course professional-style writing presentation !!
WORTH: 10% of final mark for PROC2086
DUE: Written Report Submitted via Canvas by 5pm Tuesday 24 March 2020
Assoc. Prof. Gavin M. Mudd
3 March 2020