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On Environmental Sociology - Essay Example

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However, climate change is inevitable, and we must prepare for the effects that it will have on the world. It is crucial to look at what areas of the world will face extreme effects of global warming. More importantly, however, we must examine the affected parties. Through this paper, I will examine categories of people affected by global warming based on different factors, such as location and socioeconomic status. I will attempt to prove that individuals from a lower socioeconomic class are the most negatively affected by climate change. To illustrate this argument, I will examine several natural disasters (resulting from global warming) and environmental tragedies that have happened over the course of history. My Focus is on the extent of the effects of these disasters on the victims. Examples of these events include the chemical leak at the pesticide plant in Bhopal in 1984, and Hurricane Katrina, which tore through New Orleans in 2005. Secondly, I will examine the areas of the world that predicted to face the full wrath of global warming, and try to uncover why this is and the ultimate effect on the human population of these locations. The relevance of this topic to the course ties to several topics discussed over the semester. The most relevant topics were “Body and Health,” as discussed by Michael Bell in An Invitation to Environmental Sociology and “Sustaining the Environment,” by Philip Sutton. In his chapter, Bell talks about the chemical plant leak that I will discuss, among many other environmental accidents. He discusses the idea of the “invironment,” (Bell 130) and how all environmental issues, including global warming, have negative implications on the lives of individuals. Sutton’s chapter on sustaining the environment explores how human actions contribute global warming. Sutton also explores the long term effects of unmitigated pollution (a human activity). Both of these chapters feature as guiding principles in this paper. The first environmental incident to be considered is the chemical plant leak in India. The accident happened on December 2, 1984 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India (Bell 124). This plant primarily produced the insecticide Sevin, made with methyl isocyanate, which is highly reactive with water. One would imagine that a plant of this kind would be in an isolated area, surely far away from where people live. However, there was a neighborhood a few yards away from the factory with chemical leak (Bell 126). Because of a series of unfortunate events, there was a methyl isocyanate leak not reported until several hours after it occurred. At that point, however, it was way too late. Thousands of people immediately died from the chemicals released into the air. In the years that followed, thousands more would die while others suffer from complications such as cancer. Death toll estimates vary dramatically, and while the Indian government claims that 3500 people died, activists argue that the actual number of deaths is closer to 25000 (Bell 125). Regardless of the actual number, the figures are staggering, even more so when the amount of people suffering from secondary effects increases by the numbers. Victims have reported living with cancer, respiratory problems, and a variety of neurological and reproductive disorders. For this paper, it is essential to examine who was most affected by this disaster and why. Bell ...Show more
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Summary

Katherine Maloy. SOCI 206 Final Paper April 30, 2012 Climate change and global warming are pressing controversial issues in the world today. This is in view of the increase in media coverage both on television and online every day. Secondly, the 2012 presidential election campaigns emphasize the global warming debate…
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