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Environmental Science Writing Prompt
Bhopal: Environmental Ethics and Economics

While all of the issues and debates within the environmental science curriculum have a moral and ethical component, they each also have a set of economic considerations. This writing prompt has students watch the beginning of the movie The Yes Men Fix the World to see a recent example of this conflict laid bare.

In 2004, the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster in India, a man falsely claiming to be a spokesperson for Dow Chemical appeared on a live BBC newscast. During his interview, he announced that Dow Chemical would be accepting full responsibility for the cleanup, remediation, and victim restitution from the Bhopal disaster of 1984. Immediately after this interview, Dow Chemical's stock price fell 4.2%, or $2 billion in market value.

Essential concepts: Environmental ethics, morality, economics, Bhopal, developing countries, hazardous waste.

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