237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part E_Locating relevant credible material_Researching your essay topic_28/04/16

Evolution of the human-environment relationship

This article summarises the history of the Anthropocene and its effect upon the Earth, as well as discussing humanity’s response to change, particularly regarding the environment.

My topic concerns the beatification of destruction, and the many ways that humans try to either dismiss, ignore or justify the damage they do to the Earth. This article expands on Mirzoeff’s examination of the way mankind has reacted throughout history to the environmental changes that their conquest of nature has brought about. I found this particularly helpful, as this is one key aspect of the chapter I would like to focus on in my essay.

I believe this is a credible source. All of the authors are clearly identified, and the article has been reviewed by an editor before publishing. The statistics and claims are supported with a list of references. The article uses specialised academic language, so it is clearly written for other academics and is therefore an academic source. The authors are all fully qualified professors/directors/holders of significant positions on earth or science societies (Constanza et al.), so the article is therefore a secondary source and contains “expert analysis and context” (CTL).

Paul MacCready: Nature vs. Humans

A second key aspect of the topic that I would like to examine in my essay is the unnecessary damaging of nature due to the mass of technologies we could live without, but continue to use regardless. Establishing sustainable methods of living so that we can exist harmoniously with nature and the life forms that share our planet is the central idea in this video.

Although this source is a little outdated, I believe it is still credible. This is partly due to the fact that any statistics are very generalised and could still be considered accurate in the present day, and also due to the fact that this video is a TED talk. TED is a long-standing “global community” that invites speakers who are important or outstanding in their profession to share their ideas (McManus). MacCready himself is an established aeronautical engineer, the founder of AeroVironment.Inc, and was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991 for his contributions to sustainable aircraft design (Esten). The solid credibility of the author and site is what makes this a verifiable source.

Works Cited

Clarke, Michael. “The Essay”. Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design

into Words. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing, 2007. 144-167. Print.

Costanza, Robert et al. “Evolution of the human-environment relationship”.

The Encyclopedia of Earth. Trunity et al. 3 May 2013. Web. 25 April 2016.

CTL, Manager. “Evaluating source quality”. OWLL. Massey University. 24

February 2014. Web. 26 April 2016.


CTL, Manager. “Identifying academic sources”. OWLL. Massey University. 25

October 2012. Web. 26 April 2016.


Esten, Hugh. “Paul MacCready Biography”. Academy of Achievement. The

Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. 4 December 2013. Web. 28 April


MacCready, Paul. “Nature vs. humans”. TED. TED. February 1998. Web. 27

April 2016.

McManus, Emily. “Our organisation”. TED. TED. N.d. Web. 28 April 2016.

237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part F_Bringing your knowledge to the topic_Gathering more visual texts and ideas_ 28/04/16

Banksy. I remember when all this was trees (2010). Graffiti/street art. Packard Automotive Plant. Detroit, Michigan. Day, Brian. Photograph. “I remember when all this was trees”. Flickr. Yahoo!. 8 May 2010. Web. 28 April 2016.
  • This image depicts an industrial wasteland; the debris of human interference with nature. Something I picked up on and thought was important about this image was the fact that the ‘painter’ of the message is a child. This reminded me of a point Mirzoeff made in ‘The Changing World’; “If you are under twenty-eight, you have never known what the pre-climate-changed world was like. Your body knows nonetheless that the drought, the floods, and the rising seas are out of joint with past experience. It just feels wrong.” (Mirzoeff 221).
    The fact that a child (someone who has been alive for a much shorter time than those who lived in a pre-climate-changed world, and has therefore had little time to accustom himself to what is left of nature) is the one painting the message speaks of our willingness to ignore the changes to our Earth that are taking place. The child’s only affinity with the current state of our Earth is that it “just feels wrong”; if he is more prepared to acknowledge the dire state of the environment than someone who has watched it deteriorate, shouldn’t we be alarmed?

This song embodies the beautification of industrialisation. Nature is made to seem ugly, outdated, and unneeded in the line “I’ll chop you down like an old dead tree” (MacColl); whereas the gas works, docks, factories, canals, and a “smoky wind” (MacColl) that is most likely smog are romanticised.

This advertisement speaks of the need for sustainable living in order to decrease carbon emissions and reduce global warming. What I find ironic is that the ad promotes the need to lessen our use of technology, whereas the medium that makes this advertisement available to viewers is technological.

  • Humans have become so synonymous with nature that nature is affected by human suffering. For example, the Black Plague was a bacterium caused disease that killed million of people. However, many species of animal were seriously affected also; people hunted down and killed cats because they believed them to be carriers of the plague.The Earth was no doubt also affected due to dead bodies left decomposing in the streets (releasing gases into the atmosphere), and the number of graves that had to be dug (shifting the natural structure of soil and earth).

Works Cited

Day, Brian. “I remember when all this was trees”. Flickr. Yahoo!. 8 May 2010.

Web. 28 April 2016.


Mirzoeff, Nicholas. Chapter 6. “The Changing World”. How to See the World. Ed.

Monica Schmoller. London: Pelican, 2015. 211-252. Print.

Suit, John. “Nissan Commercial – Polar Bear”. YouTube. YouTube. 9 September

2010. Web. 28 April 2016.

VenomousNewfie. “Dirty Old Town – The Pogues – Lyrics ,”. YouTube. YouTube.

2 April 2010. Web. 28 April 2016.