Critical Thinking Analysis (for those that did not make it to MayDay)
Can be done by a group of two students only
(Please do NOT submit haphazardly done paper. Do not submit just for the sake of submitting something).
You are a junior minister in the transport ministry of a liberal democratic state. Your government has received proposals for the expansion of a large airport which has already attracted protests from local residents. You live in the area yourself, and often have your sleep interrupted by overflying aircraft. You are also vaguely uneasy about the possible impact of the extra flights on climate change. But the airport already brings significant economic advantages to the country, and if the expansion does not go ahead it is certain that traffic will move to another country: there is no suitable alternative site in your own. Your government has declared itself to be open-minded on this issue; it will be swayed by the quality of the arguments on both sides.
You are being kept awake by noisy planes on the night before a visit from two deputies,, from supporters and opponents of the airport expansion. You have to give a press conference after the meetings, and you will have to give a broad indication of the government’s attitude to the proposal. On the basis of the information already given, what considerations might be running through your head?
Below are the questions that you need to take into account before giving a press conference:
1. What would be the impact on the country’s economy if the expansion did not go ahead?
2. Would the expansion produce a step change in the country’s existing environmental ‘footprint’? Or would the additional damage be relatively small, in statistical terms? Explain.
3. How ‘media-friendly’ are the advocates on each side? If one side fails to convince you with rational argument, but is well-versed in putting its case to the media either through interviews or spectacular stunts, are you prepared to ride out the ensuing storm? Explain.
4. Is the airport in an area where your party holds several marginal seats which could return an opposition candidate if the expansion goes ahead? Explain.
5. Are the local economic benefits (as opposed to the national ones) strong enough to outweigh the arguments of local protestors? Explain.
6. Is your own constituency close to the airport? (Remember, you are kept awake by flights.) If so, what is the balance of opinion about the expansion within your own constituency?
The main point here is that, for government ministers in a globalized economy, anticipated financial benefits are likely to be the determining political factor. Environmental factors usually come second. The likely repercussions in the national media are likely to be treated more seriously than the views of local people. As a minister, are you going to put the views of your own constituents on the backbench?
Criteria for Grading
Accurate response to the question
Explanation is coherent and flows well
Sentences/Paragraphs are appropriately used to organize the answers
Answers are well organized: it has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Verb forms are correct and used appropriately
Sentences are well constructed and fragments are generally absent
Spelling is generally correct
Sources (e.g., text, page___) are used responsibly and are cited in appropriate style
Quotes and paraphrase are appropriate)
1. Your answers in CHRONOLOGICAL manner must be typed; 1.5 space (between lines and paragraphs), 11 size Tahoma font, 1” margin, stapled pages
2. No cover page. Type names, date, and course at the top left hand corner of the first page (all single space between your name, date and course).
3. Submit answers in hard copy in class either May 12 or May 19. I suggest that you submit this on May 12, because you have another COURSE ANALYSIS PAPER Due on May 19.
STRICTLY NO LATE AND EMAILED SUBMISSION.