Public Policy for Sustainability Assignment

Summary: The page defines the final assignment for ENST20713, the essay on public policy for sustainability.


The assignment on public policy for sustainability draws upon the course material for the final section of our course, weeks 4 and 5. The resulting paper should be about eight pages and will count 32 points. The paper is due by the end of the day on June 30. I will grade your essay on the criteria of depth and content. I will comment on your writing style, but will not grade you on it. Since I have a short turn-around time for grading, late papers will be docked four points per day.

Assignment Definition

Please write a coherent, informative, and persuasive essay of about eight double-spaced pages with 12 point font that demonstrates that you can identify and explain policies that promote sustainability and that you can articulate a practical policy program that can move toward a just and sustainable world.

To interpret this assignment successfully, imagine that you are a policy analyst providing me, your supervisor, with a background paper on your integrated policy prescriptions to achieve sustainability. Use Lester Brown's World on the Edge and the material listed in the schedule for weeks 4 and 5 to inform your paper.

Use the material of the course on sustainability policy as listed in the schedule as the basis of your response. Please provide at least eight references, but at least six must come from the material of the course. You may also use references discovered through your own investigation but do not neglect the material of the course. Your informed and thoughtful response should demonstrate that you have understood the main points of the material of the course as assigned in the schedule.

You are encouraged to indicate how your policies fit into the Public Policy Cycle. For example, much of part one of World on the Edge sets an agenda for world sustainability. Brown estimates budgets and identifies implementation responsibilities. Thinking in terms of the Public Policy Cycle will add to your depth and content.

Note that Brown's policy prescriptions can be organized around three themes: social (population, gender, failed states,etc.), climate and energy, and natural systems. You can focus on one of those themes or, better, try to tackle the whole. Do regard this as a worthwhile challenge.


The essay is due by the end of the day on Monday June 30 and counts 32% of the course grade. Send your responses in a MS Word document attachment to my Ramapo College email account: Four points will be deducted for each day late.

Your essay will be graded as to its depth and content, assigning sixteen points to each. I will comment on your writing style, but will not grade you on it.

This assignment poses a substantial challenge to you, but is consistent with the goals of the course and its curricular role. I look forward to reviewing your fine work. Thank you and I hope that you learn much from the synthesis of our course material posed in this assignment.

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Initialized: 5/23/2014 | Last Update: 06/25/2014