Although we had done a lot of work on creating the ideas behind our capstones before Spring 2020, most of us––myself included––attempted to solidify our thoughts through multiple iterations of capstone MadLibs, and just sitting down and writing the thing, during the first few weeks of ENVS 400. Personally, I used these MadLibs as opportunities to strengthen the structure and flow of my ideas/argument as opposed to bringing in any new information (which I think is the point). These exercises made me a lot more comfortable with my ability to communicate the findings of my research––something that is evidenced by the evolution of these MadLibs.
I have obviously developed a lot in terms of substance to communicate in regards to my capstone between these MadLibs, but I also wanted to focus a lot more on social movements in my argument. In this last MadLibs, I wanted to be sure that I emphasized the power that social movements have, in general, to fight resource degradation. Historically, social movements have been successful in managing nonrenewable resources while also maximizing utility for all stakeholders. Organizations at this scale (i.e. communities or social movements) have unique positional power to communicate small-scale needs with the ability to influence large-scale change.
It is important to consider this power that movements have at this scale. This is evidenced, for example, by the updated 2008 Ecuadorian constitution in which it is declared that individual citizens have the legal authority to enforce the rights of the nonhuman in the face of degradation. Clauses such as these in their constitution recognize the power that communities have to protect their livelihoods which hinge upon nonrenewable resources that have historically been miss-managed. Social organizations in this context have the legal authority to manage these resources and are trusted to have their best interests in mind.
I am making an effort to stress this power in my argument and attempted to reflect that through this last MadLibs. My thesis statement also leads with a mention of social movements and their applicability in resource management globally. This is a relatively new development that I am using as one of the many threads throughout my thesis to try and tie together resource management, policy, my situated context, climate change, and environmental justice. Each one of these ideas is related to social movements in my writing and I argue that movements at this scale can drive change in each of these areas.