Environmental Geography Personal Statement
Submitted by Max
Whilst onboard the RFA Mounts Bay in Jamaica, David Jelly, a member of the British High Commission said, ‘in the event of a disaster, this boat [ported in Kingston] would go to the Bahamas before helping the people in Jamaica’. I believe that it is ethically wrong to leave people who need help. The ship is designed to assist countries when they have a natural disaster so why should it be used to help people who may be less in need? For me this prioritisation is one of the most prevalent issues in the world as the battle against natural and human-caused tragedies increases in frequency.
One of my main interests in geography is climate change. To help further my understanding I read several books about the subject. In a controversial book, written by Alex Epstein named ‘The Moral Case of Fossil Fuel’, the author shares his opinion that, to this point, the use of fossil fuels can be justified by improvements in standards of living including child mortality rates, availability of water and net income within nations. However, one factor that he did not consider is that the negative effects of climate change are rarely in the same place as the source of the pollutants. This is discussed in Vandana Shiva’s ‘Soil Not Oil’ which is a very saddening book documenting the negative effects of climate change. Early on she says that ‘The people of Rajasthan and Bihar [both very under developed cities in India] do not contribute to climate change, yet they are its victims’. Droughts in Rajasthan and extreme flooding in Bihar have affected vast amounts of people in these cities and caused 30 million to be displaced. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the people who will suffer most from the adverse effects of climate change in the future will be the less wealthy. A section from the IPCC (International Panel for Climate Change) Synthesis Report 2014 can be summarised by: Climate change impacts will reduce rates of economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, and further erode food security. A greater depth of knowledge would help me understand the science behind and the severity of this issue and is hence a reason I have chosen to study Geography in further education.
This interest in climate change has led to me doing an EPQ titled; ‘How will climate change affect hurricanes?’ where I have undertaken a lot of independent research. During this process I have had to develop many skills including judging the credibility of a source and finding sources of information in different formats. University study style tends to be very similar to that needed for the EPQ, so this work will make me better prepared for a degree course.
A country that I have been interested in for a long time is Iceland. Their commitment to maintaining their pristine landscapes by introducing renewable energies is a potential model for many countries. On a recent visit my wish to study Geography was confirmed as the natural environment overwhelmed my current knowledge and understanding. I saw processes that I had learnt about happening in the real world but also so many that I did not understand as yet. Beside academic studies I have a passion for sports, excelling in many different types but focusing on rugby and strength-based training. I have been training intensely for 4 years using both scheduled team training sessions as well as 4-5 personal training sessions a week during the off-season when playing for Farnham RUFC. I have extensively researched the best methods of training and nutrition to optimise results. This has led to me becoming healthier, stronger, and a more confident person. As sport is such a large part of my life I have chosen Universities that have state-of-the-art sport facilities as I hope to continue to train while studying for a degree.