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Hear from Hannah (Highly Commended Essay, 2019-20)

Hannah Musk. Hannah is stood outside, leaning on a tree, with a stream in the background

Below: 2019-20 Competition Poster

Hannah Musk

How did you find out about the GSD competition?

I discovered the competition on the GSD website. I also heard about the competition during an Open Day.

Why did you want to get involved?

I thought it would be a great opportunity to explore and express my interest in sustainable development, specifically in climate change deniers.

Can you tell us about your highly commended essay submission?

My essay was titled: ‘Many influential figures deny that climate change is real. How would you respond to climate change deniers?’. In the essay, I argued that any response to climate change deniers needs to look at previous successful social movements to see what lessons can be learned and how they can build a consensus for change.

Now that you’re studying GSD, how has your knowledge around the issue of climate change deniers (or more broadly around sustainability) developed?

Since studying GSD, we have discussed climate change denial in the Social Principles of Global Sustainable Development module. My understanding of climate change denial has now deepened after being introduced to the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. I have since learned that finding solutions to global problems is highly complex, yet they have never been so necessary for our everchanging environment. I expect my understanding of GSD and climate change denial will continue to evolve throughout the course of my degree.

What did you enjoy most about participating in the competition?

I enjoyed how the competition challenged me academically in a way that I hadn’t been throughout my A-level studies.

Did entering the competition spark your interest in studying GSD at Warwick?

The competition proved to me that the GSD course at Warwick was the perfect course for me. I have had many opportunities to discuss thought-provoking ideas and concepts like climate change deniers throughout my first year. The competition proved to me that interests and academic work can overlap.

Do you have any advice for those considering submitting an entry to the competition?

My advice would be to just do it! If you have an interest in sustainability, this is an opportunity to push yourself out of your academic comfort zone. My tip would be to organise your time effectively - researching is a time-consuming process. Overall, my competition entry gave me skills that I have used throughout the whole of my first year - there really is nothing to lose!