Evolution of Earth Systems -- Final Project --

The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: Developing a National Climate Policy


The final Project for Evolution of Earth Systems will be an in-depth look at global climate change, its impacts, and what nations of the world can do to respond.  In preparation for the day of the final project, you should read and thoroughly comprehend the readings on the United States Environmental Protection Agencies Global Warming Web Site (http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/).  This page has a brief but accurate overview of climate, emissions, impact, and actions.  Also examine the National Climatic Data Center's review of IPCC findings (http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html).  Know the information on these two sites extremely well.

Prior to project day, you will be assigned a particular point of view, typically conservative or progressive.  After being assigned this, you will have several weeks to research both the science and the partisan interpretations (according to your assigned viewpoint).  Some web sources are provided below, and your textbook is a valuable resource as well.  You are encouraged to augment these sources with your own research.  When you arrive on the day of the project, you will be placed in a group of 2-3 individuals with the same viewpoint.   You will be given time (approximately 20 minutes) to strategize.  This typically includes sharing and reviewing each others findings and determining what you will demand, and what you will be willing to negotiate, and what you would be willing to concede in the bargaining.  At the end of that allotted time, you will be brought together with another group, each with the same experts, but with the opposing political perspective.   At that time you will be charged with developing recommendations for a national climate policy based on your expertise (also approximately 45 minutes).  Be certain to address 1) what the U.S. should do internally to address climate, 2) how the U.S. will work with the other nations of the World in dealing with what is obviously a global issue. At the end, you will be asked to produce a written statement of your compromise, and you will explain your compromise to a larger group (5 minutes).  The remaining time will be used to discuss the activity and answer questions.  Below you will find links to the resources that will be provided to you on the day of the project.  Familiarizing yourself with them before the project day may make you more comfortable and a stronger authority on your subject. 

You will be assessed in the following areas:

  1. Your own personal notes brought to the negotiations, organized and characterized.  Should include sources of information to validate your position;
  2. Your performance as an individual acting positively and thoughtfully in a group (see below);
  3. Your team's policy recommendations
  4. Group member feedback submission

Performance within the groups (#2 above) is according to the following criteria:

Negotiations will typically have this schedule:

  1. Introductions
  2. Opening statements
  3. Negotiations
  4. Formation of policy recommendations
  5. Group member statements
  6. 1 minute overview of recommendations to the whole class

Additional sites:

    General Scientific Climate Change Info:

    The Kyoto Protocol:

    Politically Conservative approaches to climate change

    Politically Liberal approaches to climate change