Discussion: Climate Change – Facts and Fiction
Many politicians, policy makers, and media personalities have made bold claims about the state of our global climate. In spite of their lack of scientific expertise, these public figures often appear to imagine that they understand climate science better than the global community of scientists. For instance, in 2012, Donald Trump, who would later go on to win the US presidency in 2016, famously claimed that climate change is a hoax “created by the Chinese” and said in 2015 that he does not “believe in climate change”. As president of the US, Donald Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, an attorney from Oklahoma, as the director of the US Environmental Protection Agency. In 2017, Pruitt said in an interview, “No, I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” directly contradicting the findings by the scientists that work in the agency that he now leads.
Scientists have been studying global climate change for over a century. They discovered the natural climate fluctuations from Earth’s distant past and then found that the phenomenon underlying those fluctuations cannot account for the change we see today. There are many different lines of evidence gathered by scientists that have led to the scientific consensus that in fact the current epoch of climate change is indeed due to human activities.
With these thoughts in mind, complete the following:
Spark Response Post (20 points):
By Day 2
Post a two or more paragraph response to the Discussion Spark posted by your professor on Monday (Day 1) in the week 4 discussion forum. Notice that the responses to the Discussion Spark, the primary research-based Discussion Topic, and your colleagues or professor will be graded together.
Primary Research-based Post (35 points):
By Day 4
Post: four or more paragraphs in which you:
- Describe the climate change evidence and data that you find most compelling.
- Describe a governmental policy or action that you would advocate for as a means of mitigating the impact of climate change on future generations. This could include the development of mass transit systems, alternative energy sources, taxes on carbon pollution, international treaties, tax credits for individuals or corporations that engage in environmentally friendly actions, and many other options.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ and professor’s postings.
Response Posts (15 points):
By Day 5 and 7
Respond by to at least two of your colleagues’ or professor’s postings in a substantive manner, meaning a minimum of 1 full paragraph. Simple “I agree,” “Good post,” or one-line question posts are not enough for full credit. Be substantive as you engage your colleagues.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial research- based posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Research Requirement: Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to authoritative scientific information sources. Every week you are expected to conduct independent research (beyond the course resources). Cite your research sources and include links whenever possible.
Week 5 – Discussion Spark
Top of Form
The latest round of United Nations’ Climate Change was held in Poland earlier this month where near 190 countries continued to support ways to slow down the climate change.
The rich and advance countries are a lot more prepared to do their share. What do you think can be done or suggested to encourage most countries to take some actions toward achieving that goal?