B. Watch these
presentations. When you click on one of the links below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the
new screen to navigate.
You need Adobe Reader to view PDF files.
There are no presentations to watch for this unit.
C. (Optional) Read the following
chapters from the textbook.
There are no chapters to read for this unit.
Print the Required Links
documents below and include them in your field manual. (See Field Manual Protocols, available as a download on the Unit 8 page.)
following Optional Links will help you do better in your course but they are not required.
Activity #2: Dealing with Climate Change (10 points)
Climate change is the “defining issue of our era,” according
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. But the question of how to slow global
warming has stymied the international community and no consensus has emerged.
The Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in 1997, set mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. To date, 182 countries have agreed to the terms -- the US is not one of them.
One of the primary mechanisms for reducing carbon pollution is a system of emissions trading. Countries that have signed the treaty are entitled to an assigned amount of emissions and, if they manage to use less, they can sell the excess to countries that have surpassed their limit on the new carbon market.
The Wide Angle video, Burning Season,
looks at both sides of the climate divide and explores whether capitalism
can step in where altruism has so far failed to succeed.
For this activity, we're going to watch
Burning Season, a documentary about the climate change debate. First, though, we need to do a little background preparation.
Burning Season. On that page read the sections titled
About The Issue and About The Film. From the Inside this Episode menu on the upper right, choose the following links.
Introduction (the first page)
Aaron Brown Interview: Tom Vilsack
Audio: Carbon Entrepreneurs
Data: Top Twenty Global Carbon Dioxide Emitters
Photo Essay: Endangered Animals in the World’s Forests
Timeline: International Politics of Climate Change
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint (this page may take a few minutes to load)
G8 Leaders Agree to Cut Carbon Emissions
Continue to choose the links until you've read through all 8 pages listed above. Then, from the
Inside this Episode menu on the upper right, choose the Additional Web Resources
link. That page has a number of links to fascinating background information on the issue. You're not required to read everything linked on that page but I wanted you to know what's there. The information is interesting and the more you know about issues, the better.
Inside this Episode menu on the upper right of any of the above pages, choose the
Video: Full Episode link to take you to the documentary. Read the introduction above the player.
The documentary plays on Adobe Flash Player, available on the video site. The documentary is just under an hour in length and has been divided into 6 clips for viewing. The player is in the middle of the page with the individual clips arranged underneath. The clips are accessed by clicking on the picture for each. However, if you click on the white arrow in the middle of the player, the player will automatically go from clip to clip without stopping. There are two small icons just under the player on the right. One controls the player's screen size and one the volume. You should be able to watch the documentary on any but the oldest and slowest computers ... although the slower your connection, the longer it will take your computer to load the video. Be patient!
As you watch the documentary, consider the following questions. (Do NOT send me the answers to these ... they're only to help you stay focused during the documentary.)
What is global warming?
What is the
Why should people care about this? What could happen?
How will changes in climate affect our society?
Why is there a debate over the causes of global warming?
What are possible ways to stop the trend of global warming?
What is emissions trading? Will it work?
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack dealing with global warning "is a moral issue. This is not just an economic issue, it’s not just an environmental issue. It is a moral issue for many, many around the globe ... We need to look at this as an economic opportunity ... we’re going to innovate, we’re going to create new technologies, we’re going to create new ways to retrofit buildings so that they become less of an energy user and more efficient. We’re going to create new ways of lighting systems." But whose issue and opportunity is it? Should the government agree to enter the Kyoto Protocol taking us with it? Should business decide individually whether or not to participate in the emissions trading market?
After you've covered the assignment
material, I'd like you to send me an essay that answers the question
Should governments mandate solutions to climate change or should we rely on market forces to find solutions?
Your answer to that question may be as long or as brief as you want but it must pass two tests.
First, your answer must exhibit an understanding of geographic concepts.
Make specific and detailed connections to course content.
Second, your answer must
reflect the information given in the assignment.
Use what you learned from the assignment to
make your case. Too, while I welcome you to include your opinions as
part of your comments, those opinions must have some basis in fact. This
is the time to demonstrate some critical thinking!
Please be careful to use
correct spelling and grammar.